lwj as a famous painter and muralist being hired to do pretty art on walls. wwx doing graffiti the way he wants, wherever he wants.

wwx tags one of the blank white walls of lwj's house. lwj paints over it with white at first. wwx tags it again. lwj covers it with his art.
[usual reminder that all comments, replies, rts, qrts are appreciated. that's how i know i should keep going, and it really means the world to me.

if you'd like to support me: http://ko-fi.com/wwxwashere 
this is a 4k followers special thread, so feel free to drop requests too :')]
lwj as a well established artist who signs his works as hanguang jun.

his family has a lot of money anyway, so he dedicated his entire life to formal education, art degrees, developing his style, etc and only takes work he feels have real meaning/purpose.
wwx as this broke af artitst who is always doing a weird combo of freelance work to support himself, never related to his art.

it's all over the place, but he likes the freedom of making up his own schedule and doing art exactly the way he thinks it should be.
wwx has never really thought of signing his works. he does it for himself, most of it illegal, and he likes to think his ever changing style should be enough. he doesn't even know of lwj's work.

if not by chance (or was it fate?), they would never have crossed paths at all.
wwx had a long day as a waiter in this ridiculously rich neighborhood, and he definetely wasn't paid enough to deal with all that shit.

his bank account: empty
the song playing on his headphones: i see it, i like it, i want it, i got it (yeah) https://twitter.com/lilyyzero/status/1284106351237529605
he's on his bike going home, just trying to get it out of his system.

"been through some bad shit, i should be a sad bitch, who woulda thought it'd turn me to a savage? ra-"

he's so into the song he almost lands face down on the ground. https://twitter.com/WeirdAF5/status/1284105428339580930
he has to do a weird turn to avoid a big ass rock and barely avoids falling. he's suddenly thrown off his previous mood, annoyed at rich people again,

and then he looks up.
it's a house so expensive wwx probably got even more broke just looking at it. he hates it.

(he likes it a little bit, but THAT'S NOT THE POINT)

it's all white. big, impressive, smooth, well lit... white. walls.
wwx looks around to make sure nobody is looking, gets off his bike, tags the wall and leaves. now /that/ is a good mood.
lwj wakes up to find black graffiti on his previously all white walls.

it says "EAT THE RICH"
look, it happens. lwj notices it early in the morning, so he's just mildly annoyed as he pours white paint and covers it himself. it will be dry before lunch.
it takes a week before wwx is around that neighborhood again, and he's smiling as he approaches the walls again, waiting for the brief satisfaction.

except it's not there anymore.

he gets off his bike, tags the wall and leaves.
lwj wakes up to find just the word "RUDE" on his wall. he takes a deep breath, tries not to qi deviate, covers the wall again.

is lwj's house on wwx's daily route? well, now it is.
the next day lwj finds "BUSSY KING" written.
wwx finds it particularly funny that when he bikes over at noon the wall is still pink-ish from the red spray paint he used. https://twitter.com/wengjis/status/1284120711595003905
[if you'd like to pitch something for wwx to write on lwj's wall: https://twitter.com/wwxwashere/status/1284120031329243136]
the next day, it's "OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN".
lwj covers it.

another day. "DEFUND THE POLICE".
lwj covers it. https://twitter.com/chocomiIkboba/status/1284124396890648582
day 6 it's "we're no strangers to love"
day 7 "you know the rules and so do i"
day 8 "a full commitment's what i'm thinking of"
day 9 "you wouldn't get this from any other guy"

lwj covers it with white every time.
day 10 "i just wanna tell you how i'm feeling"
day 11 "gotta make you understand"

lwj covers it.
... by day 12 lwj's wall reads "never gonna give you up"
wwx is having the time of his life, taking pictures of everything he leaves on lwj's walls.

lwj starts to hate white paint a little for the first time in his life.

