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"Hey, uh, Lan Zhan? Someone sent you a dick pic?"

Lan Zhan sighed and took his phone back, pulling the arm he'd had around Wei Ying tight and squeezing Wei Ying against him. They'd been sat in silence on Lan Zhan's sofa, Lan Zhan sitting neatly with his feet flat on the floor, his perfect posture ruined only by Wei Ying being jammed up under his arm, stretched out sideways with his feet dug under the cushions. Wei Ying had been watching the recording of this afternoon's lecture on Lan Zhan's phone, because Wei Ying's was cheap and couldn't load a video in anything over 360p. Lan Zhan had been reading a book. Wei Ying was just about ready to think of rolling over and shoving his face into Lan Zhan's armpit to whine until Lan Zhan made food, when the notification had popped up, and Wei Ying had barely registered the app name before the image was just there, under his thumbs.

He had maybe twenty stunned seconds to just look at it, amazed. It was a dick. It was on Lan Zhan's phone. As dicks went, Wei Ying thought it was alright? The picture wasn't exactly tasteful, as a human penis took up most of the space, but an attempt had been made at lighting and the sender had sensibly kept their hands out of the frame to avoid forcing a size reference. There was something maybe a little clinical about it; it wasn't a personalised picture, but a one size fits all, opening gambit sort of thing. How many unsuspecting dating app users had been subjected to this picture? In how many phones across campus had it popped up (ha!) and startled innocent bystanders, simply too poor to buy a phone that could connect to university ethernet and still load in this century, forced to rely on their dear rich friend's charity. At least one, which was one too many in Wei Ying's humble opinion.

"Lan Zhan, ah! My eyes have been assaulted, I was not prepared for that, now my innocence is lost, who's going to marry me? I've dishonoured my family; my life is over."

Lan Zhan calmly choked Wei Ying in the bend of his elbow to shut him up, tapped on his phone, then handed it back and let Wei Ying breathe again.

"The sender has been blocked, and the app notifications turned off.[1] Finish your lecture and I will make fried tofu."

"How long has the tofu been marinating," said Wei Ying, instantly suspicious.

"Since this morning."

"Hm, barely acceptable." Wei Ying resettled and then sat back up, or tried to, he came up against Lan Zhan's arm and couldn't move it. "Wait, no, are you alright? That wasn't like- you weren't expecting that. You good?"

"I was not expecting it, but it is not an uncommon occurrence."

"Huh. That's wild. Why do so many people send dicks as conversation openers? It’s tacky, and it never works."

"They are not meant to encourage conversation," said Lan Zhan, picking his book back up. "They are to receive pictures in return or perhaps a brief meeting if very effective."

"And it happens a lot? Look at you, you're not even fazed. Lan Zhan, how many dicks do you get sent in a day?"[2] Lan Zhan wasn't even blushing, his ears cool to the touch. He hadn't even seemed let down or disappointed, blocking the number had been entirely routine, he'd only turned off notifications to avoid Wei Ying being bothered again.

"Too many, considering my profile clearly states no unsolicited pictures."

"But you're fine with solicitated ones?" Wei Ying cackled, wriggling his eyebrows. When Lan Zhan merely quirked a lip at him Wei Ying settled back down and restarted the video, only to freeze as a terrible thought occurred to him.

"Wait, Jiang Cheng has dating apps. Are people sending my baby brother pictures of their genitals? No, that's not allowed, he's too young to see a penis, it'll scar him for life. Oh, no, wait, Jiejie had dating apps, she reconnected with that peacock on one. Jiejie can not have been sent a picture of a stranger's dick." Wei Ying had never thought about his sister in relation to anyone's genitals before this, and something about the thought of it, of Jiang Yanli opening a message and seeing something like that, something she hadn't asked for, and didn't want, made him shake.

"Wei Ying," said Lan Zhan, clinching him in tighter. He put his book down and his big hand on the back of Wei Ying's neck, squeezing with just-right pressure. Wei Ying wriggled up and out from under Lan Zhan's arm, but let the hand stay, leaning back into the grip. He pulled out his own battered phone and texted his sister.

