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long nights, daydreams

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Wei Wuxian’s phone pings up a notification as he’s making dinner. He isn’t going to answer it, at first, but the banner across the screen indicates that it’s from Hot Dad. It seems stupid not to at least read it… after all, why risk a good thing if he doesn’t have to? Why sabotage the most fun he’s had in months?

Hot Dad: Thanks for giving that little pin to A-Ling. You didn’t have to do that

Hot Dad: He won’t take it off. Weird kid. Who wants to wear an enamel pin of a banana with a happy face? I hope you know I had to pin the stupid thing to his pajamas.

xianxian: 🍌 ah they were an inside joke with some friends, you wouldn’t get it

xianxian: but it’s seriously no problem! I have a ton more if he ever likes any more of A-Yuan’s. I’ve got bananas, radish, maybe a few peaches left

xianxian: the peaches have butts 🍑

Hot Dad: Do not give such a thing to A-Ling, ever.

Wei Wuxian scrolls through the memes saved on his phone and sends one for “no fun allowed”, because in that moment it perfectly encapsulates him.

Okay, so admittedly, “Hot Dad” is probably not the best name for the (single, Wei Wuxian would like to clarify, not like the last time) father of A-Yuan’s daycare friend, but it’s all he’s got at this point. They’ve got this weird, secretive, and honestly kind of fun back-and-forth thing going, ever since Hot Dad had sent home a letter and asked for the recipe for A-Yuan’s moon bunny steamed buns because his son “wouldn’t shut up about them”. They’d started sending these playful notes back and forth with their kids each day until “Hot Dad” had sent one home with his contact info and so, the texting had begun.

So now Wei Wuxian has got his info, and there’s probably a lot to be said about his intentions that he’s willing to ghost everyone else in his contact list if Hot Dad takes time out of his super busy schedule to message him.

Wei Wuxian really doesn’t want to ruin it. It’s the most fun he’s had since… well. He stops himself right there, because he doesn’t have the right to miss that relationship, anymore. To miss him anymore. He had walked out of Jiang Cheng’s life, and Jiang Cheng is happy with that. Wei Wuxian should be too, and even if he’s not happy, staying as far away from him as possible is still the right thing to do. Letting Jiang Cheng live his life, to try and build something from the rubble and the wreckage that Wei Wuxian turned it into, is the right thing to do.

He’s talking about one of the enamel pins that Wei Wuxian had designed for fun, these stupid little fruits and vegetables with tiny, expressive faces that he’d always doodled during his meetings because they’d made Wen Ning smile. A-Yuan had a few of them on his lunch bag and when he had run home one day insisting that his best friend Ling had just loved it, sending one for him had seemed a no-brainer. Ling had wanted the bananas, A-Yuan had reasoned, because those were yellow and plated with gold and those were his favorite colors, not purple like his dad, no Mom, don’t send the grapes. Wei Wuxian had sent a banana pin to school with A-Yuan to give to his friend, and it must have made its way home because now Hot Dad is texting him about it.

Hot Dad: Don’t send me stupid memes!

Hot Dad: I’m serious. If he comes home with a peach that has an ass and a stupid face, I’m going to find you and stab you with the pin

xianxian: what is wrong with you 😭

xianxian: 🍑

He turns back to dinner, setting his phone face-down on the charging pad on the counter. This time is for A-Yuan, and being a single parent himself, he thinks Hot Dad will understand. Sure enough, Hot Dad doesn’t text him again until quarter to eleven, just as he’s contemplating maybe starting to wind down for bed.

Meaning, contemplating the idea of getting all nice and clean and comfy to rub one out before going to bed. It’s been a looong day, and he always treats himself when he hits a deadline without an all-nighter right before it. Practicing self-care and all that, and what better self-care is there than an orgasm or three?

But this is Hot Dad, so he’ll push the pause button on his masturbatory plans.

Hot Dad: I usually like to go to bed around 10, but I can’t sleep tonight. I have a meeting in the morning, I’m pissed.

xianxian: what do you want me to do about it?

xianxian: maybe I’M sleeping and you woke me up

Hot Dad: You’re fucking insufferable!

Hot Dad: Pay attention to me, take this seriously! Entertain me. I stayed awake with you the other night when you were hitting that magazine spread deadline.

xianxian: you can sext me if you want. i was gonna jerk off

So he’s sexting with him already, so what? It had been like, two days before they’d moved from texting (and flirting) to sexting. It hasn’t been anything too steamy, yet, because admittedly Hot Dad kind of sucks at sexting, but what he does send is hot. Wei Wuxian can work with that. He dealt with Jiang Cheng and his communication issues for years.

Wei Wuxian Stop Thinking About Jiang Cheng Challenge: Failed. God, he’s glad that he has Hot Dad to distract him or he’d be losing his fucking mind thinking about the horrible terms they’d parted on.

Hot Dad: What are you wearing?

Hot Dad: What are you doing?

Hot Dad: Answer me!

xianxian: you good

xianxian: hmmm trying to figure out what i want to get off to tonight. Gotta dig into the imagination, you know?

