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Sole Devotion

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Ever since the end of Sunshot Campaign, Qishan had undergone various facelifting. Some places were conserved, some demolished; many dispersed amongst sects. But Qishan still remained as Qishan; normal people who had nothing to do with the cultivation world continued to stay there, having anchored their roots deep in the land. Despite the monolithic changes that had occurred in the cultivation world, conventional residents lived their life as usual once everything was settled down. Yet, even so, it was undeniable that the aftermath of the Wen Sect’s annihilation had left behind unpleasant upshots that had undoubtedly caused some sorts of distress amongst the residents. One of it was the appearance of a white-robed lady, who would seduce and lure young men who specifically dressed in all-white, then kill them for the past 15 years ever since the Sunshot Campaign came to an end. As no one ever knew who this lady was, rumours spread saying that the lady was one of the dead souls during the Sunshot Campaign, unwilling to leave the land, and continue hunting for young men just to keep her company.

Why only men in all-white, though, was a mystery of its own. Because no one ever lived to tell the answer to this enigma.

 


 

The end of winter came washing in like a tide, greeting spring to take over, shunning the chill to the deepest corner of one’s memory. A man dressed in a white robe, a straw hat on his head and a stick in his hand hiked along the mountain path, carrying a basket on his back as he plucked around the route for new grasses to be used as medicines. By now, the white blanket of snow had melted away, the evergreens and spruces scented the air with new growth as birds chirped on branches. The young man picked up what looked like a long branch of thorny leaves, and was about to hurl it into the basket on his back when he noticed a shade of white standing right in front of him.

“Young lady, what are you doing on a mountain path like this? Are you lost?” he asked upon noticing the uninvited guest.

The person, a young lady who was also dressed in a white, thin piece of long robe, simply stood and smiled at him. Sh was not beautiful in a classical way, her eyes serene and sullen as long, silky hair fell along her back. She took some time to scrutinize the man. And when she spoke, her voice was one of soft and quiet, as if she was whispering.

“Young traveller, you don’t live here?”

The man grinned broadly. “I’m just passing by.”

He pushed his straw hat upward, enough to look the lady in the face. He was slightly taken aback by the ashy look of her features as he let loose a hushed gasp, but he quickly looked away, coughing discreetly, noticing how rude he’d behaved.

“I...  I heard there are some useful leaves here on this mountain so I thought… oh, right! I’m a doctor. Sorry for rambling, I’m just...”

Looking as if he was too awkward to continue the conversation, the man scratched the back of his head and smiled inelegantly. The young woman merely returned his beam, every one of her gesture so flaccid as if her entire being was made of feathers; like light, blink and it was gone.

“Leaves…” she mumbled. Then, catching the man off guard, she stretched a hand towards him and stroke him finely on his face, all the while wearing the same weak smile, eyes soulless. Her skin was so cold that it gave the man small shivers right from the moment she made contact with him.

“I know where to find them,” she said. “I can bring you there.”

Her voice was so pacifying it was as if it was dissolving into the melting snow around them. While the young man hesitated, eyes still kept on every one of her motion, she took his hand, guiding him deeper into the mountain, what was left behind was a washy shadow of white, blurring out of the colourless scenery on the mountain, where two persons, one alive, one dead, once stood.

 


 

“Hmm…”

Wei Wuxian had been ogling at Lan Wangji ever since they found themselves sitting in a restaurant, in a town in Qishan. This man, oh-so-beautiful, oh-so-pristine, wearing a white robe with absolutely no speck of smutch, looking wondrously like the most flawless man ever existing. Coupled with his fair, silken skin tone, one would even catch sight of a faint gleam of light radiating off the man.

At least in Wei Wuxian’s eyes.

He was also, without doubt, Wei Wuxian’s. So how could Wei Wuxian bring himself to stop staring? If he already can’t stop staring when he first met him, what’s more now when the ever so exquisite Lan-ergongzi, the ever so splendid Hanguang-Jun, and the ever so enchanting Lan Wangji, was his Lan Zhan?

Lan Wangji continued drinking his tea, not giving Wei Wuxian any attention, simply allowing Wei Wuxian to watch him while tilting his head from one side to the other until when he felt a weight landing with a thud on his lap.

“Leg,” he said, the edge of the cup pressing frivolously against his lips.

“Hmmm?”

“Leg,” he repeated.

“What’s wrong with my leg?”

“Put properly,” Lan Wangji answered.

“Am I not putting it properly? Okay then, I shift a place,” Wei Wuxian said with a smirk as he budged his leg to position it in between Lan Wangji’s thighs.

Lan Wangji hitched a low-pitched growl. The hand holding his cup stumbled on the table.

“Wei Ying,” he threatened.

“What is it? You don’t like it again?” Wei Wuxian teased as he shook his head with a small ‘tst, tst’. “I say, Lan Zhan, why is it so hard for me to serve you? You don’t like this, you don’t like that. Then what exactly do you like?”

The corners of Lan Wangji’s eyes winced ever so slightly before he gave Wei Wuxian a sideways, toplofty stare. Right before he could say anything, Wei Wuxian raised a hand, interrupting him.

“Hold on right there,” Wei Wuxian said, tipping his head slenderly to one side, supporting it with one hand as his eyes narrowed. “You’re not going to say ‘you’, are you?”

Lan Wangji’s eyes widened a tad, a cushy shade of pink started smearing his earlobe, drawing a chuckle out of Wei Wuxian. Seeing that, Lan Wangji raised his cup to his lips again.

“There’s no tea in the cup,” Wei Wuxian said, sounding as breezy as ever.

Without saying anything, Lan Wangji put the cup down, seized the teapot over, and poured tea into the cup before he brought it to his mouth again.

Wei Wuxian sighed. “Do you have any idea how much you’ve been flirting with me already? Why do you still get embarrassed now? It’s too bad, Lan Zhan, even if it’s risking my waist, I’ve got to say this again ー we’re really made for each other. All my shame has gone to you. What should I do now? How do I train you to become more thick-faced? Flirt with you more? Or… let you flirt more with me?”

No longer able to handle Wei Wuxian’s words, Lan Wangji strained his hand under the table and nabbed a handful of Wei Wuxian’s calves.

“W-Wait, wait, wait, why are you grabbing me so hard? Are you getting frustrated out of intense embarrassment? Let go!”

“You asked for this yourself,” Lan Wangji growled under his breath, his eyes seemed to be rearing some sort of hidden fire beneath his deceptively placid orbs.

“You’re right, you’re right, I asked for this myself. Just say it if you’re embarrassed. Or is that it? Are you embarrassed too to even say that? O-Okay, okay, okay! I’m not saying anything anymore, I shut up. Let me go,” Wei Wuxian whined.

Lan Wangji released him with a truncated hmph then. Acting like nothing had happened, he went back to drinking, leaving Wei Wuxian to groan and massage on the spot where Lan Wangji had seized him. Giving Lan Wangji a pout, Wei Wuxian stood from his bench and slung his legs by both of Lan Wangji’s sides. Sitting right on Lan Wangji’s laps, he encircled his arms around Lan Wangji’s neck, trapping him in his embrace, refusing to let him leave.

“Youー!” Lan Wangji hitched.

“Me, what me? You want to be embarrassed? I’ll embarrass you as much as you want! Get embarrassed a few more times and you’ll be able to get better in dealing with me,” Wei Wuxian rebutted, squirming on Lan Wangji’s legs, holding him harder, almost toppling off him if Lan Wangji hadn’t clutched him on the waist in time.

Of course, no matter how shameless Wei Wuxian could be, he wasn’t one to be this vile under public’s eyes. They’d have a room for themselves since when they came into the restaurant, sitting on the table near the window. If Wei Wuxian dared to do this in the midst of a crowd, it’d definitely be daunting Lan Wangji’s distress to the extreme and it’d only be Wei Wuxian who’d be suffering the consequences at night. Despite how much he loved to play a fool with Lan Wangji, he still loved Lan Wangji more. And naturally, he still knew how to yank the rope before they rolled off the cliff.

Lan Wangji’s expression became all the more appalling with every passing second Wei Wuxian was sitting on his laps. Coughing away a burst of laughter, Wei Wuxian stuck out his chest and said,

“What is it? I’m already sitting on you, don’t tell me you want to chase me away now? I don’t sit on whoever’s laps I want, and I won’t let whoever hold me like this. You either let me sit orー mph.”

A pair of lips were forced against his own before he could finish speaking, pulling a tiny chuckle out of his mouth while he returned the kiss. Nope, he was definitely not waiting for this. Not at all.

When they pulled themselves off the kiss, he cupped Lan Wangji’s face and rubbed the tips of their noses together.

“Lan Zhan, do you know? I love seeing how embarrassed you can get sometimes.”

“Don’t speak anymore,” Lan Wangji said, voice deep and low.

“...makes me feel like I’ve totally conquered the very impeccable Lan-ergongzi. How huge of aー ah, ah, ahhh! Okay, okay, I don’t speak anymore. We talk about something else, can we?”

It was only then that Lan Wangji released his grasp on Wei Wuxian’s waist, who bounced down from his laps and wriggled back towards his own seat.

“Is bullying me the only way you know how to communicate with me? Not only do you hurt me at night, you even do it under bright daylight!” Wei Wuxian complained.

“I… didn’t!” Lan Wangji bellowed under his breath, his mere desperation had Wei Wuxian’s heart salving down. Stroking Lan Wangji tenderly on the cheek, he sassed.

“Okay, okay, you didn’t. I’m the one who bullied you, I asked for this myself, is that okay?”

“...”

“Come, don’t give me that face. Let’s talk about something else. That garden you mentioned, it’s still here?”

The way Wei Wuxian switched the topic was done in such an assertive way Lan Wangji could barely manage. He took another sip on his cup and spoke only when he was perfectly calmed again.

