I'll Love You Quietly @wangxianforever77
A Helping Hand

If Lan Wangji wasn't holding his book in a firm enough grip, he probably would have dropped it at that moment.

Whenever he had asked someone - who could hear, that is - to slowly repeat something in the past, that was what they usually did. As he did not interact with many people outside of his family who could, however, he never met one that could repeat their statement or question in sign language.

Until now.

Then again, was it possible that classmate (who he secretly thought was quite beautiful since he had first bumped into him) had a hearing impairment too? Or had he been taught sign language?

There was only one way to find out.

Lan Wangji placed his book on the table before answering his classmate's question.

Yes, I do prefer it, but I have learned to read lips well enough to understand what people are saying. You speak sign language very well. How do you know it?

His classmate grinned a second time. My grandmother. Well, she is actually my adoptive grandmother. She taught me because she is also deaf. She had lost her hearing long before I was born because of an inner ear disease. But she can read lips too.

Lan Wangji pursed his own lips. I am sorry that happened to her. So, I am correct that when I ask that you can hear?

Yes. What about you? Were you born deaf, or...?

He nodded. I was.

Oh. I see. You do speak very clear for someone who was, by the way. I do not know too many people that do that cannot hear. No offense intended.

Lan Wangji's eyebrows rose a little in surprise, but he inclined his head again. None taken. My brother, uncle, and teachers had taught me how, and how to pronounce words and names too.

They taught you well.

Thank you. Now, what were you saying to me a few minutes ago?

His classmate smiled again. Gods, he was so cute when he did. The first time he saw it, on the day he was playing football with his friend, it made his heart thump and stomach swoop...

I was introducing myself, then asking if you like to sit with me, my brother, and my friends to talk about Mr. Xiao's assignment. Either that, or we can study our English or Education 101 work together. But you do not have to if you prefer to be left alone. I noticed that you seem to like to be by yourself.

Lan Wangji thought this over for a moment before responding.

Not today, but perhaps another time. Thank you for the offer.

Okay, no problem. I will go now. It was nice to speak to you.

Wait. Before you do, what is your name? You were talking so fast that I did not catch it.

Wei Wuxian, but you can call me Wei Ying, if you want. Either is fine.

Lan Wangji was quiet at first, then said in a gentle voice that made him shiver (but not in a bad way), "Wei Ying. Nice to meet you."

"Nice to meet you too, Lan Wangji."

"Please...call me Lan Zhan."

Wei Ying nodded before he waved and left. Lan Zhan watched as he made his way over to a table, then picked up his book again.

Jiang Cheng frowned at Wei Ying as he placed his shoulder bag on an empty chair. "What did you go and annoy him for? Couldn't you see that he was reading?" he demanded.

He didn't mention anything about him using sign language to speak to Lan Zhan; he clearly hadn't been watching the entirety of their interaction.

"All I did was introduce myself and ask if he would like to sit with us. As you can see, he said no. He wasn't annoyed," Wei Ying responded airily.

"I'm surprised he wasn't, knowing you. You better not start actually bothering him."

Wei Ying stuck his tongue out at him. "Shut up. I'll be right back. I need to get something to eat. I'm starving!"

Neither of them mentioned Lan Zhan after that. They were too preoccupied with other things. In addition to that, Wei Ying didn't see him for the rest of the day because he - of course - wasn't in his Trigonometry class, which proceeded lunch.

He saw Lan Zhan in Education class the next afternoon, however. He wasn't able to talk to him, but he greeted him a nod before their lecture began. To his delighted surprise, Lan Zhan noticed for once and even inclined his head in return.

That was they only way they could communicate in the week that followed. Along with Mr. Xiao's assignment, he was preoccupied with other studies. It was easy to assume that Lan Zhan was busy too, for he rarely saw him outside of class and lunch. Wei Ying left him alone, figuring that he might want to be left alone during this time.

"What are you looking at, A-Xian?" Jiang Yanli asked him softly during lunch that Friday.

Wei Ying had been watching Lan Zhan, but startled at her question. "Hmm? Oh...nothing," he mumbled, returning his attention to his food.

Nie Huaisang smirked. "It's not a what, it's who he's looking at. Want to tell her about your soon-to-be boyfriend?" he inquired in a teasing voice.

Wei Ying glared at him as his face reddened. How could he betray him like this? "Shut up. He's not my soon-to-be boyfriend."

Not that he was averse to the idea of it, of course. Lan Zhan was so good-looking and kind (from what little he knew of him so far) that he would be appalled if anyone wouldn't want him as a boyfriend, man or woman.

"Oh? And who is this young man?" Jiang Yanli queried in curiosity.

"He's a freshman like us. Wei Wuxian bumped into him on our first day of English class, and he's been interested in him ever since. He asked him if he wanted to sit with us last week, but he said that he told him no," he explained.

