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Wei Wuxian wakes up, parched like you wouldn’t believe, clearly in a hospital, with Jiang Cheng by his side, stuffing his face with what smells like Jiang Yanli’s handmade dumplings.

“Of course your ugly mug is the first sight I see when I wake up,” Wei Wuxian croaks, and grins when Jiang Cheng chokes on his food.

“About time you bloody woke up,” Jiang Cheng mutters, but there’s clear relief in his features, and he sets down his lunch in favour of bringing a glass of water to Wei Wuxian, so Wei Wuxian figures they’re alright. “You’ve been sleeping for two whole days, you asshole. Everyone’s been worried.”

“What happened?” Wei Wuxian asks. He tries shifting around a little. He feels achy all over, but it doesn’t look like he’s broken anything important, so he should be fine?

“You fell off a goddamn flight of stairs,” Jiang Cheng tells him, “cracked your skull, bled all over ma’s new carpet, and gave a-jie the fright of her life, that’s what happened.”

Wei Wuxian winces. “Is a-yi really upset about her carpet?” he asks, thinking about the telling off he’s no doubt going to receive once Yu Ziyuan deems that he’s recovered enough to be able to take it.

Jiang Cheng cuffs him gently —or well, as gently as Jiang Cheng knows how— over the head. “Ma’s been worried about you as well, you idiot.”

It’s not like Wei Wuxian doesn’t know that his presence in the Jiang family has caused Yu Ziyuan and Jiang Fengmian a lot of conflict. Yu Ziyuan is, well, rightfully stern when it comes to him. Wei Wuxian honestly tries his best to be on his best behaviour just so he doesn’t exacerbate their relationship, but he’s...him, and well, trouble really likes him

“I’ll message everyone to tell them that you’re awake,” Jiang Cheng says. “A-jie just left about half an hour ago to go get some rest, but she’ll want to come back immediately.”

Wei Wuxian makes a face. “Then just tell her later. Let her get some sleep,” he suggests. “It’s not like I’m going anywhere.”

Jiang Cheng rolls his eyes. “You know she’ll be upset if I don’t tell her,” he says, even as his fingers fly across his phone, probably already typing the message out to Jiang Yanli. “Also, you’ll have to call Lan Wangji to tell him yourself, because Lan Xichen and I made the decision not to tell Lan Wangji first so he wouldn’t board the first plane back to make sure that you’re alright, and miss his conference. You know he’s been working hard on it.” He makes a face then, and looks up at Wei Wuxian. “You really need to sort your relationship out with Lan Wangji, for fuck’s sake. It’s been almost five years. How long do you want to drag this courtship thing out for?”

Wei Wuxian blinks. “Huh?”

“I’ve been texting Lan Wangji for the last two days, pretending to be you!” Jiang Cheng complains. “He got suspicious because I didn’t harass him over texts! I had to call him Lan er-gege! I had to use emojis! I had to fucking ask him if he thinks you’re pretty!”

Wei Wuxian has no idea what Jiang Cheng is talking about, but it feels important to at least ask, “Did he think I was pretty?”

Jiang Cheng rolls his eyes so hard Wei Wuxian is surprised his eyeballs don’t just fall out of his eye sockets. “That’s the worst part. He did. Whatever mating ritual you both have going on is so fucking weird, Wei Wuxian.” He snorts. “If you’d stayed asleep for any longer, I’d have lost my shit and thrown my myself out a window just so I wouldn’t have to talk to Lan Wangji again.”

Wei Wuxian blinks at him. “Is this a good time to ask who Lan Wangji is?”

Jiang Cheng glares at him. “Your Lan Zhan,” he says, annoyed. Wei Wuxian must look as confused as he feels, because Jiang Cheng’s annoyance bleeds out into concern. “Your Lan er-gege? Your soulmate, Lan Wangji?”

Wei Wuxian shakes his head. “No bells are ringing.”

Jiang Cheng sucks in a sharp breath. “What year do you think it is, Wei Wuxian?”

“2001,” Wei Wuxian says, and then cracks up when Jiang Cheng’s eyes widen in alarm. “Calm down, I’m just kidding. I know it’s 2014.”

Jiang Cheng stares at him.

Wei Wuxian is quiet for a beat. “I presume from your reaction that it is not actually 2014.”

“No,” Jiang Cheng says softly. “No, it’s not.”

So, right.

Apparently the effects of cracking his head open on some staircases is that he loses six whole years of his memories. That’s a huge check in the ‘no, do not do again’ column.

“It’s not so bad, a-jie,” Wei Wuxian tries to say, when Jiang Yanli tries and fails to stop herself from crying when Dr. Lan gives his diagnosis. “It’s probably a good thing that I forgot!”

Dr. Lan’s smile thins. “I can think of at least one person who would object to that.”

There is an animosity in Dr. Lan’s voice that surprises Wei Wuxian. “Dr. Lan?”

“Sorry,” Dr. Lan says, “I didn’t mean to be rude. That was unfair of me.” He smiles at Wei Wuxian and his siblings. “I’ll let you both catch up in private.”

“That’s Lan Xichen,” Jiang Yanli explains when Dr. Lan is out the door. “He’s Lan Wangji’s brother.”

Ah.

Soulmate Lan Wangji.

“Lan Wangji and I were very close?” Wei Wuxian murmurs.

Jiang Yanli smiles. “Inseparable,” she tells him. “Every spare second you both have, you spend together. When you’re not together, you’re constantly texting him, or on the phone with him.” Her smile turns a little teasing, and she reaches out to ruffle his hair. “I think it’s cute that you’re such good friends.”

Jiang Cheng snorts. “Good friends,” he echoes. “A-jie, just because he went and lost all his memories, doesn’t mean that everyone else has to forget that he has the most embarrassing crush on Lan Wangji.”

“A-Cheng,” Jiang Yanli chides, but there is no heat in her voice, and she says nothing else to defend Wei Wuxian, which means she’s essentially confirming Jiang Cheng’s words.

Wei Wuxian groans.

He only thinks to look into his phone later that night, when his family has gone home to rest, and Wei Wuxian is left unable to sleep.

“I told Lan Wangji that you were working on something urgent for work, so he knows you won’t be texting much,” Jiang Cheng had told him earlier, “but send him a text at least once a day to let him know you’re alive? He would very likely jump on the next flight back if he even thought there was something wrong with you.”

Wei Wuxian stares at the message icon on his homescreen for long enough that his phone auto-locks, and then finally gets the courage to tap into it, and then into his chat history with Lan Wangji.

He cringes almost immediately when he sees that Lan Wangji is saved in his phone as “Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥”.

Wei Wuxian wants to die.

