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like the fullest moon through my heart

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Lan Zhan’s arm is in a sling. It takes Wei Ying by surprise. Well, of course it takes Wei Ying by surprise, of course he doesn’t expect that , but he’d been so focused on what he did expect to see, had spent so much time picturing Lan Zhan as he was now: broad-shouldered and hair just beginning to wisp out of its severe crew-cut, and the flat-cut muscle of his chest, and what it meant that Wei Ying could notice these things now, was allowed, was more than allowed, was encouraged. It had been so solid, that picture in his head, that for a moment he’s not quite sure what to say.

“Lan Zhan!” That’s always been his default after all, two easy syllables that fit comfortably in his mouth. “Your arm! Did you —?”

He means did you get jumped . He thinks he’d know, even if Lan Zhan had decided not to tell him, because someone would have said, he’d have heard about it on one of his community WhatsApp groups, or someone would have asked him to bike some supplies around, or something , so he thinks — but he’s not sure. Lan Zhan doesn’t get jumped by himself all that often, but he’s incapable of walking past a fight (fifty steps, yeah yeah, Wei Ying is aware), and he might have kept that quiet, if nobody they knew was involved.

“I slipped. There was ice on the road.”

That’s a relief, except for the way that Lan Zhan’s ears are red when he says it, so Wei Ying tells him that it’s a well-known fact that the city is slower to de-ice poorer neighbourhoods. Neighbourhoods like the one Lan Zhan lives in now, having blown his inheritance on surgery and all its attendant costs. He’s closer to Wei Ying now, at least. It had been easier to find each other again. 

“Mn. I was at Shufu’s.”

Ah. Well. Lan Zhan is stiff all over, from pain or embarrassment, Wei Ying’s not sure, so he says, “It’s alright if you want to go home,” in case it’s the former, and “I broke my arm, like, three times as a kid, it fucking hurts, I won’t be mad if you need to rest” in case it’s the latter.

Lan Zhan shakes his head. “I wanted to see you.”

“Well, you’ve seen me!” Wei Ying leans forward and then rocks back on his heels. He can’t nudge Lan Zhan, can’t slap him on the shoulder or jostle into his side, and the absence of the rhythm of those friendly touches, of that particular language, makes the silence feel more pointed, heavier. It had taken Wei Ying some time to realise that when Lan Zhan looked at him like he wanted to kiss him, then, well, he wanted to kiss him, and — This is their first date. That’s all. He doesn’t want Lan Zhan to have to grit his teeth through it.

“Not enough,” Lan Zhan says, and Wei Ying smiles, because how can he not smile when Lan Zhan says that, and he likes him so much, so so much, but also Lan Zhan should definitely be in bed right now. 

“We should go somewhere different, then. The ramen place is all —” Wei Ying mimes being squidged in, elbows pinned to his side. “You’ll get knocked. Uh —” He looks around. It’s Saturday afternoon and the cafés are mostly heaving, people pressed close around tables. “We could just go to yours? Or mine, but Wen Ning is doing a stream, I think, so it’ll be super noisy, lots of krkkkkrkrkkkkkrrrr —” Lan Zhan looks unmoved by Wei Ying’s best impression of a machine gun, which is fair, if offensive. “If? You don’t mind? If you don’t want me in your space then I totally get that, like —”

Lan Zhan freezes, and reaches out with his uninjured arm. He takes Wei Ying’s hand. They both look down for a moment. Wei Ying holds all of his friends’ hands, he’s that kind of gay, but it’s never felt like this, like he can feel his pulse beating through all five fingers, and like he’s immediately started sweating more than he ever has before. Lan Zhan probably thinks he’s gross. Lan Zhan’s own hand is sort of clammy, too, but Lan Zhan is injured, and potentially on a lot of painkillers, and is also Lan Zhan , so he gets a pass. 

“I want you in my space. If you would like to be there.”

“Yeah.” Wei Ying squeezes his hand. “Yeah, of course. We can get takeout, and it’ll be basically the same, except no straight people and also no tourists, so. Better, even.” It’ll be good , he wants to say, I’ll make it good , and maybe that’s too much like innuendo but he means it. It should be good, for Lan Zhan. 

“Three times?” Lan Zhan says as they begin to walk.

