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“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says at breakfast one morning. Wei Wuxian has been lovingly bundled out of bed, and after this he will be lovingly bundled back into bed, tucked in snugly with the blankets up to his nose and a kiss on his forehead if the pattern holds.

“Mmgn?” Wei Wuxian says, sleepy but not unaffectionate.

“I am warning you. I am about to say something nice.”

Wei Wuxian is instantly awake. “Shit. Fuck. Okay.” He braces himself. “Okay, go on.”

Lan Wangji looks at him, looks deeply into his soul from over the edge of his teacup, held neatly in two hands just like the Lan precepts dictate. “I love you very much and I will be thinking about you all day.”

Wei Wuxian groans and falls over in slow motion. “Lan Zhan.”

“I warned you,” Lan Wangji says placidly, sipping his tea. “As you requested.”

“It’s too early in the morning, I can’t cope with you being sweet out loud when I’m not even awake!” Tucking him back into bed after breakfast is different. Kissing his forehead is different. “I have more requests,” Wei Wuxian says, hauling himself back up with the edge of the table. 

Lan Wangji looks at him fondly. “Anything Wei Ying wants.”

“What did I just say,” Wei Wuxian hisses at him.

Lan Wangji is too dignified to roll his eyes, but the tone is there. “Anything Wei Ying wants will be given due consideration.” 

“Better.”

“And then granted.”

“Lan Zhan, please, it’s six in the morning.”

His dreadful husband does not appear to be repentant in the slightest. He has a faint smile, which he is failing to hide in his teacup. “What are your requests?”

“Not before eight. I can’t deal with this out loud stuff before then.”

Lan Wangji nods. “Accepted.”

 

*

 

The next day, at precisely 8:01am, a paperman talisman flits into the room, lands on Wei Wuxian’s dozing face, and murmurs into his mind with Lan Wangji’s voice. Wei Ying.

“Mmnghgh,” says Wei Wuxian, squinting one eye open. “Ah fuck.”

I’m warning you.

“Fuck,” he says again. “Okay. Go on.”

I miss you. I want to have lunch with you today. They have lunch together almost every day. Wei Wuxian still squirms a little. Do you want tangerines?

Wei Wuxian is still not awake enough to parse this. He’s missing something. Why are tangerines so dangerously romantic that they qualify in Lan Wangji’s head as one of the things Wei Wuxian has to be given a moment to brace himself for? “Sure,” he says carefully.

Mn. Good. He can just picture Lan Wangji’s satisfied little quirk of a smile. I want to peel them for you forever.

Womp, there it is. Wei Wuxian makes an incoherent noise and pulls the blankets over his head. So what if the paperman is also underneath, he’s not hiding from Lan Wangji, he’s just hiding from the embarrassment. His face is burning and his face already hurts from his smile. “I’m amending my requests,” he grouses. “We’ll discuss it at lunch.”

New amendment: Wei Wuxian has to be given time to get up properly in the morning. Eight o’clock is still too early. 

 

*

 

The next day, Lan Wangji arrives home for lunch again, as per usual. Wei Wuxian is awake, but still lounging in bed, reading. Lan Wangji sits on the edge of the mattress, pulls the book down from Wei Wuxian’s face to collect a kiss, and then three or four more kisses, and then seven or eight more after that, and then the servants are tapping on the door and Lan Wangji has to get up to let them in with the trays. 

Wei Wuxian, well content and very well kissed, clambers ungracefully to the edge of the bed, stretches, and stands up.

“I’m warning you,” Lan Wangji says instantly. He’s peeling a tangerine. Wei Wuxian considers whether it’s reasonable to request that he be given fair warning about tangerines from now on. Probably not.

“What has gotten into you lately?” Wei Wuxian grumbles. He sits on a cushion at the table and drapes himself halfway into Lan Wangji’s lap, which is how they usually eat lunch these days. “Okay. I’m ready. Do your worst.”

Lan Wangji puts a slice of tangerine to Wei Wuxian’s lips. “Are you enjoying the book?”

“Not a bit. That author couldn’t tell his ass from his feet if you gave him five chances and offered a cash prize,” Wei Wuxian says from around the mouthful of fruit. “I’m hate-reading it. Is he still alive? Can I write a letter to him about everything he got wrong? I also have criticisms about his prose. I suppose if he’s not alive I could just burn the letter. That’d work, right? If burning paper money works, then burning a letter should also work. If he’s so mad about it that he comes to haunt me, all the better, I’ll just be able to argue with him to his face.”

