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Teenage WWX would absolutely start dating LWJ at a young and impressionable age and immediately get a tattoo of LWJ's name When they eventually break up because of life reasons everyone tells WWX to cover it up, but he never does. He looks at the tattoo fondly even years later.

Like yeah, maybe he regrets that the tattoo is so big on his shoulder. And maybe it's awkward having to explain to everyone else he dates after that that this is his first boyfriend's name... And no, he never covered it up and no, he doesn't really want to...
"But it's not because I still have feelings for him or anything," WWX always has to explain, laughing it off. "It's not like that at all!" So yeah, the tattoo makes things a little difficult sometimes. But he can't see himself without it.
The feelings when he made the tattoo were real. He was sure they were gonna last forever. He knows now that he'll never feel like that with anyone else. Not because they're not LWJ, WWX's over him now... But just bc he'll never be that young and in love and absolutely sure of it.
And WWX misses that feeling. He really does. So he keeps the tattoo with Lan Zhan's name. And he takes the weird looks everyone gives him the same way he always took weird looks from anyone else: lightheartedly, and without really caring.
It wasn't an awful break up. In fact, it was heartbreaking in how quiet it was. It happened the same way it always happens, with people as young as they were. LWJ moved. That's all it took.
They had no idea how hard long distance relationships would be. WWX didn't want to be clingy, because he knew LWJ was in a new place, making new friends, and he needed freedom. LWJ thought WWX was finally realizing now, after he was gone, that he was always too bright for him.
They started talking less and less, each sacrificing themselves for the other. Resentment between them grew more and more. One day, when LWJ told WWX his best friend was coming over for lunch, and he didn't even know who the new best friend was... WWX said they should break up.
LWJ looked at him for a long time, sitting in silence. And then he said "If that's what you want." Just like that. To this day, the easy way LWJ took their breakup still stings, if WWX thinks too hard about it. So he doesn't think too hard about it.
He gets other tattoos. Birds, plants, and rings around his arms. Flaming swords and amulets and a huge lotus flower on his thigh. A bunny, sleeping quietly right under Lan Zhans name, that he only finds out about the next day when he wakes up hungover and his back burns from it.
That one is a little harder to explain to his siblings. But he says LWJ doesn't own liking bunnies, and anyway, it's cute, so why should anyone care? As the months go by, the bunny becomes part of Lan Zhan's tattoo, and WWX almost can't remember what it looked like before.
LWJ does come back to the country, a few years after they break up. He announces it on ALL his social medias, which is weird, because he never posts anything anywhere. WWX sees it, and quietly keeps to himself. If LWJ wants to see him... Well, why should he? They've moved on.
WWX knows his name shows on the people who saw what LWJ posted, because, well, they never stopped following each other. WWX never posts anything about his relationships (none of them ever lasted enough to get pictures, anyway...) so it's not awkward. It's fine. They don't talk.
The city is big, and his job as a social worker keeps him busy. His way to work doesnt coincide with the new college LWJ is teaching in, and they don't go to the same places. For months, WWX forgets that LWJ is even back. And by forgets, he means he thinks about it all the time.
But he shoves it down, and he pretends not to think about LWJ, like any respectable grown up would. He doesn't visit the places they used to visit together JUST IN CASE or anything like that. He's over LWJ! It's been YEARS. When they meet again, it's completely by chance.
WWX is on vacation. A place far away from his city, because he needs the beach, and he needs sun on his face! He need to get a grip, and stop thinking about exes so much. What the hell!! He finishes checking in at his hotel, turns around... And slams head on into someone.
"Sorry," he says, rubbing his nose. The other person doesn't answer, which, wow, kinda rude, so he looks up. And finds eyes that are entirely too familiar staring back at him. LWJ seems shocked. In fact, it's the most shocked WWX has ever seen him. Almost as shocked as HE is.
For a while, neither of them says anything. WWX has no idea how long. He can smell a familiar scent emanating from LWJ, and it brings back so many memories he almost feels himself leaning in. A warning sign starts flashing in his head. He blinks out of his trance. "Lan Zhan."
"Wei Ying," LWJ says, and the shock of hearing his voice is almost greater than that of seeing him. WWX clears his throat, and resists the urge to take a step back. "Um, hi. Hi. It's been so long." "Mn," LWJ says, and then nothing else. He keeps staring at WWX intently.
WWX doesn't know what to do. Should he... run? No, that would be weird. Hug him? That would be weirder. Instead, he shifts the weight on his legs, and does the next worse possible thing. "You look good," he says. LWJ's ears immediately go scarlet. WWX chokes on his own saliva.
Because, well, that's not fair!! How can LWJ still blush like he used to? Who's ready for something like that?? And when he's wearing... shorts? And a casual shirt? Lan ZHAN??? "I mean," WWX says. "I just-" "So do you," LWJ says, with utmost sincerity. WWX is not doing well.
It's the way LWJ says it, too. Not just politely, but really looking at him. WWX is jetlagged, dark circles under his eyes, and yet, LWJ looks up and down at him - really looks, stopping on the slightly open collar of WWX's shirt for half a second and all - and says it honestly.
"Uh, thanks," WWX says, scratching the back of his neck that has gone warm. "It's the vacation glow." He laughs, making a joke out of it. LWJ is supposed to laugh - his version of laughter, the pretty huff of air he used to let out - but he doesn't. "It suits you," LWJ says.
And, well, WWX can't say anything to that. He can't even look at LWJ's face. No, that's a lie. He can. Actually he can't take his eyes away from it. They stand there for a while, a weird kind of silence befalling them. And then WWX opens his mouth. "What are you doing here?"
It comes out harsh. Luckily, LWJ doesn't seem to mind. He looks at his suitcase. "Vacation," he says. "I just arrived." WWX gapes at him. "At the beach?" he asks. "Mn." "You hate the beach." WWX instantly regrets saying it. He shouldn't... remember these kinds of things.
But he can't help it. LWJ hates the beach, and how could WWX ever forget that? The sand stuck on LWJ's feet, the time LWJ thought he stepped on a jellyfish and it turned out to be a plastic bag, which somehow made it worse... What does WWX do with all of these memories?
"I'm writing a book," LWJ says, which... isn't so surprising, actually. "It's set at the beach. So I thought..." he makes a vague gesture. "Inspiration." "Oh," WWX says simply. He wants to ask what the book is about. If it's his first. When he started writing it. He doesn't.
There's a moment of silence again. WWX looks at him, and finds LWJ looking right back. He's... not really sure what to do with his body. With his hands, which are tingling slightly, for some reason. He's never stayed this long so close to LWJ without touching him in some way.
"I came back," LWJ says, his voice too low even for him. "Almost a year now. I'm not sure if you've heard." "Right. I've heard, yeah," WWX tries to say it brightly. LWJ's expression changes a bit. It's subtle. A tiny clench of his jaw. A small flutter of his eyelids. "I see."
WWX's heart sinks. But there's no reason why LWJ should feel... any type of way, about any of this. They weren't supposed to talk. Were they? "I mean-" WWX starts, not knowing how to fix LWJ's expression."I was going to welcome you back, but... I thought it might be awkward."
LWJ looks away. "I understand," he says. "Well. I should go." "Go?" WWX asks, confused. "Mn," LWJ says with a polite nod. "I hope you have a great vacation, Wei Ying." The way LWJ says his name echoes in WWX's head. LWJ turns to leave. WWX reaches out and grabs his wrist.
It's almost like a physical shock. His hand on LWJ's skin, after so many years without touching, without seeing him. He feels it pulling him in like a rope around his waist. He looks up, and LWJ is staring at him, his eyes just as wide. "How long are you staying?" WWX asks.
"Two weeks," LWJ whispers. He doesn't know why their voices have gone lower. But it feels right, that only they should hear. "Me too," WWX's fingers tighten a little on him. "Crazy, huh?" LWJ doesn't answer. He just swallows, and WWX struggles not to follow the bob in his neck.
"Do you want-" WWX tries. "We could maybe go-" "Yes," LWJ says before he finishes. WWX's heart races madly in his chest. He opens a huge smile, and hopes LWJ can't hear his pulse. "You don't know what I'm gonna say." "I apologize," LWJ says. "I assumed it was for a coffee."
