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i see you with my heart

Chapter Text

The hallway to Lan Wangji’s class was bustling with people. Loud bangs from the closing of locker doors bounced from the cream-colored walls, adding up to the buzzing noises around him.

“Sorry,” a stranger had fleetingly mumbled when Lan Wangji’s shoulders bumped against another. Lan Wangji paid no mind and continued making his way to his lecture hall.

He went inside, found his seat, and deposited his bag down beside him. There weren’t a lot of students inside the room yet- although that was not something unusual seeing as Lan Wangji liked to arrive at least thirty minutes before the scheduled lecture. It was better to wait than go through the trouble of racing against time. There was never a day when at least one block mate of his came rushing inside, hair disheveled and chest rapidly heaving up and down.

And one of those block mates of his was named Wei Wuxian.

Although today, Wei Wuxian seemed to have managed to wake up early as opposed to his usual waking hours as he had mentioned before- which often resulted to him slipping inside the classroom as quietly as possible with a glowering companion or arriving at the exact time their professor entered the room.

Wei Wuxian walked in the lecture hall with his younger brother closely beside him. He was laughing about something while his brother eyed him with annoyance painted on his face.

“You never really learn, do you?” Jiang Cheng reprimanded. “I honestly don’t know how he hasn’t kicked you out of his class yet.”

Wei Wuxian lifted a hand to touch his brother’s arm and then hooking it around Jiang Cheng’s elbow. “That’s because I do well in class, Jiang Cheng. You should really be more like me, you know? If you want, I can-”

“Fuck off.” Jiang Cheng harshly elbowed his brother.

Wei Wuxian bumped his hip on Lan Wangji’s table, causing it to push against Lan Wangji’s stomach. One hand was planted above Lan Wangji’s notebook; the carefully aligned pens now rolled to the side.

“Jiang Cheng! That hurt you idiot!” Wei Wuxian hissed at his brother.

Jiang Cheng immediately pulled on Wei Wuxian’s arm. “Get the hell away from there. That’s Lan Wangji’s desk.”

An o formed on Wei Wuxian’s lips. He whirled around, eyes searching for Lan Wangji. “Lan Wangji? Lan Zhan? Did I hit your desk?”

Lan Wangji kept his gaze on Wei Wuxian’s wandering irises. “You did.”

Wei Wuxian hurriedly took his hand off the desk as though it was a stove that was about to burn his palm. “Ah, sorry about that. I think I messed up your pens. Let me help you.” Wei Wuxian began to pat his hand on one side of the desk, trying to find the pens.

Lan Wangji stopped him. “It is okay. I can do it.” Lan Wangji glanced at Wei Wuxian’s hip. “Are you all right?”

Wei Wuxian smiled, lifting his hand from the desk once more. “It’s fine! Didn’t hurt at all.” He emphasized by patting his hip. “Sorry again.”

Lan Wangji nodded although it was only Jiang Cheng who had seen the minuscule movement. Jiang Cheng pulled on his brother’s arm, dragging Wei Wuxian to his seat. Wei Wuxian placed his bag down and Jiang Cheng helped him stow away his collapsible cane.

There were quite a few things Lan Wangji knew about Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian didn’t mind to be late in class, he was smart, loud, and too energetic for Lan Wangji. But there was something else about this particular block mate of his.

Wei Wuxian was blind.

 

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

 

The lecture proceeded as it usually did- with diagnostic tests, long hours of lecture and an assessment test for the day’s lesson. Before the class ended, the professor announced that the final project would be an in-depth journal review that will be done in pairs and for it to be as fair as possible, the professor decided to draw lots.

Lan Wangji preferred to work alone. Although he had worked in group and pair projects before, he has yet to find someone who was actually willing and comfortable to work with him. They often said that he was hard to approach. That the look in his eyes was quite intimidating; that he himself was intimidating. This caused Lan Wangji to always be voted- without his knowledge -as the one who will lead the project, which also translated to him doing all the work.

A silent breath escaped his lips as he thought of the high possibility of working with someone who had no difference from a ghost. Lan Wangji was already used to it. He had no choice but to get used to it. But he cannot deny that it wouldn’t be so bad to have someone who’s willing to work with him- if only that someone existed.

“Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian.”

Lan Wangji was pulled back to the present as his name rang in his ears. He wasn’t certain if he had heard it correctly. But if he did, then that only meant…

“We’re partners!”

A beaming face had presented himself in front of Lan Wangji’s desk. Although the gray orbs continued to shift, Lan Wangji was still able to see the glint of merriment in Wei Wuxian’s eyes.

“Wei Wuxian,” he let himself say.

Wei Wuxian ran his fingers along the edge of Lan Wangji’s desk to guide himself. “Can I sit next to you? Is there a chair available?”

Lan Wangji glanced at the chair next to him and saw that it was currently unoccupied. He stood up, took the chair and placed it beside him. Lan Wangji let the edge of the chair touch Wei Wuxian’s leg, letting his partner know where it was. “You may sit now.”

Wei Wuxian’s lips curved upward, his hand finding the backrest. “Thank you!” He sat down and retracted his cane, placing it on his lap. “Ah, before we get started.” Wei Wuxian lifted a hand towards Lan Wangji. “I’m Wei Wuxian but I think you already know that. You can call me Wei Ying if you want!” He grinned at Lan Wangji, his smile as blinding as the rays of sunlight seeping through the small windows in the lecture hall. 

Lan Wangji stared at the welcoming hand. He shifted his eyes to look at Wei Wuxian who seemed to have managed the proper placement of where he should look as he stared directly at Lan Wangji’s eyes only slightly twitching and moving at other parts of the upper half of his face perhaps so that Lan Wangji wouldn’t feel uncomfortable by the intruding gaze.

Lan Wangji took Wei Wuxian’s hand in his and gave it a firm shake. “Lan Wangji.”

A hearty chuckle escaped Wei Wuxian as he returned the shake enthusiastically. “I’ve always wanted to work with you, Lan Zhan. Is it okay if I call you Lan Zhan? You’re crazy smart and I bet you can ace this project even if we’re required to do it individually.” Wei Wuxian complimented, the smile never leaving his eyes.

Lan Wangji felt a bit surprised. He didn’t know if Wei Wuxian meant it but he didn’t think that it was all a fib too. Lan Wangji viewed Wei Wuxian as the type of person who got along with those he has to work with. And so Wei Wuxian telling that to Lan Wangji might simply be for the sake of not making him think that he would be working on the project alone.

Regardless of what the reason may be, Lan Wangji appreciated the thought. “Suit yourself.”

 

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

 

The aroma of coffee beans wafted in the air as the door to the café continuously chimed at every arrival of a new customer. Soft murmurs of idle talk mixed with the churning of coffee machines and the sound of the cash register springing free to acquire some change rippled through the cafè. Lan Wangji took a sip from his cup, the warm, bitter liquid sending him a rush of repose. He placed the cup back on its coaster and glanced at his watch.

Five minutes.

Wei Wuxian was five minutes late to their agreed meeting time.

Lan Wangji wasn’t very fond of unpunctuality but he didn’t dislike it to the point of ridiculing the other person- especially in Wei Wuxian’s case. He brought out his phone to check their text messages and see if he had gotten their meeting place right. He chose the café nearest to their school so that Wei Wuxian would be able to get there easily. Lan Wangji remembered seeing Wei Wuxian inside this particular café a couple of times with his set of friends as well and so he decided that Wei Wuxian must still be able to get here on his own in the event that his brother wouldn’t be able to accompany him.

Golden eyes flickered to the glass wall a couple of distance away from him, searching for a gray-eyed ever-smiling youth. He made sure to sit on a table where he had a clear view of the door so he would be able to spot Wei Wuxian the moment he walked in, although his partner did tell him that he would send him a message when he’s near. Lan Wangji checked his phone once more and there were no new messages in sight. He slipped it back inside his pocket and decided to wait for a few more minutes.

The chimes hanging above the door to the café jingled again and what came tumbling inside was the person Lan Wangji was supposed to meet with five minutes ago.

Wei Wuxian’s thick black hair was unkempt but not too much that it made him unpleasant to the eyes. His chest rapidly heaved up and down as his eyes squinted at the space around him. Lan Wangji stood from his seat and quickly made his way towards his partner.

“Wei Wuxian.” Lan Wangji said his name, standing in front of him.

When the chimes behind him rang once more, Wei Wuxian immediately stepped to the side, hand reaching out to find Lan Wangji. “Lan Zhan, is that you?”

Lan Wangji noted how Wei Wuxian seemed to be very sensitive to his surroundings; as if he didn’t want to cause trouble because of his condition. “It is me.”

Wei Wuxian dropped his hand and let out a heavy breath. “I thought you already left.” He worried. “Sorry I’m late, Lan Zhan. I couldn’t find Lil’ Apple earlier and Jiang Cheng already left so I didn’t have anyone to come with me.”

Lan Wangji cocked an inquisitive brow. “Lil’ Apple?”

