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don't wanna know this feeling (unless it's you and me)

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There’s this Youtuber who goes by the name 'HanguangJun'. He’s mostly known for his beautiful piano covers and own compositions, and sometimes even uploads the random instructional video on how to play a certain piece. He never does voice-over commentary; everything is explained via subtitles on screen. His audience is composed of aspiring musicians who are learning how to play the piano, of people who love his cover versions, and of those who follow him for his own compositions.

One day, HanguangJun publishes a new cover video, in which he plays an absolutely heartbreaking rendition of Lady Gaga's "I'll Never Love Again". 

The video title only says "For the Sun to my Moon."

His face is not visible; it never is in his videos, only his fingers while they dance over the keys. But the droplets of water landing on the ebony and ivory cannot be mistaken for rain.

Of course, the comment section goes wild. HanguangJun never reveals anything personal about himself. They know he has black hair because there was once a strand falling into frame without him noticing. People know that he goes by "he/him" pronouns because he states so in his channel bio, where it also says that he teaches and writes music. He doesn't state his exact age, but he reveals that he's 25+ years old. That's about it.

So seeing him obviously so heartbroken spawns all kinds of reactions, from

"BRO who hurt you??? Lemme at em! 💪😤" 

to "Maybe he was just really moved by the song? Idk, we shouldn't read too much into it."

to "Oh no, I'd rather have a lonely heart than a broken one :("

What is just as weird, is that HanguangJun doesn't reply to a single comment on this video. His replies are usually sparse as is, but he's always polite, humbly thanking for praise, even giving advice when someone has a problem with playing a specific piece.

On this one? Nothing.

The speculations in the comment section, as to what might have caused HanguangJun to be so openly vulnerable on camera get increasingly more interesting as time goes by. Has someone dumped him? Has he lost a partner? Is he a widower? 

It's the most personal thing they have learned about HanguangJun: for some reason, his heart is broken, and it seems shattered beyond repair.

 

***

 

Shattered beyond repair is also the plate that just fell from a man's hand, on the other side of the country. He’s standing still as a statue, his eyes fixed onto the screen of his phone.

The shards of broken porcelain are scattered around his feet. He knows that he should probably pick them up, but he can't move. Not when his heart is bleeding out in front of him, the stitches of an old wound ripped open by a piano cover song on Youtube.

"Wei Wuxian, what did you do this ti-"

The woman entering the kitchen freezes at the door, all scolding forgotten as soon as she sees Wei Wuxian’s face. Slowly she walks up to him, picks up the bigger shards by hand, and goes to fetch the broom.

“Sorry, Wen Qing,” Wei Wuxian mumbles. 

Wen Qing shakes her head and keeps on sweeping. Only when the floor is clean again, does she glance at Wei Wuxian's phone.

"Is that Lan Wangji's channel?" she asks quietly.

Wei Wuxian nods and lets her watch from the beginning.

"It's beautiful," she says.

“He started his channel back when we first got together, “ Wei Wuxian tells her. “I helped him set it up. I used to have my own channel from my high school days, for fun mockumentaries and stuff, so I knew what to do. He chose ’HanguangJun’ as his channel name because his mother always said that he and his brother were the lights of her life.”

Wei Wuxian swallows and points at the name of the video that is still on the screen. 

"He...he used to call me his Sun, back then. He was my Moon. That was our thing."

He flashes her a lopsided grin. It is empty and shallow. "Sappy, isn't it?"

Wen Qing inclines her head. "A bit, maybe," she admits.

Wei Wuxian mock-gasps. "Qingqing, you're so cruel to your Xianxian!" and whacks her shoulder without any heat behind it.

She whacks him back, a fond smile on her face before she grows serious once again. Her eyes wander back to the phone in his hand.

"But really, Wei Wuxian, why are you doing this to yourself?"

Wei Wuxian sighs and leans against the counter. 

"I always liked his music. Still do. And I...I thought he'd forgotten me, you know? After everything that went down. I thought he'd move on. But this..."

Wen Qing snorts. "As if anyone could ever forget you. Especially him. I've never seen anyone so in love like you two were. How could he possibly forget you?"

"He should have," Wei Wuxian replies morosely. "It would have been better for him."

"That's not fair. You haven't forgotten him either," Wen Qing points out.

Wei Wuxian grimaces. "...I suppose I haven't, no."

With a sigh, Wen Qing puts the broom away, grabs Wei Wuxian by the shoulders, and steers him towards the kitchen table.
"Sit down," she says. It's not a request.

Wei Wuxian sits.

Wen Qing flits around the kitchen and prepares them tea, the extra strong kind, and serves each of them a cup. They sit at the kitchen table in silence for a while. Then she grabs one of Wei Wuxian's hands, holds it, and looks him straight in the eyes.

"Maybe it's time to leave Mo Xuanyu behind," she tells him, "and go back to Wei Wuxian."

Wei Wuxian winces."Wen Qing, you know I can't -"

"You can," she says, firmly, "and you should. It's been almost a decade. Besides, I'm not telling you this for your own good only; we're tired of this, too."