“Huh? Oh, my arm? Uh, yeah.” He ticks them off on his other hand. “One, fell out of a tree that Jiang Cheng dared me to climb. My fault — my fault! Don’t look like that, I egged him into it. Number two, um. When I got sent back into foster care for a bit? It happened then.” Lan Zhan squeezes his hand very tight, a spasm of movement. It hurts, but not like that second break had. “It was the same arm, so then it got super weak, and the third one I basically just fell over when I was drunk! So then — that’s about when I stopped drinking.” Almost about when. Two months after, actually, but it had been the beginning. “So actually all much more embarrassing stories than the neglectful city government failing to grit your uncle’s road properly!”

“Wei Ying.” They’re out of the main city stretch now, the buildings beginning to segue into apartment blocks and terraced streets, looming uniform concrete without the bright brand names to break it all up. It’s quieter here, and Lan Zhan stops, pulls Wei Ying closer. “None of what you have said is embarrassing.”

“You neither.” Wei Ying reaches out, and very gently touches the shadow of a bruise on Lan Zhan’s wrist.

“Mm,” Lan Zhan says, in the way that means he disagrees.

“I mean it.” It seems important, somehow, that he knows that. “Don’t be mad at yourself, kay? Did you take painkillers?” His jie would be proud. He thinks about texting her: Lan Zhan broke his arm, and I did eventually remember to ask him about medicine! Growth! 

“Yes.” Lan Zhan starts walking again, and Wei Ying stumbles a little at the sudden movement, Lan Zhan yanking at him. 

“Lan Zhan!” They aren’t far from Lan Zhan’s apartment now, just another half a block, and Lan Zhan speeds up, which Wei Ying is pretty sure he shouldn’t be doing. His jaw is tight. “Lan Zhan, you gotta — hey, baby. Come on. Don’t be mad.”

“I am not mad.”

“OK, well. You’re something.” Wei Ying huffs out a big blast of air, the foggy swirl of it dissipating in front of him. “We’re still gonna have a nice time. And if — I meant it. I can just get the bus to mine from here if you wanna be alone. You’re allowed to change your mind.”

Lan Zhan shakes his head, a sharp, distinct movement, as he buzzes them in.

“Don’t go home. Unless you want to.”

“I want to be with you.” An echo of Lan Zhan’s earlier words. Wei Ying doesn’t understand why they’re so bad at this, all of a sudden, when they’d gotten so good at being friends. “I just wanna hang out with you. I like hanging out with you, even when you’re grumpy.” He flicks Lan Zhan’s cheek, the downward curve of it. “You are being grumpy, but that’s OK, you’re allowed. I’m grumpy literally every morning, so —”

“I know.”

“Hey!” Wei Ying pouts at him, and then remembers he was literally just calling Lan Zhan grumpy, so maybe it’s justified. “But you still like me, right?”

“I always like you.”

“Right.” Wei Ying stares for a moment, recovering. The lift whirs and clunks, and he imagines his brain doing the same as he scrambles for what he’d meant to say. “So. So, me too. I always like you. So we can just hang out, or you can take a nap and we can get food later or — whatever, Lan Zhan. I mean it.”

Lan Zhan’s apartment is mostly as neat as it always is, which is surprising until Wei Ying remembers that his uncle must have brought him home yesterday. There’s a dirty bowl in the sink, and he hasn’t quite managed to close the cupboard with the sticky hinge that you really have to hip-check hard if you want it to shut all the way, but that’s it. His bedroom door is shut. Wei Ying wonders if that’s messier. Isn’t sure why it matters if it is.

He has to help Lan Zhan take off his coat, although he’s wearing slip-ons that he can manage by himself, so Wei Ying unwinds Lan Zhan’s scarf from around his neck before he can take over that task too, and holds it to his face for a moment before he hangs everything up.

“So soft,” he tells Lan Zhan, like Lan Zhan couldn’t tell that he was sniffing it like a little weirdo. Lan Zhan’s face does that little twitching smile thing, but he says nothing as he turns and walks into the living space. 

A little of the tension in Lan Zhan’s shoulders goes when he sits down, and Wei Ying resolves that he should not move at all, ever again, if it even helps his pain a little. He squishes himself up against the arm of the couch and tucks his feet under Lan Zhan’s thigh, as close as he dares. 

“Do you want me to order food?” he asks. Lan Zhan shakes his head. “A movie? You wanna nap?”

“I thought —” Lan Zhan stops, and takes a deep breath, wincing when the rise and fall of his chest jolts his arm. “I thought that we would have lunch, and then we would walk through the park, perhaps, and that I would kiss you. I would ask if you wanted to come home with me. It — you could have said no. I would not have minded. But I would have asked.”