 

Wifi:hey when u matched w (peacock) on the d8ing site he ddnt send u a bad dic pic did he??

Wifi:if he did ill (skull) him 4 u

Wifi:sry lol how r u

It occured to him that where Jiang Yanli was right now it was four in the morning.

Wifi:omg sry its jiejie bedtime rn!!

Wifi:pls ignore this message

Wifi:sleep well love uuuuu

Wifi:wait this is just mkn it worse

He threw his phone down to make himself stop, tried to laugh at the expression on Lan Zhan's face. "Sorry, I think it hit me a bit more than I thought. It's just... I don't know about you, but I wasn't expecting that! And then I thought about Jiejie, or Jiang Cheng getting that, or you, I know you said its fine, but it’s not, really? Like who does that? I didn't like it."

It felt strange, to say that so forcefully out loud. It hadn't even been Wei Ying's dick pic, just something he'd been in the way of, and Lan Zhan wasn't even fazed, but...some stranger's dick. Some person who didn't even know Lan Zhan, didn't know that Wei Ying had been tucked up snug against Lan Zhan's side, feeling Lan Zhan's heartbeat against his back, had sent that, had just wanted someone to see his penis and send him something to jerk off to.

Wei Ying scrubbed his palms on his thighs, shook himself out like a wet dog. "Ugh! Can we eat soon?"

"Yes," said Lan Zhan. There was a considering, soft look in his eye, Wei Ying had done something endearing, though he didn't know what. "You are not a dating app person?"

"Why would I need to be?" Wei Ying said, baffled. Lan Zhan smiled his little grimace smile, the twitch of his mouth he did when he thought he needed to pretend something was funny. "What?" said Wei Ying.

"Hm. You get used to it if the benefits of the app outweigh the frequent disappointments. But you are right, it should not be a concern. Your brother and sister will have formed their own methods of dealing with such things, if they used the apps long-term."

"Yeah, I guess... Oh, and Jiang Cheng probably won't be looking at guys, so maybe he hasn't seen a penis. Do girls send pictures? Surely the angles there are harder to work."

"I would not know," said Lan Zhan, "and your brother presumably will have seen at least one penis, so he would not be too shocked."

"What? Whose?"

Lan Zhan blinked. "...his own?"

"Oh." Wei Ying straightened up, Lan Zhan's hand on his neck sliding down a little. "I guess? I just never, like, think about him having one? I literally don't think I've ever thought about him having a penis until this exact moment."

Lan Zhan blinked again, slow and heavy like a cat. "...hm. I too regret imagining it."

"Oh, gross. Alright, no more sibling genitals. Actually hold that thought," Wei Ying said, as his phone pinged.

Jiejie:axian why are you so funny??

Jiejie:no axuan didnt send me a picture of his dick

Jiejie:i swiped just to chat bc i hadnt seen him in years and we just kept talking from there

Jiejie:i made sure to explain as soon as we matched so there was no awkwardness!!
Jiejie:he didnt reply for 10 hours so it was a little awkward anyway(crying laughing face)

Jiejie:btw its dinnertime where you are! has axian eaten?

Jiejie:don't worry about jiejie! shes strong and up anyway with this baby kicking on her bladder(baby)(pensive face)

Wifi:jiejie i lvoe uuuuuuu

Wifi:and my terrible neichew who should be asleep at this time!!

Wifi:dw about ur xianxian zhanzhan is here and about to make tofu

Jiejie:good!

Jiejie:thank zhanzhan for me~~

Jiejie:are you alright btw? did something happen

Wifi:zhanzhan got sent a dic pic (pensive face)

Wifi:xianxian was traumatised

Wifi:were 2 young 4 such things!! zhanzhans a little baby i have 2 watch out 4 him

Jiejie:hes 4 months younger (crying laughing face)

Jiejie:tell him jiejie is thinking of him!! jiejie has been there (pensive face)

Wifi:NO JIEJIE THIS IS WHAT I DIDNT WANT

Jiejie: (crying laughing face) (crying laughing face)

Wifi:JIEJIE!!