 

***

 

Here's the thing: when you're a young aspiring journalist, who gets a bit too investigative in his research of one of the biggest companies for a report and uncovers a whole scheme of corruption and murder in the process...it might land you in the Witness Protection Program.

That's what happened to the Wens, and to Wei Wuxian, who saw and heard too much, and effectively secured himself a spot on Wen Ruohan's hit list.

They say that 95% of the people in that program are criminals themselves, seeking to save their own skin or to strike a deal with Federal Prosecution. In this case, it's a whole family branch just wanting to live in peace and safety, far away from their criminal relatives.

The program pays the people it seeks to protect enough to allow them to live in their new location, with their new identities. They are free to leave said program whenever they wish, though in most cases, it's being strongly advised against.

Wei Wuxian has been advised to stay Mo Xuanyu for at least five years after Wen Ruohan had been arrested, just to make sure that there would be no danger for him and the rest of the Wen family, should they decide to return to their old lives.

The Wens had collectively begun to reclaim their name after the five-year period had been over and authorities had deemed it safe for them to do so.

After nine years, Wei Wuxian still goes by Mo Xuanyu.

"You've done enough for us," Wen Qing says. To an outsider, her voice would sound harsh, almost commanding, but Wei Wuxian knows her well enough to hear the softness behind it.

He rubs his hand across his face. "Qing-jiejie, I -"

Wen Qing sets her teacup down with a thud. "Don't you jiejie me, you know what I mean. None of this was your fault."

Wei Wuxian keeps his gaze fixed on the table.

“Popo had to leave the home in which she had lived her whole life,” he says quietly. “You had to quit your surgeon job. Uncle Four's liquor business went down the drain...all because I didn't know when to stop snooping around."

"You're right," Wen Qing agrees. "You did snoop around, and we did have to do all of this. But we're also alive because of it. Wen Ruohan knew that you knew too much, and he knew that we knew you, so...it wasn't looking good for us. If it wasn't for you going to the cops and ratting him out, we would have never gotten into this program. Hell, I'm not sure if we would even still be here. He would have found a way to silence us. You know that just as well as I do.”

She takes another sip of her tea. “But because you did, we were able to live in peace and safety. A-Yuan was able to live his whole life in peace - and don't you dare blame yourself for what happened to his parents! Accidents happen. It's tragic, but because of you, he still has us. That's gotta be worth something, right?"

Wei Wuxian nods around the lump in his throat. "I just - I would feel like leaving you behind," he quietly admits.

Wen Qing reaches over the table and playfully smacks him up the head. "Idiot."

"So mean" he pouts, rubbing the back of his head.

She shakes her head at him again. "You wouldn't be alone if you were to go back. I secured a paid internship for Wen Ning back at the old place, and the hospital says they'd be ready to take me back, so..."

Wei Wuxian gapes at her. "They do?! That's amazing, why didn't you tell me earlier?"

"Because," she says and pointedly takes another sip of tea, "if I had done, I couldn't have used the news anymore to bribe you into coming with us."

Wei Wuxian huffs.

"Popo says we should take A-Yuan too," Wen Qing continues. "She's actually very comfortable here in the countryside, and she has the others to look after her, but we all agree that A-Yuan would have the best chances in the city. Plus he likes you so much. You're like a father to him."

Wei Wuxian swallows again. "I'll have to think about it."

"Of course," Wen Qing agrees. "There's no rush. Wen Ning and I have a place that would be big enough for the four of us if we squeeze a bit. It would still be about a month before we leave. You might want to look into places to work at though if you decide on joining us."

 

***

 

Wei Wuxian thinks about it, a lot. He's so used to being Mo Xuanyu after almost a decade of being...Mo Xuanyu, but if he's honest? He never really stopped being Wei Wuxian. You don't instantly become a new person just because you have to change your name, that's not how this works.

He misses his old life. He misses his siblings, he misses the places he used to go, and the friends he used to have.

He misses Lan Wangji.

'I still love him,' Wei Wuxian realises, then shakes his head. As if there had ever been any doubt about that fact.

Because it is a simple, undeniable fact: the sky is blue. Water is wet. Fire is hot. Wei Wuxian loves Lan Wangji.

He gets up in the middle of the night, rummages around under his bed, and pulls out an old beat-up suitcase he hasn't opened in years.

His whole old life is in that suitcase. Documents, old clothes he didn't wear for years because they screamed "Wei Wuxian" too much. A poetry album that he started as a high schooler with messages, drawings, photographs, and poems by all of his friends and family.

His dizi.

Wei Wuxian lifts it out of the suitcase, its weight familiar in his hands. He hasn't played in a very long time. He misses that too, getting lost in the music, the motions of his fingers on the holes of the flute almost second nature.

The following day, when most of the Wens are at work and he's sure no one will throw a plate at his head for playing poorly, Wei Wuxian sits in the inner courtyard of their house on the bench near the old magnolia tree and lifts the dizi to his lips. The first notes come out croaking, but soon enough, Wei Wuxian gets in the groove of playing again. 

He missed this so much. Why did he ever stop playing? There are tons of flutists and dizi players out there; it would have been pretty inconspicuous a hobby.

