“He’s unstable.” Lan Wangji shook harder. Lan Xichen was gripping his shoulders, holding him up in support. Nie Mingjue was holding Lan Xichen for support. Jin Guangyao was holding Nie Huaisang…. back.
“I’m going to kill him. You know it was one of the Jins. No one else would dare. Let me go A-Yao, I’m going to slaughter them!” Nie Huaisang has been threatening murder ever since they learned that the intended target was Lan Wangji and Wei Wuxian knew he was drinking poison when he did it. Lan Wangji has not let go of Wei Wuxian’s hand.
“Will he live?” Nie Mingjue was asking the important question.
“Unknown. It’s attacking his golden core. The ‘poison’ was actually just a curse tracker, whoever ingests it will receive the curse. That’s what’s killing him.” Lan Wangji gagged at the word killing. It was their wedding night. It was supposed to be one of the happiest nights of their lives. It was supposed to be the start of forever.
Who knew forever was only a few hours?
Lan Wangji broke. He was sobbing harder than when he watched Wei Wuxian literally get ripped from his very hands. Except, now Lan Wangji could feel… nothing. He moved his hand from Wei Wuxian’s pulse to his chest. He waited with a bated breathe for a breathe that never came. His love… his love wasn’t breathing.
“Wen Qing…. WEN QING!” The woman ran to his side and started checking Wei Wuxian’s pulse. Her eyes widened.
“No….. NO!” She started CPR. Lan Wangji felt the world close in on him. He started to hyperventilate. It was hard. It was so hard to breathe while his love wasn’t. He was shaking. The hands on his shoulders moved to support him around the waist. Lan Wangji was falling. He watched as his love’s lifeless body move with every chest compression. He watched Wei Wuxian lips be kissed by someone else in an attempt to save his life. He watched the hands he loved to hold fall from the side of the bed, limp in a way the most energetic person Lan Wangji knew should never be. He watched Wei Wuxian’s chest for a breathe that for some reason wasn’t coming. He watched Wen Qing call for Jiang Wanyin to come with Zidian and to come fast. He watched as Wei Wuxian somehow got paler. He watched his love slip away for a second time, and this time, into the sweet, heartbreaking, thieving hands of death.
In the background, he heard a scream.
“A-NIANG!” A-Yuan jumped into the bed but Lan Wangji stopped him before he could get very far. He pulled his son into his arms. “A-die, why won’t A-naing wake up? What’s wrong with, A-niang? A-niang, A-niang wake up! A-niang promised A-Yuan a story— A-naing never breaks promises A-naing, A-niang, A-niang—” A sob cut off his cries. Lan Wangji pulled his son closer. “No, no A-die please don’t take A-niang away. Don’t let them take A-niang away. Don’t let them put him in the ground where he can’t hug A-Yuan! Where he can’t tell us stories or give A-Yuan candy when A-die isn’t looking or play the flute or or or NO! Don’t let them, please don’t let them— A-NIANG OPEN YOUR EYES!” Lan Wangji sobbed into his son’s hair. He was so focused on helping his son, everyone was so focused on the boy, that he didn’t notice Nie Huaisang slip away. The only person who managed to see him was Lan Xichen… and Lan Xichen was the last person who would stop him.
Nie Huaisang was on a warpath. He knew that Jin Guangshan, and maybe Jin Zixun, were behind this. He also knew that those two people believed him to be an idiot. Contrary to what he told Wei Wuxian, Nie Huaisang had spies in Cloud Recesses. Not to gather information, but to keep his friends safe. He knew those spies would’ve bugged the Jin rooms. Nie Huaisang made eye contact with one of his spies before “fainting.” The spy caught him, caused a commotion, and then took the younger Nie to Nie rooms in Cloud Recesses.
“Jin Guangshan and Jin Zixun were talking about assassinating the Second Young Master Lan and framing Wei Wuxian for attempting to murder his husband for his social standing. A stupid plot because the whole cultivation world knows how much they love each other, but they planted this satchel,” It was the ugliest thing Nie Huaisang has ever seen, “in Wei Wuxian’s wedding robes. I pulled it out when I helped dress him, but I couldn’t figure out what they put the poison in in time and assumed it was a normal poison, one that they would be immune to.” Nie Huaisang gave the spy a thoughtful look before a sick smile spread over his face.