Wifi:no but rf lan zhan is ok!! its xianxian thats angry!! rude!!

Jiejie:it IS rude! but as long as youre both ok

Jiejie:ok jiejie is going to sleep again~~

Jiejie:or try to lol

Wifi:tell (peacock) to carry the baby!! get his bladder kicked

Jiejie:(crying laughing face) ill try that thank you

Jiejie:xxx love to lan zhan (red heart)

Wifi: (red heart) (red heart) (red heart)

"Ok!" said Wei Ying. "Jiejie has been sent dick pics! Let's go kill some men Lan Zhan!"

"An admirable goal," said Lan Zhan, "but after tofu."

"Yeah, that's a good idea."

He collapsed back onto the sofa as Lan Zhan stood up and slipped into the kitchen. Wei Ying tried to refocus on the lecture, but his hands were shaky, and without Lan Zhan to provide background sensation his attention couldn't stay on one thing. He sat up and draped himself over the back of the sofa, watching Lan Zhan cook.

"I think they're alright," Wei Ying said slowly. "Jiejie was only on the app for like a week before she met the peacock again,[3] and Jiang Cheng just wants to get pegged, so he's probably just getting pictures of straps, which isn't so bad. And I guess a lot of guys send dick pics, I don't think we can murder that many before we get caught." Lan Zhan shot him a glance, and he was quick to exclaim, "It would be my fault, of course! Lan Zhan wouldn't mess up, he could have a successful murder career, no problem."

Satisfied, Lan Zhan went back to his tofu, but when Wei Ying continued to watch him, tapping his fingers on the sofa, he looked back up.

"This has distressed you."

"Mmmmm," said Wei Ying. "I don't know why? This is why I'm not a dating app person, I guess! I don't feel you can get a good connection that way. Too many people are just in it for," he waved at Lan Zhan's abandoned phone, "that. What's the use?"

"Casual sex," said Lan Zhan.

Wei Ying laughed. "Alright, true! Hey, Zhanzhan, what are you on them for? If you want to date, I can take you down to Queer Rep meetings, you can get to know someone there." There was slightly more chance of finding someone worthy of Lan Zhan at the university's LGBT+ centre than on a shit dick app, though in Wei Ying's opinion no one was good enough for Lan Zhan. "I'm pretty sure you'll get shown less dicks there as well." After all, Wei Ying had been attending for most of his academic career and hadn't seen the penis of anyone there.[4]

"There is no need," said Lan Zhan, "as I am on the apps for casual sex."

"Oh, thank fuck," said Wei Ying, as usual only admitting his fears after there was no chance of them coming true. "I do not want you to date anyone."

Lan Zhan's head shot up. "What?"

"What?"

Wei Ying knew he currently had no filter, so Lan Zhan holding up a hand and refusing to let Wei Ying talk until he had paused cooking and came back to the sofa was a relief, and let him actually think through why he'd said that.

It wasn't the most amazing of reasons. "If you were dating," he said, as Lan Zhan sat back down and watched him scoot to the other end of the sofa, curling up against the arm, "we couldn't hang out like this anymore, because your boyfriend would think it was weird."

Lan Zhan looked at him. "Weird," he said.

"Yeah! Y'know, the cuddling, and me being here all the time, and you cooking me food and letting me steal your fibreoptic broadband, and all the lunches you pay for because I'm poor and have no money, and the fact that I've been to your family's new year parties for the last three years.[5] When you are dating those are not things you do with someone you are not dating."

Lan Zhan turned that over quietly for a moment. Leaving him these processing pauses was a vital part of talking to him instead of at him; it had taken Wei Ying about a year to get the trick of it, but at times like these it was agony. He had to put both hands over his mouth to give Lan Zhan the time he needed, and in the end all Lan Zhan said was, "You are aware, then, that what we do is close for mere friends."

