He remembered everything.
He remembered everything that happened last night.
He wasn’t as out of it as he pretended to be. He was fully aware of everything going on, where he was, what he was doing.
And it was even worse because… He didn’t regret it.
Something in Wuxian had basically snapped when he woke up and saw Feng Xi.
At first, he really had been on the brink of exhaustion, and couldn’t remember how he got to Feng Xi’s apartment to begin with. That part he had been honest about. Wuxian had pretty much ran himself ragged with trying to figure out the strange spiritual energy flares, as well as the pain in his chest stabbing through him at all times, making him emotionally exhausted.
When he woke up and saw Feng Xi, his heart lurched. He wanted to leave, he wasn’t ready to face Feng Xi, not yet, he couldn’t do it, couldn’t take any looks of hatred or anger directed at him. Wuxian knew that he would deserve it, but his heart couldn’t take it right now. If he stayed any longer, he knew he would snap.
So he tried to leave, hurriedly reaching for the door before he was stopped.
Stopped by Feng Xi, who was telling him to stay.
Even if he had to pretend to be out of his right mind, even if he had to lie to himself and Feng Xi, Wuxian couldn’t hold back any longer.
Despite decades worth of being apart, somehow it felt like absolutely no time passed when he kissed Feng Xi. His lips felt exactly how he remembered. Despite his racing heart and fears gripping at his very soul, Wuxian felt his body working on muscle memory, as if they never parted, as if this was easier than breathing, as if he was home.
Now, laying awake, alone and with the soft light of morning filtering through the large window, Wuxian made up his mind.
He’s scared, and he knows he doesn’t deserve anything from Feng Xi, but…
He was tired from running, tired from freezing up and not being able to say what he wanted, so at that moment, Wuxian decided he wasn’t going to run anymore.
Taking a deep breath, Wuxian realized that he…. Couldn’t really breathe that well, actually.
He’s only been awake for a few short moments now, only having opened his eyes for a moment to look up at the ceiling above him as he waited for the fogginess of sleep to disappear, but now he realized there was a weight on his stomach that made it harder to breathe, though in no way heavy enough to make it impossible.
Blinking his eyes open to the soft light filtered through thin curtains, Wuxian looked down and saw a ball of black fur, with big eyes staring at him.
“Shifu!” Xiao Hei exclaimed, ears seeming to perk up as he lifted his head. “You’re awake!”
Wuxian couldn’t help the small, fond smile that quickly grew across his face, resting one of his hands on Xiao Hei’s tiny cat body to keep him secured as he sat up a bit, using his elbow to keep himself propped up. “Good morning, Xiao Hei.”
“I was so worried about you!” The little cat pressed his face against Wuxian’s chest, his tone in a scolding manner.
Feeling his heart hurt a little, Wuxian gently pet the fur on Xiao Hei’s back with his thumb soothingly, trying to reassure the child that he was fine. “I’m sorry for having worried you, I’ll try my best not to worry you more in the future.”
A few moments of silence passed as Wuxian continued to pet the cat before Xiao Hei seemed to huff, looking up at Wuxian with an expression that seemed displeased. “It’s okay if you worry me, just don’t do something like that again. If shifu is troubled, then tell me.”
There was no way Wuxian could honestly burden Xiao Hei with something like this.
He already hurt the child by holding him back, making him run off to Long You in secret because Wuxian couldn’t face his feelings, couldn’t make himself take a step out of fear of rejection, and the guilt that weighed down his entire being, convinced that he doesn’t deserve to try and make things right.
Xiao Hei was already so caught up in the situation and was in the middle of it without Wuxian meaning for him to be. The young elfin cared deeply for both Wuxian and Feng Xi, but he didn’t deserve to be caught in the middle of it, didn’t deserve to see the two of them yell at each other over every little thing.
There was no way that Wuxian could make such a promise to the child.
Instead of answering, Wuxian lightly patted his head before moving to sit up, swinging his legs over the side of the couch and onto the floor. Xiao Hei landed on the couch cushion beside him. “Are you heading out?” Wuxian asks.
“Mh, Xiaobai and Argen will have to head back home tomorrow, they’re forcing me to go sightseeing with them.”