“He is not alive,” Lan Wangji says. “The book was originally written two hundred years ago. It is considered a seminal classic in the study of cultivation.”

“It’s wrong and he’s stupid,” Wei Wuxian says, accepting another piece of tangerine.

“Mn. May I read your letter before you burn it?”

“Yeah, of course, you can tell me if I’ve missed anything.”

“Wei Ying won’t miss anything,” Lan Wangji says, very fond. Wei Wuxian squirms a little, but this is within the acceptable parameters of verbal affection, and he had been warned. “Wei Ying should make a copy of the letter. I will add it to the library and the cultivation curriculum.”

Wei Wuxian opens his mouth to protest vehemently--he hasn’t even written it yet!--and finds it stuffed with another piece of tangerine. He glares up at his husband. “Why don’t you wait and see if I’m actually right?”

“Students should be shown alternative arguments whenever possible. It is how they learn to think for themselves.” He looks down and brushes Wei Ying’s lips with his fingertips. “Wei Ying is brilliant. He will be right, and students should have the privilege of benefiting from his wisdom. Everyone should.”

Wei Wuxian makes a high pitched noise and turns to hide his face in Lan Wangji’s stomach.

“Wei Ying is going to make more requests,” Lan Wangji guesses.

“Wei Ying sure is!” he says, muffled in Lan Wangji’s clothes. He feels a consoling little pat against his shoulder.

 

*

 

“Ought I give you fair warning in bed?” Lan Wangji asks seriously.

“Are you about to start getting really chatty in bed?” Wei Ying shoots back. “And no, that’s fine, you’d only be saying nice things about my body, anyway, and that’s not embarrassing.” Lan Wangji pauses and looks thoughtful. Wei Wuxian leans back on his hands and gives him a foxy grin. “Why? You suddenly want to wax poetic about how much you like my cock? No objections here, please go right ahead if the mood strikes you.”

“Hm,” says Lan Wangji, still thoughtful.

“Do you need inspiration?” Wei Wuxian climbs into his lap and bites his ear, shoves his groin against Lan Wangji’s stomach as he adds, “I’ve got a whole fountain of inspiration for you right here.” Lan Wangji snorts, and Wei Wuxian has to pull back to look at his face--Lan Wangji laughing properly is an event which must have Wei Wuxian’s undivided attention. 

Lan Wangji kisses his nose. “Later. I shall think first about what to say.”

Wei Wuxian feels a trickle of heat run down his spine. “Yeah, okay,” he says, already a little breathless. “What if we go a round right now, though, and I’ll give you some examples?” He doesn’t need time to prepare speeches about Lan Wangji’s cock, he can do that extemporaneously. Then again, he can do most things extemporaneously. 

Lan Wangji gives another little huff of laughter--twice in one meal! What is happening!--and yanks Wei Wuxian’s clothes open. Wei Wuxian falls backward, dragging Lan Wangji down with him by the back of his neck, and flutters his eyelashes in that way that always makes his husband’s eyes go hot. “Hurry, hurry, don’t make me wait.”

 

*

 

“I have thought about what to say,” Lan Wangji says that evening.

Wei Wuxian eyes him from where he’s been soaking in the bathtub for the last forty minutes--alone, though it’s big enough for two. He’s been toying with the idea of performatively bewailing his poor neglected state, his cruel neglectful husband, has all the passion already gone out of their marriage, Wei Wuxian will have to be cold and lonely all by himself, perhaps he will drown from sorrow... 

But it isn't plausible--the latest warmth talisman is still glowing on the wall of the tub, and the water is steaming; his skin is very pink. “Have you,” he says. “You sound proud of yourself.”

Lan Wangji makes his face more modest and humble right away. Wei Wuxian suspects only a handful of people would be able to tell--Lan Xichen and Sizhui, certainly. He isn’t even sure Lan Qiren could. It’s in the line of his shoulders, the dip of his eyelashes.

“Is there anything I shouldn’t say?” Lan Wangji asks.

“What, during sex?” Wei Wuxian scoffs. “Don’t be silly. Have you heard yourself? You could read me a treatise on the history of tax law and as long as you were touching me at the same time, I guarantee I’d get off.” His blood stirs a little at the thought. Maybe they should try that. He really doesn’t care what Lan Wangji says, he just wants that low voice rumbling in his ear and against his chest.