“En, it’s not far from here.”

“How do you know about it?” Wei Wuxian asked, throwing a peanut into his mouth.

“...I came before.”

“Before is how long ago? How come I never know about this?” Wei Wuxian continued.

“...” Lan Wangji took a while to answer, and even when he did, it wasn’t an answer that was at all distinct.

“...Very long ago.”

“Hmm…” Wei Wuxian gave him a suspicious stare.

Once the hint of spring fell upon the land, both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji had travelled out of the Cloud Recesses again, leaving just for a short while to take in some fresh air. The starting of the year had always been busy for the Lan Clan, so it took a while before they could finally leave. Wei Wuxian had mentioned about wanting to check out freshly bloomed flowers in the midst of winter, already missing the warmth. And it was then that Lan Wangji brought up this garden in Qishan to which he knew of. Of course, Wei Wuxian was never one to be reluctant towards anything Lan Wangji was to suggest, especially when he knew that Lan Wangji wasn’t one who would always do so. Since small, he’d always kept what he wanted in his heart, never spoke it out loud. It was only with Wei Wuxian that he started to open himself up better, learning how to better communicate his thoughts when Wei Wuxian asked. That was why it made all the suggestions he brought up to be all the more precious. Besides, there was no reason for Wei Wuxian to say no anyway.

So here they were, in Qishan, heading towards the garden Lan Wangji wanted to bring him, just so he could check out this place that had left such encroachment in Lan Wangji’s mind for himself.

“Okay then, let’s see what’s so riveting about this garden to have entranced our Hanguang-Jun so much,” Wei Wuxian decided he no longer wanted to dwell on the matter, succumbing to the preparation of being surprised instead.

They left the restaurant shortly, strolling along the streets and heading towards the direction out of town.

“Hanguang-Jun, did you notice?” Wei Wuxian bent down from where he was sitting on Xiao Ping Guo, whispering into Lan Wangji’s ear. They were already away from the crowd by now, out of town, ambling in green sceneries.

“En.”

“I’m used to seeing people gaping at you. It’s normal, you’re so beautiful, who wouldn’t stare? But those weren’t… staring.”

“En.”

“Did you do anything here before that had infuriated the people here?” Wei Wuxian asked.

Lan Wangji ruminated for a short moment before he spoke.

“Not that I know of.”

“I thought so. It’s pretty impossible for you to anger someone else,” Wei Wuxian chortled. “It’s really weird then.”

He took a speedy scan on Lan Wangji.

“You’re not wearing anything strange either.”

He then looked at himself, gaping.

“Is it me then? Are they finding it uncanny for someone like me to follow someone like you? Are they feeling bad for you?”

Lan Wangji sighed. “It’s not you.”

“How can you be so sure? Hmm… Do I look very unpleasant?”

“No,” Lan Wangji answered almost immediately. Wei Wuxian laughed at that response.

“I’m wondering about how they feel, I’m not really asking you, hahaha!”

Lan Wangji had chosen to remain silence, all the while waiting for Wei Wuxian to finish laughing. Once he was done, he spoke again.

“One more thing.”

“En, I noticed that too,” Wei Wuxian nodded as he crossed his legs on Xiao Ping Guo’s back. “It’s been following us for some time now.”

“Since we walked into the town,” Lan Wangji followed.

“It was in the room too when we ate,” Wei Wuxian said.

“What do you think?” Lan Wangji asked.

“I don’t trace any malice intention from it so I say just let it be first. It’s not too late if we want to confront it later,” Wei Wuxian suggested.

Lan Wangji nodded in agreement. Without another word, he led the donkey and the man on its back further down the road, searching for the garden through his memory.

 

 

Based on what Lan Wangji had described to him, the garden was an aged perseverance by the Wens, housing 59 types of flowers which bloom together at the start of spring. Due to its natural potential, the garden survived the eradication and was left in the care of the locals. Lan Wangji discovered it at the same time during Sunshot Campaign and had gotten the chance to witness the bloom. That was all Wei Wuxian knew about the garden.

They didn’t need to walk too far to reach the place; just a few minutes later and they found themselves standing in front of a piece of vibrant-coloured field, like a wave made up of various colours all at once. Flowers scattered the grass like frozen flames, bringing their cool blaze to the late spring morning. Wei Wuxian hopped down from Xiao Ping Guo and walked right into the centre of the garden with Lan Wangji by his side.

“Hanguang-Jun is too good; I only said I wanted to see blooming flowers, yet you brought me to this place where a sea of flowers bloom,” Wei Wuxian complimented.

“Do you like it?” Lan Wangji asked.

“Of course. I like it, I like it so much,” Wei Wuxian grinned.

The flowers that had been a tight bud just days ago had begun to open, already smeared with a deeper blush of red. Wei Wuxian stretched out his fingers to touch the petals of one of the roses. They were cooler than he’d expected, smoother too. Lan Wangji merely stood by his side, watched as he went from one type of flower to the other, from roses to jasmines to daisies to lilies, and finally, Wei Wuxian came to stand in front of a flower that he was familiar with himself.

“The ones at your home look nicer,” Wei Wuxian smiled as he pointed at the gentian.

“En,” Lan Wangji agreed.

All of a sudden, they heard footsteps from behind them, urging them to turn around. A person that looked like a middle-aged man, wearing of plain clothing that was once worn by the locals, came hurrying towards them.

“Good day,” Wei Wuxian greeted.

Lan Wangji too nodded in response.

“Young Masters, you’re not from around here, aren’t you?” the man came standing in front of them, hands holding onto his knees, catching his breath.

“You’re right. We’re not from here. Only passing by,” Wei Wuxian confirmed.

“I thought so!” the man straightened his back, wiping sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand. Then, he shifted his gaze to Lan Wangji. “I knew it from by the look of this young master.”

Wei Wuxian’s eyes widened. He joined the man to look at Lan Wangji, hand supporting his chin, before he spoke.

“Does this young master dress erroneously…?” he speculated, eyeing Lan Wangji from head to toe. Was it some kind of Qishan taboo that he never knew of? It can’t be, could it? No matter what it was, the way Lan Wangji dressed was nothing but utter elegance. There was just no way this kind of grandeur can be defined as being unfitting.

“No, not at all,” the man waved his hand. “This young master is dressed very gracefully. Just that… this is not the right place for it.”

Wei Wuxian perked a curious eyebrow. “The people here don’t like it?”

“Not people,” the man’s voice had dropped to a whisper, as if he was afraid that someone was eavesdropping. “It’s a ghost.”

Wei Wuxian opened his mouth wide, acting like he was wholly surprised. Lan Wangji shook his head at the response.

“I didn’t scare you, didn’t I?” the man started to panic.

“I’m a bit… concerned. What did this ghost do? How come they don’t like people dressing like him?”

“It’s weird, right? This ghost doesn’t seem to like young men who dress in all white. Every time when someone does, she’ll seduce him then kill him!” the man started to explain, sounding so excited as if he was telling an intriguing story.

“Hm, hm,” Wei Wuxian nodded, glancing at Lan Wangji from the corners of his eyes. “Seduce him then… kill him, huh?”

“That’s right! I heard the ghost is a very beautiful woman so no one thinks there was anything wrong from the beginning. But when they realize what was really happening, it was too late…”

“You said it was too late by the time they realize it so how did they know if the ghost is beautiful or not?” Wei Wuxian questioned.

“That’s easy! I saw it!” the man said.

“Woah,” Wei Wuxian’s jaw dropped open.

“It was one day when I was up in the mountain chopping some woods for winter that I saw the girl. First, I saw two white shadows, a man and a woman, just right there, in the forest,” the man pointed at a green mountain just a near distance away from where the garden was. “When I wanted to call out to them, they’d already gone into the woods and I can no longer find them since then.“

“But did you see the face of the ghost?” Wei Wuxian asked.

“Nope.”

Wei Wuxian chuckled. “Then how do you know she was pretty?”

“If a man willingly goes with a woman, what else can it be beside of her being pretty?” the man asked, eyes bright, looking as if he can’t believe the question Wei Wuxian had just asked.

Wei Wuxian chortled. He threw a gaze at Lan Wangji, who was looking as dismissive as ever, and nudged him on the arm.

“What to do now? You’re going to be seduced and murdered,” he joked.

All Lan Wangji did was coughing softly without answering.

“That’s why I need to warn you about this. How about you just… change into something else? No offence, it’s not that you don’t look good in white, but seriously, this is not playing matter,” the man suggested.

“Haha! Unfortunately, my… friend here looks the best in white. I’m afraid I can’t get used to seeing him in any other colour but white,” Wei Wuxian kept smirking at Lan Wangji while the other gave him a receding gaze, allusions profound in those airy orbs of his.

“You want your life or do you want to look good?” the man said in distress. “Whatever, whatever, I’ve done my job here by telling you. Believe it or not, it’s up to you.”

“Thank you, thank you. Thank you for telling. We’ll be careful,” Wei Wuxian hurriedly said.

The man left after that. Wei Wuxian spoke nothing, simply glancing at Lan Wangji from the corners of his eyes with a small grin on his face.

“If you have something to say, say it,” Lan Wangji spoke after a while, no longer able to sustain the gaze Wei Wuxian was firing at him now.

Wei Wuxian sighed. “Can you be so kind as to consider how I’m feeling now? I’m worried about you. What if you get seduced and taken away from me? This is asking me to become a widower.”

Lan Wangji’s eyebrows knitted and, without a word, he grabbed Wei Wuxian over by the waist and towed him over.

“What’s the matter, Hanguang-Jun? Don’t want me to become a widower? But you’ve done that for me for a long time, don’t you think I canーmph!”

Lan Wangji had pushed a kiss on him to stop him from speaking. When he pulled himself away, his voice was heavy when he spoke, like something was pressing from within him.