“I can’t be like this,” he says to himself. “What the fuck is this? Who the hell have I become?”

He scrolls back through their texts, making sure to skip through all the ones where Jiang Cheng was impersonating him, and finds horrifying material such as:

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
safe flight!!!! remember to text me when you land!!! and when you’ve cleared customs!!!! and when you’ve collected your luggage!!! and when you get on your ride!!!!

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
Mn. Don’t skip dinner just because I’m not there to remind you to eat.

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
i won’t!! ahhhhhhhh lan zhan i miss you already what do i do

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
I’m still here. I don’t have to go.

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
nooooo don’t give me ideas

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
you’ll be back soon and i’ll text you every time i miss you!!!

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
you’ll text me every time you miss me too right????

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
Then I’ll be texting Wei Ying constantly.

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
I have to turn my phone off now. I will call you when I arrive at Moling. Goodbye, Wei Ying.

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
AHHHHHHHHHH ER GEGE

Wei Wuxian’s face heats. Lan Wangji sounds like an experienced flirt. Surely no-one can come up with devastating replies like that if they weren’t a player! No wonder Wei Wuxian has a crush on him!

He keeps scrolling.

In response to Lan Wangji obliging to his request for a selfie, Wei Wuxian finds that he’s replied with:

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
MY GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LAN ZHAN YOU LOOK SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOOK AT YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAH!!!!!! HOW CAN SOMEONE LOOK SO GOOD!!!!!

Lan Wangji’s hand must have accidentally shaken when he took the photo, because the photo came out shaky and slightly blurred. The angle he chose is also all wrong, Wei Wuxian can only see three quarters of his face. It’s a terrible photo, considering all things, except-

Except Lan Wangji still looks good for some ridiculous reason or another.

Huh. His reaction wasn’t that exaggerated after all.

The moment the thought comes to him, he shakes it off. “Nope, nope, nope,” he whispers to himself, and scrolls up.

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
I’ll bring you food. What do you want?

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
lan zhan have i ever told you that i love you

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
I MEAN

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
who else is ever going to be this good to me in my life

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
no one!!!!

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
just you!!!!

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
Mn. No-one. Just me.

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
i love you so much i’m so lucky you’re my best friend lan zhan

“Best friend?” Wei Wuxian mouths to himself. This is the most embarrassing thing that he’s ever had to read. “Best friend? Wei Wuxian, what the fuck are you saying? That was a prime confession opportunity!”

He spends the better part of the night scrolling through their conversations. He learns that Jiang Yanli is right when she says that they text each other constantly; Lan Wangji is his first text every morning, and last text every night.

They talk to each other about everything and nothing — Wei Wuxian asks for Lan Wangji’s opinion on what lunch to order (Lan Wangji always picks the healthiest option), Lan Wangji asks whether he should treat himself to a cup of green tea latte from the cafe he likes even though he has the necessary ingredients to make it for himself at home (Wei Wuxian always says yes, and tells him he should get the sweet scones he likes too), Wei Wuxian whines about Jiang Cheng, Lan Wangji complains in a stilted, polite way about his family gatherings.

It’s all a bit much.

Jiang Cheng says that they’ve known each other for a little under five years years now, and that Wei Wuxian has had a crush on him for, well, a little under five years now. It’s embarrassingly clear that he has a crush on Lan Wangji, and it looks like Lan Wangji reciprocates at least on some level. If this is how they behave on a daily basis, Wei Wuxian can’t really think of a single reason why they’re not together!

There must be something he’s missing.

Wei Wuxian’s room at home is exactly as he expects it to be.

“So nothing much has changed, huh?” he asks Jiang Cheng.

Jiang Cheng snorts. “Yes, you are still as much of a mess as you were five years ago.”

“Good to know that my defining characteristics never change,” Wei Wuxian says with a grin, and catches the pillow that Jiang Cheng throws at him in exasperation.

He does a more thorough onceover of the room — Jiang Cheng is right to call it a mess, but it feels like a familiar, organised mess to Wei Wuxian. He can tell from a glance which his most loved pieces of clothing are (the ones that are hanging off a chair, as opposed to the ones that are dumped on the floor), what projects he’s working on (clearly, the one that’s spread out over his desk and by the floor of his bed), and-

“What in the fuck?” Wei Wuxian asks, picking up a framed photo of Lan Wangji from his bedside table.

Lan Wangji’s face is angled towards the sun in the photo, his eyes are closed, and there is the barest hint of a smile on his face. It’s a good photo, Lan Wangji is objectively beautiful, but surely, surely having a framed photo of Lan Wangji in his room would be too much?

Jiang Cheng snorts. “Yeah, that’s how I feel about this too.”

“Did I...lose a bet?” Wei Wuxian asks.

“Nope,” Jiang Cheng says, popping his ‘p’ loudly.

“Did he make me?”

“He wouldn’t,” Jiang Cheng says. He looks more amused than he has any reason to be.

Wei Wuxian hates the smugness radiating off Jiang Cheng right now, but he has to be sure, and Jiang Cheng is as good a source of information as he’s going to get until he gets his memories back. “So you mean to say that this is genuinely how I am. I have such a huge crush on Lan Wangji that I felt the need to place a framed photo of him on my bedside table.”

Jiang Cheng nods solemnly. “You hide that photo when he comes over,” he tells Wei Wuxian, “because even you have to acknowledge how embarrassing it is that you’re like this.”

“Jesus fucking Christ,” Wei Wuxian swears. “Am I really like this?”

Jiang Cheng nods again. “Worse, to be honest,” he says. “Because you used to refuse to even acknowledge that you have a problem, before.”

“Fuck,” Wei Wuxian says, with feeling. And then, gingerly, “Is this the worst of it?”

“Honestly, I wish I could say yes, but there’s probably heaps more embarrassing stuff that you try to keep me from finding out,” Jiang Cheng says. His grin widens. “I can’t wait for you to find out exactly how embarrassing you are so you can have a proper meltdown.”

Wei Wuxian flashes him the finger, and Jiang Cheng cracks up laughing.

On Jiang Cheng’s advice to try to figure out the depths of his patheticness, Wei Wuxian logs onto his laptop.

It takes him two tries to figure out that his password is lanergege. That much was apparent when the hint for the password was just a series of smoochy face emojis.

Wei Wuxian almost wishes he remembered the exact moment when he set this password so that he could smack himself over the head.

He almost expects his wallpaper to also be of Lan Wangji’s face, but it just turns out to be a pair of rabbits. He sighs in relief. Rabbits! That’s not so bad! He has other interests outside of Lan Wangji! He likes fluffy animals! He’s just like any other normal human being with normal interests!