Maybe because music inherently reminds him of Lan Wangji, and for a long time, thinking of Lan Wangji was just too painful. It still stings. He misses Lan Wangji like crazy, but it doesn’t do good to dwell too much on the past.

One afternoon, while Wei Wuxian is practicing, A-Yuan waddles up to him, curious.

"Xuanyu-gege, what's that?" he asks, pointing at the flute.

"That's a dizi," Wei Wuxian explains and lowers the flute to let the child inspect it.

"Di-zi," A-Yuan goes, eyes round. "Can I play too?"

Wei Wuxian chuckles. "You can try," he says and shows him where he needs to blow.

A-Yuan rounds his cheek. The dizi produces a long PFFFFFFFFT sound.

Wei Wuxian erupts into loud laughter. A-Yuan pouts at him.

"You need to practice a lot to make it sound good," Wei Wuxian explains once he’s recovered, and ruffles A-Yuan's hair. "Maybe the flute isn't for you. There are so many other cool instruments out there that you could learn! The violin, the guitar, the piano-"

"Pi-a-no?" A-Yuan asks.

"Yeah, it sounds lovely!" Wei Wuxian says. "I'm sure you’d like it! Have you ever heard one before?"

A-Yuan shakes his head. Wei Wuxian places the dizi on the bench and fishes his phone out of his back pocket. There's a specific lullaby he's looking for, and he knows there are piano renditions of it on Youtube- 

Of course, the first one that pops up is the one played by HanguangJun.

But it is a brilliant rendition, so he lowers the phone to A-Yuan's level for the boy to watch, and hits Play.

Brahms' Lullaby has always been one of his personal favourites, and coincidentally one of the first western songs he learned to play on the dizi back when he was starting out.

Lan Wangji plays it beautifully.

A-Yuan's eyes light up as he listens and watches Lan Wangji's hands dance over the keys of the piano.

"Oooooh, pretty!" he goes. "Xuanyu-gege, can I learn?"

Wei Wuxian hesitates for only a second. "Not here," he says. "But...I used to live in a big city for a while. You can learn almost anything there! And I've been thinking about going back. You could come with me?"

A-Yuan's lower lip starts to wobble. "Xuanyu-gege wants to leave...?"

Wei Wuxian sigh,s slides his phone back into his pocket and lifts the child onto his lap.

"You could go to school there,” he suggests. “They have really great schools! And animal parks we could visit. Ning-shushu and Qing-gugu would be coming with us, and we could go and visit Popo and Uncle Four and the others very very often. And I would be there too."

"Really?" A-Yuan inquires, his eyes wet.

Wei Wuxian places a kiss on his forehead ."Really. You know I would never leave you behind, my little radish, right?"

"Am not a radish. I am a boy," A-Yuan states matter-of-factly.

Wei Wuxian gasps and dramatically clutches at his heart. "What?! No radish? I feel betrayed!"

A-Yuan giggles. "Silly gege! But I want to learn music...can I come with you?"

"Of course you can," Wei Wuxian says, "but only if you don't call me Xuanyu-gege anymore."

A-Yuan blinks. "Why?"

Wei Wuxian taps his nose with one finger. "You know how, when you're playing and there's a bad guy, you sometimes have to pretend to be someone else, so the bad guy doesn't find you? That's what I had to do for a very long time. And Mo Xuanyu was the name I used to hide. The bad guy is now gone, so..."

A-Yuan considers this and nods.

"So what is your name now, then?" he asks, all big eyes.

Wei Wuxian smiles at him."Call me Xian-gege."

"...Xian-gege!" A-Yuan exclaims and throws himself into Wei Wuxian's arms. He then spots the dizi that's still sitting on the bench next to Wei Wuxian.

"Can you play for me?" he asks."The song the piano person played?"

Wei Wuxian smiles. 'This kid has got taste', he thinks and brings the dizi up to his lips once more.

 

***

 

The weeks pass. Wei Wuxian talks to the Wens, who all wish him the best and encourage him to get his life back. He looks for a job, even dares to write to the newspaper he used to work at - it's been almost ten years. There's new management, and they agree to see him for an interview.

Wei Wuxian practices saying his own name again. He's been so used to the "Hi, I'm Mo Xuanyu!" that it sometimes still slips from his lips. It feels foreign on his tongue, but at the end of the day, it's still his. A-Yuan practices with him, until Mo Xuanyu turns back into Wei Wuxian.

(If there is a living, breathing person called 'Mo Xuanyu' out there, Wei Wuxian hopes that they're well and happy, and wishes them nothing but the best in life.)

Wei Wuxian also practices the dizi every day, and it comes back to him quickly and easily, as if he had never stopped playing. Soon he's as good as he used to be.

It’s not long before it's time for them to leave, and for Wei Wuxian to begin his old, new life.

A-Yuan cries when Popo and Uncle Four hug him, and even Wei Wuxian has to wipe away a few tears, but he knows it won't be forever. They'll video chat and visit as often as they can. Popo and Uncle Four hand him a tote bag full of homemade food and liquor and handmade toys for A-Yuan and see him off with a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the back.