Jiang Cheng doesn’t want Yuan’s mom to “dig into his imagination”. He wants him thinking about him, which is unfair because he won’t even show him his face. He knows it doesn’t make sense! He wants it anyway.

He’s always been good at coveting what he can’t truly have.

On top of that, he knows he’s being pushy. But it’s been a while, okay? He had a brief thing with Nie Huaisang, after the… everything, one that had lasted for a few months and wasn’t really all that great. They weren’t really compatible (which is the nice way of saying: Nie Huaisang could not be Wei Wuxian, with whom Jiang Cheng was also apparently not compatible with, but wanted anyway) and Nie Huaisang’s desires had been very much elsewhere, besides.

But, the last night that he and Yuan’s Mom had sort-of-sexted had ended really well. Jiang Cheng had come harder than he had in a good, long while, and Yuan’s Mom had even told him that he hadn’t come like that since the first time he’d tried his favorite vibrator. That felt good, knowing that just the things he was typing over text could make him come like that. Knowing that the idea of him and what few things he says are enough to get him going.

Before he can second-guess himself, Jiang Cheng is opening up his photos and dropping the picture he’d taken shortly after getting out of the shower the day before into the message box. It’s a nude, a very calculated pose, one that gets his cock and his balls and the jut of his hips all in one picture and most importantly, leaves his face nowhere to be seen. He’s not even worried about the tattoo, honestly, almost entirely safe in that regard because he’s always wearing long sleeves and none of his colleagues know that he even has it. Yuan’s Mom seems like the type who might like it.

Yuan’s Mom: got anything for me 👀

Jiang Cheng: What about this?

Wei Wuxian blinks stupidly, several times, as his phone brings up a picture from Hot Dad.

It is a picture of his dick. Presumably Hot Dad’s dick. He hopes it's his dick. Wei Wuxian would hate to be getting catfished or something because holy shit, is this one of the nicest cocks he’s ever seen. Like, seriously? The picture is angled so well, too, not one of those stupid “hold phone awakwardly on top of dick and snap a blurry pic” quick shot that guys expect you to get horny for, but like, an artfully-staged, well-considered dick pic. Ling’s Hot Dad knows his angles!

He’s got this sexy up-view thing going, showing off the way his cock rests heavy in his hand which, by the way, has a sexy tattoo that starts at the wrist and continues up his right forearm. How is that fair? It’s a snake, twined what looks like twice around his arm, fangs bared as it extends onto the top of his hand. Wei Wuxian thinks he can see a frog somewhere in there too, and a few pale pink flowers. It looks fresh, the purple ink so vibrant it almost hurts to look at.

Wait. Is he seriously getting distracted from a picture of a seriously perfect cock to look at a tattoo?

He spreads, biting his lip when the fabric of his shorts rubs against the wet heat between his thighs. God, he’s not normally so easy, like some virgin being dirty talked for the first time, but this, just this singular, sexy nude has him all kinds of worked up. What is it about Ling’s (Hot) Dad that gets him so bad? Sure, they spend half of their text conversations having playful arguments, but just the idea that Hot Dad might send him another quadruple-text full of colorful language about about wanting to pin him down and fuck him stupid makes him drip. Or, god, what if he gets another wall talking about how badly Hot Dad wants his ass eaten? Wei Wuxian had come so hard to the idea of pressing his tongue flat against Hot Dad’s tight hole (he imagines it’s nice) before slipping it inside, spearing into him and tasting him and then fucking him open.

Back to the issue (dick) at (in sadly, not his) hand.

xianxian: so… I still don’t even get to know your name or see your face and you want to send me a pic like that?

xianxian: nice cock btw 🤤

Hot Dad: I told you, I run a prominent company, I can’t just reveal my identity

Hot Dad: Also, nice cock?? I send you

Hot Dad: THAT?

Hot Dad: and all you have to say is “nice cock btw” and a goddamn emoji?

xianxian: it’s a drooling emoji tho

xianxian: I could have sent you this one: 🤢

xianxian: 🍆🤩🤤

Hot Dad: Again, you are fucking insufferable

Hot Dad: Do you want to do this or not? If not, I’m going to bed

xianxian: Is this your idea of how to start a sexy encounter? I believe you when you say you haven’t gotten laid in a while it’s so obvious

Hot Dad: So you don’t want to. Go away, then!

xianxian: no!! I do want to isn’t it just past your bedtime :( you said you had a meeting in the morning i’d HATE to be the reason you’re really tired

(Wei Wuxian would not, in fact, hate that. The idea of Hot Dad nodding off in a Big Important Meeting for the Mystery Company he runs because he’d stayed up all night texting Wei Wuxian with his hand around his fat cock is pretty hot, actually.)

Hot Dad: I don’t have a bedtime. I’m not a child!

xianxian: good or this would be kind of weird

xianxian: i’m kind of casually seeing this other guy and he goes to bed at 9. can you believe that?

xianxian: soooo boring, I could never live like that

xianxian: but trust me i definitely want to play with you why do you think i don’t :( :( :(

xianxian: we’ve kind of been inching our way there, don’t you think 🌝

Hot Dad: Oh, I don’t know WHY I think that. You act insincere. Act differently and you’ll be perceived differently!

