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Their Side of the Bargain

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THURSDAY

Wei Wuxian took a deep breath. This was going to be mortifying. “They’re expecting you to come with me.”

“You said it was a family weekend, for your Uncle’s 50th birthday celebration.” Lan Wangji sipped his tea as though Wei Wuxian wasn’t dying.

He buried his face in his hands. “I may have told them that we were dating.”

When there was no response Wei Wuxian peeked out to see Lan Wangji just staring at him. He dropped his hands. “I’m sorry, Lan Zhan! I wanted to get them off my back about meeting someone. I thought they might start setting me up with people again so I told them I already had a boyfriend. For some weird reason they assumed it was you, and I just” -he remembered how pleased he had been when his family considered Lan Wangji would be interested in him- “didn’t correct them.”

Lan Wangji continued to stare. Wei Wuxian opened his mouth to keep explaining, but anything more he said would just make things worse. Or end with him accidentally confessing feelings that Lan Wangji would clearly rather not deal with, given how he always ignored Wei Wuxian’s flirting. He closed his mouth again.

Lan Wangji placed his cup down with a tiny click. “You told your family that you had a boyfriend.” Wei Wuxian nodded. “Wei Ying…”

“I know, I know! Lying is forbidden and all that, but you don’t understand what they can be like. They care and I just didn’t want them to worry. Or set me up on any other blind dates with ‘appropriate’ people.” Wei Wuxian thought darkly of the horrific drink shared with Jin Zixun and shuddered, gripping his coffee tighter.

Lan Wangji still looked poleaxed. “Wei Ying. Why would you tell them that you have a boyfriend when you are straight?”

Wei Wuxian burst out laughing. “What?” He shook his head, sure it was a joke. But Lan Wangji opened his mouth and then closed it again. He looked genuinely shocked.

“I’m not straight, Lan Zhan, what made you think that?” This whole time? They had known each other for four years. They had been sharing a flat for two years! “I mean, I always point out the hot guys when we watch TV!”

Lan Wangji blinked. “I thought that was for my benefit.”

“Of course it’s for your benefit, but also for mine because they’re hot.” This conversation was not going how Wei Wuxian had imagined.

“When we met you“ - Lan Wangji swallowed - “you talked about women all the time.”

“Oh my god.” Wei Wuxian shook his head again. “That was because I thought that you were straight! Which, I might add, I thought all the way up until your brother, for some reason, told me you were gay, just after we moved in here.”

Lan Wangji certainly could not criticise others for not being forthcoming, but Wei Wuxian still couldn’t quite believe that Lan Wangji had thought he was straight. Wei Wuxian had been flirting with him almost since the moment that he found out Lan Wangji was into men. Or since they met, really, but that was another story. Lan Wangji never flirted back, though, so Wei Wuxian had concluded that his crush - visible from approximately space, he had been informed - was not reciprocated.

He had moved on to, well, apparently just lying to his family about being with Lan Wangji instead. He really did know that he should work on getting over the crush, find someone else and all that, but Lan Wangji was just so perfect. And now it turned out that Lan Wangji thought he was straight.

Lan Wangji's face was back to his neutral expression, which was usually a sign that he was trying not to show anything, rather than there being nothing to show. Wei Wuxian took pity on him.

“Look, Lan Zhan, I’m sorry for any confusion. It looks like we both made assumptions about the other person and maybe we should“ - he waved an airy hand - “look into how effective our communication is, or something. But you don’t have to come this weekend. I’ll make something up about how you’re working and then after the weekend is over I’ll tell them we broke up so it doesn’t get awkward.” He wasn’t looking forward to the resumption of being set-up, but at least he would still be able to avoid it this weekend.

“No.” Lan Wangji’s tone was sharp, unexpected.

“No?” Wei Wuxian asked.

“No, I will come with you this weekend.” Lan Wangji fingers were clenched around his tea. “Do not tell them that we broke up.”

Wei Wuxian broke into a grin. “Seriously? You don’t have to if it makes you uncomfortable, you know.”

Lan Wangji nodded. “I am sure.” He lifted his tea to his mouth but Wei Wuxian saw that he barely even sipped it.

Wei Wuxian pursed his lips. “I’m not kidding, Lan Zhan, you need to think about what it will be like. Everyone will be asking details about us, making comments. You don’t like touching and we’ll have to hold hands, maybe put our arms around each other.”

Lan Wangji nodded again. “It will be fine.”

Wei Wuxian looked at Lan Wangji for a long moment, but he was looking at the table. “Lan Zhan, look at me.” Lan Wangji lifted his eyes and there was…something. Wei Wuxian couldn’t figure out what it was, but he knew Lan Wangji enough to see that something was going on in his head. “What if we have to kiss?” Lan Wangji’s eyes widened for a second. “Did you think about that? Families can be weird and spot or call out things that you don’t even think of. I remember when Jiejie and the peacock first got together, one of the aunties scolded him for not kissing her, and then later for kissing her too much.”

Wei Wuxian didn’t mention that the thought of ‘having’ to kiss Lan Wangji was making strange swooping feelings happen in his stomach. And maybe they’d need to practice, in private, to make sure that they weren’t awkward.

Lan Wangji held his gaze, though. “Wei Ying, it is fine. I want to help you.”

Wei Wuxian blew out a breath. “Right.” A slow smile crept across his face. “Full disclosure, though, this weekend is going to be freaky.”

 

***

They decided that Lan Wangji would drive. Rather, Lan Wangji informed Wei Wuxian that he would drive and Wei Wuxian was more than happy to agree. Wei Wuxian was a fine driver, he just didn’t actively enjoy the process and had not been looking forward to a three hour drive on a Thursday night. Lan Wangji, on the other hand, always claimed that he found driving relaxing, even in traffic.

Even with little notice, Lan Wangji was packed and ready to go in half an hour. He never had lectures on a Friday and he informed Wei Wuxian that he had managed to get Lan Xichen to cover the ones on Monday.

The car journey was like all of the trips that he and Lan Wangji went on. First they put on music and sang along. The first time Lan Wangji had sung along to music in the car Wei Wuxian had lost it, laughing with surprise. He’d had to apologise and promise that he was laughing because he liked it, not in a bad way, to get Lan Wangji to feel comfortable enough to sing with him again. Now he loved picking more and more intense ballads just to see Lan Wangji’s face as he committed to getting the notes right, even while remaining focused on the road.

They talked, as well. People claimed that Lan Wangji never said anything and Wei Wuxian had to work really hard not to point out that this was more of a commentary on them, not Lan Wangji. Lan Wangji spoke plenty when it was just the two of them. He would never be as chatty as Wei Wuxian was, but their conversations went back and forth, each offering thoughts and opinions. Lan Wangji did seem a little more preoccupied than usual, but then he was probably nervous. He didn’t like being touched and he didn’t like lying, yet here he was on his way to spend a weekend doing both. Wei Wuxian tried to feel guilty, but just felt a giddy anticipation instead.

At a lull in the conversation, Wei Wuxian wondered aloud. “Should I tell Jiejie that it’s not real?” It wasn’t really a question aimed at Lan Wangji, but he was interested to hear his thoughts anyway. “She will keep the secret and I don’t like lying to her, really. It was different when I just let her assume.”

“No.” Lan Wangji’s response was immediate. “Do not tell her anything until after the weekend.”

“Hmmm, you think?”

“Yes. If it…” Lan Wangji hesitated. Wei Wuxian turned to look at him and Lan Wangji seemed slightly frustrated. “If you want to afterwards you can tell her then. It may be” - another hesitation - “confusing for her, otherwise.”

“Okay, I guess. I suppose it would be awkward to be couply around her if she knew it wasn’t real. Plus, she tells him everything. It would be really awkward if he knew. He would make pointed comments and maybe give it all away.” Wei Wuxian nodded slowly. “Yeah, you’re right. Just between us.”

Lan Wangji looked satisfied. Lying really didn’t come naturally to him. It was only fair to make it as easy as possible on Lan Wangji. And if Wei Wuxian got to spend the weekend with even his sister thinking he was capable of attracting someone as hot as Lan Wangji, then that was not a bad thing.

The hotel was a sprawling affair on the outskirts of the city, set in expansive grounds with a spa on site. As they approached, Wei Wuxian fired off messages in the group chat to let Jiang Cheng and Yanli know that they were nearly there. Despite it being late, there was a plan to meet for at least one drink in the hotel bar once he and Lan Wangji had checked in.

The hotel itself was one of the nicest that Wei Wuxian had ever stayed in. The family had spared no expense on the birthday celebrations and when they entered the lobby Wei Wuxian stopped to stare up at the imposing chandelier.

“Well, I’m glad that this isn’t an opera house.” He raised an eyebrow at Lan Wangji, who offered a small smile in acknowledgement of the joke.

The reception desk was quiet, as expected at 9:30pm, and check-in was rapid. While the receptionist worked away she directed them to the spa facility appointments. Wei Wuxian raised his eyebrows at Lan Wangji and booked them in for massages and pedicures on Sunday afternoon, when they were sure to be fed up with everything and looking to relax. Lan Wangji didn’t object, so Wei Wuxian took that for endorsement of the idea.

Two keycards were placed in a card sleeve that proclaimed their room number and a reminder of the time breakfast was served. Wei Wuxian asked if wifi was extra and what the password was. He was rewarded by a slightly condescending explanation on how the wifi was, of course, complementary and required registration when first logging on.

It was all fairly simple and straightforward. The room had been arranged and paid for as part of the event booking. In fact, it was all so straightforward that Wei Wuxian didn’t think about the room logistics until they wrangled themselves and their suitcases through the door.

“Ah.” Wei Wuxian stood and surveyed the room. “Oh. I didn’t even think, Lan Zhan. Of course they booked us a room with one bed, they didn’t know.” He turned to look at Lan Wangji who was also just staring at the bed. “Sorry, sorry. I can sleep on the floor, or maybe some of the chair cushions can be detached?” He started walking over to the two big comfy-looking armchairs, both pulled up to a small side table that was layered with glossy magazines.

“No need.” Lan Wangji’s tone was, again, tighter than usual, and when Wei Wuxian looked he could see that Lan Wangji’s ears were red. “We can share the bed.”

“Are you sure?” Wei Wuxian felt like he had said that a million times that day, but Lan Wangji was doing him a massive favour and he didn’t want him to have to feel weird or awkward. Or any more weird and awkward.

“Mn. Which side does Wei Ying want?” His tone brooked no arguments so Wei Wuxian accepted and pointed to the right hand side, closest to the window. He knew that Lan Wangji preferred the left in his bed at home.

Lan Wangji nodded and lifted his suitcase onto the bed, starting to unpack and put his clothes away, hanging up his suit. Wei Wuxian toed off his trainers and flopped onto the bed, arms folded behind his head. He watched Lan Wangji, enjoying how meticulous he was.

Lan Wangji eyed Wei Wuxian’s feet. Wei Wuxian laughed and wriggled the toe poking through a hole. For some reason he went through socks at an unbelievable rate, usually stealing Lan Wangji’s when he ran out.

“Which suit did you bring?” Wei Wuxian couldn’t see through the little clear window in the suit bag that Lan Wangji hung up in the wardrobe. The bag matched Wei Wuxian’s; Lan Wangji had bought one for him a few years ago, after seeing Wei Wuxian fold his freshly dry-cleaned suit into a suitcase.

“The dark grey one,” Lan Wangji said.

“Hey! That’s my favourite!” Wei Wuxian grinned. “You look really hot in that one.”

Wei Wuxian was expecting the usual response that he got when he flirted with Lan Wangji: a side-eye and being ignored or, if particularly over the top, a muttered ‘shameless’. Instead Lan Wangji looked straight at him. “I brought it because it is your favourite.”

Wei Wuxian had mentioned, on more than one occasion, that Lan Wangji looked particularly good in his dark grey suit, especially because it had a waistcoat, so if Lan Wangji took off the jacket…well, it was definitely not a bad day when that happened. Lan Wangji had never acknowledged his comments in the past, but apparently he had remembered. Wei Wuxian felt his cheeks going red.

“Ah ha ha, Lan Zhan.” He ducked his head to get away from Lan Wangji’s keen eyes. “That was very thoughtful of you.”

“You’re welcome.” Lan Wangji continued unpacking.

Wei Wuxian felt flustered. He didn’t usually end up being the flustered one when he teased Lan Wangji. When his phone pinged it felt like a reprieve. Something to do while he wasn’t sure where to look.

“Jiejie and Jiang Cheng are in the bar.” Wei Wuxian swung his legs off the bed and started trying to pull his trainers on without unlacing them. It never worked, but he always tried. After he gave up and wrangled the laces to get them on, he stood up to see that Lan Wangji had put his suitcase aside and was standing by the door, waiting.

“Lan Zhan, it’s late for you, you don’t have to come.” He could easily explain Lan Wangji’s absence to his siblings, he had joked often enough about how amusing Lan Wangji’s firm 9pm bedtime was.

Lan Wangji shook his head once. “I am your boyfriend. I am willing to stay up to spend time with you and your family.”

Wei Wuxian felt a small thrill at Lan Wangji describing himself as his boyfriend and beamed at him. “The best boyfriend.”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji opened the door, and Wei Wuxian patted his pocket to confirm that his keycard was in it. He knew that Lan Wangji would definitely have his own.

Everything was fine until they walked into the bar and Lan Wangji reached down to take Wei Wuxian’s hand, lacing their fingers together. Wei Wuxian felt a shock shoot through him, followed by possibly the deepest blush he had ever felt.

Lan Wangji was holding his hand.

Holding.

His hand.

Voluntarily.

There were two people waiting to get past them in the other direction, but Wei Wuxian wasn't sure his legs could cope with moving. Lan Wangji had automatically started to walk into the bar and turned back with eyebrows raised when Wei Wuxian didn’t move. That jolted Wei Wuxian out of his daze and he staggered forward, internally berating himself. He wasn’t some Victorian maiden, why was he so shaken by holding hands? It wasn’t even like it was unexpected; it had been Wei Wuxian who had mentioned that hand holding would be a necessary part of the weekend. Lan Wangji was just doing what he needed to, like a good friend. Wei Wuxian was clearly losing his mind.

