FANDOM: Mo Dao Zu Shi
PAIRING: Lan WangJi / Wei WuXian
NOTE: Modern AU; Professor Lan Zhan (30) x Ice-Cream Man Wei Ying (22).
A/N: Daily update until the end of the story. Around one week of continuous updates.
It makes no sense for a handsome, intelligent man like Wei WuXian to be selling ice-cream in front of the university, under horrible weathers. It piques Lan WangJi’s curiosity.
It’s only when he asked Wei WuXian to ‘stay for dinner’ that he felt a sharp pang of dread hitting him right on his chest. He knew he had enough to prepare a decent meal for himself; he’d always kept the ingredient in his kitchen well stocked up. But were they enough for two people?
He didn’t even know what Wei WuXian liked to eat.
“You wait here,” he said, standing up from the couch, wanting to check them out for himself.
“Let me help you,” Wei WuXian, however, wasn’t giving him any chance to relax. Lan WangJi said nothing, no hint of agreeing or rejecting as he simply made his way towards the kitchen with Wei WuXian bouncing merrily on his heels.
“I didn’t know you can cook too, Professor Lan,” Wei WuXian warbled in anticipation. “You’re a Professor, you look like you come right out from a piece of picturesque painting, you’re gentle, kind, and now, you’re telling me you can cook too? What a scary man you are.”
“Scary?” Lan WangJi murmured under his breath.
Wei WuXian narrowed his eyes at him, small curve of a smirk arched on the corners of his lips. He leaned his hips against the counter, hands pressing against the solid wooden surface, and tilted his head.
“You can attract attention, distract people, make them fall for you so effortlessly. Some people don’t even get to experience a return of feelings from the person they like. But you. You can. Isn’t that scary?”
Lan WangJi didn’t respond. Acting as if he didn’t hear him, he opened the refrigerator.
Okay, good. He had enough.
“Spaghetti?” he asked.
“Scary?” Wei WuXian said, smirking deeper now.
Lan WangJi looked at him from over his shoulder, a face of dismay.
“Oh, I heard that wrong. Spaghetti, not scary. Sorry, they sound the same. Spaghetti’s good.”
Lan WangJi sighed out of his own conscious. Without a word, he took the ingredient out and rested them on the counter.
“Wait,” Wei WuXian spoke all of a sudden.
“Do you have red chili?”
Wei WuXian nodded at him, his aflutter gaze a contrast with Lan WangJi’s perplexed one when they shared eye contact.
“You like spicy food?” Lan WangJi tried asking.
“You don’t?” Wei WuXian returned the question instead. “It’s kinda like, you know, a habit. I grew up eating spicy, can’t get rid of it, can’t get used to bland food, either. But if you don’t have chilis or if you don’t like spicy food, then it’s okay. It’s already flattering enough to have you cooking for me.”
Lan WangJi’s eyes were fixed on Wei WuXian for a long while before he broke the eye contact and went over to the cupboard.
“I have red chilis.”
He never answered Wei WuXian’s question. Wei WuXian didn’t need to know he can’t take spicy.
The food was served shortly after. It was just an uncomplicated meal, decent for a last-minute cooking effort for two persons. Wei WuXian didn’t seem like he minded though. When Lan WangJi placed both of their food on the table, his expression was one of thrilling, like he was about to dig into the world’s most delicious food.
“This is the tastiest food I’ve eaten in awhile,” Wei WuXian complimented, sending a mouthful of noodles into his mouth.
Lan WangJi’s finger squeezed rigidly against his fork. He looked up from his plate at Wei WuXian. Wei WuXian wasn’t paying attention to him. He was enjoying his food so much it really looked like what he said, or, if, he hadn’t been eating well for a long time.
Lan WangJi let loose another unintended sigh.
“You don’t cook at home?” he asked.
“Hm? Sometimes, but rarely,” he said with mouth full.
“…You can answer me when your mouth is not full,” Lan WangJi can’t help but reprimand.
Wei WuXian chuckled. Gobbling the food down his throat, he winked at Lan WangJi.
Lan WangJi coughed softly.
“If you don’t cook, then how do you eat everyday?” he continued asking.
“Food delivery. Or… anything I can find on my way back, in my fridge… Anyhow, it’s manageable. It’s not like I’ll fall dead all of a sudden if I skip meal for a day.”
“Unhealthy,” Lan WangJi said.
“What do to?” Wei WuXian shrugged. “That’s how life is for a man who is number one, poor, number two, busy, number three–”
“Hahahaha!” Wei WuXian laughed. He ate more of his food, until when half of the plate was gone that he licked his lips and looked at Lan WangJi again.