Hot Dad: What’s wrong with you? Another guy? Don't talk about another man right now. Don’t be a tease. Take accountability

xianxian: ooh, I love it when you boss me around, daddy~

Hot Dad: Fucking stop it. I have a kid, don’t call me daddy

xianxian: so I can’t :( ???

Hot Dad: NO

Hot Dad: Last chance. The least you could do after the trouble you’ve caused is apologize. With a picture of your own.

Wei Wuxian glides his hands down his torso and grinds the heel of his palm against himself through his shorts. He’s wet, and the wider he spreads his legs the more he can get at his little cock and god, he wishes that Jian- that Hot Dad would come over here offer up his face as a seat or something. Hot Dad loves eating pussy, he’s told him, told him he had an ex who he’d just loved to go down on and god if that doesn’t also make him miss… someone.

Fuck. Stop. Abort.

Before he lets himself get really into this, Wei Wuxian does the responsible thing and turns off the playlist he is playing quietly in the background and listens in the direction of A-Yuan’s room for any sounds of a toddler not-sleeping before he flops back down in bed. Fine. If Hot Dad is gonna send him a dick pic, he’s going to give him a show. He lays back in bed, smoothing the wrinkles out of his silky black sheets and then arranging himself on top of them.

Carefully, he unties the ribbon he has around the base of his ponytail and tugs out the elastic, fans his hair out artfully on the pillow and tugs the bralette he’s wearing just a little further down his chest so it gives just a tease of his dark nipples and the barbells of metal pierced through them. It’s a cute one, black and lacy in the chest but the straps and the band have flecks of glittery red. In his opinion, it goes perfectly with the ratty old gym shorts that he’s wearing for bed. They were once (Jiang Cheng’s) a deep purple, but now they’re more a faded lilac-grey, with flecks of dried sky blue paint from when he decorated A-Yuan’s room and a few stains that he thinks might be food-related. Maybe?

He hooks a thumb in the waistband of his shorts and tugs them down over his hips and ass, lifts up so the waistband rests snugly around his thighs. He spreads his legs as much as he can, drags a hand up from between his legs halfway up his belly, leaving a shine of his own wetness up through the line of hair leading down to his pussy. He lets his hand rest artfully on his middle, fingers splayed just so, like he’s just barely ghosting them across his skin the way he wishes Hot Dad would, and snaps the picture.

It’s a good picture. It’s got his cute (tiny) tits, his hot, flat stomach, his hip with the cute lotus tattoo he’d gotten, his pleasure trail gleaming with his own slick down to what he’s sure Hot Dad really wants: his wet pussy, visible enough to tease above the top of his shorts.

xianxian: one sexy pic coming your way soon, Hot Dad

xianxian: are you ready for this

Hot Dad: Hot Dad? Is that what I am in your phone?

Hot Dad: You don’t even know what I look like.

xianxian: apart from the dick and your sexy body??

xianxian: what am I in yours anyway? sexy mom?

Hot Dad: You’re ‘Yuan’s Mom”. Idiot

Hot Dad: FUCK, is mom okay? Ling called you Yuan’s mom but I know you’re nb or something

xianxian: LMAO we’ve been texting for weeks

xianxian: SEXTING, now

xianxian: and now you ask?

Hot Dad: Better late than never! I’m sorry. Fuck

xianxian: yes it’s okay. mom is a state of mind and not a gendered term, you know. gender is a social construct I’m very passionate about this and I’m surprised you’re so good about it honestly

Hot Dad: Wait, you’re surprised? Are you telling me you think I’m rude? Annoying idiot, I told you my ex was like you!

xianxian: hey!!! don’t call me an idiot! I’m gonna send you a sexy pic be nice to meeee I’m gonna make you cum

Hot Dad: Who says I’m going to get off to your picture?

xianxian: isn’t that kind of the point? am I not supposed to get off to yours?

Hot Dad: Of course you’re going to get off to mine. You told me you’re horny all the time. I gave you the perfect material to help with that.

xianxian: ok, just like two days ago you said YOU hadn’t gotten laid in like… a year or something, so. shut up maybe!!

xianxian: fuck yeah you did but also you’re going to jerk off to meeee

xianxian: aren’t you? admit it

Jiang Cheng doesn’t want to admit it, purely because Yuan’s Mom is such a smug brat about things sometimes. If he’s being honest (which he doesn’t like to be, because it is always a crushing defeat) he kind of reminds him of Wei Wuxian. He’s not ready to deal with that.

He never will be.

Before he can turn that thought over and over in his mind until it becomes a festering sore spot, the picture that Yuan’s Mom had promised comes through and if it’s possible, Jiang Cheng gets even harder.

Yuan’s Mom… has the body of a porn star twink. He’s all skinny legs and just the slightest muscle tone, and god, his thighs look like they’d bruise under his mouth easily. Nice hips, soft stomach and a sexy pleasure trail that Jiang Cheng’s eyes fucking fixate on and god, there’s even a glossy strand of slick between two of the fingers he has splayed over his stomach.