Wei Wuxian blinked in confusion before realizing that the name was still unfamiliar to him. “Oh, I meant my cane. Hahahaha! I couldn’t find my cane that’s why I ended up arriving late. But it’s okay now! I found it under my bed.” Wei Wuxian flashed a triumphant grin, lifting his cane for Lan Wangji to see.

Lan Wangji decided not to ask why he named his cane and why did he give it such a name. “I already found us a table. Let us sit first before we talk about the project.”

“Okay!” Wei Wuxian chirped.

They settle on the table after Wei Wuxian bought his own drink. Almost all of the café staff already knew him and were very friendly towards him as well. They accommodated Wei Wuxian just like how they would serve a typical customer. They gave him his drink at the side of the cashier instead of making him walk to the serving counter. Lan Wangji waited not too far away from Wei Wuxian, his mind finding itself swarmed with questions.

Their brainstorming and processing ended very well. Lan Wangji was pleased by how Wei Wuxian researched their chosen journal on his own and gave his thoughts about how their in-depth review would pan out. For the first time, Lan Wangji was quite certain that he wouldn’t be working alone this time around.

He watched as Wei Wuxian sipped the last contents of his frappe. Wei Wuxian had his eyes cast downwards as though he could see the straw as it moved around the plastic cup.

“Oh, that’s right, Lan Zhan. If you have any questions just go ahead and ask.” Wei Wuxian finally finished vacuuming the whipped cream with his straw and grinned at Lan Wangji. “Surely you must have questions for me.”

Lan Wangji was tempted to ask but he didn’t know if it would come out as offensive. He has never interacted with a blind person as much as he did with Wei Wuxian now. Although he did do a quick research about what to say and what not to say to a person with blindness, he didn’t want Wei Wuxian to feel uncomfortable in any way.

“Hmm, it seems like you’re taking your sweet, sweet time. All right,” Wei Wuxian stretched his legs underneath the table. “I’ll ask you first then.” He propped his chin on his hand, gazing at Lan Wangji. “Let’s see…how many friends do you have?”

Lan Wangji’s eyes shifted to the side, avoiding Wei Wuxian’s curious gaze. “I do not have friends.”

“What?” Wei Wuxian shrieked. “How can you not have friends? Maybe you have but you’re just not aware of it? I mean, this is the first time I hung out with you and I can already tell that you’re very kind and sweet. You even offered me your arm and walked me to our table earlier.” Wei Wuxian gushed, the corners of his mouth curving upwards.

Heat kissed the tips of Lan Wangji’s ears. He was…sweet?

“And you’re very smart and I really like your voice. It’s very relaxing.” Wei Wuxian went on with his compliments, unaware of the faint blush that was starting to spread on Lan Wangji’s cheeks. “And you’re very handsome too.”

Lan Wangji snapped his eyes back at Wei Wuxian. “How do you know that?”

Wei Wuxian tilted his head. “Know what?”

Lan Wangji felt too ashamed to repeat the word. Wei Wuxian seemed well aware of it too as he failed to suppress his amusement. Lan Wangji scowled at him. “That,” he simply said. “What you just said. How can you tell?”

A satisfied sigh slipped past Wei Wuxian’s lips. “I finally got to make you ask a question.”

Lan Wangji was left speechless. Did Wei Wuxian know that he was pondering over the right questions to ask? That he was worried that he might offend or hurt Wei Wuxian’s feelings in some way?

“I told you, Lan Zhan, you can ask me anything.” Wei Wuxian beamed at him. “Okay, to answer that, hmm, did you know that it’s a misconception that all blind people see nothing but complete darkness?”

It had been nagging at the very back of Lan Wangji’s mind. Wei Wuxian somehow knew where to look. It might not be accurate but he knew the right place where he should direct his eyes. Lan Wangji found himself intently observing ever since Wei Wuxian arrived at the café.

“I did not know that.” Lan Wangji confessed.

“Well, now you know.” Wei Wuxian said with a smile. “In my case, I still have light perception and everything just looks super suuuper blurry. I can’t make out faces or details but I still see something. Like I know that that must be a glass wall or a big window or something because of the bright light coming through it.” He pointed at the glass wall overlooking the people that walked past the café. “And I know that you’re handsome because I think you are.”

Lan Wangji’s brows furrowed, his lips drawn on a thin line. “Do not say things you do not mean. You said you cannot see the details of someone’s face.” He argued.

Laughter filled the distance between them, gentle and endearing. “I know. I know. But I really do mean it, Lan Zhan! I keep on hearing that the two jades of Lan are quite something and now that I have you here in front of me, I can say the same thing.” He scooted his chair, elbows planted on the table and face propped on his hands. “I know that you have very dark hair. I like looking at your eyes although I can barely see them Hahaha! Hmm, what else. Right now you’re wearing a light-colored shirt. Is that blue or white or…?”

“It is a blue dress shirt.” Lan Wangji confirmed.

“Okay. You’re wearing a blue dress shirt.” Wei Wuxian continued, his eyes stopping at every part of Lan Wangji’s he mentioned. “You have something on your wrist so I’m guessing that it’s a watch. Basically, I think you’re very pleasing to look at.” Wei Wuxian finished. “I like looking at you. It makes me feel at ease. Did that make any sense? Sorry if I’m confusing you. I don’t know how to explain it properly.” Wei Wuxian scratched at the back of his head sheepishly.

“It is all right.” Lan Wangji told him. “How can you say that I…make you feel at ease?”

Lan Wangji was not the type of person who gets comfortable around someone he was not very familiar with. Even more so if he doesn’t have a pair of functioning eyes to see that person.

“How do I say this,” Wei Wuxian said to himself. “It’s like when I look at you I feel warm and relaxed? I sound so stupid right now but please bear with me.”

“I am listening.”

“Okay,” Wei Wuxian breathed. “What do you feel when you think of someone important you or someone you like spending time with?”

Lan Wangji’s eyes faintly widened, a tad bit surprised by the question. He noted how Wei Wuxian’s eyes bore into his, a slight crease on his forehead as he waited for an answer.

“I feel happy.” Lan Wangji replied.

Wei Wuxian nodded, a pleased look on his face. “How about, what do you feel when you’re with that person? Do you feel safe?”

“I do.”

A slow smile crept on Wei Wuxian’s lips. “Then that’s how I feel when I’m with you.”

Lan Wangji felt something odd in his chest. It felt like a small spark of something he cannot seem to ignore. It was just there with the little flame refusing to die down.

“I’m not just saying that because I’m flirting with you or anything,” Wei Wuxian paused for a moment, a thought coming to his mind. “Or maybe I am flirting with you. Hahahaha! But all jokes aside, I promise that I’m telling the truth.” Wei Wuxian lifted three fingers to emphasize his fidelity. “I have to rely a lot on what I feel so even if you ask me about colors I can only tell you what feelings I associate with them.” Wei Wuxian patiently explained. “Like when I think of blue, I think of ice and cold weather. And when I think of red, I think of anger or sometimes love.”

Lan Wangji processed Wei Wuxian’s words in his mind although two particular words stood out out him, refusing to be clouded by any other thoughts. They stayed floating in his head like fireflies amidst a quiet night.

“You feel happy and safe when you are with me?” Lan Wangji couldn’t help but ask again.

Wei Wuxian nodded. “I do. Why do you seem so surprised?” There was a small frown that tugged on his mouth, the sparkle in his eyes slightly dimmed.

Lan Wangji cast his gaze down to his empty cup, contemplating if he should tell. Apart from his brother and uncle, Wei Wuxian was the only person who didn’t try to avoid him; he was the only other person who made Lan Wangji feel welcomed.

“Others are intimidated by me.” He told him. “They say that I am hard to approach.” Lan Wangji flickered his eyes back to Wei Wuxian whose head tilted to the side, a sad expression embracing his face. “Do you not think the same?”

Wei Wuxian shook his head immediately. “I don’t. Do you know why?”

At that moment, Lan Wangji couldn’t seem to make himself tear his gaze away from Wei Wuxian’s face. There was something about the gentleness of the gray orbs that drew him deeper and deeper into a well that didn’t seem so suffocating. There was something about the softness of the curve on Wei Wuxian’s lips that made Lan Wangji’s skin tingle.

“Why?” He asked.

Wei Wuxian rested his elbow on the table, propping his chin on his hand, warm eyes gazing through Lan Wangji’s soul. “It’s because I look with my heart and not with my eyes.”

Oh.

Oh.

It was a small flutter- vague yet unrelenting. It spread through his skin, leaving trails of heat and uncertainty. The night before, Lan Wangji read about a visual impairment called tunnel vision. It is when a person loses their peripheral vision and has trouble seeing things that weren’t at the center of their field of view.

At that moment, Lan Wangji suspected that he might have just that.

Chapter Text

Lan Wangji checked his watch, relief washing over him as he saw that the lecture ended just in time. This particular professor of his liked to extend for at least twenty to thirty minutes. Although he didn’t pay that much attention to it before, for the past two weeks, Lan Wangji has been looking forward to his lecture dismissals. He wasn’t sure why but he suspected that it could be because of-

“Lan Zhan!”