He messes around with his laptop for a couple of hours. It’s fun looking through photo albums to sort of give him an idea of the sort of growth he’s gone through the last six years, even if he does take a good ten minutes to freak out over how Lan Wangji was apparently invited to their Lunar New Year Eve reunion dinner in 2018, and then in 2019 brought Lan Xichen along as well.

He invited Lan Wangji to their reunion dinner! The reunion dinner!

There aren’t that many photos that he has together with Lan Wangji, but he does have a lot of candids of the man. Wei Wuxian is apparently that sort of person who would take seventeen photos of his napping friend, and not delete a single one of them, even if they all look the same to him now. He wonders what he was thinking when he took the photos, and then remembers that the heart-eyes emoji is apparently his favourite emoji to use when he’s texting Lan Wangji, and decides that he doesn’t really want to find out.

He’s already gone through all his available photo albums, scrolled through his entire iTunes library, browsed through his work folders and emails, before he plugs his headphones in, and clicks into what must be his encrypted porn folder.

The password is easy enough to guess, and blessedly not any variation of Lan Wangji’s name. Wei Wuxian is just about to pat himself on the back for not being a complete loss cause when he clicks into the first video on the list.

He makes it through fifteen seconds, before he clicks out of it, and goes for the second video. This time, he only needs eight seconds to confirm his theory. He goes to the third video, the fourth, the fifth through till the end, and-

Fuck,” Wei Wuxian breathes out, because shit, most of the actors in the video bear at least a passable resemblance to Lan Wangji.

This is apparently what he gets off to now, because he is the worst.

There is an audio file in the folder that Wei Wuxian is almost afraid to play. He thinks he knows its contents, but he still comes incredibly close to throwing his laptop out of his window when he eventually opens the file, and finds that it’s just someone —presumably Lan Wangji— whispering his name. Just “Wei Ying” over and over, in a loop that plays for fifty-eight minutes.

Wei Wuxian buries his head in his pillow, and screams.

A-jie,” Wei Wuxian says, the next morning, throwing himself onto her bed. “Can I ask you a question?”

Jiang Yanli turns around from where she’s fixing her hair at the vanity to look at him. “Of course you can,” she tells him. “It sounds serious,” she adds, with a hint of a teasing smile.

“What does it feel like to be in love?” Wei Wuxian blurts out. He’s spent the entire night tossing and turning in bed, thinking about this. He’s felt attraction towards other people before, mostly cushioned in lust, and perhaps not very long-lasting, but this...thing with Lan Wangji seems to Wei Wuxian to be very different.

If it were just a fleeting crush, surely he wouldn’t be acting like this; he’s certainly never done this with anyone else before. But...if it’s not a crush, then what is this?

Jiang Yanli smiles, cheeks dimpling. “Would you believe we’ve actually had this conversation before?” she asks.

Wei Wuxian groans, and hides his face in her duvet. He probably asked her the same question in the past for the same reason he’s asking now. “A-jie, this is so embarrassing,” he whines.

“You said that last time as well,” Jiang Yanli says, her smile widening.

“What did you tell me then?” Wei Wuxian asks.

Jiang Yanli hums. “Then, you’d only really known Lan Wangji for a couple of months,” she tells him, “so I said to be careful with your heart.” She makes her way towards Wei Wuxian, and sits down on the bed next to him, carding her fingers gently through his hair. “But I think you took it a little bit too literally, because you went on to not say or do anything about your feelings for him for the next couple of years, so I guess this time I’ll tell you to be brave, and trust that Lan Wangji will be careful with your heart.”

Wei Wuxian feels his cheeks heat. “I asked you that early into my friendship with Lan Wangji?” What is wrong with him? “I already felt...things for him a couple of months in?”

“Oh, A-Xian, if you could remember the way you both look at each other, you wouldn’t be surprised,” Jiang Yanli says.

“What is it about him, a-jie? Why him?” Wei Wuxian asks, pouting.

Jiang Yanli smiles. “That’s really a question I think only you can answer,” she says. “But for what it’s worth, I’ve told you before that we can’t help who our heart decides to beat for.”

Wei Wuxian thinks on Jiang Yanli’s words. “Do you think he will be upset that I don’t remember?” he asks quietly.

If Lan Wangji is as important to Wei Wuxian’s life as the evidence around him seems to show… Lan Wangji would be devastated, Wei Wuxian thinks. Wei Wuxian fancies that he would be, too, if the situation were reversed, and if well, Wei Wuxian could actually remember him?

“He would be worried,” Jiang Yanli corrects.

“A little upset,” Wei Wuxian says.

Jiang Yanli smiles. “Yeah, okay, a little upset, too,” she concedes.

Wei Wuxian gets by dodging Lan Wangji’s calls for close to four days with relative ease. Jiang Cheng had told him while Wei Wuxian was in the hospital that there was a project that Wei Wuxian was working urgently on that would take up the bulk of his time. Lan Wangji has been considerate of this, and only rings once every night, and doesn’t call back if Wei Wuxian doesn’t answer.

He does text to check in on Wei Wuxian, and Wei Wuxian does reply to those, manages to throw in some of his patented flirting as well, which seems to keep Lan Wangji at bay.

Lan Wangji is scheduled to come back in another six days — Wei Wuxian had planned to just postpone having to tell Lan Wangji that he’s lost all memories of Lan Wangji until he’s not able to ignore it anymore.

No point in making Lan Wangji worry, right?

(And more importantly, no point in having to worry over how to break the news to Lan Wangji until Lan Wangji actually shows up knocking at his door, right?)

But because misfortune apparently never comes knocking alone, Wei Wuxian’s plan to ignore things until they cannot be ignored anymore is foiled when he answers his phone just as he has come out of the shower.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Wangji says.

Wei Wuxian starts. He would recognise this voice saying these exact words anywhere; he’s listened to the 58 minute loop of Lan Wangji saying his name enough times to do so. “Lan- Lan Zhan?”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says. “Wei Ying, you have not called in several days.”

He has a very nice voice — deep and soft. Wei Wuxian finds it calming, and he finds the concern he can hear bleeding through Lan Wangji’s voice strangely endearing.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says again. It’s ridiculous that the name feels so familiar, when Wei Wuxian has no memory of the man himself. He swallows. “Lan er-gege,” he tries, and oh, that feels familiar too.

“Mn,” Lan Wangji answers. And then, almost tentatively, he asks, “Is something wrong?”

Wei Wuxian could just tell him. He could just tell him now over the phone to get it over and done with. Lan Wangji has been his friend and they’ve apparently had this Not-Relationship thing going on for years. He doesn’t think that a little bit of memory loss is going to send Lan Wangji running. Or, well, if it does, then that doesn’t really make much of a difference to Wei Wuxian too, right? He shouldn’t really feel so on-edge just thinking about breaking the news to Lan Wangji.