“I came home with you,” Wei Ying says, and then regrets it immediately. “Sorry, no, I know — that’s not what you meant. I would have kissed you, Lan Zhan. I would have said yes.” 

It’s a little funny, knowing that part of Lan Zhan’s grump is just that he’s horny, but Wei Ying understands. They spent so much time pretending they didn’t see what was in front of them, so much time saying not now, it’s not the right moment , and now — another thing. Another month before Wei Ying can —

He’s not sure. He’s not sure what Lan Zhan wants, exactly what kind of sex he wants to have. Wei Ying doesn’t mind, he doesn’t think, but it’s strange, not knowing. Wei Ying knows what he looks like, knows what men usually want from him. He thinks — he thinks, sometimes, that Lan Zhan wants that from him too, but he’s not sure. He’s never wanted to ask, before, what Lan Zhan likes, in case Lan Zhan thought it was prurient curiosity, or invasive, and not Wei Ying’s desperate need to fill in the details of what he jerked off to in the final few weeks before they both snapped and confessed. 

“I can kiss you now,” he offers. “Gently.” 

Lan Zhan pulls a face at the last word, but he nods, shifting so that he’s turned towards Wei Ying. Wei Ying scooches along the sofa, getting up on his knees so that he’s a little taller than Lan Zhan, so that he can take his head in his hands and press a featherlight kiss to his lips. Lan Zhan deepens it almost immediately, tilting his head and swiping his tongue along Wei Ying’s lower lip, opening his mouth so that Wei Ying moans and has to stop himself from jerking forwards, from throwing himself into Lan Zhan’s lap.

“Lan Zhan,” he mumbles, trying to pull himself away, managing only the slightest of distance. Lan Zhan is so warm . “Lan Zhan, we can’t, we have to be careful.”

“Don’t want to be,” Lan Zhan tells him. Ah, his Lan Zhan, so stubborn, so sure of his desires. Wei Ying’s favourite thing, to watch him plant himself in opposition to something, and refuse to be budged. 

“I know, baby, but you’re hurt. We can’t —”

“I’m not delicate .” Lan Zhan spits out the words, and Wei Ying sits back on his heels at the force of them. 

Ah. This is — Wei Ying’s not quite sure how to phrase it, even inside the confines of his own head. This is Lan Zhan being afraid that Wei Ying still sees him as something he’s not. That Wei Ying is trying to protect him, the way he would his jiejie. Which is dumb, because Wei Ying also treats Jiang Cheng that way, but he knows that’s not how brains work. He wonders if Lan Zhan’s uncle said anything. He wouldn’t — he wouldn’t say anything bad, but sometimes it’s the well-meaning words that sting the worst.

“I know.” Wei Ying lets his voice be loud. It is no use trying to make himself soft if that is what Lan Zhan is afraid of. “It’s a fucking broken arm, Lan Zhan. I’ve had three of them, they fucking hurt, I don’t want to make it worse. I had to have metal put in, the third time, because the break got — it doesn’t. That’s not the point. You could pin me up against the wall with just one hand if you wanted, but that’s…”

He’s slightly lost sight of his own point, and Lan Zhan’s eyes have gone very dark. 

“Would you want that?”

“Yes?” It shouldn’t be a question. “No, I. Yes. Yes. You’re so — you really bulked out, you know that? It’s so fucking hot, Lan Zhan. You’re so hot. I want. Whatever you want, really, I mean that.”

“Mm. I do not think you know what you are saying.”

Wei Ying laughs. When does he ever?

“I do,” he says anyway. “I — look at me.” Lan Zhan is looking at him already, but he wants to emphasise the need of it, wants to make sure. He tips his head back, baring his throat. He doesn’t look away.  “Whatever you want.” 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan reaches one hand up, wincing slightly as his other arm moves, and brushes his fingertips against the base of Wei Ying’s throat. Wei Ying feels it all through him, a murmuration taking flight. But Lan Zhan’s jaw is tight with pain, even just from this, just from the stretch through his shoulders, and so Wei Ying folds his hand over Lan Zhan’s and gives it back to him. “Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan says again, frustrated, and Wei Ying nods, and presses his hand down so that Lan Zhan settles back down. 