The drive is long, and it begins in silence. A-Yuan quickly falls asleep. After a while, Wen Ning asks if they can turn on the radio. A-Yuan wakes up, and after a few hours of driving, they're all singing along to pop songs and telling each other fun stories.

'We're still a family,' Wei Wuxian thinks. He feels warm. He’s not alone; he can make this.

They make it safely to the place the Wen siblings found for them. It is indeed small, but it's also enough. Everyone has their own room - a tiny one, but it's theirs. They'll have to share the bathroom and the kitchen. It'll be crammed, but it'll be manageable, and cosy. A home.

They spend the next few days unpacking and decorating. Wen Ning gets anxious about his upcoming internship on the third day, so they all regroup in the living room to build a blanket fort and watch fun movies on Wei Wuxian’s laptop and eat popcorn until he feels better.

A week later, Wen Qing and Wei Wuxian have their job interviews, coincidentally on the same day. They both end up getting hired. They splurge on cheap champagne and apple juice for Wen Ning and A-Yuan to celebrate.

While Wei Wuxian is very excited to work in his old field again, he’s also terrified. Of course, Wen Qing can tell by as much as glancing at him.

"You'll be fine," she tells him, "just try not to get involved in a scandal again. Unless it's the Jins, then go kick their asses."

Wei Wuxian scowls. "Jiejie is married to Jin Zixuan, remember?"

"Not all of us were criminal assholes either, remember?" Wen Qing says.

"...Fair," Wei Wuxian agrees and toasts to that.

"Speaking of jiejie,” Wen Qing goes on, “you should call your siblings," 

Wei Wuxian chokes on his champagne.

"And what am I supposed to tell them?” he asks her, wiping at his mouth. “ 'Hey, I've been hiding from a criminal the last decade but now I'm back! Did I miss breakfast?' "

Wen Qing gives him a look. "It's not as if you didn't have documents to prove your story and a whole family clan to back up your claims. There's really no reason not to."

Wei Wuxian sighs and sets down his glass. "I know...guess I'm just a coward."

"You are many things, Wei Wuxian...but not a coward."

Wwi Wuxian swallows.

"Listen," Wen Qing begins, leaning forwards on her chair. "From what I could tell back then, your siblings love you. Even if I think your brother has a weird way of showing it. I'm a sister too; if my brother went missing and reappeared a decade later, well and unharmed? I'd be over the moon. They have a right to know."

Wei Wuxian knows she's right, but he can't help the feeling of dread that coils in his stomach.

"Call them before you start your job and the workload stresses you out too much," she says and puts a hand on his shoulder. "And after that? Contact Lan Wangji."

Oh. Yeah. Lan Wangji.

Wei Wuxian has not forgotten about him - he could never - but now he's back in the city in which they last lived together. He's not even sure if Lan Wangji still lives here, but it feels as if he's much closer to him than before.

He fidgets with his glass.

"Do you think Lan Zhan...do you think he'd still want me...?"

Wen Qing stares at him. "Weren't you the one who showed me that video? With the Sun and Moon thing?"

"Yeah, but - what if he found someone else that he likes to call his Su-"

Wen Qing sighs.

"I love you, Wei Wuxian, but shut up. You're talking nonsense," she replies flatly. "You really think Lan Wangji would use the same term of endearment for two different people? I mean, not that there's anything wrong with that, but he doesn't seem the type to do it. Besides, you told me it was...like, a whole thing just for the two of you. Who else could he mean? Even if he has a new partner, don't you think he deserves closure, too?"

Wei Wuxian squeezes his eyes shut and exhales.

"It's just a bit much right now, Qing-jiejie."

"I know," she says, her voice soft for once. "You're not alone, you know? Whatever happens, you will always still have us. Be brave."

 

***

 

That evening, Wei Wuxian retreats to his room early. Many of his belongings are still in boxes, and he sits between them on his bed, fidgeting with his phone. He's only slightly tipsy, not drunk enough for anyone to notice, but perhaps that bit of alcohol supplies him with just enough courage to scroll through the contacts of his phone, select Jiang Yanli's number, pray that it's still in service, and make that call.

"Hello?" he hears his sister's voice on the line, and Wei Wuxian has to muster all of his strength not to sob in reply.

"Hey jiejie," he says, his voice only breaking a bit. "It's A-Xian."

They talk for a long while. They cry for equally as long. They decide to meet up as soon as they can - the three of them. Jiang Yanli says she'll tell Jiang Cheng that Wei Wuxian is back but both agree that it's best to explain everything to him in person.

Wei Wuxian learns that he's an uncle now, and Jiang Yanli switches to video call so she can show him the sleeping baby. She looks beautiful, healthy, and happy. Wei Wuxian tells her as much, and she laughs. Jiang Yanli tells him that he looks good too, and how much she missed his smile. Wei Wuxian cries even harder.

"You will be the best uncle A-Ling could ever wish for," Jiang Yanli tells him, her voice full of emotion. "But don't tell A-Cheng, he claimed that title for himself already."

They talk for a while longer, and laugh, and cry. Wei Wuxian can tell that his sister is exhausted. They end the call so she can rest.

