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Monophobia

Chapter Text

Prologue

"You won’t survive for more than a week.”

“Is that a challenge?”

“More like a warning, but if you want it can be anything you want.”

“Good. I love challenges.”

Chapter Text

There was a legend among the locals of Blackville, New Brunswick, Canada about the forest which “isolates” the small town from the rest of the world.  The locals believed there was a creature ready to hunt down anyone who dared to enter the forest. Every single person who would venture into it would disappear without a trace. Many were convinced that they were killed although the bodies were never found. Even though these "abductions" only happened inside the forest, after the clock hit eight p.m. nobody would dare walk around the city.

 

Wei Wuxian was only a five-year-old child when he first heard about this myth and became fascinated by it. Truth be told, he was fearful of the creature, but that never stopped him from playing near the woods or even entering it to pick up flowers for his adoptive older sister. Being only a child he couldn't understand the danger and he would often be beaten by his adoptive mother when she would catch him sneaking out from the woods. Wei Wuxian, despite his misfortune of seeing his parents dying in front of him, remained a cheerful and friendly young man. He loved talking and making new friends and even tried to make friends with this so-called creature. He would often leave toys or small wrongly-written letters hoping that one day he could meet whatever it was.

 

As the years passed, he tried to cut off his everyday walks and start focusing on things that would make him forget about the legend. He began working part-time at the city's library, so he spent most of his time reading. The old lady who took care of the building became attached to him and would let the boy do whatever he wanted. She even gave him the doors' keys. That library was absolute heaven for Wei Wuxian after his sister moved in with her boyfriend- the house he lived in for fourteen years became a place he wished he could run away from. Yu Ziyuan treated him worse than trash and his brother wouldn’t even talk to him anymore. When he first came to that house, Jiang Fengmian and Hiang Yanli were the only ones who treated him like family, one of the many things that angered Yu Ziyuan to the core. There were a lot of fights between the two married people and every time Jiang Cheng would blame Wei Wuxian for it. When Jiang Fengmian left for the army, Yu Ziyuan was pleased to treat the boy exactly how she wanted.

 

Wei Wuxian sighed and put down the book he was reading to gaze outside the window. He smiled a little seeing how the small droplets of rain were hitting the window. He had always loved the rain. Enjoying the peaceful sound of the rain, he stood up from the desk and walked over to one of the small and comfortable sofas. Just as he leaned into it, his phone started buzzing.

 

The boy raised an eyebrow and retrieved his phone from his jeans pocket. He smiled softly when he saw that his lovely sister was calling him. He responded immediately.

 

“A-Xian!” Her cheerful voice made him smile. “I’m glad you answered.”

 

“Jiejie, I’ll always answer you.” His answer gained a laugh from the girl. “Is everything alright? Did that peacock hurt you or something? I can beat him up if you want.”

 

“A-Xian!” she fake-shouted. “A-Jixuan is a very nice man.” This statement made Wei Wuxian roll his eyes. “I wanted to ask you if you’d like to come to the pub? A-Qing sent a text to the group chat but you were the only one who didn’t answer so I figured out you were drowning in books as per usual.”

 

Wei Wuxian hummed and got up from the couch. “It’s about Nie Mingjue’s match, isn’t it? That means Jiang Wanyin will also be there…” The last part came out in a whisper.

 

“A-Xian.” Jiang Yanli sighed. “You won’t be alone ok? I’ll be there, A-Ning, A-Qing and Mianmian will also be there. Try and talk to him a bit. Please?”

 

The boy remained silent for a few seconds but in the end, he agreed. Shortly after, he closed the call and started shelving books. He still had some time before the meet-up.

 

---

 

Wei Wuxian was staring out the window, ignoring the noises from the full pub. It was a Saturday night and the storm outside had calmed, the rain slowly starting to dissipate. His best friend, Wen Ning, who was sitting beside him stopped talking and looked at him worriedly. He knew why his friend was acting like that- in fact, everyone knew, but they didn’t dare bring the subject up. It was for everyone’s good.

 

The pub’s door was kicked open and a small group of loud boys entered. Wen Qing whispered some curses while Wen Ning and Mianmian tried to distract Wei Wuxian from looking in the boys’ direction. Obviously, it didn’t work, but Wei Wuxian thanked their efforts in his head.

 

The guys sitting at the bar continued to talk loudly. Wei Wuxian smirked and got up from his seat. He picked up his empty glass of beer and went to the bar to get a refill. He could hear his friends calling his name but he ignored them. He gave his glass to the girl who was currently working.

 

“Well, well, well. Look who we have here, boys. The legendary Wei fucking Wuxian,” spat one of the young men, elbowing the others. He got up from his seat and leaned in close to Wei Wuxian. “You get prettier or is it just me? Maybe it’s from all those dicks you’re always sucking.” He smirked, moving his hand to touch Wei Wuxian’s hair.

 

“Sorry, you were talking? I only heard a dog barking.” Wei Wuxian replied, fake-confused, gaining some laughs from the other people inside the pub. This made Jin Zixun’s blood boil, although he quickly changed his behavior.

 

“But you didn’t say no to the last part.” Jin Zixun laughed loudly. Wei Wuxian only rolled his eyes. He waited patiently for his drink while trying to ignore the insulting comments. After receiving his drink, he started to head back to his table, but the next words to come from the bully stopped him in his tracks. “It’s been almost a year, y’know? Since you betrayed your best friend and made him go into the woods.” His words got louder and louder, attracting others’ attention as well.

 

Wei Wuxian clenched his fists but didn’t turn around. Jiang Yanli was already beside him, trying to move him away from Jin Zixun. Wen Ning had also come, throwing a murderous glare in Jin Zixun’s direction.

 

“You were afraid to go there, which is why you forced the poor boy to go in your place. What, did you think he would have returned all safe and sound? You knew that the moment you entered, you would be dead. Sadly you’re still here enjoying life, living your best, while he was dying in the most painful of ways.”

 

Hearing his words Wei Wuxian only wished that he could disappear. Of course he remembered every single detail from that night. Mo XuanYu had thrown a party for his birthday and it was the first time Wei Wuxian had gotten drunk. They were playing this stupid truth or dare game and Jin Guangyao- being the snake that he was- had dared Wei Wuxian to stay in the woods for five minutes while being tied up to a tree. Everyone had instantly frozen at his suggestion, but Wei Wuxian only laughed. He had been ready to refuse the challenge when Mo XuanYu offered to go instead of him. Wei Wuxian knew it was an absurd idea, but Mo XuanYu was confident that he would come back. He had a crush on Jin Guangyao and thought that maybe taking Wei Wuxian’s dare would impress him.

 

He would never forget Mo XuanYu’s screams, his painful screams. He detested himself. For letting the teenage boy die because of him. How much he wished he could have switched roles, how much he wished he had died instead of Mo XuanYu. He could have such a bright future and Wei Wuxian destroyed everything thanks to that stupid game.

 

“How about you show us now that you're not afraid. You go into the woods, take a few rounds and you come back, simple. What do you say?” Jin Zixun grinned reaching his hand out to Wei Wuxian.

 

"Don't listen to him," Wen Qing begged Wei Wuxian while pulling on his arm.

 

“No, let him. So the loser can finally prove that he is worthy of something,” Jiang Wanyin’s words made Jiang Yanli glare at him.

 

“I expected more from you.” Jiang Yanli’s words were like a knife that pierced Jiang Wanyin’s heart. Wei Wuxian felt slightly conflicted at the heartbroken expression on his brother’s face.

 

Wei Wuxian exhaled and gently pushed Wen Qing aside to shake hands with Jin Zixuan. Jiang Yanli looked at him with teary eyes. Wei Wuxian couldn’t bring himself to look at her. He only followed Jin Zixuan and his group outside. It was a bit after six pm. The sun was starting to set. Wei Wuxian’s friends also followed them, Jiang Yanli still crying and begging him to stop that nonsense.

 

It felt like an eternity before they finally reached the entrance of the forest. Jin Zixun tied Wei Wuxian’s hands behind his back using some rope they had found at a nearby store. Wen Ning watched the scene nervously, while Jin Zixun’s other two friends laughed delightedly. They immediately stopped after Wen Qing started cracking her knuckles. 