But he is. And…

And surely this is the sort of news that he shouldn’t break to Lan Wangji over the phone. Lan Wangji is alone in Moling, and if he’s as into Wei Wuxian as Wei Wuxian thinks the past him was into Lan Wangji, then the news will hit him hard. It’s surely better to wait until he’s back home, when Wei Wuxian knows at the very least that Lan Wangji can go to Lan Xichen if he needs emotional support.

Mind made up, he says, instead, “I just miss you.”

Lan Wangji is quiet for a long moment, and Wei Wuxian tries his best not to freak out about it. Is this not something that he would say, if he were in possession of all his memories? He does it frequently enough over texts that he hadn’t thought that it would be a red flag, but Lan Wangji is just quiet over the line, and it makes Wei Wuxian anxious-

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says, voice thick with an emotion that Wei Wuxian thinks he would be able to name, if he’s made to.

He steers himself resolutely away from that thought, and tries to lighten the mood. “Are you missing me as well, Lan er-gege? I bet Moling isn’t fun without me there!”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji agrees.

“Which question are you agreeing to, gege?” Wei Wuxian asks.

“Both,” Lan Wangji tells him. “Miss you. Moling is dull without you here.”

Wei Wuxian’s chest tightens. “Tell me about the conference,” he says.

If Lan Wangji notices that Wei Wuxian’s voice shakes, he makes no mention of it.

He starts picking up Lan Wangji’s calls after that, alongside an increase in the exchange of text messages where the kissy face emojis start to come to him a lot more easily.

It’s not as difficult as he thought it would be, talking to Lan Wangji, even if he is working off on very scattered information about Lan Wangji that he learns through reading their old texts and listening to Jiang Cheng make fun of the way he is with Lan Wangji. His memory has never been very good anyway, and Lan Wangji excuses the many occasions where Wei Wuxian goes ‘Huh?’ when Lan Wangji makes a reference to some events in the past.

He neatly side-steps all the questions Lan Wangji has about Wei Wuxian’s work, mostly by groaning loudly, and saying, “Lan Zhan, if I have to even think about this project for one more second, I’ll surely die! You wouldn’t want that, would you? No? Then let’s talk about something else! Like, oh, did I tell you about the mapo tofu that I had for lunch earlier today?”

Lan Wangji takes it all in stride, and with grace. He listens to Wei Wuxian ramble nonsense, answers Wei Wuxian’s inane questions about whether his best feature is his eyes or mouth-

(“Mouth,” Lan Wangji says, too quickly. Wei Wuxian flushes to his roots thinking about his mouth and then of Lan Wangji’s mouth before Lan Wangji catches himself, and says, “You have a nice smile.”

Even that makes Wei Wuxian’s lips tingle.)

-and lets Wei Wuxian bully him into telling him all about his conference in great detail, even though Lan Wangji professes that Wei Wuxian will find his recount boring. Lan Wangji sends him shaky selfies when Wei Wuxian asks for them, and admits to saving the selfies Wei Wuxian sends him in return because he misses Wei Wuxian when he’s asked.

Wei Wuxian is not going to lie. He sees the appeal of being in love with Lan Wangji now, he really, really does. Lan Wangji makes him feel...warm and special and cherished. It’s a good feeling, a really wonderful feeling, even if there is the underlying guilt of enjoying Lan Wangji’s attention when Lan Wangji isn’t fully aware of the situation with Wei Wuxian’s lost memories.

If this is how he used to feel all the time with Lan Wangji, no wonder he went and fell in love with the guy!

Wei Wuxian really wishes he had his memories back, even if it’s just so he can solve this riddle:

All signs point to Wei Wuxian having an embarrassingly obvious crush on Lan Wangji, and of Lan Wangji very possibly liking him back. If this is true, if things are the way Wei Wuxian understands them to be, just from his casual observations over the last couple of days, then why the hell aren’t they together?

“Lan Zhan?”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says, and the strange knot in Wei Wuxian’s chest eases. “You said you wouldn’t be able to talk tonight because you were going out with Jiang Wanyin and Nie Huaisang.”

“I am still out,” Wei Wuxian tells him, without thinking, and immediately wishes he hasn’t. Even if they have been speaking a lot, it’s probably weird that Wei Wuxian calls him so much, right? Lan Wangji must be tired of having to speak to Wei Wuxian so much. Wei Wuxian swallows the embarrassment that’s threatening to spill out of him, and confesses, “I just thought it felt weird not to wish you goodnight.”

Lan Wangji is quiet on the other end of the phone.

Wei Wuxian cringes. It’s probably weird that he finds so much comfort in speaking to Lan Wangji, and probably deceitful that he’s doing it without Lan Wangji knowing about his amnesia. “Goodnight,” he whispers, miserable.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says, before Wei Wuxian is able to hang up.

“Yeah?”

“I’m glad you called,” Lan Wangji tells him. “It did feel weird not hearing you wish me goodnight.”

Wei Wuxian feels his lips spread into a smile. He feels lighter now. “Goodnight, er-gege,” he says again. “Sleep well.”

“I’m sure I will, now that you’ve called,” Lan Wangji says softly.

The warmth in Wei Wuxian’s chest doesn’t dissipate the entire night.

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
Flight_Itinerary.pdf

From: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
You will still come to pick me up from the airport?

Wei Wuxian sits on the texts for a good hour.

Should he go and pick Lan Wangji up from the airport? What if Lan Wangji notices something is up the moment he sees Wei Wuxian? Wouldn’t that make the drive back to Lan Wangji’s apartment awkward?

Maybe he should just tell Lan Wangji to have Lan Xichen pick him up. Surely Lan Xichen would be happy to pick his brother up from the airport.

Wei Wuxian types out a stupid excuse, gets midway through the lie, and then deletes the text.

He thinks about the quiet comfort Lan Wangji has been giving him through the last few days, and imagines that his presence at the airport would give Lan Wangji the same comfort. He tries his best not to wonder why he wants to be a source of comfort to Lan Wangji; he has only really known of Lan Wangji for a little more than a week, and has really started knowing him for maybe half that time.

He hides his face in his pillow, lets out a long groan, and then makes up his mind.

To: Er-Gege (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ♥*:・゚♥
yes

Lan Wangji is even more beautiful in person, as impossible as it may seem.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says, the slightest hint of a smile on his face.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian breathes out, voice shaking. Coming to pick Lan Wangji up was a bad idea. Wei Wuxian feels like a fraud all of a sudden, now that Lan Wangji is here. He’s not the same person he was when Lan Wangji left. He’s been lying to Lan Wangji for the past few days. He swallows, and tries to smile. If he can just keep it together until they get into the car, at least, maybe they won’t make a scene at the airport. “Lan Zhan, you’re back.”