“That sounds like it’ll be fun… Oh, but Xiao Hei…”
“Be careful. There’s been strange spiritual energy flares all around Long You.”
“Is that why you’re here?”
Wuxian nods. He had no doubt that Xiao Hei would be able to take care of himself, and his friend Argen seems to be capable as well, but he still wasn’t able to figure out this whole mystery, and wanted to warn the young elfin. “If you notice anything odd, come and get me right away. Don’t go and try to do anything on your own, alright?”
It was rare for Wuxian to tell Xiao Hei to back down from something, so instantly, the child knew the situation was serious and agreed without complaint.
Xiao Hei jumped off the couch. Instead of four paws landing on the floor, two human feet touched down instead, and now stood the boy in his human form, ready to take off, but before heading for the door, he instead turned around to face Wuxian. “Feng Xi is in the kitchen, by the way,” Xiao Hei says before hurrying off, saying goodbye to Wuxian and closing the door before receiving an answer.
Wuxian sat there for a few moments, unmoving.
He felt scared, as he stared at the space that led into the kitchen area.
Every part of telling him to leave, to run away, to not say anything to Feng Xi, but there was that smaller part longing to reach out, begging that he go and just talk to him, try to figure something out.
Normally, that little voice was easily drowned out by the much louder guilt he felt, but for once, Wuxian was going to listen. He was tired of running away. His heart hurts, and he was sure that there is going to be anger thrown his way, but he knows he deserves it.
Besides, he didn’t know how long Luo Zhu was going to give him before he goes and tells Feng Xi, and even if Feng Xi hates him after all of this, the least Wuxian can do now is tell Feng Xi himself.
Wuxian looked down at his exposed forearms, his eyes tracing the now faded thunder bolt patterns that stretched across his skin, and remembered of another time he had been scared. Scared for different reasons, but scared all the same. It wasn’t often he felt like this, hardly anything could match up against him anymore, and he’s had so many lifetime's worth of experiences. But one thing remained the same, Feng Xi was the only one who could shake him to his very core.
Finally, Wuxian takes a deep breath and walks the few steps that feel like unstable ground to the doorway of the kitchen, holding the breath in his lungs the entire time.
Feng Xi stood there with his arms crossed, leaning his back against the kitchen counter and frowning as he typed something into his phone, having not noticed Wuxian standing there and staring.
Always, just being in the same room made Wuxian feel unsteady yet secure. It was such a strange contradiction…
He was probably staring for just a bit too long, but after a while, Feng Xi finally looked up and looked at Wuxian, who had to do everything in his power not to shrink back in guilt. “I didn’t know you were already awake,” Feng Xi said, setting his phone down on the counter behind him before gesturing with his hand to the small table in front of him, where a small bag and cup sat. “Xiao Hei wanted some pastries from a shop not too far from here. He told me that the two of you have been there before, but in a different city.”
Wuxian looked over to where Feng Xi gestured to. He didn’t feel hungry at all, his emotions in too much turmoil for him to feel hungry, so he just reached for the cup, which was still a little warm, taking a sip from it.
“It’s probably cooled down by now,” Feng Xi says with a slight shrug of his shoulders, his arms once again crossed in front of him.
It was, for the most part, but Wuxian didn’t mind.
“So you let Xiao Hei bully you into getting what he wanted?” Wuxian says over the cup’s lid, his eyebrows raised a little. He didn’t expect to say something like that, falling into the rhythm they so easily had when they were younger.
For a moment, Wuxian’s words seem to surprise Feng Xi as well before he’s shaking his head, a small smile on his face. “How do you expect me to tell him no? I don’t have the willpower to deny him anything.”
Wuxian knew all too well that feeling when it came to Xiao Hei. Although stubborn, he was a cute and well behaved kid, it was all too easy to give in to whatever he wanted, and he probably was aware of it as well.
It was easy to talk about Xiao Hei, but now a thick silence hung over them, filled with too many things needing to be said, but with no way of bringing them up. Wuxian was sure Feng Xi wants to ask about what happened last night, if he remembers any of it, and once again the guilt clawed at him from the inside.
There was too much that needed to be said.
“How’s the mission for the guild going?”