"Yeah, coffee. To catch up, maybe?" WWX says. "Or tea. In your case." "I drink coffee too, now," LWJ says. WWX nearly gasps. That is somehow more shocking than him being at the beach. LWJ glances down at his hand, now wrapped tightly around his forearm. WWX lets it go slowly.
"Well," he says. "That's the kind of thing you should update me about over coffee, then." LWJ's arm hovers in the air where WWX was holding it for a second, and then finally settles down. "I just need to take my bags upstairs first," WWX says. "And I need to check in."
"Right. We'll meet down here in an hour?" WWX asks. LWJ nods. "I'll see you soon, then." "I'll see you soon, Wei Ying." And just like that, the blaze in WWX's hear that he previously thought was extinguished lights up into tiny, promising embers again.
--- It's easy. Somehow, out of everything WWX was expecting, he wasn't expecting that. Talking to LWJ is easy. It makes him feel light on his feet, almost like he's floating. Their coffee meeting feels a little like a first date, and like a meeting between long-lost friends.
They speak mostly about their new careers. WWX tells him he's been living alone. LWJ says that he, too, rents an apartment by himself. The question of whether or not they're dating someone else goes unsaid. WWX doesn't think LWJ would be here alone, if he were.
Before WWX knows it, he's laughing out loud, and scooting his chair closer to where LWJ is. LWJ's eyes shine with something he hasn't seen in a long time. WWX is surprised to find out he missed seeing it. Now that he's here... He thinks he missed a lot of things about LWJ.
It's almost midnight when LWJ's starts nodding off with sleepiness during their conversation. WWX looks at the time with a start. He takes a sleepy LWJ up to his room, trying not to reach out too much on the excuse of holding him up. It's ok. LWJ can walk perfectly fine alone.
By his door, LWJ looks at him. His honest, deep gaze is somehow more overwhelming in those sleepy eyes that hide almost nothing at all. WWX swallows hard. Decides not to think too hard. "Have lunch with me tomorrow," he says. LWJ nods, a drowsy smile on his lips. "Noon."
"One," Wei Ying corrects. Sleepy LWJ has no manners. He rolls his eyes. "Alright." WWX laughs fully and openly. And then he leaves LWJ in his room to sleep. Like the perfect gentleman he is. Because this is just... them catching up. Nothing is going on. It's fine.
The next day, in an attempt to actually get some swimming, WWX wakes up early. Well, that's a lie. He doesn't actually manage to sleep much, so when it's 8am and he's wide awake, he makes his way to the private beach in the resort he's staying at.
It's not super full, and there are a few tables the hotel set up for them. Wei Ying looks around for one, wondering if it's okay to just leave his phone and his shirt there while he goes into the ocean. And then he sees him.
LWJ is sitting on one of the tables, perfect posture, his laptop in front of him. He's under a parasol, and there's a half full tea cup by his side. He's wearing shorts - god, why is WWX suddenly obsessed with his legs? - and a t-shirt. WWX's heart skips about 5 beats at once.
Unable to resist the urge to sneak in behind him, WWX ducks, and makes no sound on the sand as he approaches. He gets close to LWJ's ear, just like he used to do when they were young, and whispers, "I thought you were a coffee man now, Lan Zhan."
LWJ turns around fast, their noses brushing together. For a second, WWX stares right into his amber eyes, as close as they used to get, and feels nineteen all over again. LWJ smells like sunscreen. Like sandalwood. Like something comforting. Like... Like- WWX pulls back.
"Sorry," WWX tries to laugh it off. "I couldn't resist it." LWJ blinks up at him for a while. He's wearing reading glasses. WWX bites on the insides of his cheeks. And then, in a cute hoarse voice that feels like it hasn't yet been used today, LWJ says, "I drink both."
"Right," WWX says. "Tea in the mornings. Coffee in the afternoons when you're getting sleepy." LWJ told him that yesterday. He remembers it well. "Mn. You're here early," LWJ says. "Yeah, I never wake up this early on vacation," WWX says proudly. "How long have you been here?"
"Since six," LWJ says. "Six?" WWX raises an eyebrow. He notices a yoga mat on one of the chairs next to LWJ. And then he notices his t-shirt looks... sweaty. Oh god, this is gonna be hard for him. "Are you going to swim?" WWX asks, just to have something to say.
He knows the answer before LWJ glares at him. It's no less funny when it comes. "I will not." "Why not?" WWX nudges his chair weakly with his foot. "I bet the water feels nice. You look hot." The words come out of his mouth before he can stop them. WWX immediately panics.
"I mean!" he says quickly. "You look... sweaty! Not in a bad way! In a hot way. Hot, like, the weather! Not that you don't look hot in the other way, it's just-" WWX breathes in and sees that LWJ looks amused. "You're having fun with this, aren't you?" "Perhaps," LWJ says.
"You're an ass," WWX kicks his chair again. The corner of LWJ's lips lift. "I'm going to swim." "You should," LWJ says. "You look hot." WWX blushes in places he didn't know he could. Even his hands feel warm. "Shut up," he says. "Actually... Is it ok if I leave my things here?
"Of course." WWX puts his phone on the table, his empty water bottle, his towel. LWJs eyes are zeroed in on him, not even trying to move away, and WWX can't say he doesnt like it. He takes his shirt off, throws it over the chair, and turns around. "Thanks, Lan Zhan," he waves.
It is only when WWX is submerged in the cold ocean water that he remembers the huge tattoo on his shoulder with Lan Zhan's name in it. Oh no.
WWX turns back, but he can't tell from this far if LWJ is looking at him or not, much less what the look on his face is. Did he see it? Did he notice? What is he thinking, if he saw it? Would he judge WWX for never covering it? He probably would. Everyone else does.
WWX never minded anyone seeing the tatoo. LWJ knows he has it! Fuck, LWJ was with him when he got it, scolding him all the way for doing something so reckless, but still holding his hand through it anyway. LWJ has kissed that tattoo several times. Why is WWX so nervous now?
It's fine, WWX tells himself. It's fine! He came here to have fun. Unwind. So what if LWJ saw it? He has nothing to hide. And maybe he didn't even notice. He swims a few laps. Then, he finds people on the beach to play volleyball with. He tries not to stare in LWJ's direction.
When he comes back to LWJ on the sand, around the time for their lunch, LWJ is holding WWX's water bottle in his hand, filled with cold water. He offers it to him with no words. WWX downs it all in one go, not caring when some of it spills down his body. LWJ stares at him.
WWX swallows dry, not quite knowing what to say. If LWJ saw the tattoo... surely he is going to ask about it now, right? He waits, but LWJ doesn't say anything. He just keeps staring at him in the shade. WWX bites down on his lips. "Lunch?" Looking quietly at him, LWJ nods.
WWX puts on his shirt, keeping his shoulder turned away, and they go. During lunch, they talk about a lot of things. Lighter things. Never their past together. LWJ doesn't mention the tattoo. WWX decides he probably didn't see it. He isn't sure why the thought makes him sad.
bop to the top!!!! since I'm v sleepy and nothing I write will make sense anymore tonight I'll continue tomorrow ♥️…
Teenage WWX would absolutely start dating LWJ at a young and impressionable age and immediately get a tattoo of LWJ's name When they eventually break up because of life reasons everyone tells WWX to cover it up, but he never does. He looks at the tattoo fondly even years later.
(A small snippet from LWJ's Point of View... WWX is swimming laps in the ocean, distracted by the water. LWJ reaches out, tentatively, and touches the shirt he left on the chair. When the world doesn't stop, he brings it closer, into his lap. His heart racing, he looks up.
WWX still isn't looking at him. There's a group talking to him now, holding some kind of ball. Discreetly, LWJ raises the shirt to his face. And closes his eyes. And inhales it. His hand tightens on the fabric, and he nuzzles slightly into it without realizing.
They say smell is the most powerful memory trigger, and right now, LWJ sees it's true. The perfume WWX is using is different, more manly, but his personal scent's still the same. A thousand flashes of shoving his face into WWX's neck come back to him in a second. LWJ missed him.
