“Of course it’s not serious. Music isn’t supposed to be serious,” Wei WuXian says. He bounces off the bed and grabs Lan WangJi by both hands, pulling him into the room. “Here, I’ll show you.”
He twirls Lan WangJi around the narrow room, their feet slipping on the wood floor. Wei WuXian’s laughter almost drowns out the song, but then the chorus comes back and he belts it at the top of his lungs, eyes closed, just feeling it. They spin through several full rotations before Lan WangJi stops them by grabbing Wei WuXian and crushing him to his chest.
It’s a punishingly tight squeeze. His sweater is soft.
“We are not here to study contemporary commercial music,” he says, intoning it like it’s a proper noun. Contemporary Commercial Music. The wrong path to follow. “Turn it off and go to bed.”
Lan WangJi releases him and Wei WuXian’s heels hit the floor. He hadn’t realized Lan WangJi had lifted him off his feet.
Wei Wuxian read Lan Wangji’s letter again, unraveling each line in his mind. Already he chose some favorite phrases–the day you left was full of weary hours. Rain spreads cool relief upon these heated evenings, which have only worsened since your parting…
“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, who knew you could be so forward,” smiled Wei Wuxian under his breath. The corners of his mouth twisted. A breeze rustled the tree leaves, now full and green in the dawn of summer. “Shameless!”
“I…” he began, then had to lick his dry lips. “I know what it’s like.” Lan Xichen met his eyes, raised his brows. “To lose…someone. To be betrayed.” He stopped, wincing. “To feel betrayed by someone you trusted.” He swallowed, closed his eyes for a moment. “To lose them, too.” He felt Lan Xichen’s gaze on him, but couldn’t look up. “Anyway,” he continued roughly, “I’m sure you’re handling it much better than me.” He downed the remainder of the wine in his bowl.
Lan Xichen surprised him with a huff of laughter. It sounded dry, twisted, more bitter than he could imagine a noise coming from the First Jade could ever be.
Lan Zhan freezes and Wei Wuxian nearly walks into him, bracing himself against Lan Zhan’s chest and looking up at him. Lan Zhan’s face has gone still, but his ears flush and his lips have parted, and Wei Wuxian oddly feels his heart sink. Oh. Oh, it is true. Lan Zhan does like someone.
“I,” Lan Zhan says, and the panic in his voice is almost adorable. “I…”“You do like someone!” Wei Wuxian exclaims, and Lan Zhan’s ears redden even more.
“…. Mn,” Lan Zhan breathes, watching Wei Wuxian so intently that Wei Wuxian almost forgets what he’s meant to say. Right. Who Lan Zhan likes.
“Who is it?” Wei Wuxian asks, and Lan Zhan’s gaze seems almost incredulous. “What?”
Slowly, Lan Xichen walks up to his uncle and his heart grows heavier with each step. He can feel the surge of power behind the melody, he can feel it spreading further and further away from the cave, always finding its way past a barrier that should be impenetrable, beckoning and pleading, drawing spirits close and sending them away with a message, Wei Ying, Wei Ying, Wei Ying…
He doesn’t know how one can feel so vulnerable, so stripped, so laid bare (granted figuratively but also very much literally) and yet at the same time not want to be anywhere else at this moment in time or alternatively strike the person down with Zidian who dares to put him in this position.