(does he hire security? no. he is a muralist, goddammit)
day 13 is, of course, "never gonna let you down" https://twitter.com/yanlisapphic/status/1284127137838972928
wwx gets a little annoyed at whoever is erasing his BEAUTIFUL ART, so by 14 he decides to try and get a reaction.

day 14 says "do you want a drawing of my cock? paint white for yes" https://twitter.com/siIvercIaw/status/1284128372956835841
lwj says "shameless" under his breath when he finds it. he paints it white anyway, his ears burning a little.

he wakes up to find the drawing of a rooster on his wall. thank god. https://twitter.com/Naya_chitchat/status/1284120404592926720
day 16 it's just "CHEER UP". lwj paints over with white.
the wall is now wwx's last errand before bed and lwj's first annoyance in the morning. https://twitter.com/vodolla/status/1284132033372053504
for good measure, wwx goes back to the lyrics.
day 17 "your heart's been aching but you're too shy to say it"
day 18 "inside we both know what's been going on"
day 19 "we know the game and we're gonna play it"

lwj covers it. no response.
the following days, wwx tries different approaches to try and get an answer. come on. anything.
day 20 wwx tries out of context statements: https://twitter.com/ineffablexis/status/1284126172339597312
day 21 it's something that took way too long to make: https://twitter.com/MilHappTheo/status/1284128149517873152
day 22 wwx is tired and just wants to be edgy: https://twitter.com/vodolla/status/1284128420759207937
day 23 he fools himself into thinking he doesn't even care about getting an answer. the wall says "suibian". https://twitter.com/vodolla/status/1284133467807244289
day 24 he puts a little bit of actual effort, but spins it his own way all the same: https://twitter.com/weiwuxiansnose/status/1284127811695816704
day 25 wwx wakes up determined to put even more effort into it: https://twitter.com/yiboism/status/1284125210136858624
nothing. it slips right into lwj's routine and by the time he paints over the dragon, it's as natural to him as anything else.
nothing annoys wwx more than rich people erasing his art.
day 26 is one of his characters smashing a can of white paint. https://twitter.com/BaekedMullet/status/1284136097077792769
day 27 is more of a comment on lwj himself: "how dedicated are you to preserve this boring whiteness?" https://twitter.com/sri_write/status/1284136231295565830
day 28: "it's like i'm talking to a wall here"
... lwj almost smiles when he reads that. almost.

he covers it anyway.
wwx starts to think he might never get an answer after all. does it stop him? no, it doesn't.
day 29 comes around and wwx tags the wall without thinking too much about it.

big, bold letters: "BE GAY. DO CRIMES." https://twitter.com/lwjssmiles/status/1284121146598871040
he's so used by now that by day 30 wwx is already holding his paint before he takes a look at the wall.

it's not white.

oh my god.

the wall is not white.

lwj erases "do crimes" and leaves just "be gay" for wwx to find.
wwx is just staring at the wall for a long moment, laughing. this house probably belongs to a white, rich, entitled, ugly, old, weird looking man.

still, that's pretty funny, and the first answer he managed to get out of that boring wall.
for the first time that month, wwx actually spends a few minutes thinking of what his answer should be.

answer!!!!! because they are!!!!!! communicating!!!!! kinda.

(no, he didn't get enough attention as a child, it's a tragic story, mind your business)
for day 30 wwx doesn't erase "be gay", just adds: "yes" and his phone number. https://twitter.com/emowyb/status/1284142837303578626
lwj takes a picture of the wall that morning. "if this turns out to be a stalker a i have to go to the police", he tells himself.

the number goes into his phone, but wwx doesn't know, and he is disappointed when he finds the wall saying just "be gay" again the next day.
it's been a month. wwx decides maybe that's enough of annoying whoever lives there - he got his answer, after all.
wwx goes home without painting anything that day and lwj wakes up to deal with the fact it's not relief that he feels when his wall isn't tagged that morning.

(yeah, okay, maybe he misses it a little bit)
wwx misses it a lot. it's a lot of effort and money for paints that he doesn't really have to spare, but even without a response this was easily the best part of his days.

day 32, he has an idea and spends the very last of his money buying off-white paint.
it's all fun and games until lwj keeps seeing nothing on his wall in the morning and wwx has a plan that could easily get him arrested. tagging the wall with quick scribbles was fine, he had a bike, he could just pick up and go.
this, though...
it's 2am when wwx shows up wearing all black, really fcking paranoid he might fck this up.