After he was finished being tied up, Wei Wuxian entered the forest without looking back.

 

He could hear Jin Zixun yelling at him to walk further and further until finally, the only thing he could hear was his footsteps stepping on the dry leaves. He kept walking in all sorts of directions until the forest started to become dark. The tall trees prevented sunlight from penetrating the forest, so at night it was even darker than when you were in town. Being in the forest at night was dangerous because you could easily lose yourself, increasing your chances of getting caught by the creature who dwelled here. Wei Wuxian was sure the creature knew the forest even with its eyes closed- that thought made him shiver a bit.

 

He tried to untie himself, but to no avail- Jin Zixun had tied him too tight. He sighed and looked around, trying to find something that might help him unravel the rope. A sudden sound behind him turned his blood cold. He spun around quickly. Thankfully it was only the wind moving some leaves on a nearby bush. Relaxing a little, he turned back around, twitching when he saw a knife stuck in a tree. He blinked a few times, before cautiously approaching and examining it.

 

He swore it wasn't here earlier. An idea popped into his head. Yanking the knife from the tree, he used it to cut the rope binding his arms. Finally free, he stabbed the knife back into the tree and decided to find a way back. Wei Wuxian took a few steps forward but shortly jerked back after hearing something move behind him. He felt shivers run down his spine, as he quickly turned back around. His eyes widened. The knife was gone. His first thought was to run, so without thinking, he started running. His heart was beating like crazy, his head full of anxiety-filled thoughts. He was scared, extremely scared of what was to come. Wei Wuxian put his palms over his ears to try to stop the sounds. Suddenly, his sight was obscured, and he found himself in an area filled with dense fog.

 

His teary eyes made it harder to see but he didn’t stop running. He turned left and right, but still felt like he was running in a circle. Carelessly, he tripped over a branch and fell right into a mud puddle. He quickly got up and started running again. The footsteps were getting closer. He had already lost all hope, and he felt his legs about to give up any second. He clearly couldn’t hide anywhere, there were only trees. He could climb up a tree to hide, but by the time he would manage to get up, the creature would already have caught him.

 

His legs finally giving up, he fell to his knees. He felt miserable- his clothes and face were stained with mud and he couldn’t stop crying, scared and soon to be dead. Is this how Mo Xuanyu felt? 

 

He was waiting for it to catch him, but to his surprise, nothing came. The forest fell silent again. He frowned and looked around him. There was nothing. Just as he got up from the ground again, the same knife from earlier was thrown a few centimeters away from his face, becoming wedged in one of the trees right in front of him. Wei Wuxian gathered his courage and took the knife out again, carefully surveying his surroundings. He could use it to fight if someone tried to attack him. Now that he had something that could keep him safe he continued to run. He no longer heard any weird sounds but he could still feel someone watching him. He flinched when a crow swooped overhead, the action causing him to drop the knife. 

 

“You fuc--” but the words got stuck in his throat. In the blade of the knife he could see the silhouette of a man up in the tree, his golden eyes following his every move. He hastily left the knife and started running once again, knowing for sure that he was never, since the first second he entered the forest, alone.

 

He was again scared and felt it was the last time he could breathe. The creature- no, the man was following now with calm steps. He wasn’t rushing, he was taking his time. The man’s confidence was scaring Wei Wuxian the most. If he didn’t think of him as a psychopath, Wei Wuxian would have stopped already and told him to leave him alone. The footsteps behind him stopped after a while and Wei Wuxian didn’t know if he should be thankful or more scared. 

 

“A-Xian!” he heard Jiang Yanli’s desperate voice shouting somewhere in front of him. He didn’t know if his mind was playing games with him, but he decided to follow her voice with the little amount of hope he still had.

 

“Wei Wuxian!” this time it was Wen Ning. He was close. 

 

Soon he could make out some figures a few meters in front of him. When they saw the boy, in a heartbeat they were beside him, dragging him out of the woods. Wei Wuxian collapsed on the ground the third time that night and smiled weakly. He was safe.

 

“I thought you were gone,” Jiang Yanli was the first one to speak while she hugged him tightly, still crying. “If you love me, never do that again.”

 

“Ten minutes passed and you still didn’t come out. We were all worried,” scolded Mianmian and smacked his head. Wei Wuxian only laughed and looked at everyone with his still blurry eyes.

 

“His joke really crossed the line. The next time I see him I’ll kill him,” Wen Qing growled, and God help whoever will be in her hands because they surely will not be safe.

 

Wen Ning was the only silent one. He helped Wei Wuxian up onto his feet and kept an arm around him to give him support. As they left the place, Wei Wuxian couldn't help but turn his head to the forest entrance. He swallowed, noticing the silhouette of the man behind a tree, watching them leave.

 

--

 

That night Jiang Yanli insisted on him sleeping over at her house. As much as he wanted to spend more time with his angelic sister, he politely refused. After he learned that there was a man out there, he became interested in him. Until late at night he tried searching for any information regarding this legend in the books but found nothing. He began thinking about going back there and hopefully trying to talk with the man. Wei Wuxian had a feeling that more than wanting to hunt him down, the man helped him reach the exit from the forest. An absurd idea, he was aware of that, but as he was sure that if he didn’t die the first time, he surely won’t die the second time as well. 

 

Scared? Of course he was, but he was also a sucker for mysteries and danger. He had questions, and all his answers were with the other male. Leaving his town, he bit his lower lip as he slowly approached the woods. I’m really an idiot, he thought, trying to bring back his courage. He inhaled deeply and entered the forest.

 

“Good. I'm here, now what?” He whispered out loud to himself, ruffling his hair. He then started walking in a random direction. The forest was quiet, far too quiet and he didn’t like it. He had been walking for a few minutes already when he noticed that the forest was beginning to change. It was a nicer green and the surroundings didn’t seem so scary anymore. The temperature was decreasing, but not too much. He could hear the sound of rushing water, possibly from a nearby stream. The trees here weren’t as tall as the ones from earlier, allowing him to see his surroundings more easily.

 

He pushed his way through some bushes and tried to refrain from yelling when he saw the cobwebs stuck on his clothes. Distracted by the webs, he missed the rather steep hill. It was too late when he realized there was no ground under his foot, as he rolled down the hill like a boulder until he finally reached the base. He mentally cursed and got up, sweeping the dust away from his clothes. 

 

Wei Wuxian looked straight ahead, his eyes widening as they landed on a grand manor. He approached it slowly but the moment he came close, he almost choked. He quickly hid behind a tree. He felt like his heart was ready to leap out of his chest at any moment. A few meters away from him, the man was comfortably seated on a white terrace sofa. He had a cigarette in his mouth, his eyes trained downwards as he bandaged one of his hands. 

 

Wei Wuxian frowned, his eyes traveling from his fully bandaged back to his chest to his face. He licked his lips. The man was gorgeous, his long hair tied up in a messy bun, a few strands of hair falling on his small, sharp face. Wei Wuxian was sure that he would cut his fingers if he tried to touch that jawline. His sharp, honey-colored eyes were emotionless. His features were graceful, almost as if he was a sculpture. 

Not a single mark or wound marred his snow-white skin. A beautiful contrast with his long black hair.


Seeing him like that, Wei Wuxian gained some courage and left the tree, confidently walking towards the man. It’s a bad idea, Wei Wuxian get away from there. Run as fast as you can. He shoved the thoughts away, drawing air into his lungs. Too focused on the man, Wei Wuxian accidentally stepped on a dry leaf, the sound causing the black-haired man to turn his head in his direction. For a moment he looked at him in astonishment, but then his eyes darkened, the change making Wei Wuxian tense up.

Chapter Text

Slowly climbing the stairs, Wei Wuxian did not turn his gaze away from the man’s own. The boy felt a shiver run down his spine at the man’s steely gaze, but he didn’t stop walking until he was right in front of the man.

 

“You’re not trying to kill me anymore?” Wei Wuxian’s question made the black-haired man huff, annoyance clear in his eyes.