"If you wanted to date anyone I'm not saying I would be a dick or try to stop you or complain or anything just that it would be an adjustment period please don't think I don't want you to date if you want to date," said Wei Ying, then stopped to pant. Having cleared his brain of the thoughts it had stewed in Lan Zhan's thinking time; he turned his attention to Lan Zhan's words. "Um, yeah? That's why it would be wrong to do it if you wanted to date someone." Lan Zhan frowned, or at least his eyebrows moved down. Wei Ying wriggled his fingers, so Lan Zhan knew he was still thinking and tried again. "I wouldn't want to make things awkward for you in a relationship because your partner has to deal with me being here all the time, just because I'm used to it. If you want to have a relationship then obviously you should and I would respect the new boundaries, but if you're fine having casual sex and doing this stuff with me I would prefer that, because then I don't have to give up cuddles, and the fibreoptic broadband, and if you're fine with that I'm more than fine with that."

"Please leave aside the casual sex for a moment," said Lan Zhan. "If you are aware that what we do is basically dating, and you do not want me to do that with anyone else, why are we not dating?"

"Oh, like, officially?" Lan Zhan nodded. Wei Ying said, "That's an option?" and Lan Zhan put his head in his hands. "No no, I do know that's, like, a thing we could do.” Wei Ying had considered it. But at first the idea had been hidden by the half-playful, half-desperate grabbing for Lan Zhan’s attention, Wei Ying scrabbling to seem only reasonably invested. That apparently achieved, he’d been distracted by the halcyon six-month period of basking under Lan Zhan’s eyes, giddy with success and his closeness. Then, turning up as always, the thought, ‘what will happen to lose me this?’, so that everything was shadowed by the usual low constant fear, pushed down, rising and falling but never still. "I just... If you wanted to do that wouldn't you have said?"

"If you wanted to do that wouldn't you have said?" said Lan Zhan, still holding his head.

"Well." Wei Ying shifted on the sofa, rubbing his feet on the cushion until he felt a friction burn forming. "I didn't want to say anything, because you didn't say anything, and I was fine with how things were? Not that officially dating is not what I want!" he yelped, as Lan Zhan raised a devastated face to look at him. "Officially dating would be great and very reassuring."

"Because of the cuddling," said Lan Zhan.

"And the broadband," said Wei Ying weakly. Lan Zhan took hold of Wei Ying's feet and pulled them into his lap.

"And the broadband," he agreed. He let his head fall back against the sofa, a shocking display of bad posture, and squeezed Wei Ying's ankles until he got squirmy.

"Ah, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. It’s not just that, I mean, you know I love you, don't you? You do know that."

"Yes," Lan Zhan said. "But I was not sure of the nature of that love. To me, it seemed friendly or familial, you were not interested in anything more physical than this." He rubbed his thumbs over the bony sides of Wei Ying's ankle. "I am still not sure."

"But you would want to?" Wei Ying said, shivering. "You do, you want to date me."

"If you want to, I want to."

"I want to." Wei Ying scrubbed his feet against Lan Zhan's thighs instead. He was still nervous, still shaky, but he could now see the direction of this conversation, what they were talking about. "Oh man, Lan Zhan, that's so good, that's great! I used to have like, day-nightmares about you dating, about what I would do. I thought, if you were on the apps a lot, it must be because you wanted to meet people, and I was terrified, Lan Zhan! I was scared so bad for a bit there, casual sex is so much better."

Very carefully Lan Zhan said, "You are aware, if we are dating, the casual sex will stop?"

Wei Ying sat up a little. "It will?"

"Yes," said Lan Zhan, again very slowly, "unless you wish to date me but not have sex with me, in which case more discussion is needed."

"Oh shit I didn't even think about that."

Lan Zhan exhaled with more force than was needed for breathing, so he was getting frustrated. Wei Ying was getting frustrated, usually they were better at blending their communication styles than this. "Don't you have sex with people you date?" said Lan Zhan, and yup, he was annoyed.

Wei Ying got huffy too and kicked his heel into Lan Zhan's leg. "I don't know what people do when they date because I haven't dated! The only experience I have with dating is my weird close relationship with my terrible friend who never talks about the feelings he apparently has for me!"

"What do you mean you've never dated? You meet people all the time."