(In truth, his body looks a little like Wei Wuxian’s... if Wei Wuxian had stopped drinking instead of eating and wasn’t so damn thin, and if his skin had a glow like rose gold and if his nipples were pierced like some jailbait camboy slut. This person is someone’s parent??)

He wants him. Oh, god, he wants him. He wants to pin this mystery guy down and slip between those thighs and into that wet, secret place he’s being teased with. He wants this guy to bend him over and fuck him deep, open him up with a toy and really take him out of his head. He just wants.

His hand glides to his cock. This is the point, he shouldn’t (and doesn’t) feel bad.

Yuan’s Mom: did you like it

Yuan’s Mom: it’s been like three minutes and you haven’t said anything 💀 gotta say i usually get a response faster than that

How have three minutes passed with him just lost in thought, passively, idly touching his dick to Yuan’s Mom’s sexy selfie? Fuck. He rearranges himself on the bed, slouches down so his dick juts up with his muscular thighs framing behind it, swallows his shame and turns his phone to record as he touches his dick. When the little counter says about 45 seconds, he stops it - anything longer and it’ll take forever to download on the other end - and inhales, exhales, clicks send.

Jiang Cheng: Here’s your answer.

Wei Wuxian jumps when his phone pings up a notification, and there is a video accompanying that last message, and god, it’s that big hand with those long fingers curled around his cock, looking like he’s really letting himself feel it. He drags the foreskin back, glosses over the thick, leaking head, the snake tattooed on his hand slithering like it’s a living thing, undulating with every moment. His grip is tight, and Wei Wuxian can hear the wet sounds of his lube-slick dick fucking into the channel of his fist. Halfway through the video he speeds up, jerks himself fast and a little rough and Wei Wuxian tries really hard not to think about Jiang Cheng, because this is not Jiang Cheng, this is Ling’s sexy dad, who is not Jiang Cheng even if he sometimes says things that remind him of him.

God, he’s so turned on he’s going to die.

xianxian: I wanna call you while I get off

xianxian: pleaaaase

xianxian: you can even finally see me! I’ve seen your dick it’s only fair we drop this whole secrecy thing

Hot Dad: Fine.

Wei Wuxian hits the button for a video call and very much ignores the way his heart flutters. They are not doing this, he tells it. This is for sex. Hot Dad answers and Wei Wuxian gets to take in the sight of him, his face all perfect jaw and long, straight nose that Wei Wuxian really wants to feel against his clit while he’s tongue fucking his pussy, dark eyes that he feels like he’s stared into for a lifetime and messy bangs and oh my god no this is a fucking nightmare -

“Jiang Cheng?” he shrieks, and as his sort-of-brother chokes out “WEI WUXIAN?”, he rushes so quickly to hang up that he drops his phone on his face.

Jiang Cheng? Furiously, he opens their chat once he’s hung up. He types a message, then deletes it. He types another, and another. Nothing is right. Nothing can fix this.

xianxian: oh my god

xianxian: how

Hot Dad: Do not text me.

Hot Dad: I cannot believe you. Was this all some elaborate plot? Did you think it would be a fun joke to ruin my life again?

xianxian: how would I have?? I didn’t even know you were a-ling’s dad

xianxian: oh my god. ling. jin ling???

It all makes sense. His position as head of a prominent company. The flowers in his tattoo: lotuses, now, he knows. The snake and the frog and he bets if he looks, there’s a centipede in there, too, Jiang Cheng’s whole three poisons thing he’d resonated with so strongly. The bad breakup he’d mentioned. It’s Jiang Cheng. It’s been Jiang Cheng all along and he should have known.

Hot Dad: Yeah, Jin Ling. You know, the nephew whose life you walked out of.

xianxian: jiang cheng I don’t know what to say.

Daycare the next day is… awkward. He pulls his car up beside a sporty black coupe in the parking lot and doesn’t realize until he’s out and unbuckling A-Yuan from his carseat that he’s boxed it in. Whatever, that’s alright, he doesn’t plan to be here long. Being here increases the chances that he might run into Jiang Cheng, who is apparently here every day, who he’s apparently been just missing each time he drops A-Yuan off. Inside, Wei Wuxian feels like he’s creeping around corners, feels like he should be sticking mirrors around them to check the upcoming hallways for signs of Jiang Cheng. He’s really got his tinfoil hat on, like some conspiracy theorist.

“Mommy?” A-Yuan asks, clinging to Wei Wuxian’s leg and peering around a corner with him. “Are we playing a game?”

Sure are, A-Yuan, he thinks, a game of how to avoid my ex who hates my guts or he might yell at me in the middle of the daycare playground or something. Wei Wuxian laughs, “Yeah, sweetie.”

A-Yuan runs across the room when they walk in, yelling, “Ling!” and Wei Wuxian’s eyes follow him. He’s seen his son’s best friend before, but now he’s looking at him in a different light: this is Jin Ling. Jiejie’s son, his nephew. God, he wants to kick himself, because now that he knows, Jin Ling looks just like Jiang Cheng.

It’s funny what your mind will ignore when it’s trying to protect you. Or punish you. He isn’t sure which one.

God, his heart hurts.