(at this point a part of him DOES want to just paint the entire house a tone away from what the owner chose just out of spite, but he's too broke for that. he has to make it count)
it takes him way, way longer than usually - because all he has is off-white on a white all he can't sketch, grid or plan it at all, and because it's dark he can barely see what the hell he is working with.

he's happy again when he leaves.
lwj goes for a run that morning while it's still dark, and at first he thinks nothing of the wall. it's on his way back that he notices it.

there's definetely the outline of something lwj can barely see, but recognises to be the first stage of a small, carefully planned mural.
it doesn't take the whole wall, not even close. it stays mostly around the "be gay" tag. still, lwj can see lines pouring from it, and he finds himself way too excited to see what could be made.

he doesn't cover anything.
it's 1am when wwx shows up for day 33, and what he finds is not his sketch covered, but not any addition to the wall either.

brushes and several cans of very expensive paint are there, clearly left for him.
wwx takes a picture and sends it to nhs with the caption: did i just get a sugar daddy?

then, he paints.
(nhs be knowing that house belongs to hanguang jun, like the art ho he is, because he has read an entire article someone wrote on lwj's choice to keep all his walls white while being a muralist himself)
nhs, when wwx asks him "who do you think lives there?": idk, idk
one of wwx's rejected ideas for the mural, before he settled on a serious one:
now with proper paints, wwx covers the first "be gay" with proper lettering of the same words, then does the flats (first layer of colors at its most basic) for some of what he had already sketched in off-white.
lwj wakes up to what are clearly pride colors around a better "be gay", the start of what must be an arragement of flowers surrounding it, but still... unfinished work.

lwj: đŸ˜¶
lxc: comments on how his brother is CLEARLY way happier than usual that morning
day 34, the collection of brushes and paints waiting for wwx grows.

he gets way too excited and spends hours finishing the flowers. daylight is already coming when he goes home.
lwj finds the pride colors around "be gay" represented by every flower wwx could think of, and he's actually impressed by how quickly he managed to put in such detailed work.

something inside him shifts.
it's barely past 7am when lwj changes for the second time that day. instead of his usual work clothes he puts on high waisted, loose yet elegant pants and a white t-shirt, his hair up in a bun.

lwj spends the entire day painting.
day 35, wwx spends 20 minutes just looking at the wall.
lwj painted a circle around everything wwx made and turned it into a crystal ball, held by the gentle hands of a character with no clear gender. the circle bleeds through the fingers that hold it, but the colors... blend in a way wwx didn't even know it was possible on a wall.
it shouldn't be a big deal.

wwx looks at it, tries to piece it apart...

that drawing shouldn't matter that much. but it does.
he drops his bike on the sidewalk and sits down to look at it in the dead of the night. he is undisturbed, in absolute silence as he stares at the most amazing painting he has seen in his entire life.

he wants to look at it forever, if at all possible.
(sometimes art moves you, sometimes it changes you forever)
20 minutes pining over artwork later, wwx takes about 30 seconds to regret writing bussy king on that wall.

also the word cock. the lyrics to never gonna give you up. potatoes rule. oh, yeah, the entire script of the bee movie, don't remind him.
wwx absolutely avoids falling in love by roasting the owner of this house in his mind as he paints.

he signed his own wall, pffffffft, WHY WOULD ANYONE. hanguang jun... what kind of self imposed title? and doing THAT on a wall? amazing, but he's probably 80 years old and bald.

for the first time in his life, wwx signs his work as "yiling laozu".
[choose wisely: does wwx google the name?]
... wwx goes home and tries very hard not to google hanguang jun. it's stupid. a muralist that good is probably 80 years old and his face must show it. someone that rich that determined to erase graffiti is probably posting shitty takes on social media.
all this paint is probably just to ease him into a false sense of security, anyway. he probably just wanted to show up. what the hell was that, anyway? he is old, bald, hates graffiti, entitled, and googling him will ruin the beautiful piece he was appreciating earlier.
wwx spends another 10 minutes staring at the pictures he took of the wall with his phone.

