He could’ve sworn it was 7:30 like, two minutes ago. Not my brother or A-Yuan or Granny, either. “Xue Yang broke Mr. Sucky,” comes A-Qing’s voice behind him, pulling him out of his thoughts. You lost and I’m going to be A-Ling’s favorite uncle forever, admit it.”, Sullen, Jiang Cheng puts his wallet back into his pocket before elbowing him in the ribs. You’ll see that you’re stronger, more resilient and more capable than you thought possible – and that’s how you really fall in love with yourself. Junior year? Unfortunately today’s results are just as disappointing as yesterday’s, and he doesn’t even have alcohol on hand to use as a fun little drinking game. He needs strong vibes. Two years ago his favorite haunts would’ve been Shijie’s house, the abandoned swingset in the outskirts of the Jiang’s backyard, maybe the cafe two blocks down. There’s one last step he has to fulfill before figuring out his own graduation thing, and it might be the most difficult. Wen Qing’s candidate involves a generous dose of mayonnaise, a pinch of wasabi, and Sambuca, and he doesn’t even want to know where she got the Sambuca from. A new plan hatches in Wei Wuxian’s head. You underestimate yourself too much; you may procrastinate and follow unhealthy habits, but neither of those traits have stopped you from being an intelligent, hard-working student who cares deeply for his friends. Once safely confined once again, he spends a solid hour sifting through courses on a rotation until his phone buzzes and he drops them all, desperate for a break someone else can force upon him. A part of Wei Wuxian is marveling at his ability to monologue by himself. First he consults Shijie. He feels like his soul is leaving the mortal plane as he speaks. I’m dying.". Psychology of a Catfish. Any of it, but especially me treating you like shit after all that you’ve done for me. There’s a soft huff that may or may not be his catfish laughing. Poor guy. i am providing u w free turtle pics at minimal cost mr lan do not TEST ME. Nie Huaisang makes a circle on his head and frowns severely, which is such a strange expression on Nie Huaisang’s face that Wei Wuxian takes a moment to marvel, dig out his phone, and snap a picture. Even in the end Lan Zhan was stupidly thoughtful. The noise Wei Wuxian releases is truly terrifying, no matter how muffled it is by three hundred pages of kanji exercises. Using animal photos is illegal in conversation. “I’ll see you in class, remember not to snitch!”. This and that. He isn’t sure if it’s from fury or misery or—or whatever, but it’s an emotion and Wei Wuxian doesn’t like it. “Fuck,” Wei Wuxian says, and beside him Wen Qing sighs happily. Not really. In their reactions, though, the Jiang blood runs strong: their mouths fall open, eyes flicking from the picture to Wei Wuxian and back to the picture, before settling back into their seats as one. It’s gonna be great.”, “Wei Ying,” interrupts Lan Wangji, eyes intent and dark. Pulse singing, heart soaring, Wei Wuxian smiles. They are all babies. “That is a rule in my household, yes.”, “We are currently outside,” says Lan Wangji. Wei Wuxian’s certain now that he must’ve committed some grave sin against Wen Ning, either in this life or the last one. They fall in love. “I want to marry you,” Wei Wuxian says, feeling dangerously close to tears. It’s just that talking to someone who doesn’t trust him with the truth of their own identity after all this time is… It hurts, really. It’s the first thing that pops up into his head, other than I’ve never wanted anyone to dick me down more, but that’s not romantic and also not age-appropriate and also not part of the moving speech Wei Wuxian thought of before. Xue Yang has his phone out, no doubt ready to record the moment Wei Wuxian is stabbed with an Epipen. Except for the gently used pink socks Wei Wuxian currently has clutched to his chest when his door swings open. I do not lie to my brother or anyone else. The aftermath of talking to Carmen in Season Three Episode Two. Cool. Wei Wuxian knows this, but he smiles back. Speaking to Lan Zhan also makes Wei Wuxian aware of how bad his impulse control is in real life. You and your million Gucci bags and rabbits. Do not text during meals. Like have some higher standards, m’dude. The Wen siblings’ little cousin lives with their grandmother a short bus ride from campus, in a nice neighborhood with an elementary school and