When Lan Wangji speaks again, he sounds as if he is being very patient. “Is there anything I could say which would upset you?”

Wei Wuxian wonders mildly what Lan Wangji thinks he’s got up his sleeve. Is he going to call Wei Wuxian names? A shiver thrills up his spine. He swallows. “Nope,” he says lightly. “Please be as mean as you like.” Hopefully Lan Wangji will like to be very, very mean. 

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says, and now he sounds satisfied.

 

*

 

Which is how Wei Wuxian finds himself bound, spread-eagled, to the posts of the bed, stark naked and still warm and damp from the bath, with Lan Wangji straddling him, fully clothed because he’s a fucking bitch like that. 

Lan Wangji finishes adjusting the last knot and checks to make sure Wei Wuxian’s circulation won’t be impeded. “Comfortable?” 

“Take your clothes off,” Wei Wuxian says, pushing his hips up as best he can in this limited position.

“Later,” says Lan Wangji, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Wei Wuxian peers up at him suspiciously. "I am going to tell you things first."

Wei Wuxian hears a little warning bell in the back of his mind. "You're going to tell me how good my cock is," he says, wary. "Right?"

"It's good," Lan Wangji agrees, too matter-of-fact to be at all sexy. "I am also going to say how good Wei Ying is."

His heart stutters in his chest. "Oh. Uh. Okay."

Lan Wangji shifts a little to get comfy, tapping his fingers against Wei Ying's shoulders. He cannot move at all, except his head. Lan Wangji smiles a little. "Wei Ying is good."

He swallows hard. “Ahaha. Ha. Sure, if you say so.”

“Wei Ying is clever and thoughtful. Wei Ying is a good and loving teacher to the young disciples, and an excellent mentor to the older ones.”

Why are his eyes burning? This is… He squirms, tugging at the ties. “Ah... Lan Zhan, this is what you spent all day thinking of?”

“Yes. Wei Ying is kind, but he is not used to people being kind in return. Therefore, I should make up for it.”

“Don’t want you to make up for it,” he retorts. “I want you to have your wicked way with me.”

“I am,” Lan Wangji says, twining a lock of Wei Wuxian’s hair around a finger. “This is the way I want, and I am having it. Wickedly.”

Wei Wuxian thrashes in his bonds. “I hate it,” he whines. “It’s bad.”

Lan Wangji leans down and kisses him, soft and sweet.

“Good, yes, do more of that,” Wei Wuxian says, turning his head to catch Lan Wangji’s mouth better. “Yes, kiss me--”

With an indulgent air, Lan Wangji kisses the tip of his nose. “I like you,” he says seriously.

Wei Wuxian feels his face going red. He tries to look anywhere but at his husband. “Lan Zhan, do you want me to shrivel up like a raisin?”

“I want you to know my feelings.”

“I know them!” he protests loudly. “Can we have sex now?”

“This is sex.”

Wei Wuxian looks at him now, incredulous. “Are you fucking sure?”

“You’re hard,” Lan Wangji says simply, rocking back a little.

Wei Wuxian splutters. “The most beautiful man in the whole world is on top of me and touching me, what do you expect!”

Lan Wangji gives one of those precious, small smiles. “Wei Ying is the most beautiful.”

“Objectively not true, and I have the most-eligible-bachelors rankings from when we were teenagers to prove it--”

“Those said that elder brother was the most beautiful.”

“It’s not my fault they were wrong!”

“I agree, they were wrong. The most beautiful is Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian pouts up at him. “Why are you being so cruel to me?”

“Is it cruel to admire one’s own husband?”

“It is cruel to tie him up and torture him!”

“Wei Ying said to be as mean as I like,” he says with a little shrug. “If you wish to stop, you need only say so.”

Wei Wuxian subsides, fuming and not quite sure why. “Just--I don’t--ugh. Ugh! Lan Zhan!”

Lan Wangji pets his hair and says nothing, only waits.

“Embarrass your husband until morale improves, is that it?” Wei Wuxian grumbles. “It’s foul and dishonorable tactics, Lan Zhan. It is unrighteous and--and unjust--”

Lan Wangji is looking down at him with an infinitely patient expression. “Please explain.”

But of course he cannot. He flails for words for a moment, but finds that they have all deserted him.