aaaaaaaaah, fck it. he googles it.
google results are... overwhelming.
wwx closes the tab, texts nhs: you knew about him, didn't you

(he gives himself a moment, googles it again)
hanguang jun famous... yeah he can tell, keep up google.
hanguang jun artwork... been there, seen it. not the point.
hanguang jun rich... again, WE BEEN KNEW.
hanguang jun house... come on, get on his level.

hanguang jun face

yeah that's more like it
"nobody has ever seen his face" "no pictures" "no social media" "doesn't do interviews"

wwx, trying to convince himself: see, i told you. ugly, old and entitled. for sure bald too.
"this wasn't a victory for the gays, folks" - wwx's last braincells talking to each other, about to close google before he gets carried away.

and then
WE WERE BORN IN THE SAME YEAR???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
wwx, as soon as he reads that:
lwj wakes up to find his character surrounded by blue pansies. https://twitter.com/wwxwashere/status/1269407756114694146
day 36 wwx comes back to find another character by lwj, this time painted mostly in black. he adds flowers to it as well, then works on connecting pieces to make the wall cohesive.
maybe he relates to the character on the wall in this strange, unexpected way. maybe it's even weirder for him that he feels connected to hanguang jun too. maybe. he will not allow such things to come to the surface.
lwj spends a good portion of his morning looking at the red flowers. https://twitter.com/wwxwashere/status/1269396619214180353?s=20
he's busy for most of that afternoon, though, so he takes only about five minutes to paint what wwx will find. it's enough.
day 37. the first thing wwx notices is that the paints he was now used to find there are all gone.
the second thing wwx notices is a red thread around the second character's ankle, drawing a very clear path
... is this... what he thinks it is?
the red thread guides him to a door that gives access to the front yard and is probably open. probably, right.

come on. who would use a red thread and /not/ mean it as an invite to a complete stranger who shows up at 1am to cover their wall with vandalism and maybe some art?
wwx decides not to check the door.
wwx, an intellectual: if i don't check the door these rules can't stop me i can just assume he'd let me in, i'm going OVER the wall *uses bike to give himself enough height to climb it*
there is this particular thrill in trespassing to take his vandalism turned art foward, and the fact everything there is so quiet and proper makes it all the more appealing.

unrelated note: he daydreams about hanguang jun's works constantly.
he drops to the yard with ease and just stands there for a moment, checking for noises or any indication there is anyone home or awake.

... it hits him that this could go very bad very quickly, but that only makes his excitement bigger.
the brushes and cans of paint are waiting for him in a corner of the yard next to the large plain white walls.

"this was an invitation that could easily have been texted to him but it wasn't because they're gay and communicating through art" conspiracy theory: on.
any reasonable person: there is a chance that person thought this was over and decided to take the supplies back, just didn't expect anyone to break into their house.

wwx: nah we on the same page here for sure
nobody comes to get him with the cops and he takes that as a good sign, so after fumbling around in this anxiety/excitement mix, wwx picks up a brush and starts to paint.
here is the thing: you can freestyle a mural, which takes experience and might not turn out so well, or you can plan a mural.

since his situation was usually tricky with lighting, place, time, possibility of getting caught, he rarely bothered with an actual plan.
despite what it might look like, however, there was a working braincell there somewhere.

this was getting dangerous, he wasn't sure how long he had, and a big part of him really wanted to impress whoever had painted with him.

a plan this time, then.
a test: wwx decides to leave a grid on the wall.

it was quicker to do than an actual piece, it allowed him to come back with a concept art with him, and if it was still there 24hours later he would consider that encouragement.
using proper measurements to make a classic square grid was nothing like him and way too much work. instead, he starts doodling away whatever comes to mind: simple flowers, bunnies, emojis, shapes.
doing a doodle grid only required him to pour out the base however he saw fit for now. he will then take a picture, draw a concept art at home, super impose the two images, and then that would tell him where the lines of his sketch on the wall should go. easy.
then there's this moment. this flow of random doodles turning into a large enough grid that he considers it enough for that night. all he has to do is take the picture and go.
you are probably familiar with this moment. the relief you have once you finish writing an assignment with time to spare. the comfort after the stress is over - you've got no worries in the world.

he takes a picture.
planning always ruins things. if not for the planning, if not for wanting to impress whoever that stuck up artist was, if not for making sure he had a good picture, he wouldn't have stepped back to take another.

it's in that stepping back that his body hits... something.
narrator: it was at this moment that wei wuxian knew, he fucked up.