He doesn't know where this will go. He doesn't know if it will go anywhere. But maybe they can be friends again, somehow. Maybe he can have WWX's brightness in his life again, in any way WWX will have him. Remembering his surroundings, LWJ raises his head again.
LWJ puts the shirt back on the chair, his hands shaking. He shouldn't hope. For all he knows, WWX had already moved on from him when they broke up. The fact that he seems to never have dated anyone again is proof that LWJ was holding his free spirit back. And the tattoo...
He showed it to LWJ so casually. Like it wasn't even there. A thousand other tattoos around his back now, each more beautiful and eye-catching than the other, and right there, on his shoulder, Lan Zhan's name in mostly faded characters. Does he even remember he has it?
There's a bunny underneath it. LWJ tries not to think too hard about it. WWX probably got it before they broke up, and never showed it to him. He was like that, sometimes. Doing things and forgetting to share them until LWJ noticed. It doesn't mean anything, he tells himself.
If it meant anything... LWJ shakes his head. He can't even think about it. But if the tattoo meant anything, wouldn't WWX bring it up? Try to laugh it off? Maybe explain it? If it still hurt, wouldn't he have covered it? And if it doesn't hurt... Well. There is LWJ's answer.
Maybe WWX never covered it because he doesn't even remember he has it. It's on his shoulder, and he probably never sees it. Why spend money covering something up that he can forget is there? And it's just one, among plenty. Even if people asked, WWX would just laugh it off.
LWJ can almost hear his casual laughter when he explains it. "Haha, yeah, it was my ex." Lan Zhan's name on Wei Ying's back. Nothing more than a story to tell. A funny anecdote of WWX's reckless teenage self. LWJ sighs, his heart tightening in his chest.
It doesn't matter, really. He should stop thinking about it. He shouldn't bring it up. If WWX doesnt, why would he? They're here now, and that's what matters. LWJ will focus on the moment. -- end of LWJ's tiny snippet! Sorry, baby is prone to sad thoughts... Back to WWX soon!)
--- Over the course of the next few days, Wei Ying realizes that it's maybe not *nothing*, after all. Maybe there's a tiny, very minuscule spec of *something*. Because he can't stop thinking about Lan Zhan at all.
He wakes up thinking about him and goes to sleep with LWJ in mind. He finds him every day at the beach, writing or sometimes quietly reading, and spends the morning either swimming closeby or sitting down by his side on the table. They have lunch together every day. Dinner, too.
It's like all of WWX's bubbly teenage feelings coming back, every time they talk. Even when they're just sitting in silence, WWX feels relaxed, comfortable, without that scratchy need to run away that he gets with some people, sometimes. It's new, and it's so familiar it hurts.
LWJ hasn't changed much, but the little bit that has makes him even more devastatingly attractive. He bulked up quite a lot since they were together. His voice got deeper. He smiles a little more now, sometimes even spontaneously when their eyes meet. Alright. WWX is NOT fine.
It must be the beach, WWX thinks. The way this entire thing feels like a dream. Maybe LWJ isn't real, and WWX was feeling lonely and conjured him up in his mind. LWJ touches his wrist as he thinks this, asking in his low voice, "Peanuts?" Maybe WWX doesn't care if it's a dream.
There is also... well. The flirting. LWJ is very different at it, now. More blunt and confident. He doesn't so much flirt as simply state facts, like saying WWX looks very handsome when WWX asks "is this shirt okay for dinner?" And the *looks*... WWX isn't so ready for that.
He catches LWJ's eyes on him all the time, whenever he turns to him. Sometimes, WWX smiles at him, and LWJ has the decency to blush and look away. Other times, if WWX just stares, LWJ simply holds his gaze. It feels like a fight, and WWX thinks he's losing it fast.
But as much as LWJ looks, he never does anything. And he never mentions the tattoo. WWX starts testing it. He takes his shirt off again in front of him. Keeps it off sometimes, even as they talk by the beach. Turns his back and lets LWJ get a look of his shoulder. Nothing.
Maybe LWJ's eyesight got worse with time, WWX tries to reason with himself. Maybe he needs a more direct approach. Something where LWJ will see the tattoo clearly, and have no chance but to talk about it. The next day WWX meets him at the beach, he has a plan.
"Morning, gorgeous," WWX says, throwing himself on the chair right by LWJ's side. The petname comes out almost automatically, something WWX used to call him when they were together. LWJ looks at him from his seat, his eyelids fluttering a few times. His ears blush. "Wei Ying."
"Are you swimming today?" WWX asks, like he does every day. "Just watching," LWJ says. WWX nods. LWJ didn't use to be this against swimming, before. He was reluctant, but he still liked the feeling of fresh water on him. WWX wonders what happened to make him like this.
WWX looks at the sunscreen in his bag, remembering the plan he has, and hesitates. Is it too forward? Should he maybe... ease into it? He scoots his chair closer to LWJ, letting their arms brush. LWJ doesn't pull away. "What's your book about?" WWX asks. "You never told me."
LWJ tenses slightly. He gives WWX a sly glance, and then looks at the words on the screen of his laptop. WWX doesn't peek, looking directly at LWJ's face instead. He wants to know, but he wants LWJ to be the one to tell him. "Well," LWJ clears his throat. "It's a romance."
WWX resists the urge to smile, but his lips still curve up anyway. He nudges LWJ's arm, leaning a little bit more into him. "I should've known," he whispers. LWJ blushes even more, but doesn't look at him. "Why?" "You were always very romantic," WWX says. "It makes sense."
LWJ swallows at that. WWX leans back again, smiling to himself. He forgot how much fun flirting with LWJ was. He never has as much fun with anyone else. LWJ sends him a sly glance, and opens his lips again. "It's a second chance romance," he says in a low voice. Nothing else.
WWX nods, his eyebrows drawing together. He wants to pretend he knows what that is, but LWJ seems to be waiting for an answer. He lets out a small laugh, and scratches the back of his head. "I'm not that familiar with romance tropes," WWX says. "What's a second chance romance?"
LWJ finally turns to him, his face more serious than it has been so far. WWX can't help but think he said something wrong. He waits, but LWJ just stares, and doesn't give him an answer. After what feels like an eternity, LWJ turns away, and nods ahead. "Your friends are here."
Feeling flustered for some reason, WWX barely keeps himself from stuttering. "I... Yeah, well. We did say we'd meet. But. Um," WWX clears his throat. "Do you want to play with us?" LWJ shakes his head. "I like watching." That doesn't make WWX get any less flustered.
He gets up and gestures to take off his shirt. As he always does, WWX feels LWJs eyes shifting to him, ready to watch it like it's his own private show. Right. WWX remembers it now. He had a *plan*. Breathing in deep, he takes his shirt off slowly, stretching his body a little.
LWJ follows the lines of his body with hungry eyes. In the first few days they did this, he used to hide it much better. Look at him from the corner of his eyes. Look away if WWX seemed to notice it. Now, he's not hiding it at all, and WWX doesn't pretend he isn't seeing it.
WWX sits back down on the chair by LWJ's side, and reaches into his own bag. "I bought this new cream sunscreen thing," he tries to sound casual. "I thought it was spray, and I now I can't apply it on myself." He looks at LWJ, and finds him staring back, eyes wide. "Help me?"
LWJ controls his expression, but the flush from his ear spreads all the way down to his neck. "I..." "I already applied it on my chest," WWX says, because he doesn't think he could handle *looking* at LWJ as he rubbed his hands on him. "So it's just my back. And... shoulders."
LWJ closes his eyes. It's only a second longer than a blink, but WWX is watching him closely. When he looks up again, his face is back to normal. Almost. "Of course," LWJ says. WWX hands him the sunscreen, and turns his back to him, trying not to panic. This is it.
LWJ has to see the tattoo now. He'll say something about it. There's no way he won't. And then WWX can say... what? He hasn't thought that far, but it's ok. He'll think of something smooth. Something cool. Something- LWJs hands land softly on his back, and WWX loses his breath.
Okay, WWX thinks as he struggles to breathe. Maybe he didn't think this the whole way through. LWJ's hands feel smooth, tracing slow lines up and down the middle of his back. He hears another squirt of the sunscreen, and then LWJ's unbearably low voice. "Lean forward a little."