When Wei Wuxian walks out of the building and to his car, there is a guy leaning against the car that he had boxed in when he arrived. Shit. The guy is wearing a purple jacket and a black turtleneck underneath and black pants that cling in all the right places. He’s got nice thighs, but he’s got a real pissed-off douchebag aura and Wei Wuxian sighs, shrugs, figures ‘now or never’ and walks over with an apology forming on his tongue. When he gets close enough to his car, the guy turns to glare at him over his Raybans and holy fuck that’s Jiang Cheng.

Why does this keep happening?

Jiang Cheng, in front of him. Here, finally, even though their kids have been going to the same daycare for months and he’s somehow never run into him, here, the morning after what had been the most awkward night of his life. After they’d pretty much had fucking phone sex.

“Wei Wuxian!” he spits, in that tone that has always read more like ‘fucking Wei Wuxian, what have you done now?’.

Wei Wuxian throws up his hands apologetically and reasons, “I’m moving, I’m moving!”

“You’re such an inconvenience,” Jiang Cheng spits, stomping around the front of his car to crowd into Wei Wuxian’s space, “parking wherever you want. I’m already running late.”

“I wanted to talk to you anyways,” Wei Wuxian says, switching gears and making a concentrated attempt at Not Running, closing his car door immediately after opening it. He thinks his sponsor might be proud. His therapist would be prouder. God, it fucking sucks but making things right with Jiang Cheng is one of the things he thinks about a lot, one of the things he’s wanted to do most since getting sober. He was going to get around to it. Someday. Maybe. No time like the present, right?

“About what?” Jiang Cheng demands. “What could you possibly have to say?”

Better start somewhere.

“I swear, I didn’t know it was you. I didn’t make the connection. You know my brain is like Swiss cheese. Full of holes, right?”

Jiang Cheng is unimpressed. For a moment, he says nothing, and they just stand there in silence between their parked cars. This is getting nowhere, going nowhere. The bad blood runs too thick. Wei Wuxian sighs out, “Nevermind,” and wrenches open his car door.

Jiang Cheng reaches past him and slams it shut. He’s mad, now, Wei Wuxian can tell, his eyes flashing lightning. “Why did you turn your back on us?” he demands, “Just what the hell did the Jiang family ever do to you? What did I do to you?”

Suddenly it’s no longer about the weeks of flirting or the phone sex or the fact that he’ll probably never be able to get Jiang Cheng to believe he didn’t manipulate him on purpse. It’s about the before. It’s about the skeleton with half of its flesh decayed, the one that’s getting dragged out of a closet and into the light. It’s uncomfortable. It’s ugly.

“You told me to fuck off,” Wei Wuxian sighs, slowly. Sadly. “So I did.”

Jiang Cheng offers a scoff and a sneer that cuts Wei Wuxian to the core. “Like I hadn’t told you to fuck off before? You were looking for an excuse to leave. Admit it!”

“Of course you’d told me to fuck off before,” Wei Wuxian laughs. “That’s nothing new. I’m not so delicate as to run and hide whenever Jiang Cheng tells me to go away.”

A stale silence. Only seconds long, but it feels like hours, days.

“You had just… never told me to fuck off at our sister’s funeral service.”

“Yeah, well, we would have never been at my sister and her husband’s funeral if it weren’t for your and your fucking late-night mental crises,” Jiang Cheng spits, folding his arms over his chest. “You always had to have all the attention on you. Not to mention you were fucking drunk at the wake. Like she would have even would have wanted you around.”

God, that hurts. That burns like salt in a wound that never fully closed. It’s red and raw and of course, Wei Wuxian deserves it. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting.

“Wow, Jiang Cheng, your way with words is still… wow. You sure know how to cut, don’t you?”

She had died on a cold, snowy night in December, shortly before Christmas. Wei Wuxian had called her, whimpered, “Jiejie, I miss you, I feel so alone,”, and maybe he had been a little drunk, and he hadn’t realized she’d been out on a date with her husband, one stolen moment in between his busy schedule. That Jiang Cheng had been babysitting tiny Jin Ling at home, waiting for parents that would never return. He hadn’t realized that she would speed over to where he was, curled up for the weekend on some acquaintance or another’s couch because he can’t stand the silence of his apartment when the only other sound is his own heartbeat.

She’d been on a Facetime call with Jiang Cheng when the accident happened, the phone mounted to the dash so she could keep both hands on the wheel. Telling him how Wei Wuxian was in danger, he needed her, driving as fast as she safely could as the snow started to obscure the road, with Jin Zixuan behind her in his own car.

The ice had been hidden, the reports had said. There was no way she could have seen. She’d skidded on a hidden patch of it and the car had rolled one, two, three times, a tiny, supposedly safe thing turned into a screaming maw of twisted metal. Jiang Cheng had talked to her as blood dripped from her head, her body, from one dozen wounds onto the roof of the car, now below her where it should not be, all wrong. Jiang Cheng had told her it would be alright as her eyes went glassy and unfocused.

Jiang Cheng had heard the sick thud as a passing car hit Jin Zixuan’s body at high speed, killing him instantly as he ran across the road to try and help her. He had heard Jiejie barely register it through the haze of her imminent death.