attached daycare within walking distance. why the fuck would you ever keep talking to someone like me. you clownin, @farmaybe and i’m not fetishizing it, i just want lwj to be happy and if it turns out i was wrong then i’m ok with that! Except Shijie doesn’t do euphemisms, nor does she make sly references to events he barely remembers, unless…. So intoxicating. Is there a How It’s Made episode about textbooks? And I need to text him something, but my fingers aren’t working.” He takes his hands off Wen Ning’s cheeks and wiggles them to demonstrate, and they do this odd squiggle in the air, like it’s a sentient snake. He’s not fucking Niulang; he doesn’t have to cross the Milky Way to see her, and neither does she. “Stop that. This is officially the worst day of his life. A month since I’ve seen you and Xianxian is like a new person.”, “Xianxian is three,” Wei Wuxian protests, because the thought of change is horrible and Shijie is cruel to tease him so. After much deliberation and frantic upturning of his clothes like a teenager about to go on his first date, he eventually settles on a simple grey button-up tucked into his best pair of unripped jeans and a long overcoat from Uncle Jiang, in hopes that seeing his present well-worn will be enough to restrain Madam Yu from any flayings today. Recalling the incident in his second Chinese New Year with the Jiangs, he concedes the point. I just liked taking care of you guys and treating you to dinners without actually making the dinners or going anywhere, and also I didn’t want to intrude on any family time. If this nocturnal, bottom-feeding, slimy, invasive mudcat posing as a beautiful actor thinks he can sway Wei Wuxian with animal It’s not a disaster anymore. You may remember him as the catfish, though. Like you have money to spare.”, “Money is easy if you eat only one meal a day,” Wei Wuxian tells him, tapping at his temple. Most of the photos he does have include him in a group shot or features a friend, and while Wei Wuxian couldn’t care less about his privacy, he doesn’t think that the same carefree attitudes apply to everybody else. Some of it must get through to her, since all she does is sigh again and reach out to comb through the tangles in his hair like they’re children again. “I don’t know what that is.”, Wei Wuxian boops him on the nose. oct 31. a curious instagram post of a birthday cake and a caption that just said “Thank you.” HUHhHHHHHhhhHHhhHh?????? “Uh, hi. I think that you’re kinder than you believe yourself to be. I didn’t know! This isn’t even hard. Not anymore. You know. Copy embed to clipboard. Please consider turning it on! Who is the ‘mystery friend’ that Lan Wangji keeps talking about? Wei Wuxian is too distracted to ward off Jiang Cheng’s attempts at choking him because the catfish sent him a picture. Okay. “Hey. There’s more, a voice whispers in the back of his head. They’d rip him to shreds and he’d have to pretend he doesn’t love the attention. Well. maybe you have lan xichen helping you then. It’s a little more difficult scrambling all the necessary paperwork for a last minute application for teachers’ college, but Cathy works her magic. And then maybe wife me the fuck up later, ‘cause I totally want to do that like, so much you won’t even believe it. “God, you dress like an e-boy who’s spent too much time looking at street fashion on a good day and a Hot Topic employee on the verge of becoming homeless on every other day. Fuck. Don’t look at me like that, they’re clean clothes.”, “Are you actively trying to give me a stroke?”. The daycare. Wei Wuxian sucks in a tiny breath through his teeth, then proceeds to rummage through his many pockets. “Every week you do this. Right? Or my face. Likely the former, although I would not be surprised if it was the latter. Someone funny and kind. i dont want u to feel like u cant tell me the truth after all this time, like uve always been here and ur always so nice and kind and u listen to me like what i say matters all the time and u dont give me shit for being a disaster and u dont even judge me for it even though ur literally perfect, that u dont seem to trust me in the same way. Wei Wuxian decides to investigate and go from there. “That’s illegal,” says Wei Wuxian weakly. “Bottoms up, Wei Wuxian.”, “Take Jiang Cheng off my will if I die,” Wei Wuxian tells Wen Ning, and then tosses it back. He’s…” Better not get into any of the actual gut stuff. Wei Wuxian breathes in extremely calmly, confirms the message with uncontested tranquility, and hops from foot to foot until his phone buzzes, at which point he swings around to draw on Xuanwu’s serene energy. Great talk.”