WWX does, and LWJ applies the sunscreen to his lower back, all the way down to the hem of his shorts, even curling slightly around his waist. He tries not to close his eyes, but LWJ is gentle, and it feels almost like a massage. And then LWJ goes up, and WWX tenses again.
LWJ stops. WWX waits, barely breathing, for whatever his reaction is. He thinks he feels LWJ's hands shaking on his back. Or maybe he's the one who's shaking too hard. Silence. And then, LWJ's hand goes up, slowly going through the tattooed characters of his own name.
WWX feels his touch on the tattoo like it burns. He feels it like no one has touched him there in years, or if they have, it never mattered. LWJ's touch is the only one that could ever light a fire inside him, the only touch he ever felt this crazy about. Too soon, it's gone.
WWX doesn't turn, doesn't breathe, for the longest time. He doesn't know what to think about all of this. Isn't it too intense? Doesn't it feel a little too powerful? When he turns back, breathless, he finds LWJ looking back at him. His lips are slightly parted. His eyes cloudy.
He sees LWJ swallowing. Blinking a few times. WWX knows he saw it, this time. He touched it, after so many years. He has to say something, now. LWJ opens his lips. Breathes again. "There you go," he says. WWX's heart shatters in his chest.
He gets up fast, not knowing quite how to react. He was sure this was going to work. If it didn't, than that means... He doesn't even know what it means. WWX's eyes start burning, and he quickly squeezes them, trying to keep it in. "Thanks," he says, with no feeling behind it.
"Wei Ying?" "I'm gonna go, then," he says, glancing at the other players on the sand, already playing without him. Looking anywhere, except LWJ's face. "Right," LWJ says, after a while. "Have... Have fun." The phrase makes something ugly twist inside WWX's chest. "I will."
Without looking at LWJ again, WWX runs to where the other people are. Maybe, if he throws himself into something else, he won't have to think about the implications of LWJ pretending not to remember his tattoo. The next time he looks back, LWJ isn't at the table anymore.
There's a text on WWX's phone. It's from LWJ. They exchanged numbers on their first day here. "I think I got too much sun, so I went back to rest. The nice lady who was by my side is watching your things. I don't think I can make lunch today. I'm sorry, Wei Ying."
WWX isn't sure how to answer. He isn't sure how he feels. WWX: Do you need anything? LWJ: Just some rest. WWX: Tell me if it gets worse ok? LWJ: I will. And that's it. Without another word, WWX turns off his phone, and throws his body on the chair. He doesn't know what to do.
(as I plan for the rest of the thread - because really I didn't think it would get this big - tell me your guesses on why LWJ had to leave so suddenly) ✨♥️
WWX doesn't see him for the rest of the day. It's weird, eating alone. His initial plan was to come to the resort by himself, spend some time with his thoughts, but... Since seeing LWJ here, he hasn't had a single day to himself. Now that he does, he doesn't like it very much.
LWJ runs through WWXs mind all day. The tattoo he didn't mention, the things he didn't say. Is he pretending not to see it so he doesn't start an awkward conversation? They've been avoiding talking about their past together, so far. WWX doesn't know why. Maybe it's for the best.
He tries doing his own things all day, but it feels empty, now. Even when he goes back to the people he met to play volleyball, he doesn't feel as cheery as he did yesterday, making mistakes left and right. In the end, WWX just goes to sleep.
The next morning, WWX goes straight to the beach. For the past few days LWJ has been there every time he comes over, sitting quietly with a cup of tea by his side, and a fresh coffee for WWX. Somehow, he times when WWX is gonna appear perfectly. Today, the table is empty.
WWX's heart sinks in his chest. His first instinct is to feel angry. Is LWJ purposefully avoiding him or something? Aren't they too grown up for that now? And then he remembers. LWJ said he wasn't feeling well. With a heavy weight in his chest, WWX calls him.
The phone rings without a response. WWX calls a second time. On the third ring, he hears the click. "Wei Ying?" It's LWJs sleepy voice. His just-woke-up-so-I'm-gonna-sound-cute-and-groggy voice. As soon as WWX hears it, a thousand memories of waking up next to him come to mind.
WWX takes a deep breath, setting those memories aside. "Hey. It's me. Were you asleep?" "Mn," LWJ hums. "Is everything alright?" "I should be the one asking that," he says. "Lan Wangji, asleep at 8 in the morning? Are you okay?" LWJ goes silent for a while.
When he speaks, it's in a much lower voice. "I might be a bit sick. Mild heatstroke." "Heatstroke?!" WWX says loudly. A few heads turn to him. "Mild" LWJ repeats. "Tell me your room number." "You don't have-" "Lan Zhan," he scolds. WWX can hear LWJ swallowing. "Room 342."
"I'll be there soon." "Mn." WWX hangs up. Is LWJ crazy? Heatstroke? And not telling anyone about it, while being alone in a place where no one except WWX knows him? He stomps his way to LWJ's room, angry at him and also at himself for not looking more deeply into it sooner.
The door is unlocked when he gets there. "Come in," is all LWJ says. WWX walks into an extremely tidy hotel room, almost like there's no one staying in it at all. The first thing he notices is how cold it is, the AC turned down as far as it can probably go. Then he sees LWJ.
LWJ is lying down with a thin sheet covering his body. His sweaty hair clings to his forehead, and as WWX approaches, he sees his pillow is damp with sweat too. WWX comes closer and sits on the bed by his side, forgetting that they're not supposed to be this intimate anymore.
"Gods, Lan Zhan, you've been like this all night?" WWX leans in and puts a hand on his neck. "You're burning!" LWJ meets his eyes. He looks so soft, like this. WWX resists the urge to stroke his hair. "It's better than it was yesterday," LWJ says, like that's any consolation.
"Still. Isn't there like a doctor around here?" "No doctor," LWJ says. "I just need to rest." "So you just planned not to tell anyone about this?" WWX asks. He tries to keep a scolding tone, but as LWJ stares at him, his voice softens all over again. "What if you fainted, huh?"
LWJ shakes his head. WWX realizes his hand is still on LWJ's hot, feverish skin. He doesn't have the power to take it away. "I'm alright," LWJ says, blinking slowly. "I took a cold shower." WWX almost wants to laugh. "A cold shower? That's it?" LWJ nods. "And drank water."
This time, WWX actually laughs a little. Of fondness, and of disbelief. He forgot how LWJ was when he got sick. Something happens with LWJ's eyes, seeing him laugh. Like his entire expression softens. There's something so open in him, like this. WWX's hand comes up to his face.
"You're gonna drink a lot more water. And I'm gonna get some ice so I can keep your forehead cold. Okay?" LWJ nods slowly, almost sleepily. WWX feels something tightening in his chest. He clears his throat, and takes his hand away from LWJ, setting it securely on his own lap.
"Well, first things first, the sheets need to come off," he says, trying to be practical. WWX takes the sheets and tugs, but LWJ holds them up. "Wei Ying," he says. WWX blinks. "What? We need to get your body temperature down," he pulls again. Again, there is resistance.
Their eyes meet. "I'm not... decent," LWJ says. WWX frowns. He can see LWJ is wearing a shirt. The shirt, in fact, should also be off. "Not decent?" he asks, confused. LWJ swallows. "I'm in my underwear. I didn't have time to get properly dressed." WWX frowns harder.
"So?" WWX asks. "It's not like you're naked." "It is still not polite of me to expose you to-" "Expose me? Lan Zhan, there's nothing there I've never seen." He says it before his brain can catch up to his mouth. LWJ's ears immediately go red, and WWX blushes in return.
"I mean...! There's no need to feel-- I know what you look-" WWX stops. Breathes. "Listen. I won't look, ok? But this is heatstroke. It isn't like a fever where you need to sweat it out. You have to cool off." "I know," LWJ says. "Off the sheets go, then," WWX says firmly.
LWJ lets the sheets go. WWX pulls them away - they're even heavier than they look - and tosses them aside. He very pointedly and very carefully does not look down at LWJ's underwear. Which is white. And has a red stripe that says "supreme". He really, really doesn't look, okay?
