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Mornings

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It was early; too early for a five year old to be awake. Lan Sizhui sits up and throws his little legs off the bed. He wiggles his toes before jumping down, landing on the carpet with a soft thump. Steadying himself, he grabs his stuffed bunny from his bed and leaves his room in search of his father. His quick steps sound like little taps on the hardwood floor, taking him in the direction of the kitchen.

 


 

Lan Wangji wakes up at five o'clock every morning, regardless of when he goes to sleep (although usually nine or ten). He doesn't leave the bed immediately, rather turning to his partner beside him. Lan Wangji has a morning ritual, and it begins with his partner. He leans over the other man and pulls the sheet down, exposing his neck and shoulders. His partner grumbles a bit and shivers, but Lan Wangji places his lips to his shoulder in a light kiss. He works his way up, across the shoulder, up his neck, all with soft touches of his lips. The kisses continue past his neck, making their way up to his jaw and then up towards his ear. Lan Wangji kisses the tip of his ear, pleased at the way his partner shivers from his attentions. Following his trail back down, Lan Wangji pauses at his mouth, placing a chaste kiss to its corner. A small smile appears on his partner's lips, making Lan Wangji's heart tighten with affection. Carefully, Lan Wangji slides out of bed, so as not to disturb his sleeping partner. He pulls the sheet back over the other man's shoulder before turning and making his way into the bathroom to ready himself for the day. One finished, he leaves the bedroom and makes his way to the kitchen, knowing that their son would soon be awake and wanting breakfast.

In the kitchen, Lan Wangji begins brewing a pot of coffee, allowing the comforting smell to permeate the air. He gathers ingredients for breakfast, arranging them on the counter for his son to choose what he wants. He's not surprised when he hears quick little taps coming from upstairs. Lan Wangji glances at the clock, 5:45, and turns to greet his son as he slowly climbs down the stairs.

Lan Sizhui tackles the very last step with a huff. Being small really did have its downsides, especially when carrying a stuffed animal. He pads into the kitchen, eyes lighting up as he spies his father standing by the counter. Picking up his pace, he reaches his father and grabs a fistful of his pants, clinging. He looks up and gives a gap-toothed grin, “G'morning, Father!”

“Good morning, A-Yuan,” Lan Wangji answers, reaching down to pick up the small boy. He gestures to the array of ingredients littering the counter. “What shall we have this morning?”

“Hmmm...” Lan Sizhui stares hard at the stuff, thinking hard. “I think I want pancakes!”

Lan Wangji nods. He holds his son for a moment longer, squeezing him just slightly. He carries the boy into the dining room, placing him on his booster seat at the table. There's a coloring book sitting in front of the seat, ready to be used while the boy waits for his food.

Lan Sizhui dutifully sits at the table, placing his little bunny beside the coloring book. He opens the book to a new page and reaches for his container of crayons. His tongue peeks out from his lips as he concentrates on the picture in front of him. When he deems it complete, he turns the page and begins on a fresh picture. The smell of cooking pancakes wafts in from the kitchen and his stomach grumbles, demanding to be fed. Lan Sizhui ignores it, knowing that it is impolite to demand food and that his father will bring it to him as soon as it is done. He colors quietly, patiently, until he feels his father standing behind him. He promptly closes his coloring book and replaces the crayons in their box, moving the objects away and making room for his plate. Lan Wangji places the plate in front of him and Lan Sizhui's mouth waters at the sight of three fluffy pancakes, cut into bit-sized pieces of course, stacked and drizzled with syrup. Lan Sizhui scoops up a bite and shoves it in his mouth, grinning around it. “Fhanf uuh!”

“Do not speak while eating,” Lan Wangji admonishes. He picks up the coloring supplies and takes them from the table. Walking towards the front door, he picks up Lan Sizhui's small backpack and places the items inside. He returns to the dining room and sits with his son, sipping his coffee and watching as Lan Sizhui makes a mess of his face. There are bits and pieces of pancake stuck all over his cheeks. If he didn't look so adorable, Lan Wangji would sigh and shake his head.

“Finished!” Lan Sizhui looks up at his father with another gap-toothed grin. He's wiped the plate clean of food, including crumbs. Kicking his legs, he waits for Lan Wangji to get up and grab a wet cloth, coming back to clean his face and hands.

When he finishes, Lan Wangji picks up his son and sets him on his feet. As he wipes down the table, he says, “Go wake up Daddy.”

“Okay!” Lan Sizhui runs out of the dining room and climbs back up the stairs, rushing into his parents' bedroom. He climbs onto the bed and stands next to his father, ready to jump up and down. He does just that. “Wake up, Daddy!”

 


 

Wei Wuxian never wakes up before six. Even when he can vaguely feel the bed moving as his partner awakens, he sleeps. He's just barely coherent whenever he feels the sheet being pulled from his shoulders and a pair of warm lips trailing across his skin. He shivers at the contact, makes a noise, but does not wake. It's just not possible for him to wake up that early, he doesn't know how Lan Wangji does it. It's always closer to seven before Wei Wuxian begins to become even some semblance of awake. And that's not usually by his own choice. Every morning, there's a certain little helper that gets him out of bed, and it's not his partner.