. This is his favorite type of ramen, in fact. It’s conversations like that which affect Wei Wuxian. Something in her tone makes him go very still, like a prey animal hearing a twig snap a mile off. Wei Wuxian was on the streets for three whole years, running from orphanage to house to orphanage, and he gets it, he knows what it’s like to have no money, no safety, no guarantee that everything will be okay. Wei Wuxian stifles a laugh. I’m the one butting into their lives. “Wait, seriously? A click. You’re the sugar baby,” says Jiang Cheng, and then recoils, grimacing. So he recognizes all the parts of him that are burning trash and realizes rather quickly that wanting and doing are two different things. It’s midnight, what’re you doing?”, “I am in California right now,” says Lan Zhan. Tissue, Tofu, and Darling it is. hey ik we never talked abt meeting in person or anything before, but if u cld itd be rly nice if u came to my graduation, i mean if ur busy or u dont want to u dont have to i ttly get it, but i think id just rly rly like it for u to be there, itll start at like eleven am but tbh i think if u come at like 2 itll be fine bc my name is in the back with the rest of w’s, so ill be suffering and probs one of the last to be called. im fine and i am not bleeding out in an alley and i am eating dinner perfectly safe, even if i was bleeding out do u think i just wldnt call an ambulance as i was texting u. I thought that the fear of hospital bills would hold your hand. Like, right, keysmashes are the pinnacle of gay panic, and that’s fine. “What to do,” Wei Wuxian murmurs, “if you are hurtling your way towards becoming completely feral. She’s wearing her softest sweater. Is this better? Of course no one is there to hear him. A beat. Use a distraction. Right, he thinks, a few minutes later. It’s just that kind of day. Recalling the disaster that was his twentieth, Wei Wuxian considers it and nods. “Don’t worry about Mr. Sucky, we’ll have a funeral for him later.”. Until then, A-Yuan doesn’t let go of his hand and drags him to Granny Wen and the Wen siblings to show off. He cut his finger but he still shooed her away from the stir-frying because he thought the oil splatters would hurt her without an apron on. Not just the person. In response, another buzz. This is an excellent plan. Doing everything by yourself like you couldn’t trust me or A-Ning with our own fucking fami—”, “I do,” he blurts, desperate. But it makes even less sense than actual Lan Wangji texting me because I teach him how to use memes.”. Did I mention that you should die.” He’s using die as punctuation. “Because I was having sex with Wen Qing. After a moment of silence, Wei Wuxian repeats, “Wei Ying. Ahhh! Why are you talking about sugary fathers and babies? “Can you move your lazy ass and blow the candles already?” he demands. Then he plugs his earphones into his phone, restarts the video, and turns the volume all the way up. Wei Wuxian swallows. The shirt I’m wearing right now has undertones of blue!”, “It’s still fucking black,” Wen Qing says, but there’s no heat to it, only defeat, because clearly she recognizes a lost argument when she sees one. ... and why do people so easily fall for it? He just wishes that Jin Zixuan would stop rubbing it in his face that he’s happily married with an endearingly annoying child while Wei Wuxian is stuck with a turtle as a life partner. Asks him if he’s eaten from time to time, but otherwise lets Wei Wuxian make his own bad decisions in life, and stays for the fallout if he has to. So invested that when he sees a picture of the most beautiful man he has ever laid eyes on that is most certainly a catfish, he forgoes the single sip and polishes off the rest of his two-six. I love Lan Wangji. Well, like, its needs are still minimal because it’s a cactus, but I’m— I’m working on that. If Wei Wuxian were to make a drinking game out of family dinner, he would have an extensive list that goes something like this: There’s other events too, of course—such as Shijie asking about his little Xuanwu, followed by a picture exchange of Jin Ling and Xuanwu, as if a human child is the same thing as a turtle—but Wei Wuxian is