“Whatever you want, in, like, a month?” he tries, and watches Lan Zhan try not to grind his teeth. “Hey.” Wei Ying slides off the sofa and sits in between Lan Zhan’s legs, folding his hands over Lan Zhan’s knees. He has to look up at Lan Zhan like this — or, rather, Lan Zhan has to look down at him, has to feel the loom of his height, and the way Wei Ying is small for him. “Hey, sweetheart. Talk to me. And unclench your jaw, you look like Jiang Cheng.”

The thought is horrifying enough that Lan Zhan snaps his mouth open, jaw loosening, and Wei Ying tips his forehead against Lan Zhan’s thigh and laughs. 

“Better. Come on.” He taps his fingers against the tops of Lan Zhan’s kneecaps, careful not to shake them. “You’re crazy strong, I think you’re the hottest person alive, and when you can move without wincing then you can rail me into next week. So. So, we should —”

“I haven’t —” Lan Zhan says, just as Wei Ying starts to say that there are other things they can do, that he loves Lan Zhan’s acerbic asides as they watch movies, that he loves that Lan Zhan always cries at Spirited Away , that they can get the dry hot noodles that Lan Zhan loves and Wei Ying won’t even ask for extra spice if Lan Zhan doesn’t want, that there’s so much that isn’t the barbed-wire sparks between them, and Wei Ying shuts his mouth with an audible pop and waits. Lan Zhan is so rarely hesitant when he speaks. So rarely unsure of what he is saying, the words falling into place like puzzle pieces, making something whole and unerring. “I have not been injured like this for a very long time. Not since childhood. Not since — Not since I had a body that felt like mine.”

Oh, oh, oh, Wei Ying has been so slow, only grasping at bits and pieces of what Lan Zhan meant, the truth iron filings in his leaden hands. Lan Zhan is so strong, all of the time. So upright. All his movements swift and calculated and landing exactly where they mean to.

“Do you feel like… Um. Like dysphoric, about it?”

“Not. Not exactly.” Lan Zhan watches with wide eyes as Wei Ying spreads his fingers across Lan Zhan’s knees, his index fingers inching up towards Lan Zhan’s thighs. “Not about this.” He rests one finger on the cast, an indication. Wei Ying wonders if he’ll let him sign it. He could draw some really cute stuff on there, he bets. He’s pretty sure he’s got a marker pen in his coat pocket. “I feel. Odd. Smaller.”

Wei Ying hunches his shoulders, a stutter towards shrinking, and Lan Zhan shakes his head. 

“No, like — this is enough. You are enough, Wei Ying, like this. Like you are.”

“But you still feel weird.” His voice is soft, now. He thinks it can be, thinks he has worked his way into allowed . He wants to be soft with Lan Zhan. He wants to be small, and open for him, a curlicued wanting embrace. 

“Mm. It is silly.”

“It isn’t. I drove everybody crazy every single time I broke — well. You can imagine, right? I was going out of my mind, everything felt all, all piled-up in me, everything I’d normally do just bursting to get out. So. So it makes sense. And it’s — you know. There’s extra stuff. So.”

“Mn. I want — This is silly. No, wait.” He nudges his leg sideways so that the linen of his trousers presses against Wei Ying’s mouth. Wei Ying lets his mouth slide open a little, lets it get a little wet, and Lan Zhan looks at him, something like a smile playing about his mouth.

“I wanted so very badly to fuck you,” he says, and then does smile when Wei Ying gasps, a flutter-pant of fabric against his lips. “I thought of it often. I thought of holding you down.”

“When I told you —” Three months ago, at Huaisang’s party, Wei Ying sloppy with exhaustion, complaining about how nobody could give it to him the way he wanted.


“Yes. More often, after that. How could I not?” Lan Zhan tips his head back, and the winter light casts him in soft shadows, the prominent lines of his throat dripping into dark. Wei Ying wants him. “You are not less of a man because of what you want. I know that. I know that I am not — And yet —” 

“You wanted to fuck me,” Wei Ying says, half-explanation, half-question. “You wanted to make me yours. I am. I am yours, Lan Zhan.” Lan Zhan’s breath hitches, and Wei Ying shakes his head. He’s not done. He knows that promise isn’t all he has. “I know — you need to feel it, huh?”

“Yes.” 

“You need me to show you?” He thinks — He thinks, maybe — “Hey, A-Zhan, my sweet boy, you want me to show you exactly how much I’m yours?” He kneels up, and takes Lan Zhan’s uninjured hands. “Anything you want, sweetheart. You can make me do anything you want, anything you want to see.”