He hoped that the low light of the bar was hiding his fierce blush.

The bar was pretty busy for this late on a Thursday night and it took a few moments to find everyone. Unsurprisingly, Yanli had brought Jin Zixuan, but with Lan Wangji holding his hand, Wei Wuxian couldn’t summon any ire. Wei Wuxian was confused to see Nie Huaisang there, however, sitting next to Jiang Cheng.

Jin Zixuan spotted them first and pointed them out to Yanli, who looked up with a delighted smile. She really was the best. Jiang Cheng turned his head and Wei Wuxian saw him try to suppress his own grin.

“A-Xian!” As they approached Yanli jumped to her feet and wrapped Wei Wuxian in a hug that was far stronger than her slight figure suggested was possible. “You made it!” Wei Wuxian hugged her back, one handed, as Lan Wangji kept possession of his other hand. When the hug ended Yanli turned to Lan Wangji.

“Lan Wangji, it’s lovely to meet you again.” They had met once when Yanli was visiting him, a few years before. Wei Wuxian usually came back home rather than asking anyone to travel to see him.

Yanli leaned in to hug Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian almost tried to stop her, but Lan Wangji slipped his free arm around her comfortably enough. Wei Wuxian was strangely proud of him.

Jiang Cheng, who had also met Lan Wangji a couple of times when he had visited, gave him a frostier reception. Wei Wuxian figured that he had better warn Lan Wangji of a likely shovel talk coming his way at some point over the weekend.

Lan Wangji directed Wei Wuxian to a chair and he dropped into it, letting go of Lan Wangji’s hand. Lan Wangji asked if anyone wanted a drink, acknowledging at the various head-shakes and demonstrations of still-full glasses, before heading over to the bar. Lan Wangji always knew what Wei Wuxian wanted.

Wei Wuxian watched him go, pleased that anyone in the bar who thought about how hot Lan Wangji was would have seen him come in holding hands with Wei Wuxian.

“Can you please stop your face from doing that?” Jiang Cheng complained.

Wei Wuxian turned back to see him rolling his eyes. Wei Wuxian held up his hands in innocence. “What?”

“‘What?’” He elbowed Wei Wuxian. “You know what. Stop ogling your boyfriend in front of us.”

Wei Wuxian grinned at him. “Well, there’s a lot to ogle.” He turned back to see Lan Wangji standing at the bar, waiting to be served. “His ass really is spectacular in those trousers.”

“A-jie, make him stop!” The plaintive whine in Jiang Cheng’s voice was hilarious and Wei Wuxian laughed, turning back to the table again.

Yanli ignored them both, asking Nie Huaisang about the fan he was carrying as a clear subject change. No one had explained why Nie Huaisang was here, and it felt weird to ask when he was sitting right there. Not that Wei Wuxian didn’t like him - he was a good friend - but Madam Yu had been really clear about this being family only, with day-invites for the various work and community guests. It was part of why he had not realised Lan Wangji would be expected to come. They had only been ‘dating’ for about five months, although they did live together, he supposed, which would make it look serious from everyone else’s perspective.

Wei Wuxian looked back around to see Lan Wangji walking over with their drinks. He had his usual bar drink of a large lime and soda. Wei Wuxian liked to steal sips of it; he enjoyed the tart taste. He could always order his own, but he liked stealing from Lan Wangji’s instead. He always made teasing comments about how it was like they were almost kissing when he shared the straw, but that wouldn’t work tonight. It might raise questions on why they had to ‘almost’ kiss when just straight out kissing was an apparent option.

Lan Wangji put the drinks down, placing Wei Wuxian’s wine in front of him, and sat in the remaining chair. He then shifted it slightly closer and Wei Wuxian felt Lan Wangji’s thigh press close to his own. Wei Wuxian raised his eyebrows at him, but Lan Wangji just looked ahead and reached over to take Wei Wuxian’s hand again. Wei Wuxian was impressed; Lan Wangji really was dedicated to selling them as a couple and seemed to be having no trouble with touching.

The conversation drifted back and forth. It was really enjoyable to be back with his family, and having Lan Wangji sitting so close, hand wrapped in his own, was keeping a permanent small smile on his face.

After a little while Wei Wuxian leaned over and plucked Lan Wangji’s drink from his unresisting fingers. He sipped at the straw, looking at Lan Wangji, who turned his gaze to watch Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian waggled his eyebrows in lieu of making the kissing comment, knowing that Lan Wangji would know what he meant. He placed the glass back down and Lan Wangji immediately picked it up. Lan Wangji didn’t break eye contact as he lifted the straw to his lips and placed them very deliberately to sip at the drink. Wei Wuxian felt his face flush again and he glanced away, only to be drawn to look back again, despite Lan Wangji having turned his eyes back to the table. Lan Wangji never joined in on the joke, and it wasn’t even one that anyone else would pick up on. He felt confused and strangely discomposed, stomach fluttering. Was Lan Wangji teasing him back for making him come here for the weekend?

His confusion was broken by Yanli. “You two are so adorable. I can’t believe it took you so long to get together.”

Wei Wuxian laughed a little too loud. “Ha ha, yeah.” He was a little too flustered to think of anything to say, but Lan Wangji spoke up instead.

“I think there were misunderstandings about how we both felt. We had to resolve those first.” It was actually eerily close to their communication discussion from earlier, which would make it easier to remember. Wei Wuxian squeezed Lan Wangji’s hand in approval and felt warm when Lan Wangji squeezed back.

It was wonderful to see his family, but they were all tired from travelling and after one drink everyone agreed to retire for the night. When they got back, Wei Wuxian opened their door and kicked off his shoes, leaving them haphazard on the floor. Lan Wangji gave him a look and straightened them out, placing his own next to them. Wei Wuxian picked up his suitcase and lay it down on one of the armchairs. He also grabbed his suit bag and hung it in the wardrobe next to Lan Wangji’s.

“There,” he said with satisfaction, seeing the matching bags hanging side by side. He headed back over to his suitcase. “You can use the bathroom first, Lan Zhan.”

After Lan Wangji had cleaned up, Wei Wuxian went into the bathroom and took a quick shower, sluicing off the day’s grime. He tugged on his pyjama bottoms and the t-shirt he usually slept in. By the time he came back out there was only one lamp on, on his side of the bed. Lan Wangji was lying in the bed, eyes closed, apparently asleep. It was well past his usual bedtime.

Somehow Lan Wangji being asleep made Wei Wuxian feel less self-conscious about sharing the bed. He plugged in his phone and set an alarm to wake up in time for breakfast the next morning, then climbed into bed. He switched off the light and turned to face Lan Wangji. The bed was so big that there wasn’t really any worry about sharing. They could probably fit a whole extra person in and still not accidentally touch in the night. Wei Wuxian sighed and turned over so that his back was to Lan Wangji. He silently wished him a goodnight and closed his eyes.

***


FRIDAY

Wei Wuxian woke up to the sound of a page turning. He must have been hearing it for a while, as the sound had mixed strangely into his dreams, but as he drifted awake he could finally place the noise. He blinked his eyes open to see Lan Wangji sitting up against the headboard of the bed, reading. As he watched, Lan Wangji turned a page and the soft rasp of paper on paper was comforting. He must have turned back towards Lan Wangji in the night and he couldn’t be sorry that the first thing he saw was how soft and relaxed Lan Wangji looked reading in bed. For a few moments he allowed himself to indulge in a fantasy of waking up with Lan Wangji every morning. It was a well-worn fancy, given new life by getting to see just how loose and undone Lan Wangji actually was in bed.

As he came more to himself, Wei Wuxian realised how unusual it was. He knew that Lan Wangji woke at 5am and his usual routine involved getting straight up and going for a jog. The hotel had a great gym as part of the spa facilities. In fact, it had been one of the things Wei Wuxian had offered as an incentive for Lan Wangji to come along. But Lan Wangji was still in his pyjamas and definitely hadn’t been to the gym. Wei Wuxian wondered if he was taking the opportunity to relax.

Wei Wuxian stretched and Lan Wangji looked over at him with a warm gaze. Wei Wuxian wondered what he was reading to make him look so tender.

“Good morning, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian curled back into the pillow after his stretch, pressing his face into it. “This is a pretty comfy bed. I hope you slept okay.”

“Mn.”

Wei Wuxian looked up. Lan Wangji was still watching him. Wei Wuxian smiled. “Good.” He rolled himself closer to Lan Wangji, onto his stomach, and stretched up to peer at the book. “What are you reading?”

Lan Wangji held out the book so Wei Wuxian could see that it was about historic Chinese music practices.

He pulled a face. “Lan Zhan, couldn’t you have brought some relaxing novels rather than a work book?” He tugged the book out of Lan Wangji’s hands and made a show of scowling at the cover, before handing it back. “Maybe some epic romances?”

Lan Wangji placed the book on his bedside table. “Wei Ying will have to recommend some to me.”

Wei Wuxian laughed. “I will.” He rolled away, onto his back. “Why didn’t you go to the gym?I thought you never had a lie in.”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji agreed. “There is usually not a good reason to stay in bed.”

“And today there was?” It was a pretty comfortable bed. Maybe Lan Wangji needed a new mattress at home.

“Yes, today there was.” Wei Wuxian looked over and Lan Wangji was watching him. Something about it made Wei Wuxian feel a little self conscious, so he smiled and looked at the ceiling.

“It’s going to be a long day today. I hope you’re ready. Staying in bed might have been a good idea, to prepare yourself.” Wei Wuxian sat up and stretched out his spine.

“I’m ready.” Lan Wangji sounded very sure and it gave Wei Wuxian confidence.

***

By the time they got to breakfast Wei Wuxian was feeling less confident. The whole weekend had been arranged to give a wide array of celebration activities. There were talks, demonstrations, and performances, as well as spaces to relax and ‘socialise.' Each day different categories of people were invited: work contacts, wider social groups, extended family and so on. It really had been an ingenious idea. It allowed everyone to feel included and appreciated, while not putting all of the hosting pressure on Uncle Jiang or Auntie Yu.

Sadly, immediate family were therefore obliged to support for the whole weekend, which meant that as the day progressed he was constantly surrounded by people who thought they knew him and felt that owed his time and attention. It was exhausting, especially as everyone wanted to ask way too detailed questions about his relationship with Lan Wangji.

Lan Wangji handled it like the complete professional that he was. Wei Wuxian genuinely wondered how terrible it would all have been if Lan Wangji hadn’t agreed to come along. He fielded questions with such grace that most people didn’t even realise that he hadn’t given details before they were able to move on.

The most difficult to manage was an older woman, who Wei Wuxian was sure used to work with Auntie Yu before she retired and who did not seem to understand polite deflection. Lan Wangji was next to him, talking to a couple of Uncle Jiang’s longtime business acquaintances while Wei Wuxian evaded probe after probe into his and Lan Wangji’s love life.

Eventually the woman - Wei Wuxian had met so many people he could not remember any names - sighed and patted his hand. “Allow an old lady her nosiness.” She had leaned in and affected a whisper, but her volume remained a little too loud. “He just doesn’t seem that affectionate towards you and I want to make sure you have someone who’s going to treat you right.”

Wei Wuxian’s mouth opened in shock. “Er, Lan Zhan is very affectionate-” he tried to argue, but the woman cut him off.

“It’s okay, you don’t have to explain. My late husband was so in love with me that he would kiss me and hold me no matter who was there. Shameless, he was, and it was wonderful.” She cast eyes that were too knowing up at him. “She speaks of you and treats you so poorly. You don’t deserve it. You deserve a man who will be shameless for you.” She patted him again. “I hope you find him.”

The woman ambled away and Wei Wuxian turned shocked eyes to Lan Wangji, who had clearly been listening, along with his conversation partners. Wei Wuxian choked out a fake laugh to try and break the moment and he didn’t say anything when one of the men made an “old women, right?” joke. The conversation picked back up and Wei Wuxian moved in closer to Lan Wangji who took his hand and squeezed it. Wei Wuxian squeezed back, even though he was distracted.

He looked over to see the woman was now talking to another group. He thought back over her words and felt moved. Her comments on Lan Wangji’s affection would have to be considered in case anyone else was paying that much attention, but mainly he felt something deep inside about the things she had said about Auntie Yu.

He looked over at Lan Wangji who caught his eye and Wei Wuxian could see understanding there. He smiled and Lan Wangji smiled back at him.

***

“You seem happy, A-Xian, with your Lan Wangji,” Yanli said.

Wei Wuxian felt himself blushing again and wondered what this weekend was going to do to his permanent complexion. “Um.” He tried to say more but couldn’t think what would not be a lie. Yes, he was happy? But he was also feeling pretty anxious under that? He was seeing what he could never have? But at the same time he got to touch Lan Wangji whenever he wanted and that was a dream come true?

Thankfully Yanli seemed to take his inarticulation as confirmation of his satisfaction and continued. “The way he looks at you. Wow. Everyone should have someone who looks at them like that.”

Wei Wuxian sputtered out a fake laugh. Yes, Lan Wangji was quite the unexpected actor. “Yeah, it’s very new.”

“Well, not that new. I thought when I met him before that it was only a matter of time until he confessed feelings for you. He was so intense.” Yanli’s tone was pleased.

Wei Wuxian fake amusement dried up. “What?” Yanli raised her eyebrows at him. “When you met him a few years ago? You mean how he looked at me then?” Surely not?

Yanli nodded. “Oh yes. I know that was before you got together, but the look is the same now. He’s so clearly head over heels for you, Xianxian. It’s lovely to see because you deserve the best.”

Wei Wuxian ducked his head to hide the fact that he couldn’t control what his face was doing. He had lied to his beloved sister, making her think that he was in some wonderful relationship, to the point where she was convinced that Lan Wangji had been secretly in love with him for years.

Yanli’s hand stroked his head. “Xianxian, what’s wrong?”