“I need you to put that back in Jin Zixun’s room.” Nie Huaisang quickly wrote a letter in Jin Zixun’s handwriting. “And plant this in Jin Guangshan’s room. Hide it somewhere he wouldn’t look but make it look like he placed it there intentionally. In between pages of a book or something.”
“What if he reads the book?” Nie Huaisang scoffed.
“Don’t be stupid. He can’t read.” Once the letter dried, Nie Huaisang handed it off. “It is important that you don’t get caught by anyone. And,” Nie Huaisang wrote another letter, this time in Jin Guangshan’s handwriting, “hand this to one of our Jin spies. Tell them to hand it to Jin Zixun in front of, and this is important, Jin Zixuan. Make sure to tell him it’s from Jin Guangshan.” The spy nodded and went to go carry out her tasks. Nie Huaisang smirked and waited for his pawns to fall together.
“Master the task has been completed.”
“Good. Any difficulty?”
“Jiang Wanyin was with Jin Zixuan when I gave Jin Zixun the letter. He looked upset.”
“I would be too if I had to listen to Jin Zixun speak. Nevertheless, well done.”
One day after the attempted assassination of the Second Young Master Lan, Lan Xichen gave Nie Huaisang the okay to do whatever it takes to avenge Wei Wuxian. Two days after the attempted assassination of the Second Young Master Lan, Wei Wuxian was stabilized, but in a coma. Three days after the attempted assassination of the Second Young Master Lan, Nie Huaisang set his plan into motion. He sat in the Library Pavilion and waited for Jin Zixun to come into view. From then on he waited and waited and waited until hours passed and Jin Zixun was still outside waiting for a man who would never come. The annoying, smug expression he wore turned into one of panic and nervousness. Nie Huaisang acted after that expression bordered hysterics.
“Jin Zixun! Fancy seeing you here.” Said man looked at him and scoffed. Nie Huaisang made sure that the other disciples who were still here from the wedding saw their interactions. At least, what he wanted them to see. “Are you okay? You look like you’ve been standing here for a while.” He put on his picture-perfect innocent look. Jin Zixun somehow got uglier.
“It’s none of your business, useless Nie.” Some of the disciples gasped while some turned the other direction. The direction of, Nie Huaisang noted, his brother. Perfect.
“Of course. The same way it’s none of my business that you’ve been standing here for hours waiting for a man who thinks you’re as useless, if not more, than me.” The innocent smile never left Nie Huaisang’s lips. Jin Zixun turned an angry eye on him.
“YOU!” Good. Draw in more people you stupid, stupid boy.
“Or how you’ve been glaring at every girl who has walked by you. Why? Is it because she rejected you? She refused you sex? She beat you when you tried to force yourself on her? She kicked you off her and laughed in your face about how weak you are? Is that why?” Jin Zixun was turning red.
“How dare you?! What girl wouldn’t want me?” Nie Huaisang opened his fan and scoffed.
“One with standards.” Nie Huaisang could practically see the steam from Jin Zixun’s ears.
“SHUT UP YOU CUTSLEEVE! YOU CAN’T EVEN GET A GIRL! YOU’RE A SICK, DISGUSTING, CUTSLEEVE!” Jin Zixun knew what disgusting meant? Huh, Nie Huaisang didn’t give him enough credit.
“Don’t take it out on me. Wei Wuxian was right when he said you were all bark and no bite. You’re weak in every way. You spend most of your time screwing around, not even bothering to cultivate and hiding behind your stronger cousin. I’d say you’re just like Wen Chao.” Nie Huaisang closed his fan and moved to turn around but he paused. “Don’t be bitter because Meng Yao won’t die a virgin while you will. He’s so much better than you in every way possible.” Nie Huaisang gave Jin Zixun a big smile. “It was nice talking to you! Have a nice day!” Nie Huaisang turned around to see Nie Mingjue storming towards him. If Jin Zixun was smart, he would’ve turned the other direction when he saw Nie Mingjue’s, hell-hath-no-fury expression. Fortunately for Nie Huaisang, the man was about as smart as he was attractive. He felt the man pull out his sword. He saw Nie Mingjue’s eyes widen and Baxia fly. He saw Jin Guangyao dive for him and pull Nie Huaisang into his chest and away from both Baxia and whatever the hell Jin Zixun called his sword. He felt Baxia fly past him. He saw Lan Xichen give him a small nod and a questioning look. Nie Huaisang tapped his hand to his chest, hoping Lan Xichen would get the message. He did.