Lan Wangji’s smile widens just a little. “Mn,” he hums. He sets his luggage on the ground, then closes the distance between them, and hugs Wei Wuxian. “Wei Ying, I’m back.”

Wei Wuxian hugs him back tightly. In the same way that Lan Wangji’s voice was oddly comforting to him despite his lost memories, Lan Wangji’s embrace feels familiar, and he smells right.

“I think…” Wei Wuxian says wobbly. “I think I’ve missed you, Lan Zhan.”

It’s probably not a lie. Wei Wuxian doesn’t even really know him, but he thinks he’s missed having Lan Wangji around.

Lan Wangji’s arms tighten minutely. “I’ve missed you too, Wei Ying,” he says softly, before letting Wei Wuxian go. “I’m glad to be back.”

Wei Wuxian smiles. “Tell me about your trip,” he says, and swats Lan Wangji’s hand away when Lan Wangji tries to pick up his luggage, picking Lan Wangji’s bags up for him instead. “Was the flight terrible? Was there a crying baby?”

Lan Wangji huffs out a soft laugh. “The flight was uneventful,” he tells Wei Wuxian. “Two flight attendants tried to give me their numbers.”

“Oh,” Wei Wuxian says dumbly. Lan Wangji is a very attractive man. It probably happens a lot. Wei Wuxian probably shouldn’t sound so startled. “That’s- That’s good.”

Lan Wangji gives him an odd look. “Wei Ying?”

Wei Wuxian flashes him a sunny smile. “What about the food on your flight?” he asks, desperate to change the subject, and Lan Wangji, blessedly, lets him.

The drive back goes by in comfortable silence that is occasionally broken by the GPS giving directions to Lan Wangji’s apartment.

Wei Wuxian is acutely aware of Lan Wangji’s eyes on him for most of the drive. Lan Wangji must know something is up, had probably known from the moment Wei Wuxian reacted to his comment about the flight attendants wrongly. If Lan Wangji just asks him, Wei Wuxian swears he will tell Lan Wangji everything. Lying to Lan Wangji feels terrible.

But Lan Wangji doesn’t ask, not during the drive, and not during the walk up to his apartment. He doesn’t say anything about it, until Wei Wuxian is sitting on his very nice couch, and Lan Wangji has pressed a mug of tea into Wei Wuxian’s hands.

“What’s wrong, Wei Ying?” Lan Wangji asks.

Wei Wuxian looks down at his mug of tea, his earlier bravado leaving him all in a rush.

“I gave you the opening to make your usual joke about the flight attendants giving me their number, and you didn’t take it,” Lan Wangji says. “You needed the GPS to guide you back to my apartment. You haven’t asked about bengbeng and tiaotiao yet-”

That startles Wei Wuxian into looking up at Lan Wangji again. “Bengbeng and tiaotiao?” he asks.

Lan Wangji’s frown deepens. “Wei Ying, what’s wrong?” he asks, concern seeping out from his every pore.

“I…” Wei Wuxian sets his mug down on the coffee table. “Lan Zhan, you should probably sit down for this?”

Lan Wangji does as Wei Wuxian says, settling down next to Wei Wuxian on the couch. He reaches out to grip Wei Wuxian’s hand. “Wei Ying?”

“I had a bit of an accident, while you were away,” Wei Wuxian admits quietly.

Lan Wangji’s grip tightens, but he doesn’t interrupt Wei Wuxian, which Wei Wuxian is infinitely grateful for. He’s got to do this all in one shot, or he will probably lose his nerve, and try to run away.

“When I woke up in the hospital, I was, uh, missing some memories,” Wei Wuxian continues.

Lan Wangji makes a soft, startled noise.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian whispers. He keeps his gaze away from Lan Wangji. He’s not sure he can say the words, if Lan Wangji is looking at him. “I don’t remember you, Lan Zhan.”

“At all?” Lan Wangji asks, shaky.

“I woke up thinking it was 2014,” Wei Wuxian tells him. “I didn’t meet you until-” It’s as he’s saying it that he realises that he doesn’t even really know when he met Lan Wangji.

“Early-2015,” Lan Wangji says. He lets go of Wei Wuxian’s hand. His fingers are trembling slightly.

Lan Wangji looks devastated at the news, and Wei Wuxian spares a bare moment to think to himself that they were right to wait until Lan Wangji was back to break this news to him. He would’ve been a wreck back in Moling.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says gently. “Lan Zhan, it’s not that bad, I swear. Xichen-ge says I might get some memories back with time. I’ll probably beat all odds and remember everything. It probably won’t take me long before I remember everything. You know how I like to attempt the impossible!”

Lan Wangji is quiet for a long moment. When he speaks again, it’s a heartbreaking exhale of, “You don’t remember me.”

Wei Wuxian’s heart aches at the look on Lan Wangji’s face. Before he can talk himself out of it, he’s got his arms around Lan Wangji, hugging him tightly.

“I don’t remember you,” he tells Lan Wangji, not unkindly, but Lan Wangji shakes in his arms all the same. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t know you. I’ve been reading our old texts, and I’ve been getting to know you again the last couple of days. I’ve been doing my best to learn about you, about our friendship. Lan Zhan, you were really important to me, before, and I still want you to be, now.”

Lan Wangji’s arms come up slowly to hold Wei Wuxian back, just as tightly as Wei Wuxian is holding him.

“I still want to be your best friend, Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says. A thought comes to him, unbidden. “Unless you’d rather not be my friend, now that I don’t remember-”

Lan Wangji pulls away at that. “No,” he says, so fiercely that Wei Wuxian wonders why he ever had a single doubt. “I’ll be here with you no matter what.”

Wei Wuxian’s heart skips a beat at the words, relieved. He smiles at Lan Wangji, and then says, “Will you tell me about bengbeng and tiaotiao now?”

Lan Wangji’s lips curve softly.

The rabbits he has as his laptop wallpaper.

That’s who bengbeng and tiaotiao are.

Wei Wuxian really is a fucking fool in love.

Wei Wuxian expects it to be awkward with Lan Wangji, after the truth comes out, but it isn’t.

Or, rather, Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian both resolutely do not allow it to be.

They resume the usual (mostly low-key flirty) texting, and keep up with the daily phone calls. Lan Wangji also takes it upon himself to show up at Wei Wuxian’s house to take him out for meals.

“Your favourite places,” Lan Wangji says. “I’ll take you to all of them.”