“Don’t talk nonsense,” he groaned.

Wei Wuxian only grinned. Tiptoeing up enough to kiss him on the lips, he closed his eyes.

 


 

Even when they returned to the town, sitting in a roadside stall, munching on biscuits, Lan Wangji was still wearing his all-white attire, with no intention whatsoever to change. Wei Wuxian teased him a few times, even showing him some different clothing colours before he eventually decided that nothing could make Lan Wangji look better than having him in an all-white attire. Once they were back in their room, Wei Wuxian immediately cornered him against the door and used Chenqing to tilt his chin up as he grinned prudishly at him.

“Come, I want to hear you call me your husband,” he said. “Once you call me your husband, I’ll let you do whatever you want.”

Lan Wangji simply stared at him, a face of deadpan.

“How is it? Are you calling or not?” Wei Wuxian’s smirk curved deeper, a hand already sneaking towards Lan Wangji’s waist as he rubbed suggestively on it, the same way Lan Wangji would always do to him.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji said, gaze as placid as ever.

“Nn, nn,” Wei Wuxian shook his head. “Wrong.”

Lan Wangji’s lips pressed adamantly. He was about to open his mouth, about to do exactly like what Wei Wuxian asked him to before Wei Wuxian stopped that very intention by kissing him on the lips.

“Just joking. You have yet to call me gege, how can I let you call me husband first?” Wei Wuxian chuckled. Lan Wangji’s hands came to rest on his hips. Leaning into his touch, Wei Wuxian hummed and spoke in a heated whisper,

“If that ghost really comes for you, what should I do?”

“...”

“It took such a long time for me to realize just how much I want you. And you’re telling me I’m going to lose you soon?” Wei Wuxian continued, noticing no changes on Lan Wangji’s expression.

“It won’t happen,” Lan Wangji said.

“Of course…” Wei Wuxian confirmed. Snaking his hands around Lan Wangji’s neck, he planted yet another kiss on Lan Wangji’s cheek. “I won’t let it happen. You’re mine, forever and ever.”

Lan Wangji’s throat constricted, visibly moving up and down to contain himself. Seeing that, Wei Wuxian took an easy leap and wrapped his legs around Lan Wangji’s waist while Lan Wangji instinctively came to hold him on his torso, bringing him into a full-arms embrace.

“But I have to say,” Wei Wuxian continued as Lan Wangji carried him to the bed. “We’re here at the right time, and, coincidentally or not, for the right reason.”

“En,” Lan Wangji agreed. Placing Wei Wuxian gently on the bed, he hovered over him. Wei Wuxian twirled the tail of his forehead ribbon around his fingers, grinning tastefully.

“She’s still here,” Lan Wangji whispered while Wei Wuxian ripped on his robe, ready to take his clothing off, layer by layer.

“I know. It’s precisely because she’s still here that I want to do it with you now,” Wei Wuxian supported with a naughty smirk.

That seemed to have spurred an unknown fire out of Lan Wangji as he started taking Wei Wuxian’s clothing off with aggressive strength, peeling him clean and leaving him thoroughly naked, all the while with Wei Wuxian helping him out of his own clothing too.

“What kind of position do you want today?” Wei Wuxian asked. He was still playing around with Lan Wangji’s forehead ribbon, eyes half-lidded. “Ah, wait. Since you’re so sought after now, how about you let me do whatever I want, to soothe this pitiful wounded soul of mine and remind yourself again...”

He leaned upwards, enough to mumble against his lips, their lips barely touching, merely rubbing coyly as he spoke.

“...of who you really belong to?”

Lan Wangji breathed acutely for a few moments, chest heaving up and down, thin sheen of sweat already layering his forehead before he spoke again.

“...You can do whatever you want.”

Wei Wuxian broke into a lustrous grin. Sitting up and flipping Lan Wangji around, he pulled Lan Wangji’s forehead ribbon off in the process, switching their position and came to sit on Lan Wangji’s abdomen. For the entire time, Lan Wangji remained unmoving, simply letting Wei Wuxian do whatever he wanted. Wei Wuxian twiddled with the silky material of the forehead ribbon in his hands, eyes narrowing as he glanced down at Lan Wangji, who looked totally like a sacrificial ready to be slaughtered.

“You said this yourself, Hanguang-Jun. You’re not allowed to do anything until I say so.”

“En,” Lan Wangji responded. With an airy chuckle, Wei Wuxian leaned in, took both of Lan Wangji’s hands and tied his wrists together with his forehead ribbon. Using the remaining length of the forehead ribbon, he then tied Lan Wangji’s hands against the bedhead, completely restraining his actions.

“Don’t move too much, okay? You’ll have to pay for the bed if you ruin it,” Wei Wuxian said.

“Okay,” Lan Wangji answered.

“Hahaha! What okay? Don’t move too much? Ruin the bed? No matter which, I don’t allow whichever. Understand?” Wei Wuxian ended by tickling gently on Lan Wangji’s face, the end of his words so mellow and flirtatious it was as if he was speaking to a child.

“I finally get my revenge. Hanguang-Jun, do you have any idea how many times have you tied me with this?” Wei Wuxian continued, flicking a finger against the forehead ribbon as he spoke.

“...”

“Too many to count?” Wei Wuxian asked. “Your family’s forehead ribbon is really multi-purpose, who invented it anyway? So useful.”

He wasn’t waiting for an answer, and clearly, Lan Wangji didn’t intend to give him one either. Cupping Lan Wangji’s hands and giving him yet another kiss on the lips, Wei Wuxian sank downwards. He patted twice on Lan Wangji’s thighs, having Lan Wangji to bend his knees and spread his legs, before he came to settle himself snugly in between his legs.

As Wei Wuxian bent down, he pushed a few loose strands of his hair to the back of his ear, then blew a frail air on Lan Wangji’s half-erected dick. He snickered when he saw the dick twitched a tad, the thighs on both his sides clearly spasmed. As an effort to comfort, he chafed his fingers along the ravishing muscle lines along Lan Wangji’s thighs. Just that mere action had drizzles of pre-cum spilling from the slit of Lan Wangji’s dick, seeping along the length from the tip all the way to the base. Despite the dimmed lighting, Wei Wuxian caught sight of the trail. With a smirk, he inched towards Lan Wangji’s erection and licked along the wet drops, making the length to appear wetter than it already was.

“...Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji released a throaty, perilous voice, one that sounded like a threat.

“What’s the matter, Er-gege? Wasn’t you the one who said I can do whatever I want? Great Hanguang-Jun who will never break his promise, you’re not taking back your words now, right?” Wei Wuxian said with a grin, his hand coming to touch on Lan Wangji’s dick, now gaining more weight than before.

Lan Wangji could only bite on his lower lip in response, scowl deep in between his eyebrows.

With another dinky giggle, Wei Wuxian crouched in and kissed the tip of Lan Wangji’s dick, before he took the head in with one suck.

Lan Wangji’s fingers clenched against the wooden material of the bed head, nails scraping the wood off. Wei Wuxian always had a way with his dick. Since the first time he deepthroated him, it was already more than enough to drive Lan Wangji up the wall. He knew just the right way to hold Lan Wangji’s lust on the edge, pulling it back before it could be set loose, just to build the height up all over again. Like he said, Lan Wangji was indeed the one who’d agreed to let him do whatever he wanted, there was simply no way he could retort, even more so now that he was restrained; all that he could do was staring as Wei Wuxian took in and pulled his dick out over and over again, sucking and licking with great expertise, until his dick became entirely hard.

Right before he could come, Wei Wuxian took the dick out of his mouth, stroking the length again. More pre-cum leaked from the slit, damping Wei Wuxian’s already wet hand.

“How is it, Lan-ergongzi? Did I serve you well enough?” Wei Wuxian asked.

Lan Wangji’s throat bobbed up and down, red nerves strained at the corners of his eyes. He seemed to be constraining something extremely shuddery from within him and just by doing so was exhausting most of his willpower. Seeing Lan Wangji’s reaction was enough for Wei Wuxian to tell that he was not in any condition to answer him, at least not with words. Finding the tension in him heightened, Wei Wuxian used his long fingers to knead on the sensitive balls just below Lan Wangji’s dick, tongue continued to lick underneath the head of the erection, slipping under the flap where thick scent flowed. The more he heard Lan Wangji’s low-pitched growl, the more he felt an intense urge to touch himself. Closing his eyes, Wei Wuxian reached down a hand, sloppily rubbing on his own dick, then stretching his hand to his hole behind.

As if it’d waited for long, two fingers easily dipped within the crease of his hole. Thanks to their frequent lovemaking, their bodies were at perfect synchronization, longing for each other, opening up for each other like it was the most natural thing for them to do. Wei Wuxian never knew that practising dual-cultivation meant opening a new door that was so unbelievably enticing for him. It was a whole new cultivation level that he could definitely not achieve by himself and he was thrilled by the idea to explore more. He barely needed to guide his own body; it simply knew what to do by itself. Soon, while Lan Wangji endured the urge to destroy the bed and pin Wei Wuxian down, Wei Wuxian already had four fingers inside him, the dampness from his own pre-cum, from Lan Wangji’s pre-cum, alongside the inviting heat and softness wrapping on all of Wei Wuxian’s fingers had him all raring to take in something bigger than his fingers could.

“Lan Zhan, I’m coming for you now,” Wei Wuxian chanted through panting breaths. Lan Wangji’s eyes were overlaid with a sparse coating of mist by now, his gaze so intense it was as if he was attempting to thrust into Wei Wuxian from his stare alone. Wei Wuxian’s vulgar words during sex always hit him directly and precisely down south, even more so now that he couldn’t bring himself to even touch him just to satiate that blaring ache in his nerves. It seemed that there was no need for Lan Wangji to move at all. Wei Wuxian’s mouth had left his dick with a wet slosh as he came to hover over Lan Wangji’s waist just before Lan Wangji lost control of himself.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji finally brought himself to speak, albeit his voice still sounded of thick gruffness.