“To see?” Lan Zhan’s eyes narrow, and Wei Ying shrugs.

“Still nope on the exacerbating injury thing, and you know you would be doing the same if I’d hurt myself, so I don’t wanna hear anything else about it.” He kisses Lan Zhan’s knuckles, and thinks ruefully of the whining he’d be doing if their positions were reversed. Really, Lan Zhan is being remarkably stoic.

“Very well. There is lube in my bedside drawer. Fetch it. And my strap — the silver-blue one, and the towel on the back of my door. That too. Bring them back.”

“You wanna — you wanna see me?” Wei Ying plucks at the collar of his sweatshirt. He feels over-warm all of a sudden, flushed straight through. 

“Not yet,” Lan Zhan says, and there’s something in his voice, something in the wryly amused way his eyes flick up and down at Wei Ying squirming on his knees that sends hot embarrassment twisting through Wei Ying’s stomach, scrunching in his stomach. “Wei Ying? I asked you to do something. I will not ask again.”

“Sorry.” Wei Ying scrambles up and this is — Lan Zhan could make him do anything, he thinks, anything at all. He's sitting there with his broken arm and the tired slump of shoulders and Wei Ying would crawl through the apartment naked and panting if Lan Zhan wanted. There’s something almost steadying about that knowledge, about the plain expanse of it, but when he stands he finds that his limbs are trembling. 

There are other things in Lan Zhan’s bedside drawer: cough drops, and condoms, and what Wei Ying thinks might be dental dams, and nipple clamps, a rabbit vibe, a whole array of straps — including several that make Wei Ying gulp slightly — and three different kinds of lube. Wei Ying grabs the non-silicone kind, and the dildo Lan Zhan specified. There’s a harness in there too, but he thinks that might make it worse, a reminder of what Lan Zhan can’t give him right now, so he leaves it and shuts the drawer carefully.

Lan Zhan looks carefully bored when Wei Ying returns, but he can’t quite disguise the spark in his eyes when his gaze flicks to the way Wei Ying’s thin fingers are wrapped around the base of the dildo. He holds his hand out for it, and Wei Ying gives it to him. Lan Zhan holds it so casually, so easily, as if he has done so a hundred times before. He probably has.

“Lay out the towel.” Lan Zhan taps his foot to indicate where he wants it. “Undress for me.”

It’s very strange to undress like that. When Wei Ying has had sex before it has been a frenzied, fumbled thing. There’s a joy in that, in the rush of it, but he’s never really had to think about getting naked before. About what it means to see the thin-boned jut of his wrist as he takes off his sweater, or the pale arch of his feet as he removes his socks. Forearms and calves and even the knobbly quaver of each knee feel weighted as they never have before, Lan Zhan’s gaze skittering over him, drinking it all in. 

“All of it,” Lan Zhan says, as Wei Ying’s hands hesitate on the waistband of his boxers. “Show me, A-Ying.”

They both hiss when Wei Ying pulls them down, his cock slapping fat and slick against his stomach, and Lan Zhan leans forward a little, as much as he can manage with his arm cradled against his chest, his mouth open. 

“Good. Do you need —”

Wei Ying shakes his head. “Showered before I came.” Fingered himself too, enough that he’s still a little loose, but perhaps Lan Zhan won’t be able to tell if he’s not doing the work himself. He doesn’t know how quickly Wei Ying can normally take it, after all. Still, the admittance is enough to make him blush, enough to make amusement settle back into Lan Zhan’s face.

“Did you.” It isn’t a question. Lan Zhan raises his hand and flicks his index finger in a quick semi-circle. Wei Ying stares back at him and Lan Zhan does it again, raising his eyebrows. 

Wei Ying isn’t sure why it’s worse, turning around, letting Lan Zhan look at the naked back of him, but it is. Perhaps because he can no longer see the hunger in Lan Zhan’s eyes, perhaps because he can only guess at how he is being watched, the knowledge of it crawling along his spine and shivering its way into the core of him. 

“Bend over.”

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying isn’t quite sure what he looks like when — well, he’s never done something exactly like this, but other times, when he’s been on his hands-and-knees with his back arched nicely… He knows what that feels like. He knows that he gets. Open. He knows that Lan Zhan will be able to see.

“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan sounds almost bored. “I am repeating myself a lot, today.”