Wei Wuxian was desperate to tell her, but remembered Lan Wangji asking him not to, yet. He shook his head instead. “Nothing, it’s just...a lot.”

“It is,” Yanli agreed. “I remember when Jin Zixuan and I finally got together. It felt like every day was a gift that I wasn’t sure I would get to keep.”

The mention of Jin Zixuan made Wei Wuxian look back up at her and wrinkle his nose. Yanli laughed and swatted at him. As they laughed, Wei Wuxian felt a broad hand move across his back and an arm wrap around his waist. He turned towards Lan Wangji, who took advantage to pull Wei Wuxian closer, almost into a full embrace. Wei Wuxian’s hands automatically came up to rest on Lan Wangji’s chest.

“Oh, ha ha, um, Lan Zhan, hi.” Wei Wuxian knew he was floundering but couldn’t stop it. Lan Wangji released him slightly so that he was standing next to Wei Wuxian with one arm around him.

Wei Wuxian looked over to see that Yanli had an indulgent smile on her face. “Lan Wangji, we were just talking about you.”

Wei Wuxian’s eyes widened and darted to look at Lan Wangji. Lan Wangji looked back over at him, a small smile tugging at his mouth.

“All good things, I hope,” he said.

“Well, we’ll never tell!” Yanli’s laugh was tinkling and light. She was so happy for Wei Wuxian, thinking that he had this. That Lan Wangji wanted him like this. It was hard not to get caught up in the moment: Lan Wangji’s arm around him, everyone wondering how Wei Wuxian had secured someone as amazing as Lan Wangji.

Not Yanli, though. She thought he deserved this. He picked up her hand and kissed it. “Thank you. You’re an amazing sister.”

Yanli laughed more, thinking he was carrying on the joke and thanking her for deflecting Lan Wangji’s question. In reality it was because he knew that she would be there for him when he and Lan Wangji ‘broke up’. And while it wouldn't have really been a five month relationship, just a fake weekend, Wei Wuxian was sure he was going to be just as heartbroken.

***


SATURDAY

The first thoughts through Wei Wuxian’s mind as he slowly woke up were about how warm and comfortable he was. He couldn’t quite keep a grasp of the dream he had been in, but the drowsy feelings of arousal spreading through him implied that it had been a good one. He stretched his legs and his hips pushed forward, pleasure radiating from the firm pressure he rocked against. He breathed a deeply satisfied breath and finally blinked awake.

Lan Wangji’s face was startlingly close and the explanation for how warm and comfortable he was became rapidly clear. Lan Wangji was lying on his back, still apparently asleep, and Wei Wuxian was practically on top of him, arm around his waist, leg wrapped up and over his thighs, with his head on Lan Wangji’s shoulder. It was Lan Wangji’s hip that he had been pressing his hard cock up against. Lan Wangji’s arm was around him, holding Wei Wuxian close in his sleep.

Wei Wuxian panicked and nearly wrenched himself away - only the risk of waking Lan Wangji stopped him. Instead, he carefully tilted his hips away and lifted his leg off Lan Wangji’s. He paused to see if he had disturbed him and, sure enough, his head turned, eyes blinking sleepily. They settled on Wei Wuxian with apparent unconcern at their proximity.

“Good morning.” Lan Wangji’s voice was low and intimate. Wei Wuxian was glad he had shifted his hips away; that tone did things to him. Things that Lan Wangji would not want pressing up against him when he had already woken up to Wei Wuxian clinging to him like a limpet.

“Uh, sorry, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian tried to push away, but Lan Wangji's arm was still wrapped around him.

“Wei Ying, it’s fine.” His arm remained around Wei Wuxian, palm hot even through Wei Wuxian’s t-shirt. Wei Wuxian pulled away a little bit harder and Lan Wangji let him go.

Wei Wuxian pointed. “I’m just going to, uh…” He fled to the bathroom, keeping his hips turned away from Lan Wangji, and tried to think unsexy thoughts. It didn’t work. His mind kept flashing back to how good it had felt to have Lan Wangji against him. He put the shower on as cold as he could stand it and stood underneath until his body caught on to the fact that sleepy morning sex was out of the question. He finally emerged from the bathroom ten minutes later, shivering.

Lan Wangji was still in bed, propped up reading like he had been the morning before, apparently unconcerned about Wei Wuxian’s earlier octopus routine. Lan Wangji had one arm cocked up behind his head, elbow out, and the other holding his book. He looked up when Wei Wuxian came out of the bathroom and Wei Wuxian saw his eyes track down to the towels wrapped around his shoulders and waist. He didn’t want to explain that he was cold. Lan Wangji might figure out about the cold shower and that might lead to him thinking about why he was taking one.

“Um, bathroom is yours,” Wei Wuxian said. Lan Wangji hummed acknowledgement and started to swing his legs out from under the duvet. Wei Wuxian ducked his head. “Sorry again. I hope it wasn’t too weird a way to wake up.” Wei Wuxian forced out a laugh. “Apparently I’m a secret cuddler.”

Lan Wangji paused in front of him and placed a hand on his shoulder. Wei Wuxian lifted his head to find that Lan Wangji was smiling.

“It’s fine.” Lan Wangji ran his hand from Wei Wuxian’s shoulder, over the towel and down Wei Wuxian’s bare arm until he reached his hand. He squeezed once and then continued to the bathroom. As the door closed Wei Wuxian could still feel the phantom warmth of his touch, skating over the bare skin of Wei Wuxian’s arm. He shivered.

‘Fine.' It was ‘fine’. Lan Wangji really was too nice.

When Lan Wangji came out of the bathroom, Wei Wuxian was dressed and ready for another day of people he didn’t know very well asking him questions that felt too personal. He sat on the bed and fiddled on his phone, facing away while Lan Wangji got dressed. Wei Wuxian expected Lan Wangji to speak up when he was presentable, but instead he came around to stand in front of Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian looked up at him.

“Should I kiss you today?” Lan Wangji asked.

Wei Wuxian nearly choked. “What?” He stood up, feeling suddenly affected by Lan Wangji towering above him. “What?”

“Yesterday, what the woman said. We have not kissed where anyone could see us.” Lan Wangji sounded so calm, Wei Wuxian couldn’t believe it.

“Lan Zhan! You can’t just, we can’t, I mean…” Wei Wuxian spluttered, already imagining kissing Lan Wangji. “We haven’t even kissed where no one can see us.”

“Would you usually kiss your partner when there was a risk that others could see?” Lan Wangji pressed.

Wei Wuxian didn’t need long to think about that. “Well, yeah, of course. It’s me.”

Lan Wangji nodded. “Then others will know that about you. They may think that it is strange when you are not shameless.”

The thing was, Lan Wangji’s logic was sound. Wei Wuxian himself had said that they may have to kiss to convince people. But his heart was beating really fast and his hands were sweating.

“Right, yes.” Wei Wuxian scrubbed his hands through his hair. “Fine. Today will include kissing.” He felt almost hysterical. Why was he panicking so much? This was a reasonable expectation within the bounds of the plan. His plan.

“We should practice,” Lan Wangji said. “So that we do not appear wooden or uncomfortable.” Wei Wuxian gaped at him with his mouth open until Lan Wangji stepped towards him. “Wei Ying, may I kiss you?”

Wei Wuxian still couldn’t quite grasp that this was happening. He had thought that he would teasingly suggest practice kissing at some point. Lan Wangji would call him ridiculous and he would laugh. Then, maybe, they would kiss, but Wei Wuxian would feel less like he had been hit across the head. He hadn’t considered that Lan Wangji would be the one to unnerve him.

Lan Wangji was standing, patiently waiting for Wei Wuxian to respond, so he nodded. He really wasn’t going to say no when Lan Wangji was asking to kiss him. For practice.

Lan Wangji stepped in closer, lifting a hand to hold Wei Wuxian’s jaw. He leaned in and Wei Wuxian saw his eyelids flutter closed. Wei Wuxian closed his own eyes and felt a featherlight touch on his lips, a soft press, there and gone. He was about to open his eyes when the touch came again, slightly firmer this time. He kissed back and felt Lan Wangji take a sharp breath, but he then pulled away.

“Was that acceptable?” he asked.

Wei Wuxian opened his eyes, slightly incredulous. “Ahhh, it was fine.” Lan Wangji raised his eyebrows so Wei Wuxian elaborated. “It was very chaste.”

Lan Wangji nodded, like he was absorbing the feedback. He leaned in again, lips parting and Wei Wuxian couldn’t help a distressed exhalation when Lan Wangji’s tongue touched against his own. They kissed like that for a few moments, leaning in, with their only other point of contact being Lan Wangji’s hand on Wei Wuxian’s jaw.

Lan Wangji pulled away again. Wei Wuxian almost whined and chased his lips.

“Was that better?” Lan Wangji’s voice was low, quiet.

Wei Wuxian couldn’t stop looking at Lan Wangji’s lips. “Uh, yeah, I think so?”

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji’s voice was rough and Wei Wuxian wanted to kiss him again. “You do not sound certain yet.”

Wei Wuxian swallowed. “Um, you’re a very good kisser, Lan Zhan. Your fake boyfriend is very lucky.”

“Mn. I am the lucky one,” Lan Wangji said. They were silent for a few moments. “Does Wei Ying have any notes for me?”

Wei Wuxian pretended to consider before he just threw caution to the wind and leaned back in. Lan Wangji met him halfway and this time wrapped his other arm around Wei Wuxian’s waist, pulling him closer. Off-balance, Wei Wuxian grabbed Lan Wangji’s shoulders and, without exactly intending to, he slid one hand up to hold the back of Lan Wangji’s neck. Lan Wangji made a small noise and his hand gripped at the back of Wei Wuxian’s shirt, holding him in place.

This kiss was deep and intense. It was intoxicating and Wei Wuxian never wanted it to stop.

But it wasn’t real.

He pulled away. “Lan Zhan.” He put his palms on Lan Wangji’s chest to hold them apart. Lan Wangji seemed to be leaning back in. Wei Wuxian wanted to cry; no one had ever kissed him so thoroughly before, and it was fake. He took a deep breath. “We should go down to breakfast.”

Lan Wangji frowned. “Wei Ying-”

Wei Wuxian shook his head to interrupt him. “I think we practiced enough.”

Lan Wangji hummed. “Maybe once more, to be sure.” He pressed a slow, gentle kiss to Wei Wuxian’s lips, tender and heartbreaking. Wei Wuxian felt it through every part of his body and when Lan Wangji pulled back Wei Wuxian ducked his head, sure that his feelings must be all over his face.

Wei Wuxian took a settling breath, but he needed to check that he wasn’t making Lan Wangji uncomfortable. “You won’t feel weird about it, now, right?” He finally lifted his eyes to meet Lan Wangji’s. Lan Wangji looked frustrated, but shook his head. “Okay, let’s go down.”

Wei Wuxian pulled away from Lan Wangji and grabbed his key card from the counter. So now he knew what Lan Wangji tasted like. The weekend was turning into his greatest wish and worst nightmare.

***

The day was similar to the one before, except there was kissing. Wei Wuxian knew that Lan Wangji was one to do the required work, but he seemed very dedicated to selling their fake relationship. Which now included kissing.

Lan Wangji kissed him on the cheek and on the hand. He pecked him on the lips when they were parting at any point, even if it was just to go to the bathroom, and then again when they reunited. There was even one point where Lan Wangji came to stand behind him and wrapped his arms around Wei Wuxian’s waist, dropping a small kiss on the back of his neck. Wei Wuxian wasn’t even sure anyone else would have seen it, but he knew it would feature in many fantasies for the rest of his life.

Wei Wuxian was certain that Lan Wangji was going over the top. Surely someone would call him out for going too far, but everyone around Wei Wuxian cooed and joked about them. Even the complaining comments seemed to have an undercurrent of amused resignation. The only person who appeared to have any problem with it was Wei Wuxian himself.

He held Lan Wangji’s hand tight and resigned himself to just enjoying it while he could.

***

“You have to tell me how this happened.” Yanli’s voice was light and happy.

“How what happened?” Wei Wuxian knew what she was asking, but he tried to stall and wished that he could make meaningful eye contact with Lan Wangji without being obvious. Why hadn’t he and Lan Wangji thought about a back-story for how they got together? There had been a three hour car journey that would have been perfect for planning.

“Xianxian, you know what I mean. You didn’t tell us anything about it over the phone. You said you would tell us when we saw you, but then we’re here and you still haven’t told us!” Yanli’s smile was so kind and excited. Wei Wuxian felt sick at lying to her.

“Um, well, it was-” Wei Wuxian couldn’t think of anything to say. He had thought about a million ways that he and Lan Wangji could get together over the years, but they had all been fantasies that he indulged in for a few days and then shook himself out of. To tell one of them in front of Lan Wangji felt...raw. Exposed.

Lan Wangji reached out and took his hand. “It happened because I finally revealed to Wei Ying how I feel.”

Wei Wuxian’s eyes snapped to Lan Wangji, who was focused somewhere in the middle of the table.

Yanli’s eyes lit up and she reached for Jin Zixuan’s hand, almost subconsciously. “Really?” Jin Zixuan took her hand and cradled it. Everyone at the table had stopped pretending that they weren’t listening. Nie Huaisang had his fan up, eyes intent over the top.

Lan Wangji nodded. “Mn. I had spent a long time thinking that he could not return my feelings, so I had buried my own. I was content to remain close friends so I could have him in my life anyway.”

Everyone at the table smiled or cooed and Wei Wuxian wanted to crawl under the tablecloth. How could Lan Wangji just sit there and lie so easily? And why, of all the stories that he could have made up, did he have to choose Wei Wuxian’s most cherished fantasy, the one that lay at the core of almost every other scenario he built over the top of it? He wanted to cry.

“What changed?” Jiang Cheng asked. Wei Wuxian could see him trying not to smile, but that may have been at Wei Wuxian, who knew he was blushing furiously. He wanted to steal Nie Huaisang’s fan.

Lan Wangji turned his gaze to look at Wei Wuxian. “I realised that I had made assumptions. I presumed to know things that I could not and so missed opportunities to be honest. I decided to pursue what I wanted.”

