Lan Wangji had almost fallen asleep when Wei Ying shifted and nearly slipped into the water. They were floating along the river, late enough at night they need not worry about being seen. Wei Ying had long since realised Lan Wangji used his spiritual energy to float when he wanted to, and had immediately tested his limits by clambering right onto him the next time he’d caught him on his back on the surface of the water.
While they had both sunk immediately that time, subsequent experiments had allowed Lan Wangji to float them both, and now it was one of his favourite ways to pass time with Wei Ying, floating on his back with the current while Wei Ying sprawled on top of him, legs dangling either side of his tail, head resting on Lan Wangji’s chest and protected from the water. They could spend hours that way, Wei Ying talking about everything and nothing, and Lan Wangji drinking in every word.
Wei Ying slipped further to the side, and Lan Wangji carefully gripped him by the sides and pulled him back on top of him properly before he fell into the water. Wei Ying merely grumbled and rubbed his face into Lan Wanji’s chest a little.
“If you’re tired, maybe we should head back,” Lan Wangji said, threading one hand through Wei Ying’s hair.
He couldn’t quite remember when Wei Ying had taken out his hair ribbon, but he had been running his hands through Wei Ying’s hair for quite some time while they drifted down the river. He hoped it was as soothing and pleasant for Wei Ying as it felt when Wei Ying played with his hair.
“No, I just need...” Wei Ying yawned and propped his head up on his hands. “Keep me entertained, Lan Zhan.”
“How?” Lan Wangji asked, working his hand out of Wei Ying’s hair to brush his thumb across Wei Ying’s cheek instead.
Wei Ying hummed softly and turned to kiss his palm. “I know you’ve been experimenting with your spiritual energy again. You’re always so tired after and you were exhausted the other day. Surprise me with what you’re learning.”
All while speaking, Wei Ying pressed kisses to Lan Wangji’s palm between words. Through the heat rising to Lan Wangji’s cheeks, it took him a moment to even remember what he’d done in his last experiment. Wei Ying always distracted him so thoroughly.
But it eventually came to him, around the moment Wei Ying started kissing his fingertips, and he let his other hand sink into the water beside him.
It was hard to concentrate with Wei Ying’s soft lips constantly pressing kisses to his hand, but he managed to feel for a thread of energy in the water and tug gently.
“Wei Ying,” he said softly to get Wei Ying’s attention.
Wei Ying slowly opened his eyes. They widened at the sight of several small floating orbs of water passing by his face before merging back into the water on the other side of Lan Wangji. He blinked at Lan Wangji for several moments then sat upright.
“You can control water?” he exclaimed, the force of his movement almost breaking Lan Wangji’s concentration keeping them steady on the water. He wobbled astride Lan Wangji’s tail and had to grab at his sides to steady himself.
“Mn,” Lan Wangji said, drinking in the pure joy and awe in Wei Ying’s expression.
He was always so easily delighted by the things Lan Wangji could do with his jiaoren spiritual energy.
“Lan Zhan, that’s...”
Lan Wangji reached for the energies flowing through the water again, closing his eyes to concentrate better. He had managed much more than little balls of water when he had been practising alone, but Wei Ying was such a distraction he wasn’t sure he could manage more if he could see Wei Ying looking at him with such wonder.
In the pools of his mind, he twisted the energy into a familiar form, lifted it away from the surrounding water by raising his hand, and then opened his eyes to see if it worked.
Floating above them was the unmistakable form of a whale, a shimmering glow twisting and swirling inside it from the amount of energy Lan Wangji had pulled into it. Wei Ying leaned back to look up at it, so far back and almost toppled off Lan Wangji’s tail again.
He barely seemed to breathe as he looked up at it, one hand lifting a little, as if he wanted to touch it. A few drops of water broke away from Lan Wangji’s control, scattering down on them like light rain. If anything, this seemed to delight Wei Ying more. He laughed and looked down at Lan Wangji with a bright grin.
A flicker of intent in his eyes was the only warning Lan Wangji got before Wei Ying lunged down and kissed him.
Lan Wangji managed to keep them afloat through the force of Wei Ying’s movement, but the whale did not survive.
Water crashed down on them like a waterfall.
Everything was still for a moment, then Wei Ying leaned back until he was sitting astride Lan Wangji’s tail again.
His hair was plastered to his face and shoulders. A pout was already forming on his lips. Lan Wangji had to force his own not to twitch into a smile at the sight.
“Lan Zhaaaaan,” Wei Ying whined. “Did you do that on purpose?”
Lan Wangji lost control and couldn’t help but smile at the pitiful sight he made, and how endlessly endearing he was, even when looking like a drowned rat.