- “Just once.” wangxian anon
“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian yells over the courtyard and Lan Wangji braces himself for when Wei Wuxian will inevitably crash into his side.
It’s barely a minute before he does, his arm around Lan Wangji’s middle and Lan Wangji carries his momentum by neatly taking a step to the side.
He’s long since grown used to Wei Wuxian’s antics.
“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji greets him and gently pushes him away.
He can’t handle prolonged contact with Wei Wuxian. It makes his self-control weak.
“Lan Zhan, I passed my test!” Wei Wuxian almost yells and then he laughs, so happy and bright, that Lan Wangji can do nothing but stop and stare.
If he could protect one thing in the whole world, it would be this.
“Congratulations,” Lan Wangji tells him and he can’t help the small smile.
He is proud of Wei Wuxian.
“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, I have to thank you! Without you I would have failed, I know it.”
“Not necessary,” Lan Wangji denies, because he knows Wei Wuxian.
Business is not his strong suit, but he would have managed the course without Lan Wangji’s help as well. Wei Wuxian is stubborn like that, Lan Wangji knows.
“Totally necessary,” Wei Wuxian disagrees. “Let me treat you to something. Dinner? Coffee? What would you like?” Wei Wuxian wants to know, but Lan Wangji shakes his head.
“You don’t have to repay me,” he tells Wei Wuxian, because it was hardly a pain for Lan Wangji to study with Wei Wuxian.
Sure, it was hell on his feelings, because Wei Wuxian is brilliant and clever, and he likes to play with his pen—twirl it around with his fingers—and it’s all very bad for Lan Wangji’s mental health, but Wei Wuxian is a quick study, and despite his insistence that he will never learn that, he contained the information rather quickly, and even made some amazing intuitive leaps.
It was a joy, teaching him.
“Come on, Lan Zhan, something you like. Anything you would like, as a favour. I owe you, you know. Madame Yu gave me a court nod when she saw my grade. I owe you so much.”
Lan Wangji’s brain goes empty with the possibilities that offer contains. Anything. He could ask for anything, and Wei Wuxian would probably do it, because Lan Wangji asked for it, and Wei Wuxian doesn’t go back on his word.
“It’s okay,” Lan Wangji tells him again, and starts to walk away from Wei Wuxian, but he simply follows him and even attaches himself to Lan Wangji’s arm.
“Lan Zhan,” he whines. “Will you leave me hanging? There must be something you want? Something I can do for you? Anything, come on, Lan Zhan, just tell me.”
Lan Wangji stays quiet, but it seems like Wei Wuxian has only started, because he sends a mischievous smile at Lan Wangji.
“I’ll just stay like this until I get what I want, you know. Good luck explaining this to your uncle. Just one thing. It can’t be that hard to ask for something. Lan Zhan, just ask!”
“A kiss,” Lan Wangji blurts out and the surprise at his words is so strong, even to himself, that they come to an abrupt stop in the middle of the path.
“What?” Wei Wuxian asks, and he’s staring at Lan Wangji, with big eyes, and Lan Wangji wants to run away and never think of this again.
“What did you say, Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian asks, voice small and unsure and Lan Wangji cannot leave him hanging like that.
“A kiss,” he repeats and then, because he knows Wei Wuxian doesn’t feel that way about him—never could with how bright and amazing and good he is—he tacks on: “Just once.”
And Lan Wangji is looking for it; the disgust and disappointment on Wei Wuxian’s face, but it’s still a surprise to see how Wei Wuxian’s face instantly falls.
There’s a pain in his eyes Lan Wangji never wishes him to experience, and he wants to take it back immediately, laugh it off as a joke, tease Wei Wuxian like he is always teasing Lan Wangji.
The words are already on his tongue—don’t, stop, I’ll think of something else, I didn’t mean it—but then Wei Wuxian steps even closer and Lan Wangji loses all coherent thought.
Wei Wuxian is warm as he leans in, and Lan Wangji is helpless against him, is always so helpless in the face of everything Wei Wuxian, so he bends down, just slightly, and brushes their lips together.
It’s unlike everything Lan Wangji has ever experienced and he never wants it to stop. His hands itch to pull Wei Wuxian closer, but he knows he doesn’t have the right—can never forget it even in a situation like this—and so instead he curls them into his pants.
Wei Wuxian sighs against his lips, opening his mouth just barely, before he presses in for real, and oh—this. This is even better.
It’s hot and ground-shattering and like a breath of fresh air all at once and then it’s already over.
The kiss lasts maybe five seconds, before Wei Wuxian shoves him away, hard, and slaps his hand over his mouth.