"Oh, because I can talk to people and like making friends, I'm dating everyone now? That's what you think? Wow." Wei Ying pulled his feet back, but Lan Zhan's grip on his ankles clamped them in place; the familiar twitch ran up Wei Ying's legs at the restraint.

"Wait," said Lan Zhan. "I am sorry. I am having to process many things right now; I implied something I did not mean. I was of the opinion," he continued, every word pulled from his mouth, "that you met people to date at parties and group activities, as when you returned you often talked about new acquaintances."

That was such a Lan Zhan way to say hook-ups, 'new acquaintances'. Wei Ying had had a couple of hook-ups,[6] but to him they never seemed worth the awkwardness afterwards, how weird people got when you met up again, how they seemed to expect you to do something but never said what, and none of them had been much better than what he could do on his own. Compared to that, tucking himself under Lan Zhan's arm for at least six hours a day and then going home and taking his vibrator off charge had been several steps up, maybe even a whole staircase, and much more fun. Things involving Lan Zhan were always more fun.

Wei Ying relaxed his legs and deliberately made his body more comfortable so his brain could be to. There wasn't anything to get angry about. Twenty minutes ago, they had been planning to murder some men and have tofu, not in that order, and now they were maybe dating. Wei Ying reckoned Lan Zhan, who resisted change the same way a hard rock mountain resisted a glacier, was allowed to speak without thinking for once.

"Alright," Wei Ying said. "I get that, I do. And I'm not saying I haven't hooked up with people at parties or anything, but it's not, like, the point of me going there? To be honest, the whole thing seems a lot of work for not much reward, I do not get the point of casual hook-up culture. No offense," he added, because Lan Zhan had been mean, "whatever floats your boat, dick pic guy."

"Wei Ying." Now Lan Zhan sounded pained. "Do you want to have sex with me?"

Lan Zhan looked at him as he said it, and Wei Ying felt himself blush. That, he had thought about, sometimes to help him jerk off, mostly as an abstract perk that would come with getting Lan Zhan to stay by dating him, along with the cuddles and the broadband, if Lan Zhan ever expressed interest. It had taken a while for Lan Zhan to get comfortable touching Wei Ying, but once he found his balance, he was shockingly confident and natural about it. It made Wei Ying tremble, sometimes, the tickly shock of the contact running up and down his back.

"I guess," Wei Ying breathed. "But do you want to? You don't mind? You don't have to, I'm happy with this, like I said."

"Do I want to?" said Lan Zhan. "Wei Ying, can you look at me?"

Wei Ying had been staring at his fingers, knowing he wouldn't process anything if he was distracted looking at Lan Zhan. But he managed to drag his eyes up and look at Lan Zhan’s beautiful perfect handsome face, that wanted to date Wei Ying and maybe have sex with him. "Yes," he said.

"Are you asexual?" said Lan Zhan.

Wei Ying blinked. "Huh? No, I've had sex before and I liked it."

Lan Zhan rubbed a few more circles around Wei Ying's ankle before he spoke.

"Are you aware," he said, "that that is not how someone who isn't asexual would talk about sex."

"Huh?"

"Having sex and liking sex are not disqualifiers for being asexual. Asexuality is the absence or low presence of sexual desire, not the inability to have or enjoy it. Though that can be part of it for some people, it is not the base definition."

"Hey, I know the definitions."

"I'm sure," said Lan Zhan, sliding his hands to Wei Ying's calves. It rubbed the hair the wrong way, Wei Ying had to wriggle to get Lan Zhan to smooth it back down. "But have you thought about the definitions in relation to yourself?"

"I didn't ever think I had to!" Wei Ying said, twisting his spine so he could dangle half off the sofa. This was weird, but he was pretty sure he and Lan Zhan were dating now, which was nice. "I like feeling good and I like the idea of making my partner feel good, what else is it about?"

"Did you, despite having your emotional and romantic needs met by an admittedly ambiguous but close and fulfilling relationship, still use dating apps in order to satisfy your sexual needs?" It was Lan Zhan's turn to look away, and now his ears were going red. "Is sex something you actively feel a deficit off and seek out after time without?"