 

“And you’ve come here to complain about that?” His voice was deeper than what Wei Wuxian had expected. He gulped, not knowing how to respond. I came here because you intrigued me? Of course he couldn’t tell him that. He didn’t know where he should draw the line for his jokes yet.

 

“People usually- normal people, don’t intend to enter the forest after experiencing the same thing you went through. But you come here, without a single weapon to defend yourself, daring to ask me questions?” The man’s voice got deeper and deeper as he made his way closer to Wei Wuxian. If Wei Wuxian wasn’t trembling in fear when he first came, he sure as hell was now. All of his courage disappeared in the blink of an eye.  The man’s face was only a few centimeters away from his own, his cold expression unwavering. “Go home kid. This is not a place where you can play around, especially when you don’t know whose hands you’ll fall in.” he whispered into the boy’s ear making Wei Wuxian weak in the knees. 

 

Without waiting for a reply from the other, the man picked up his coat from the sofa and entered the house. Alone, Wei Wuxian could finally breathe again. His heart was beating like crazy, the image of the man’s cold eyes still in his mind. He moved his attention to the door and despite the fear he felt, something inside was urging him to enter as well. He shoved the thoughts away and started to head back to where he had come from. As soon as he did, his eyes laid on an open window a few metres away. A crazy idea popped into his head as he approached the rounded window. He put both his hands on the sill and tried jumping a few times. Wei Wuxian although was slim, possessed some muscle and soon succeeded in climbing through it. 

 

He was surprised to see that the interior wasn’t damaged like the exterior, but the contrary: the tall white walls were in perfect shape, the paintings hanging on the walls were without a trace of dust, the same as every other object in the room. The floors were of dark grey stone, polished so thoroughly you could see your reflection in it. A  soft-looking, snow-white carpet had been placed in the centre of the room, surrounded by a few sofas of a similar shade. All of these furniture items were situated in front of a brown-brick fireplace, currently unused. From outside he would never have guessed that the rooms were so wide, nor so extravagant. A grand chandelier made out of silver hung from the high ceiling, illuminating the room with a bright light.

 

Wei Wuxian exited the lounge room and started to walk around the mansion, examining anything he found interesting. Most of the rooms were locked, the only rooms that weren’t being the kitchen, dining room and two bathrooms that he was sure were larger than his old room at the Jiang family house. He soon reached a set of white-painted stairs that led straight to the second floor. Making his way upstairs, all he found was a long corridor, with one single door lying at the very end. The corridor itself was extremely dark, no lighting provided by either wall lamps nor windows. It felt like he had entered a whole different world. 

 

The door wasn’t locked, much to the boy’s surprise. He was welcomed by a huge, dark room, spreading across the whole second floor. Retrieving his phone from his jacket pocket, he turned on the flashlight function allowing some light to finally illuminate the room. The room had its walls painted black, but there some areas where scratches could be seen, almost like someone was trying to get rid of the colour desperately with their nails. There were no wall lamps, no paintings, nothing. The light from the two wide windows was limited by broad, dark curtains. In the centre of the room lay a huge bed, so huge that three men could sleep without touching the entire night. Two large pillows were propped up against the headboard, while the mattress was covered with a charcoal-coloured blanket that spread to all four corners of the bed. A chandelier hung above the bed, but all of its light bulbs were broken. Someone was desperately trying to get rid of any source of light. 

 

Wei Wuxian walked over to the bed and seated himself at the head, wanting to gather his thoughts. Was the man sleeping here? It couldn’t be. Everything downstairs was in perfect order, white and shining, but here it was the total opposite. Maybe he forgot about this room? But every other door was locked, why wouldn’t this room also be locked? There also weren’t any bedrooms downstairs. He pat one of the pillows and frowned slightly, feeling a small, hard lump underneath it. Curiously he lifted the pillow. His eyes widened. A scarlet, wooden box tied with black silk had been hidden from view. Unravelling it and lifting the lid, he found the contents of the box to be many small pieces of crinkled notebook paper arranged in a neat pile. They were clearly cherished by the owner. Picking one of the papers from the top of the pile, he started to read. The first line immediately made him drop the paper. 

 

This was one of the many letters he used to write to his so-called “childhood friend”. 

 

“So you found it, huh,” a voice came from behind, making him jerk back. He quickly spun his head around to face the man who had disappeared earlier. Lan Wangji was leaning against the door frame eyeing him with a dark expression on his face. “You should start listening to warnings, Wei Ying.”

“Where did you get this from?” asked Wei Wuxian in a shaky tone. 

“The person who owned these… nice man, but he screamed too much. I had to shut him up somehow,” answered the man nonchalantly. Wei Wuxian felt a shiver run down his spine, his fists clenching the letters tightly.

“You’re insane.” he spat, the other only offering a cool smile at his words. 

“I never denied it.” Without warning, Lan Wangji started to walk over to the trembling boy, the floorboards creaking under his slow and heavy footsteps. 

The boy clenched his jaw, his fingers behind his back trying to feel for the pillow. As soon as his fingers touched the pillow, he quickly grabbed it and shoved it into Lan Wangji’s face. This clearly took the man by surprise as he stopped moving, allowing Wei Wuxian some time to try and escape. 

Unfortunately he did not get very far, because as soon as he reached the door he felt a large hand roughly grab his shoulder and fling him against the wall, the impact taking the breath out of him. His head hit the wall, hard, causing his vision to blur. His body slowly started to sink to the ground, only being kept upright by a rough hand wrapped around the boy’s neck. The man's other hand grabbed Wei Wuxian’s hair, lifting his head up so he could look at the boy’s face clearly.

“I did warn you, didn’t I? I was quite nice, letting you go. I was okay when you snuck into my house like a pathetic thief- I’m a patient man.” His voice came out in angry whispers, his face looming closer and closer to Wei Wuxian’s. “But don’t test my limits.” He growled the last line, his grip tightening. Wei Wuxian made a gagging noise.

He scratched at Lan Wanji’s hand, trying to loosen the other’s grip but to no avail. The other only stared at the struggling boy with calm eyes, as if he had done this all before. Wei Wuxian’s vision started to darken.  Gathering all his strength, Wei Wuxian kicked his leg out, his knee making contact with Lan Wangji’s stomach. As soon as the man’s hand was no longer around his neck, Wei Wuxian broke out into a coughing fit. Lan Wangji’s eyes were now pure fire. Wei Wuxian gulped and ran from the room. He was sure that he would get killed this time. 

Wei Wuxian ran towards the forest as fast as he could, the unhurried footsteps from behind doing nothing to calm his fast-beating heart. After running for what felt like an eternity, he finally stopped. Crouching down onto the ground, Wei Wuxian tried his best to steady his uneven breathing. All he managed was a few sobs before he heard a voice call out.

“Did you really think you could hide from me? I know my way around this forest with my eyes closed.” 

A rough hand grabbed his shoulder from behind and he was pushed to the ground, immobilized. Wei Wuxian screamed and struggled futilely against the man’s strong grip. Lan Wangji settled himself on top of him, his knees squeezing Wei Wuxian’s waist. The boy was a crying mess, trying his best to hide his face with his hands. Lan Wangji sighed and moved his fingers to gently caress Wei Wuxian’s cheek. The boy tensed up, his sobs slowly reducing to occasional sniffles until he finally stopped crying.

“Wei Ying,” the man whispered. “Look at me.” Wei Wuxian gulped, slowly moving his hands away from his face to finally meet the other’s eyes. What he saw took him by surprise. Lan Wanji’s eyes were soft, the earlier frost nowhere to be seen. “You really don’t…. remember me?”

Wei Wuxian thought he imagined the sadness he could hear in the other’s tone. He raised his hand, carefully touching the man’s face. Lan Wangji let him, gently closing his eyes. The boy examined his face, trying his best to understand the man’s question. Had they met before? Did they know each other? 

Suddenly, a memory that had been pushed deep into the recesses of his mind was reawakened. Himself as a young child, playing around with another figure, yelling in a cheerful voice-

“Lan Zhan!”