Behind, Baxia killed Jin Zixun. Rumors started flying. About how a worried Nie Huaisang saw Jin Zixun standing in the hot sun for hours and offered him help, only to get yelled at and attacked. No one mourned Jin Zixun. In fact, Nie Huaisang and Jiang Wanyin threw a small drinking party to celebrate. Well, Jiang Wanyin thought Nie Huaisang was in shock but that’s fine. On Jin Zixun, inside his chest pocket and exactly where Nie Huaisang showed Lan Xichen, a letter was found from Jin Guangshan telling him to meet him where Jin Zixun was waiting. They were going to talk about planning their next move. Disciples searched the Jin’s room only to find another letter outlining the assassination plan on Lan Wangji and the satchel of poison (from which a curse repellent was made and given to Wei Wuxian). The next search was in Jin Guangshan’s room. There, Nie Huaisang knocked down a book and, oh wow what a coincidence, a letter confirming Jin Zixun’s involvement and stating, “I did what you asked” came out of said book. Along side that came both Jin Zixuan’s and Jiang Wanyin’s testimony that they did see a Jin messenger hand Jin Zixun a letter from Jin Guangshan the day after the assassination attempt. Jin Guangshan, predictably, tried to bribe his way out of it, but the Lans were not having it. For the first time in centuries, the Lan clan held a public execution.
A sweet smile overtook Nie Huaisang’s features, one only Lan Xichen knew the true meaning behind.
Wei Wuxian woke up to someone clenching his hand and someone else running his fingers through his hair. There was a voice talking but Wei Wuxian could not figure out who it was. He opened his eyes, only to be blinded by light and groaned. The hand holding his jerked and he felt another hand on his cheek. He knew this hand. Nuzzling into the hand Wei Wuxian let out a content sigh and mumbled, “Lan Zhan.” Said man let out what sounded like a sob, causing Wei Wuxian to open his eyes. “Why are you crying, my love?” Lan Wangji only cried harder. It was only then did Wei Wuxian realize the hand in his hair stopped moving. He looked up to see Lan Xichen with tears running down his face. He opened his mouth to ask what happened when Lan Wangji suddenly pulled him into a hug.
“Wei Ying.” He said burying his face into Wei Wuxian’s hair. “Wei Ying.” A kiss on his lips. “Wei Ying.” A bite on his neck. Wei Wuxian hissed.
“Lan Zhan!” He slapped Lan Wangji’s back for that.
“Wei Ying was stupid. Wei Ying should’ve let me drink or just not drank at all.” Wei Wuxian shook his head and looked at Nie Huaisang. He knew his friend would be there given his love for everyone he considered a friend. Jin Guangyao was holding Nie Huaisang close.
“I had to. There was no way I was letting you get poisoned and if I didn’t drink, no one would find out about the poisoning. Whoever did it needed to be exposed. I assumed that already happened?” Nie Huaisang nodded.
“You know me too well, Wei-xiong.” Everyone looked shocked at the declaration, but Wei Wuxian merely relaxed into Lan Wangji. He was content with staying in Lan Wangji’s arms. People started to question the younger Nie and chaos exploded—
Until Lan Xichen decided he felt let out and smacked Wei Wuxian so hard he thought he would pass out.
“YOU STUPID CHILD!” Oh no… he’s crying. Lan Xichen hugged Wei Wuxian, yanking him out of a grumpy Lan Wangji’s arms. “HOW DARE YOU WILLINGLY DRINK POISON!? I WILL LOCK YOU IN THE JINGSHI FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE IF IT MEANS KEEPING YOU SAFE! MADAM LAN WOULD AGREE! YOU STUPID STUPID STUPID STUPID—” He cut himself off and just broke down. “When will you realize that seeing you in pain kills us? Your heart stopped A-Xian. You fell into a coma. We thought you would die.” Wei Wuxian felt his heart break. He buried his face into Lan Xichen’s hair.
