thinks about witchji getting gravely injured. he's in the forest, spitting black blood by a pond, legs soaked in the freezing water as the nightly mist falls. he leans back to breathe once the cough subsides and everything's fine until he suddenly feels someone else's odd magic
and then, just some distance away between the trees in front of him on the other side of the pond, through the thick mist he can faintly make out the shape of an animal. a big, monstrous brown fox.. just staring at him with its red, gleaming eyes
and he realizes that everything--the chill air, the mist, the eerie silence all around him and the absolute stillness to all movement of the forest--all signs of the brown fox. he must have been a fool to not realize it sooner. or maybe it is the injury that got him.
the deep cut on his leg (and the very probable fracture) doesn't sting anymore. the water is just too cold. his heart seems to slow down a little, although everything he's experiencing should make him fear. it's peculiar, the aura of this fox. witchji does not know what it wants.
he has heard of the tales. in fact he knows them very well, but only through the eyes of a human. witchji's cottage is at the spot where the forest and the plains meet, just a small distance away from the village where they used to worship the brown fox.
they no longer worship the fox. in fact, they fear it. they have given it the role of an insatiable beast, a hunter of the night who feeds on innocent children and whatnot, because as the story goes, there was once a desperate family whose children were sick.
the man brought those children into the woods and prayed to the fox, prayed that their protector would heal his children.

the children never returned from that journey. only the man did, and well, that was the start--the first seeds of mistrust sown.
lwj has never seen the fox before. he has felt a presence, sometimes, when he's out walking alone, and during nights when there's only a magical-dust induced purple ember left in his fireplace. moments when everything goes cold and silent, just like tonight.
in the morning there would usually be fresh paw marks in his little garden and nothing else, and then months would pass without any sign of it.

lwj does not know what it wants.
but now, although a witch, lwj has a clear disadvantage. healing magic can only do so much. it's not as magnificent as people think, and lwj is certainly not from a healing family. he is all self taught regarding that.

the fox huffs out a breath and disappears behind a tree.
the presence never leaves. lwj knows it's coming, and it's not long until lwj can feel the thin trails of cold, dark magic swarming behind him.

there's a sniff at his neck which gives him the strongest shivers in his life. lwj fights the urge to recoil with his whole body.
the nose, just as cold as the water his feet are submerged in, touches his neck a few times. it tickles. lwj has a fleeting thought about the fox biting his head off, but something in this whole exchange--can it be called an exchange?--tells him that it might just be curious.
so, lwj lets it happen. let the fox smell him, recognize the magic in him and decide. it really is a big one, probably taller than him when he's sitting down. he calms his mind and breathes out steadily, inaudibly. the fox retreats a little before appearing on his side.
lwj stares at the pond. he does not dare turn his head. during this, he can still see on the side of his vision how the fox just sits down next to him and points its snout to the direction of lwj's feet.

"what caused this?" asks a strange voice.
it's like an echo of five different voices at once: all of them low and melodic. the fox does not open its mouth, but lwj still hears it clear as day. it must be magic, although he has never heard of such spell.

it would be disrespectful to not reply though.
lwj wets his lips. "a restless spirit," he says. "a body buried in the woods, trapped in a very specific type of mycelium."

"ah," the same voice--the fox--replies. "that."

lwj doesn't know where he gets the courage to turn his head towards the fox. "you know of this already."
it's a statement which the fox ignores. "and that is why you got injured," it says.

lwj nods. it's not a surprise that the fox would know of it. "yes. it had control over the ground underneath me."

there's laughter. the fox grins, and, "so you were beaten by a rogue mushroom."
the comment would have hurt lwj's pride, but given the situation, he'd take that any day over being clawed and ripped open. it is true after all.

"yes. did you have something to do with it?" lwj asks, daring.

the fox calms in its laughter and shakes its head, "no."
lwj cannot tell whether that is a lie or not. "alright," he just says, and now he has nothing else to add. perhaps it is good that he has made a fool out of himself in front of this fox. it seems to have gotten him on its good side, somehow.
or then the fox was never hostile in the first place and the humans in the village just completely misunderstood him back then. lwj thinks that it's a realistic possibility.