Wei Ying opened his mouth to say that he totally wanted to have sex, but Lan Zhan pinched him, so he stopped and thought.

"I guess?" he said. "I have times where I have to jerk off."

But Lan Zhan said, "Sex with another person."

"It's like that for you?" Wei Ying asked. "Sex is, what? Someone else is there and helps out? And you feel bad if you don't have it?"

Lan Zhan shut his eyes and dug his fingers into Wei Ying's legs, which felt nice. "Yes."

"...huh."

"For me, sex, with other people, is a need and not a want. It is one I can ignore and manage without for a long time, but it is detrimental in the long term and causes problems to my focus and control. Especially when combined with the aforementioned romantic relationship and the feelings that brings."

Wei Ying said, "Why, was I making you horny? Sorry, sorry." He backtracked immediately, curling up to bat his eyelashes and look cute. Lan Zhan relaxed his glare. Wei Ying let his head thump back. "I will maybe admit that a few things are maybe making more sense, maybe."

"Wei Ying?" Lan Zhan tugged his feet gently.

"We're dating now, right? Officially?"

"Yes."

"Cool." Wei Ying dived across the sofa and buried himself back into Lan Zhan's arms, trying to shove his head between Lan Zhan and the back of the sofa. "This is... I'm not sure what I'm thinking, you have to squash me."

Obligingly Lan Zhan leant his weight against Wei Ying, crushing him into the sofa.[7] Wei Ying's feet were still sort of in Lan Zhan's lap, the awkward curl his body was in to keep them there helped, as did Lan Zhan rubbing his back.

"Alright," said Wei Ying. "We are dating. You want to date me."

"Mm."

"You want to date me and have sex with me."

Lan Zhan drew big, slow circles on Wei Ying's shoulder blades. "Mm."

"It's wild to me that this morning I woke up like, 'I hope Lan Zhan doesn't mind letting me bum off his internet today, or I'm going to fail my PhD',[8] and now we're dating and in love."

"We were in love this morning," said Lan Zhan. "Wei Ying, just because we are dating and in love, I do not have any greater expectations of you than I did this morning. I am still your friend; I will still buy you lunch and let you use my internet. I care for you and want you here no matter what."

Wei Ying pulled enough of his head free to get a glimpse of Lan Zhan's face. "What is this? Is this some 'I'm not going to pressure you for sexual favours in exchange for stuff' thing? Of course you're not."

"Mm." Lan Zhan was pleased he knew that, at least. "Even if you know, I want to reassure you that I do not want anything you do not want. Relationships are ongoing conversations. If you do not like anything, or want anything done differently, please tell me."

Wei Ying pulled more of his head free. "Is this an asexual thing? Are you being weird about sex because I might be asexual?"

"It is important. If we have different physical needs-"

"Whoa whoa whoa, okay, I have a low sex drive, I'm not blind. If you want to pick me up with your big sexy hands and carry me off somewhere to have your wicked way with me, I will be down for it. Anytime, I'm serious, whenever you like."

Entranced, Wei Ying watched not just Lan Zhan's ears turn red, but the skin across his cheekbones and the back of his neck as well. Lan Zhan hauled him up and got him settled back under one arm, fishing out his phone from between the cushions. Wei Ying purred and enjoyed it for a moment, then got curious. "What are you doing?"

"Deleting my dating apps."

"You had more than one?" crowed Wei Ying, delighted.

Lan Zhan turned his mouth to Wei Ying's hair so Wei Ying could feel the smile as he said, "Recently, I have been somewhat sexually frustrated."

"Sucks to be you, I've been fine."

"Wei Ying."

Wei Ying cackled and rolled away off the sofa before Lan Zhan could grab him. He hit the floor on his back, and Lan Zhan was on him in a second, sitting on his stomach and batting at his head and arms like a playing cat, curling his fingers to tickle. "No no no no!" Wei Ying shrieked. "Mercy, I give, Zhanzhan, be nice to your boyfriend, make him tofu, Xianxian is starving."