“I’m sorry Chen-gege. I’m sorry.” He looked at Lan Wangji. “Lan Zhan.” Lan Wangji hugged him from behind and buried his head into Wei Wuxian’s neck. Wei Wuxian held a hand to Lan Wangji’s head, keeping him there. “I love you. Both of you. I’ll try not to be as reckless.” Lan Wangji gave a disbelieving scoff and Wei Wuxian felt insulted. “Hey!” Lan Wangji mumbled into his throat, causing Wei Wuxian to shiver.
“Wei Ying is as reckless as he is selfless.” He sighed but let it drop. He was very content in the Lan brothers’ arms.
Apparently, he cannot be content because Nie Huaisang started beating him with his surprisingly painful fan while crying.
“YOU WILL NEVER BE WITHOUT SUPERVISION AGAIN! DO YOU KNOW HOW WORRIED I WAS? HOW WORRIED EVERYONE WAS?? THE LANS DID THEIR FIRST PUBLIC EXECUTION IN CENTURIES BECAUSE OF YOU!” Wei Wuxian was shocked. What???
“Jin Guangshan. Jin Zixuan is Sect Leader now. He proclaimed Jiang Yanli his co-Sect Leader which means the Jins are in for some serious renovations. Jin Zixun died after he pulled a blade on A-Sang.” Jin Guangyao answered. He looked happier. Wei Wuxian sent him a smile.
“I see.” Nie Mingjue sent Wei Wuxian a look.
“Make Xichen cry again and I’ll break your legs.” Wei Wuxian nodded as well as he could with the clingy Lans still holding him. Then he heard a bang and the door almost broke from the force it was slid open.
“A-NIANG!” A-Yuan ran at him. Lan Xichen shifted so A-Yuan could fit between them, still refusing to let Wei Wuxian go. “A-Yuan missed you A-niang.” Wei Wuxian felt tears well in his eyes before pulling A-Yuan closer and kissing his son’s face.
“A-niang missed you too, precious one.” Wei Wuxian looked up when he felt another slap on his head. ‘At this rate, I might as well fall back into a coma.’ Wei Wuxian looked up to see Qingheng-jun, Wen Ning, and Wen Qing standing by the door. The one who slapped him was Lan Qiren, who was standing next to his bed.
“The next time you do something like this, I can and will lock you in the Jingshi and never let you leave Cloud Recesses. Are we clear?” Wei Wuxian nodded.
“Yes, Uncle.” Lan Qiren scoffed and placed a soothing hand on Wei Wuxian’s hair.
“Welcome back, menace.” Qingheng-jun was next. He merely looked at A-Yuan then back at Wei Wuxian.
“The adoption papers have been finalized. You have a son now A-Xian. Don’t make him lose another parent.” Wei Wuxian nodded.
“I’ll try, Father-in-law.” Qingheng-jun sighed but rubbed his hand down a sobbing Lan Xichen’s back and offered Wei Wuxian a smile. Wen Qing gave him a glare.
“If I ever have to revive you again, I will use needles to paralyze you and keep you in Lan Wangji’s bed.”
“I wouldn’t mind.” Lan Wangji, the traitor, mumbled into his neck.
“Lan Zhan.” Wei Wuxian blushed and hid his face in Lan Xichen’s hair. Lan Xichen laughed at his expense. Wen Ning took one look at him and started crying. Oh yeah… Wei Wuxian was going to try harder to live next time. Wei Wuxian relaxed back into Lan Wangji’s arms and reflected on what his life had become.
In another life, he would have died long before getting his happiness.
In another circumstance, half the people in the room were dead and gone.
In another story, everyone in the room suffered hardships greater than one could imagine and a thousand times more painful.
This is not that life, nor that circumstance.
This is not that story.
Surrounded by his friends and family, by the people he loved the most, Wei Wuxian started his forever. He was happy. He was at peace. He was loved in a way that he never thought was possible.
He was home.