[cue careless whisper]
there are a few ways this could go. they all cross wwx's mind in the seconds it takes him to turn around.

maybe it's hanguang jun. maybe he is this really weird looking guy who isolates himself for creepy reasons and now wwx is in trouble. that's the good scenario.
he tries very hard not to think of the worst case scenario.
in that instant rush of adrenaline everything happens in slow motion and at the same time somehow: he drops his phone, a hand closes gently around his wrist, he smiles with a guilty expression, he turns around,
there is this suspension of time as wwx is terrified of what he might turn to, but then he finds lwj's eyes. his lips part slightly as if he meant to say something - anything, really - but he doesn't manage.
it doesn't really matter. if lwj meant to scold him, that is as lost as all of wwx's quick wit and easy excuses that slip from his grasp.
wwx's moodboard
lwj's moodboard
it's wwx's nervous chuckle that snaps lwj back to reality. his judgement can't be /completely/ clouded that easily.

"vandalism, property damage, theft, tresspassing," he says calmly, letting go of wwx's wrist.
lwj: the law
"oh, come on, you bought me paint" yes, after he spent literally a month tagging lwj's wall every single night, but he still argues. it's clear in lwj's expression that his point doesn't land well. "you basically invited me in"
"why are you here?" lwj asks.
wwx looks at the fresh paint on the wall, then back at lwj.
"i'm not stalking you, i promise. i just -- look. i assumed you wanted me to paint here, from all the-" he gestures around to the paint and the walls.
"we aren't on the same page, then" wwx says, chuckling, then puts his phone back to his pocket. "don't be so unreasonable. you were to relentless on keeping the boring white walls that i didn't expect you to actually have art skills"
"besides," wwx continues, unbothered by the rigid expression on lwj's face, "if you didn't want me to paint you shouldn't have collaborated. and if you didn't want me to paint /inside/, you shouldn't have drawn a path guiding me in. it's kind of your fault that i'm here"
he can't remember ever being this angry before. it shows. wwx is pretty sure he's about to get punched in the face when lwj steps closer.

in a tone as harsh as lwj can make it to be: "that's enough talking"
wwx is still waiting for him to call the cops, to punch him, something. it doesn't happen. lwj walks past him and walks to the wall he just painted. (painting it back white /now/? the sun isn't even up yet)

he just... stares.
it's not like wwx hasn't been able to tell lwj is hot. that is perfectly obvious and none of his bisexual chaos lets him miss it. still, it's standing there that he becomes truly aware of it.
lwj is wearing all white clothing, which is ridiculous for a muralist, wwx thinks. who would risk clearly expensive white clothes near paint like that? hanguang jun, apparently.

he wants to go back to drag him in his mind to cope, but it's way harder when he looks... like that.
the white shirt falls on lwj's shoulders just right, the loose and high waisted pants... well. wwx is busy looking at his ass for a solid minute there. he is immediately distracted by lwj calmly putting his hair up in a bun, though, and he thinks he might pass out.
at least he wasn't attached to a doodle grid, he figures as he remains stuck in place, watching lwj pick one of the brushes.
were wwx a youtuber, he's pretty sure the title here would be "I TAGGED HIS WALL BUT I WASN'T READY FOR WHAT HAPPENED NEXT!!!!!!!!" with a picture of him staring at lwj in shock
truth is, he wasn't ready. lwj ignores the doodle grid entirely, picks up blue paint instead and... starts to... paint.
it's so early the sun is barely showing up, wwx just invaded his home, lwj is dressed in all white, he's a worldwide famous artist.