Wei Wuxian couldn’t look away. He knew it wasn’t real, he knew that Lan Wangji was lying - something that Wei Wuxian himself had asked him to do. He wanted it to be real so much, and it wasn’t. None of it was true.

Wei Wuxian realised that he was actually tearing up and dragged his eyes away from Lan Wangji, looking down at his plate. He tried to sniff subtly but all eyes were on them.

“Oh A-Xian.’’ Yanli was beaming at him. Even Jin Zixuan was ducking to hide a smile. They all thought that he was happy and he couldn’t explain that he’d played himself so horrifically. There was no way that he could go back to just living with Lan Wangji, side by side. Not when he had felt Lan Wangji’s hand in his while that deep, rich voice talked about it like it was real.

Wei Wuxian used the napkin to wipe his eyes and coughed. “Okay, no more of that.” His voice was gruff. Lan Wangji released his hand and slipped his arm behind Wei Wuxian’s back, pulling him close against his side. Wei Wuxian wanted to pull away, to remind himself that none of it was real, but he couldn’t help himself. He took the comfort being offered in the moment and leaned his head on Lan Wangji’s shoulder. Lan Wangji pressed a kiss to his head.

The conversation moved on and Lan Wangji didn’t remove his arm. Wei Wuxian let himself stay tucked into Lan Wangji’s side. He desperately wanted to talk to someone, but who could he tell who wouldn’t just be angry at him for lying? This was the worst plan that he had ever come up with.

Eventually Wei Wuxian excused himself to go to the bathroom. When he was washing his hands at the sink, giving himself a serious look, Nie Huaisang came in. He nodded at Wei Wuxian and came to lean against the counter, rather than going into a stall or to a urinal.

“So,” he said.

Nothing more seemed to be forthcoming so Wei Wuxian prompted. “So?”

“You and Lan Wangji figured your shit out.” Wei Wuxian loved Nie Huaisang, but honestly sometimes he was hard to read. The question seemed innocuous, but the context made it anything but.

Wei Wuxian shook the water off his hands. “Yep.” He pushed past Nie Huaisang to get to the hand dryer.

“Good, good.” Nie Huaisang waited through the noise of Wei Wuxian drying his hands. When it was finished, he sighed. “So, if you want to talk about anything, I’m happy to catch up.”

Wei Wuxian looked at him and Nie Huaisang looked back. “I’ll…” He licked his lips, feeling very exposed. “I’ll keep that in mind.” Nie Huaisang nodded and finally turned to a urinal.

Wei Wuxian left and went to the bar. He could have ordered a drink from the table, but he needed a few minutes before going back. Back into that fake perfect world where Lan Wangji had been in love with him for years and somehow thought that Wei Wuxian was worth the time and effort.

He needed a moment in the dark to feel utterly miserable.

Gin seemed like the perfect accompaniment to his misery. He ordered himself a double with tonic. He hated the juniper taste of gin and his lip curled with involuntary disgust when he sipped it. It was perfect.

Wei Wuxian wasn’t entirely surprised when Lan Wangji came out looking for him. Why was he so perfect? It wasn’t even really an act. Wei Wuxian could imagine him being this perfect of a boyfriend when he found someone he actually wanted to date.

Lan Wangji looked down at the gin and raised an eyebrow at Wei Wuxian. Lan Wangji knew about his penchant for drinking things he hated when he was upset. Damn the man for knowing him so well.

“I’m sorry if I upset you.” Lan Wangji was too perceptive by half.

Wei Wuxian held the glass tighter. “You didn’t upset me.”

Lan Wangji looked pointedly at the drink again.

Wei Wuxian smiled, wryly. “No, it’s just” - he sipped the gin, lip curling - “it’s a nice fantasy, but I’m still just lying. To my family. Who love me and just want me to be happy.” He sighed. “That feels pretty shitty.”

It was part of the truth.

Lan Wangji looked frustrated and he took the drink from Wei Wuxian’s hands, placing it firmly on the bar. “Wei Ying-”

He looked so determined that Wei Wuxian felt his hands go suddenly cold. Had he been too blatant? Oh god, was Lan Wangji about to remind him that this was all a facade? He didn’t think his heart could take it right now. If he did, Wei Wuxian would just leave. He would go out of the hotel and find the nearest bar to get utterly plastered in and then sleep on a park bench.

Wei Wuxian tried to prepare himself.

“A-Xian.” Yanli’s voice broke in and he looked around to see her approaching, sweet face caught in a frown. When she reached them she took Wei Wuxian’s arm. “A-Xian, I’m sorry if I embarrassed you. I shouldn’t have asked in front of the whole table like that.”

Wei Wuxian grabbed her hand. “No, Jiejie! It’s not your fault, you didn’t embarrass me, I promise!” He pulled on a smile over the now seemingly permanent feeling of guilt sat in his stomach. “I was just a little overwhelmed.”

“Are you sure?” Yanli’s concern was palpable and he ached to just tell her the truth.

“I’m sure.” Maybe he would tell her, instead of informing her about his and Lan Wangji’s ‘break up’ in a few weeks. She, of anyone, would understand.

Yanli gave him a few more comforting pats and a hug before heading off to the bathroom herself. Wei Wuxian went to pick his gin back up, but Lan Wangji moved it away from him.

“Lan Zhaaan,” he complained.

“Wei Ying, we should-”

Wei Wuxian interrupted him. “Lan Zhan, can we just get through the weekend first? I know-” he closed his eyes. “I just need to get through this weekend.” He couldn’t do it right now. When they were home they could have all of the clarifying conversations that Lan Wangji wanted, but not right now.

Lan Wangji looked resigned and nodded. Wei Wuxian hoped at least Lan Wangji would know that he was not just assuming everything Lan Wangji did was real.

Wei Wuxian reached over and grabbed the gin before Lan Wangji could react and downed it in one, face grimacing. “Let’s head back in.”

***

Wei Wuxian peeled off his trousers and flung them on top of his suitcase. Tonight had been the last of the big, event dinners. The meal tomorrow night was the main family one which required his full suit. Full suit, but fewer strangers. No strangers, but closer family scrutiny. He would have to sit at a table with Auntie Yu, for instance.

He sighed and pivoted back towards the bed, wearing just his boxer-briefs, to grab his pyjama bottoms. He saw Lan Wangji turn away quickly and hang his shirt in the wardrobe. He was already in his pyjamas.

Wei Wuxian claimed the bathroom first and while Lan Wangji was washing up Wei Wuxian grabbed the spare pillows from the top shelf in the wardrobe. He laid them down the middle of the bed. If nothing else he could at least protect Lan Wangji from him inadvertently copping a feel in his sleep. Maybe if he just showed Lan Wangji that he understood the boundaries they wouldn’t have to actually have the conversation that Wei Wuxian was dreading. The one where Lan Wangji felt pity for his stupid unrequired love and let him down in the lovely, kind way that Lan Wangji would.

He switched off his lamp and curled up, facing away from Lan Wangji’s side of the bed. He planned to pretend to be asleep, but when Lan Wangji came back into the room he heard him pause.

“Wei Ying?”

Wei Wuxian twisted his back to look at Lan Wangji who was staring pointedly at the pillows. “Um, I thought it might make you feel more comfortable.” He pushed out a fake laugh. “Ha ha, so that you don’t have to wake up in the morning with me draped all over you again.”

Lan Wangji didn’t say anything for a moment. Then he leaned over, grabbed the pillows and threw them across the room to land next to the chairs.

“Wei Ying, it is fine.” He climbed into the bed and pulled the covers up.

Wei Wuxian turned onto his back, leaning up on his elbow to watch Lan Wangji. “Lan Zhan, ‘fine’ and ‘acceptable’ are two different things. I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable.”

Lan Wangji looked back at him, face for a moment a picture of frustration deeper than Wei Wuxian had never seen it before. “Wei Ying-” He opened his mouth, closed it, and then opened it again. “I do not mind.” He went on when Wei Wuxian went to speak. “We can discuss it after this weekend is over, as you said.”

Wei Wuxian wrinkled his nose and then nodded. “Okay, yes.” He collapsed back against the pillows. “But you’re accepting responsibility for if my sleeping self decides you’re a pillow, again.”

Lan Wangji smiled. “I am happy to accept the consequences.” Wei Wuxian huffed a laugh. Lan Wangji switched out his lamp, climbed into bed and lay down.

***


SUNDAY

Wei Wuxian did not wake up with his head on Lan Wangji’s chest. It was so much worse. He was lying on his side, still facing away from Lan Wangji, who was spooned up behind him. Lan Wangji’s arm was around his waist and they were pressed together, top to toe.

Wei Wuxian could feel Lan Wangji’s knees tucked into the back of his own, his back against Lan Wangji’s chest and he could feel Lan Wangji’s morning wood against his ass.

For a few blissful moments Wei Wuxian allowed himself to bask in the feeling. Of being held, so tight and close. Of Lan Wangji’s soft, sleeping breaths against his neck. Of the thought of pushing his hips back against Lan Wangji’s dick. He thought about Lan Wangji waking up to rut himself against Wei Wuxian, while also shifting his hand lower to stroke Wei Wuxian at the same time. Lan Wangji would kiss his neck, breathing fast. Maybe Wei Wuxian would turn his head and accept sleep-heavy kisses while they slowly rocked each other till they came, drifting back to sleep again afterwards, like the best possible dream.

Here, in the circle of Lan Wangji’s arms, it didn’t seem so far-fetched.

Lan Wangji shifted slightly in his sleep and his hips pushed forward, his cock almost pressing between Wei Wuxian’s thighs. Wei Wuxian’s breath stuttered and reality reasserted itself.

Lan Wangji was asleep. He had no control over what he was doing. Wei Wuxian was a warm body and his subconscious was doing things he would not do when awake.

Wei Wuxian reached down to carefully pick up Lan Wangji’s wrist, pulling his hand away from its press on Wei Wuxian’s stomach. Lan Wangji shifted again as though in protest, but Wei Wuxian stole out of his grasp and placed his arm carefully back on the bed as he got up.

Wei Wuxian crept into the bathroom and closed the door. He stared at himself in the bathroom mirror. His cock was rock hard and trying to tell him to go back. Maybe they could just do that. Maybe it didn’t have to mean anything, it could just be two guys taking care of something that often happened first thing in the morning.

But it would mean something to Wei Wuxian. And he couldn’t do it if Lan Wangji didn’t mean it. Didn’t want it. Didn’t want him.

When he came back out of the bathroom, Lan Wangji was still asleep in the same position.

It felt weird to be awake before Lan Wangji. Wei Wuxian checked the time and it was 7am. It had been two later nights in a row and Lan Wangji was clearly catching up on a sleep deficit. It gave Wei Wuxian a chance to get out before he woke up. He quietly rummaged in his suitcase and pulled on his running gear, rumpled from being tossed in, haphazard. He didn’t want to go to the gym this morning, he wanted to run outside. Away.

As Wei Wuxian was doing up his trainers he heard Lan Wangji’s breathing change. He stood up to try and get out before Lan Wangji fully woke, only to see Lan Wangji blinking up at him.

“Ahhhh, Lan Zhan. Good morning, I’m going out for a run, I’ll see you when I get back!” Wei Wuxian was aware that he rambled through that too fast. He waved and rushed out of the door before Lan Wangji could respond.

When he got out of the hotel lobby, Wei Wuxian put his headphones in, switched his phone to do not disturb, and put his running playlist on at the highest volume he could stand. He picked a direction and started, music and the pounding of his feet leaving all of his problems behind.

Wei Wuxian ran until he passed his first and second wind. He was broadly circling the hotel complex, through the gardens, sometimes closer, sometimes further away. It didn’t feel like enough. He wanted to run straight out into the fields and woods. He stood and clutched a stitch in his side, breathing heavily, and imagined just leaving it all behind. He could run off into the wilderness and build himself a little hut to live in. He would grow potatoes and maybe lotuses. There would be no one to be hurt by his actions, no one to break his heart. No parents to disappoint or siblings to lie to.

Wei Wuxian gave up and lay down on the grass, spreadeagled. He panted until he wasn’t seeing stars any more and his breathing returned to normal. Then he kept lying there, staring up at the cloud-studded blue sky.

“Are you going to lie there all day?” Nie Huaisang’s voice broke into Wei Wuxian’s trance, just before his face appeared in Wei Wuxian’s line of sight, leaning over him.

“Fuck!” Wei Wuxian sat up with a jerk, heart thundering at the shock. “Fucking hell, you scared the shit out of me!”

Nie Huaisang sat down on the grass next to him. “Well, that’s what you get for scaring me first. I watched you lie dead on the grass for fifteen minutes before I had to come out and check if you were still alive before A-Cheng saw. God knows how long you’d been there before I looked out of the window.” Nie Huaisang pointed over towards the hotel and Wei Wuxian saw that there did seem to be some rooms that overlooked this part of the grounds.

Wei Wuxian checked his watch. It was 9:07am. He had probably been lying on the grass for about 45 minutes. Maybe even an hour, depending on how long he had been running for before he stopped. Lan Wangji would have long had to go down to breakfast without him. He ran a hand over his face.

“So, are you going to tell me what’s going on or are you just going to lie out here until you leave tomorrow?” Nie Huaisang asked.

Wei Wuxian looked over, but Nie Huaisang wasn’t looking at him - he was taking in the view of the gardens. It gave him the confidence to speak.

Wei Wuxian swallowed thickly. “You can’t tell anyone.”

“Of course.” The fan was flicked open and Nie Huaisang wafted it back and forth.

“Lan Zhan and I are not really dating.” He felt light-headed actually saying it out loud.

“What - and I cannot stress this enough - the fuck?” Nie Huaisang was looking at him now.

Wei Wuxian brought his knees up and ducked his head down between them. “I know. I just didn’t want my family worrying about me, not having a partner.”

“How did you think that this was a good idea?” Nie Huaisang shook his head. “Why would you do that to Lan Wangji? To yourself?”