A too familiar face jumped in front of him as he took a single step out of the lecture hall.

“Lan Zhan, did you get surprised? Did I surprise you?” Wei Wuxian asked excitedly, his eyes bathed with sparks of merriment.

Lan Wangji stared at him. “You did not.”

Wei Wuxian huffed in disbelief. “I even went out of my way to get here extra early this time. I had to ask a random person to tell me if the very handsome Lan Wangji was finally getting out so that I won’t surprise someone else.” He pouted.

Lan Wangji sighed, pressing a hand on the small of Wei Wuxian’s back, silently telling him to start walking. “I told you to stop waiting for me.”

“But I need to see you,” Wei Wuxian whined. “Being with Jiang Cheng’s salty ass all day can be really frustrating, you know?”

Lan Wangji held his tongue, telling himself that the only reason why Wei Wuxian always waited for him outside of his lecture hall for the past few days was because they needed to talk about their project.

“Where do you want to go today?” Lan Wangji asked instead.

“Hmm,” Wei Wuxian hummed to himself as he thought. “You’ve never been to the arcade, right? How about we go there instead? We’ll get something done afterwards, I promise! I’ll also treat you to something.”

Before, whenever Lan Wangji asked Wei Wuxian where he would like to meet next for their project, Wei Wuxian would suggest places he could easily go to, such as the café, the library, or the park that were all near their university. But as they frequently met- almost every day and even spending time together if their breaks aligned –Wei Wuxian began suggesting places where Lan Wangji had mentioned in one of their many conversations that he has never been to before. He realized that although Wei Wuxian was stripped of most of his sight, he had been to places and experienced more things than Lan Wangji ever did with both of his functioning eyes.

“Okay.”

Wei Wuxian squealed in delight, his cane tapping the path before him so they could walk faster. Lan Wangji matched his pace with Wei Wuxian, never a step ahead of his companion. He tugged on Wei Wuxian’s sleeve as they round up a corner, halting his footsteps.

Wei Wuxian turned to him. “What’s wrong, Lan Zhan?”

“Stairs.” He replied.

“Ah, thank you for telling me.” Wei Wuxian retracted his cane. “Can you lead me to the handrail? I don’t want you to see me rolling down. Hahaha!”

Lan Wangji knew that Wei Wuxian meant it as a joke but what he had just said left a bitter taste in his mouth. Lan Wangji glanced at Wei Wuxian’s hand, hesitating for a moment.

“Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian tilted his head at him.

Lan Wangji pressed his lips together and let his hand find its way to Wei Wuxian’s. He took the warm hand and lifted it towards the crook of his arm, wrapping Wei Wuxian’s slim fingers around it- ignoring the sudden drumming of his heart against his chest.

Wei Wuxian’s forehead puckered, his eyes closing in on his hand. “What’s this?”

Lan Wangji wondered why he could hear his heartbeats blaring in his ears. “My arm.”

“Your ar-Oh!” The smile on Wei Wuxian’s lips grew wide. “You’re lending me your arm. Thank you, Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian giggled. “What a gentleman you are.”

Lan Wangji clenched his jaw, paying no mind to the sudden wave of emotions unfamiliar to him flourishing inside. “Mn.”

 

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

 

A barrage of hubbub filled Lan Wangji’s ears- bleeps resounded from the rows of colorful machines, the constant revving of engines from racing games, the sharp drops of coins down to the metal trays, and the strings of curses and outbursts of laughter that were rather hard to drown out.

This was the very reason why Lan Wangji never dared to set foot inside an arcade.

He liked peace and quiet- thick auras of tranquility bouncing off the walls as he let his mind stay at ease. But this was the complete opposite. The stale air lounged in his lungs, crowding his breath. There were too many glowing screens and Lan Wangji had no idea just what was in them that made people either deliver a kick to the side of the contraption or squeal in glee as a chain of what appeared to be tickets slide out of the machine.

There were a lot of things in this building that swamped all of his senses and yet the soft giggle coming from beside him swept out all of what was surrounding him as if it were a ray of sunlight breaking through thunderous clouds, reeling him towards where the light struck the ground.

“Lan Zhan, you find this noisy, don’t you?” Wei Wuxian asked, the summery smile still on his lips.

And oh how Lan Wangji couldn’t strip his eyes off of that radiating smile.

Wei Wuxian retracted his cane and slipped the strap on his wrist. “Do you see the claw machines, Lan Zhan? Let’s go there.”

Lan Wangji felt himself still ever so slightly as Wei Wuxian held onto his arm once more. He never liked physical contact and so why didn’t he mind this? Why was he so willing to be Wei Wuxian’s guide? Lan Wangji swallowed, his throat suddenly parched. “What is a claw machine?”

Wei Wuxian’s brows snapped together before he burst into a fit of laughter. The buoyancy of his voice was like an addicting piece of melody enveloping Lan Wangji’s ears. “Ah, sorry, Lan Zhan. I didn’t mean to- pfft –laugh.” Wei Wuxian pulled his mouth close, forcing his laughter down.

If it were anyone else, Lan Wangji would have already felt vexed. And yet every time he heard Wei Wuxian’s cheery laughter- a laughter that made all sorts of feelings rampant inside of him like a roll of waves crashing onto the shore –whether or not it be because of him or something else, he couldn’t help but memorize the tones of Wei Wuxian’s merriment and store it deep within his mind.

“Okay,” Wei Wuxian breathed, finally calming himself down. “There’s a claw, obviously, and there are lots of prizes inside the machine like stuffed toys or candies and stuff. Do you understand, Lan Zhan?”

Lan Wangji tilted his head in question. “No glowing screens?”

“Nope.” Wei Wuxian shook his head. “No glowing screens.” He paused in thought. “Well, at least that’s what Jiang Cheng told me.” Wei Wuxian smiled sheepishly.

“I will tell you if there are.” Lan Wangji found himself saying before he could even process his words.

Wei Wuxian’s gray eyes softened a touch. “I know you will.”

Lan Wangji schooled his features as loud thumps drummed on his chest as though he was desperately trying to push all of the fluttering butterflies back in their cage- where they belong.

He followed a group of high school students who were holding what seemed like prizes that could have come from the claw machine. Their faces were a mix of glee and annoyance, perhaps from winning and wasting away their money.

They stopped in front of a line of machines filled with different types of stuffed toys. Lan Wangji has never seen this much stuffed toy in his life. He was exposed to stacks of books and a variety of instruments when he was younger but never was he brought to a place such as this.

“Are we here already, Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian tugged on his elbow, the pitch of his voice rising a bit. “Are there a lot of people?”

“No. It is only the two of us.”

“Great! Let’s go pick one.” Wei Wuxian chirped, taking Lan Wangi’s wrist and dragging him forward. Lan Wangji was quick to shift his hold- a hand by Wei Wuxian’s waist while the other held onto his too enthusiastic companion’s forearm.

“Careful.” Lan Wangji told him.

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. What’s in here?” Wei Wuxian had his hands planted on the window and his face nearly kissing the fingerprint filled glass.

Lan Wangji let out a small sigh, pulling Wei Wuxian backward. “Do not stand too close.” His eyes shifted back to the machine where stuffed toys pile on top of each other but never too high that it would be easy for the claw to catch. “They are stuffed bunnies.”

Wei Wuxian whipped around, his gray orbs wide and brimming with excitement. “You told me before that you had bunnies when you were younger, right?”

Lan Wangji blinked at him in surprise. “You remember?”

“Of course, I do! I remember everything you tell me.” Wei Wuxian grinned at him.

Lan Wangji felt like he had just seen the sun up close. And he made sure to carve that image somewhere in his mind.

Wei Wuxian proceeded to bury his hands inside his black and red colored satchel, the tip of his tongue sticking out to the side as he searched for something. “Put out your hands, Lan Zhan.”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji held his hands forward, wondering what Wei Wuxian would be giving him.

“Okay,” Wei Wuxian kept one of his hands inside his bag while the other searched for Lan Wangji’s. Lan Wangji brought his hands closer, letting it brush against Wei Wuxian’s palm. “There it is. Lan Zhan, cup your hands, okay? We don’t want them spilling down the floor.” He then fished out a fistful of silver tokens and carefully deposited it on Lan Wangji’s hands.

Lan Wangji stared at the tokens handed to him. “Why do you have so many?”

Wei Wuxian placed his hands on his hips, a proud grin painting his face. “I won it with Jiang Cheng. We go here often when we have nothing to do. Although I can barely play any Hahaha!” Wei Wuxian explained, the glee never leaving his eyes.

“I will play with you.” Lan Wangji told him, determined. He had no idea how to maneuver any of the machines in this building but he wanted to make sure that Wei Wuxian would enjoy his time here…with him.

“I know, Lan Zhan. You’re always so kind to me.” Wei Wuxian chuckled. He then put on a straight face as if he was getting ready for an impending battle and turned towards the machine. “Okay, Lan Zhan. Let’s get some stuffed bunnies.”