“I —” Wei Ying doesn’t know why that feels like such an awful thing. Normally he delights in making Lan Zhan repeat himself, in mouthing the words right along with him. But this isn’t quite his Lan Zhan. This isn’t the Lan Zhan Wei Ying has worked so hard to know, and he bites back the mewling, pitiful noise he wants to make at the thought that the work will begin all over again, that there is so much more for him to discover. 

He bends over. He is open, as he knew he would be. His hole clenches in the cool air, and Lan Zhan can see it. Lan Zhan can see it all.

“Good boy.” Lan Zhan must be leaning forward again, because his breath is warm on Wei Ying. Not close enough to feel the damp of it, just enough for a brush of heat. “Open yourself up for me, Wei Ying.”

“I can’t — not, I can’t reach properly.”

“Mm.” There is a shuffling sound, and a wince that almost makes Wei Ying turn around, and then Lan Zhan’s ankles tap Wei Ying’s, and Wei Ying realises that he’s lowered himself to sit on the floor. “Hands and knees for me, then. Reach behind yourself. You have practiced like this, haven’t you? Pretended it is somebody else with their fingers in you. Someone you cannot see.”

“You.”

Lan Zhan laughs. He does it silently, but Wei Ying can feel the breath of it on the backs of his knees, ticklish, and the way his ankles tremble against Wei Ying’s. “I am here.”

Wei Ying scrambles to his hands and knees, learning awkwardly on one shoulder as he fumbles for the lube and reaches behind himself. Lan Zhan’s right — of course Lan Zhan’s right, he’s been right this whole time, deft-voiced and sure. Wei Ying has practiced. Wei Ying has thought about Lan Zhan catching him at it, thought about Lan Zhan seeing just how easy it is for Wei Ying to slide two fingers into himself and scissor them wide. He does it now, and Lan Zhan’s hand wraps around Wei Ying’s thigh where it strains to keep him steady, and says — 

“Next time do not finger yourself before. I want to see it all.”

“I won’t, I won’t, Lan Zh—” There are tears in his eyes as he chases the filament thread of pleasure. It’s so much already, the heavy weight of Lan Zhan’s gaze on him and the not-knowing what he sees, what exactly he’s looking at, only the sharp press of his fingertips against the muscle of Wei Ying’s thigh and the way his breath is starting to come a little shorter. And then there is a tap against Wei Ying’s wrist, something cold and plastic-y, and Wei Ying realises Lan Zhan is giving him the dildo. No words just — just the expectation that Wei Ying will take it, that Wei Ying will fuck himself with it without being asked, that Wei Ying will open himself up again and again and let Lan Zhan just — just hand him things, anything he wants, and that Wei Ying will be filled up however Lan Zhan he wants. His hips rock forward, and his left arm gives way so that his head and shoulders are pressed against the brushed cotton of the towel and the arch of his back deepens, pushing his fingers in deeper.

“You want it so badly,” Lan Zhan tells him. “Take my dick, baby. You’re allowed.” His thumb comes up to nip at the bottom of Wei Ying’s ass. “Let yourself have this, A-Ying. Show me.”

Wei Ying doesn’t want to think about the sounds he’s making as he slides Lan Zhan’s dick into him. Awful, plaintive sounds, little whimpering pleas as Lan Zhan says slower, A-Ying, let me see how you take it , a terrible, embarrassing squeak as he finally, finally bottoms out, and Lan Zhan says fuck yourself, sweetheart and he pushes back into it, again and again, thighs sprawling wider as his limbs start to shake, sliding wide enough that he can rub his dick up against the towel, keening at the friction.

“Oh, my Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan’s hand is on his ankle now that Wei Ying’s thighs are out of reach, the only anchor Wei Ying has left, his thumb tracing patterns along the bone. “Oh, baby, you need this so badly. Look at you.” 

Wei Ying can’t look, Wei Ying has had his eyes squeezed shut for whole minutes now, the tears trickling down his face all the same, as he bucks, desperate and wanting. He does need this badly. It’s not fair that Lan Zhan keeps being right, but he does need it, he, he — he can’t quite say what he means, not even inside his own head, but he wants, he wants to be this straggled mess that Lan Zhan can see straight through.