“All right, I get it, I’m an idiot. You think I don’t know that right now?” He gestured at the sky. “Why do you think I was lying here hoping for rain to come and drown me?” Wei Wuxian huffed. “Instead I need to go and apologise for abandoning Lan Zhan and then somehow get through the rest of this weekend, only to go home and have a conversation where Lan Wangji lets me down really nicely. It would be easier if he just told me to fuck off.”

Nie Huaisang laughed. “Dude, he would never. I mean, from where I’ve been standing I think it’s pretty clear that Lan Wangji is into you.” He paused. “Like, really into you.”

Wei Wuxian waved a hand. “No, he’s just a way better actor than either of us could have ever known.” Nie Huaisang looked sceptical. “Believe me. I’ve been flirting with him for literally years, with no results. Then he agreed to this and just really committed to the bit.” He scrubbed a hand over his face again. “It’s killing me. If he puts his arms around me again I don’t know if I can be held accountable for my actions.”

Nie Huaisang sighed deeply and shook his head, muttering something that Wei Wuxian didn’t quite catch. He appeared to think about it for a few moments. “Can you ask him to dial it back? I don’t think people would notice if you just held hands, now.”

Wei Wuxian thought about it. Surely no one doubted them at this point.

“Okay, but what would I tell Lan Zhan? ‘Hi, sorry, please pretend to be a worse boyfriend because it’s fucking destroying me to see what I don’t get to keep’? Is there an excuse that would work?” He groaned. “Plus we still have to share a bed tonight. I swear, if I have to wake up to snuggling again I’m going to lose it.”

“Snuggling?” There was amusement in Nie Huaisang’s voice and Wei Wuxian didn’t appreciate it.

“Yes! Fucking snuggling. Like, full on head on chest or morning wood digging into my ass, hand on my stomach fucking snuggling.”

Nie Huaisang was laughing openly now. “Oh no, what a hardship.” Wei Wuxian threw him a dirty look. “Okay, fine, do you want my advice?” Wei Wuxian waived his hand to indicate that Nie Huaisang should just lay it on him. “Book another room for tonight. Then tell him you need him to dial it back because you’re getting confused and you don’t want to mix up reality and fiction. Then, when he tells you that he’s into you, cancel the other room and fuck his brains out in the one you already have.” Wei Wuxian scowled. “Or, in the remote case that he is that good an actor, it’s awkward, but you have another place to retreat to until you go home.”

“Yeah, in the most humiliating car trip home known to man,” Wei Wuxian grumbled.

Nie Huaisang conceded. “Yeah, but Lan Wangji is nice. He’ll still just be decent to you and then it’s all out in the open and you can move the fuck on from this pathetic pining.”

Wei Wuxian sighed. The thing was, Nie Huaisang was right. He flirted, but he had never pushed to cross a line that Lan Wangji was uncomfortable with. And Lan Wangji didn’t respond, so Wei Wuxian never went any further. Things had been stable. They could go back to stable. He had already proven that he could respect Lan Wangji’s boundaries, so Lan Wangji would not really have a reason to doubt him. It would really just be Wei Wuxian verbally confirming what Lan Wangji surely already knew.

And then Lan Wangji would stop. It would be awful, but not as bad as the pretense.

“When do I talk to him?”

Nie Huaisang shrugged. “As soon as possible? After the” - hand wave - “display thing this morning?”

“Fuck!” Wei Wuxian jumped to his feet. “That’s at 10:00am.” He looked at his watch. It was almost 9:30. “Thanks, man, I owe you,” he yelled as he started running back to the hotel. He flicked do not disturb mode off his phone and a flurry of texts from Lan Wangji came through, asking if he was okay, asking if he was coming back for breakfast, and then letting Wei Wuxian know he would meet him outside the event room.

Lan Wangji - unsurprisingly - wasn’t in the room when Wei Wuxian got back. He only just had time to rinse off in the shower, get dressed, and head down to the event room before 10:00am. Lan Wangji was waiting for him outside and raised a questioning eyebrow.

“Sorry, sorry! I” - he quickly made up a lie - “twisted my ankle and had to hobble back.”

Lan Wangji looked down at his lack of limp and then back up at Wei Wuxian who gave him a big, false grin as they slipped into their seats. The room was already starting to hush so he squeezed Lan Wangji’s hand in reassurance. Lan Wangji kept hold of his hand and held it in his lap. Lan Wangji really was better at this than Wei Wuxian was. Wei Wuxian spent most of his time worrying that he was pushing Lan Wangji out of his comfort zone, whereas Lan Wangji just rolled with anything that happened.

The various shows and demonstrations were beautiful and engaging. There really had been no expense spared, and what Wei Wuxian had worried would be a dull few hours he actually passed surprisingly entertainerd. It was even enough to suspend his worries about Lan Wangji, until it ended and reality crashed back in.

They all stood up to clap and Lan Wangji immediately took his hand again when the applause stopped.

“So you are here,” Jiang Cheng said, approaching them as the audience started to leave, doubtless heading to the lunch that Wei Wuxian was starving for, having had no breakfast. “You abandoned your boyfriend this morning.”

“I know, I know.” Wei Wuxian turned to Lan Wangji. “I’m sorry, Lan Zhan.”

“Is your ankle okay?” Lan Wangji didn’t mention the lack of replies to his texts or the fact that Wei Wuxian could just have messaged him to come and help. Probably because Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang were now there.

“Um, yeah, I took some painkillers that Nie Huaisang gave to me. He found me and helped me, right?” He looked at Nie Huaisang, standing next to Jiang Cheng. It was close enough to the truth.

Nie Huaisang nodded along. “I found him lying flat-out on the grass and helped him.”

“Oh god, did you give him one of those horse tranquilliser painkillers that you carry around?” Jiang Cheng turned back to eye Wei Wuxian’s foot. “No wonder you’re not limping. You wouldn’t feel being trampled by a rhino with those things.”

Wei Wuxian met Nie Huaisang’s eyes. Well, that was an excuse. “Ha ha ha, yeah. Can’t feel a thing.”

“I’m surprised you’re upright, though. One of those things knocked me out for a day, I swear.” Jiang Cheng's glance was impressed now.

Nie Huaisang waved his fan. “It was only a few hours, don’t exaggerate.”

“Can we continue this argument over lunch? I’m starving.” Wei Wuxian tugged on Lan Wangji’s hand to start them moving. He glanced up at Lan Wangji but he was looking away, face unreadable. He suspected that Lan Wangji still knew there was something wrong. He knew Wei Wuxian too well, now, to fall for a story that had Wei Wuxian forget to ask Lan Wangji for help when he needed it. Lan Wangji was his first and last point of contact. That was why they were in this mess in the first place.

Once Wei Wuxian had sufficient lunch inside him, he excused himself to visit the bathroom. At this rate everyone would assume that he had some kind of eating-induced stomach issue, but he needed to speak to the front desk alone, and from the way Lan Wangji had been glued to his side since he got back, he doubted he would get another chance before having The Talk.

The man at the reception desk was extremely helpful. Wei Wuxian explained that there might be a last minute addition, and could they reserve a room just in case, to be confirmed later and paid for in cash if needed. Given the amount the Jiang family were dropping for this four day birthday extravaganza, the hotel was only too willing to oblige and waive the cancellation fee if the room wasn’t needed.

Wei Wuxian slipped back into his chair feeling a bit lighter on his feet. If he decided to have the conversation and it went badly, he had somewhere to retreat to and nurse his broken heart ahead of the drive home.

***

The planned Sunday afternoon spa appointments would have been fantastic if it hadn’t been for the fact that they were couples sessions. When they had booked them, Wei Wuxian hadn’t realised that booking for two had meant booking as a couple. The massage was first, and two women with gentle voices led them to a softly lit room with quiet music. One asked them to strip down to their underwear and climb onto the tables, under the provided towels, before leaving them alone.

Lan Wangji seemed totally at ease, hanging his clothes neatly on the hooks provided and climbing effortlessly onto one of the tables. Wei Wuxian felt like an overheated mess, trying to look anywhere but at the expanse of skin being tantalisingly exposed next to him and laid out for his viewing pleasure. With Lan Wangji lying face down on the table, only a small towel covering his hips, it did nothing to hide his body, albeit only for the few seconds that Wei Wuxian allowed himself to look.

His shirt already hanging up, Wei Wuxian pulled his trousers off and fell back on humour to try and defuse the tension he was feeling. “I didn’t realise that you’d have to share the room with me, Lan Zhan. At least you’ll have someone handsome to look at.”

Lan Wangji turned his head to look at Wei Wuxian and skimmed his eyes all the way down his body, then back up to meet his eyes. “Mn.”

Wei Wuxian felt flustered again and his skin was tingling everywhere Lan Wangji had looked. Had Lan Wangji just checked him out? He must have been joining in the joke.

Wei Wuxian jolted out of his train of thought when he realised that Lan Wangji was watching him questioningly, reminding him why they were there. He trotted over to the other bed and climbed on, settling onto his stomach, enjoying the feeling of the warm, soft towels under his skin and across his hips.

Wei Wuxian crossed his arms and then rested his head on them, turning it to face Lan Wangji’s bed. He saw that Lan Wangji had done the same and was watching him, close enough to reach out and touch if he wanted. Wei Wuxian could feel himself flushing. There was something about Lan Wangji’s gaze that was different. He and Lan Wangji had lived together for two years; it was not unusual to catch sight of each other in varying states of undress. They shared a bathroom, so he had seen Lan Wangji walking to his room in a towel and he was sure that Lan Wangji had seen him in a similar state. This should not be different.

It felt different.

The soft mood music made the room feel slightly surreal, suspended in time. Wei Wuxian considered turning his head away from Lan Wangji, but that would seem rude. The moment hung, heavy and confusing, neither of them speaking.

A quiet knock on the door broke into the moment as the masseuses returned. The room seemed to return to a more usual kind of quiet; the low voices and soft susurrations of the assistants, the muted rasp of towels and the smooth slide of oiled hands on skin.

Wei Wuxian tried not to watch Lan Wangji, but much as he tried to keep his eyes closed, they kept drifting open to meet Lan Wangji’s. He could see hands moving firmly across Lan Wangji’s skin and it was intoxicating. He wanted the hands to be his. He wanted the two women to leave the room and lock the door so that he could slip over to climb on top of Lan Wangji, straddle his hips and continue the massage from there.

He took a deep breath and closed his eyes again. Was Lan Wangji playing into the part, still? The masseuses didn’t know them, he didn’t have to pretend for them. Why was he looking at Wei Wuxian that way? It was too confusing for Wei Wuxian’s heart. His head could manage, it could be reminded that it was all pretend. But his heart couldn’t cope. His heart was getting used to having Lan Wangji close and would break when they had to go back to how things were before.

Wei Wuxian was going to have to tell Lan Wangji. There was nothing for it. He couldn’t carry on like this. Lan Wangji was not cruel; if he knew that he was inadvertently teasing Wei Wuxian he would stop. A needy part of Wei Wuxian didn’t want him to stop, he wanted it to be real, but after tonight they would go back to their lives in their apartment and Wei Wuxian would be left with the memories of what it had felt like to have this version of Lan Wangji.

He kept his eyes closed and considered. If he told Lan Wangji, what was the worst that would happen? Lan Wangji wasn’t a malicious person. He would be nice about it. Yes, Wei Wuxian would feel humiliated, but then the air would be clear and Lan Wangji would understand that the way he was acting was affecting Wei Wuxian. He would stop and that would feel terrible, but Wei Wuxian could deal with terrible. He had practice. And if Lan Wangji felt too uncomfortable, Wei Wuxian would relocate to the separate room for the night.

Tomorrow they would go back to being friends and roommates. And if Wei Wuxian’s heart was a little broken, well, it was really his own fault for lying in the first place.

Wei Wuxian opened his eyes again to find Lan Wangji’s gaze still on him. He was blinking slowly, like a cat in the warm sun, and Wei Wuxian couldn’t help a small smile at seeing Lan Wangji so relaxed. He could understand why couples would want to do this. To share this tranquil peace with each other, relaxed and secluded.

But Lan Wangji wasn’t his. Wei Wuxian closed his eyes again.

***

They left the spa and returned to their room in a peaceful silence that Wei Wuxian was loath to break. Due to their booked pedicures, they hadn’t had time to shower in the spa to sluice off the excess massage oils, so both needed to rinse before putting on their suits for the evening events.

Wei Wuxian let Lan Wangji shower first and, while he was in the bathroom, Wei Wuxian tried to put his suitcase into a little more order, in case he had to shift it to the other room. He also laid out his and Lan Wangji’s suits on the bed.

Lan Wangji came out of the bathroom in just a low-slung towel, but Wei Wuxian made himself look away and went to take his own shower. When he came back out Lan Wangji was more decently attired in his shirt and trousers, doing up his cufflinks. He stopped to watch Wei Wuxian as he passed by and Wei Wuxian knew that his skin was pink from more than just the hot water.

Lan Wangji turned away politely when Wei Wuxian tugged on his underwear and trousers. When Wei Wuxian was struggling to do up his own cufflinks, Lan Wangji came silently over to help.

“Thanks, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian felt his voice crack slightly and he laughed, but the charged anticipation in the room remained. Wei Wuxian knew that he was the cause. They would usually be talking, but Wei Wuxian couldn’t think of anything to say. His head was completely taken over by the conversation he was going to have with Lan Wangji.

Wei Wuxian almost blurted it all out then and there. However, he had a moment of clarity that it might be inappropriate to dump his feelings all over Lan Wangji while actually in the room they had slept in and while they were only partially dressed. He would have to wait.

They finished dressing. Wei Wuxian adjusted his tie, running a finger around the collar of the shirt to make sure it was sitting correctly. He turned to pick up his jacket only to find Lan Wangji already holding it out for him. Wei Wuxian smiled and turned, allowing Lan Wangji to help him on with it. Lan Wangji smoothed his hands over Wei Wuxian’s shoulders to settle the jacket. Wei Wuxian turned back to him and Lan Wangji was standing too close.