“Mn.”

Lan Wangji struggled to get a single bunny. Wei Wuxian’s mountain of tokens was slowly shifting into a flat pond and if weren’t for him continuously putting tokens inside the machine, Lan Wangji would have already given up. There were many times when he had managed to capture a bunny by its head but by the time it neared the front, the claw’s fingers would suddenly loosen, causing the bunny to drop back down.

Argh, I’m telling you, Lan Zhan, these claw machines are rigged!” Wei Wuxian grumbled as another stuffed bunny slipped from the claw. “You’re doing so well how can they not give us one.” He whined as he slipped another token inside.

Lan Wangji unclenched his hand from the joystick, fearing that he may break it if he continued playing a couple of times more. “How do you know I am doing well?” He asked Wei Wuxian, sincerely.

Wei Wuxian gazed up at him from where he was crouching near the token slot. “I just know that you are.” He said it as if it was the most obvious thing in the world and that he knew it by heart.

Lan Wangji couldn’t ignore the sudden heat enveloping his ears.

“Okay, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian stood up, hand finding Lan Wangji’s elbow to steady himself. “Let’s try one more time. After this, I promise that we’ll continue doing our project.”

Lan Wangji glanced at his watch. It had been about thirty minutes since they came here. “Okay.”

Lan Wangji wrapped his fingers around the joystick once more; eyes narrowed at the stuffed bunny that was tipping towards the opening at the front corner of the machine. He had sixty seconds until the game came to a stop and due to playing it countless times now, he already knew how to manage his time perfectly.

Although it would have been easier for him if Wei Wuxian wasn’t clinging onto his arm, Wei Wuxian’s cheek pressed against Lan Wangji’s bicep as anticipation clouded his features.  “Are you moving the claw, Lan Zhan? Move the claw already. Your time is running out.”

“Let go of me first.”

“Ah, don’t be silly. I have nothing else to do but to stare at this white thing in front of me.” Wei Wuxian squinted his eyes. “Let me keep on holding you.”

Lan Wangji didn’t mind the physical contact but he had trouble concentrating. Wei Wuxian was near him. Too near him. Near enough for him to see how Wei Wuxian’s long lashes fluttered as he blinked; how the ends of Wei Wuxian’s hair curled on his nape; how his hair smelled of fresh blooms of-

Lan Wangji tore his mind and gaze away from Wei Wuxian, tugging the joystick to the side and slamming the button down without even looking where he had aimed the claw. Such thoughts…why was he having such thoughts?

Thud.

 “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian tugged on him, his eyes gleaming. “What was that sound? Did you hear that? Did you get one? Tell me! Tell me!”

Wei Wuxian bounced around him like a child asking his parent for a toy. Lan Wangji had no idea if he did get something because he wasn’t really paying any attention to the claw machine for the past few seconds. He crouched down and stuck a hand inside the claiming window.

“Well? Did you get anything, Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian nagged. “Tell me, please. I can’t see shit in case you’ve forgotten.”

Lan Wangji scowled at him. “I did not forget.” He then pushed the two stuffed bunnies- one black and one white- towards Wei Wuxian’s chest. “For you.”

“Hm? What’s this?” Wei Wuxian’s hand came up to pat down at the plump objects. “Wha-TWO? You got two, Lan Zhan?!”

“It appears so.”

Wei Wuxian squealed in delight. “I knew you could do it!” He bounced around, holding the bunnies close to his chest. “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. Take a picture of me and the bunnies.”

Lan Wangji held out his hand. “Where is your phone?”

“Oh, no, no. Not mine. Use yours.” Wei Wuxian smiled; his smile so warm that it put the sun to shame. “I want you to remember that you finally got to go to the arcade. And that you were with me.” He said, almost embarrassed. “If that’s okay with you, of course.”

It was more than okay.

An “Mn,” was all the Lan Wangji could manage. He took out his phone and noticed how his fingers faintly trembled as he held it up.

“Are you taking it now, Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian asked, his eyes searching.

“I am.”

“Okay!” Wei Wuxian brought the two bunnies to squish against his cheeks. “Am I looking the right way?  Is it that black blob in front of you?”

Lan Wangji stared at the beaming man on his screen. “You are.”

“Okay! I’m ready!” Wei Wuxian chirped.

It took Lan Wangji a while to realize that his thumb was pressed against the shutter a long while ago. His eyes caught the numbers rapidly changing at the top of the shutter button- it was already in its hundreds. Lan Wangji pried his thumb away from the screen, ceasing any more addition to his gallery.

“How does it look, Lan Zhan? Does it look pretty?” Wei Wuxian grinned at him, his eyes crinkling at the sides.

Very much so.

Lan Wangji forced the words down his throat. “It is okay.”

Wei Wuxian’s features warped in disappointment. “You should learn how to compliment others more, Lan Zhan. Isn’t that right, bunnies?” Wei Wuxian wiggled the stuffed animals in front of him as though convinced that they were going to answer him. A breath escaped him, “I bet you both look adorable. Lan Zhan got you for me and I can’t even see you.”

The words were uttered low, almost inaudible. Lan Wangji watched as Wei Wuxian’s forehead slightly puckered, his eyes scanning the two plump toys in his hands. His thumbs ran across each of the bunny’s plush perhaps trying to gain even the faintest of visualization of what they might appear like.

Before he could stop himself, Lan Wangji was already taking one of the bunnies from Wei Wuxian’s hand.

“Lan Zhan?”

Lan Wangji hesitated for a while before gathering up the courage to take Wei Wuxian’s hand. “This one is colored black,” he began, brushing the bunny’s plush against Wei Wuxian’s palm. “It is holding a small carrot right here.” He directed Wei Wuxian’s finger towards the carrot that the black bunny was holding. “And it has pink blushes right here.” He said, letting Wei Wuxian’s finger press on the bunny’s cheek. Lan Wangji placed the bunny back in Wei Wuxian’s hand. Wei Wuxian stared at it for a while, his mouth slightly parted. “The other one you are holding has the same design except it is white.”

Wei Wuxian brought the bunnies close to each other, his eyes following the movements of his thumb as it caressed the plush once more. “I didn’t know that they were holding a carrot.” Wei Wuxian said, stroking the small vegetable plush. “And that they’re blushing.” He then shifted the pads of his thumb to their cheeks. Wei Wuxian chuckled, soft shade of pink painting the apples of his cheeks. “Thank you for telling me, Lan Zhan.”

“You can ask me anything you want to know.” Lan Zhan told him, and he meant every single word.

“Really?” A glint of mirth now dancing in Wei Wuxian’s eyes. “Then, I want to know…” He trailed off, pretending to be deep in thought. “Where are you looking now?”

Lan Wangji felt something stutter in his chest. “You.” He told him. “I am looking at you.”

Wei Wuxian let out a hearty laugh. “Why do I feel like you’re always looking at me, Lan Zhan?” He lifted the white stuffed bunny towards Lan Wangji. “Here. I’m giving this to you so that we can match.” He grinned. “Don’t lose it okay! I’ll get sad if you lose it.”

Lan Wangji took the stuffed bunny, an odd feeling stirring in his stomach as the tips of his fingers grazed Wei Wuxian’s. He didn’t know what exactly he was feeling. But he did know that he would never dare to lose what Wei Wuxian had given him.

Chapter Text

Lan Wangji pored over their document, reading the words aloud for Wei Wuxian to hear and make suggestions if there was anything he felt like they need change or improve on. It was the last week before they have to turn in their project. It wasn’t that they still had a lot to do; in fact, it was as good as finished. But Lan Wangji wanted to go over it again just in case they missed anything.

Wei Wuxian groaned as he stretched his arms. “We’re finally finished with this thing,” he said, his back laying against the warm blades of grass. They decided to stay at a nearby park today to make their last revisions.

“Mn.” Lan Wangji said, closing his laptop. It was finally finished.

Wei Wuxian pushed himself up. “Lan Zhan, will you still hang out with me even if we don’t have a project to do anymore?”

Lan Wangji didn’t even need to think twice. “If you want me to.”

For the past month, they have been spending a lot of time with each other. When Lan Wangji’s schedule ended early, he would wait for Wei Wuxian outside his lecture hall and Wei Wuxian would do the same- usually with a wide smile on his face as he greeted Lan Wangji. Wei Wuxian would always ask Lan Wangji to describe things to him because according to his own words, Lan Wangji spoke very well and he enjoyed listening to his voice.

Lan Wangji knew that Wei Wuxian had more friends than he does- not to mention that Wei Wuxian was his only friend. He felt like he had already taken too much of Wei Wuxian’s time away from his peers and so if Wei Wuxian didn’t want to spend time with him anymore, he would understand. He was not someone special for Wei Wuxian to keep on allotting some of his time with.

“Of course I want to!” Wei Wuxian exclaimed. “I like being with you.”

Lan Wangji tried not to dwell on how his heart was now suddenly pounding as if attempting to break free from his chest. He reminded himself that Wei Wuxian most likely says that to everyone- that he was not entirely different from them.