"so, why aren't you going back?" the fox asks. "are you unable to walk?"
"the cold helps with the pain," lwj explains, and, "i can walk."

..probably. he hasn't tried and now he can no longer feel his toes. the water has gone a whole lot colder thanks to the presece of the fox, but it's not like he's going to mention it. he'll just have to endure it.
the fox grins again, and this time lwj is staring right at its teeth and eyes. he notices that the eyes squint along with the smile, which kind of makes adorable expression, and that is what makes him feel extremely confused.
"well, i shall leave you to it then."

the fox stands up and does a stretch--a stretch!!--with the front legs going first and then the back legs, and afterwards it shakes its fur a little. small dust particles come off.
it walks into the water, dipping its paws into it like the cold doesn't affect them at all. it then steps on the surface itself and turns to lwj, "you're good to go. don't warm them up too quickly once you go back."

before lwj can answer, the fox has already disappeared.
and that's just it, isn't it. his legs. they're healed. the wound is gone, the fracture lwj didn't even have time to self-diagnose properly is gone. everything is extremely numb, but also painless, and although he's wobbly, he can still walk.

so, yes. that totally just happened.

• • •

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More from @nsfweiying

14 Nov
and now i'm in a mood for (naked) foxxian with his bushy brown tail, appearing at lwj's cottage door and inviting himself inside so that he can eat his food and make a mess of his place and flirt with him, and when lwj would ask why, wwx would just grin at him
wwx with his ears pointed forwards, getting up close and personal to lwj, smiling at him, moving his big tail around and then brushing it against lwj's wrist.. wwx lounging around in front of his fireplace where it's warm, falling asleep and lwj not knowing what to do...
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14 Nov
lwj asking wwx to undress one evening and lay on his belly on the bed. lwj doesn't tell him what he's about to do, but gets all the needed items ready.. as wwx waits, he excitedly waits on the bed bc the anticipation is always so good with lwj!!
but that evening, no matter how much wwx tries to tease lwj, the latter just ignores him with a slight smile and takes his time until wwx gets bored enough to finally go silent.. lwj collects his brush and ink and returns to the bed, so that he can start writing on wwx's back.
he thinks that wwx will like the sensation of the paintbrush and the slow, steady way lwj does calligraphy. he is right. the ink is almost cold on wwx's skin, a canvas that's soft and alive, and then it warms, and lwj watches how it moves when wwx breathes.
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13 Nov
it's my first time i'm actually a bit sad about a rude tone in someone's comment lmao
i am sorry that this is the only thing you got from a 30k story?? not to mention that it is also you who actually misread my story bc you thought i was describing sails twice when i was describing 1. sails and 2. a flag oof
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12 Nov
crewmate wwx who has tamed impostor lwj. lwj who is hungry for meat so he just licks wwx when he's bored. and when he gets too stimulated, too excited like a cat and wants to take a playful bite out of wwx, wwx just nudges him away and says, "you don't wanna be eating me."
and lwj listens bc he likes wwx and just needs to be told around a little 😌
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12 Nov
thinks about wangxian star war-ish au but they're living on a desert planet? i just want the vibes of red dunes, a rare oasis flush with a spring and some dark greenery, a place for a cool shade and a big crystal ice cave system deep underground
and as you look into the horizon it's just endless sand and the air vibrating above it, making it look like the desert is alive, simmering with heat that dives right into the sand but gets blocked by the earth. wwx scavenging ships that have crash landed
oh it would totally fit that bounty hunter idea i had..
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12 Nov
ahh.. the flavor.. subby wei ying playing down his own need for proper aftercare...because "it's fine, it's fine, there's nothing i can do about it, people are just like that sometimes...."
the even better flavor of roommate domji noticing this (obviously) and trying to put up with it as long as he can,, until he can't and he kinda snaps about it? bc everything that is wei ying just sometimes overwhelms him, and now he's angry at the people who treat wwx so awfully
they're both a little insane when it comes to one another so lwj just. gets mad (but not at wei ying) (but also a little bit, because why does he keep meeting those people then?) and ofc wwx feels it with every fibre of his being and he just...:(((((
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