Wei Wuxian let out a nervous laugh, but he had never felt less humour in his life. “Uh, how do I look?” He held out his arms to each side.

Lan Wangji stepped back and ran his eyes all the way down Wei Wuxian, just like he had done in the spa. When their eyes met again Lan Wangji smiled. “You look beautiful.”

Wei Wuxian’s face broke into a surprised grin and he knew he was blushing. “Beautiful? Ah, thank you, Lan Zhan.” He ducked his head away from Lan Wangji’s face. Oh, he was so done for.

Wei Wuxian didn’t allow himself to comment on how amazing Lan Wangji looked. He would usually have been waxing lyrical about exactly how handsome Lan Wangji was and how great the suit looked on him, but he couldn’t. Not now, not just before he told Lan Wangji that he meant every word of it.

Instead he took a deep breath and lifted his head. “We have some time before dinner, can we take a walk?” His hands were shaking, but he was doing it. No backing out.

They walked out past a children’s play area, following a path into a part of the hotel gardens that Wei Wuxian had run past multiple times that morning. He remembered seeing a small folly set quite far back on a small knoll. The paths were lit up with solar spotlights and fairy lights that had a soft, warm hue. The sun had not long set, giving the sky a false sense of brightness, while offering limited illumination on the ground. The lights along the path seemed to highlight the dusk rather than pierce it.

Lan Wangji had taken Wei Wuxian’s hand when they had passed through the lobby and Wei Wuxian wanted to continue like that, but given what he was about to confess, it felt like he was taking advantage. He loosed their hands and pointed out the folly. They walked towards it.

The folly was lit up, some of the light spilling over onto the grass surrounding it. Wei Wuxian led them to the grass slope instead. He felt like he would be able to do this better if he couldn’t see Lan Wangji’s face lit up as clearly.

As Wei Wuxian went to sit, he realised that despite it having been a warm, dry day, the grass might have some evening condensation. They could sit elsewhere, but Wei Wuxian didn’t want to. Everywhere else felt too exposed. Too much like Lan Wangji would be able to look at his face. He paused for a moment and then stripped off his jacket, laying it out on the ground for them to sit on.

Lan Wangji didn’t sit. “Wei Ying, it might get dirty.”

Wei Wuxian shrugged. “Better it than our trousers.” He sat down, legs stretched out, and patted the jacket next to him. Lan Wangji finally joined him, definitely sitting closer than he needed to. Wei Wuxian didn’t know why; there wasn’t anyone around to see.

They sat in silence for a few moments and Wei Wuxian looked down at Lan Wangji’s hands where he had them folded neatly on his lap. He should have relished the hand holding more while it was happening. It had likely been his last chance to do it.

Wei Wuxian rubbed his fingers on the thighs of his trousers. “Lan Zhan. I need to tell you something, but I need you to promise some things first.”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji seemed to be watching Wei Wuxian’s hands.

“Okay, you need to promise that you won’t look at me while I tell you and“ - Wei Wuxian swallowed, his throat dry - “and that you won’t hate me afterwards.”

Out of the corner of his eye, Wei Wuxian saw Lan Wangji turn his head to face him. “Wei Ying-“

Wei Wuxian held up a hand. “Do you promise?”

Lan Wangji paused and then turned away again. “I promise I will not look at you while you tell me and I will never hate you.”

Wei Wuxian wasn’t so sure, but he blew out a breath. He glanced at Lan Wangji to be sure he was facing ahead.

“Okay. I’m sorry I asked you to come with me and lie for me. It was a really bad idea and I’m sorry I roped you into it.” Wei Wuxian took a breath, but pushed on so that Lan Wangji would not think he was finished. “I’ve looked into booking another room as I didn’t think it was a good idea for us to share again tonight, considering what I’m about to tell you.” Wei Wuxian heard Lan Wangji take a breath as though to speak, but he kept his promise and subsided.

Wei Wuxian closed his eyes and continued. “See, the thing is, Lan Zhan, I’m really into you. I like you, a lot. And I know that you don’t think of me that way, which is fine. I was doing fine back home because I’d flirt with you and you’d ignore it. I knew where I stood and I could manage it.” Wei Wuxian pulled his knees up so he could wrap his arms around them. “But here, with you pretending, it’s got me all confused, so I need to ask you to please stop because I can’t keep feeling like this.”

Wei Wuxian was aware how pathetic he sounded but he needed to get it all out. “I don’t want you to feel uncomfortable now that you know. So if you want, I can stay in the other room tonight and then when we go home we can go back to how things were.” Wei Wuxian hugged his knees more tightly, voice dropping low. “I promise I won’t make it weird for you, Lan Zhan.”

To his horror, Wei Wuxian realised that he was close to crying. Wow, he really was pulling out all of the stops to make Lan Wangji feel as awkward as possible. He breathed deeply and tried not to let the couple of stray tears fall on his knees, blinking fiercely up at the sky.

Next to him Lan Wangji said nothing. Wei Wuxian waited until he remembered that Lan Wangji wouldn’t know he was finished.

He sighed. “Okay, I’m done.”

Wei Wuxian kept his eyes upwards, tracing the sky for the few stars he could see starting to come out. He heard rather than saw Lan Wangji turn to face him.

“Wei Ying-“ Lan Wangji hesitated and Wei Wuxian felt the guilt of having sprung all of this on Lan Wangji.

“It’s okay, Lan Zhan, you don’t have to say anything-“ A hand came up to cover Wei Wuxian’s mouth and he turned with surprise to Lan Wangji.

“It’s my turn.” Lan Wangji’s face was serious in the dim light so Wei Wuxian nodded, Lan Wangji’s hand still in place. “Wei Ying, I thought that you were straight.” He could have pushed Lan Wangji’s hand away but instead he shrugged and shook his head, indicating that he didn’t understand the point Lan Wangji was making. Lan Wangji smiled - smiled? - and removed his hand. “I knew you were flirting, but I thought it was teasing because you were straight.”

Wei Wuxian’s eyes shifted aside as he thought. Yes, Lan Wangji had thought he was straight. Then his eyes widened. “So you thought I was messing with you?”

Lan Wangji shook his head. “No, not to be cruel, I know Wei Ying is not that. But I presumed that you did it to tease, maybe as a way that you expressed friendship.”

Wei Wuxian shook his head. “No, I - I -“

“I know that now. When you told me on Thursday I thought again, and I wondered if I might have been wrong.” Lan Wangji cut his eyes away to look at the garden. “I thought I would flirt back in case you did mean it.”

“You were flirting back on purpose?” Wei Wuxian released his knees, turning towards Lan Wangji.

Lan Wangji turned his gaze back and Wei Wuxian felt pinned by it. “Yes, on purpose.” He reached over and slipped his hand into Wei Wuxian’s. Wei Wuxian felt his heart start stuttering too fast and gripped back, probably too hard.

“Holy shit,” Wei Wuxian whispered.

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji leaned closer. “I really like you.”

He hadn’t prepared for this outcome. He tried to reconcile this to his sense of reality and failed. Possibly he was dreaming. “You do?”

“Mn. I should not have assumed I knew your sexuality, or your feelings.” Lan Wangji looked so earnest. It was adorable.

“It’s okay, Lan Zhan, I did the same to you. Which is ridiculous, because I’m the one always saying that we shouldn’t make assumptions about other people’s sexuality.” He looked at Lan Wangji, whose eyes kept dropping to Wei Wuxian’s mouth, but he still needed more information. “How long?”

He didn’t have to explain further, Lan Wangji understood what he was asking. “Since we met.”

“What?” Wei Wuxian’s eyes went wide and he shook his head. It couldn’t possibly be true.

Lan Wangji leaned in to press their foreheads together. “Wei Ying, I have wanted you since the day we met.”

“But that can’t be right! You hated me.” Jiang Cheng had mocked him for years over how he had become friends with Lan Wangji through the judicious use of wearing his hate down into submission.

Lan Wangji shook his head this time. “I didn’t want to want you, and dealt with it poorly. Then I fell in love with you and it took me time to to deal with being in love with my ‘straight’ friend.”

Wei Wuxian tucked his head into Lan Wangji’s neck. “Lan Zhaaaan. Oh my god. You can’t just tell me these things. I’m so in love with you and you’re telling me I could have had this from the beginning? If only I’d said something?”

Lan Wangji wrapped his arms around Wei Wuxian, pulling him in. “Mn. If either of us had said something.”

They were so close now and Wei Wuxian watched Lan Wangji’s eyes drop to his lips again. He thought back to the mind-blowing kisses from the morning before and his breath caught. He finally closed the last bit of distance to press his lips to Lan Wangji’s. It was everything he remembered and better, because it was real. Lan Wangji was kissing him, because he wanted to.

It was everything; it was not enough. Wei Wuxian’s relief and reassurance, mixed with heady desire, left him breathless. He knew he should be kissing less frantically, but Lan Wangji was matching him, kiss for kiss, touch for touch, like he, too, felt a little out of control.

Wei Wuxian pulled back, holding Lan Wangji away from him by his shoulders. “Fuck, fuck. Lan Zhan. New rule. From now on we have to actually tell each other what we’re thinking.”

Lan Wangji leaned in and dropped a perfect, tender kiss on his lips. “It’s a good rule.” He kissed Wei Wuxian again and Wei Wuxian thought that he could happily do nothing else for the rest of his life. Food, water, sleep: none of them were needed any more, just Lan Wangji kissing him.

Lan Wangji eventually pulled away slightly, lips still touching Wei Wuxian’s. He sounded slightly breathless. “Wei Ying-”

Wei Wuxian kissed Lan Wangji’s lower lip. “Yes?”

“Wei Ying, I am thinking that I don’t want to go for dinner.” Another kiss. “And I do not want you to stay in another room tonight.”

Wei Wuxian lay down on the grass and pulled Lan Wangji down with him until they were lying pressed together. Lan Wangji rolled them so he was on top of Wei Wuxian, legs tangled.

“Lan Zhan, I am also thinking that dinner is going to be interminable and cannot wait to get you into our room and out of that damn suit. It is unfair how hot you look in it.” He could get used to this kind of radical honesty between them.

He pulled Lan Wangji down to kiss him again, and this time it was intense rather than frantic. It was hot and deep, Lan Wangji’s lips and tongue, every part making Wei Wuxian’s body light up. He found himself unconsciously pushing his hips up to meet Lan Wangji’s and barely suppressed a fractured sigh at finding Lan Wangji was as hard as he was. The knowledge that he was feeling Lan Wangji’s cock and that Lan Wangji was hard because he wanted Wei Wuxian, that he had wanted him this whole time… He thought back to the two mornings of waking up hard against Lan Wangji and wished he could go back to take advantage of being in a bed.

“Oh my god, what are you doing?” Jiang Cheng's voice was too high and much too close.

Wei Wuxian broke the kiss and turned his head to see Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang walking along the nearby path through the gardens. Lan Wangji rolled off him and they both sat up quickly.

Wei Wuxian coughed. “We’re kissing, what does it look like?”

Jiang Cheng made an offended noise. “Yes, but you have a room. Why are you doing that here.”

Wei Wuxian turned back to Lan Wangji whose face was still right there, close enough to kiss again. “He makes a good point, Lan Zhan. We do have a room.”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji closed the distance to kiss him again, like he couldn’t do it enough, and Wei Wuxian couldn’t help smiling into it.

They kissed until Jiang Cheng made another appalled sound. “You know that dinner is in fifteen minutes?”

Wei Wuxian hummed acknowledgement into the kiss and heard Jiang Cheng mumble and stomp away.

“Don’t do anything I wouldn’t.” Nie Huaisang’s voice was dry and amused before his lighter footsteps also retreated.

Wei Wuxian pulled away from Lan Wangji again.

“Lan Zhan, you are a cruel man. I love it.” He pecked a last kiss onto Lan Wangji’s lips and stood up, reaching out a hand to help Lan Wangji to his feet. Lan Wangji stood and wrapped his arms around Wei Wuxian, pressing hot, open-mouthed kisses to Wei Wuxian’s neck. Wei Wuxian arched into them, then he pulled away. “We have to get back.”

He leaned down to pick up his jacket. As he bent over, Lan Wangji pressed up behind him and Wei Wuxian felt Lan Wangji’s cock pressed firmly against his ass. Wei Wuxian felt a deep flush of desire flood through him and he almost panted with it. Rather than straightening up he pushed back against Lan Wangji, who brought his hands up to grip Wei Wuxian’s hips and rock against him.

“You look good like this.” Lan Wangji’s voice was low and filthy. Wei Wuxian imagined if they could just stay here. Lan Wangji would reach around and unfasten his trousers, dropping them enough to get access. Then he would undo his own trousers, leaving them skin against skin, so Lan Wangji could...

Wei Wuxian stood up and turned to Lan Wangji, crashing against him to kiss him just as dirty and hot as he was feeling. Lan Wangji’s hands moved back to his hips, pulling Wei Wuxian’s cock firmly against his own.

Wei Wuxian dragged his mouth away. “Lan Zhan, I had no idea that you were insatiable and I really wish you hadn’t let me know just before we have to go and have dinner with my whole damn family.” He moved his hand in to press against Lan Wangji’s cock. “How the hell am I meant to make polite conversation when I know that this is waiting for me?”

Lan Wangji covered Wei Wuxian’s hand and pressed it firmer against his hard cock. “We could skip dinner.”

Never in his life had Wei Wuxian thought that he would have to be the one who explained to Lan Wangji that they could not duck out on an obligation. Especially when the alternative was getting to fuck Lan Wangji, something that his whole body was crying out for.

He stepped away, pulling Lan Wangji’s hands off him and putting himself out of reach. “You have no idea how much I want to skip dinner, but we can’t.”

Lan Wangji looked stubborn for a few moments and Wei Wuxian thought he was going to just step back in to kiss him again. If he had, Wei Wuxian didn’t think he would have the willpower to deny it a second time. He would drag Lan Wangji behind the folly and they would just have to be late to dinner, covered in grass stains.