Lan Wangji released a breath. “You like being with everyone.”

“That’s true. But that’s not what I meant!” Wei Wuxian shuffled closer to him. “I like being with you because…I don’t know,” he scratched a finger at the shell of his ear, a faint blush marking his cheeks. “Because you’re Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian said with a sheepish smile.

Lan Wangji had long been aware of the things that Wei Wuxian made him feel. The way that his heart would leap up to his throat whenever Wei Wuxian smiled at him or how it didn’t matter how many thick clouds loomed over him because once he hears Wei Wuxian call his name, it would be instantly blown away by the warm spring breeze that is Wei Wuxian.

“I like spending time with you too.” Lan Wangji allowed himself to say. He watched as Wei Wuxian’s eyes widen. “Because you are Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian grumbled, burying his flaming face in his hands. “Lan Zhan, you’re really good at words, are you?”

Wei Wuxian was the first person who has ever told him that.

“You are better.” Lan Wangji said. “You never stop talking.”

Wei Wuxian’s head shot up, shock crossing his features. “It’s not like you don’t like hearing me spout nonsense.” Wei Wuxian pouted. “If I don’t say anything, who will speak between the two of us then?”

Lan Wangji stifled the tug on the corner of his mouth. “You will not last a day without speaking.”

Wei Wuxian gasped too exaggeratedly, hand coming up to cover his mouth. “Are you teasing me? You’re teasing me right now, are you? I can’t see you but I know that you must be trying so hard not to laugh or smile right now, Lan Zhan. When I finally get to see I will-” Wei Wuxian stopped himself, the curve on his lips slowly disintegrating into the wind blowing past them. Wei Wuxian stayed silent for a couple of seconds; his mind seemed to be at war.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Wangji called to him.

Wei Wuxian lifted his gaze, the gray orbs wildly shifting- almost frantic - as though they had just lost track of something important.

“I am here.” Lan Wangji told him, inching closer as he felt a sense of worry. “I am in front of you.”

Still trapped in his own world, Wei Wuxian lifted a hand, his fingers reaching, searching for something. Lan Wangji didn’t know if it was what Wei Wuxian was looking for but he let his face draw near Wei Wuxian’s hand all the same. A soft breath flowed past Wei Wuxian’s lips as his fingers made contact with Lan Wangji’s warm skin.

Something sad blanketed Wei Wuxian’s usually gleaming eyes as the pad of his thumb stroked Lan Wangji’s cheek.

“I want to see you.” He whispered. His eyes searched Lan Wangji’s face, his fingers slightly trembling. “I want to see what Lan Zhan looks like.”

Lan Wangji’s chest constricted at the sorrow dripping from Wei Wuxian’s voice. It was his first time seeing Wei Wuxian like this. Wei Wuxian was always a burst of energy, painting other people’s days with bright colors as they encountered him. He was a person born with a smile on his face- a smile that could light up an entire room. A smile that turned Lan Wangji’s world upside down.

And now seeing that very smile not even reach Wei Wuxian’s eyes…it was a sight that Lan Wangji would never want to see again.

Seeming to be finally knocked back into his senses, Wei Wuxian weakly laughed at himself, his hand tearing itself away from Lan Wangji’s welcoming warmth. “Sorry about that, Lan Zhan. I’m not usually like this. Just forget what I said.” He forced a curve on his lips but Lan Wangji could tell that it was not the same smile that brought people joy.

It was not the smile that made him fall so hard that he couldn’t push himself back up.

It hurt him to see Wei Wuxian like this. It hurt him to see the person who made him experience a whole new world be clouded with blue.

Lan Wangji took Wei Wuxian’s hand in his and placed it back on his cheek.

Wei Wuxian blinked at him in confusion. “What are you doing?”

Lan Wangji gazed at him, as though if he looked at him enough, he would be able to give Wei Wuxian a fraction of his sight.

“My face.” Lan Wangji simply told him.

Wei Wuxian’s hand stilled above his cheek. Without the need of any more words between them, Wei Wuxian understood Lan Wangji’s intention and cupped his other cheek. Wei Wuxian’s gray eyes followed his hands’ every movement as it caressed every line on Lan Wangji’s face. Wei Wuxian’s touch was as gentle and as loving as it could be- as though he was afraid that Lan Wangji might shudder under his touch if he was too forceful. Wei Wuxian’s thumb found his mouth and he let the pad skim across Lan Wangji’s lower lip.

Wei Wuxian let out a rather dreamy sigh, the smile that Lan Wangji knew so much finally back on his face. “What a handsome man you are, Lan Zhan.”

Lan Wangji had to stop himself from chasing after Wei Wuxian’s hands as it left his skin. The thumps of his heart blared on his ears.

“How do you know that?’ He let himself ask.

“How do I know? Haven’t I already told you before?” Wei Wuxian’s chuckled, a soft blush kissing the apples of his cheeks.

“I just know that you are.” Wei Wuxian told him. “I know because I see you with this,” he pressed a hand to his chest, his gaze locked with Lan Wangji’s. Wei Wuxian swallowed, a hint of trepidation washing over his features. “And this tells me that you might just be the most beautiful person I have ever laid my heart on.”

Rays of sunlight came down on Wei Wuxian, encircling him with a warm, beautiful glow. The wind threaded through his jet-black locks, the strands curling and swaying in the air. Wei Wuxian’s long lashes fluttered, fanning against his cheeks every time he blinked.

The very sight took Lan Wangji’s breath away.

There were a lot of things to see in the park. There was that bench not too far away from them, an ice cream truck with lines customers on one side, a man holding up strings of helium-filled balloons, an elderly couple who sat on a picnic blanket at one corner, there were a lot of things that Lan Wangji could see with his functioning eyes. And yet at that moment, all he could see was Wei Wuxian.

All he could hear was Wei Wuxian.

All that mattered was Wei Wuxian.

And Lan Wangji was afraid of what his feelings for this beautiful man were doing to him.

“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian giggled to himself as he thought of something. “What do I look like? I want you to describe how I look like to you.”

The beguiling giggles reeled Lan Wangji back into the present. “You do not remember what you look like?” Lan Wangji asked in pure curiosity.

“Yeah? I lost my sight when I was five so my visual memory is awful.” Wei Wuxian explained. “Some think that we still remember what we saw when we still had our sight but we don’t. I don’t. I don’t see them anymore, so how would I remember? But I do know that I have black hair and gray eyes. Oh! And they also say that I have a nice smile.” Wei Wuxian grinned, quite proud of the compliment.

“You do.” Lan Wangji confirmed.

“Hm?”

“Wei Ying has a very nice smile.”

Wei Wuxian swallowed, a red tint coloring his face once more. “T-Thank you, Lan Zhan.” He stammered. “I didn’t expect you to say that,” Wei Wuxian said in a low voice, not wanting Lan Wangji to hear. He cleared his throat and said, “But enough of that. I want to know how you’ll describe me.” Wei Wuxian’s eyes sparkled in glee and curiosity.

How can he describe Wei Wuxian? There were a lot of words that swarmed Lan Wangji’s mind but he didn’t know how to compose them properly. How can he put into words just how beautiful Wei Wuxian was to him? Wei Wuxian was a breath of fresh air in his stale life. The burst of color splashed in his monochromatic days. The soft chirping of birds that woke him from a deep slumber. His favorite chapter in a book.

“Beautiful.”

A gust of wind howled between them.

Wei Wuxian struggled for an expression. “What?”

Lan Wangji steeled himself, wanting Wei Wuxian to know how he thought of him. “Wei Ying is very beautiful.”

Wei Wuxian shrank, his face a heated mess. “L-Lan Zhan, how can you say things like that? Aren’t you embarrassed?”

Lan Wangji shook his head. “I am not. I was telling the truth.”

Wei Wuxian bit his lip, a mix of emotions surging inside of him, conjuring up an impending storm. “Are you still looking at me right now?”

Lan Wangji nodded. “Mn. I am looking.”

Wei Wuxian’s hands shot forward, scrambling to cover Lan Wangji’s eyes. “Ah, stop that! Don’t look at me right now, Lan Zhan.”

Lan Wangji frowned at the sudden darkness. “Why not?”

“Because…Because I’m embarrassed! I look embarrassing! Well, I think I look embarrassing. Anyway, stop looking first!”

A curve tugged on Lan Wangji’s lips. “No.”

“Lan Zhan, don’t be stubborn!” Wei Wuxian groaned, his hands still covering Lan Wangji’s eyes.

Lan Wangji let himself be surrounded and filled with thoughts of Wei Wuxian. He knew long before that he was falling. He didn’t know how deep it was going to go but Lan Wangji knew that he was ready. And if he was falling alone, Lan Wangji was prepared for that too.

Wei Wuxian peeled his hands away from Lan Wangji’s eyes. “How about-How about we eat something instead? Are you still looking? Stop looking okay? Look somewhere else for now. Do you want some ice cream? Let me treat you to some ice cream. Come, come.” Wei Wuxian trailed his hand down Lan Wangji’s arm and grabbed his hand.