“Hm?” Wei Wuxian whirred, his hole rubbing against Lan Wangji’s dick, teasing, making Lan Wangji feel as if his dick was about to sink right into Wei Wuxian any moment now.

“You…” Lan Wangji stuttered in his words. He swallowed down hard, hampering the suffocating air beneath his chest before he continued. “Are you sure you’re ready?”

“Hm?” Wei Wuxian crooned again. “...Ready…? Ah.”

Grinning, he bent towards Lan Wangji and cradled his face.

“What is it, Er-gege? Worry that you will hurt me? I said it before, didn’t I? Even if you’re to break me, I’ll be happy that you do.”

Lan Wangji shook his head. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

Wei Wuxian’s heart melted into a puddle. He planted a rash kiss on Lan Wangji’s lips, licking on the small teeth print on his lower lip where Lan Wangji had bitten on it earlier, then spoke,

“Good Lan Zhan. I’ll stop if it hurts.”

“En,” Lan Wangji nodded this time, drawing a laugh out of Wei Wuxian.

“This is rare, Lan Zhan. Normally, even if I cry asking you to stop, you’ll never stop. But now when I’m doing it myself, you agree to it so readily?”

Lan Wangji didn’t respond, he seemed to be at his limit. And so was Wei Wuxian. Straightening his position again, he aimed the hole intimately against the head of Lan Wangji’s dick, and sank right down.

“...Ah…!” Wei Wuxian’s voice shattered at the end of his note. His insides took in Lan Wangji’s erection bit by bit, the hard length rubbing against his inner wall, opening it up slowly. Electric sparks travelled all the way from below right to the top of his head. Caught off guard by the sudden rush of pleasure, Wei Wuxian lost control of his waist, slumping downwards and taking in the entire of Lan Wangji’s dick in one force.

He arched his back, strangled moans escaped his throat. He was sitting right on Lan Wangji’s body now, the parts where they were connected pressed tightly against each other, skin against skin. With trembling thighs, Wei Wuxian’s legs were left shivering weakly on both of Lan Wangji’s side, his hands supporting his body weight, placed on Lan Wangji’s chest as he kept taking in hushed breathing.

Even when he said to do it himself, when the time came for it, the thrill coursing through the nerves of his body had him losing control of his own flesh and all that he could do was moving by instinct, moving the way he found the best comfort in.

The warmth inside that was enveloping the entire of Lan Wangji’s dick had his nerves pounding. Uncouth liquid leaked from within, damping where they were connected, the wetness of it creating a messy scene on both of their bodies. When Wei Wuxian recovered enough to lift his body up, Lan Wangji could clearly see how his completely erected dick was damped in body liquid when it was pulled out from Wei Wuxian’s inside, thin sheen of body liquid glimmering faintly from his angle, appearing and disappearing whenever Wei Wuxian took his dick in and out as sticky noises echoed around the place while he was at it. Yet, Lan Wangji can’t seem to be able to look away from where they were connected. A few times, his hands would unconsciously yank vigorously on the restraints, almost breaking his limit. All that he could hear in his head now was to unlatch the rope once and for all so that he could push Wei Wuxian down and thrust him hard.

While Wei Wuxian was consumed by his own lust, half-conscious, and was wondering if he should quicken up his pace, he heard an abrupt sound of something being fractured. Before he could respond, a pair of hands had found its way to his body, his world spun as his back hit hard on the bed, his neck almost crashing against the bed if Lan Wangji hadn’t supported it before it could happen.

“Lanーahhh!”

The muscles on Wei Wuxian’s body tensed up, body liquid was wedged out from his insides when Lan Wangji pulled his dick almost entirely out, leaving only the head in it, creating a pool of wetness below their bodies.

With dazed eyes, Wei Wuxian held onto Lan Wangji’s wrists like his life was depending on it, smirking.

“Lan Zhan, you… you are a liar. What was all that you said about giving me control this time, huh…? Ah!” His words were interrupted when Lan Wangji grasped a hold of his dick, now at the verge of exploding.

“You… you hurt my feelings, and now… you don’t evenー ahhh!”

Without waiting to hear the rest of his words, Lan Wangji had thrust all the way in, hitting deadly at the soft flesh that was Wei Wuxian’s sensitive spot inside him. Just that one thrust had Wei Wuxian coming right in Lan Wangji’s hand. He came so hard that drops of the semen blotched on his chin, a massive pool of it splattering all over his chest.

He breathed profoundly, flushes deep on his chin. His eyes lost focus for a few moments before he finally brought himself to send a smirk at Lan Wangji’s direction.

“Lan Zhan, I...” he paused again, closing his eyes, getting used to the massive heat in his body.

Seeing that, Lan Wangji bent forward to kiss tear off the corner of his eyes, then kissing him tenderly on the lips.

“Does it hurt?” he asked, voice so magnetic it sent another rush of sparks along Wei Wuxian’s spine.

Wei Wuxian responded by encircling his arms around Lan Wangji’s neck, his legs lifting to wrap around Lan Wangji’s waist so that he could press him closer.

“Even if it does, I like it,” he lifted himself up just a tad with immense strength, whispering into Lan Wangji’s ear after a teasing lick on his red earlobe. “I like it when you go so rough at me like this. Can’t help but want you to break me from the inside out.”

At the end of his words, he clenched down on Lan Wangji’s dick, drawing a low growl out of Lan Wangji’s throat.

Satisfied at the response, Wei Wuxian slumped on the bed again.

“Come and take me. I’m yours entirely, from the inside out, from up toー ah! W-Wait, this isー!! Not like this! Lan Zhan! Nine times light, one time… deep! Do you know about that?! You…!!”

“No!” Lan Wangji growled. All his thrusts were aimed directly at Wei Wuxian’s sensitive spot, almost knocking the consciousness out of Wei Wuxian as he did.

The desperation Wei Wuxian sensed in Lan Wangji had him chuckling out loud. While he was being ravaged below, he cupped Lan Wangji’s face and kissed him passionately, completely ignoring the saliva dripping from the corners of his mouth. Their entire body was so wet it made them look as if they just came out from a pool. Wei Wuxian was taken in such an intense way he was dripping from inside out, from head to toe.

He let Lan Wangji leave small bite marks all over his body; from his neck, to his collarbones, to his chest. He let out a small yelp when Lan Wangji’s teeth scraped against his nipple, the tip of his tongue slipping into the slit of it, stirring Wei Wuxian in such a raging way that he let his voice loose out of control. When he left his throat defenceless, Lan Wangji took the opportunity to bite on it, almost causing Wei Wuxian to come then and there.

Wei Wuxian was totally not lying when he said that he liked Lan Wangji going all rough on him. Lan Wangji barely plastered his emotions on his face when they were out of bed. It was only when they’re in bed that he could set Lan Wangji’s desire on fire, having him to come at him all he wanted, all restraints put aside as he scorched and marked Wei Wuxian from the inside out. He loved this part of Lan Wangji too ー the completely exposed, unconcealed part of Lan Wangji that’s only his.

“Ah.. Lan… Lan Zhan, harder, over there. Yes, like that. No, no, not too hard, it hurts a bit.”

Wei Wuxian was always vocal in bed. He knew how to make himself feel good, he knew how to teach Lan Wangji to make himself feel good, and in return, he too knew how to make Lan Wangji feel good, allowing Lan Wangji to touch him and do whatever he wanted to him in the process.

He felt Lan Wangji’s dick twitched and trembled from within him, knowing that he was about to come.

Lifting another grin, he pulled Lan Wangji over by the neck, kissing sweetly on his lips, tasting sweat and saliva before his gaze swept to one corner of the room from the corners of his eyes.

His smirk curved higher.

“Hanguang-Jun, is it just me or… You enjoy coming at me when we’re being watched?” he whispered heatedly into Lan Wangji’s ear. “Do you get more aroused? Knowing that someone is watching?”

Lan Wangji’s hands tightened on his waist, his dick did a belligerent jerk in Wei Wuxian, at about the same time when he plunged against Wei Wuxian’s soft flesh again.

“...Ghh!” Wei Wuxian moaned out loud. Once he picked up his composure again, he licked on Lan Wangji’s cheek.

“Come, come, do it harder, do it so hard I can no longer scream, only can cry. You can do it until I faint, and even after that, you can continue to ravage me from the inside out. I like all of those. As long as it’s you, I’ll let you do whatever you want to me.”

Lan Wangji was never one who could handle Wei Wuxian’s vulgar words. He scowled deeper, gritting his teeth, the motions below becoming faster and harder, faster and harder.

“You…” he gnashed through his teeth. “Don’t speak anymore.”

“Can’t do that,” Wei Wuxian rejected. Licking his lips, he said. “Can’t you see, Hanguang-Jun?”

His voice dipped lower.

“I want to make someone jealous. Tell them loud and clear that you’re mine. Hahahaー mmh.”

Lan Wangji had taken his lips by then, tongue invading his mouth, dick invading his insides.

Wei Wuxian might have just gotten what he wanted after all, all from Lan Wangji.

 


 

He couldn’t remember when he passed out. Lan Wangji probably really fucked him unconscious then. Yet, every time he woke, he would find himself in tidy attire, wiped clean from the inside out, as if the mess from the previous night didn’t happen. Sometimes, he’d really like to keep himself awake to see how Lan Wangji dealt with things after that. He’d managed to, a few times, out of half of his conscious, as he felt Lan Wangji’s tamed gesture on his skin, scrubbing carefully and tediously. Every time when he felt Lan Wangji’s fingers in him again, his body would still react the natural way to his partner’s touch, the sleeping desire stirred. If he was awake, he’d probably let loose some fragile moans in the midst of cleaning up. If he was not… well, he’d probably do the same too. It was a miracle Lan Wangji was able to restrain himself after having heard all of those. As expected from the very virtuous, well-restrained Lan-ergongzi, indeed.