“I’m sorry, I can’t,” he says, words muffled through his palm but Lan Wangji can still hear the desperate edge to his voice, and then he flees.
Lan Wangji can do nothing but stare after him and wonder if he ruined the one good thing in his life with a selfish wish that clearly hurt Wei Wuxian.
He turns around and goes home.
When there’s an insistent pounding on his door, Lan Wangji shoves his head under his pillow. He doesn’t want to see anyone, and he doesn’t want to speak to anyone, either.
But the pounding doesn’t stop and eventually Lan Wangji drags himself out of bed.
He did not expect to find Jiang Cheng on the other side, fist still raised and his knuckles are already red.
“What?” Lan Wangji snaps out, because he is in no condition to deal with Jiang Cheng right now.
“You kissed my brother,” Jiang Cheng says. “You kissed my brother because he owed you, and he’s in our room, crying ever since he came home.”
Lan Wangji blinks against the pain that statement causes and he shrinks in on himself.
“I never meant to hurt him,” he whispers but Jiang Cheng rolls his eyes at that.
“He’s not crying because you took advantage of him,” Jiang Cheng tells him and pinches the bridge of his nose. “He’s crying because he’s been in love with you for years, and he thinks this meant nothing to you.”
“Oh,” Lan Wangji breathes out. “It didn’t. Mean nothing to me,” Lan Wangji clarifies and then clears his throat. “I love him. It meant everything to me.”
“Maybe you should tell him that,” Jiang Cheng says with a shrug and a small smile and Lan Wangji narrows his eyes at Jiang Cheng, because really, he’s the last person he should take love advice from.
“Like you told my brother yet?” Lan Wangji asks, and Jiang Cheng bristles at the words.
“It’s not the same,” he mutters back. “Wei Wuxian feels the same for you. It’s not the same with Lan Xichen.”
“Stupid,” Lan Wangji tells him and then forces himself to go a little bit softer. “He does. It’s the same,” he promises, because Lan Xichen has been talking about Jiang Cheng for almost as long as Lan Wangji has been pining for Wei Wuxian, and maybe they all deserve to be happy.
“Oh,” Jiang Cheng breathes out. “Then maybe I should—you know, do that. Tell him,” Jiang Cheng mutters but then he fixes Lan Wangji with a look again. “But only if you do the same!”
“I will,” Lan Wangji promises, because just the thought of Wei Wuxian reciprocating his feelings has his heart beating wildly in his chest.
“Good,” Jiang Cheng says, and then immediately rushes off.
Lan Wangji gets his phone out of his pants and opens the conversation to his brother.
Get some pants and put away the self-pity ice cream, you’re getting a visitor.
Rude, is the immediate answer to his message, and then Who’s coming?
Thank me later, Lan Wangji writes back, before he puts the phone away and goes off to get his own happy end.
When Wei Wuxian opens the door, it’s clear that he has been crying, still, even after Jiang Cheng left.
Wei Wuxian blinks a few times at him, before he scrubs a hand over his face, trying to get rid of the tear tracks.
“I’m just—,” he starts, voice cracking halfway through, and Lan Wangji’s heart wants to crack right along with it.
He never meant to do that to Wei Wuxian.
“It meant something to me,” Lan Wangji blurts out, because if what Jiang Cheng said is true, then Wei Wuxian needs to know that immediately. “It meant everything to me.”
There’s a beat of silence before Wei Wuxian whispers “You said just once.”
“Because I thought you didn’t want it. It was already selfish of me to ask, and you looked so shocked, I tried to save it somehow,” Lan Wangji explains, feels horrible wrong-footed with this many words, but it’s important that Wei Wuxian understands. “I love you. If Wei Ying would allow, I’d do it every day. Every hour, even,” Lan Wangji promises, and holds his breath when Wei Wuxian simply stares at him.
“Say it again,” he demands, but his eyes are lighting up, and Lan Wangji instantly feels more at ease.
“I love you. I’d kiss you every day, every hour, if you want,” Lan Wangji repeats and as always, he expects it when Wei Wuxian throws himself at him.
“Lan Zhan, I love you, too. Yes, every day, you have to kiss me every day!” Wei Wuxian calls out with laughter and Lan Wangji solemnly agrees.
It will make both of them happy. It’s not a hardship on him.
“Have to start now,” he then decisively says and lowers Wei Wuxian back on the ground so he can capture his lips in a kiss again.
This one is different; they are both sure of what they want and it shows. It leaves them breathless and with flushed faces and Lan Wangji faintly thinks that maybe they should take this inside.
But then Wei Wuxian leans in again, and all thought leaves Lan Wangji’s head.