However, Lan Wangji looked away from him. “Mn.”

Wei Wuxian grinned. He ducked to grab his jacket back off the ground and shook it out. He held it out to check it. It was wrinkled, but not stained. Lan Wangji plucked it from his hands and held it out to help him put it on, like back in the room. His hands again smoothed over Wei Wuxian’s shoulders, and this time Wei Wuxian knew that he was doing it deliberately.

He turned back to Lan Wangji. “We need to walk back, but you can’t hold my hand until we’re in the hotel.” He laughed self-consciously. “I’m going to need a few minutes until I’m able to be seen in public and you holding my hand won’t help.” Lan Wangji scowled and Wei Wuxian laughed.

They cancelled the other room on their way through the lobby.

***

Dinner was unbearable. Wei Wuxian tried to keep his eyes off Lan Wangji, but he was right there, hand on Wei Wuxian’s hand, on his thigh, on his arm. Every touch was electric and Wei Wuxian knew that his face was permanently blushing. He hoped that people put it down to alcohol, even though he had just been nursing the one glass of wine.

Every time he turned to look at Lan Wangji, eyes drawn hopelessly, Lan Wangji turned and caught his glance. They would stare at each other for aching seconds until someone either said something to catch their attention or Wei Wuxian blushed further and pulled his eyes away. He couldn’t stop remembering being bent over with Lan Wangji pressing up hard against him. It didn’t help that, whenever possible, Lan Wangji would rest his hand on his thigh, too high for it to be anything other than too close.

Wei Wuxian had known Lan Wangji long enough to know that the cool exterior hid a deep complexity. But he had not been prepared for rule-following Lan Wangji to be the type of person who would almost be touching Wei Wuxian’s dick while at the table with his family.

Auntie Yu made plenty of her usual comments about him, but Wei Wuxian didn’t really hear them. At one point he missed something she said entirely when Lan Wangji’s fingers stroked his inner thigh and he nearly choked on a sip of water. It was only the shuttered faces around the table that alerted him to it. He wasn’t concerned. It was difficult to be annoyed about some insult you hadn’t heard because your - boyfriend? - was too eager to get his hand on your cock.

There were toasts, congratulations, and they all gave their family gifts to Uncle Jiang. Jiang Cheng had been throwing more and more confused glances at him as the meal went on. Wei Wuxian knew he was being quiet, but he couldn’t just stand up and announce that no, really, Lan Wangji wanted him! For real! And his mind had no room for anything else.

When the meal ended Jiang Cheng and Yanli suggested going back to the bar to have a few drinks.

“Um, we need to pop back the room for a little bit first. We’ll meet you there.” There was no way that Wei Wuxian was going to make it through drinks.

“Come on, you can wait until after you’ve had drinks with your siblings to have sex with your boyfriend,” Jiang Cheng scoffed.

Wei Wuxian really didn’t think he could, but Jiang Cheng and Yanli insisted and they didn’t know that anything had changed. What kind of brother would give up more time with the siblings he didn’t see that often to have sex with the boyfriend he had been sleeping with for five months and who he lived with?

They went for drinks. It was so unfair and all his own fault.

Lan Wangji went to the bar again, his lime and soda right there, but Wei Wuxian couldn’t bring himself to do his old straw-flirting act. It seemed entirely not enough when he had felt Lan Wangji’s tongue in his mouth and was desperate to get on his knees for him.

After half an hour of enjoyable but excruciating conversation, Wei Wuxian excused himself to go to the bathroom and gave Lan Wangji a pointed look as he got up. He leaned against the wall, expecting to wait a few minutes, but Lan Wangji walked in after about thirty seconds and immediately shoved Wei Wuxian up against the sink counter, kissing the life out of him. Wei Wuxian hopped up on the counter, spreading his legs so Lan Wangji could get as close as possible.

Lan Wangji kissed down Wei Wuxian’s jaw, teeth touching but not biting. He groaned at the thought of Lan Wangji biting down as he licked and kissed down Wei Wuxian’s throat. Wei Wuxian wrapped his legs around Lan Wangji, shifting his own hips forward to get some friction against his cock, which was so hard he thought he might pass out from it.

The door to the bathroom opened and Wei Wuxian whined, burying his head in Lan Wangji’s neck so he didn’t have to see who it was. He didn’t care as long as it wasn’t Jiang Cheng again. Lan Wangji pressed a hand to the back of his head, holding him there.

“Lan Wangji,” a voice said in greeting.

“Jin Zixuan,” Lan Wangji replied. His voice was steady, as though they had just met at a dinner party, instead of the reality that he had caught Lan Wangji practically fucking Wei Wuxian in the mensroom.

Wei Wuxian started to giggle, trying to stifle it against Lan Wangji’s neck. His shoulders were shaking with it. Lan Wangji gripped him harder.

Wei Wuxian heard Jin Zixuan walk over to the urinals and the sound of a zip. He finally lifted his head to look at Lan Wangji and when their eyes met Wei Wuxian started laughing even harder. Lan Wangji helped him down off the counter and Wei Wuxian leaned against him, trying to catch his breath.

Jin Zuxuan apparently finished and approached the sinks to wash his hands. He had a small smile on his face and Wei Wuxian looked away to not set himself off again. When Jin Zixuan had finished drying his hands he walked back over to the door before pausing.

“Just do you know, your brother needs the bathroom.” He walked out and the door closed behind him.

Wei Wuxian looked back at Lan Wangji and pulled a face. “Shall we?” He indicated the door.

Lan Wangji kissed him. “Mn.”

They left together; there was no point in trying to pretend that they had been doing anything else. When they made it back to the table, Jiang Cheng muttered something and stalked off to the bathroom. Yanli beamed at them and Nie Huaisang raised an eyebrow.

Wei Wuxian coughed. “Er, anyone need another drink?”

Eventually, after a few more drinks, Wei Wuxian finally excused them and gripped Lan Wangji’s hand too tight as they made their way through the winding corridors. They hadn’t even made it into the room before Lan Wangji was touching him. Wei Wuxian was using the keycard to open the door and Lan Wangji pressed up behind him, arms snaking around Wei Wuxian’s waist and his mouth kissing Wei Wuxian’s neck.

Wei Wuxian laughed. “Lan Zhan, wait a second.” The stupid light on the card reader would not go green.

“Mn. I’ve waited long enough.” More kisses on Wei Wuxian’s neck. “No more waiting.”

The keycard finally worked and the door swung open. Wei Wuxian stumbled through, Lan Wangji’s arms holding him upright. The door closed behind them with a slam and Wei Wuxian turned around. Lan Wangji brought both hands up to hold Wei Wuxian’s face and kissed him fiercely. Wei Wuxian pushed Lan Wangji backwards until he bumped up against the door; then he pulled away and dropped to his knees.

Lan Wangji’s hands immediately came up to fist in his hair. “Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian grabbed Lan Wangji’s hips and leaned forward, mouthing at Lan Wangji’s cock over his trousers. “Oh god, Lan Zhan, I’ve thought about this so many times.” He reached up to undo Lan Wangji’s trousers, fumbling until he could push them down, drawing Lan Wangji’s cock out and making an extremely undignified sound as he got it in his hand. “Fuck.” He had imagined getting to do this so many times he felt dizzy with want.

Wei Wuxian licked a strip up Lan Wangji’s cock and Lan Wangji’s hands tightened in his hair. He moaned his approval as he opened his mouth around Lan Wangji, taking him in as far as he could, savouring the taste and smell. He palmed his own cock at the thought that this was Lan Wangji’s cock that he was tasting. This is what sex with Lan Wangji smelled like. He moaned again, wondering if he was going to come just from this.

Wei Wuxian wrapped one fist around the base of Lan Wangji’s cock, where his mouth couldn’t quite reach. He worked his hand and mouth in concert, using the small gasps and noises from Lan Wangji to hone in on what worked best. He wanted to learn everything that Lan Wangji loved and do it for him, over and over.

Wei Wuxian felt Lan Wangji’s cock tightening as he got closer, but Lan Wangji’s hands stopped him.

“No, Wei Ying, it’s too soon.” His voice was wrecked and Wei Wuxian had to press a firm hand against his own cock at the sound of it.

He pressed a sweet kiss to the tip of Lan Wangji’s cock. “Well, you’ll just have to come more than once, then.” Wei Wuxian lifted his eyes to meet Lan Wangji’s and licked the tip. Lan Wangji’s lips parted and he thrust forward again, his cock pushing again into Wei Wuxian’s welcoming mouth.

Lan Wangji held his head still, tugging on his hair while he fucked into Wei Wuxian’s mouth, open, desperate and willing. Wei Wuxian used his tongue to run back and forth on the sensitive underside, over and over. Lan Wangji rocked forward and then was panting his name and coming, hot and messy into Wei Wuxian’s mouth.

They held there for a few seconds before Wei Wuxian pulled off, running his tongue along Lan Wangji’s cock again and swallowing. Lan Wangji shuddered.

Wei Wuxian sat back on his haunches and smiled up at Lan Wangji. “That was so fucking hot.”

Lan Wangji looked down at him, mouth open and eyes wide. Wei Wuxian had never seen him so destroyed. He wanted to do it again. Lan Wangji reached down and pulled Wei Wuxian to his feet. Wei Wuxian went easily and sank into an open-mouthed kiss.

“Do you like tasting yourself in my mouth?” Wei Wuxian teased, trying to fluster Lan Wangji.

Lan Wangji's rubbed his thumb over Wei Wuxian’s bottom lip and then pushed it in and out of his mouth. “Yes.”

“Fucking hell, Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian complained.

He dropped a hand to undo his own trousers and get a hand on his cock, but Lan Wangji pulled his hand away to do it himself. While he unbuttoned and unzipped, he looked Wei Wuxian in the eye. When he slipped his hand into Wei Wuxian’s underwear and around his cock, Lan Wangji finally kissed him. Wei Wuxian was so close that he had to immediately break the kiss to pant against Lan Wangji’s mouth.

“Lan Zhan, fuck, fuck-” Wei Wuxian couldn’t control the words spilling from his mouth. Lan Wangji’s grip was perfect and it only took a few firm strokes before Wei Wuxian was coming, legs buckling and Lan Wangji holding him up.

“Shit.” He pressed his lips to Lan Wangji’s neck. “Wow.”

Lan Wangji gently kissed his head in return. “Mn.”

They stood like that for a minute or so before Wei Wuxian pushed himself to stand up and look at Lan Wangji.

“Lan Zhan, we just had sex,” Wei Wuxian said. Lan Wangji kissed him. Lan Wangji. Who he had blown up against the door.

“Mn,” Lan Wangji said. He seemed to be rolling with it a little better than Wei Wuxian, though. Like a floodgate had been opened and Lan Wangji was the water, just powering through, happily filling up the...basin?

Wei Wuxian burst out laughing. “Lan Zhan, I think you made me come my brains out.” Lan Wangji pulled back to frown at him, slight distaste on his face at Wei Wuxian’s turn of phrase. Wei Wuxian tried to explain. “I am having some weird thought processes.”

Lan Wangji looked down at him. “Maybe getting undressed will help.”

Wei Wuxian grinned at him. “Yeah, I’m sure it will.”

They moved further into the room and starting to strip. Wei Wuxian threw his suit off to the side, not caring for neatness at this point. He kept getting distracted by the skin being revealed by Lan Wangji’s undressing and Lan Wangji seemed as distracted by him.

When Lan Wangji was naked he came up and wrapped his arms around Wei Wuxian, who was still in his boxer-briefs.

“Let me help.” Lan Wangji wrapped his arms around Wei Wuxian, sliding his hands up to his shoulders and then down his back to push under the waistband of his underwear. His hands gripped Wei Wuxian’s ass and then continued down, pushing the boxer-briefs down Wei Wuxian’s thighs until they dropped to the floor.

They kissed and Wei Wuxian marvelled at how breathtaking it felt to have all of Lan Wangji’s skin against his. He deliberately wriggled against Lan Wangji who huffed a small laugh and tightened his grip to hold Wei Wuxian still. Lan Wangji maneuvered them over towards the bed.

Neither was looking where they were going, so when they reached the bed their legs jerked awkwardly against it and they crashed down onto the mattress. Wei Wuxian laughed and rolled onto his back, pulling Lan Wangji on top of him, still kissing.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxuan said. Lan Wangji kissed down his jaw, using his teeth on the tender skin behind his ear. Wei Wuxian gasped. “Lan Zhan.”

Lan Wangji pulled away. “Mn?”

“No, don’t stop.” He spread his knees so that Lan Wangji was lying between them. “I just like saying your name.”

Lan Wangji leaned back in to kiss him and Wei Wuxian wrapped his legs around him to pull him closer. Lan Wangji’s cock, getting hard again, pressed against his own, which twitched with interest. Lan Wangji rocked their hips together and Wei Wuxian groaned enthusiastically.

Wei Wuxian had a thought. “Hey,” he said, as Lan Wangji kissed down his jaw. “There’s, um, there’s no chance that you brought any condoms with you, is there?”

Lan Wangji paused and pulled away, looking down at Wei Wuxian from too close. “I didn’t.”

Wei Wuxian groaned. “I guess we’re waiting for another time for you to fuck me, then.” Lan Wangji’s hips jerked and he kissed Wei Wuxian roughly.

They kissed and rocked against each other. Wei Wuxian considered getting a hand between them, but the friction was glorious as it was. The sense of desperation had been replaced by this slow, intense kissing and touching. With Lan Wangji pushing down on top of him...it was perfect.

“Lan Zhan, you’re going to kill me,” Wei Wuxian murmured.

Lan Wangji hummed and rocked against him harder, causing Wei Wuxian to gasp with how good it felt, his whole body alight. Time seemed suspended as they kissed and moved against each other. It felt like it would never end, but the pleasure built and built, his whole body chasing it as he got closer and closer. Lan Wangji mouthed at his neck and rocked against him. Wei Wuxian’s hands ran down to grab Lan Wangji’s ass and pull him closer, grinding harder and harder, arching into it until everything went white and gasped as he came, breath stuttering. Lan Wangji rocked him through it, kissing his face and saying his name in a voice that made Wei Wuxian feel like he was coming all over again.