Afterward, Wei Wuxian sits in the darkness of his room, enveloped by silence. He’s so lost in thought that he almost misses the knock on his door. Wen Qing opens it and peeks inside. Wei Wuxian looks at her with red-rimmed eyes as she lets herself in. Wordlessly, she sits down next to him, envelops him in a hug, and lets him cry until he's exhausted.

"I am proud of you," Wen Qing tells him. "You did well."

"I'll see them next week," Wei Wuxian says, sniffling.

"It'll be fine,” she reassures him. “I am sure of it.”

 

***

 

When they finally meet, Jiang Cheng yells at Wei Wuxian and almost punches him in the face, but Wen Qing is right - it is fine, because the siblings hold each other tight and alternate between crying and laughing. Wei Wuxian sits down and tells them the story of Wen Ruohan, the Wens, and Mo Xuanyu. Of how terrified he was to come back, of how he felt like abandoning the Wens if he had done so. Of how long it took him to realise that he was allowed to have his life back, too.

"Realise stuff faster next time," Jiang Cheng tells him gruffly but still fondly.

"A-Cheng," Jiang Yanli admonishes before ordering desserts.

Wei Wuxian laughs, and then Jiang Yanli laughs, and even Jiang Cheng joins in. They eat cake and ice cream, and at the end of the day, the world is a brighter place.

 

***

 

Wei Wuxian has his name back. He has his siblings back, and he has his job back.

They find a preschool for A-Yuan not too far away from Wei Wuxian's workplace so he can drop him off and pick him up every day.

He still hasn't messaged Lan Wangji.

He doesn't know how to, exactly. It was different with his siblings. Wei Wuxian doesn't want to startle Lan Wangji by simply calling, if he still has the same number. He doesn't know if Lan Wangji still lives in the same place. He doesn't have an email address, and leaving a comment on Youtube seems downright creepy.

Wei Wuxian is on the tiny balcony of their apartment with the back leaning against the railing, thinking of what to do next, when his eyes fall onto his dizi.

They had bonded over music, back in college, where Wei Wuxian had first heard Lan Wangji play the guqin and then later, the piano. He had asked if he could join Lan Wangji with his flute sometimes, and their shared practice sessions and duets have been nothing but magical. Some of Wei Wuxian’s fondest memories involve him and Lan Wangji playing music together.

'Maybe that's the way to go', Wei Wuxian thinks, goes back to his room, and boots up his laptop to look for a specific set of sheet music. When his search results don't satisfy him, he puts on the song he has in mind, grabs some paper, and starts writing the sheet music himself.

The Wens don't mind hearing him practice, and he apologises to the neighbours, who promptly tell him that they enjoy his music, even if he's still practicing. It takes him a few days to learn the piece, and a few more to get it to the level he wants - but Wei Wuxian has always been a natural at attempting the impossible. 

He's ordered a new microphone and tripod for his digital camera. He sets it up so only his mouth, hands, and the flute will be visible while he plays.

Wei Wuxian replays the song a few times until he's satisfied with the recording, loads it into free editing software, and exports it.

He’s surprised that his old Youtube account still exists. He has not used it in so long that he had assumed it would have been deleted. He doubts Lan Wangji ever looked at it. He logs into it, removes all of his old videos, and uploads the new one.

It takes a few days, but - were Wei Wuxian to look at the comment section of Lan Wangji’s Lady Gaga cover video, he would see that it is exploding with comments linking back to one specific video. 

His video.

He's always liked that song really, but it had made his heart hurt so much that he had never dared to play it before. But after Lan Wangji’s cover of it, it almost feels like a lifeline.

 

***

 

There's a new video going viral. It's by a seemingly new Youtuber called 'TheFlutingLaozu'. The title says: "For the Moon to my Sun."

It's a dizi cover of the very same Lady Gaga song Youtuber Hanguang Jun had covered a few months back.

The comment section on this video is just equally as wild. It spans from 

"Trying to steal HGJ's fame, are we? You'll never be as good!"

to "IS THAT A REPLY? IS THAT HIS LOST LOVE? OMG OMG OMG OMG"

to "Maybe it's just a new trend of playing this song for lost lovers."

There's a ton of comments, tagging @/HanguangJun because "heavens above, he HAS to see this!!!"

Wei Wuxian sees them all and replies to none of them. He has no idea if Lan Wangji will ever see his video. 

Until one day, there's a new comment in his inbox -

 

@/HanguangJun
Wei Ying?

 

Wei Wuxian's hands are shaking when he sees the message. He doesn't know how to reply, so he simply does the most Wei Wuxian thing he could possibly do, and replies with: 

 

@/TheFlutingLaozu
Hey Lan Zhan. It's good to see you.

 

The comment section absolutely loses it after that tiny interaction. The wildest theories are being spun between users, about who TheFlutingLaozu is, what connection he has to HanguangJun, if they knew each other from before ("They must have because is 'Lan Zhan' HanguangJun's name??? It HAS to be!!!") and if there really is a love story hiding behind it all.

Meanwhile, Wei Wuxian clicks on HanguangJun's channel info and finds his email address for business inquiries. He composes a quick message.

 

"Lan Zhan,

I assure you that the video was not a joke. It's really me. 