“Lan Zhan — Lan Zhan please , I want —”

“Shh, I know.” Lan Zhan sighs and Wei Ying whimpers, wants to cry properly, wants to sob, because Lan Zhan is sighing, and he doesn’t know what that means, only that it means he might not get to come, and then Lan Zhan’s nail is digging into his ankle and Lan Zhan says — “Shh. You are so beautiful. I am only sad that I cannot touch you more.” He digs it in again, deeper, deep enough that Wei Ying cries out in pain, and Lan Zhan’s voice is very soft when he says, “You can come, Wei Ying.”

It is a rolling thing when it comes, curling up through his toes and arching through the stiff open ache of his jaw where he pants against the towel. He can feel his own mess pool against his stomach as he spurts, and through it all Lan Zhan does not let go of him, does not stop speaking, does not stop telling him beautiful, beautiful until he is quite still, even his trembling cast aside in favour of a strange, bone-deep peace. Lan Zhan keeps stroking up and down his foot as Wei Ying lies there, breathing deeply, listening only to the sea-wash echo of his own heartbeat in his ears.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan says eventually, and Wei Ying scrambles around on jelly-struck limbs, and seizes his uninjured hand.

“Lan Zhan!” His voice sounds odd. Hoarse, almost, as if he had been screaming. “Lan Zhan, please, please, am I allowed, I want —”

For the first time since Wei Ying came out of his bedroom Lan Zhan looks uncertain. 

“I was going to suggest you take —” He gestures at Wei Ying, at which point Wei Ying realises the dildo is still stuck halfway in his ass. He laughs, a little awkward, and pulls it out, wincing more at the squelch that follows than at the soreness. They both look at it for a moment, lying wet and dripping in Wei Ying’s palm, and then Wei Ying lays it very gently down on the towel. It’s Lan Zhan’s dick, after all. He wants it to treat it with respect.

Lan Zhan looks very fond when Wei Ying glances back at him, and it’s that that gives him the courage to ask again, to say — “Lan Zhan, you don’t have to, but I’d like — if you can lie very still, I think we could, I think I could make it good for you, I want to touch you baby, I want to — you made me feel so good, I want —”

Lan Zhan holds up his hand. “Have you before?”

“I’ve eaten people out before?” By people Wei Ying does mean Wen Qing and he does mean ‘once, as a favour to both of us’ but he’d liked it, and he thinks he’d like it more with Lan Zhan, even if Lan Zhan can’t sit on his face like he’d really like him to. “It’s — if there’s something you want I’ll try. I’ll. If there’s something you like more.”

“Not inside.”

It had taken Wei Ying a very long time to realise that particular set of Lan Zhan’s jaw was nerves, not anger, but now he looks at it and only wants to kiss the ticking muscle there. He can, he thinks — realises — and so he does, leaning forward to gently press his lips to where Lan Zhan’s fear makes itself known.

“Not inside,” he agrees, softly. “Can I suck your dick, gege? I’ll make it so good, baby.”

“I know you will.” Lan Zhan really does seem to know, and, given that he hasn’t been wrong about anything else, Wei Ying is inclined to believe him.

Wei Ying helps Lan Zhan stand up, and they walk slowly together to Lan Zhan’s bed. Lan Zhan lies down, and Wei Ying helps him prop his arm up with a cushion. He unties Lan Zhan’s trousers and scoops an arm under his hip to get them off. Lan Zhan is wet, his white boxer shorts soaked through, and Wei Ying leans forward, unable to help himself, and opens his mouth against the fabric, breathing him in. He smells musky and sweet and perfect, and his dick is so swollen and prominent that it presses hard against the cotton too, and he wants, he wants. He breathes hot against it, and Lan Zhan’s hips hitch.

“You gotta keep still,” Wei Ying tells him, sounding a little miffed himself. He wants Lan Zhan to take . They scowl at each other, and Lan Zhan wriggles slightly, shifting his hips against the mattress, and Wei Ying thinks of how unacceptably long Lan Zhan has had to wait and pulls Lan Zhan’s boxers down too.