Wei Wuxian stretched lazily, strangled voice escaped his throat. He searched blindly by his side, finding an empty bed with no one but himself. Nothing to be surprised about, of course. Lan Wangji’s routine wake up call was so maddeningly precise, even when he was out of the Cloud Recesses.

He turned to one side, going back to sleep. Lan Wangji must have gone out to get him breakfast. He’d sleep until when he came back then. While Lan Wangji’s body alarm was from his habitual upbringing, Wei Wuxian’s was Lan Wangji after all.

As expected, the next time he woke, he was roused up by the delicious scent of cooked food, giving his tummy a knee-jerk grumble. He pretended to be asleep, listened as Lan Wangji’s footsteps approached. Lan Wangji could totally hide the sounds of his footsteps if he wanted; the only reason he didn’t was clearly to announce his presence to Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian felt him sitting on the bed, his hand stretching towards him.

“Wei—“

In a nimble somersault, Wei Wuxian overthrew the blanket upwards and covered it on Lan Wangji. Without sauntering, he grasped Lan Wangji, now bundled under the blanket, and pushed him down, causing Lan Wangji to tumble and fall onto the bed.

“I caught you red-handed now, Lan Zhan. Trying to attack me in my sleep? How dare you,” Wei Wuxian said.

“What do you want?” Lan Wangji’s voice muffled beneath the thick material of the blanket.

Wei Wuxian tapped his fingers on the blanket.

“Ask yourself what you did last night. Who was the one who said to let me do whatever I want? Look at my body, all these marks, all these bruises. How are you going to make these up for me, huh, Lan-ergongzi? What a great virtuous man you are! What do you think people will say if they know what you’ve done to a powerless man like me? Look.”

“I can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

“Look.”

“...”

With careful hands, Wei Wuxian reached out to the blanket, thinking to just pull it down, just enough for Lan Wangji’s eyes to peek from the covers. But right before he could touch the blanket, Lan Wangji had grasped him on the wrist, pulling him over with strength so tremendous Wei Wuxian immediately collapsed and fell on him.

“Lan Zhan, you—“

Then he felt the bulge underneath him rising, his world spun, and when he came back to himself, Lan Wangji was hovering above him again, the exact same scenario like what happened yesterday.

“Can’t believe that the ever so pristine Hanguang-Jun whom everyone praises out loud is such an immoral beast in bed,” Wei Wuxian griped.

“Are you unsatisfied with that?” Lan Wangji asked.

Wei Wuxian burst into a grin. He spread his legs open, making space for Lan Wangji to position himself in between his legs.

“You see the way my legs spread by themselves when you’re here, what do you think?” he ended by tipping on Lan Wangji’s chin.

“...you the immoral one!” Lan Wangji howled, causing Wei Wuxian to chortle out loud.

 

 

But Lan Wangji really seemed like he intended to compensate for what he did yesterday. The breakfast he brought in for Wei Wuxian today was more sumptuous than usual, spreading the entire table in a piece of red dishes.

Wei Wuxian’s eyes brightened when he saw that sight. Once Lan Wangji was done dressing him up, he hurried towards the table and glanced from one dish to another, the loud rumbling in his stomach ever so loud in his ears.

“Not bad, Lan Zhan. Okay, I’m happy now. I forgive you,” he said. As he sat, wanting to dig in, something that looked out of place on the table had his chopsticks halted in mid-air.

A white jasmine sat at the corner of the table. It looked fresh, like it was pluck just recently.

“Lan Zhan, what’s that? Something for me?” Wei Wuxian asked with a grin.

Lan Wangji shook his head. “It was in front of the door this morning.”

Wei Wuxian placed his chopsticks down. “And you brought it in?”

“En.”

“...”

“...”

“You do know what this means, right?” Wei Wuxian asked, just in case.

Having someone to express admiration towards Lan Wangji wasn’t something unusual. Wei Wuxian had seen it countless times, both in the past and in the present. Lan Wangji always knew how to draw the line so Wei Wuxian never bothered too much about it himself. Who wouldn’t like Lan Wangji anyway? Lan Wangji was an admirably benevolent man himself; he was probably on the top list of wanted men when it came to husband-hunting. In other words, Wei Wuxian would worry if no one was ogling on him.

But if Lan Wangji was to respond to such gesture, bringing such item into a private space that was supposed to be both his and Wei Wuxian’s in such an overt way — then it was a different thing altogether.

A scowl crossed Wei Wuxian’s face. He set the chopsticks back on the table and stood.

“I lost appetite,” he said.

Lan Wangji said nothing. Even when Wei Wuxian tugged Chenqing back into his belt, grabbed his robe and walked out of the room, Lan Wangji only followed him closely on his heels without another word.

 

 

Their main purpose here in Qishan was to visit the garden Lan Wangji brought up. Now that their objective was cleared, they could take their time to simply stroll around town, perhaps stay for another day, before they decide whether to return to the Cloud Recesses or continue wandering around. Wei Wuxian didn’t have anything else he wanted to do in this town, to be honest. But he hadn’t had time to look around yesterday so he thought perhaps then he could take this free time to check out the place. Qishan was a place he was familiar with for the wrong reason. In his memory, Qishan was a place that took everything away from people ー life, family, homes; everything that was precious for someone else.

Precious.

He frowned at the thought, his heart did an uncanny clench. He always held pride towards his punctilious hunches but it was also precisely that that his omen was unwelcomed when it was a bad one.

He looked over his shoulder. Lan Wangji was, as expected, following him attentively from behind. He didn’t like this distance. Ever since they got together, Lan Wangji was always walking by his side, never behind him. He didn’t like the thought of Lan Wangji having to chase after him again. He was about to call out to him but he clenched his hands into fists, took a deep breath, and engulfed the intention down. At the same time, someone from a stall beside him called out to him, disturbing his emotional ruckus.

“Young master! Do you want to check out some flowers we have here? They’re are all very fresh! I went into the mountain to pluck them myself this morning!”

The person who’d called out to him was a young pretty lady who looked to be in her twenties. Habitually, Wei Wuxian put up his best smile and walked towards the stall. No matter past or present, being courteous with ladies had been a habit he can’t bring himself to change. Pretty ladies, especially, would always have him walking towards them either just to greet them or simply to share a few lines. So when he saw that a beautiful lady was calling out to him from the stall, he walked towards it without a second thought, smiling.

“Fresh flowers?” he asked.

“Yes!” the lady returned his smile. “I believe you must have visited the garden outside of town? These flowers are competent to those flowers!”

“And you said you got them on the mountain?” Wei Wuxian asked again, taking over a daisy the lady had just passed to him. The flower was indeed fresh, pleasant fragrance rushed to his nose the moment he took it in his hand.

“Yes, I did,” the lady said.

“Won’t it be dangerous for a young lady like yourself to wander into the mountains by yourself?” Wei Wuxian swung the daisy in his hand, his grin ever so charming. Lan Wangji had come to stand by his side by now, listening to the conversation silently.

“Maybe,” the lady admitted. “But as long as I am careful, it shouldn’t be too dangerous. What do you say, young master? Would you like to take my good effort into your heart and buy some from me?”

Wei Wuxian fell silent. He caught Lan Wangji’s shadow from the corners of his eyes, noticing that he wasn’t budging, wasn’t even responding. A hint of mischief heightened from within him. He was about to say something when a little girl’s presence heckled that very intention.

“Big Brother.”

Wei Wuxian angled to a side, just enough to catch the little girl’s body shape. She was petite, about four or five of age. In her hand was a basket, and in another, she was holding a white jasmine as she raised it towards Lan Wangji.

Lan Wangji’s expression remained ever so imperturbable upon seeing the scene. He gave Wei Wuxian a sideways glance, then, without a word, he squatted to come to the same eye level as the little girl.

“This. Give you,” the little girl pushed the white jasmine towards Lan Wangji’s direction. Lan Wangji didn’t take it immediately. He looked at the little girl, then at the flower, all the while feeling an intense heat of stare from behind him that was Wei Wuxian. He shared a long moment of gaze with the girl before he finally took the flower.

“Thank you,” he said.

The little girl broke into a dazzling grin. Seeing that Lan Wangji had accepted her flower, this time, she shoved the entire basket of white jasmine into Lan Wangji’s hands instead. Without waiting for Lan Wangji to respond, she leaned in to kiss him on his cheek and ran away, leaving Lan Wangji to stare at her leaving back in a stupor.

For a long while, there was only silence. After what felt like an eternity, Wei Wuxian shattered the unnatural silence between them by turning towards the lady of the stall, speaking aloud, totally intending for Lan Wangji to hear.

“I’ll buy from you,” he said.

“Thank you so much! Which flowers do you want?” the lady smiled radiantly.

“All of them,” Wei Wuxian said.

“...A-All?” the lady’s smile froze.

“Yup, you heard that right,” Wei Wuxian arched a smirk. “I’ll buy all of your flowers here. And…”

He paused, giving Lan Wangji a glimpse from the corner of his eyes. Lan Wangji stood upon meeting eye contact with Wei Wuxian. Still holding the basket in a hand, he looked at Wei Wuxian with an expression unreadable from the surface.

“...and give them all to you,” Wei Wuxian continued, eyes returning to the lady.

“W-What?” the lady gaped.

Handing the daisy the lady gave him back to her, Wei Wuxian left the stall after raising a hand at her, telling her to wait for him. He then came to where Lan Wangji was standing and slipped his hand into Lan Wangji’s clothes, rummaging around before he pulled out his money pouch.