Wei Wuxian grins widely. “Okay!” he agrees happily. Lan Wangji really is the perfect best friend, if he’s out here taking Wei Wuxian to all his favourite restaurants and buying him food. “If I can’t remember them, at least I can start liking them again!”

Lan Wangji’s gaze goes serious. “You will like them again, right?” he asks quietly.

Wei Wuxian’s heart thuds loudly. It doesn’t feel like Lan Wangji is asking just about the food anymore, and oh.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says. “The things I used to like before? There must be a good reason why I liked them. And if I liked them before, why wouldn’t I like them now?”

Lan Wangji swallows. “The circumstances-”

“Don’t matter,” Wei Wuxian interjects. “I’ll still like them.”

Lan Wangji nods. “Do you feel like noodles tonight, or do you want to do Korean barbecue?”

He does love a good Korean barbecue, but…

“Do I grill the meat, or do you grill it?” Wei Wuxian asks, eyes narrowing.

“You always say I do it better,” Lan Wangji tells him, and Wei Wuxian perks up. “It’s probably not true, but I do it anyway because you say so.”

True love is finding someone who is willing to grill meat at Korean barbecues for you. If someone is willing to go through the effort of grilling a perfect piece of meat only to offer it to you first, they must love you. That’s just how it works.

This is how Wei Wuxian knows that his siblings (even Jiang Cheng!) love him, and this is how he came to the conclusion that Jin Zixuan was really serious about Jiang Yanli when Jiang Yanli reintroduced Jin Zixuan as her husband (her husband, what the fuck!) to Wei Wuxian over dinner just some weeks ago.

“So? Korean barbecue?” Lan Wangji asks, when Wei Wuxian doesn’t say anything. “I’ll grill.”

Wei Wuxian smiles.

But it’s also not always fun and games; memory loss has some fairly serious consequences.

Sometimes, when Wei Wuxian is with his family, he thinks that they look at him, and wish that he were someone else. Jiang Yanli is quick to reassure him that six years don’t really make much of a difference, and that he’s still the Wei Wuxian that he was before he lost his memories, but despite how much Wei Wuxian wants to believe in that, he knows it’s not realistic to say it’s true.

Six years is a long time, and a lot of changes can happen to a person in six years.

From what he’s been able to gather, he’s supposed to be more mature, more responsible-

A better version of himself.

Of course everyone would want that Wei Wuxian back; Wei Wuxian himself wishes that Wei Wuxian were back.

There are a number of things that one cannot learn about a person just from reading old texts, and just hearsay from third parties, because every so often, details get omitted, and experiences get downplayed.

One of these things, Wei Wuxian learns, is how comfortable it is to nap on Lan Wangji’s lap.

Ever since their agreement to resume their friendship, and for Lan Wangji to help Wei Wuxian learn more about Lan Wangji, they’ve both thrown themselves quickly back into what Lan Wangji (along with basically everyone else that Wei Wuxian thinks to cross-check with) tells Wei Wuxian is their old routine. This mostly involves Wei Wuxian coming over to Lan Wangji’s apartment — a lot.

Wei Wuxian should probably think before he dives into this friendship too quickly, but it’s...nice being around Lan Wangji, even if sometimes all they do is to just work on their own things quietly.

There’s a strange sort of comfort that comes from the way that Lan Wangji will just pass him a mug of tea when Wei Wuxian feels a headache coming on, or in the way Lan Wangji doesn’t even have to ask what Wei Wuxian wants for lunch before he prepares exactly that, or-

Or just in that way Wei Wuxian catches Lan Wangji looking at him wordlessly sometimes.

It’s nice. All of it. Wei Wuxian likes it. He likes it a little too much, perhaps, for someone who’s really only known Lan Wangji for a month at most.

As if on cue, Lan Wangji withdraws his fingers from Wei Wuxian’s hair, and rubs a thumb gently between Wei Wuxian’s brows instead. “You’re frowning,” he murmurs.

“Lan Zhan, do you think I’ll ever get my memories back?” Wei Wuxian asks, because he has been thinking about this a lot lately.

“It doesn’t matter if you don’t,” Lan Wangji says easily.

“What will I do if I can’t ever remember?” Wei Wuxian says with a sigh. “What will you do, if I don’t ever remember our past together?”

It’s Lan Wangji who is frowning now. “Then I’ll make new memories with you,” he tells Wei Wuxian, so sincerely that Wei Wuxian’s heart rabbits in his chest. “We already are doing that.”

Wei Wuxian swallows. “You always know what to say,” he murmurs. He pulls himself up, and shifts to face Lan Wangji. “Thank you,” he says softly, brushing a kiss over Lan Wangji’s cheek. “Thank you, Lan Zhan.”

Lan Wangji blinks at him once, twice, and then he pulls Wei Wuxian into his arms. “You don’t have to thank me, Wei Ying. Not for anything, and especially not for this.”

Wei Wuxian feels his lip wobble, and then, embarrassingly, he starts to tear up.

It’s been...difficult, trying to pretend that everything is fine. It’s not.

Wei Wuxian has a blank space in his mind where six years worth of memories should be! He has six years worth of work to catch up to, and six years worth of memories to relearn from an outsider’s point of view! Jiang Cheng got annoyed at him for touching a comb on his desk the other day, and Wei Wuxian doesn’t even know why! Jiang Yanli has apparently married Jin Zixuan now, when the fuck did that happen, and how did he and Jiang Cheng let that happen? Wei Wuxian himself has apparently gone and fallen in love with someone, and he doesn’t even know why he hasn’t done anything about it!

Everything is a mess, and every day feels so hard, but Wei Wuxian has to smile and pretend that the amnesia doesn’t bother him. He has to do it, otherwise his family will worry over him. Jiang Yanli is already cautious around him as it is; if she knew how he really felt about his amnesia, no doubt she’ll be crying over it all the time.

He hides his face in the crook of Lan Wangji’s neck, and for the first time in weeks, lets himself go, and just cries a little bit. “It’s hard, Lan Zhan,” he chokes out. “Everything is hard. People greet me on the street like we’re old friends, but I can’t recognise them. I look back at old projects I’ve done, and I don’t understand them. You’re so nice to me all the time, and I don’t- I don’t even remember you. I’m trying so hard to remember, but it hurts when I try, and I’m just… I’m sorry.”

Lan Wangji’s arms tighten around Wei Wuxian. “Wei Ying,” he whispers. It’s the most emotional that Wei Wuxian has heard Lan Wangji in the short time he’s known him. “Wei Ying, you don’t have to apologise to me for anything too, especially not for this.”

Wei Wuxian clutches at him. “But I-”

“Wei Ying, let me help you?” Lan Wangji asks softly.