I think I owe you more than just a tiny apology via email.

Do you still live in the same city? If yes, I'd like to meet you, and explain everything to you. I owe you as much, if not much much more. You'll find my phone number below. Just text me a date and a place, and I'll be there.

I hope you're well.

Wei Ying."

 

It feels a bit impersonal, almost clinical, but Wei Wuxian is nervous to the point of feeling sick, and he fears he might ruin it all if he says anything more.

Besides he feels like Lan Wangji, of all people, deserves to have it all explained in person, rather than via email.

So he sits, and he waits. If Lan Wangji does not reply to him, he'll have his answer, Wei Wuxian thinks. He doesn't dare to be hopeful. He must have broken Lan Wangjij's heart when he disappeared without even a single word of goodbye, but that was the deal he had signed to keep the Wens safe.

They were in their mid-twenties back then, young, and in love. They had spoken about marriage, even about starting a family one day. The world had been theirs to conquer. They had been happy.

Wei Wuxian disappearing must have left a gaping hole in Lan Wangji’s heart. Wei Wuxian doesn't know how he would react if he was in Lan Wangji's place.

Wei Wuxian's phone dings at around midnight. He glances at it, and his heart stops.

 

From: 🐰💙 Lan Zhan💙🐰
Wei Ying?



'He still uses the same number,' Wei Wuxian thinks, and his heart constricts. 

He sits up in his bed, wide awake. With trembling fingers he types:



To: 🐰💙 Lan Zhan💙🐰
Hey Lan Zhan, isnt it past ur bedtime?



His phone starts to vibrate; an incoming call. Lan Wangji is calling him.

Wei Wuxian stares at the display and the caller ID and debates whether to pick up or to let it be redirected to voicemail.

His heart decides for him. He picks up.

 

"Hey there," Wei Wuxian says, his voice small.

"Wei Ying?" Lan Wangji’s voice replies, just as small, desperate, fearful, full of hope.

Oh, how he missed his voice.

"Yeah," Wei Wuxian breathes. "Yeah, Lan Zhan, it's me. Hi."

The line goes quiet, and for a brief moment, Wei Wuxian fears that the call has disconnected, or that Lan Wangji has hung up.

Then, a sob breaks the silence. Wei Wuxian’s heart breaks all over again.

"Oh no, no sweetheart, don't cry! Please! I'll do anything, just please stop crying, okay?"

"Wei Ying," Lan Wangji sobs, "are you...are you well? Are you alright?"

"Yes, I am okay, I -” Wei Wuxian cannot stop talking, he just has to ask him now before his courage leaves him - “Lan Zhan, can we meet? I need to tell you so much. I never meant to hurt you, please, it's far more complicated than that. Just - can I? Even if you're still mad at me or don't want me anymore, will you just allow me this?"

Lan Wangji goes silent once more. Wei Wuxian guesses that he needs time to think it all over, so he waits.

"Yes, Wei Ying, yes," Lan Wangji finally says. "When?"

"When do you have time?” Wei Wuxian inquires. “I've just started my new job, but it’s not too busy yet, so I still have plenty of time."

"I am meeting Shufu tomorrow," Lan Wangji tells him, and Wei Wuxian finds himself smiling at the thought of Lan Qiren. Looks like he missed him too, after all.

"Are your brother and your uncle well?" Wei Wuxian asks.

"Yes, they...they are doing fine,” Lan Wangji tells him.” Brother got married not too long ago."

"Oh? Did he? Tell me about it!"

"You recall Nie Mingjue, I suppose?"

Wei Wuxian laughs at that. "I think we all had a crush on Huaisang's brother at one point or the other. He's a good catch; I hope your brother is happy?"

"He is," Lan Wangji replies. "I am happy for him."

Wei Wuxian clears his throat. "A-and you? How are you?"

He can hear Lan Wangji swallowing.

"I am well,” Lan Wangji confirms. “I have a job that I love, and I am in good health."

Wei Wuxian audibly exhales."That's good, Lan Zhan, that's really good."

"But I -" Lan Wangji draws a deep breath and exhales just as deeply. "Wei Ying, forgive me for saying it, but - I miss you. I just miss you so much."

Now it's Wei Wuxian's turn to sob.

"I am here now," he says. "If you cannot make it tomorrow, what about the day after that? I am free, then. At...do you remember the old fountain in the park, where we used to sit and stargaze?"

"How could I ever forget that?" Lan Wangji says. "I will be there."

"Okay," Wei Wuxian goes and exhales loudly, just to calm his beating heart.

They don't talk much, after that. They keep the call going and just listen to each other breathe as if they were sitting next to each other, basking in each other’s presence. Eventually, they do fall asleep and wake up to a disconnected call.

 

***

 

The following morning, they fix a time to meet up. Wei Wuxian is so nervous that he barely eats. He shatters a glass and another plate while attempting to do the dishes. 

Wen Qing shoos him out of the kitchen.

"Go make yourself useful elsewhere," she says.

"I'll be going crazy if I do nothing!" Wei Wuxian whines.

"I didn't tell you to do nothing," Wen Qing clarifies. "You could ask Wen Ning to help you pick an outfit for tomorrow, and then play a bit with A-Yuan. You'll end up scaring him if you don't stop fussing so much."