"Well," WWX says, keeping his eyes up. "Now the shirt." LWJs eyes widen in panic. "It's just better to be free," he says. He remembers when he had heatstroke, and he would do anything to not have any fabric touching him. "It's not like-" "Not the shirt," LWJ says. WWX pauses.
This refusal feels different. Not as playfully reluctant, out of pure stubborness, like the first one was. He looks at LWJ's face, and knows he shouldn't push on this one. He doesn't understand why. But he lets it go anyway. "Alright, then. The shirt stays on."
WWX doesn't remember LWJ being this prudish about his body. There must be a reason why he isn't showing himself shirtless, or why he doesn't want to expose his underwear. Is he dating someone, after all? WWX can't think of a reason why he would suddenly turn like this.
But he sets those thoughts aside, for now. LWJ is sick, and it's been ages since they used to date. No one is obligated to feel comfortable being nearly naked in front of anyone else. "I'm gonna get you some shorts," WWX says. "The sheets are too heavy, but shorts should be ok."
(btw uh lmao the only reason LWJ doesn't want to be in his underwear in front of WWX is because if WWX so much as LOOKS at his crotch the boy is growing a boner. As for the shirt though...........................)
LWJ nods. He lets his head fall back on the pillow again, looking more tired than WWX has seen him in these few days. WWX realizes the collar of LWJ's shirt is damp with his sweat. Still, he doesn't say anything. He will find other ways. Slowly, he gets up.
"Where are your clothes?" WWX says, looking around. He is assuming LWJ unpacked, unlike him. It feels like a waste of time, but LWJ seems like the person who would unpack every time. "Second drawer," LWJ mumbles, with his eyes closed.
WWX opens the drawer and finds a neat pile of shorts and pants. His lips curve up into a fond smile. LWJ doesn't change, does he? It's almost soothing to still know so much about him. He takes one and turns back to the bed... ...and finds LWJ with his eyes closed, sound asleep.
A wave of something strong, something almost overwhelming, crashes and settles into WWX's heart. LWJ's sleeping face is so familiar to him. He almost wants to reach out for it, kiss his forehead, whisper something into his ears that he hasn't said to anyone in a very long time.
For a second, WWX just stands there. Looking at him. Taking him in. It's really his Lan Zhan, back in town, right here with him after all these years. It's almost impossible to believe. LWJ stirs, and WWX shakes his head. His Lan Zhan? What the hell? What is he even thinking?
LWJ hasn't been his in a long time. Realistically, he doesnt even want to undress in front of WWX now. LWJ won't even acknowledge his tattoo. Nothing is happening between them except for a... reacquaintance. WWX puts the shorts down, takes LWJ's keys, and goes out the room.
LWJ sleeps for most of the day. WWX comes back with ice and keeps a wet towel by his side, getting it wet every once in a while and replacing in on LWJ's forehead. He wipes the sweat from his neck and from his arms, but doesn't dare go anywhere LWJ hasn't left visible to him.
WWX brings him breakfast, including iced tea, which LWJ pouts about. "It's not real tea," he says, to which WWX replies, "Tough luck. Now drink." LWJ does, and then promptly goes back to sleep again. WWX replaces the cold towel on his head, and tries not to feel anything.
Lunch goes much the same way, except LWJ is trembling considerably less, and his face looks a lot less flushed. He goes right to bed again, and WWX does the same dance of replacing the towel for him. LWJ takes his wrist in a gentle grip. "I think it's alright, now," he says.
WWX raises an eyebrow. "Are you feeling better?" "Mn" LWJ says. "You may go, if-" "Don't even start," WWX brings a hand to his forehead, and then to his neck. His skin feels normal, now, but it doesn't hurt to be too careful. "I think you should rest a bit more." "Wei Ying..."
WWX raises his eyes. LWJ looks uncertain, staring up at him. WWX has that urge again, the unbearable need to just... just... He moves his hand slightly into LWJ's hair, and strokes it very, very lightly. Maybe he won't notice. Maybe-- LWJ leans into his touch, just a bit.
WWX stops breathing. He feels the second his body starts to lean in, like he's not in control. Like his muscles know what to do, when LWJ is this close. Like he never forgot it at all. Before he can get too far, WWX slowly takes his hand away, and gets up from the bed.
"I'm gonna go get you some icecream," WWX says, fidgeting in place. "Strawberry, right?" LWJ's eyes go slightly wide. He nods, but the uncertainty hasn't left his gaze. "You don't have to do all of this," he says. "It's a beautiful day outside, and-" WWX waves him off.
"I wouldn't be able to enjoy my day knowing you're sick," he says, entirely too fast. It feels like revealing too much. LWJ swallows dry. He looks like he wants to say something else. Before he can, WWX speaks again. "I'll be back, ok? Sleep a little more. Doctor's orders."
Slowly, LWJ nods. His eyes are fixed on WWX, a little too intense. WWX feels his hands itching to get close again. "Don't do something crazy like take a hot shower or something," he says. He waits until LWJ nods again, and then leaves, trying not to look like he's fleeing.
WWX takes longer than he would like to admit to come back. It's hard, keeping his feet from turning and going right back into the room. Lying down by LWJ's side. Staring at him until they both eventually fall asleep. But those thoughts are exactly the things that scare him.
He and LWJ haven't just broken up. They didn't talk to each other, became nothing to each other, in all of these years. WWX was over him. He was. He was... And now here he is, questioning everything he thought he knew about himself and his own growth ever since they broke up.
It's almost three hours later when WWX finally gets LWJ's icecream and makes his way back to his room. He enters without knocking, and then curses himself for the familiarity. He looks around, feeling slightly guilty, and finds LWJ standing on the balcony with his back to him.
The balcony faces the beach, and the setting sun on the horizon. The light on LWJ's body nearly takes his breath away. WWX tries reminding himself that LWJ was always gorgeous, it's fine, it's not *new*, get a grip. "Hey," he says. Even his voice sounds out of breath. Damn.
LWJ turns to him, and WWX has to force himself not to stop and just... stare. LWJ has clearly taken a shower, the edges of his long hair damp, clinging to his back. He's wearing pants now, which WWX tells himself he isn't sad about. His eyes glow in the sun, and WWX is helpless.
"Wei Ying," he says low, which makes everything worse. WWX quickly looks away. "I brought icecream. Sorry it took so long." He puts the icecream on the tiny fridge by LWJ's bed, and tries not to let his own mind think of domesticity, and of coming home to someone. "Thank you."
WWX nods. When he feels strong enough, he straightens up his body, and goes over to the balcony, too. "You got a nice room," he says, just because he needs to say something. His room has the same view, but thats neither here nor there. LWJ simply nods, and doesn't say anything.
WWX risks a glance at him, and finds LWJ's eyes looking right back. He swallows dry, desperately needing to fill the silence. "You should've dried your hair better," he says. "It's getting your shirt all wet. You're gonna be the first person to go from heatstroke to a cold."
Before he realizes it, as he's saying it, his hand comes to LWJ's hair. He runs his fingers through it, just once, before retreating. "I'll be fine," LWJ says. His eyes feel like fire on WWX's skin. Clearing his throat, WWX looks at the sunset. "Did you learn your lesson?"
"Lesson?" LWJ asks. "Yeah. You can't stay at the beach for that long without getting at least your head wet." "I didn't know that," LWJ says. "I don't go to the beach much." "Well, now you know," WWX playfully bumps his shoulder. "Tomorrow I'm gonna dump some water on you."
The corner of LWJ's lips curve up into a smile. WWX's heart races in his chest. "You shouldn't get sick again," he says, without thinking. "It doesn't fit you." "I apologize," LWJ says. "I'll try not to." "And don't just go quiet about it," WWX turns to him. "I was worried."
LWJ's eyes soften. "Were you?" "Don't give me that face," WWX rolls his eyes. "You're awful to take care of. Did you know you're just as stubborn as you used to be?" LWJ frowns. "I think I was very collaborative." WWX laughs out loud. "What? Because you drank the iced tea?"