a little too lazy to think about the specifics of assigning shots for those. This is fine. u r so cruel to bake me a cake that i cant even eat, didnt u say u were in california right now why on earth would u. I wanted to, he says. I wanted to. Who, I guess.”, “I mean,” Wei Wuxian babbles, “surely you have one, right? Or something lame like Jeff? Every question was worded the same, just different numbers. “Okay,” he announces to the trees outside of his dormitory. The text doesn’t register. Better than okay. “No,” he declares, sounding a little too gleeful. Right? Guess they are doing this, then. It’s the day of his dreams. It’s probably just me. Wei Wuxian stares at the items for a long moment, before he notices a note attached to the back of the straw doll. “I missed you too, Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says. Bullying Jiang Cheng brings back Wei Wuxian’s will to live, or at least enough of it that he begins cranking down on the studying again with minimal fuss, fuss being about five minutes of near-uninterrupted groaning before something thumps on the other side of the wall. They research the people involved and introduce them in person. It doesn’t seem to be getting any better either, because sometimes Lan Zhan will just— say things, like genuinely sincere things that no one says to Wei Wuxian because he’s a menace to society, and he texts them in perfectly punctuated sentences as if he means them, and he says it in response to the most crackshit things that most of his friends don’t even dignify with a reply. Thank you for the explanation. A beat. And Jin Zixuan is…” Mo Xuanyu sets his wine bottle down on a nearby counter, tracing lines in the air. And if the catfish asks him for money or a meet-up, he’ll cut off all contact and ghost faster than Nie Huaisang when he has to do… anything responsible, basically. The war ends and Hermione is thrust back into the modern world with smartphones, internet romance and Catfish. “I have continued to offer you money back for all the help, and you never took it, and you know what? So my ideal person would have to be someone who touches me a lot. “Says you, Shijie?”, She digs her knuckles gently into his head. He feels less good. And it’s not like Jiang Cheng gets it. I thought it would be a good way to convince you, even if it did mean confirming some rumors. “It’s when little monsters like you tell lies about good people like me.”, “Not a lie! I am currently on set. The gaping hole of utter despair. Then another buzz, and one more before it falls silent. “Uh-huh. His collarbones are even on display, because Nie Huaisang took one look under his jacket before he announced, “Jacket off. Wei Wuxian’s lack of free time and insistence on texting his catfish does lead to several different crises, though. “Choose… one of those. You are not a bad person. It is like battery acid is slithering down his throat and burning a new esophagus, but it’s Tito’s so it tastes like high-quality battery acid. “Oh, A-Xian. Then, voice hoarse and cracky, he says, “You would… drink. Um. He likes to think that it makes Lan Zhan smile too, like this person he loves so much. God, Wei Wuxian is the best den mother ever. Someone who makes him happy, huh. More specifically, it’s an Uno reverse card. His mouth is thin and tight in a stressed line, eyes dark with sleeplessness. If Wei Wuxian closes his eyes, he can almost imagine it: the soft wind sifting through his hair, the prickle of the grass below him, and—. Madam Yu fucking hates the sight of him and she still lets him into their family dinners, lets him call the people around him Uncle and Shijie and A-Cheng. u know its funny bc i dont think ive ever told u this before but, i started talking to u bc i thought u were a catfish and just wanted to expose u, posing as famous actor lan wangji and all that, and i guess i thought it was just funny after all these months and resigned myself to like, thinking that u would tell me on ur own time and ur terms who u are, lan zhan its very obvious ur not a famous actor, i dont care who u are i just want to know, like even if u dont want to tell me who u are for whatever reason, can u just tell me the truth at least and say that uve been lying to me about being lan wangji. “There is more,” Wei Wuxian goes on, miserably. She nods at his phone. Most times I think he’s just humoring me, actually. When the typing bubble