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Taking Flight

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Lan Zhan sighed as he settled down into his seat, praying to whatever god was listening that whoever was sat next to him wouldn’t be a menace. It was a long flight from Shanghai to New York City, and it would be even longer if he got stuck with someone unbearable. He felt his gut begin to twist, a foreboding feeling coming over him. Something horrible was undoubtedly coming his way, he just knew it.

 

“Hey there, handsome. That seat taken?”

 

And there it was.

 

Lan Zhan was about to look up at this stranger and stare him down coldly until he left him alone until he caught sight of just who it was that had spoken. A man stood there in front of him, quite possibly the most beautiful man Lan Zhan had ever laid his eyes on. Black hair tied up into a messy high ponytail, a playful grin, and sparkling grey eyes; the man was beauty personified. Lan Zhan felt his heart begin to beat wildly. He didn’t know what to say, this had never happened to him before. Speechlessness? Unheard of, impossible. Be calm, he thought to himself. Bracing himself to respond to this gorgeous stranger, he was stopped by the stranger beating him to it.

 

“Ah, sorry, bad joke,” he said awkwardly, rubbing the back of his neck in obvious embarrassment.  “I, uh, I have the seat next to you.”

 

It was at that moment that Lan Zhan felt his soul officially leaving his body. Oh, no. How was he going to survive this? How was he going to survive a 15-hour flight while sitting next to him? He took a deep breath before looking back up at the stranger.

 

“Mn.” Lan Zhan nods up at him once before reaching into his bag and pulling out his book. He settles down into his seat and opens it, but his mind doesn’t take in a word that’s on the page. He’s completely and thoroughly distracted by the warmth of the man sitting down next to him. He can’t focus, he can’t think, he’s forgotten what it feels like to be at peace. He shall know no peace until he reaches New York and is free of this burden, free of the knowledge of how this stranger smells. I wonder how he tastes; Lan Zhan finds himself thinking. He immediately yells in his head, willing his mind to focus on something, anything other than where he is now. There must be something he can do that will make his surroundings fall away. He’s always been told that he’s smart, but right now he feels dumber than a bag of rocks.

 

I will never survive this.

 

 

A few hours into the flight, Lan Zhan has still not been able to calm his mind. Nothing he’s tried has worked, he’s even tried composing new music silently in his head, but to no avail. Out the corner of his eye, he sneaks a quick peek over at the stunning man next to him. He’s fallen asleep, his head titled towards Lan Zhan slightly and his breaths coming quiet and even. He’s even more beautiful when he’s asleep. Lan Zhan shakes his head slightly to dislodge the thought from his brain. It’s irresponsible to think such a way about a complete stranger. What would his uncle say? What about his brother? They would be disappointed in him if they knew how he was thinking. He turns back to his book, but before he can read more than a sentence, he feels something fall onto his shoulder.

 

The man, the stranger, has fallen asleep with his head on Lan Zhan’s shoulder. Panicking, he tries to think clearly. This is fine. Everything is fine. It’s not a big deal. He can deal with this. Willing himself to focus once again, he turns back to his book. He’s somewhat successful at returning to normal, he only has to read each page twice before he absorbs what’s on the page instead of the five times from an hour ago. Yet apparently, the universe will not allow him to know peace, for he feels the man sleeping on his shoulder stir. Lan Zhan freezes hard, eyes widening almost imperceptibly. The man next to him slowly sits back up and turns to face Lan Zhan. A bright blush had spread across the tops of his cheeks.

 

“Uh, seems I just keep messing up today, huh?” He lets out a self-deprecating laugh before he reaches out a hand towards Lan Zhan. “Guess I should introduce myself now, since I’ve commandeered your shoulder. I’m Wei Ying.”

 

Wei Ying. Lan Zhan couldn’t help but find the beautiful name fitting for such a beautiful man. He stares at him quietly, and it isn’t until Wei Ying’s smile starts to grow awkward and uncomfortable that Lan Zhan remembers that he should shake his hand back. Slightly embarrassed, he reaches out to grasp the stranger – no, Wei Ying’s – hand in return. It’s soft, with callouses along the pads of his fingers. A musician? Lan Zhan silently asks himself. Wei Ying’s grip is pleasantly firm, and Lan Zhan finds himself a bit reluctant to let go when Wei Ying pulls his hand back.

“Lan Zhan,” he finally says in return of Wei Ying’s greeting. Surprising himself, he finds himself asking Wei Ying “What brings you to New York?” Wei Ying grins at him.