“I’m sure our ever so generous Hanguang-Jun won’t mind me gifting a beautiful lady for her effort, right?” Wei Wuxian grinned at Lan Wangji. Right before Wei Wuxian could completely take the pouch out from the depth of Lan Wangji’s robe, Lan Wangji seized hard on his wrist all of a sudden.

“Wei Ying!” he called out.

“What? Is Hanguang-Jun so stingy to the extent of stopping me from buying gifts for a beautiful lady?” Wei Wuxian snapped.

Lan Wangji’s fingers trembled a tad on his wrist, the corners of his lips quivered ever so slightly. After an aggravated moment of glaring into each other’s eyes, he finally let Wei Wuxian go. Wei Wuxian massaged his wrist, smirking.

“I see Hanguang-Jun is not so stingy after all. Good,” he said. He walked towards the stall, continuing to speak as he did. “Unfortunately, I am stingy. I’m selfish. I get angry when people touch what belongs to me. So I’ll never achieve Hanguang-Jun’s level of generosity.”

Lan Wangji said nothing the entire time, merely watching as Wei Wuxian took his money out of the pouch, handed it over to the lady in the stall, who was still very much perplexed by the situation, and returned to him.

“Why do you look like you have something to tell me, Hanguang-Jun?” Wei Wuxian said.

A deep frown had formed on Lan Wangji’s face. With heavy breathing, he grasped onto Wei Wuxian’s wrist again and dragged him down the street without another word.

“What is this? Don’t tell me you’re angry, Hanguang-Jun? Do you have any idea what you’re doing now?”

Lan Wangji ignored Wei Wuxian all the way. Still clutching on Wei Wuxian, he stormed all the way down the street, ignoring all the befuddled gaze on them and back to the inn, saying nothing even when he pushed both of them into their room and closed the door behind him with an ear-splitting thump, all mannerism forgotten.

Wei Wuxian swung his hand off Lan Wangji’s grasp as he scowled at Lan Wangji’s direction. Lan Wangji had his eyes closed, regulating his breathing. With slow movements, he set the basket on the table and sat down.

“What’s the matter, Hanguang-Jun? You’re trying to act like nothing happened? That you didn’t just drag me down the street like I’m some low life criminal, that you didn’t just say yes to an act of affection by someone else that’s not me?” Wei Wuxian babbled. Seeing that Lan Wangji did nothing but closing his eyes, as if he was completely ignoring him, Wei Wuxian stormed to stand in front of him, grasping onto his shoulders.

“Lan Zhan! What’s the deal with you? You’re trying to escape? Ignoring me? Cut this crap. You’re always like this, pretending as if nothing has happened, thinking that things will just go well after a while. I’ve got news for you, oh-so-great Hanguang-Jun, things won’t solve by themselves if you don’t open your mouth!”

Wei Wuxian ended by slamming a palm on the table. He snatched the basket of white jasmine over, taking one of the flowers from inside and flashed it in front of Lan Wangji’s face.

“I know how good you can be. But this? Lan Zhan, this is too much. Do you think I’m dead or…?”

“I don’tー!” Lan Wangji finally snapped, eyes opened and staring into Wei Wuxian’s eyes. His hands had come to hug onto Wei Wuxian, pulling him into an embrace so tight Wei Wuxian could barely breathe.

Wei Wuxian staggered a bit. Lan Wangji’s reaction completely flabbergasted him. But he was quick to pick his composure up again as he pushed Lan Wangji away after a tasteless, unnatural cough.

“Y-You… don’t think you can always use the same trick on me. You think a hug, a no can solve everything? Actions are louder than words! I… I…”

Stuttering in his final words, Wei Wuxian seemed like he could no longer handle the tension anymore as he tossed the basket onto the floor, the flowers scattering all over the place. Clicking his tongue, he gave the flowers a glare, and then all of a sudden, all the petals flamed up, burning into ashes.

Once everything was gone, Wei Wuxian turned his back towards Lan Wangji and walked towards the door.

“I… I’m not sleeping here tonight. You… You don’t come and find me!”

And with that said, the door was lashed shut, leaving Lan Wangji alone in the space, spacing out.

 


 

Lan Wangji couldn’t remember when was the last time he slept in an empty bed. Like Wei Wuxian had asked him to, he didn’t go looking for him later, but he knew enough from the sounds from beside his room that Wei Wuxian was staying just beside his own; they were simply separated by one wall, yet he felt like his distance with Wei Wuxian felt longer, like he’d returned to those years when they existed in different worlds. Before he’d gone to bed himself, he’d come to stand by the wall, simply staring, simply listening. He could hear the sound of Wei Wuxian moving the furniture around. He could also hear how Wei Wuxian complained about the bland taste of the food he’d got for himself for dinner. Even when it’ was late at night, Lan Wangji continued to stand by the wall. He could hear Wei Wuxian rolling on the bed, like he was looking for a comfortable spot to sleep on. Lan Wangji’s hand clenched into fist, he bit lightly on his lower lip, gaze sober. He stood for a while, like a statue, before he brought up a hand and pressed his palm against the wall at long last.

He could hear himself calling out to Wei Wuxian in his own head, even when the two words never left his lips.

He wanted to know if Wei Wuxian had covered himself properly as he slept. Wei Wuxian had a habit of kicking things out of the way when he slept. About choushi every night, Wei Wuxian was sure to change a sleeping position. Wei Wuxian won’t be able to sleep if he didn’t hold onto something at night, something like Lan Wangji.

If… Wei Wuxian had another nightmare tonight…

Then, who would comfort him?

Lan Wangji frowned, lips trembling a tad. Closing his eyes, he went back to the bed and lied down, already hoping for the night to end as soon as possible just so they could end this misery once and for all.

Not only that Wei Wuxian could no longer get used to an empty bed, he too would never be able to get used to one either. The absent presence beside him was giving him actual shivers, reminding him of some memories that he didn’t want to be reminded of.

He closed his eyes, his vigilance kept intensified at all times.

And soon enough, once it past midnight, a blasting impact reverberated from the door, as if something was rammed against it. Lan Wangji opened his eyes, yet he remained lying on the bed, looking as if he had no intention to move. He was sure that he didn’t lock the door, so it was totally impossible for whatever that was trying to cram its way into the room to be unable to come in by themselves. So he acted as if he didn’t hear anything. Shortly, another earth-shaking shock pounded against the door. This time, Lan Wangji could clearly make out the source of the ruckus.

The ‘something’ that had been propelling against the door was gust. Lan Wangji can hear the swirling sound when the impact left the door, accompanied by eerie scratching sound against the door.

Finally, he sat up, head turning steadily to look at the door, still a face of stoic. He didn’t need to wait long before the door was opened by itself, wispy frost crawling into the room at the same time. A shadow wafted into the room, bringing along snow. It closed the door once it settled itself in the darkness of the room. The moment the room returned to its initial silence, Lan Wangji blinked and the shadow was gone.

The next time he saw it, it was sitting by his bed.

Lan Wangji’s senses were always sharp; no matter if it was dark or bright, his five senses worked just as fine. So it didn’t take too much of an effort for him to look through the darkness as if the day was bright.

Once Lan Wangji made out the features of the shadow, his eyes widened a tad.

He knew the shadow.

The woman was the same little girl whom he met in the town earlier, who’d given him a white jasmine, then a basket of jasmine. Based on the flow of events, she should also be the same person who’d left a white jasmine in front of their door in the morning. And this should also be the same shadow who’d been following them since they came into town yesterday.

But, what had disturbed Lan Wangji wasn’t all of those. He’d figured that out since the appearance of the white jasmine. What he was more bothered of was the fact that she was also…

“Young master, I found you. At long last.”

Her voice was one of sweetish and soft. She didn’t have a face that would make many turned to look if she was to walk on in a crowd but she looked decent, benevolent even, if not because of her overly pale skin tone, telling Lan Wangji in an instance that this wasn’t a human he was dealing with.

It was a corpse.

And perhaps even, a corpse who’d evolved into a spiritual being out of entangled sentiments, fostered throughout many years. Wei Wuxian probably could explain it better but Lan Wangji was pretty competent himself. At the very least, he knew that this kind of spirit wasn’t one that was strong in physical strength like Wen Ning, but was one who possessed fierce resentful energies and craving towards an unfulfilled dream, hence giving it a form and ability of its own as the resentment grew stronger with time.

Lan Wangji said nothing the entire time while the woman came closer and closer to him. The woman smiled at him, her eyes fogged, as if there were tears accumulating in them. While she observed Lan Wangji’s reaction, she slanted her head, squinting at every feature on Lan Wangji’s face, as if she intended to memorize all of them.

“Do you know how long have I been waiting for you?” the woman asked. When she raised her hand to caress the loose strands of hair by Lan Wangji’s face, Lan Wangji noticed that the tips of her fingers were red, a pungent scent of blood flocked into his nose when her fingers came close to his face. Despite her question, Lan Wangji remained quiet without answering.

As if he was waiting for something.

If the ghost was vigilant enough, she might be able to sense a slim, almost unnoticeable smile on Lan Wangji’s face.

And then, while the ghost moved her hand so that she could touch Lan Wangji’s face, the room’s door slammed open all of a sudden, the impact so thundery the whole room quaked in response.

This time, the impact was not instigated by a gust.

But by a man.

A man in all-black attire, a complete contrast with the two figures on the bed. His tall ponytail swayed with the vehemence of the wind spawned by the blast as vibrant red hung on his waist.

“How dare you lay your hands on my, Wei Wuxian’s, man? Are you not afraid of death? Oh, right. You’re already dead. Of course you won’t be.”

Lan Wangji turned calmly around to look at the intruder while the ghost jumped drastically off the bed, glaring at the door.