Her last conscious thought was not of her husband, not of her baby or her brother, but of Wei Wuxian. He’s struggling, A-Cheng, he needs us.

Wei Wuxian knows all of this because Jiang Cheng has told him. Considering that, how could he be expected to suffer through that wake sober? How could he be expected to stand watch through the night, to burn joss paper for Jiejie and listen to Jiang Cheng’s tears all night without something to take the edge off?

God, even if he were to do it now, nine months sober, he’s not sure that he could do it without liquor in his system. That had been the worst day of his life, hearing them talk about Jiang Yanli in the past tense. Jiejie as no longer someone that is, but someone that was. Jiang Cheng had gotten close, leaned in for a hug, smelled the booze on his breath and grabbed his wrist so tightly that Wei Wuxian remains surprised to this day that bones hadn’t cracked in his grip. He still hears “get out of here, you worthless ingrate” in his nightmares.

As if thst hadn’t been enough, the night had ended with him fucking Jiang Cheng through a crying, shaking breakdown, a desperate attempt to get him out of his own head and distract himself because with Jiang Cheng, actions have always worked better than words. Fucking him, and then crying with him, because even when they are done hurting one another to bleed out some of the pain, their sister is still dead.

Scratch that. “Get out of here, you worthless ingrate” cannot hold a candle, not even a match, to stay the fuck away from my family”. As if he wasn’t family, too. As if he never had been.

So Wei Wuxian had listened to Jiang Cheng’s advice (for once) and stayed away. He’d moved out of Lotus Pier and into town, started a rapid and dedicated process of drinking himself into a valley of death. He’d hit his lowest point, half dead and wondering what the fucking point was I’d he didn’t have Jiejie and he didn’t have Jiang Cheng, because then what did he have? What could he protect?

Then he’d clawed his way up and out of that valley, mouth dry of liquor the entire time. He’d gone to meetings, met Wen Qing and Wen Ning in recovery. He’d started spending time with Lan Zhan, somehow adopted a kid and mostly held it together. He only ever missed Jiang Cheng on days that ended in “y”.

“I’m sorry,” Wei Wuxian says, after a few long moments lost in his own thoughts. It occurs to him that he has never really said it.

“Do you think that fixes it?”

Wei Wuxian tries another tactic. “Do you still like taro milk tea, or are you too grown-up for boba? There’s a Happy Lemon a few blocks away.”

Jiang Cheng sighs, looking at his wristwatch (god, that thing is huge, he’s always been a show-off who overcompensates) and sighing, “Fine.”

Wei Wuxian slides his car into a far-off parking spot and gets into the passenger side of Jiang Cheng’s. They both have to come back eventually, so why take two cars to the busy city where it’s impossible to find parking? They ride along without speaking, Jiang Cheng’s fingers drumming on the steering wheel. The silence is deafening, and if he were the Wei Wuxian of two years ago, maybe even the Wei Wuxian of nine months ago, he’d make up some joke to crack the stale surface of the silence.

Wei Wuxian orders an almond milk tea and asks them to add pudding. A little bit of sweetness along with the bitter, just like seeing Jiang Cheng again. He drinks it too fast, pushing the tapioca balls down to the bottom to save them for when his drink is done, herding them with his straw. Jiang Cheng sips his jasmine green milk tea slowly, chewing delicately on the taro balls when they slide up through his straw.

Eventually, the silence is too much to bear. Wei Wuxian has never been good with silence. Or solitude, no matter how much he tells anyone (even himself) differently. “I never meant to hurt you. I promise-”

Jiang Cheng scoffs. Wei Wuxian has broken those before. “Promise” is an empty fucking word.

“I never meant to hurt you,” he continues. “I knew you didn’t mean it when you told me to stay away, I’m not that delicate or naive. It just hurt. And I thought it would hurt you less if I just… left you alone. I was so deep in my own shit, okay? I was selfish and I didnt listen when you might have needed me because for a while, I didn’t need myself.”

He’s rambling and he knows it, but the words just won’t stop coming. Like word vomit, like falling off the edge of a waterfall into uncertain rapids. “I seriously had no sense of self-preservation, even with all of the arrogance in the world. I knew you blamed me for her death. For their deaths and your parents’ separation and you should, because god knows I blamed myself so much that sometimes I hoped I’d drink myself to death.”

Jiang Cheng has always been better with actions than words, so when Wei Wuxian answers what he’s sure will be Jiang Cheng’s questions about how he got sober, tells him about his weekly meetings and his sponsor Wen Qing, his time on Naltrexone and how much it had all fucking sucked, Jiang Cheng suddenly reaches across the table and grabs his hand, stroking a thumb over his fingers. It’s an awkward reassurance, and Wei Wuxian isn’t sure that Jiang Cheng’s grip isn’t going to tighten and bruise his fingers in the next second, but it sends a warm rush to Wei Wuxian’s heart all the same.

Sure, he snatches it back almost immediately, glaring at the wood grain of the table and angrily sipping his tea. A taro ball sticks in the straw and he scowls at that, too.