“Please,” Wei Wuxian breathes out. “Please. Yes, please.”

“Jiang Cheng says we ran into each other,” Wei Wuxian says.

Lan Wangji smiles, just slightly. “Not very accurate,” he tells Wei Wuxian. “You ran into me, knocked the both of us over, broke the two bottles of tianzixiao you were holding, and ruined the papers I was carrying.”

Wei Wuxian blinks at him. “And you still became my friend?”

“That came after,” Lan Wangji tells him. “You were very annoying in the beginning.”

Wei Wuxian lets out an affronted gasp. “How do I know that you’re not lying to me?” he asks, eyes narrowed. “For all I know, you could be taking advantage of my amnesia to slander my good name!”

“Ridiculous,” Lan Wangji says. “Lying is forbidden.”

Wei Wuxian smiles. And then, “You thought I was annoying at first?”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says.

There is a twinge of something in his chest. Doubt, perhaps. Or, fear, more likely. “Do you think I’m annoying now?” he asks quietly.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says softly.

“Sorry,” Wei Wuxian says. “It’s just- I don’t remember what annoys you, so I don’t know how to avoid doing it. If you tell me, I promise I will-”

“Nothing you do annoys me,” Lan Wangji says firmly. “I like everything about you. Then and now.”

Wei Wuxian feels his cheeks heat. “Really? You’re not just saying that about the old me?”

Lan Wangji nods. His ears are bright red, which helps Wei Wuxian to believe that he’s telling the truth.

“Lan Zhan, I like everything about you as well,” Wei Wuxian says decisively.

“I know,” Lan Wangji says easily.

“Do you?” Wei Wuxian asks.

“You used to say it often,” Lan Wangji admits.

“Oh,” Wei Wuxian says. He really was in love with Lan Wangji, huh? “Good! I’ll say it often now, too.”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says. “Wei Ying, that’s enough, you need to rest.”

Wei Wuxian makes a soft noise of protest. Back in 2014, he was just a fresh graduate scrabbling to find a job. 2020 him is a senior mechanical engineer leading projects that 2014 him cannot yet grasp. He’s already behind enough as it is; he doesn’t have time to rest.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says again. “Wei Ying, stop.”

Wei Wuxian doesn’t know if it’s the firmness in Lan Wangji’s voice, or Lan Wangji’s hand clasping Wei Wuxian’s shoulder, but he finally tears his eyes away from his laptop to face Lan Wangji. “Lan Zhan,” he says, sighing. “I think I’m going to have to quit my job,” he decides.

His employer has been understanding of the whole situation, going so far as to agreeing to Wei Wuxian taking three months off work on unpaid leave, but in all honesty, if Wei Wuxian doesn’t gain the bulk of his work-related memories back, he won’t be able to do his job at all. Six years of experience means a lot.

Lan Wangji purses his lips. “You are already making progress,” he points out. “Slowly, Wei Ying. You shouldn’t push yourself too hard.”

Wei Wuxian nods reluctantly.

Lan Wangji squeezes his shoulder lightly. “You used to be like this as well,” he tells Wei Wuxian. “You’d start a project, and just throw yourself into it. It drove me up the wall trying to get you to eat and sleep properly.”

Wei Wuxian smiles at that. He likes these small reminders that he’s not so different a person, even without his memories. “I bet you got really good at it, though.”

Lan Wangji nods. “Last year, when you were working on that generator project with Jin Industries? I told you I would go on a hunger strike until you started eating as well.”

That startles a laugh out of Wei Wuxian. “Did it work?”

“What do you think?” Lan Wangji asks.

It must have — Lan Wangji’s wellbeing must have meant more to Wei Wuxian than his own. He would’ve allowed Lan Wangji to manipulate him into having proper meals and observing reasonable bedtimes, just on the promise that Lan Wangji would start starving himself.

“I think,” Wei Wuxian says, “that you are too sneaky for your own good sometimes.”

Lan Wangji smiles. “Save your work, and turn your laptop off,” he tells Wei Wuxian. “I’ll take you out for dinner, and tell you about the first time you made us have lunch together.”

“How can I make you have lunch with me?” Wei Wuxian grumbles, but dutifully saves his work on his laptop. “It’s really a two-person activity.”

“You sat down on my table, and refused to leave,” Lan Wangji says. “And when I tried to leave, you threatened to do a loud monologue in the restaurant about me playing with your feelings.”

“Lies!” Wei Wuxian says, mostly for form’s sake. It does sound like something he would do. “I would never do anything so shameless.”

Lan Wangji’s lips quirk. “You do worse things on a daily basis,” he tells Wei Wuxian.

He stirs when Lan Wangji sets him on the bed.

“Sleep,” Lan Wangji whispers. “You’re tired.”

Wei Wuxian blinks groggily at Lan Wangji. He’s still at Lan Wangji’s apartment. This is Lan Wangji’s bedroom. Did Lan Wangji carry him here? He probably shouldn’t fall asleep here. “I’ll go home,” he tells Lan Wangji, and tries to sit up.

Lan Wangji stops him with a hand on his chest.

Wei Wuxian is too tired to stop himself from falling back into Lan Wangji’s bed when Lan Wangji pushes gently.

“Sleep,” Lan Wangji says again. “I’ll take the couch tonight.”

Wei Wuxian makes a noise of dissent. “Did you use to sleep on the couch when I slept over, before?” Lan Wangji’s silence is enough of an answer on its own. “Then stay,” Wei Wuxian says around a yawn.

Lan Wangji hesitates, and Wei Wuxian grins sleepily at that.

“I’m too tired to do anything to you, er-gege,” he says. “You can trust me to behave.”

“Ridiculous,” Lan Wangji says, but he slides into bed next to Wei Wuxian, so Wei Wuxian figures he’s not that far off the mark.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian whispers, after Lan Wangji turns the lamp on his bedside table off.

“Hm?”

“It has been hard for you too, hasn’t it?” he says quietly.

Lan Wangji doesn’t say it, but having to deal with Wei Wuxian’s amnesia must be stressful on his part as well.

“Nonsense,” Lan Wangji murmurs.

Wei Wuxian feels around for Lan Wangji’s hand, and then threads their fingers together. “If it gets too hard, promise me you’ll tell me you need a break from me?”

Lan Wangji squeezes his hand. “Nonsense,” he says again, firmer this time.

Wei Wuxian brings their joined hands to his chest, and rests them over his heart. “Goodnight, er-gege,” he whispers, because Lan Wangji would not want to hear Wei Wuxian thank him, and Wei Wuxian isn’t sure if he’s allowed to tell Lan Wangji that he loves him.

It slips out of him one day.

In his defence, he’s a little distracted.