"Mn," LWJ says. "It's not tea." WWX shakes his head fondly. "You know, you forget all the difficult parts about someone, when you've been missing them for so many years," he says. "I keep remembering all the good parts of you, and I forgot what a baby you are when you're sick."
LWJ inhales sharply, and WWX realizes what he just said. WWX freezes. The world seems to go still around them, neither of them daring to breathe. LWJ blinks a few times, his lips parted in surprise. "Missing them?" LWJ whispers. WWX opens his lips, but no sound comes out.
"Wei Ying," LWJ takes a step in his direction. WWX should step back. He should. "Missing me?" "I..." WWX swallows. "I think I meant-" LWJ places a tentative hand on his jaw. Just that touch, that single touch, makes WWX's brain melt. "Have you missed me?" LWJ asks. "Truly?"
And WWX can't lie. Not about this. Never about this. "Yes," he says, barely a whisper. "Haven't you?" LWJ doesn't answer. He takes another step closer, and takes WWX in a kiss.
The simple press of LWJ's lips against his feels like a wave crashing against him, taking everything in its way. WWX is powerless to stop it, powerless to stop himself, as he reaches for LWJ's body and urges him even closer.
It's every bit like he remembered, and nothing like he remembered at all. LWJ licks into his mouth with a certainty that shakes him, sliding his hand inside WWX's hair to keep him in place. WWX leans into his body, taking in as much as he can, his knees threatening to falter.
He's almost euphoric, with LWJ's arms wrapped around him, holding him closer than he ever has before. It feels like everything WWX has been missing, looking for in other people's lips, without knowing he had already found them, long ago. Kissing LWJ feels like being young.
It feels like finding himself, every time LWJ bites his lip. WWX breathes heavily into his mouth, not wanting to part, and kisses him again, dizzy. It feels like the thing he thought he lost. That feeling of fullness only teenagers get. Like being in love. Like.. being in love?
That's... That's not right. It can't be right. In love? WWX pulls back, but LWJ's lips find him again, kissing him until WWX parts his lips, lets him in once more. It feels good. Maddeningly good. Too good. WWX pushes against his chest. "Wait."
LWJ stops kissing his lips, but goes down to his cheeks, his jaw, his neck. WWX feels his skin fire up every place he touches. "Lan Zhan," he says, his heart sinking in his chest. "We can't." LWJ stops. He pulls back slightly, his hands still around him, his eyes hazy. "What?"
WWX looks into his eyes, and wants nothing more than to come back to him, and forget every worry in his mind. He pushes LWJ back a little bit more. "We can't do this," he says. LWJ's arms loosen around him, falling a little, but still touching him. "You're dating someone."
"What? No! I just. It's-" "Then why?" LWJ tilts his head. "You just said-" "That I missed you," WWX says. "That's the problem, don't you see?" LWJ gets even more confused. "It's nostalgia," WWX says. "We're here, on a beach, years later, and everything feels like a movie."
LWJ's fingers curl around WWX's shirt, clinging to him. "These feelings we're having. How can we be sure that they're real?" WWX asks. "Doesn't it all feel a little too intense? Wasn't it all a little too fast?" "If you want to go slow-" "That's not what I mean," WWX says.
"Then what do you mean, Wei Ying?" LWJ asks quietly. "I just..." WWX swallows, trying to articulate his thoughts. "I don't want to do this, and then have us waking up when we get back and finding out that it was just... the trip. And the memory. And... you missing the old me."
"It could never be like that for me," LWJ says. "You say that, but you don't know for sure," WWX says. "You don't know who I am now. And I don't want us to get hurt just because-" "If you want to reject me," LWJ's hands slip away from his body. "I am grown enough to take it."
WWX's heart goes cold. "What?" he asks. "I don't want to reject you." "Is this not a rejection?" LWJ asks. "No," WWX says quickly. "No. I'm trying to explain to you that we should be careful. And think about this before doing anything." LWJ goes silent, simply looking at him.
WWX doesn't know what to say, so he stays silent. He doesn't... mean it as a rejection. He just means it as a break. Maybe wait until they get back, and really get reacquainted before- "Alright," LWJ says. His tone has gone cold. WWX winces at it. "I understand."
"Do you...?" WWX asks. "Because I don't mean that we shouldn't- It's not. I'm not rejecting you." LWJ's lips tighten into a thin line. "Do you remember what you said to me?" LWJ asks. "The day you broke up with me."
"The day we broke up," WWX corrects, frowning. "I didn't just break up with you, we agreed-" "You said we should think rationally about it," LWJ whispers, his voice dripping with hurt. "That we had to think through what wasn't working. That our feelings were making us blind."
WWX inhales sharply. He did say that, but not... Not in the way LWJ is making it sound. Not with such harshness behind the words. "I know what it looks like when you're pushing me away, Wei Ying," LWJ says, his eyes growing red. "You haven't changed as much as you think."
WWXs heart sinks in his chest. He feels speechless, frozen, without any power to even think. Is that what LWJ has been thinking, this entire time? Is this how he sees their break up, as WWX relentlessly pushing him away out of a lack of feelings? "Lan Zhan," he starts.
"I would like to be alone, now," LWJ says, looking away from him. In the soft glow of the end of sunset, WWX thinks he sees a tear in his eyes. "No," WWX says, reaching for him. "No, that's not what I meant. You're getting it all wrong." LWJ takes a step back.
"I still feel a bit sick," LWJ whispers. "I should sleep more. Doctor's orders." "Lan Zhan, don't do that," WWX says, his voice coming out almost like a plea. "Don't just make me go like this. That's not how our break up happened, and if you think-"
"Wei Ying," LWJ's voice falters. "I can't talk about it right now." "You can't just not hear me!" WWX says, feeling almost like a child. "Thats not what I meant when I said any of that. And its not what I mean now. If you think I had no feelings-" "Please," LWJ closes his eyes.
WWX stares at him, disbelieving. He won't even hear what he has to say? But he looks at LWJ's pale face. Sees the way LWJ's hands are shaking, the way he's barely keeping himself up. "Are you ok?" he asks, worried again. "Lan Zhan?" LWJ wobbles a bit, but does not stumble.
"I just need rest," LWJ says, walking towards his bed. WWX reaches out for him, and then thinks better of it, and retreats his hands. "We can talk tomorrow. Is that alright?" "Are you sure you're gonna be fine?" WWX asks. "Yes," LWJ sits on the bed. "Yes, I'm sure."
"I should stay," WWX says. "I won't say anything else, but-" "I can't-," LWJ doesn't meet his eyes. "Don't." WWX swallows hard, but doesn't protest it. He knows a dismissal when he hears one. "Text me if anything happens," he says. "Promise me." Slowly, LWJ nods. "I will."
WWX hesitates for a second. But if LWJ wants him gone, what else can he do but go? Without another word, WWX turns on his feet, and leaves LWJ's room.
(sorry for the cliffhanger but it's past midnight here and I need to rest 😭😭😭😭 don't worry, this threadfic will definitely have a happy ending! I hope everyone is enjoying it even through the pain... I'll be back soon with more! 💜) bop to the top!…
Teenage WWX would absolutely start dating LWJ at a young and impressionable age and immediately get a tattoo of LWJ's name When they eventually break up because of life reasons everyone tells WWX to cover it up, but he never does. He looks at the tattoo fondly even years later.
and in the meantime if you feel so inclined, I do have a kofi for any kind of donations! Don't feel obligated please, I will still write anyway since my writing is free, of course!
(Let's go back to LWJ's POV, shall we?) - LWJ wakes up disoriented. It's too cold, and it feels weird against a skin that has been feeling feeverishly warm all day. He sits up on his bed and realizes his body feels better, but not his heart. He doesn't know what woke him up.
There are noises outside LWJ's window. Voices, all the way down on the beach. LWJ glances at the alarm by his bed and realizes it's almost 11 pm. Shouldn't the hotel be silent by now? "Get off me!" he hears a familiar voice yelling. Wei Ying. "I said get off! I'll be fine!"
LWJ panics. He goes to the window to see whats going on, and sees WWX pushing someone away. He has a bottle of wine in his hand. It's dark outside, and the beach is empty except for the two of them. "Sir, we can't allow-" "I'm paying, right? I can be anywhere I want. Fuck off!"