 

Chapter Text

“I don’t wanna play with him. He’s weird.” A young Jiang Wanyin flashed in front of his eyes.

He vividly remembered how sad and scared he felt that day. He had been surrounded by people yet no one even tried to explain to him what was happening. He felt like he was all alone. He couldn’t even cry, no tears were left for his round, red eyes. 

“I want mom and dad.” his tiny voice whispered but nobody was listening to him.

“Poor child.” one person said.

“I’d take him but… I’m sure he’ll become a nuisance.” another one joined in.

Shut up. Shut up. Shut up. Wei Wuxian wanted to scream. To run away from everything. He was done with the adults’ fake tears and concerns. There wasn’t even a hint of sadness in their voices. He ran. He didn’t know where, but he didn’t care. He wanted to escape. He ran into the woods and hid behind a tree, sobbing. His head was a mess.

“It’s not safe here.” a voice suddenly interrupted his thoughts. He looked up and saw a boy not older than sixteen looking down at him.

“What?” 

“It’s not safe here, go back before he finds you.”

The boy blinked a few times confused. He looked closer at the teenager standing in front of him. His long, dark hair was tied in a high ponytail. His clothes were all-black and his face was concealed by a mask. His eyes were small, but the look he was giving Wei Wuxian sent shivers through Wei Wuxian’s body.

“I don’t wanna go back. I hate everyone!” shouted the boy as he started to cry again. The sixteen-year-old looked behind them, alarmed. He gritted his teeth and in a quick motion he picked up the smaller boy. He began running with a clear destination in his mind. As he took random turns he listened closely to the sounds around them. What he was doing was dangerous, he knew that, but something inside him couldn’t tell him not to leave the child. Not when he knew what could happen to him.

Wei Wuxian soon stopped crying and instead started to look around at the blurring scenery. The trees seemed more friendly, the leaves a lighter green and it felt like the sun was welcomed happily here. Eventually, they reached a small cave, where the teenager finally let the other boy down. 

“What’s your name?” Wei Wuxian heard the other ask.

“W-Wei Ying. But everyone calls me by my courtesy name, Wuxian.” he replied, wiping the remaining tears from his eyes with his shirt sleeves. The other boy hummed, raising his eyebrow at the mention of a courtesy name.

“People still use it after so long, huh.” he whispered, kneeling down in front of Wei Wuxian. The young boy was looking at him with waiting eyes. “Lan Wangji…. birth name, Lan Zhan.”

“Lan Zhan….” Wei Wuxian tested the name on his tongue and smiled at the older boy. Lan Wangji swallowed dryly, somehow feeling warmer inside.

“Mn, Wei Ying,” he said back, the boy’s smile growing wider. 

After their small introduction, Wei Wuxian told Lan Wangji everything that had happened, the boy listening with concern in his eyes. As the night grew closer, Lan Wangji took him back to the city but not until he promised to meet Wei Wuxian again. <I’m gonna protect him.> was the first thought he had the minute he left the boy.

Wei Wuxian continued to visit Lan Wangji in the same spot. Days became weeks and weeks became months. They grew close and Lan Wangji didn’t know if he should be scared or not. It was a risky thing, he knew, but Wei Wuxian was his first friend and he didn’t want to lose him. It was hard to sneak out everyday without his father noticing, but seeing Wei Wuxian’s smile was worth the risk. 

 

“Wei Ying.” Lan Wangji’s voice was a comfort for his crushed heart. The man gently caressed Wei Wuxian’s hair as the boy continued to hug the man tightly. “I’ll protect you.” Wei Wuxian smiled at the words. They were the same as back then and he knew for sure that he could believe them with his whole heart.

“All these years… I thought you left me.” Wei Wuxian’s sad eyes made Lan Wangji’s heart stop beating for a few seconds.

“I’m sorry I took so long,” said Lan Wangji in an apologetic tone, as he got up and extended a hand towards the other. Wei Wuxian smiled at him and took his hand. He was gently pulled up, the other quickly dusting him off before they started to walk back towards the city. Wei Wuxian quickened his pace to match Lan Wangji’s broad footsteps. Without a word, he held the other’s large, calloused hand. The man looked down in surprise.

Wei Wuxian grinned brightly at him. “Reminds me of the old times.” Lan Wangji hummed and intertwined their fingers together. They continued walking in comfortable silence, both of them ignoring their own fast-beating hearts. “Can I come visit again?” asked Wei Wuxian as he noticed their closing distance to the city. He could spot some buildings past the tall trees of the forest.

“Whenever Wei Ying wants.”

“Then… everyday!” he exclaimed excitedly.

“Everyday means everyday.” Lan Wangji warned to which Wei Wuxian only nodded quickly.

“I just got you back Lan Zhan, don’t ever think I will let you leave me ever again.” Lan Wangji only smiled at the boy’s words. You’re mine too, Wei Ying.

After talking with Lan Wangji a little bit longer, the other saw him off at the entrance of the forest in a gentlemanly manner. “You… will come visit me again, right?” the golden-eyed man had asked nervously, his hand giving Wei Wuxian’s hand a tight squeeze as if he wasn’t planning on ever letting go. Wei Wuxian giggled to himself. It seemed that Lan Wangji also felt the same way he did.

The young boy squeezed Lan Wangji’s hand back. “Of course, Lan Zhan!”

---------------------------

As soon as Wei Wuxian returned to his room above the library, he collapsed onto the ground. He buried his face in his palms and screamed. Calm down, calm down. He glanced ashamedly down at his lower area, where his dick was very much hard. Seeing Lan Wangji again had relit the fire inside of him. He did eventually realize as he grew up that the feelings he had back then for the boy were more than platonic. Seeing the other again only continued to prove it. 

The boy bit his lower lip as he eyed one of the pillows lying on the bed. He swallowed as he let his hands travel from his chest, down to his pants. He palmed his growing bulge, the tightness being too much for him. With a quick move, he swiftly took off his pants. I can’t believe I’m going to do this. 

Grabbing the pillow, he positioned himself in front of it. He shamelessly moaned as his full length slowly thrust inside the warmth of the pillow. He stopped for a few seconds as he imagined Lan Wangji's beautiful expression. Oh how much he wanted to wreck that man and to make him lose his cool. Wei Wuxian pulled back, leaving only his tip inside as he closed his eyes, biting his bottom lip. He imagined Lan Wangji under him, begging him to move, to do anything to him. He immediately started thrusting. At first, he kept a steady pace, but slowly he increased his speed, whispering praises and other dirty things he would love to do to his"gorgeous Lan Zhan.”

He leaned his head back as a shock of pleasure danced through his spine. Lan Zhan, he begged moving his hips faster. Lan Zhan, please . He groaned. I’m so close . He cried out, his grip on the pillow tightening. Grunting his teeth, he pulled his cock out from the pillow and moaned frustratedly. The tip was flushed red and leaking. Wei Wuxian licked his bottom lip and started grinding his length along the pillow, being sure not to touch the tip. How much he wanted to come, but more than that he loved to edge himself. 

He pushed his length again inside the pillow, his hips beginning to move aggressively. He moved in and out while his grip on the pillow tightened, making it almost painful for him to move his dick. Lan Zhan, you’re so good for me...fuck. Wei Wuxian moaned again. He made one last hard thrust, sinking his dick completely inside the pillow as he came. He finally collapsed onto the bed, panting. Small groans escaped his fully-open mouth. His legs were shaking as he threw an arm across his eyes.

"Such a mess," he whispered, feeling the wet pillow around him. After he regained some of his energy, he got up and changed the mattress. Ah, so embarrassing . He sighed and went to take a quick shower. 

Refreshed from the shower, he changed into some sweater pants and a t-shirt before heading into the kitchen to make himself some tea. As he waited for the water to boil, an idea popped into his head. I wonder what Lan Zhan is doing right now. He smiled gleefully while pouring some more water into the kettle. 

After the tea had been made, he poured the hot beverage into a thermos. Leaving the library through the back door, he quickly made his way to the forest. Seeing that no one was around, he happily entered the woods. He leisurely made his way to Lan Wangji’s house. Now that he knew that Lan Wangji was the one who resided in this forest, all his worries had disappeared. He still didn’t understand why Lan Wangji did those things to him but Wangji told him to trust him, so he was fine with waiting until he could tell him everything. 