He felt Lan Wangji’s hand between them, wrapping it around his cock and stroking himself as he continued to kiss Wei Wuxian’s neck.

Wei Wuxian pulled him close and whispered in his ear. “Lan Zhan, are you going to come on me? Do it. I want you to.”

Lan Wangji’s whole body shuddered as he came and Wei Wuxian arched with him. It was the most incredible feeling, filthy and hot and exquisite. Lan Wangji’s face was buried in Wei Wuxian’s neck, body shaking, and he realised that Lan Wangji was saying his name into his skin.

“I’m here, Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian kissed his hair, stroking his hands up and down Lan Wangji’s back. Finally his breathing returned to normal and Lan Wangji lifted his head again to look at Wei Wuxian. He brought a hand up to cup Wei Wuxian’s jaw. His eyes roamed all over Wei Wuxian’s face, like he was trying to memorise it.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian said, feeling like no words could encompass all of the emotions he was feeling. “I can’t believe I get to keep you.”

Lan Wangji touched Wei Wuxian’s cheek. “Forever.”

***


MONDAY

On Monday morning Wei Wuxian woke up with Lan Wangji’s arms wrapped around him again, and for a few moments he felt a confused deja vu. They were still fake dating and Wei Wuxian was going to have to sneak out of the bed for a cold shower again. Yesterday had been an intense and satisfying dream.

Then his brain caught up and he smiled sleepily, pressing back against Lan Wangji’s cock, exactly in the way he had wanted to yesterday morning. This time there weren’t any pyjamas between them; they had gone to sleep naked together. He was rewarded by a slow, gentle and languorous exhale from Lan Wangji, his breath hot across Wei Wuxian’s neck.

Wei Wuxian rocked back again, gasping slightly as it caused Lan Wangji’s cock to push between his cheeks. Lan Wangji’s arm around Wei Wuxian’s waist tightened and his hips joined in the press.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Wangji’s voice was low and husky. He sounded slightly puzzled, like he was also waking up and remembering.

Wei Wuxian hummed and Lan Wangji inhaled deeply, like he was smelling Wei Wuxian. He kissed Wei Wuxian’s neck and pressed up against him again. Wei Wuxian lifted his leg slightly to let Lan Wangji’s cock slide between his thighs, then dropped it back to clench tight. Lan Wangji made a small noise and rocked into the new friction, his palm a brand on Wei Wuxian’s stomach.

Wei Wuxian pushed back every time Lan Wangji thrust forwards. He was just wondering if he would have to prompt Lan Wangji to touch him when Lan Wangji moved his hand down to Wei Wuxian’s cock. As he wrapped his strong fingers around, Wei Wuxian let out a gasping breath. Lan Wangji’s hand was firm on his cock and the drag of Lan Wangji behind his balls was sending sparks of pleasure up his spine.

Lan Wangji’s panted heavily against his neck, his mouth pressed close to Wei Wuxian’s ear, and Wei Wuxian thought he could likely come just from the sound of it.

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji’s voice was hoarse with need and it was enough to push Wei Wuxian over the edge. He came hard, Lan Wangji’s hand stroking him through it as his mouth stuttered sounds he couldn’t control.

As he caught his breath, Lan Wangji’s hand moved to grip Wei Wuxian’s hip, slowing his slide between Wei Wuxian’s thighs. Wei Wuxian covered Lan Wangji’s hand with his own and rocked back against him. Lan Wangji hummed and kissed behind Wei Wuxian’s ear, speed building until he was thrusting urgently, panting and then coming, gripping Wei Wuxian tight. It was the most amazing thing, second only to everything they had done the day before and everything else they were going to do, every day.

Wei Wuxian huffed a small laugh. “I’m glad yesterday wasn’t a dream.”

Lan Wangji kissed his neck again. “Mn.”

“I thought it was, when I first woke up. After waking up all over you on Friday morning I thought I was the sleep octopus, but it seems that title goes to you.” He shifted onto his back so he could see Lan Wangji, to kiss him good morning. Lan Wangji kissed him back, but didn’t say anything. Wei Wuxian pulled back out of the kiss to look at him. “What?”

Lan Wangji’s eyes cut away, a slight guilty expression on his face. “I have a confession to make.”

Wei Wuxian was thrilled, grinning widely. “Oh really? What did you do?”

“You felt guilty about sleeping so close on Friday, however, I enjoyed waking up that way very much.” Lan Wangji still wouldn’t look at him and his ears were bright red. Wei Wuxian gave an exaggerated hum of interest to prompt him to continue. “When you did the same on Saturday I knew you would feel guilty again and not want to talk about it, so I rolled us so that I could spoon you instead.”

Wei Wuxian burst out laughing. “Lan Zhan! So sneaky!”

Lan Wangji shook his head slightly. “I should not have done so, not without your permission.”

Wei Wuxian reached up to kiss Lan Wangji. “How about I give you retroactive permission? Does that count?” Lan Wangji pulled him back into a kiss in answer, but Wei Wuxian pulled away again. “Wait, does that mean that you did this same this morning?” Lan Wangji’s expression gave his answer and Weu Wuxian started laughing again. “Lan Zhan, you can spoon me whenever you want. I give you full approval.”

Lan Wangji’s eyes darkened and he climbed on top of Wei Wuxian.

Afterwards Lan Wangji joined him in the shower and they languidly kissed and washed each other. Wei Wuxian thought he could happily spend the whole day getting used to touching Lan Wangji everywhere, but the final breakfast before everyone was leaving was waiting for them.

As they settled in to eat, Wei Wuxian remembered Jin Zixuan walking into the mensroom and the look on everyone’s faces when they returned to the table in the bar last night. He couldn’t help feeling like everyone should have been asking all of the questions about him and Lan Wangji again, now that he wanted to answer them. He wanted to jump on the breakfast table and announce everything to the entire room. All of the attention that had been making him feel awkward on the previous days, he now found himself craving.

It was extremely annoying and Wei Wuxian only got through it by gripping Lan Wangji’s hand tightly and reminding himself that it was actually happening.

The drive home was strangely normal, except Wei Wuxian got to touch Lan Wangji whenever he wanted to and enjoyed Lan Wangji resting his hand on Wei Wuxian’s leg. As they got closer to home the hand drifted further up Wei Wuxian’s thigh. Wei Wuxian grinned over at him and put his own hand on Lan Wangji’s thigh, fingers spreading out. Lan Wangji reached down and moved Wei Wuxian’s hand to cup his cock, which was rock hard.

“Fucking hell.” Wei Wuxian squeezed, feeling his own cock twitch in response. “Are we there yet?”

Lan Wangji moved Wei Wuxian’s hand away again, but Wei Wuxian reached over to slide it back into place.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji complained, voice strained.

“What?” We Wuxian went for his most innocent tone. “You started it.”

Lan Wangji didn’t move his hand away again. Wei Wuxian pressed his other hand against his own cock to convince it that they had to wait.

When they finally parked up, there was a heavy tension between them as they grabbed their suitcases from the back of the car and made their way in to their apartment door. Wei Wuxian pulled out the key and nearly fumbled it as Lan Wangji crowded up behind him. Wei Wuxian wondered if he would spend the rest of his life being manhandled through doors by Lan Wangji.

When the door closed, Lan Wangji grabbed him from behind and wrapped one arm around his waist, pulling Wei Wuxian against him and pressing his cock against Wei Wuxian’s ass. Lan Wangji’s other hand reached around and started to undo Wei Wuxian’s trousers.

Wei Wuxian let his head fall back on Lan Wangji’s shoulder. “Lan Zhan-” He panted out a breath as Lan Wangji got his trousers open and palmed Wei Wuxian’s cock over his underwear. “Would you prefer to do this into one of our bedrooms?”

Lan Wangji kissed his neck, nipping small bites. “No.”

Wei Wuxian whimpered with sensory overload as Lan Wangji moved his hand from around Wei Wuxian’s waist and pushed up under his t-shirt, finding his nipple and pinching it. It made Wei Wuxian shudder with sparks that went straight to his groin.

Lan Wangji was still rocking his cock up against Wei Wuxian’s ass with long thrusts, hand stroking against Wei Wuxian’s cock in rhythm. It was unbelievably hot. Wei Wuxian was pretty sure he wasn't going to be able to keep his legs under him, but Lan Wangji’s arms seemed very sure. He let himself melt into the feeling, rocking his own hips in turn, resting his hands on Lan Wangji’s forearms, holding on.

Lan Wangji’s breath was coming harder and faster; Wei Wuxian was sure that he would have marks on his neck from Lan Wangji’s mouth and teeth. The hand on Wei Wuxian’s nipple swapped across to the other one, rolling it in his fingers and sending more shooting stars of pleasure through Wei Wuxian’s entire body.

Just when Wei Wuxian thought that he might come in his pants, Lan Wangji finally pushed Wei Wuxian’s underwear down, shoving them and his trousers down below his hips.

Lan Wangji then tilted his own hips away. Wei Wuxian moaned for him to come back. He felt and heard Lan Wangji opening his trousers and it was only a few seconds before he had the heat of Lan Wangji’s cock pressing against him again, this time skin to skin. Finally, Lan Wangji’s hand came back and wrapped around Wei Wuxian’s cock.

“Oh, fuck.” Wei Wuxian thrust his hips into Lan Wangji’s fist, breath coming faster now, and Lan Wangji’s cock pressing into Wei Wuxian’s crease, stroking there. Wei Wuxian turned his head to meet Lan Wangji’s lips and they kissed, rough and wet.

Lan Wangji rocked them faster and harder, drawing gasping moans from Wei Wuxian against Lan Wangji’s mouth. Wei Wuxian felt his legs starting to buckle and Lan Wangji widened his stance to hold them both up. Wei Wuxian wanted it to last forever, but it was so hot, so much. He couldn’t help but picture how debauched they must look and the thought finally pushed him over the edge. He came hard, hips bucking and spilling into Lan Wangji’s hand. He let out a deep, involuntary moan, shuddering, Lan Wangji’s grip the only thing keeping him on his feet. He felt the urgent drive of Lan Wangji’s hips against him, his breathing erratic, then he felt Lan Wangji come too, hot against Wei Wuxian’s ass.

They stood like that for a few moments, panting together.

Wei Wuxian was impressed at Lan Wangji’s ability to stay on his feet. His hands were still gripping Lan Wangji’s forearms tight, as he tried to get his balance back. Lan Wangji pulled away from Wei Wuxian so he turned around and wrapped his arms around him. They were both in need of a wash and laundry anyway.

“Wow. Lan Zhan. I can’t believe you did that,” Wei Wuxian said.

Lan Wangji’s smile was slow and satisfied. He kissed Wei Wuxian. “I’ve thought about it before.”

“Oh you have?? Wei Wuxian raised his eyebrows. “When?”

“Every time I’ve ever followed you in through the door,” Lan Wangji said.

Wei Wuxian threw back his head and laughed. “Lan Zhan, I can’t believe I ever thought that you were reserved. You’re filthy.”

Lan Wangji’s smile turned smug. “Mn.”

***


One Week Later

We Wuxian laid back, trying to get his breath back, Lan Wangji still heavy on top of him. Sex first thing in the morning was the perfect way to start the day and Wei Wuxian planned to get very used to it. It had been a week since they had got their act together, but it still seemed slightly surreal, sometimes. Like he had woken up in one of his well-worn fantasies.

Lan Wangji kissed him, lips lingering. “Good morning.” They were always the first words that Lan Wangji spoke to him, even when they came long after they had woken up with other activities.

“Mmmm, the best morning.” He never tired of how eager Lan Wangji was to touch and kiss him, all the time. He stroked his hands down Lan Wangji’s back. “To think I thought of you as someone who didn’t like touching.”

Lan Wangji looked at him in a way that was becoming familiar, now. His eyes were full of adoration and his mouth in a small smile, just for him. “It’s you.”

Wei Wuxian felt like his heart was expanding so his chest wouldn’t be able to contain it anymore. “Fuck, I love you. So much.”

“I love you.”

It was another thing that Wei Wuxian hadn’t anticipated. Lan Wangji, his Lan Zhan, who had spent four years keeping how he felt about Wei Wuxian to himself, was now so open with his feelings. It was intoxicating.

Wei Wuxian savoured lounging in bed until he started to feel a little sticky. He sighed. “I should probably go get my clothes and shower.”

Lan Wangji kissed his shoulder and let him go. Wei Wuxian climbed out of bed and headed into the bathroom.

When he came out, wearing a towel, Lan Wangji was dressed and making breakfast. Wei Wuxian walked up behind him and hooked his chin over his shoulder, wrapping his arms around Lan Wangji’s waist.

“Is there coffee?” he asked.

Lan Wangji turned in the circle of his arms and pulled Wei Wuxian against him, running his hands over Wei Wuxian’s back. “Yes. It will be ready soon.”

Wei Wuxian beamed at him. “Thank you.” They kissed but Lan Wangji pulled back to look at him. “What?”

“We should move into one room.” Lan Wangji’s hands were stroking him, now. “We are in the same bed every night, you should not have to go elsewhere to get dressed.”

Wei Wuxian smiled. “Are you asking me to move in with you, Lan Zhan?”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji’s ears were pink and Wei Wuxian wondered if Lan Wangji really considered that Wei Wuxian might not be completely on board.

“Okay. We can turn my room into a guest bedroom,” he said.

Lan Wangji kissed him again, hands sliding down to slip under the towel at his waist. Wei Wuxian chuckled. “Lan Zhan, it will fall off if you mess too much.”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji kept pushing and the ad-hoc tuck of the towel gave way, the whole thing falling to the floor.

Wei Wuxian kissed him as Lan Wangji’s hands continued down to rest on his now naked ass. “You know I’m going to get cold. Are you going to warm me up?”

“I am,” Lan Wangji said.

Wei Wuxian tilted his head. “What about breakfast?”

“Breakfast can wait.”

***