he starts to paint.
lwj is starting a design on the wall and as amazed as wwx is, he doesn't even know what to do.

is he supposed to run for his life? count his blessings and never show up again? just watch? record this? ask what the hell is going on? make himself at home? love him forever?
(he might. love him forever, that is.)
the whole "going back home to draw a concept" thing is out of the window quickly. who was he kidding anyway, like he HADN'T spent hours drawing different concepts at home, daydreaming of a moment like this?

he fumbles with his phone to blend one of his concepts with the grid.
the only sounds there are lwj's brush against the wall and a few birds announcing the early hours, and it's way more awkward, nerve wrecking and weird than expected, but it oddly feels like he just stepped right into one of his fantasies, so wwx takes it.
he tries not to look at lwj as he approaches his part of the wall. this is fine. this is normal. it's not like he had a life to go live today. hanguang jun was painting, keep up.

he starts to sketch his concept on the wall, following his grid.
they paint for hours. they aren't talking, not even looking at each other at first, but there's only as long as the tension can last.
wwx chats lwj's ears off, gets an answer 1% of the time, when he's lucky.
all he has to do is completely ignore lwj is a famous artist. wwx is complaining about his job, telling him about this really funny story that happened once and starts in a warm afternoon four years ago, bothering him with questions, teasing.

he do be like that sometimes
lwj works at a steady pace until the base colors are laid out and he has to stop to let it dry. he starts putting the brushes aside and make order of the paint, which wwx takes as his cue to leave. he mumbles a few nice things and he's out of the door before lwj can react.
lwj doesn't paint for the rest of the day.
wwx doesn't show up that night.
the sun is starting to show up again when lwj steps out the next morning, sipping his tea and facing the wall as he tries to decide where to go from there.

he wants to text him. he doesn't.
... he doesn't have to. he hears a knock on his door and opens it to find wwx standing there. wwx smiles and they stare at each other.

in silence, slowly, lwj steps aside to let him in.
lwj is still finishing his tea as wwx starts working. if he takes that moment for his own gay agenda, it goes unsaid.

(he totally does)

a moment later he joins him and they work side by side again.
wwx's poor google searches (and extensive questioning to nhs's inbox) lead him assuming lwj likes bunnies, so that's what he starts to paint, while lwj works around him with less distinguishing shapes and colors. the morning drifts away so quickly neither of them sees it happen.
wwx spends most of the mornings chatting freely no matter how much it seems to annoy lwj, but before it gets too close to lunch he's always the one to leave in this mix of excuses, chatter and rush. he comes and goes, lwj just allows him.
wwx shows up every single day, though. he just assumes lwj is too rich to have responsabilities and decides to worry about his own later, so every morning becomes this shared bliss they never discuss the details of. wwx shows up, they paint, he leaves.
wwx finds out he's named lan zhan and that he has a brother, but not much else. he assumes he's gay from what they did to the first wall they worked on, but even that is uncertain. he shares a lot, though. he's pretty sure he mentioned his dead parents before their third morning.
this odd bubble they create to paint can't last forever.
it's bursts so easily, too. it's rain. lwj lets wwx in that morning and they're completely in denial about the weird clouds in the sky until it starts to rain on them. wwx is caught so off guard he watches as lwj walks inside to seek shelter and doesn't even move. well, fuck.
a sleep deprived, tired as hell wwx stands on lwj's yard wet and miserable. that... completely ruins the entire plan. he's getting soaked and finally moving to get his bike when lwj appears at the door again.

"why are you standing there? get inside"
lwj sounds midly annoyed even, like that's the most natural thing to do to someone who just kind of appeared on his yard one day and decided to stay... how long has it been? barely over a week?
this stranger. art genius, handsome, quiet, all too proper, annoyed stranger he has been talking at for a week (a month, if the wall outside counts) invites him inside.

wwx's self-preservation score: huh. i guess give him a point for not just standing there in the rain?
(taking a point back because it's still mostly a stranger he has been falling head over heels for while completely denying such a thing)
lwj wraps a towel around him as soon as he gets inside and it's the softest thing he has ever touched in his life. also not the point.