After a few wrong turns, he finally made it to Lan Wangji’s house. Everything was quiet and he was nowhere to be seen. Can it be that he's not at home? He opened the front door and strained his ears. No sound was heard. He frowned and went to place the thermos in the kitchen .

"Lan Zhan?" he called waiting for an answer. There was none.

Panic started to rise in him as he hastily climbed the stairs and went straight to the bedroom. The door was slightly ajar. He peeked inside. He breathed a sigh of relief as he spotted the silhouette of a person lying on the bed. Opening the door a little wider, he slipped in and walked over to the bed, seating himself next to the sleeping figure. "Lan Zhan?" he whispered, gently caressing the other’s cheek.

Lan Wangji stirred, slowly opening his eyes. He was welcomed by a bright smile and for a moment thought he was still dreaming. "Wei Ying?" he whispered. Wei Wuxian could sense some fear in his tone. “Yes, it’s me,” he was quick to reassure the other man. 

As he gazed at the other, Wei Wuxian’s cheeks burned as he remembered his actions from that morning. Without warning, Lan Wangji moved back to make some space, pulling the other boy under the sheets. "I'm still tired," he whispered, hiding his face in the crook of Wei Wuxian's neck. Shaking away his previous thoughts, the boy wrapped his arms around Lan Wangji’s back, as he slowly fell asleep in the warmth of Lan Wangji's body against his.

Chapter Text

Wei Wuxian woke up to a cold, empty spot beside him. He blinked a few times before slowly getting up from the soft and comfortable sheets, stretching his arms and yawning. He had not slept so soundly in a long time. Heading downstairs, he noticed that the lights were on in the kitchen. As expected, he found Lan Wangji there, chopping some vegetables. The man’s back was facing Wei Wuxian as he cooked. He wore a white, vintage medieval shirt that fit his wide shoulders smoothly. The shirt included a narrow V-neck in which one could see a little of his neck, lined with silk ruffles.

The sleeves were rolled up to the elbows, with small, baby-blue cloud patterns stitched all over the shirt. He had adorned a pair of long black pants as well as a black corset that embraced his slim waist perfectly. Wei Wuxian’s eyes moved lower to his ass, the boy swallowing silently. Not again. He bit his lower lip and shook his head. 

“Lan Zhan, why didn’t you wake me up?” Wei Wuxian pouted as he popped up beside the man. Lan Wangji stopped cutting the vegetables, turning his head to face the boy.

“Wei Ying was too cute while sleeping.” His answer made Wei Wuxian blush.

“Lan Zhan! You can’t say stuff like that! It’s not good for my heart!” Wei Wuxian whined as Lan Wangji continued to cut the vegetables. 

“I’ll be done soon, wait at the table.” Wei Wuxian pouted again, but listened to him. As soon as he stepped into the dining room, his eyes widened. The table was set beautifully, with multiple large dishes filled with a large variety of food, including vegetables, fruits, and fish. The china plates that the food was served on were also extremely fancy, the blue and white patterns only further adding to their beauty. Two sets of dinnerware were placed opposite each other on the dining table. Wei Wuxian walked over to a chair, seating himself on it as he waited quietly for Lan Wangji. 

Lan Wangji entered the dining room soon after, another bowl of salad in his right hand and a teapot in his left. “I heated up the tea you brought,” he commented as he sat down in the seat opposite Wei Wuxian’s. The young boy smiled at him, picking up the chopsticks laying by his plate as he eyed the food again.

“Lan Zhan, you didn’t have to make so much.”

“Don’t hold back.” was the other’s only reply as he poured some tea into the empty cups. Without further protest, Wei Wuxian started eating everything with delight, complimenting him from time to time.

Half an hour passed before Wei Wuxian finally put his chopsticks down, rubbing his full stomach happily. Glancing over at Lan Wangji, he noticed that the man had only eaten an orange. 

“I really ate that much? Sorry,” he apologised guiltily. 

“I made them for you. Don’t be,” the other replied, sipping from his cup. “I do not eat much anyway, please do not worry.” Lan Wangji glanced over at the pouting Wei Wuxian. His eyes were locked on his lower lip and he almost felt the urge to bite it. He swallowed and quickly got up, packing up the dishes.

“Lan Zhan, can I ask you something?”

“You already asked something.” Wei Wuxian blinked a few times then started laughing as if it was the funniest joke in the world. They moved back into the kitchen, with Wei Wuxian leaning against the counter while Lan Wangji washed the dishes.

“That big old door near the lounge, where does it lead to?” he asked curiously, looking in the direction of said door. Lan Wangji followed his gaze and made a small “ah” sound. 

“The library.” As soon as he gave him the answer, Wei Wuxian immediately turned around, excitement in his eyes. Lan Wangji almost laughed at his reaction. He went to the hall and took a set of keys from a small basket that sat on top of a shelf. He traced his fingers along the keys. His fingers stopped on a small black key. Wei Wuxian was following closely behind, giddy with excitement. The man unlocked the door and opened it, letting the boy enter first. As soon as Wei Wuxian entered the library, he gasped. The room was much bigger than he had expected. Numerous tall bookshelves could be seen, all of them so tall they reached the ceiling. The shelves were crammed full of books upon books upon books, all neatly arranged in alphabetical order. Many cardboard boxes lay on the ground. Peeking inside, Wei Wuxian could see that the contents were more books- clearly there wasn’t enough space on the shelves for these ones. Walking up to one of the shelves, Wei Wuxian gently ran his fingers down the spines of the books, reading each title carefully. He was happy to see that he didn’t own any of these books in his library. 

“Lan Zhan, I will steal your library.” he said seriously, looking back at the man. 

“Then it’s yours now,” he replied nonchalantly, placing the keys on a small table in the centre of the room. “I’ve already read every book.” Wei Wuxian could sense some sadness in the man’s voice.

After a moment of thought, the boy smiled. “Would you like some new ones?” he asked casually, the other looking up in surprise. “I work in a library. I also finished all the books there. We could switch.” 

Lan Wangji nodded eagerly in approval.

------------

Finally Wei Wuxian left Lan Wangji’s home, forced to go back to work, but not without a bag full of books from Lan Wangji’s library. He promised the other that he would bring some of his own books the next time he visited him. As he shelved the books in his library, he heaved a great sigh. Even though he already saw Lan Wangji a few hours ago , he already missed him. I’ve lived up till now without him- why do I miss him so much? 

Suddenly, the door to the library was opened, the sudden presence dragging him from his thoughts. To his surprise, Jiang Wanyin was at the door with a paper bag in his hands.

“A-Cheng.” Wei Wuxian forced a smile. The other boy looked down and handed him the paper bag. Wei Wuxian looked at him, his brows furrowing. Peeking inside the bag, his eyes widened as he spotted some brownies. His favourite.

“I made some last night after A-Jie told me what happened,” he muttered. Wei Wuxian only raised an eyebrow.

“You were also at the pub. Didn’t you want me to enter the forest too?” His voice was raised, surprising both of them.

“I didn’t think you would really do that. I said it as a joke-”

“A bad joke.” he cut in, causing Jiang Wanyin to lower his head in shame. “Why are you really here? After all this time, it’s hard to think you suddenly care for me.” He laughed bitterly.

“As I said, A-Jie was crying really hard yesterday and we had a serious conversation, without mom. Listen, she really considers you family.”

“And you don’t.” Wei Wuxian’s words were hard. “If you’re trying to play with me only to fuck with me later, I’d suggest you leave now.” Tears were forming in his eyes.

“I only want us to get along. I know you hate me, but can we at least try? For A-Jie’s sake?” Jiang Wanyin’s voice turned into a whisper, and Wei Wuxian was ready to laugh again. “...I also want you to know that I really feel bad for what happened.”  After his brother left, Wei Wuxian fell to his knees, his tears rolling down his cheeks as he continued to cry again.