Wei Wuxian sighs dramatically but takes her advice. He probably tries on his whole wardrobe three times before Wen Ning ends up choosing an outfit for him and assuring him that he looks good in it.

“You could probably wear a trash bag and Lan Wangji would still tell you how beautiful you are,” Wen Ning assures him.

Wei Wuxian gives him a look. “You don’t know him that well, how would you know?”

“That’s what Jie tells me,” Wen Ning replies.

Wei Wuxian rolls his eyes and goes to sit on the living room floor with A-Yuan to help him build a block tower.

"Radish,” Wei Wuxian says while fidgeting with a multicoloured block. “Qing-Gugu will be picking you up from school tomorrow, is that okay?"

A-Yuan looks up at him. "Okay. Why not you?"

"I am meeting a friend", Wei Wuxian explains.

"He's going on a date, like on TV,"  Wen Qing interjects from the kitchen.

"Ooooooooooooh," A-Yuan goes, his eyes widening. "Xian-gege, are you going to get kissies, too?"

"I sure hope so~," Wen Qing sing-songs before Wei Wuxian can say anything.

Wei Wuxian just groans and hides his face behind his hands.

"Are you going on a date with the piano person?" A-Yuan asks.

Wei Wuxian looks at him. "How do you know? Did Qing-gugu tell you?"

A-Yuan shakes his head. "You looked so sad when you showed me piano person's music, so I thought you must like them very much."

Wei Wuxian smiles and runs a hand through A-Yuan's hair. "I do. He's one of my favourite people ever."

"Can I meet him too?" A-Yuan asks.

"Maybe? He's very busy, I'll ask him, alright?"

"Okay," A-Yuan says and shifts his attention back to his blocks.



***



Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji don't talk to each other that night. Wei Wuxian doesn't know what to say, and he assumes that Lan Wangji is either just as nervous, or busy with whatever he's doing.

The next morning, Wei Wuxian is absolutely useless. Wen Qing kicks him out with Wen Ning to get groceries while she brings A-Yuan to preschool.

"She's not mad at me because she had to change shifts so she could pick up A-Yuan later  while I'm out?" Wei Wuxian asks.

Wen Ning shakes his head. "Jie loves you and wants you to be happy. She wouldn't have done it if it wasn't okay."

"Okay," he breathes. He barely manages to swallow his lunch.

Wei Wuxian decides to play it safe and leaves earlier than necessary, just in case there’s an issue with public transportation. He ends up at the park almost fourty minutes too early. He keeps on retying his ponytail, readjusting his clothes, glancing at his phone. The minutes creep by so slowly that Wei Wuxian almost accuses them of doing it on purpose. He's trying to convince himself that Lan Wangji will not cancel at the very last minute.

He looks back at his phone. Another ten minutes. Okay. He can do this. Maybe he should -

"Wei Ying...?"

Wei Wuxian turns around. The world falls away.

There, in front of him, eyes wide and lips parted, looking even more beautiful than he does in Wei Wuxian's memories, is Lan Wangji. His braid sways in the breeze. There's a bouquet of red orchids in his hand.

Wei Wuxian recalls Jiang Yanli’s passion for flower language - red orchids mean unconditional love.

"Lan Zhan," Wei Wuxian whispers and takes a step forward. 

Lan Wangji starts walking towards him at the same time.

It's as if they're magnets, always gravitating towards each other, meant to be together.

Their steps pick up speed, and they crash into each others' arms.

"Lan Zhan!" Wei Wuxian weeps and buries his face in the crook of Lan Wangji’s neck.

"Wei Ying," Lan Wangji replies, soft as a cherry blossom petal landing on his cheek, and holds him tight.

They stay like this for a long, long time, enveloped in each others’ arms, neither of them wanting to let go.

Eventually, they sit down on one of the benches surrounding the fountain. They wipe each others' tears and never let go of each other's hands.

Wei Wuxian takes a deep breath and tells his story. Mo Xuanyu's story.
“I brought the legal documents with me in case you want to see them,” he says. “It’s a wild story, maybe you want to have proof.”

Lan Wangji shakes his head. “I know you wouldn't lie to me about something like this,” he tells him and pulls Wei Wuxian into his arms again. Wei Wuxian notices that Lan Wangji is shaking, and runs a soothing hand across his back. He hates to see Lan Wangji in distress. His eyes sting with unshed tears.

"I wish I could've told you," Wei Wuxian admits. "I wish I had the courage to get in touch with you sooner. I was kinda hoping you would move on, you know? Find someone else to love."

"And who would that be?" Lan Wangji asks and places a kiss on Wei Wuxian's forehead. "There never was anyone else for me. It's always been you, and it always will be you."

Wei Wuxian looks up at him through tear-crowned lashes."Even now, Lan Zhan?"

"Now more than ever," Lan Wangji tells him. "If you'd still have me."

Wei Wuxian doesn't reply. Instead, he grabs hold of Lan Wangji’s coat lapels, pulls him down, and kisses him.