He’s definitely got at least a little bit of a crush on Lan Wangji, this much Wei Wuxian already knows, and he already has had some time to get used to the fact, but then Lan Wangji went and brushed a crumb away from the corner of Wei Wuxian’s lips with his thumb, and like half of Wei Wuxian’s brain has to reboot because holy shit.

There’s no way Wei Wuxian can let this specimen of a person out of his grasp.

What the fuck was his past self thinking?

“Lan Zhan, are you in love with me?” he blurts out.

Lan Wangji freezes, retracting his hand quickly.

“I think you are,” Wei Wuxian says in a rush, before he loses his nerve. “And I think I was in love with you too, before the accident.” He looks down at his lap. “And I think I’m just...curious as to why we aren’t together. Or, well, weren’t together, before.”

Lan Wangji is frighteningly still when Wei Wuxian looks up.

“Why would you think that?” Lan Wangji manages to croak out eventually, voice hoarse.

It really doesn’t take six years of knowing Lan Wangji to be able to read the- Christ, the longing in his eyes right now.

“Well, for one,” Wei Wuxian whispers, “you’re looking at me like that.”

“No. Not that,” Lan Wangji says. “Why would you think that you were also in love with me?”

Also in love with him.

As in… Lan Wangji isn’t denying that he’s in love with Wei Wuxian.

Wei Wuxian’s throat runs dry. His heart beats at a treacherously embarrassing pace.

He’d known that there was a very good chance that Lan Wangji would say yes, but he just didn’t think the admission would come so easily. Or that he would be so affected by it.

Lan Wangji is still looking at him, hesitantly hopeful, and it’s suddenly important that Wei Wuxian picks his words right.

“Because it’s obvious,” he tells Lan Wangji firmly. “I don’t really need a lot of context to tell you that you were the most important person in my life. That I flirted with you because I liked you.”

“But you don’t mean it,” Lan Wangji says, swallowing. It helps that he doesn’t sound too convinced. “You do it with everyone else.”

Wei Wuxian rolls his eyes at that. “Lan Zhan, I don’t even need my memories to tell you that you’re wrong.” He takes a step closer, tentatively reaching out for one of Lan Wangji’s hands. “Is this why we weren’t together before? Because I never said it?”

He wishes he could go back in time to knock himself on the head a little. This is a really silly reason for them not to be together.

Lan Wangji is quiet for a second.

Wei Wuxian lets him think in silence. It’s already a good sign that Lan Wangji hasn’t let go of Wei Wuxian’s hand. This is already further than Wei Wuxian thought that he would get. He’s happy to just hold Lan Wangji’s hand for a bit.

“I didn’t think you would love me back,” Lan Wangji says. And then, softly, “You’re right. I am in love with you. I think I have been for a very long time.”

Wei Wuxian beams. It’s impossible not to. “Lan Zhan, do you want to go on a date with me?”

Lan Wangji looks alarmed. “Wei Ying, do not tease.”

“I’m not teasing,” Wei Wuxian insists. “Look, I would be taking it too lightly if I told you that I’m in love with you right now. That would be a disservice to you. I’ve only really known you for a couple of weeks, but… The last couple of weeks have been enough for me to guess why I would be in love with you. I trust my past self’s judgement.” He squeezes Lan Wangji’s hand. “I’m willing to bet if you just give me some time, I’d be head over heels in love with you again. So.”

He takes a deep breath.

There’s no reason to be nervous, not when he can already guess how Lan Wangji is going to react to a question that is probably a couple of years in the making, but Wei Wuxian’s heart skips anyway. “Do you want to go on a date with me, Lan Zhan?” he asks.

The smile that blooms on Lan Wangji’s face is the most beautiful sight that Wei Wuxian has seen.

“Mn.”

[EPILOGUE]

It’s about three months after they start dating that it happens one Saturday afternoon.

It’s a pretty ordinary Saturday afternoon, as far as Saturday afternoons go. Lan Wangji works even though it’s a weekend and he’s supposed to be resting, Wei Wuxian hassles him into taking a break, they end up taking a walk in the park downstairs, hand in hand.

“Oh, look! Ice cream cart!” Wei Wuxian says, when he spots one.

“We haven’t had lunch yet,” Lan Wangji reminds him.

“Then we’ll just have ice cream for lunch,” Wei Wuxian tells him simply, and tugs him along in the direction of the ice cream cart, grinning to himself when Lan Wangji doesn’t resist. “Lan Zhan, what flavour do you want? Ah, they’ve got all my favourites!”

“Just get one,” Lan Wangji warns him. “We’re supposed to be going for lunch.”

Wei Wuxian pouts at him. And then, “Let’s each get one?”

Lan Wangji sighs. “I’ll get the raspberry sorbet in a cup, please,” Lan Wangji says, and Wei Wuxian beams at him sunnily.

“You’re the best, er-gege!” he says happily.

It’s really a perk to date someone who knows him so well! Wei Wuxian was wavering between peppermint and raspberry! But now that Lan Wangji has chosen raspberry, it’s an easy decision. He can’t wait till he knows Lan Wangji as well as Lan Wangji knows him!

“I’ll have the peppermint on a cone, please,” Wei Wuxian tells the vendor. Only, as he’s saying it, a thought comes to him. “No, wait, I’ll get the peanut butter instead. My boyfriend is allergic to peppermint,” Wei Wuxian says quickly, and then pays for the ice cream before Lan Wangji can make his move.

Heh, double score for him today! It’s not often that he manages to beat Lan Wangji to the bill.

It isn’t until they’re walking away from the ice cream truck, their ice creams in hand, that it hits Wei Wuxian. “Oh,” he says, stunned. He turns to face Lan Wangji, who has a small smile on his face. No doubt he realised earlier than Wei Wuxian. “I remembered something about you!”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says. His eyes are shining, and he looks so, so fond that Wei Wuxian’s heart skips several beats in one go. “You did.”

Wei Wuxian grins at him. “Looks like I’m going to be in love with you again faster than you know it,” he whispers conspiringly to Lan Wangji.

His heart feels light, and for the first time in months, he feels like he can manage anything, as long as he tries hard enough.

The smile that blooms on Lan Wangji’s face is beautiful, and Wei Wuxian does the only thing that’s reasonable in the circumstances — he leans in close, and presses a kiss to Lan Wangji’s lips.

He mirrors Lan Wangji’s smile when he feels Lan Wangji’s lips stretch into a smile against his lips.

“A lot faster than you know,” Wei Wuxian murmurs, honest.

With or without my old memories,’ Wei Wuxian doesn’t say, but Lan Wangji must be able to read between the lines, because Lan Wangji tugs him in gently, and kisses him properly.