"Sir, please, if you're distressed-" "Distressed?" WWX lets out a bitter laugh. "I'm not distressed. Haven't you heard? Apparently, I have no feelings!" LWJ knows that jab is meant for him, about the conversation they had. He clenches his fists, watching the interaction.
WWX turns in the direction of his window, but he's drunk, and too far away to see LWJ standing there. "Did you hear that, Lan Zhan? I don't feel anything! I pushed you away because I had no feelings for you, right?" He takes another sip of his wine. "Isn't that what you think?!"
It's a gross, bitter misunderstanding of what LWJ said to him earlier. Still, LWJ cannot bring his heart to fully disagree. He had felt, back then, that there was a lack of feelings from WWX. If he loved him as much as he used to, no amount of rationality would erase that. Right?
The hotel worker says something to WWX in a more hushed voice, and WWX snickers. "Fine. Take it," WWX gives the person the bottle of wine. "I wasn't gonna break it. But whatever. I'm not leaving though." The worker walks back to the hotel, leaving WWX alone at the beach.
LWJ doesn't know what he expects. For WWX to stand there and continue yelling, or for him to sit on the sand. With his heart aching, he stares at WWX's silhouette. And then, WWX starts walking towards the sea. Panic shoots up LWJ's spine, and before he realizes it, he's moving.
(no actual drowning scare) LWJ puts on the first clothes he sees and runs down the stairs. WWX cant go into the ocean this late, this drunk. The beach is entirely deserted. The hotel workers are apparently tired of chasing him, because there is no one around when LWJ gets there.
WWX doesn't stumble on his way, but it's clear that he isn't exactly sober. He soaks his feet in the water, and LWJ almost prays for him to stop. Instead, WWX goes deeper, walking into the ocean with a confidence he should not have. "Wei Ying!" LWJ calls, running to him.
It doesn't seem to work. WWX's knees are underwater now, the waves crashing a few feet away. He waits for the next one to disolve into foam, and lowers his body a little, as if he's preparing to dive. LWJ reaches for him and pulls his arm back.
WWX falls into his chest, and LWJ almost stumbles back, but manages to keep them both from falling. "What the-!" WWX turns, his eyes widening when he realizes who is the one holding him. LWJ uses his surprise to pull him back, back, as far as WWX will allow him to.
"Lan Zhan?" WWX's asks. "What are you doing?" "What are *you* doing?" LWJ asks, too loud. "Wei Ying, you could-" "I'm washing my face!" WWX digs his feet into the wet sand, the waves sinking his feet. LWJ tries to pull him, but WWX yanks his hands back. "Stop-"
"You can't go into the ocean like this," LWJ says. He sounds a lot more aggressive than he intends to, but he can't help it. "You're drunk. No one would see you if-" "I'm not drunk!" WWX says, but they both know he's lying. His red eyes betray it all. "I'm- trying to sober up."
A wave crashes near their knees. It's small enough to be nonthreatening, but LWJ tries once again to bring WWX closer to shore. "What are you even doing here, Lan Zhan?" WWX pulls away again. "Didn't you need time away from me?" LWJ is shocked by how sharply his words hit him.
"You were yelling, and... I had to check." WWX looks away from him. "Well, you checked!" he fakes out a laugh. "Sorry I was making a scene. Guess you're not used to seeing me have feelings-" "Why do you keep saying that?" Lan Zhan asks, miserably. "I didn't mean to-"
"I know very well what you meant," WWX says, venom dripping from each of his words. He takes another step back, and crosses his arms in front of his chest. "What, you think it wasn't hard for me when we broke up? Is that it? You think I just decided to do it, and then did it?"
LWJ presses his lips together. He has no answer for that. He remembers the day they broke up very well, and as much as he has forgiven WWX for it, the sight of him uttering the words "We should break up" still stings. "Isn't that what happened?" LWJ asks, voice low. WWX stares.
Immediately, LWJ regrets it. He's being unfair. He knows he is. "Wow," WWX nods slowly, then lets out an incredulous laugh. "Wow, okay. So that's how you've been thinking of me, all of these years. Thank you for clearing it up." "No," LWJ tries. "I-" WWX starts walking away.
"Wei Ying," LWJ catches him, and WWX almost loses his balance, stumbling on his two feet. He's still drunk. "I did not mean that. The circumstances-" "You know WHAT, Lan Zhan?" Wei Ying turns suddenly in his direction, splashing water around the both of them. "You're hilarious."
"You're the one with no feelings about anything!" WWX says. "You're the one who didn't even flinch when I said we should break up. Were you glad? Deep down?" he asks bitterly. "Is that why you never did anything?" LWJ freezes. WWXs words come from somewhere deep, an old wound.
"What would you have me do?" LWJ whispers. "Wei Ying, you... you broke up with me. What was I supposed to do? Keep you in a relationship you clearly didn't want?" "You the one who didnt want it!" WWX yells. "You never said anything. Anything! I was the one who kept us together."
LWJ stares at him, horrified. But WWX is not done. He closes the distance between them, pointing his finger in LWJ's direction. "I was the one who scheduled our video calls," he says. "I was the one who called you every night. I was the one who talked, the entire time!"
WWX puts his hand on his shoulder, shoving him so weakly LWJ barely feels it. "I asked you about your day, and nothing! You never said anything, you never did anything," he yells, his eyes starting to glint with new tears. "You always only wanted to listen to me talk."
LWJ tries holding his hand, but WWX slaps it away. "You stopped caring about us," WWX says, staring into his eyes. "You stopped telling me about you. I didn't even know about your new friend, Lan Zhan. Well, message received. You didn't want me in your life. So I left it."
It's all it takes for WWX to break. The tears start to flow freely from his eyes, and LWJ reaches for him blindly, wanting to offer comfort. "I never wanted you out of my life," he starts. "I-" "Don't," WWX takes a step back, wiping the tears from his face. "Don't do this."
"Wei Ying," LWJ breathes out, frustrated. "I'm telling you I always-" "You know I kept it for you?" WWX's quiet voice cuts through the night. He glances away from LWJ, a sudden redness to his cheeks. "I kept it for you, and you didn't even say anything. You never do."
LWJ swallows. WWX is not listening to him at all. He can scarcely blame him, when he had the same attitude hours ago. They seem stuck in a loop of bitterness, and LWJ desperately wants to get out of it. "What are you talking about?" LWJ asks. "What did you keep?"
WWX takes one look at him, but his eyes fill with tears again, and he looks up too late to hide them. "It's so dumb, too," he says. "Everyone asking me why I didn't just cover it, and all I did was lie," he lets out a fake laugh. "I wasn't fooling anyone. I think they all knew."
LWJ inhales sharply. He is talking about the tattoo. He has to be. "No one understood me," WWX says. "But it didn't matter. It was the only thing I had. It reminded me so much of you, how could I just-" He stops. Breathes. Then locks his eyes with LWJ again.
"You're the one with no feelings, Lan Zhan," WWX murmurs. "I've been keeping my love for you for years. You didn't even fight to stop us from ending." LWJ looks at him for only a second. Holding his gaze. And then he closes the distance between them, and takes WWX in his arms.
WWX wriggles in his grasp, but it's half-hearted, and LWJ knows it well. He still knows how to hold him, deep in his heart. His body remembers it, if nothing else. He sinks his head into WWX's shoulder, and tightens his grip on him.
"Let go," WWX says, even as his fingers curl around the fabric of LWJ's shirt. "Lan Zhan-" "No," LWJ says, his voice shaking. "I was wrong, years ago, when I didn't fight for you. I will not make the same mistake now." He hears WWX's sob near his ear.
"We can't work anymore," WWX's voice cracks, and LWJs heart sinks with him. "There's too much, Lan Zhan. You stopped wanting me. You moved on, and I-" "Stop," LWJ says, nuzzling furhter into his neck. "Wei Ying. Stop. I would never- I can never stop wanting you. It's not in me."
"But you did," WWX says. "You never called me first. You never talked." "I thought that, if I asked first, I would be forcing you to talk to me," LWJ says. "And when we talked, I wanted to hear your voice instead of my own," he sinks into WWX's skin. "I was selfish. I'm sorry."