In the meantime, back at Lan Wangji’s mansion, Xiao Xingchen placed a cup of tea in front of Lan Wangji. “Who’s the lucky guy?”

Xue Yang, who initially was staring in boredom at the screen of his laptop, raised his eyes to look curiously at Lan Wangji. 

Lan Wangji frowned, taking a sip of tea. “I thought Xue Yang was the policeman here.”

Xiao Xingchen laughed, leaning against the window frame. “There were two sets of plates and cups. Nobody besides us came here,” he replied nonchalantly. 

Lan Wangji placed the cup back on its saucer. “Wei Ying,” were the only words he spoke.

Xue Yang raised an eyebrow. “Who?”

Xiao Xingchen’s eyes widened. “Are you sure it’s him?”

“He remembers me as well. It’s him, Xingchen. I finally found him.” Lan Wangji’s voice rose in volume, his eyes shining.

“Can you someone please tell me who the hell this Wei Ying is?” demanded an annoyed Xue Yang as he slapped his laptop shut. 

“Remember when Wangji asked you to run a name in your database? That might ring a bell,” Xiao Xingchen answered. Xue Yang thought for a few moments. Xiao Xingchen almost laughed seeing how Xue Yang’s face turned from confused to surprised in a mere second.

“The boy you thought was killed by your father?” Xue Yang tested, to which Lan Wangji nodded in approval. “So like, did you guys do it or-” Xiao Xingchen smacked his head. 

“Wangji don’t listen to him, take your time.”

“I already am,” Lan Wangji muttered, his eyes filled with disappointment.

--------------------------------

Yes. It happened again. Wei Wuxian had snuck into Lan Wangji’s house for the third time. He couldn’t help it though- he really wanted to see Lan Wangji again. 

Wei Wuxian made his way through the silent house, peeking into all the rooms he encountered. Maybe he’s sleeping again- it’s already this late, he thought, as he climbed the stairs leisurely. He crossed the hall and was about to open the door, but a noise from inside made him stop. The noise sounded an awful lot like a painful whimper. The sound danced around his ears along with some wet noises. His heart started to pound as he opened the door just a bit to peek inside. The boy almost fell to his knees as his eyes fell on Lan Wangji’s fully naked body. The older man was on his knees with his ass in the air, his head leaning against a pillow. His eyes were closed, a pained expression seen on his face as he bit the pillow in order to contain his gasps. One hand was playing with his right nipple, while the other aggressively pushed an enormous red dildo inside his ass.  

Wei Wuxian gulped, his stomach tightening as he imagined himself instead of that false sexual object. A tiny whimper left his mouth as he felt his dick getting harder. Entering the  room quietly, he made sure not to make any sounds as he approached the other. As soon as he reached Lan Wangji, he leaned over, bringing his hand to softly touch the other’s cheek. Lan Wangji recoiled with a shock, his eyes opened wide. What greeted him was a smug Wei Wuxian, the erection in his pants evident.

“Lan Zhan, wouldn’t you prefer the real thing real thing?”

Chapter Text

“Lan Zhan, don’t you think it’s better with the real deal?” Wei Wuxian asked suggestively, a smirk spreading on his face. Lan Wangji swallowed, starting to pull out the dildo, until the boy’s hand stopped him abruptly. “But that doesn’t mean I don’t wanna have some fun with that first,” he whispered, his voice deep. Lan Wangji tensed, his unoccupied hand clenching the pillow underneath his head. 

Wei Wuxian moved behind him and without warning, thrust the object back in. Lan Wangji cried out, his legs trembling. He had prepared himself, but the sudden intrusion still surprised him.

“Hey, Lan Zhan … I wonder if this can go even deeper .”

Using one hand, Wei Wuxian caressed Lan Wangji’s back, trying to relax him, while his other hand pushed the toy in even deeper. “What a good boy you are, Lan Zhan . Taking it so obediently. I can’t wait to fuck you, to fill you up with me- would you like that?”

Lan Wangji bit his lower lip, refusing to reply. Wei Wuxian frowned and smacked his left cheek, making Lan Wangji jerk up with a loud scream. “When I ask you something, I expect you to answer me. Lan Wangji, I won’t ask twice.”

Lan Wangji swallowed, turning his head to the side to look up at Wei Wuxian. The boy almost lost his cool when his eyes locked with Lan Wangji’s golden ones. “I want Wei Ying. ” Wei Wuxian growled, his grip on the toy tightening. He leaned over him, kissing his spine while pulling the toy out completely, throwing it uncaringly behind him.

“You won’t need that thing anymore.” 

Without warning, Lan Wangji was spun around so he now lay on his back. Wei Wuxian licked his lips, eyeing him from head to toe. Golden eyes followed his every move with anticipation. “You’re so beautiful , Lan Zhan, so pretty . All for me, my Lan Zhan .” Wei Wuxian whispered while planting butterfly kisses on the man’s inner thighs. 

Yours. ” approved Lan Wangji in a trembling voice. Wei Wuxian smiled at him and bit him on his right thigh, repeating the same action on the left one. Lan Wangji bit his pillow in an attempt to remain silent. Wei Wuxian quickly opened his fly and took off his pants together with his boxers. He licked his palm and started stroking himself rapidly. Lan Wangji raised his hips, humping on Wei Wuxian’s knee. 

“Impatient aren’t we?” Wei Wuxian smirked, placing his hands on the man’s waist to stop him. 

“You’re just wasting time.” Lan Wangji complained. Wei Wuxian clicked his tongue.

“Wasting time, huh?” Without warning, he pushed his full length inside the man. Lan Wangji screamed, throwing his head back. Wei Wuxian leaned in again, licking and biting the man’s chest. He focused on the other’s nipples, his tongue swirling around the bright red nubs. His hands were still on Lan Wangji’s waist, keeping him in place while he thrust roughly inside Lan Wangji. The black-haired man’s mouth was wide open but not a sound was heard, his eyes full of tears.

Oh god. Lan Wangji cried as the pain slowly started to transform into something else. Something that made his entire body hot. He bit down on his lip hard trying to surpass the moans.

“Hey, don’t do that. Only I am allowed to bite your gorgeous lips,” Wei Wuxian scolded shamelessly as he leaned down to kiss the other. The kiss was deep, Lan Wangji running his hands through Wei Wuxian’s hair, only to push his head down further. The kiss was a mess of wet tongues and teeth in attempts to bite each other's lips.

Wei Wuxian’s pace started to slow as he tried to enjoy the moment as much as he could. Lan Wangji clearly wasn’t pleased with the sudden change, as he tried to raise his hips to speed things up. The boy smiled as he tightened his grip on Lan Wangji’s waist, restricting his movement. From Lan Wangji’s mouth escaped a disapproving sound. 

“Shh baby, let me take care of you.” The playful glint in his eyes made Lan Wangji shiver in both anticipation and arousal. 

Wei Wuxian moved back, his hands traveling under Lan Wangji’s knees to hold them down to the man’s chest. Lan Wangji almost blushed at the new position that clearly exposed him more to Wei Wuxian’s hungry eyes. The boy pulled out before entering him again, causing Lan Wangji to let out a deep moan as Wei Wuxian’s dick went even deeper, rubbing against an area that made Lan Wangji see stars. 

“Please…” he groaned painfully. He was close and wanted to release. “ Wei Ying , please.” Wei Wuxian almost took pity on him. He leaned in to capture Lan Wangji’s lips once more, thrusting in harder and deeper. This new position allowed Wei Wuxian to hit Lan Wangji’s prostate perfectly every time. 

Lan Wangji whimpered, sinking his face deeper into the crook of Wei Wuxian’s neck. Wei Wuxian kissed his temple, whispering sweet praises in his ear. With the other both hitting that amazing spot and showering him in praises, it didn’t take long until Lan Wangji came hard, harder than he ever had before. Following him shortly, the other collapsed tiredly on top of him soon after.

Exhausted, Lan Wangji didn’t even realize when darkness surrounded him.