"i can just, uh, go. you don't have to -- i mean, the rain feels nice, i don't mind it."
he's still regretting every opening his mouth to speak and considering just yeeting himself out of there when lwj hands him dry clothes and points him to the bathroom. he doesn't even registers it until he's already wearing his clothes.

oh my god lwj's clothes.
live from wwx's mind:
he exits the bathroom with his best 😅 expression and they dance around the new found awkwardness. lwj doesn't talk much, there's nothing to paint. what now?
every second he spends there his mind is screaming at him. he should just go. he's probably bothering him, and if he isn't lwj is probably a creep, and if he's a creep why is wwx liking this so much. he should just... go. but he can't even run for it, he's wearing his clothes. f-
lwj is as nervous as wwx. every boundary they ignore has that same hesitation, fear, awkwardness, a suspension of their own kind of normal while they look for signs everything is okay. it always is, and the more they cross the quicker the pressure dissipates.
that's how wwx finds himself chatting to lwj in his studio the entire morning, losing his cue to leave. lwj is too kind. too gentle. too smooth. wwx follows him to the kitchen assuming it will be for a cup of water.
"my sister makes the BEST soup in the world you have no id-" he's saying, interrupted only by the occasional "mn" from lwj, who is now laying down all these different ingredients on the table. he does a brief pause before he goes back to talking.
wwx: yanli cooks it's great :)

you get it. it's that, all the time.
somehow, wwx survives.
that's the worst part, he thinks. he survives like it's nothing, he's comfortably numb, happy and giggling for absolutely no reason by the time he leaves lwj's house, still wearing his clothes, at - oh. would you look at that, 7pm.
when he gets into lwj's house the next day he realises spending the entire day there had been a mistake.
they shared meals, he wore his clothes, they discussed art and even began forming an actual plan for lwj's walls. easy mistake to make.
now they don't... paint? the constant back and forth on the walls has taken a toll on their bodies and taking a break shows how much, so they aren't on a rush to go back to it. the grass is still kinda wet - someone says at some point as an excuse, probably.
the grass is kinda wet, the sky is blue, the sun is shining and they're inside lwj's house. great. they talk, listen to music, sketch without putting actual effort into it.
wwx: ok. cool cool cool cool. intimacy. literally all of my weirdest fantasies. i have been getting used to it. this feels nice. oh my god why is it so natural. nevermind it's cool. it's fine. everything is fine.
also wwx: wait.
problem: wwx's money
solution: mostly him pulling all nighters occasionally and then napping on lwj's couch the entire day (he wakes up to food, that was nice), but also the ever growing amount of time he spends there, meaning lwj pays for most of his expenses by default
problem: wwx's being easily overwhelmed by their domestic heaven
solution: lots of denial and looking at lwj's art to tell himself hey. this is completely normal. just artists being pals.
problem: lwj keeps allowing him to break all these boundaries but everything goes unsaid and it's hard to tell if they are reeeeeeeaaaaaaaaallyyyyyy on the same page
solution: not talking? about feelings? pffftttt since when this is a problem? up top *tries to high five you*
problem: since they don't know how to explain it even to themselves, talking about it with other people is... something they just don't do
solution (kind of): about to walk into lwj's house
they have spent weeks alternating between painting and ignoring the entire world together when they have to cross another bridge.
the sun is particularly cruel while they paint that morning, so they take (separate, respectful) showers and wwx is wearing lwj's clothes again.

he comes out of the bathroom brushing his hair with his fingers and talking about lunch.

"oh. hi. you must be..."
"my brother" lwj explains.
"lan xichen. nice to meet you, wei ying."

wait. wait. wait. hold on. hang on. jus a sec. wait. oh. okay. wait. no.

his brother knows?
jiang cheng certainly doesn't.
was i -- uhm. did he tell him i'm... ah. his painter? no. a painter? better. yes. that.
they go over the "nice to meet you too" thing, lxc holds this small smile on his lips the entire time.