comes up again, Wei Wuxian hurls his phone at the wall. Most, like Wen Qing, either don’t eat it and don’t care or, like Wen Ning, delude themselves into believing it’s secretly vegetarian. He made me eat dinner before. You con, you sly motherfucker, you can’t just—”. “Turn around. “Nie fucking Huaisang, I could kiss you.”, It’s a candid, taken between poses that were either very specifically curated or meme references thinly disguised as art. Definitely for the best. Finally it registers. He was a huge dick to her and never looked at her once even though she’s literally the most perfect person on the planet. i cld be bleeding out in an alley and reminiscing abt the good times for all u know, also ok cool so they r better than my family dinners but barely. I mean it. “You’re a menace,” Wei Wuxian informs his brother, before turning back to Wen Ning. He uses this tactic to excellent success several times, giving Shijie a discreet thumbs-up when she overhears him and hides her laugh behind her hand. “Wen Qing, please, I’m trying to apologize!”, Her voice is steely even muffled by the two inches of door between them. Because Wei Wuxian is a rat whose own brother hates the sight of him. He’d said that he was glad Wei Wuxian was born—. Barely a minute later, they both return to where Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng are openly staring. Wei Wuxian asked him out and blurted out the world’s most embarrassing confession ever—and Lan Wangji texted him an Uno reverse card. A pause, one that Wei Wuxian can’t read, and then: “Oh,” Wei Wuxian says. “Shijie, I’m hot.”, “You are,” Shijie agrees and touches his cheek, gaze softening. What is it?”, “Like… Richard,” Lan Zhan repeats. When searching on Christian Mingle for love, many people might not realize that the person you meet online may not be who they say they are. what kinda monster like take them to a shelter u animal!!!! What if he runs into them? The one time Wei Wuxian had asked what he did, all Nie Huaisang had done was laugh, snap his fan, and say something incredibly vague and useless like, “Oh, you know. Or, or— ooh, grow three centimeters taller so you can finally achieve your unrealistic dream of being taller than me. He gestures at the forestry, as if to demonstrate. She’s even wearing makeup. Not that he’ll ever admit to the angst. He’s a slut for validation even if he pretends he’s not, but he’s been staring for like a solid minute and his eyes are drying out and maybe he should tab away so the read receipts don’t give him away as a lurker. Slim fingers stroke the nearest rabbit’s fur, and the rabbit snuggles into the touch. Three conversations in and Wei Wuxian is nowhere close to exposing the catfish as a fake. “Nope,” Wei Wuxian says, once he can’t take it any longer. ok so the story of the subservient chicken is like, in 2004 burger king made this fucking website where a dude in a chicken suit and garter belts would like, and users could “have it their way” by typing commands for a man in a chicken outfit and garters to make the whole thing extra kinky, the kinky chicken man did jumping jacks etc. Wei Wuxian wishes that Jiang Cheng could share the same sentiment, but alas. Pros to visiting the Jin household: Wei Wuxian gets to see his Shijie—perfect in every way except for her choice in husband—as well as his nephew, Jin Ling, who has the misfortune of inheriting maybe a bit too much of his father and uncle. Wei Wuxian nods. Wei Wuxian drops back into his seat. I’ll do that.”, “Ugh, I’m already throwing up in my mouth a little.”. It’s not like he hadn’t noticed the first time he called, but being sober and in daylight just brings to attention how… good Lan Zhan’s voice is. i know ur probs sleeping but i wanted to be the first to wish u a happy birthday. Summary: A new plan hatches in Wei Wuxian’s head. Can we drop this?”. His soul has floated out of his body maybe. “No,” Wei Wuxian says, because he has a great alcohol tolerance, but this is a glass for beer and it is 8 fucking PM. He’s fine. “Um, yes? To no one’s surprise, a reply comes an hour later. Lugging the communal vacuum up from the lobby draws some attention from his kids. Seeing her like this, however, cheeks a splotchy furious red, lips trembling with the force of her fury, Wei Wuxian might actually prefer it if she yelled. “Has Jin Zixuan driven you insane? 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