It is a little different to Wen Qing. Lan Zhan is a little less wet, and his dick much easier to suck, to get his lips properly around and lick along the hood of it so that Lan Zhan gasps, the sound muffled in the back of his throat, and presses up against where Wei Ying’s arm is holding him down. It’s easy to lose himself in this, to forget to worry about if he’s doing it right, or if Lan Zhan will hate him forever if he sucks at it. Lan Zhan sounds surprised every time he makes a noise, the sounds cutting off in little hitching breaths, and Wei Ying sucks harder, scraping his teeth very gently against the side of Lan Zhan’s dick until Lan Zhan forgets to stifle them and groans. Wei Ying thinks he could get hard again from this — thinks he could come from this, just from Lan Zhan’s slick dripping down his face and the taste of him thick on his tongue. Lan Zhan’s thighs are trembling, tightening around Wei Ying’s head, one foot coming up to wedge itself against the base of Wei Ying’s spine, and Wei Ying flicks his tongue and gets his mouth around the whole of Lan Zhan’s dick, sucking firmly as he licks him, and Lan Zhan comes. His wetness covers Wei Ying’s chin, and Wei Ying moans around Lan Zhan, rubbing his whole face against Lan Zhan’s cunt, getting himself wetter as Lan Zhan keeps coming — comes again? Comes — he’s still shaking, still whining, high noises that Wei Ying didn’t think Lan Zhan could even make, and then his other hand comes down and he pushes Wei Ying down, harder, so that Wei Ying’s nose rubs against Lan Zhan’s dick too as he flattens his tongue against the rest of his cunt. He’s careful not to dip inside, just wet pressure against his lips and the outside of his hole, and then Lan Zhan comes again and this time Wei Ying’s mouth is there to catch the gush of it, greedily smearing it against his own lips until Lan Zhan’s grip slackens and he begins to push at Wei Ying’s forehead instead, feebly shoving him away.

Wei Ying crawls up the bed and shows his shining face to Lan Zhan, the smeary mess of him. Lan Zhan crooks a finger and Wei Ying bends down so that Lan Zhan can lick his own slick from Wei Ying’s skin, and then Wei Ying kisses him, tastes him on both of them.

“You’re hard again,” Lan Zhan informs him, and Wei Ying nods. It doesn’t feel important, somehow. His desperation is all for this, for the quirk of Lan Zhan’s eyebrow as Wei Ying opens his mouth again and licks at his own lips, chasing the taste, and for how soft Lan Zhan’s tongue is when he searches Wei Ying’s mouth for the last of it. 

“Later,” he mumbles, settling down by Lan Zhan’s side. He readjusts Lan Zhan’s cushion, and makes sure he’s not touching his broken arm when he rests one tentative hand on Lan Zhan’s chest, tangling his legs with Lan Zhan’s own. “Later, if you want. Can show you that, too.”

“Mm. Good boy. Want to see everything.”

Lan Zhan sounds very tired. He should sleep, if he can. Wei Ying suspects he didn’t get very much sleep last night. He just needs —

“Are we —” Ugh. There’s no way to ask this that doesn’t make him sound like a fumbling teenager. “Are we boyfriends now? I want that. If you want that.”

“Yes.” Lan Zhan taps a finger against his shoulder, and Wei Ying wriggles back up to kiss him. “Boyfriends.”

“OK.” Wei Ying thinks about what a-jie would do, about how she would leverage this situation. Maybe not this exact situation, he doesn’t want to think about that, but still. “Then I want to stay. Wanna look after my boyfriend.”

“I don’t need —”

“Bullshit.” Wei Ying kisses him to soften him. “I wanna . Let me — Lan Zhan. Let me help.”

“Yesterday. I didn’t let my uncle — I have oil, for my scars.” Lan Zhan nods, gesturing vaguely at his chest. Wei Ying kisses there, too. He wants to kiss everywhere, even if it’s all just mouthfuls of cotton, a little sweaty. He thinks Lan Zhan might have slept in this shirt, and the thought settles comfortably inside of him. “It’s hard to open, one-handed.”

“Then I’ll open it.” Lan Zhan stifles a yawn, closing his eyes and shuffling against the mattress. It’s unbearably cute. “Sleep now, Lan Zhan.” Wei Ying closes his own eyes and settles down very pointedly, ignoring the way Lan Zhan pinches his side in retribution. “Uh uh. I’m asleep. Can’t see what face my sexy boyfriend is making, so there’s absolutely no point in him making it.”

“I will make it again when you are awake.” Lan Zhan sounds like he does when he’s trying to be stern with his littlest students and failing completely in the face of their cute cheeks. Wei Ying smiles, smug and hidden against Lan Zhan’s side. 

“I look forward to it.”

Maybe Lan Zhan says something after that. Wei Ying doesn’t hear it, if he does. It’s OK. Lan Zhan will say it again. Again and again, and again after that. For as long as Wei Ying wants to hear it.