“But Professor Lan is unlike me, right? You cook very well, I’m sure you eat healthy too. Whoever you marry will live such a contented life I’m almost jealous.”
Lan WangJi’s eyebrows furrowed. Wei WuXian was still staring at him, still grinning, his eyes still as glimmering as ever. It did things to Lan WangJi, but at the same time, it also drew a sort of appal from his guts that he didn’t know existed until now.
“Unlike me, someone who can’t bother to cook for himself, someone who can’t even take care of himself properly, do you think anyone would be happy being with me? Ha! Even I find that idea ridiculous.”
He sounded like he’s joking. He also sounded like he’s teasing himself. He sounded like he’s hinting. And, he also sounded like he’s reminding himself too.
Lan WangJi can never figure out what exactly did Wei WuXian mean from his words.
“You…” he started, the pressure on his throat made speaking difficult.
“Do you have someone like that?” he finally asked. The pounds on his heart were lifted a bit; he felt like he’d finally let slip the one question that’s the most important, amongst all the other pathetic slipup he’d carelessly set free on Wei WuXian.
“Someone like that?” Wei WuXian raised one eyebrow.
Wei WuXian, however, didn’t answer immediately. Putting his cutleries down, he crossed his fingers, placed his elbows on the table then propping his chin on his intertwined fingers. He was squinting at Lan WangJi, a gesture that had Lan WangJi flinching out of reflex. The shimmering in his eyes faded, replaced by a rascally gaze, made better by the seditious smirk he wore on his face.
“Do you really want to know?”
His voice when he spoke in the next second had Lan WangJi swallowing down his throat. It was magnetic, rousing, yet with a hint of jape.
Lan WangJi didn’t answer, but it didn’t seem like Wei WuXian needed it anyway.
“I do,” he said in the next moment. “The person I love is a very, very, verybeautiful person.”
Lan WangJi hoped he could look away, not only from Wei WuXian’s eyes, but from this situation; this deep hole he’d mindlessly plunged himself into. But he can’t. And when Wei WuXian continued his words later, he knew that it’s too late for him to pull himself back up now.
“He saved my life.”
Despite the devastation, he stopped Wei WuXian from leaving that night, telling him that he can stay over if he wanted.
Wei WuXian didn’t express any signs of surprise at his suggestion, as if he’d totally expected it. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise too when he said yes.
He’d be sleeping in the empty room that night.
The room was just beside Lan WangJi’s own room.
10PM morphed into 11PM then midnight. The darkness blanketed Lan WangJi’s lulled form. Long minutes dragged into long hours. His mind was never as active as how it was now. Thoughts after thoughts, considerations after considerations, all sprinted through his brain like they were running on a treadmill. Lan WangJi closed his eyes and opened them again, staring at a clean, dark ceiling, his eyes getting used to the darkness in mere minutes. It was quiet, yet it was clattery all at the same time. The overthinking was making it hard for him to breathe, the suffocation crunching him on his heart.
Eventually, he got out of bed, no longer can handle the tension.
He walked into the built-in bathroom in his room, washed his face, and looked at himself in the mirror.
A very, very, very beautiful person.
Yet he said he’s beautiful too. When there’s another person who he deemed to be even more beautiful than him.
He saved my life.
…What exactly happened to Wei WuXian before?
Should he ask?
Can he ask?
Who is he to ask?
Lan WangJi shook his head a little, splashing more cold water on his face, wanting to wake himself up.
There’s no point dwelling over these. He’s an adult. Wei WuXian was still young, what he said might not even be entirely the truth. It’s pathetic having his entire life being reeled around by a kid who probably never got into a university, who didn’t bother taking care of himself, who can heedlessly flirt with other people like it’s all natural.
It’s only a person as serious as Lan WangJi would take all his dalliance into his heart.
Lan WangJi sighed. After he wiped his face dry, he walked out of the bathroom.
His footsteps halted right at the foot of the bed. Turning his face around, he came to look at the wall.
Wei WuXian slept just right next door. He and Lan WangJi were now separated by a mere wall. If Lan WangJi pressed his ear against the wall, maybe, just maybe, he could even hear if Wei WuXian was one to snore when he slept.
Lured by the thought, Lan WangJi paced towards the wall like a string was pulling him over. His lips trembled a bit as he placed his hand against the solid wall, his heartbeats were so loud in his ears it’s as if his heart was about to leap out of his throat anytime now.
Right before he could press his ear against the wall for real, he heard a deafening thump from the door beside. His nerves froze.
And before he knew it, he’d darted out of his room.
A/N: Kinda “first date”? Hahaha.