"i am his..." wwx starts, regrets it immediately.

he tries to wave it off, but lwj remains quiet and lxc is staring at them like: oh? yes. do tell. details please :) :) :)
"i have been painting the walls" wwx corrects himself. does that explain him fresh out of lwj's shower, wearing his clothes? no. one step at a time.

lxc's face: :) uhum. aaaaaaaand?
lwj: currently pretending he's not even present.
"funny story actually," wwx continues "we are friends" :D

lwj: trying to stop lxc
lxc: :))))))))))))))))))) why don't we discuss stuff
wwx: i have about 58 other funny stories to entretain you with how about i start now
lxc makes sure he mentions lwj has talked a lot about wwx before he leaves. he compliments the art they left on lwj's wall and briefly points out how surprised he is lwj changed his mind about the previous all white theme.
(he slips "oh, that's the shirt i bought lwj" in as well, all but winking at wwx, but he's quickly guided out of the house after that)
the problem isn't really what lxc knows, but the silence that takes over as soon as he leaves. once someone saw them interacting it quickly becomes obvious what they would or wouldn't do in front of someone else.
the previous "oh there sure is a line in there somewhere" situation becomes a "oh it sure is a big bold red line we have been crossing all along, isn't it" situation
main difference being they have to stop pretending they have been accidently stumbling into this situation and actually start acknowledging stepping closer means they /want/ to step closer.

among other things.
it's very casual.
the way their hands meet when they hand each other anything.
the moments where wwx's lack of formal education kicks in and he's struggling with some technical aspect, so lwj steps closer and teaches him with patience.
the frequent occasions in the studio where lwj is staring at a canvas, looking for a concept, and wwx rests his head on lwj's shoulder, giving him 50 different ideas per second.
the space wwx takes - taking a shower there and not in his own house, napping on the couch when he's too tired, letting himself in without knocking, deciding what goes on the wall just as much as lwj does.
the more lwj allows - cooking all their meals, scheduling his meetings for the moments wwx is tired so he doesn't feel bad to coming over and sleeping, buying clothes suspiciously by wwx's style for him to "borrow" (neither of them believes lwj would need or want them back)
the painful tension between them, even. the almost kisses, almost somethings that they share and don't cross to because...
well. lwj is known for his restraint, wwx is trying to respect that, even in his very backwards-trespassing-crossing-multiple-other-boundaries way.
funny enough, the walls they put up to protect themselves are as effective at separating them as the ones in lwj's house.
they will argue in the future. wwx will say he was distracted in his own ramble while lwj clearly had other plans. lwj will say he was too focused on wwx's ideas to notice his mischievous actions.

either way, it's in the shared vulnerability lwj's studio creates that they kiss.
every second of their silent tension shatters in the kiss, the feelings that have been simmering suddenly taking over. they want more. now.

lwj leans in and they hear a lot of paint hitting the floor. it doesn't stop them, wwx laughs against his lips and brings him closer.
their urgency is obvious in their kisses, their hands exploring each other's bodies, their clothes quickly taken off. they don't discuss it because they need to feel, they don't leave the studio because they need it immediately.
the further they move is for wwx to sit on a table, wrapping his legs around lwj's waist. they don't stop. they seek and find release until they're both panting, lwj pressing small kisses against wwx's face.
they stay there for a long moment. catching their breaths, kissing at a slower pace, trying to adjust to yet another step in their intimacy.
(lwj cleans them up with his very expensive shirt, which wwx is about to protest to when he sees it's been completely ruined by paint the moment it fell to the floor. he then laughs even more as lwj presses hides his own smile by kissing his neck)
"we made a mess"
"we should clean it up. maybe. probably."
"or," lwj argues, "i could make us lunch, and then we could ruin my room too"

what else can he say when such a good point was made
a proper meal later they come again on lwj's bed, with their fingers entwined. they shower, try to paint and end up kissing more, and wwx decides his legs are no good to bike home that day.
if the idea of taking the couch crossed his mind, it got lost on him the moment he found himself cuddling lwj.

they fall asleep together for the first time.
the morning after:
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