-----------------------

A few hours later, Lan Wangji woke up in the warmth of someone else’s embrace. He blinked the sleep out of his eyes before taking a peek at the person lying next to him. Wei Wuxian was reading a book, his fingers running through Lan Wangji’s hair unconsciously. The young boy looked up from his book, sensing the other's movements. A warm smile appeared on his face.

“Good morning, Lan Zhan.”

Lan Wangji blinked again in surprise, turning his head to the window. Small rays of sun were entering the dark room. “Morning,” he whispered hoarsely, the evidence of the previous day’s activities still evident in his voice.

Wei Wuxian took Lan Wangji’s hand in his own, raising it to his lips. He kissed every knuckle, the back of his hand and then his wrist. Lan Wangji leaned forward, capturing the other’s lips with his own. Wei Wuxian smiled into the kiss, hugging Lan Wangji tightly to his chest. The kiss was slow, both of them taking time to savor each other. 

“Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian whispered and gave him two more pecks on the lips. “ Does this make you my boyfriend now?”

The other’s soft voice was calming to Lan Wangji’s ears. His hand moved to play with a few locks of the other’s jet black hair. “Mn.” Lan Wangji approved, looking up at his boyfriend. Wei Wuxian’s cheeks flushed a rose pink. Even though the man’s expression was as stoic as ever, his eyes were full of affection and love. 

Their sweet moment was interrupted by the ringing of Wei Wuxian’s phone. He growled and rolled away from the warmth of his boyfriend to the end of the bed. He grabbed his jeans and rummaged through each pocket until he found his phone. His face brightened again spotting the caller ID. Lan Wangji raised a brow, sulkily turning his back to the boy. Wei Wuxian tried not to laugh at the man’s reaction. Don’t tell me he’s jealous? How cute.  

Wei Wuxian slid his finger across on his phone and answered. He was ready to cheerfully greet his sister when her crying voice made his heart stop. 

“A-Jie?” Wei Wuxian’s voice trembled. Hearing Wei Wuxian’s anxious voice, Lan Wangji hastily spun around.

“A-Xian! A-Cheng got into a fight.” Wei Wuxian was glad he was sitting otherwise he was sure he would have fallen. After reassuring his sister that he would get there immediately, he ended the call. Moving like a robot, he shakily got up and began to get dressed. Lan Wangji followed him out the door after getting dressed as well.

As Wei Wuxian rushed down the stairs, his foot slipped and he lost his footing. He would have fallen if not for the strong arm which quickly wrapped around his waist. There were now tears running down Wei Wuxian’s face. Lan Wangji sighed and hugged him tightly. He kissed his forehead as Wei Wuxian hugged him back.

“Lan Zhan, I need to go.” Wei Wuxian whispered.

After a long pause, Lan Wangji let go of the boy. “I’m coming with you. I want to be sure you’ll be safe.” Wei Wuxian smiled a bit at his words and took his hand in his own. They both left the house in a hurry, running towards the center of the city. They made sure to exit the forest without anybody noticing. 

Finally arriving at the scene, Wei Wuxian’s blood boiled seeing his younger brother on the floor surrounded by his friends and his sister. Jin Zixun was in front, being held back by his gang members. Wei Wuxian clenched his fist and ran towards the boy. Before anybody could react, his punch landed hard on Jin Zixun's face. 

"A-Xian!" screamed Yanli, trying to approach him, but Wen Ning grabbed her arm, stopping her in her tracks. The two boys were on the ground now, Wei Wuxian punching Jin Zixun’s face in again and again. He couldn’t hear anything, his mind blank with rage.

Lan Wangji scanned the whole scene in silence, before deciding to go intervene. Hurrying over to Wei Wuxian, he kneeled down beside him placing a gently yet solid hand on the upset boy’s shoulder.

"Lan Zhan, let me go, I'll kill him!" shouted the boy ferally, the rage in his voice making everyone take a step back.

"Wei Ying, you are worrying your sister." Lan Wangji's voice was stern. "Behave." He whispered these words in his ear, the other immediately stopping.

"Lan Zhan...I’m sorry," he muttered, as he stood up, dropping the limp Jin Zixun on the ground. Wei Wuxian glanced worriedly over at his younger brother. Jiang Cheng was now on his feet, held up by Wen Qing and Jin Zixuan.

In this moment of negligence with his back to Jin Zixun, the injured boy quickly rose to his feet running towards Wei Wuxian with a sharp object he retrieved from his shirt pocket. Before the knife could hit him, Lan Wangji moved Wei Wuxian’s body to the side, stopping the weapon with his bare hand. 

"Lan Zhan!" Wei Wuxian screamed in horror. Lan Wangji let the knife fall as he lifted Jin Zixun off the ground by his collar. The man’s eyes were of pure anger and for a moment even Wei Wuxian was afraid to approach him. 

Suddenly a voice was heard throughout the small audience. "Nobody move!" Everyone turned to the source of the sound. Casually sauntering up to them was a short, rough-looking policeman, his hands playfully twirling a police baton. A few curses were heard from Jin Zixun's friends as they quickly ran off. When Wei Wuxian saw Xue Yang approaching he turned back to his friends, gesturing to them to also run away. Jiang Wanyin had to be dragged away by Wen Qing and Jin Zixuan, Yanli giving him one last stricken look before following them. 

Lan Wangji let go of Jin Zixun, the brute falling to the ground with a loud thud. Lan Wangji coolly made his way towards Xue Yang. The policeman only moved his face close to Lan Wangji’s in response. Wei Wuxian frowned at their extremely close proximity.

"You didn’t see us," Lan Wangji whispered, Xue Yang nodding subtly in understanding. An idea suddenly popped into his head and he smirked. Placing a hand on Lan Wangji's arm, he leaned in even closer to the man.

"You'll thank me later." Xue Yang winked at him, the other only looking back with a puzzled expression on his face. Wei Wuxian ran faster than light to stand beside him, eyeing Xue Yang who had walked off and was now busy scaring off Jin Zixun.

“I’m mad at you, but first we have to take care of your hand.” Wei Wuxian took his unharmed hand in his, leading him in the direction of the library. He made sure to give Xue Yang a look before going. The sly man only laughed. 

--------------------

Lan Wangji’s eyes scanned his surroundings. The mess inside Wei Wuxian’s small room wasn’t a surprise to the man. The young boy quickly threw the clothes and books that were on the bed onto the floor of the room, the items immediately disappearing into the other piles of clothes, cups of ramen and boxes of pizza. 

“Please sit on the bed,” Wei Wuxian ordered over his shoulder as he stepped into the joined bathroom.

Lan Wangji frowned and looked at the room again. There was no bed; only an old sofa with some blankets and pillows. This must be the bed, he thought to himself as he seated himself on it, patiently waiting for his boyfriend.

The boy came back a few seconds later with a first aid kit in hand. He kneeled down on the ground in front of Lan Wangji and took his hand in his carefully. He examined the wound and pouted. “Next time I see him I will really kill him,” he muttered, taking some cotton balls and a bottle of rubbing alcohol out of the first-aid kit. He poured some onto one of the balls and dabbed at the wound lightly.

“It is just a small cut, do not give him too much importance,” said Lan Wangji without any trace of pain at the burning sensation. 

“I can’t forgive him for hurting you,” Wei Wuxian growled as he took a bandaid out from the kit and placed it over the cut. He then kissed the band-aid, moving his eyes up to look at the man. “Nobody is allowed to hurt you.”

Wei Ying... if only you knew. Lan Wangji looked down at his now patched-up hand, gently running a finger over the place where Wei Wuxian kissed. Of all the wounds he had ever received, this was his happiest.

“Lan Zhan?” 

Lan Wangji looked over at the other, who had moved to sit on the sofa next to him.

“What are you thinking about?” Lan Wangji could sense some worry in Wei Wuxian’s voice. He leaned forward to give the younger boy a peck on the lips. “Ah! Lan Zhan, this is not good for my heart.” Wei Wuxian hid his face behind his hands, but the red tips of his ears could still be seen. 

Lan Wangji stared amusedly. “You were fucking me so fiercely this morning yet you turn into a blushing mess at the smallest kiss. How cute.”