"You will not escape retribution by referring to yourself as my boyfriend," said Lan Zhan, lying, as he stopped at once. But he didn't get up, just sat a moment longer, staring at Wei Ying's grinning face. The attention didn't make Wei Ying want to hide, he basked in it instead, preening under Lan Zhan's eyes. It was Lan Zhan who moved first, cupping Wei Ying's face in his big hands. "Come and help me make tofu."

"Sure! Where's your chili oil?"

Lan Zhan's expression shuttered. "Stay here and watch me make tofu," he said, and got up and went to the kitchen, leaving Wei Ying laughing on the floor. But after a moment Wei Ying got up and followed him, tucking up against his back.

"Zhanzhan," he sang, "I love you!"

Lan Zhan squeezed Wei Ying's hands, wrapped around his belly. Wei Ying could hear his smile in his voice. "Mm," he said, "I love you."

"And don't worry," Wei Ying soothed, "I'll send you a picture of my dick tomorrow, so you don't get withdrawal."

Lan Zhan turned and threw him out of the kitchen.


[1] Lan Zhan also sent such a scathing rejection that the owner of the dick deleted the app and called their mother unprompted for the first time in a year. [return to text]

[2] A Lot. [return to text]

[3] At that point in time, Jin Zixuan had been bemoaning Jiang Yanli as 'the one who got away (due to my own stupidity and blindness)' for years to all his friends (so just Mianmian). He stared at her profile on the app for thirty minutes before he could dare to swipe yes, and the first message she sent (gratifyingly quickly) said that he didn’t need to worry! This wasn’t a dating thing! She'd just never gotten his number and wanted to ask how he was doing, hadn't it been years since they'd seen each other, did he remember that time he came round to her house and her brothers pushed him in the pond and she dried him off and fed him congee and he cried because it was so spicy? It all seems so long ago! (This was not gratifying). He spent the ten hours having a panic attack, furiously searching 'how to confess love to girl who knew you as an obnoxious brat' on the internet, which led to some very niche porn, and crying about it to all his friends (so just Mianmian). In the end they agreed to get lunch and Jin Zixuan brought flowers and wore a nice suit only to get to the cafe and see Jiang Yanli and both her brothers waiting for him. Truly his life is suffering. Then they got married or whatever. [return to text]

[4] Several people at the Queer Rep meetings would love to show Wei Ying their penis. [return to text]

[5] Wei Ying spent the first Lan New Years in a sort of meditative zen state that he only emerged from halfway into the journey home. He jokingly accused Lan Qiren of drugging him into behaving and laughed it off. Lan Zhan, who had been low key (and high key when Wei Ying wasn't in the room) panicking about him, later realised through context clues it was a subconscious defence meant to help Wei Ying deal with Lan family dynamics he'd had no frame of reference for and therefore no idea of how to soothe or redirect conflicts in, which stressed him so much he went too far out the other side. Upon realising this Lan Zhan screamed into a pillow for ten minutes and made sure to invite Wei Ying early for next year before Wei Ying's family remembered him. Three years on, Wei Ying is relaxing enough to tease Lan Qiren a little, who bears with it due to the one time he put a cup down too hard and Wei Ying was out the back door so fast he left an afterimage. [return to text]

[6] An example: one time a boy in a seminar asked Wei Ying out for coffee, and then back to his place. He made a point of saying his housemates were away, to which Wei Ying said, "Okay?", and when there made out with Wei Ying for ten minutes and then asked if he could jerk him off, to which Wei Ying said, "If you want?". That achieved, they watched a movie and then Wei Ying went home. The boy contacted him a week later to say they wouldn't be doing it again, he'd had fun and Wei Ying was great but he felt like Wei Ying just wasn't that interested in him, to which Wei Ying nearly said, "I'm not, I've known you a week", before the Jiejie in his head said that was rude. He sent back a thumbs up. This is why Wei Ying is known for being hot and hilarious but also kind of sexually selfish, a rep which attracts people he has no interest in and Lan Zhan, who knows nothing about any of this, would like to throw out of a window. [return to text]

[7] Wei Ying saw Lan Zhan, thought 'sweet, free weighted blanket', and never looked back. [return to text]

[8] He was not. [return to text]