“Do you know where you are going?” Lan Wangji asked as Wei Wuxian began to pull him towards a random direction.

“That’s why I’m taking you with me!” Wei Wuxian grumbled, heat staining the tips of his ears. “Guide me and Lil' Apple, Lan Zhan.”

Lan Wangji sighed and stood closely beside him. “Walk slowly.”

They begin walking towards the ice cream truck when two men rushed past them bumping against Wei Wuxian and causing him to stumble on his feet and land on the ground.

“Man, that hurt.” Wei Wuxian winced at his grazed palm.

He patted his hand around him, looking for his cane. “Lan Zhan, can you give Lil’ Apple to me?” He continued to run his hands across the gravel and waited for Lan Wangji to hand him his cane. “Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian asked, craning his head when his ears were filled with noises surrounding him but not a trace of Lan Wangji’s voice. “Lan Zhan, where are you?” Wei Wuxian’s hands trembled as it desperately swept across the ground, not sure if what it was exactly he was trying to find anymore. “Lan Zhan, are you still here?”

“I am here.” Lan Wangji crouched down to help Wei Wuxian up from the ground and handed him his cane. “It rolled quite far away.” His eyes caught the scratches that marred Wei Wuxian’s smooth palm. “Does it hurt?”

“Oh, this?” Wei Wuxian lifted his hand. “This is nothing, Lan Zhan.” He grinned. Wei Wuxian paused, a hint of embarrassment crossing his features. “I thought you left me for a moment there,” he chuckled nervously.

Lan Wangji gritted his teeth and before he could control himself, he had his hand wrapped around Wei Wuxian’s arm, pulling him forward.

“Ah, wait. Wait. What’s wrong, Lan Zhan? Slow down.” Wei Wuxian caught up with Lan Wangji’s long strides, his cane dragging on the ground beside him.

Lan Wangji stopped before the two men who had bumped into Wei Wuxian earlier. “Apologize to him.” He told them, his voice as cold as a frigid lake and as sharp as a knife cutting through wood.

The two men looked at each other, one of their brows raised. One man turned to him and sniggered, “He can’t even see us.”

Wei Wuxian was quick to read the situation and gave Lan Wangji’s hand a squeeze. “It’s all right, Lan Zhan,” he told him. “I don’t mind.”

Lan Wangji stared at them, the look in his eyes enough to make someone’s blood run cold. “You have four functioning eyes and yet you cannot see if someone is in front of you.”

The man opened his mouth to rebut but Lan Wangji had already erased their existence from his mind. He turned back to Wei Wuxian, his voice as gentle as a lullaby. “Let me clean your wound.” He led Wei Wuxian away, leaving the two men gaping at their wake. Lan Wangji sat Wei Wuxian down on a bench and quickly wet his handkerchief before returning to sit beside Wei Wuxian.

“Tell me if it hurts.” He told him as he began to gently wipe at the dried patches of blood.

“Lan Zhan?”

Lan Wangji kept his gaze cast down, his touch as light as a passing breeze. “What is it?”

Wei Wuxian hesitated for a moment before he asked, “Are you mad?”

Lan Wangji’s hand stilled. Was he?

He didn’t like how Wei Wuxian got hurt, or how the two men refused to apologize to Wei Wuxian just because he couldn’t see them. But he didn’t like it even more so when Wei Wuxian thought that he left him.

Lan Wangji’s voice was small but it was loud enough for the person it was meant for to hear. “I am.”

When he saw Wei Wuxian stumble down the ground, worry engulfed every piece of him. And yet when he turned to see who had caused it- when he heard one of them say, ‘I told you he was blind.’ he felt anger clawing its way through his veins.

Lan Wangji felt a hand on his chest tracing its way to cup his cheek. Lan Wangji looked up to find Wei Wuxian smiling at him, his eyes brimming with tenderness. “Can you look at me, Lan Zhan?” He asked, his voice embracing Lan Wangji with a sense of endearment.

Lan Wangji lifted his hand to cover Wei Wuxian’s. “I already am.”

Wei Wuxian chuckled once, mumbling a ‘Why did I even ask?’ under his breath. “Don’t be mad.” He stroked Lan Wangji’s cheek. “That’s not the first time it happened. I’m already used to it.” Wei Wuxian shrugged.

It wasn’t the first time…

A weight settled at his chest, drowning all of his senses. “I do not want you to be treated like that.”

A soft gasp escaped Wei Wuxian, his eyes widening, pupils dilating. Lan Wangji stared at him, watching Wei Wuxian as he blinked and struggled to pull his features together.

Wei Wuxian laughed, the corners of his eyes crinkling and the lovely sound filling Lan Wangji’s ears. Wei Wuxian brought up the hand that Lan Wangji attending to, turning it so that the outside of his hand pressed against Lan Wangji’s cheek and squished his face. “What about I just take you wherever I go, hm? So that Lan Zhan can protect me from assholes like them.”

“If you would let me.”

Wei Wuxian stopped playing with his cheeks. “What?”

Lan Wangji said it again, slowly this time. “If you would let me.”

Wei Wuxian pulled his lips together, hands retracting themselves from Lan Wangji’s face. He turned his head to the side, only letting Lan Wangji gaze upon the heat staining his cheeks. “Aaaah, stop talking right now, okay, Lan Zhan? Jeez, I’ve never felt this embarrassed before.” He grumbled.

Lan Wangji felt a tug on his lips.

If only time would stop, Lan Wangji could keep on gazing at that smile that painted the moon and the stars in his sky. If only time woul stop, he would keep having the sun glowing by his side with an abundance of radiance that made him feel warm down his core.

If only…

But if it didn’t, would they stay the same way as this?

Chapter Text

It was about two weeks since they passed their project and Lan Wangji had to admit that it provided him a lot of merits. They passed with flying colors, a couple of his block mates were now asking him to be their partner for upcoming outputs, some of his previous groupmates came up to him to apologize for not helping much- Lan Wangji guessed that it might have been Wei Wuxian’s influence. His last partner often babbled about him in class; Lan Wangji merely listened.

Another merit that he had received was now walking out of the door with his brother in tow. He and Wei Wuxian still spent time with each other but it was most definitely not as much as before. It was only after the project when Lan Wangji realized how different their schedules- and lives - were. They didn’t get to wait for each other after class anymore, seeing as there was no point in doing so. When they do see each other in the cafeteria, Wei Wuxian would always invite him over to his and his brother’s table. Although whenever Lan Wangji saw that Wei Wuxian was with his other group of friends, he would politely decline. He knew that he didn’t appear to be as friendly as Wei Wuxian and that most people saw him as intimidating. Lan Wangji was aware that if he joined them, he would only be putting a strain on the mood.

They only had one class together but they were barely able to interact during that hour and a half as well. After that, all they shared were fleeting smiles, quick greetings, and small waves. Lan Wangji’s phone was very much silent once again. Before, he would often receive a barrage of messages from Wei Wuxian, ranging from his thoughts about the project to what he was eating right at that moment. Now, Lan Wangji’s phone would only receive notifications whenever his older brother would check up on him.

Lan Wangji packed his things and proceeded out of the quiet classroom. He would busy himself in the library today, just as he does nowadays and the days before he regularly spent most of his time with Wei Wuxian.

 

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

 

Lan Wangji allowed himself a stretch and glanced at his watch. It was nearly six pm. He managed to finish all of his papers for three of his course subjects and now his schedule was as free as it could be. He gathered his possessions and slipped his laptop back in his bag, securing the clasp before resting the sling on his shoulder.

Soft patters of rain echoed down the hallways as Lan Wangji made his way out of the university. He pushed his scarf up to cover his mouth, rain coming down around him. His shoes made gentle splashes against the ground as he took steady steps. The sky was getting darker and darker at every passing minute. His apartment wasn’t too far away from the university so there was no need for him to follow the string of people rushing to catch the train before the rain gets heavier. Lan Wangji stepped to the sidewalk to avoid being carried away by the crowd that was now growing in number.

He was adjusting the sling on his shoulder when he felt someone crash against his chest.

“Ah, I’m so sorry! Are you okay? Did I hurt you?”

Lan Wangji could all but stare at the flustered man before him.

“Wei Ying.” He said, his voice soft.

Wei Wuxian paused at his fussing, his eyes wide and searching. “Lan Zhan? Lan Zhan, is that you?”

Lan Wangji bent to pick up Wei Wuxian’s cane from the ground. “It is me.” He made sure to wipe the wet handle with his handkerchief first before handing it back.

Wei Wuxian let out a sigh of relief, cane now back in his possession. “Oh, thank goodness. I thought it was someone else.”

Lan Wangji looked to see if someone else was hovering near Wei Wuxian. “Where is your brother?”

“Ah, Hahahaha. About that,” Wei Wuxian palmed the back of his neck, his smile quite sheepish. “Jiang Cheng went to one of his block mate's house for a report. He’s not coming home until midnight, I think, and I happen to leave my keys at home so I’m basically homeless until Jiang Cheng picks me up.”