Wei Wuxian was standing at the opened door, a cold smirk on his face, his eyes narrowed, the ominous vibe he brought along with him colder than the frost the ghost had brought along when she crashed through the door. Lan Wangji’s fingers curled up beneath his sleeves. The very view reminded him of a scene he witnessed more than a decade back, on the battlefield, here in Qishan itself, when Wei Wuxian would look at the Wens just like that, as if they were rotter trash.

When Wei Wuxian paced into the room, he closed the door behind him, smirk not leaving his face as he tapped Chenqing on his shoulder.

“Move away from the bed. Who allowed you to come close to it? Was it Hanguang-Jun? Sorry but, even if Hanguang-Jun says yes, you’ll have to go through me first.”

Lan Wangji had moved out of the bed at his words, causing Wei Wuxian to chuckle out loud.

“Lan Zhan, why are you leaving the bed? I’m not talking to you.”

Lan Wangji said nothing. Instead, he came to stand beside Wei Wuxian, one hand reaching out to grasp him on the waist. The eeriness from when he felt from the man dwindled a bit.

“W-Wait, Lan Zhan, hold on. I’m onto something here,” Wei Wuxian struggled.

“No reason to stay in bed if you’re not there,” Lan Wangji answered his last question, freezing all of Wei Wuxian’s actions.

“Lan Zhan, you… you, can you like, say this only when we’re alone?” Wei Wuxian snorted with a shake of his head.

Lan Wangji’s hand only tightened around Wei Wuxian’s waist.

“Why are you here?” the ghost, who had now calmed, kept a distance with them as she asked.

“This is maybe one of the very rare times I find a spirit who has enough guts to refute me. Seems like you’ve planted a pretty deep root for yourself, Hanguang-Jun,” Wei Wuxian sent a teasing glance at Lan Wangji’s direction, who only closed his eyes with a shake of his head.

“Why can’t I be here?” Wei Wuxian turned to look at the ghost upon seeing Lan Wangji’s reaction.

“Weren’t you angry at this young master?” the ghost asked.

“Angry? Oh, right… Speaking about that, how was my performance? Was that how people usually act when they’re jealous? I never know how it’s really like myself but I know my Lan-ergongzi is like that when he’s jealous, hahahaー ouch!” Wei Wuxian laughed before he felt a rough pinch on his waist.

“...You were… acting?” the woman repeated.

“What else do you think it was? You think I’d get jealous over something like that? Pfft, hahaha! Who do you think Hanguang-Jun is? My Lan-ergongzi is so excellent, of course he’d have admirers! How exhausting it’d be for me to get jealous every single time it happens? Besides, I’d be surprised if he doesn’t attract attention to himself. Look at me, a prime example of a victim falling into his beauty trap… okay, okay, Lan Zhan, I’ll stop, don’t hold so hard, my bones are going to break.”

“Anyway, what I was saying is, you do realize how inseparable we are right? Do you think you will have the chance to expose yourself if we didn’t give you the opportunity to? Be grateful, will you?” Wei Wuxian continued. “Also, I apologize if this sounds offensive but do you have any idea who are you talking to? I’m Wei Wuxian, I’m Yiling Laozu. I, jealous? Hahaha! Well, I’m not sure which Second Master here loves me so much he’s unwilling to let me go even if it’s going to the loo… I’m the same though.”

The ghost fell silent. She clearly didn’t expect such a turnaround of events. While Wei Wuxian turned his face around to sneak a kiss on Lan Wangji’s cheek, she suddenly rushed over and came to stand in front of the both of them, shouting.

“I know what you did!” she screamed into Lan Wangji’s face. Wei Wuxian had come to stand in between them, hiding half of Lan Wangji’s body behind him as he repressed the ghost down with his own resentful energies. “Every year, you’d come here to pluck flowers from the garden! Don’t tell me it was for him! I’ve never seen him before! He didn’t exist before this year!”

Lan Wangji was scowling heavily by now. Wei Wuxian’s eyes widened a tad as he listened to the tale, sending Lan Wangji a curious stare before he pushed Chenqing towards the direction of the ghost. Just that mere action had her stumbling backwards a tad, almost knocking the table over.

“I don’t like to use force on women,” Wei Wuxian said, voice unwavering. “So please control yourself.”

“Oh… I understand now… It was you. You’re the reason why he rejects me over the years. Haha… Hahahaha!” the ghost started laughing, the temperature in the room dropped, the tenuous lustre of frost bedded on the furniture in the room.

“Who gives you the right? Who gives you, a man who abandoned him, the right to own him?!” the ghost continued through fitful laughter.

Wei Wuxian sighed out loud in response.

“Why do people keep asking me this question…?” he said. Lan Wangji brought him closer upon hearing what he said, as if he intended to cover his entire body into his arms. “What are you doing, Lan Zhan? Do I look upset? It’s okay, I’m fine, just finding it funny how one, ghost or human, would always resort to pushing blames on others when things don’t go their way. But you know.”

With a pause, he walked towards the ghost, lifting her face up by gripping on her chin so that she can look him in the face.

“There’s one thing I can be certain about you: you’re really underestimating our relationship.”

The melody resonated from the flute brought along a different sense of hoariness into the room, one that was coupled with a faint mite of warmth. Like many years ago, Lan Wangji had seen how Wei Wuxian fought on the warzone, how his overwhelming aura was more than enough to control the deads, haunting the living. But as the same scene mirrored right in front of his eyes all over again, it was then that Lan Wangji finally understood the implication behind the name of Wei Wuxian’s flute, and what kind of sentiment he must have held when he gave it the name.

 


 

When they came to stand in the middle of the garden again, Wei Wuxian stalled in his pace, sniffing around. The air around was pungent with the fragrance of jasmine, a scent that wasn’t so prevalent the last time they came. He spared a glance with Lan Wangji, who nodded. From his pouch, he took out an urn, one that was delicately crafted with clear marble. By his side, Lan Wangji took out a pink rhododendron from his own pouch. With a small smile, Wei Wuxian opened the cover of the urn and leaned his mouth close to the opening.

“Go in peace,” he whispered, voice so tender, like he was comforting a child.

In the next second, a bright wisp of soul wafted from the urn, following the rhythm of wind, and flew cavalierly in the air. Lan Wangji let the flower in his hand go at the same time. The pink petals accompanied the faint soul, riding the wind with it, as if accompanying it on its journey.

“Our job is done,” Wei Wuxian turned to look at Lan Wangji, grinning brilliantly.

“En,” Lan Wangji nodded.

After the confrontation yesterday night, the ghost, upon knowing that she would never be able to fight against Wei Wuxian, had resisted all attempts to struggle after being made to sit on one of the chairs in the room. Wei Wuxian was fully aware of how spirits were afraid of him; perhaps not him as a person, perhaps it could be his ability to make them conform, but his reputation amongst spirits had always been nothing but timorous. He’d paralleled through the thought process of the ghost when he first heard of the story of the white-robed woman, knowing perfectly well that this ghost ー a woman, nonetheless ー would definitely be coming after Lan Wangji seeing how Lan Wangji was a refined bait himself. Ghosts were good in hiding, and Wei Wuxian was definitely not one to go ghost hunting if they didn’t want to come over themselves. So, after various tedious considerations, he eventually came to the conclusion that the only hurdle that would come into the way between her and Lan Wangji was none other but himself.

He just didn’t expect to dig out more than just the surface matters of things upon tackling the ghost.

But to be honest, it didn’t take a lot for the ghost to be released off her rancour; if Lan Wangji wasn’t taken, then she’d definitely take her chance. If Lan Wangji was taken, then she could still find ways to chase his partner off. But unfortunately, the person who’d claimed Lan Wangji for himself had to be Wei Wuxian. It was not only the fact that Wei Wuxian was Yiling Laozu that had made the possibility for her to snatch him away to appear ever so slim. It was also because of the fact that Lan Wangji didn’t seem at all hesitant to lock Wei Wuxian by his side for as long as he lived that had punched the final nail on her coffin. It’s written in his eyes, in his body gestures, in every word he said to and about Wei Wuxian. She knew that Lan Wangji would visit the garden in Qishan every year. He’d pluck some flowers and bring them back. She also knew that Lan Wangji had locked his heart for the past years, completely unruffled by the thought of romantic relationships between others.

That was why, when she saw the way Lan Wangji looked at Wei Wuxian, she knew in an instant that the only reason why Lan Wangji looked different from the many times she’d seen him throughout the years was because someone had unlocked his heart.

And that person had to be Wei Wuxian.

There was no use trying to fight anymore. Wei Wuxian was always sharp when it came to a spirit’s emotions so of course, he was able to sense the change of sentiments in the woman. He was never one to harm spirits as well, even though they’re dead people. So in the end, all Wei Wuxian did was smiling at the woman and told her that ‘she’d tried hard enough’, which had the ghost breaking down crying.

Lan Wangji had given him a very judgemental gaze then, which Wei Wuxian shrugged at.

For the rest of the night, both Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji sent the spirit off with a duet of Rest, ultimately giving the soul the peace it sought for.

It was almost daybreak when Lan Wangji took hold of Wei Wuxian at long last, hugging him so tight that he could hardly breathe, and usher both of them to bed.

In bed, Lan Wangji continued to hold onto Wei Wuxian, as if afraid that he’d disappear again.

“Looks like I’m not the one who can’t sleep without hugging onto something,” Wei Wuxian had teased back then.

“En,” Lan Wangji had admitted back then, which had then caused Wei Wuxian to kiss him hard on the lips and snuggle in his embrace, resting his head against Lan Wangji’s neck.

“I missed you so much, Lan Zhan,” he’d mumbled.

“Me too,” Lan Wangji responded.

Throughout their mere few hours of sleep, they never left each other arms, bodies pressed against each other the whole night, as if they were compensating for all the warmth they’d missed from each other for the past few hours.

“That woman,” Lan Wangji spoke all of a sudden while Wei Wuxian was keeping the urn away.