 

“I’m actually in a band with my brother and a few friends of ours! We’re playing a gig in the city and trying to decide whether we’ll do a tour in the states.” Wei Ying seems to be brimming with energy, an endless source of light. “What about you?”

 

Oh. Lan Zhan was fully unprepared to have the question turned back at him, even though he really should have seen it coming. He quickly scrambled to gather his wits about him.

 

“I’m a musician as well. I got asked to play with the Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.” Lan Zhan watches Wei Ying’s eyes go wide.

 

Carnegie Hall?!” he exclaims, realizing he was a bit too loud when he notices looks being sent their way. “That’s amazing! You must be pretty good then, huh?” he asks, smirking at Lan Zhan in a way that could be considered seductive if Lan Zhan didn’t know it was his own desires clouding his perception. He shrugs elegantly in response to the comment.

 

“Mn. I play the guqin.” He can see the raw excitement in the dark-haired man’s eyes. He seems to be easily excitable. That’s so cute.

 

“I used to want to learn the guqin when I was younger, but I ended up learning the dizi instead. Although now, I play guitar with the band.” Wei Ying looked away, seemingly lost in deep thought. Lan Zhan quietly left him to his devices, observing the way his brow furrowed gently and his lips slipped into a subtle pout. He found himself wanting to kiss the pout right off those lips. He fiddled with the book in his hands instead, still not used to these sudden thoughts of desire. Eventually, Wei Ying looked back at him.

“How long have you been playing the guqin?” asked Wei Ying. Lan Zhan quietly thanked whatever god was out there for Wei Ying being genuinely interested in his life.

 

“Since I was five-years-old. It is a family tradition.” Lan Zhan felt himself lift his shoulders a bit in a pride that his uncle would’ve scolded him for displaying so openly. But right now, he couldn’t bring himself to care about his uncle’s teachings. He was too drunk off Wei Ying’s sheer presence. “My brother also plays, although he chose not to play professionally.” Lan Zhan watches in satisfaction as Wei Ying’s eyes fill with appreciation. A part of him quietly hopes he’s appreciating his physical attributes as well as his professional, but he has a sneaking suspicion it’s nothing but wishful thinking.

 

“When’s the concert? I would love to come and see you play.” Wei Ying seems excited when he suddenly deflates slightly. “Although, knowing Carnegie Hall, I’d probably have had to get a ticket ages ago…” Lan Zhan immediately corrects him.

 

“I have…a way, to get tickets for you. Each musician is granted two tickets for family, but neither of my family members are attending. So, I have a ticket, if you’d like it.” Lan Zhan swallowed heavily as he waited for the other man’s response. He lights up in happiness.

 

“I would like that very much,” he says softly, staring directly into Lan Zhan’s eyes. “Handsome and generous? I sure got lucky this flight, didn’t I?” Lan Zhan feels his ears turn red as Wei Ying chuckles to himself. If only he knew what he did to me, he thought, discretely crossing one leg over the other to hide the budding erection in his pants. He returns the other man’s gaze, gathering up the last of his courage.

 

“Then it’s a date.”

 

Much to Lan Zhan’s satisfaction, he gets to see that lovely flush cover Wei Ying’s cheeks. Beautiful. Something about this man makes him want to do anything to make him happy, to satisfy him. He catches himself wondering what Wei Ying would look like in bed, laid out underneath him, a flush spreading down to his chest. He would probably look like sex personified, with his hair mussed and lips open as he panted. Lan Zhan felt his pants grow even tighter.

 

“So, Mr. Lan, will this date include dinner afterwards?” the man next to Lan Zhan asked cheekily with a wink thrown his way. Lan Zhan’s heart fluttered.

 

“Mn. If you would like.” Wei Ying smiled back softly.

 

“I would love that.” Leaning forward a little, Wei Ying went to whisper in Lan Zhan’s ear. “I sure hope there’ll be room for dessert afterwards,” he said in a tone that signaled he was most definitely not talking about food. Lan Zhan felt a shiver go down his spine.

 

“Why must we wait for dinner to have dessert?” Lan Zhan gave him a hungry look, which Wei Yin quickly returned.

 

“You’re right, we mustn’t wait at all. I’m looking forward to a sweet treat once we land, er-gege.”

 

And as Wei Ying gave a sharp nip to Lan Zhan’s earlobe, he found himself thinking that this flight couldn’t end fast enough.