A bit caught off guard by the sudden topic, Wuxian blinked, thinking he may have misheard Feng Xi, but all the elfin does is repeat the same question. He’s not the only one struggling with trying to ease into a conversation, to bring up more serious topics.Wuxian sighs. “I still haven’t found anything,” he says honestly, feeling a bit of frustration. “There was another spike in activity the past night, but when I went to check it, nothing was out of the ordinary.”
Listening, Feng Xi frowned, seemingly just as stumped by this mystery as Wuxian was. “Is there at least any difference between any of them?”
“The registered spiritual energy with each spike gets stronger, but that’s all.”
“Has any of the spikes caused damage yet?”
“No, but if it continues the way it is, then it will. Some are in highly populated areas, so there’s a chance it could hurt someone at this rate.”
That was the biggest issue here, the fact that it could potentially hurt elfin and humans if not found and dealt with quickly, which is why Wuxian has been putting so much time and effort into figuring this out as best he can, going to each location and trying to figure out what the correlation is.
As much as he wants to prevent anyone from getting hurt, a more selfish part of Wuxian is concerned for Feng Xi. If these were different circumstances, if Feng Xi had his spiritual energy, he would be fine if such a thing were to happen, for the most part. But, as he is now, if he were to get hurt by this…
Wuxian would never be able to forgive himself.
“And what about you?”
Something from Wuxian’s expression must’ve given away his confusion because Feng Xi re-words himself. “Last night, Xiao Hei brought you here and told me he had nowhere else to go. Wouldn’t he have been able to take you to the guild?”
With a heavy sigh, Wuxian shook his head. “Probably, but I wouldn’t be very welcomed there.”
Now it was Feng Xi’s turn to be confused. “What do you mean? You’re an Executor, you live there.”
“You don’t know this because it was a little while after you left, but the guild evicted me.”
“Are you serious?” Feng Xi scoffed. “Why did they do that?”
“Multiple reasons,” Wuxian shrugged. “Mainly, because I was too powerful, as well as human. Apparently some complained about it enough that they decided I needed to leave.”
What he left out was the fact that no one at the time trusted him anymore. True, he had a good reputation from the years he’d spent so far as an Executor, but by this point, everyone knew of his relationship with Feng Xi, and because of this, others assumed he had a part in it, despite any protests he had.
In the end, in order to protect themselves, they came to the conclusion to kick Wuxian out, making it so he couldn’t live in the guild any longer, but could still perform as an Executor.
It took a few more years to build back up his reputation and trust with the elfins from the guild, but by that point, it was obvious a lot of them felt uncomfortable with him around, so Wuxian limited his visits as much as possible.
Feng Xi didn’t need to know about that part.
There was a noise from behind Feng Xi, making him turn around and reach for his phone before he could say anything, tapping a few times on the screen with a frown, and then putting it in his pocket.
“Well, I already told this to Xiao Hei, but if you’d like, you two can stay here while you’re on your mission,” Feng Xi says as he pushes himself away from the counter, looking down at the ground instead of at Wuxian. “Just so that Xiao Hei isn’t waking me up at some random time because you can’t take better care of yourself.”
Wuxian had no idea how to answer that, as his heart tightened in his chest.
He didn’t deserve this. He didn’t deserve to have Feng Xi be kind to him in any way.
He needed to say something or the guilt would eat him alive.
Completely unaware of Wuxian’s inner turmoil, Feng Xi keeps talking.
“I need to leave for a bit, but I’ll be back later.”
As Feng Xi walks past, Wuxian reaches out and grabs him, quickly changing his hold from almost grabbing onto the bracelet on Feng Xi’s wrist to instead holding onto his hand.
“I need to… I need to tell you something later,” Wuxian says, his voice filled with a slight panic.
He needed to tell Feng Xi.
Feng Xi looks down at their clasped hands before looking back at Wuxian, seeming to search for something in his eyes for a moment before finding whatever it was he was looking for, and nodded. “Okay,” he says softly. “You can tell me tonight, Wuxian.”
For some reason, Wuxian couldn’t feel any calm from it, and instead felt his heart twisting. He wanted to take back his words, but Wuxian knew he couldn’t, so instead he holds onto Feng Xi’s warm hand for a beat longer before reluctantly letting go.
He wasn’t going to run anymore...