Lan Wangji’s brows drew together in worry.

“But no worries, Lan Zhan! I’ll stay…I’ll stay somewhere. I don’t know where yet but I’ll think of something.” Wei Wuxian flashed him a reassuring smile.

The storm in Lan Wangji’s chest didn’t subside no matter how much he adored that smile. Without thinking too much of it, these very words came tumbling out of his mouth, “Come home with me for now.”

Wei Wuxian nearly dropped his cane again. He scrambled to keep it securely inside his hand. “What did you say?”

There was not a hint of indecision in Lan Wangji’s voice. “Come home with me for now. Until your brother picks you up.”

Wei Wuxian gulped. “Where?”

Lan Wangji tilted his head. Where else could Wei Wuxian possibly think? “My apartment.”

Wei Wuxian gripped on his cane with both hands as if he was ready to bat anyone who dared to come near him.

A frown tugged on Lan Wangji’s lips. “If you do not want to it is fi-”

“No!” Wei Wuxian said a bit too loudly, wincing at the loudness of his own voice. “I mean, I-uh. If-If it’s okay with you? You don’t have to but, you-I can-” Wei Wuxian huffed, screwing his eyes closed. He took a deep breath before saying, “Okay,” he breathed. “Okay. I’ll come with you.”

 

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

 

Lan Wangji set a cup of hot chocolate- for Wei Wuxian –and a cup of warm tea for him down the table in front of them. The churning of the dryer in the laundry room was the only sound that filled their ears. Lan Wangji had offered to dry Wei Wuxian’s drenched jacket earlier to which the latter stammered an okay and a thank you.

Now, Wei Wuxian sat rigidly at the far end of the couch, head faced forward, and a stiff smile on his lips.

“So, Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian cleared his throat, attempting to ease the walls of tension surrounding them. “Do you live here alone?”

Lan Wangji took a sip from his cup. “I share this apartment with my brother.”

Wei Wuxian grew more cautious. “Is your brother here now?”

“He is on an exchange program in a different country.” Lan Wangji informed him. “I am the only one living here right now.”

“Ah,” Wei Wuxian’s shoulders relaxed. “I see. So you’re alone.”

“Mn.”

The continuous pouring of rain outside was deafening. Lan Wangji felt relieved that he had managed to find Wei Wuxian before the rain grew stronger. Lan Wangji doubted that Wei Wuxian truly had a place to stay. If he hadn’t seen him earlier, Wei Wuxian would have been drenched by now. He will most likely catch a cold as well. He should have asked Wei Wuxian before he left the lecture hall if he had any umbrella with him. Lan Wangji knew that he rarely brought an umbrella and would rather use his bag as a cover.

He should have accompanied him home.

Wei Wuxian’s voice finally broke the thick ice between them. “Lan Zhan, are you…okay with this? With me being here, I mean.”

Lan Wangji’s eyes snapped towards him. “Why would I not be?”

“Well, you know,” Wei Wuxian wrung his fingers, eyes cast anywhere else but at Lan Wangji. “You’ve been refusing me a lot whenever I ask you to come with me. So I thought that maybe you’re back to being annoyed with me? I know I’m being ridiculous but…yeah. Sorry if I’m annoying you.” Wei Wuxian plastered an apologetic smile, the stars in his eyes shrouded by billows of dark clouds and insecurity.

Lan Wangji blinked at him, the wheels in his mind stirring rapidly as he tried to match his emotions with his thoughts. Had he been unconsciously troubling him? “You were not.”

“Then why are you avoiding me?” Wei Wuxian asked almost immediately, a tinge of desperation clouding his gray orbs.

Lan Wangji couldn’t stop the dismay warping his features. “You think that I am avoiding you?”

“I…” Wei Wuxian trailed off, at a loss for words. “Yeah.”

All this time, Lan Wangji thought that he was doing the two of them good. How could he possibly assume that Wei Wuxian wouldn’t care? That Wei Wuxian would easily forget about him?

Lan Wangji would do anything to prevent any frown touching Wei Wuxian’s lips ever again. He would do anything to put the stars back in his eyes. But how can he when he’s the very reason why the sun he had come to adore so much dimmed in the first place?

“Sorry.” He said, his voice low. “I did not intend for you to think that.” Lan Wangji couldn’t make himself look at Wei Wuxian. He didn’t deserve that smile even it was all but forced. “I did not want to be in the way.”

“Don’t say sorry, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian chuckled weakly. “It feels weird when you say that.”

“Then do not apologize to me too.” Lan Wangji told him. “You did not do anything wrong, Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian gnawed at his lip, nerves flowing through him like waves. “Okay. Sor-I mean. Okay.”

It didn’t take long before the rain overpowered the sounds of their rapid heartbeats again. Lan Wangji kept his eyes locked on his now cold tea, angry at himself. Because of his actions, not only did he hurt Wei Wuxian but he was now making him feel uncomfortable too- just like how others feel about him when they see him. Lan Wangji was about to ask if there was anything he could do to make him feel better when-

“I miss you, Lan Zhan. Is it okay if I say that?” Wei Wuxian asked, his voice almost a whisper. He was gazing down his hands, a small and dismal smile on his face.

Lan Wangji kept his mouth shut, having no idea of what he should say or if his ears were playing tricks on him.

Wei Wuxian harshly bit on his lower lip, forcing to stop its trembling. When it escaped his teeth, he said, “I really really miss you. And it’s fine if you don’t feel the same, by the way. This is all on me. But…I- I want to spend a lot of my time with you again.” Wei Wuxian’s eyes flickered towards the direction where he remembered Lan Wangji’s voice came. “But you don’t have to! It’s fine.” He waved his hands. He then dropped them to his lap, his eyes shifting away once more as if he was afraid that if he stared longer, he would be able to see the look on Lan Wangji’s face.

“I know that my…condition can be a pain for others. I must bother you a lot whenever we’re together, right?” Wei Wuxian chuckled sheepishly. “I understand why you’d rather be alone than put up with me. I’m a lot of work to be with and I know that more than anyone else but,” Wei Wuxian was gripping on his cane, his knuckles nearly turning white. He let out a deep breath of frustration. “This is so stupid. You don’t have to listen to my nonsense, Lan Zhan. Go ahead and do what you have to do. I’ll keep quiet and stay here.”

Lan Wangji wanted nothing more but to close the distance between them and wrap his arms around Wei Wuxian. He felt his heart clench at every word that flowed past Wei Wuxian’s lips. The only time Lan Wangji had ever seen Wei Wuxian like this was when Wei Wuxian told him that he wanted to see him. Lan Wangji told himself back then that he would never want to see a frown kiss Wei Wuxian’s lips again but now…he was still the reason why Wei Wuxian was making such a sad expression.

“Wei Ying-”

A clap of thunder roared across the sky and in an instant, every source of light inside the apartment vanished.

“Lan Zhan? Where are you? Are you okay?” Wei Wuxian’s voice dripped with worry

“Do not move.” Lan Wangji told him as he heard shuffles of footsteps from across him. “I will come to you.”

The footsteps halted. “Okay. I’ll wait for you.”

Lan Wangji forgot that he was now ripped of his sense of sight as well. He took careful steps, making sure that his leg was brushing against the edge of the couch so that he would know that he wasn’t walking towards a random direction.

He felt a warm skin sweep at the tips of his fingers and he wasted no time to take hold of what it was.

“You found me.” Wei Wuxian said with a soft giggle as he felt Lan Wangji’s hand around his wrist.  

Lan Wangji pulled him close, his eyes searching for the direction of Wei Wuxian’s voice.

“I always will.”

There was a pause before Wei Wuxian said, “Don’t say things like that, Lan Zhan.”

“Why not?” Lan Wangji asked into the darkness.

He heard Wei Wuxian sigh. “I don’t want to ruin what so little we have between us because of my stupid feelings.”

Lan Wangji stifled a gasp. His…feelings? Could it be that he wasn’t the only one falling after all? He didn’t want to assume as it might strain their relationship- or what was left of it –even more so. But would he be allowed to be selfish for one moment and believe that Wei Wuxian felt the same way towards him? That he was someone special?

Lan Wangji felt Wei Wuxian press a hand against his chest- atop his thundering heart. “Lan Zhan. Does the dark make you feel scared?”

“No.” Lan Wangji breathed.

“Can I ask why?”

Lan Wangji lifted his hand between them, covering the trembling hand on his chest. “Because you are here.”

A small gasp traveled to his ears. He felt Wei Wuxian draw closer. “Because I’m here?”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji took Wei Wuxian’s hand, bringing it up to cup his cheek. Wei Wuxian’s palm felt warm against his skin. “Because Wei Ying is here.”

Frail laughter bubbled from Wei Wuxian’s throat. “Lan Zhan,” he rested his forehead on Lan Wangji’s shoulder, letting his hand fall from Lan Wangji’s cheek. “I told you not to say things like that.”