He kisses him like he used to do, like he's dreamed of doing ever since he had to leave, like it's the only thing he ever wants to do. Lan Wangji kisses him back just as eagerly, just as tenderly, just as lovingly.

They break the kiss, laughing and crying at the same time, leaning their foreheads against each other.

"My Sun," Lan Wangji whispers, and cups Wei Wuxian's cheek with both hands, wiping away the salty moisture with his thumbs.

"My Moon," Wei Wuxian whispers back and turns his head to kiss one of Lan Wangji's palms.

Wei Wuxian feels as if he's floating. He hasn't been this happy in years. They sit there in silence, just holding each other, looking at each other, taking each other in. This is where they both belong, in each other's presence. Wei Wuxian doesn't understand how he was able to survive for so long without Lan Wangji in his life.

When the sky changes from golden to dark blue and the air begins to get chilly, they walk together. Lan Wangji’s hand is steady on the small of Wei Wuxian's back, and Wei Wuxian comfortably leans into Lan Wangji’s side. 

They find a small quiet restaurant and decide to have dinner together.

While they wait for the food to arrive, Lan Wangji tells him about Lan Xichen’s wedding, about how he and his husband are thinking of possibly adopting a child. Wei Wuxian tells him about A-Yuan. He takes out his phone and pulls up selfies he made with A-Yuan on his lap and shows them to Lan Wangji.

"He's my son," he says. "He is four years old, and he just started kindergarten. He's so cute and clever! I am really proud of him. He saw me play the dizi, and now he’s very into the idea of learning how to play an instrument. I let him watch one of your videos to show him what a piano sounds like. Now he says he wants to meet you! Lan Zhan, would that be okay for you?"

"Yes," Lan Wangji says, without hesitation.

It takes Wei Wuxian a few moments for his words to catch up with him.

"Ah Lan Zhan, he's not my biological son," he clarifies. "He's a Wen. His parents died in an accident, and we all more or less collectively raised him, but - I would be lying if I claimed not to love him as if he was my own. Don't worry, I didn't cheat on you or anything."

"It does not matter," Lan Wangji tells him. "We were not together, so you were free to be with whomever you wished. Even if you had a child with another person...I would still love the child nonetheless. Because it would be Wei Ying's child.”

Wei Wuxian gapes at him. "What am I supposed to do with you?" he asks, exasperated but fond.

"Marry me," Lan Wangi replies.

Wei Wuxian nearly spits out his drink.

"Unless you do not wish to anymore," Lan Wangji says quietly, sadly. "You do have a different life, now."

"I - Lan Zhan - of course I still want to," Wei Wuxian splutters. "There's nothing I wanted more since we first talked about marriage being a possibility for us. I just thought...with all what went down that you might need some more time, you know?"

Lan Wangji reaches for Wei Wuxian's hand over the table and runs his thumb over Wei Wuxian’s knuckles, so tenderly and carefully as if they were made out of spun glass.

"I know it would be more reasonable to wait," Lan Wangji says. "We both grew during the last nine years. We probably changed, too. But my love for you is still as strong and steady as it used to be, if not even stronger, now that you're back. I do not wish to marry you to trap you into never leaving again. I would never do that to you. But...if Wei Ying is willing, and if Wei Ying feels the same...I've waited for so long, my darling, and for once in my life, I do not wish to be reasonable. Why wait any longer?"

Wei Wuxian looks at Lan Wangji, his lovely Lan Zhan, who waited almost ten years for him, not knowing if he would ever come back. Wei Wuxian can't help the smile that blooms on his face, can't help the tears of pure joy and adoration that fall from his eyes.

“Yes," he breathes. "Why wait any longer?"

They end up having to wait longer because the Wens, the Jiangs, and the Lans (with a sprinkling of Nie and Jin) all conspire together to throw them a lavish wedding. Those big festivities do take a bit of time to prepare.

They decide to celebrate in the countryside so that Popo doesn't need to travel so far. Even Lan Qiren seems only mildly annoyed by accepting Wei Wuxian as his nephew-in-law, arguing that if he makes Wangji happy, then he will be happy as well.

(And by letting him discreetly know that if he breaks Wangji's heart ever again...well, he still has books on that fabled chord assassination technique the Lans used to have back in the day, according to legend, and he's not above using said technique, if he must.)

The Wens take both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji aside some time before the wedding and talk to them about adopting A-Yuan, as their own son, just to make it legally clear. Also because they see that both men love this child as if he was indeed their own. He'd still be a Wen, still a member of this huge loving family, just as Wei Wuxian will always be part of it, and Lan Wangji is now part of it, too.

One day, A-Yuan will be asked to draw his favourite things at school. He draws the sun, the moon, and a sky full of stars, with a small shooting star.

"That's me," he says, pointing at the shooting star. 

"Those are my babas," he explains while pointing at the sun and the moon, "and the stars are my family. I love them the most in the world!"




***

 

A few months after Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji get married, there's a new video on HanguangJun's channel. It's a collaboration with TheFlutingLaozu, a beautiful haunting melody full of emotion and love.

"This song has been in the making for over a decade," the description reads. "Only now that my Sun has returned to me and brought our little Star with him, has my heart healed enough to complete it."

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