“Hm? What’s with her?” Wei Wuxian asked. He took Lan Wangji’s hand as they started walking in the midst of the garden, watching the flowers as they strolled.

“I know her,” Lan Wangji said.

“Huh?” Wei Wuxian gave him a playful glance. “Don’t tell me you really made someone fall for you just to run away after that?”

Lan Wangji grasped his hand harder in response.

“Even if that’s really it, it’s okay, hahaha!” Wei Wuxian laughed, the mere thought of how perplexed Lan Wangji would look like when he escaped from things like that tickling him from the inside. “It’s not like it’s something you can help. Can’t be responsible for how others feel too, right?”

“She…” Lan Wangji continued. “I saved her back during Sunshot Campaign.”

“Ah?”

“Here, in Qishan,” Lan Wangji said.

“Oh. I see,” Wei Wuxian nodded. “No wonder she holds onto the sentiment for so long and for so strong. Did she talk to you when she saw you here?”

Lan Wangji nodded.

“...15 years?”

Lan Wangji lowered his head. Wei Wuxian didn’t need an answer. He could only imagine what Lan Wangji told the ghost every time she confronted him. He didn’t know what was the name of the emotions he was feeling from within his chest; it was a bit of pain, a bit of happy, a bit of sad. Everything about Lan Wangji made him happy, everything about Lan Wangji wrenched his heart too.

In an attempt to grip onto his own feelings, Wei Wuxian pinched him on his cheek.

“What’s the matter? Like I said, you don’t have to feel responsible for it. There’s no way you can control how other people feel about you. Look at Su She back then. Look at me.”

With the last of his words, he shook his head with a sigh.

“Based on your guilt, then should I blame you for making me fall for you too? How dare you, Lan Wangji. How dare you make me fall so hard for you now all that I can think of is holding your hand like this, wake up to seeing your face first thing in the morning, do all sorts of thingsー”

No longer able to let Wei Wuxian babble on, Lan Wangji spun Wei Wuxian around and grasped him on both sides of his waist, having Wei Wuxian to stand facing him.

Wei Wuxian chuckled at the hint of red on Lan Wangji’s earlobe.

“But that’s okay, I’ve gotten my revenge from you,” Wei Wuxian encircled his arms around Lan Wangji’s neck, leaning in to rub the tips of their noses together. “You fell hard for me too, don’t you? You too, you’re thinking about holding my hand, waking up to see my sleeping face first thing in the morning, do all sorts of things to me, right?”

At his words, Lan Wangji’s mouth curved into a small smile but that scene was soon distracted from Wei Wuxian’s sight when Lan Wangji brought him over to kiss him sweetly on the lips. Wei Wuxian too leaned into the kiss, drunk in the affection Lan Wangji was pouring on him now.

Lan Wangji’s touch, Lan Wangji’s scent; everything about Lan Wangji. It’s like what Wei Wuxian had said before, no one but they themselves would be able to understand the extent of their relationship. Sure, people can guess from the surface. There were many hints that could be taken from their interaction mode. Wei Wuxian was sure that those hints were clear as day, they never intended to hide anything anyway. But between them lied a deeper sentiment that only both of them could see, unknown to outsider’s eyes.

Reminded of what happened the previous day, Wei Wuxian chortled all of a sudden, causing Lan Wangji to pull them away from the kiss.

“What are you laughing at?” he asked.

Wei Wuxian clutched his stomach as he continued to laugh. Lan Wangji waited patiently, simply watched him laugh. Then, once he was done, Wei Wuxian straightened himself up and cleared his throat.

“You’re trying to act like nothing happened? That you didn’t just drag me down the street like I’m some low-life criminal, that you didn’t just say yes to an act of affection by someone else that’s not me?”

A thin scowl made its way onto Lan Wangji’s face.

Wei Wuxian laughed for a bit after having recited the line, shaking his head as he slapped his leg out of intense exhilaration. Once he was done, he straightened his posture again and cleared his throat once again.

“I… I’m not sleeping here tonight. You… You don’t come and find me!”

Lan Wangji can no longer take it anymore. He scooped Wei Wuxian over while he was laughing again and wrapped him in a tight embrace.

“Are you done laughing?” he asked.

“No, I’m not!” Wei Wuxian continued to laugh. “Lan Zhan, how did you remain so calm at those? I… I almost twisted my stomach trying so hard not to laugh. I don’t think I can do that anymore. Those words are so… so...”

His laughter ceased at the end of his words, his expression returned to one of calm. Smiling with adoration rampant in his gaze, he rubbed Lan Wangji’s cheekbone with a thumb and stared fondly into his eyes.

“Thinking back, my heart hurts having to scold you like that. Come, let gege pamper you all over again. You too, why won’t you return my scolding? If you scold me back, then perhaps I won’t feel so heartbroken now. My heart hurts so much being reminded of how wounded your face was back then.”

Lan Wangji responded by kissing him on the forehead.

“I can never,” he said.

Wei Wuxian’s heart skipped a beat.

“Lan Zhan, what should I say about you…” Wei Wuxian’s smile was weak when he spoke to him but there was no mistaking the fondness in it. “It’s totally not fine. Even when it was just an act, I still feel bad. Here, my heart, feels like it was being stabbed a few times…How about this? To make up for what I did, I’ll let you do whatever you want in return. You can scold me, beat me, erm… anything me! As long as it makes you feel better.”

Lan Wangji’s eyes brightened at Wei Wuxian’s suggestion and again, Wei Wuxian caught the hint of a smile on his face like before.

“You said it yourself,” Lan Wangji said.

“Yup, yup, I said it, I’ll remember it myself,” Wei Wuxian answered. He knew he would probably regret later but so what if he did? No matter what he was to do with Lan Wangji, no matter what Lan Wangji wanted to do with him, he’d greet all of them with opened arms anyway.

“Next time, don’t flirt again,” Lan Wangji said all of a sudden.

“Ah? Flirt? When?” Wei Wuxian asked.

“...”

“...Ohhh! You mean thatー Aih, Lan Zhan, are you seriously blaming me for that now? If I don’t give an excellent act, how do you expect me to convince your admirer?”

Lan Wangji lowered his eyes, looking like he was reflecting. That very sight melted Wei Wuxian’s heart into a puddle.

He patted Lan Wangji on the side of his head and spoke in a tender tone, sounding perfectly full of intention to comfort Lan Wangji.

“Good boy, don’t give me that look, you know I cannot take it. I’ll listen to you, okay? I’ll only flirt with you, I’m yours for the rest of my life. My whole body, from the inside out, from top to bottom, they are all yours. Is that okay, Lan-ergege?”

The light in Lan Wangji’s eyes softened. Instead of a verbal answer, he hugged Wei Wuxian stronger, causing the latter to guffaw into his chest.

“Hmph, now I wonder who was the lucky lady who had you coming back to pluck flowers for every year? You didn’t even give me any flower before, how unfair. I’m getting jealous for real here,” Wei Wuxian whined against his body.

“It was you,” Lan Wangji said.

“Ah?” Wei Wuxian raised his head, looking at Lan Wangji’s face.

Lan Wangji slipped his hand into his clothing, pulling out a white rose and showing it to Wei Wuxian.

“The flowers. This one too. All for you.”

Wei Wuxian could only stare, completely stunned. He looked at the rose, at Lan Wangji, then at the rose again. Wei Wuxian was always associated with dark colours; like red, like black. Yet, Lan Wangji was giving him a white rose now, something he knew meant more than the colour on its surface.

“Lan Zhan, you…” his words trailed at the end. He took a deep breath, then narrowed his eyes at Lan Wangji’s direction. “When did you pluck it?”

“Yesterday.”

“And when do you usually come here?”

“This time, every year.”

Wei Wuxian shook his head with a smile, completely at a loss of words.

“Coincidentally, I pluck one for you too yesterday. Luckily I did. If not, where do I put my face now?”

And with that said, Wei Wuxian slipped his hand into his own clothing, a flawless mimic of Lan Wangji’s action, and pulled out a red rose.

“For my ever so beautiful Lan-ergege,” he grinned.

When Lan Wangji took the rose over, he only grinned wider.

“From now on, you’ll be the only person I give a flower too. Oh, speaking about that, you kept all the flowers I gave you too, didn’t you? The one from BaiFeng Mountain, the one from Yunmeng...”

“En,” Lan Wangji admitted.

“Aih, don’t keep those anymore. They’re so old now. I’ll keep giving you flowers, so you can throw those away,” Wei Wuxian said.

“No,” Lan Wangji rejected.

Wei Wuxian broke out laughing again. Without helping himself, he planted another kiss on Lan Wangji’s lips, thinking to himself how lucky he was to have captured such a good man for himself; someone whom he knew who would accompany him for the rest of his life.

“What do I do now that everyone is coming after you? Lan Zhan, it’s your fault, you’re too good. How dare you be so good?” Wei Wuxian returned to his rambles as they continued to walk along the route in the garden.

This would be the last stroll they took this year. Perhaps next year, they’d return again. And this time, they’ll be here together, so that they could give each other flowers all over again.

“Soon, everyone will know that I’m taken. You too, will be known as being taken,” Lan Wangji comforted.

Wei Wuxian’s mouth curved into a gentle smile.

“...You’re right. Soon.”

Despite what Wei Wuxian told him, Lan Wangji too knew perfectly well how sought-after Wei Wuxian was. Despite all that Wei Wuxian had praised him, Lan Wangji too knew perfectly well that Wei Wuxian held the same charm too. They are simply two men who many yearned for various reasons, with two very different appeals.

Yet, they belonged to each other and only to each other.

Because they knew that no one else in this world would achieve the same understanding as to how they did with each other.

They are each other’s destiny after all; and only they could bring the best out of each other, just by being themselves.

That is why, there is no need to worry between them. The only one who could ever separate them was themselves. They knew it themselves, others too, knew.