Lan Wangji clenched his jaw at how Wei Wuxian’s voice broke at the end of his sentence. He was hurting him. “I want to.” Lan Wangji told him. “Wei Ying. Towards you, I feel,” Lan Wangji’s licked his lips, suddenly feeling parched. “For you, I feel-”

All his words washed back down his throat as he felt Wei Wuxian’s lips press against the corner of his mouth before finding its way to his lips. Lan Wangji stilled for a moment, shocked by the sudden movement that he only dared to dream of in his sleep. Lan Wangji's arms circled Wei Wuxian’s waist drawing him near- afraid that if he let go, this moment with Wei Wuxian in his arms would be nothing but a fleeting dream. Lan Wangji began to move against the pair of lips, both of them experimentally and cautiously reciprocating each movement.

Wei Wuxian began to pull away with Lan Wangji chasing after him. Hot breath brushed Lan Wangji’s cheeks as Wei Wuxian wrapped his arms around his neck.

Wei Wuxian leaned his forehead against Lan Wangji’s. “I know that my aim was so bad but…did you also want to kiss me, Lan Zhan?”

Lan Wangji pressed a hand at the back of Wei Wuxian’s head, bringing his plump lips back to him. He gave a soft peck and a gentle bite before nuzzling the tip of Wei Wuxian’s nose. “Always.”

Wei Wuxian giggled, burying his face on Lan Wangji’s neck. “You should’ve told me. I would have given you lots of kisses.” He said and placed a kiss on Lan Wangji’s neck.

Lan Wangji embraced him tighter. “I did not know that you were willing.”

Lan Wangji thanked the darkness for hiding the deep blush that painted his cheeks. Nearly two months ago, Wei Wuxian was but a name to him- a block mate who rivaled him in terms of intelligence. When they got to know each other more, Lan Wangji realized that Wei Wuxian was a name that he would forever hold dear in his heart; a person who equaled the sun- a person who made his heart buoy with joy.

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji called his name, a rush of admiration pouring over him.

Wei Wuxian lifted his head from Lan Wangji's shoulder, fingers tracing their way to Lan Wangji's mouth and gave it a peck. “Yes, Lan Zhan?”

Hums of electricity coming back to life bounced from wall to wall, the churning of the dryer slowly filling the air, and the lights around the room began to flicker one by one. Lan Wangji didn’t dare to blink as his eyes finally found Wei Wuxian. His love’s face was beaming, lips still a little red and swollen. But most importantly, he finally got to see the smile that washed away all of his blues.

“I want you to see how I look at you, Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian chuckled. “I don’t need to see you to know that you love me.” Wei Wuxian cupped his cheeks, squishing it under his palms. “And I don’t need to see you to know that I love you too. Remember what I told you before?” Wei Wuxian pressed a soft kiss against Lan Wangji’s lips. “I see you with my heart, Lan Zhan. I don’t need my eyes to know how much you mean to me.”

Lan Wangji pulled him close- as if they weren’t close enough – embracing Wei Wuxian to the point of nearly squeezing his soul out of his body.

"Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian laughed, gently slapping his back. “Too much, Lan Zhan. I can’t breathe. I won’t go anywhere, I promise.”

Lan Wangji burrowed his heated face in the crook of Wei Wuxian’s neck. “Stay.”

“Stay? Stay here? With you?”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji nodded. “With me. Here.”

Lan Wangji’s suggestion was met with a peal of laughter. “Lan Zhan, Jiang Cheng’s going to beat my ass if I disappear on him.”

“I will protect you.”

Wei Wuxian pushed on his shoulder, struggling to put some distance between them. “Lan Zhan. Look at me. Are you looking at me?”

“Mn. Always.”

“Good.” Wei Wuxian began to rub his cheeks. “Didn’t you say earlier that you will only allow me to stay here until Jiang Cheng picks me up? Are you saying that you’re going to make me stay the night here now?”

Lan Wangji glanced at the window. “It is still raining.”

“So?”

“It will be dangerous for you to leave.”

Pfft-” Wei Wuxian pinched his cheeks as he erupted in another fit of laughter. “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. I didn’t know that you can be so stubborn. Why do you want me to stay with you so badly, hm? Could it be that you’re planning on doing something to me? Are you planning to keep me up all night?” Wei Wuxian teased.

Lan Wangji replied, his voice resolute. “I am.”

“Wha-” Wei Wuxian’s mouth hung open in shock.

Lan Wangji didn’t know why Wei Wuxian looked so surprised. He was planning on telling him that the time they spent together never brought him trouble. He wanted Wei Wuxian to understand that his condition will never be a bother to him. Lan Wangji knew that because of how Wei Wuxian tended to get distracted easily, their conversation would definitely get interrupted more than a dozen of times. And so he was certain that they would probably still be awake way past his bedtime.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian whined, covering his face. “It still amazes me how you can be so smooth. Stop looking at me for a moment, will you?”

Lan Wangji pressed his forehead against Wei Wuxian’s. “No.”

“Lan Zhaaan!” Wei Wuxian tried to pry himself out of Lan Wangji’s arms. “Give me a minute to recover myself from that blow! Close your eyes for a bit!”

Lan Wangji didn't dare to stop the curve tugging on the corners of his mouth. He tightened his hold around a writhing Wei Wuxian;

And- for the life of him -could not bring himself to look away.

 

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian tugs on his brother’s sleeve. “Jiang Cheng, Jiang Cheng. Where is he? Did he see me?” He whispers as they hide behind a bookshelf not too far away from Lan Wangji.

Jiang Cheng groans, pulling Wei Wuxian away from the tall furniture. “His back is facing us, and he’s reading a book.”

“Tell me where to go, okay? I want to surprise him.” Wei Wuxian begins to walk forward without his cane and a rush of panic thunders through Jiang Cheng’s veins.

“What the fuck are you doing?” He hisses, pulling his brother back beside him.

Wei Wuxian tries to pull his arm away. “I’m going to surprise Lan Zhan!”

“Yeah, and you’re going to fall face flat on the ground before you even reach him.”

Wei Wuxian huffs and pouts his lips. “That’s why I need your eyes to guide me!”

Jiang Cheng heaves out a breath. He takes a peek at his brother’s boyfriend through the shelves to confirm if they have yet to be seen. “Fine,” he caves in. “But I’m going home after this.”

Wei Wuxian squeals quietly. “I won’t be late for tomorrow’s lecture, I promise.”

Jiang Cheng chuckles once out of humor. “And when will you promise that you won’t break your promises?” He asks while he quickly types a message for Lan Wangji.

My brother wants to hug you. Pretend that you’re surprised or you won’t see him for a week.

“I’m helping you out the corner and that’s it or else he’ll see us.” He tells Wei Wuxian. “Then take thirteen steps forward, make sure you put your right hand out because there’s a chair nearby. When you touch it, go ahead and be disgusting with your boyfriend all you want because he’s standing near the table.”

Wei Wuxian nods vigorously. “Okay. Thirteen steps. Right hand out. Chair. Got it. Thanks, Jiang Cheng.”

Wei Wuxian takes careful steps, his heart swelling at the thought of surprising Lan Wangji. He counts in his head and sticks out his hand to feel the chair.

Ten.

Eleven.

The calming scent of sandalwood wafts to his nose and it oozes with warmth underneath his skin. Wei Wuxian tries to suppress his giggles when his hand touches a smooth upholstery, and he sees a blob of white amidst darker hues right in front of him. He pulls his mouth close and starts to coil his arms around a familiar body.

“Wei Ying.”

Lan Wangji’s voice coats his ears and he could feel himself melting into a puddle.

Wei Wuxian burrows his face on Lan Wangji’s back, tightening his arms around his dearest boyfriend. “I’m not Wei Ying, though.”

He feels Lan Wangji sigh and a hand comes up to cover his, stroking the outside of his palm. “Please let me go.”

Wei Wuxian shakes his head and says a stubborn, “No.”

“Only Wei Ying can hug me.” Lan Wangji says.

Wei Wuxian stops his ruse immediately. “Then I’m Wei Ying. Your Wei Ying.”

He feels Lan Wangji’s body turn and he allows himself to be embraced by a pair of strong arms. Wei Wuxian leans against Lan Wangji’s welcoming warmth and he breathes a sigh of content. “Did I surprise you?”

Lan Wangji presses a kiss on the crown of his hair. “Mn. You surprised me.”

Wei Wuxian tips his head, feigning a frown. You would have definitely tackled me if you were surprised.

“Look at me. Are you looking at me?”

Lan Wangji kisses the tip of his nose. “Mn.”

Wei Wuxian fights against his blush. It still amazes him how Lan Wangji can be so...affectionate even in public.

“Were you really surprised? Don’t lie.”

There is a pause before Lan Wangji says. “I do not want your brother to take you away from me.”

Wei Wuxian blinks at him in confusion. “What?”

“Nothing.” Lan Wangji pecks his eyes. “Come home with me today.”

Wei Wuxian grins and pushes himself up on his toes, wrapping his arms around Lan Wangji’s neck. “Okay.”