Wei Wuxian gasped. “Lan Zhan! When did you become so bold?” The corners of Lan Wangji’s mouth started to rise, but he pretended to cough, the small smile quickly disappearing. “I was always bold, Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian moved to sit on his boyfriend’s lap. “Still… I’m not cute. Your moans were the cutest, how you begged me to do you senseless, how you screamed my name…. I found those the cutest.”

Lan Wangji raised his eyebrow. “Only cute? Nothing else?”

“Hmmm, I can’t remember- I guess you’ll just have to remind me.” Wei Wuxian smirked as his hands made their way under Lan Wangji’s shirt. Lan Wangji left kisses along Wei Wuxian’s neck, biting from time to time to receive a small moan from the other man. His actions stopped abruptly when he felt Wei Wuxian’s hands on his back. 

“Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian’s voice became serious as he noticed the differing texture of flesh compared to the rest of his body. Wei Wuxian traced his fingers along the many rough lines etched into his back. Lan Wangji’s heart began to beat faster. He closed his eyes. “Take it off,” were the only words he heard as he felt the other climb off his lap.

Lan Wangji sighed before opening his eyes. Wei Wuxian was staring at him with a serious expression on his face. Lan Wangji did as he ordered, standing up and turning his back to the boy and starting to undress with trembling fingers. When he undid the last button, he took a deep breath before letting the shirt fall to the ground. All he heard was a gasp from the other as he stared at the grotesque whip scars that marred his back.

Chapter Text

Lan Wangji waited for Wei Wuxian to do something, anything. When he finally heard some movement from behind, he turned his head around. The sadness in the other’s eyes broke his heart. 

Wei Wuxian did not deserve to have any sort of sadness on his face- the only thing he wanted to see was his bright smile.

After a long and tense moment, the young boy was the first to approach the other. He lifted his hand but stopped abruptly, searching Lan Wangji’s eyes for silent approval. The man nodded and finally Wei Wuxian could stroke the marks, his fingertips gently tracing along each faded line. The older man waited in silence as Wei Wuxian counted thirty-three whip scars in total.

“Wei-”  Lan Wangji started, but abruptly stopped when he felt a pair of lips touching his back. The man felt a shiver run down his spine. Wei Wuxian had started to give the other light butterfly kisses, the kisses intentionally placed over the scars on his back, as if they could heal the wounds, take them away.

Lan Wangji’s eyes widened as he also felt something wet run down his back. 

“Wei Ying, are you crying?”

The boy didn’t answer at first- he only embraced the man. Lan Wangji gave a sigh, slowly turning around to face his lover. Wei Wuxian’s head was lowered, stubbornly refusing to look at the man. 

Lan Wangji cupped his lover’s head in his hands, slowly rasing Wei Wuxian’s head until they were face-to-face. The older man’s stoic expression broke seeing his lover’s tear-streaked face. 

This man was feeling pure sorrow, all for him. 

Without warning, Lan Wangji brought his lips to his lover’s face, giving a small peck to both his soft cheeks, his small nose and his broad forehead.

Wei Wuxian surprised the man slightly with a quick peck on his lips. Lan Wangji blinked before recovering quickly, his eyes softening as he kissed him back. 

Once the kiss was over, Wei Wuxian leaned his head against Lan Wangji’s bare chest, his ears picking up on his lover’s quick heartbeat. 

“What happened? Why did you get these scars? I need to know.”

Lan Wangji stayed silent for a bit before picking up Wei Wuxian and carrying him to the improvised bed. They wasted no time in making themselves comfortable, with Wei Wuxian lying in between Lan Wangji’s legs, his back pressed against the man’s chest.

“My father gave them to me,” started the man, making Wei Wuxian tense up. “You already know- he was a cruel man, loving only his money and my mother. She loved him, a lot, but he would act so violently sometimes that she would get terrified. She stayed for my brother and I, while trying to avoid him as much as possible when he was at home. My father didn’t like that at all. He loved her so much he drove her to madness. Locked her in her room, destroying her things so she would give him her attention. One day, she suddenly disappeared. My uncle had helped her run away, and he promised he would come for my brother and I too.” 

He paused for a moment and Wei Wuxian understood. He never came back.

“My father would always blame my brother and I, always complaining that he was stuck with <two good for nothings> so he started to train us. I was only six years old when everything started. I do not remember much, but I know that he used to treat my brother and I like animals; he used to leave us in the middle of the forest on the darkest of nights so we would familiarise ourselves with our surroundings.”

Wei Wuxian gasped. “He’s insane. If he’s still alive, I swear when I set my eyes on him I will make him regret everything.” The passionate boy spat these words with unbridled fury, the frustration making tears form in the corners of his eyes again. 

Lan Wangji’s eyes grew soft as he brought his his lips to Wei Wuxian’s temple, his hands taking Wei Wuxian’s hands and interlocking their fingers.

“Ever since my mother escaped, my father wanted to kill anyone who dared to enter the forest, and wanted us to follow in his footsteps. My brother always took care of the dirty work, leaving my hands clean. He protected me. My father was not aware of this, as he was busy with his own work so everything was fine for a few years.... until we met.”

Wei Wuxian looked up at Lan Wangji, his mind processing the other’s words before realisation dawned on him.

“That’s why you tried to make me leave the forest- you knew your father would come for me.” He whispered, recalling what happened that day. “Wait, did you get these scars because of me?” His voice started to raise, the worry and panic clearly seen on his face.

Lan Wangji adamantly shook his head in reply.

“He sensed that something was off, with me suddenly going out everyday. One day he… followed me and found out everything. After I returned home we got into a big fight, he punished me- he beat me, threatened me that he would kill you if I did not do what he said.”

“What… what did he ask for?”

“Thirty-three people by the end of the month. I could not bear to kill anyone, I hated him for doing this and refused. He was furious. He tied me up and punished me. One whip for every person I did not bring.”

“That’s so cruel! To his own child!” At this point Wei Wuxian was already shaking with anger.

“I gained courage after that and went to the police, confessing everything. Sadly they could not do anything without proper evidence and said they couldn’t trust a minor with that information. Turns out they knew what my father was doing- he was paying them to keep their mouths shut. My father left after a short time, but continued to force my brother to hunt people down for him. Things continued like that until a few years later, when he came back to ask for one of us to accompany him with his work back in the city; my brother insisted on going so I was left alone.”

“But…. did you continue to hunt people? The disappearances never stopped.”

“I had to, otherwise he would have sent one of his men after me. As long as I did not have to kill them I accepted. I would scare people away and nowadays people understand that it is dangerous to go into the forest, so I have had some temporary peace.”

Wei Wuxian remained silent for a few moments. Lan Wangji’s heartbeat quickened in anticipation of his lover’s reaction. 

Does he hate me now? 

“I am disgusted with your bastard of a father.” Wei Wuxian spat, causing Lan Wangji to breathe a silent sigh of relief. The young boy cupped Lan Wangji’s face in his palms, bringing his face down so they met in a kiss. Lan Wangji smiled into the kiss and wrapped his arms around the boy’s waist, dragging him even closer to him. 

Wei Wuxian’s hands moved up to play with the man’s long, silky hair, the other replying with a squeeze to his ass. Wei Wuxian broke the kiss with a “Lan Zhan!” He swore he could see a teasing glint in his lover’s eyes. 

Wei Wuxian moved to kiss him under his ear, gradually starting to leave a trail of kisses down to his neck. When he got to the man’s chest, his tongue circled around one of the nipples making Lan Wangji bite his lower lip.

“Lan Zhan, I wanna hear your honey voice,” whispered the boy, blowing some cold air onto the abused, red nipple. He applied the same treatment to the other, making sure to leave some marks around each one.

Wei Wuxian moved back a little to leave some room for Lan Wangji to lie down comfortably. He kissed the other’s forehead before taking his hand and kissing every knuckle and finger. Lan Wangji felt his heart beat like crazy. His heart seemed to always beat like this around him.

“Lan Zhan, my sweet angel, let me show you how much I love you, let me make love to you.” Wei Wuxian looked down at him with so much love and adoration in his eyes making Lan Wangji almost melt.

“…Mn.”