“Jiang Cheng, I swear I thought I was doing something right by you,” Wei Wuxian vows, poking boba after boba into his straw until it’s half-filled with them.

“I’m willing to believe you,” Jiang Cheng sighs, “but don’t expect things to go right back to how they were.”

“I would never expect things to ever go back to how they were,” Wei Wuxian sighs as he nibbles on the tip of his straw and sucks the bobas into his mouth to chew them thoughtfully, “let alone right away.”

“Hmmph,” is all Jiang Cheng has in response.

They finish their tea (well, Wei Wuxian watches Jiang Cheng finish his tea, as his is long gone) in silence. He slurps the last dregs of now-watery milk tea from the bottom of his cup and asks, “What now?”

Jiang Cheng doesn’t answer. Instead, he gets up and walks out, tossing a glance back over his shoulder for Wei Wuxian to follow, and they start the walk back towards the ramp that Jiang Cheng had parked the car in. More silence, stale and sacrosanct. Wei Wuxian does not speak, just nestles himself shoulder to shoulder with Jiang Cheng as they walk. He takes a chance and bumps him playfully, like he had when they were younger. He thinks maybe there is a ghost of a smile on his handsome face.

Jiang Cheng is bad at words, good at actions. When he pauses in the middle of the busy sidewalk in front of a hotel on the corner of a busy intersection Wei Wuxian knows where this is going. Haven't they always had sex to solve all of their problems, after all? It seems only right to do it again.

It’s not just about the sex, though. It’s about the touch, the way Jiang Cheng could say things with his hands that his mouth never could. Wei Wuxian knows his love language, knows that when Jiang Cheng tugs on his hand the way he’d done when they were boys, he should follow, and so he lets Jiang Cheng pull him into the lobby of the hotel. One room, he explains, and swipes WeChat for the ¥1,050 plus booking fees.

He won’t look at Wei Wuxian in the elevator. It is the longest eleven floor-ride of his life, so much tension in the tiny box of the elevator that it chokes him. He’s already getting wet. If the elevator did not have clear glass walls overlooking the hotel’s expansive atrium, he would probably be on his knees right now. It’s how it’s always been with them, and maybe that’s what they need. One good, hard fuck to crack the ice sheet of tension. One hot, wet fuck to warm the bad blood that’s frozen between them and scrub out the stain, wash it away.

On the seventh floor, Wei Wuxian turns towards him and Jiang Cheng finally looks at him. There is that lightning in his eyes that he’s so familiar with, hot and electric and it lances through him. On the tenth floor, he presses against him, hip to hip, and drags a hand down Jiang Cheng’s belly to rest atop his belt buckle. A tease, a threat. A promise.

It’s a bubble, and it’s going to pop. Any minute now Jiang Cheng is going to come to his senses and think with the head on his shoulders instead of, presumably, the one at the tip of his dick. Wei Wuxian is waiting for that. It’ll hurt, but he’s braced for the impact. He has to be.

The bubble does not pop when Jiang Cheng swipes into a beautifully modern room that looks out at the city, does not pop when he closes the door with a click and a beep and shoves Wei Wuxian against it in one fluid motion. It does not pop when Jiang Cheng’s hands knead his ass and Wei Wuxian jumps up around his waist, or when he tosses him onto the bed and climbs on top, kisses him breathless, writhing, grinding up against him. It does not pop, still, when Wei Wuxian’s legs wind back around his waist and fumble with their pants at the same time, trying to get his own off and Jiang Cheng’s at the very least undone.

Don’t expect things to go right back to how they were, Jiang Cheng had said, and Wei Wuxian stifles a laugh into his didi’s neck as Jiang Cheng folds him near in half, skinny legs over his shoulders as he presses his thick dick up against the slick, hot spread of him.

“I hope you’re on something,” Jiang Cheng says in his ear, like his dick isn’t already kissing at Wei Wuxian’s wet hole and the damage hasn’t already been done. He drags it against him, fucks it against Wei Wuxian’s hole and his cock in one smooth swipe. Wei Wuxian nods and thinks god, yes, because this is what he’s been getting off to for weeks, his memories of Jiang Cheng mingling with the mysterious allure of Hot Dad and now Hot Dad Jiang Cheng going to fuck him raw in a hotel room in the middle of the day?

Jiang Cheng inside of him is heavenly. There’s an intensity to it, an inelegance, a fucking rawness (ha, ha) that leaves him desperate and wanting. God, he hopes this isn’t a one-time deal, hopes that the convenient little bubble that keeps not popping stays for a long time because he can’t wait to take Jiang Cheng apart again, make him come on the biggest cock he owns. He wants Jiang Cheng, all that he is and will be, all that they had, all that they lost, all that the future might hold. Even if it’s ugly, even if it hurts. It sends him into a blinding, toe-curling orgasm in near-tandem with Jiang Cheng and that’s cute, somehow, speaks to a certain inexperience that he finds endearing. They lay there for a few minutes in silence, breathing heavy.

When they’ve come down, when the slow, teasing drag of Wei Wuxian’s fingers along the insides of Jiang Cheng’s thighs has him hard again, Wei Wuxian coaxes him onto his hands and knees. He rolls Jiang Cheng’s balls in his palm and curls a hand around the base of his cock. Ah, so his refractory time is fucking amazing. It always has been.