"That was nice of you to invite him, A-Xian. What's his name?"

"...Lan Wangji. But he asked me to call him Lan Zhan," Wei Ying replied, blurting out the last part before he could stop himself.

Nie Huaisang and Wen Ning oooh-ed and snickered. Wen Qing - who was also sitting with them, but gave no comment to what was said - rose an eyebrow in amusement. Jiang Cheng shook his head and rolled his eyes.

"Mmm. I see," Jiang Yanli remarked, her lips twitching.

"Did you ask him to call you Wei Ying, too?" Nie Huaisang asked innocently.

"Shut up," Wei Ying repeated.

This time, Jiang Yanli and Wen Qing laughed along with him and Wen Ning. Even Jiang Cheng had to smirk.

Wei Ying scowled. "I hate all of you. Except for you, Jiejie."

Everyone chuckled again, then let him be.

xXXXXXXx

Wei Ying arrived on campus the following Monday feeling well rested. All of his assignments had been finished by Saturday evening, and he was able to get two nights of adequate sleep.

He woke up early enough to have breakfast at home, so he was able to join Jiang Cheng and his friends as they walked to English class.

Mr. Xiao was speaking to another teacher at the door, so Wei Ying just put his essay on his desk along with the others. When he turned to find a place to sit, he noticed that less than half of the students were there, including Lan Zhan, who was in the second row. The rest were still on their way or late.

Seeing that the desk on Lan Zhan's left was empty, he quickly sat down next to him. Nie Huaisang and Wen Ning snorted at this while Jiang Cheng hissed something, but he ignored them.

Lan Zhan turned to him and nodded.

Wei Ying smiled as he did the same. "Hi," he greeted.

"Hello, Wei Ying. How are you?" he asked.

Damn, his voice nearly made him shiver again...

"I'm all right. How are you?"

"I am well. How was your weekend?"

"It was okay. I was able to complete my work."

Lan Zhan bobbed his head a second time. "Good."

"How was yours? Did you finish yours?"

"Yes, and my weekend was fine."

Just then, Mr. Xiao backed into the room. "Thank you, Professor Song. I will talk you about that later," he stated before addressing the class. "Good morning, everybody. If you haven't placed your essays on my desk, please do so now."

He waited until they were all handed in by those present and the rest of the students who came in. After that, he began the lecture.

It was a fairly interesting one. Mr. Xiao discussed the novel that they were reading for the first half of it, going over the important plot points and occurrences. Then he moved onto grammar and punctuation.

He faced everyone for the most part, but when he turned to write several sentences on the board, Lan Zhan frowned in confusion and irritation.

Wei Ying noticed this right away. (In fact, he had spent part of the class looking at him out of the corner of his eye.) He reached out to touch his arm, which quickly caught Lan Zhan's attention.

He smiled and pointed to Mr. Xiao. He said that he wants us to tell him what the errors in the sentences are, and where the commas need to be.

Two students who were sitting nearby gasped as comprehension dawned in their expressions. Jiang Cheng gaped at Wei Ying in astonishment from across the room, as did their friends and a few of their other classmates who saw this exchange.

Understanding also filled Lan Zhan's expression. He nodded while copying what Mr. Xiao wrote, not wanting to disturb anyone by saying it out loud.

You are welcome.

It went like this for the remainder of their lecture. Thankfully, Mr. Xiao spent most of the time facing forward, but Wei Ying repeated what he said in sign language when he wasn't.

At 10:15, class was over. He got up to stretch his arms before putting his books in this shoulder bag.

"Wei Ying."

He paused what he was doing as he turned to Lan Zhan.

The corners of his mouth rose slightly. "Thank you. I would have been lost if you had not told me what he was saying."

He smiled back. "No problem. Glad to help."

Lan Zhan nodded before leaving the room. Wei Ying did not know that two students who had been sitting close to them looked much happier as they walked out a moment later.

Wen Ning placed a hand on his shoulder when they were in the hall. "A-Cheng told us what you were saying to Lan Wangji earlier. That was a nice thing to do for him, Wei Ying. I would never have guessed that he couldn't hear," he remarked quietly.

Jiang Cheng and Jiang Yanli, of course, could speak and understand sign language too.

"I meant to tell you guys that he couldn't on Friday, but I suppose it slipped my mind," Wei Ying said.

"Mmm. I hope that you two become good friends in the future, though. From what I can tell, he really does seem nice."

And with that, he headed to Precalculus as Wei Ying stared after him, his mouth open in puzzlement. Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang, who understood what Wen Ning's hidden implication even though he didn't, looked shocked.


Author's note: I hope you enjoyed the chapter! And yes, Professor Song is Song Lan, in case you were wondering. Wei Ying and Lan Zhan will learn more about each other in chapter 3, so please stay tuned! Oh, and the rest of the story's summary has been added to the beginning of the first chapter.

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