"You forgot me," WWX whispers. "I kept this tattoo and I thought about you every day. I asked my sister to ask your brother about you. And you never-" LWJ loosens his grip on him. WWX clings to him for a second, almost on instinct, then lets go. "I have something to show you."
WWX blinks at him, his swollen eyes so pretty LWJ wants to kiss them. But not now. First, he needs to show WWX this. The thing he has been dreading, and hoping, for him to see. The secret he's been keeping this entire time. Slowly, he lets go of WWX, and takes off his shirt.
WWX's eyes go wide, dipping automatically to LWJ's bare chest. There is nothing to see. Not there. "Lan Zhan?" he asks, uncertain. LWJ meets his eyes one last time, before WWX's entire opinion of him changes. Taking a deep breath in, LWJ turns around. WWX gasps behind him.
Right there, on LWJ's shoulder, on the same exact place WWX has the tattoo of his name, is LWJ's secret tattoo. The design is a replica of WWX's. The same font for the characters, the same swirling patterns around it. The only difference is the name written on it. Wei Ying.
"What-" WWX steps closer, the warmth of his body nearly touching LWJ's skin. "Lan Zhan." LWJ doesn't say anything. He finds, now that he is here, that he can't. He never prepared a speech to explain this. He never even dared to truly imagine this moment beyond a few musings.
There is a moment of silence behind him. WWX's breath, right on the back of his neck. LWJ shivers with it, feeling the cold of the night. And then, he feels WWX's warm fingers tentatively brushing over the ink on his skin.
The breath that comes out of LWJ's throat sounds entirely too vulnerable. WWX retracts his fingers, and when LWJ doesn't move, he touches him again with exaggerated care. "When?" is the only question that comes out of WWX's mouth. The only question LWJ is afraid to answer.
Because /when/ reveals too much about him. Asking /when/ is like asking him to bare his entire heart at once. But this is WWX, he tells himself. He wants WWX to know everything. "One month after," he whispers. "After you went away?" LWJ shakes his head. "After we broke up."
WWX doesn't move behind him. LWJ holds his breath waiting for his answer, feeling like his heart has gone still. "A-After?" WWX's voice comes out shaky. LWJ senses something in it. He lowers his head, preparing for the worst. "Mn." "Why?" WWX asks. "If we... Why-?"
LWJ can't find the courage to turn around. To look in his eyes as he says it. He sinks a bit further into himself, and focuses on the soothing feeling of WWX's hand on his back. "I wanted to have something that felt ours," LWJ says, simply. "Something that would last forever."
"But you didn't know," WWX says, his nails digging into his tattoo. "You didn't know I still had mine." "It didn't matter," Lan Zhan says. "My feelings for you would never disappear." Silence. A deep, unsteady breath. And then, WWX's arms, wrapping firmly around LWJ's waist.
"Lan Zhan," WWX cries, sinking his face in between his shoulders. "Are you..? Is this true? All these years, you've been thinking of me?" LWJ's heart sings with relief. He curls his arms around WWX's on his torso, and feels WWX grip him harder. "Yes," he says. "Every day."
WWX pulls back slightly, and turns LWJ around. Immediately, they fall into each other's arms, fitting perfectly against each other, as they always have. WWX kisses him with passion, his lips trembling against LWJs. Or maybe LWJ is the one trembling. He isn't quite sure.
When they part, LWJ touches his forehead to WWX, feeling the weight of several years slipping away from his shoulders. After what feels like eternity, LWJ pulls back. WWX stares at him, sensing that he wants to say something.
"Wei Ying," he starts, his voice low. "I... You said, yesterday, that you wanted us to wait." WWX opens his lips, but LWJ continues before he can speak. "I reacted poorly. But..." LWJ swallows. "I want you to know that we can go slow, if you want. But I will not give up again."
WWX looks at him. "Yeah?" LWJ nods. "It isn't nostalgia for me. But if you're uncertain about your feelings..." he curls his fingers around WWXs neck. "I will wait for you. And I will win you over again." WWX's eyelids flutter, and he lowers his head on LWJ's shoulder. "Fuck."
LWJ hugs him as tightly as he can. When WWX speaks, his voice comes almost muffled. "All I've ever wanted..." WWX swallows. "Was for you to want me back. As much as I've always wanted you. And to show it. I... I just need you to show it more." LWJ nods into his hair. "I will."
"Good," WWX whispers. "Never do that to me again, okay? Never just... take things that passively again." "Never," LWJ says. And then, because he must, and because his heart is still fragile. "Never break up with me again. Not like that. Not unless you don't love me anymore."
WWX lifts his face at him with a beaming smile. "Deal," he says. LWJ kisses him again. He has to. He doesn't know how long they stay there, simply kissing, with the waves crashing on their feet. It is several minutes before WWX manages to pull back, and meet his eyes again.
"You know what? Fuck nostalgia," WWX says. The prettiest words LWJ has ever heard. "If you can do something as crazy as getting that tattoo after we broke up, then I can take you to my room right now and kiss you about it, right?" LWJ smiles at him. "That is only fair."
WWX takes him by the hands, and pulls him towards the sand. "Let's go, then," he says. "There's been enough torture today, and I want dry clothes. Or even better, no clothes," he winks. LWJ hesitates. "Wei Ying." WWX stops. "What?" "All the wine you drank..."
WWX rolls his eyes. "You think I'm still drunk after standing in the freezing water for an hour?" LWJ frowns. He isn't sure. But he doesn't want whatever is about to happen to be clouded in WWX's mind. He wants them both to remember it. WWX looks at him, and his eyes soften.
He comes closer, taking LWJ's face in his hands. "I'm fine," he kisses LWJ's soft lips. "I wasn't that drunk to start. You know how dramatic I can get." It's true. LWJ remembers well. "But if you want to really be sure..." WWX smiles. "We can shower first. Get me extra sober."
LWJ blushes furiously at the thought. WWX laughs out loud, a delicious sound LWJ never wants to stop hearing. "Come on," WWX says, tugging at him again. "I have a tattoo with my name on it that I have to kiss. It's a tradition, right? Traditions are important."
"Very important," LWJ nods, feeling almost drunk with how happy he is. He remembers kissing WWX's tattoo several times, but he never once imagined he would get the privilege back. WWX smiles, and LWJ smiles back, thinking he is the luckiest man in the world.
He lets WWX guide him back to his room, where they spend a long, amazing night. When the sun rises, they fall asleep together. And when they wake up, they wake up tangled in each other, as they haven't in years. It feels just as right. They never stop waking up together again.
_END_ What happens next: WWX and LWJ still have a lot to talk about! But they manage to get through some communication, for the first time in their lives. Older now, they learn that it's okay to demand time with each other, and that they don't have to sacrifice themselves.
They go back to their lives and the "vacation glow" doesn't disappear. In fact, they find that they're even more in love with each other in a domestic setting. Soon, they're spending every night together, and "wait, aren't we going too fast?" becomes "let's just move in together"
In true Wangxian fashion, it all works out perfectly, because they're soulmates and meant to be together forever. Every night they kiss each other's tattoos, and neither ever regrets getting them. LWJ even gets a bunny under his, to truly match WWX's. 💜
If you enjoyed the threadfic pls consider RTing the first tweet! Thank you so much to everyone who followed it and waited for updates! It was so much fun writing it!!…
Teenage WWX would absolutely start dating LWJ at a young and impressionable age and immediately get a tattoo of LWJ's name When they eventually break up because of life reasons everyone tells WWX to cover it up, but he never does. He looks at the tattoo fondly even years later.
Look at this amazing art for the balcony sunset kiss scene!!!! So pretty!!!!!! 💜💜🥹🥹🥹 Pls RT the original tweet to support the artist!…
Had fun drawing this romantic scene from @Ana ✨ Soft LWJ Hours exes to lovers wangxian thread fic #WangXian #MDZS #digitalart #LanWangji #WeiWuxian #fanart
Ana ✨ Soft LWJ Hours
✨ Writer of soft threadfics with some knife to them ✨ | Minors DNI | mostly a bottomji enthusiast 🍑🐰 pfp: @Xanctus_9
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