He licks his fingers and nudges the pad of one against Jiang Cheng’s ass, listening to him whine as he circles the rim. It’s not enough, and sure, it’s a little gross but Wei Wuxian swipes two fingers in his pussy, slick and still dripping Jiang Cheng’s come and wets them with that. He nudges just the tip of a finger past the rim, smirks when Jiang Cheng hisses out, “Fuck.”

Wei Wuxian leans in, kissing the dimples at the small of his back, licking a stripe down his taint that stops at his hole, licking just enough inside to tease, and Jiang Cheng shudders. Wei Wuxian glides his hand down his cock, digs his finger into the slit as he flattens his tongue against his hole, letting spit pool there with his own slick.

He turns, nuzzling his cheek against Jiang Cheng’s ass before he dips down to mouth at his balls, sucking gently. Jiang Cheng is prone to overstimulation, and once he’s past that point he’s pissed. Sometimes Wei Wuxian likes to push him there, sure, but today’s not about that. He moves back up, breath tickling Jiang Cheng’s hole until he practically whines and god, if that isn’t the sexiest thing. His voice is husky as he asks, “Do you remember when you sent me that long text about wanting your ass eaten?”

Jiang Cheng pounds his fist onto the mattress. “Yes,” he gasps, and Wei Wuxian can’t help but give it to him. He circles his hole again once, slow, feeling it flutter beneath his tongue. Jiang Cheng opens up so pretty for him and he licks inside, tasting himself and Jiang Cheng’s sweat and the smell of him here, musky and heavy and god, he missed having his face buried between these perfect cheeks.

He works a finger in nice and slow, presses it deep alongside his tongue and releases his hold on Jiang Cheng’s swollen cock to give himself some attention. He nudges the finger in Jiang Cheng’s ass against his prostate slow, merciless, pressure just the way Jiang Cheng likes it and grinds down against the heel of his hand, chasing the friction against his own cock. He’s wet, drenching his hand in slick and leftover come, so turned on by the sounds that Jiang Cheng is making and the feel of him shaking, falling apart in his hands.

Wei Wuxian comes quiet, gushing onto his hand as he furiously works his cock, and curls his wet and messy hand back around Jiang Cheng’s cock and jerks him faster, rougher, spearing his tongue inside of his hole and licking every centimeter of his insides that he can reach. It doesn’t take long before Jiang Cheng is spilling onto the sheets, a shaking, shuddering mess and god, Wei Wuxian things again, he missed making him come. He missed him.

They leave the hotel as they came, together, only half an hour before they’re scheduled to pick the kids up from daycare. They’re showered, and presentable, but there’s a heat that still burns between them and Wei Wuxian is glad he can take A-Yuan home and put him to bed and fucking process what in the hell happened today.

Jiang Cheng texts him around nine.

Hot Dad: We did that wrong.

xianxian: no, we did that right 😛

Hot Dad: Wei Wuxian! We can’t fix everything with sex

xianxian: ok, ok, yeah, we did it wrong. but we’ll work on it, alright?

Hot Dad: “We’ll” work on it? Do you mean that?

xianxian: i’m ready to try. are you ready to let it go and let me?

Hot Dad: I wouldn’t be texting you if I wasn’t, Wei Wuxian.

Hot Dad: Also, change my name in your phone. “Hot Dad” is so impersonal.

xianxian: only if you change mine from yuan’s mom??

Hot Dad: Already done, stupid.

Jiang Cheng sends him a screenshot of Wei Wuxian’s contact info in his phone, now listed as “Xian” and a little pink flower emoji.

xianxian: is that supposed to be a lotus! god those were everywhere in the house growing up...

Jiang Cheng ⚡️🐍: Obviously, Lotus Pier will have lotuses. Don’t think I didn’t see that you have one on your hip, by the way

xianxian: matches the ones on your sexy tattoo sleeve, wtf

xianxian: the chengcheng I knew always swore NO TATTOOS EVER BC I HAVE TO BE AN IMPORTANT BUSINESS PROFESSIONAL! like uncle jiang didn’t have what, three tattoos? whatever. what gives?

Jiang Cheng ⚡️🐍: Yeah, well. People change.

xianxian: ...did you get a depression body mod

Jiang Cheng ⚡️🐍: No!

Jiang Cheng ⚡️🐍: Shut up, Wei Wuxian.

xianxian: your tattoo sexy, didi

Jiang Cheng ⚡️🐍: GO TO BED

Xianxian: 💋💋💋🐍

The next morning, Wei Wuxian wakes up to another message from Jiang Cheng. It’s harsh, and a little threatening, but there’s a softness there, just like Jiang Cheng himself. Rough on the outside, sweet and sensitive underneath it all.

Jiang Cheng ⚡️🐍: We are going to talk about this. I know you don’t want to. I don’t want to either.

Jiang Cheng ⚡️🐍: I know this is going to make you want to run. Don’t you DARE run. Don’t make me watch you turn your back on me again.

Wei Wuxian doesn’t want to, anymore. Not for a moment.