He hears the foot steps before they enter the room. Wei Wuxian feigns a deep sleep as his son climbs onto the bed and stands beside him. It's hard for him to hide a smile when Lan Sizhui begins to bounce up and down on the bed, trying to shake him awake. He hears Lan Sizhui's “Wake up, Daddy!” and suppresses an even bigger smile. Ignoring the bouncing child, Wei Wuxian lets out a fake snore, covering his head with the sheet.

“I know you're faking, Daddy! You always do this,” Lan Sizhui whines. He stops bouncing and lays down, picking up a fistful of his father's long hair. He tugs at the locks, hoping to get his father to stop pretending. When that doesn't work, Lan Sizhui dives under the covers and wriggles until he's face to face with his father under the sheet. He can clearly see the smile on Wei Wuxian's face. He pouts, blowing air into his father's face. “Come on, Daddy! Father asked me to wake you up! He made me pancakes!!”

Finally, Wei Wuxian lets up on his poor acting. He sits up abruptly and snatches up Lan Sizhui, holding him tight and tickling his sides. “Oh? So you're only here because Father asked you to do this? It's not because A-Yuan loves his Daddy?”

Lan Sizhui squeals loudly, breaking out into peals of laughter. He wriggles back and forth in a vain attempt to escape his father's onslaught of tickles. “Daddy, stop!”

Wei Wuxian ignores his son's pleas and picks up his night shirt, lowering his head to blow a raspberry onto his stomach. Lan Sizhui squeals even louder, no doubt sounding crystal clear throughout the whole house. He continues to tickle his son until he grows red in the face. Only then does he let up. “And so? Do you love your Daddy, little rabbit?”

“Yes! Yes! I love Daddy too!” Lan Sizhui gasps for breath, his laughter dying down. He doesn't try to wriggle out of his father's grasp, content to sit on his lap.

“Very good!” Wei Wuxian grins brightly before peppering his son's face with kisses. The boy squeals again.

Lan Wangji stands in the doorway, watching them. His eyes are soft, the corners of his lips turned up ever so slightly. However, he glances at the clock on the nightstand, life awaits. He clears his throat, catching the attention of the pair on the bed. They look up at him and his heart thumps. He says, “Almost time to leave.”

It's a routine for Wei Wuxian at this point. His eyes widen, he gently places Lan Sizhui on the floor before scrambling off the bed and into the bathroom, the door slamming shut behind him. All the while cursing that he should have been woken up earlier. Lan Wangji says nothing, moving forward to straighten out the bedclothes. When he's finished, he picks up Lan Sizhui and takes him to his room to get him ready for school. As he leaves their bedroom, Lan Wangji can hear Wei Wuxian bumbling around in the bathroom, rushing.

 


 

Thirty minutes later, the small family leaves their home. Securing Lan Sizhui in his booster seat, Wei Wuxian notices that the boy is still clutching his stuffed bunny. He doesn't say anything as he climbs into the passenger seat of the car, knowing what he'll have to do when they get to the school. It's a quiet drive, aside from Lan Sizhui humming along to his favorite kid show. The couple had invested in a portable DVD player for the car in order to keep Lan Sizhui entertained on long drives. It only takes about ten minutes for them to reach the school and that's where the hard part of the day begins.

“A-Yuan, you have to give me the bunny, okay?” Wei Wuxian kneels in front of his son, apologetic. “Teacher says you can't bring it to school anymore.”

“B-But...” Lan Sizhui sniffles, clutching his bunny to his chest. He shakes his head vehemently, tears gathering in his eyes. “Just for today... I really wanna take him in, Daddy!”

Wei Wuxian looks at his husband, asking for help. He's always been weak to Lan Sizhui's tears.

“Listen to him.” Lan Wangji stands behind Wei Wuxian, giving his son a level stare. “You do not want to get in trouble.”

“Well... No, but...” Lan Sizhui looks down, pouting.

“Tell you what, bunny and I will be together all day!” Wei Wuxian puts on a bright smile for his son. “I'll take great care of your bunny.”

“R-Really...? You promise?” Lan Sizhui is hesitant to agree.

“Yeah! And you know what? When we come pick you up, if you've been good today, we'll get a biiiiiiiig ice cream! Bunny can have some too! Does that sound good to you, little rabbit?”

At the mention of ice cream, Lan Sizhui's eyes light up like little suns. He nods his head fervently. “Yes, Daddy!”

Lan Sizhui hands his stuffed bunny off to his father, although still slightly hesitant to let it go. The promise of ice cream definitely softens the blow of leaving it. After receiving a kiss on his forehead from Wei Wuxian and a head pat from Lan Wangji, Lan Sizhui is free to run inside to his friends.