There’s a big, empty hollow space inside him, in the dark depths of his brain, and he goes to quite a lot of trouble to pretend it isn’t there--sometimes he pretends so hard and so well that even he forgets about it for a time. It is a great sucking abyss, a vast hunger. He would think that it’s some side effect of demonic cultivation, but he’s been ignoring it for as long as he can remember. He cannot explain it--perhaps there aren’t words in any language to explain it. 

“Did I do something?” he demands suddenly, almost snapping. “Have I been moping or--or inconveniencing you in some way?” Wei Wuxian’s stomach jolts as soon as he says it. He hadn’t realized how terrified he’d been of that question or its answer until it had been said. He doesn’t feel even a little bit turned on now.

“No.” Lan Wangji frowns, then leans down and kisses him. “Do you want to be untied?”

Wei Wuxian’s eyes burn again. He squeezes them shut. If he is untied, then he will be obligated to try to run away from this conversation or distract Lan Zhan from it. He will lose the plausible deniability that’s allowing him to stay here and have this conversation at all. The ribbons are not so strong that he’d be unable to rip them if he really tried, even without using his scant amount of spiritual energy. “No,” he whispers. “No. I want to be held tighter, actually.” That’s safe. That’s what safe is.

Lan Wangji moves off of him, plastering up against Wei Wuxian’s side, getting an arm under his neck and the other around his waist, burying his nose in Wei Wuxian’s hair and hugging him tight. Wei Wuxian releases a slow, shaky breath. “You’re so mean to me,” he mutters into Lan Wangji’s chest.

“I am not mean. I am taking care of you.”

“What happened to the part where we do that naked, huh? Where you take care of me really hard two or three times, four on a good night, and then we pass out?” He tries to bite Lan Wangji’s chest, but he only gets a mouthful of cloth for his trouble. He spits it out. “It’s more fun, right?” 

“It is fun.” Lan Wangji squeezes him tighter. After a long, quiet moment, Lan Zhan says, “Sometimes the bunnies get hurt.” Wei Wuxian is immediately on high alert. This sounds like the beginning of a parable, and it’s going to make him look at the big dark empty thing inside of him, and it’s going to be dreadful. “They are small, and being injured makes them more vulnerable. It is difficult to catch them, and it is more difficult to treat them. They struggle, and sometimes they bite, because they do not know what help is. When they hurt, they think there is only danger.”

Wei Wuxian swallows hard and clenches his jaw tight. “Mn,” he says, because if Lan Wangji can get away with being noncommittal, why can’t he?

“Wei Ying flinches like a hurt bunny about certain things.” After a moment, Lan Wangji adds philosophically, “He is also very difficult to catch.”

“Oh, I see, you only like me because I’m like a bunny,” Wei Wuxian says, still valiantly attempting to make a joke out of it.

Except Lan Wangji, the absolute asshole, pauses to think about it seriously. “Very cute. Soft and cuddly. Hard to catch. Fast and nimble. Deceptively sharp teeth.”

“Down to fuck like all the time,” Wei Wuxian adds helpfully. “Including right now.”

Lan Wangji snorts and bumps a kiss against his temple. “Maybe it is the other way around. Maybe I like bunnies because they are like Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian squirms a little, but it’s in a pleasanter way. “See, that’s cute, why can’t you just say stuff like that?” 

“It does not tell me anything about the hurt. You do not flinch when I touch you there.”

Wei Wuxian groans. “So this is all just… what, diagnostic? Prodding me to see what makes me squeak?”

“Mm,” Lan Wangji agrees. “I would like to know whether the hurt requires treatment.”

“Hate this a lot,” Wei Wuxian offers. “What if you just leave it be, though? What if we just ignore it?” 

“I do not want to. But Wei Ying is not a bunny. Wei Ying can tell me about the hurt himself, or ask to stop.”

“What if I say that you’re only allowed to say nice things to me if you submit an application to make an appointment ten days in advance? And you have to bring a receipt as proof of acceptance? And also I am not expected to look at you or speak while it is happening?”

“That is flinching.”

“Fuck.”

“What other restrictions? For argument’s sake.”

Wei Wuxian flexes his fingers and toes, just to feel the safe tug of the ribbons. Still there. Still tied, still held. “The appointment will last five minutes,” he says. “And, uh…” What else? “You have to provide general categories of the things you’re going to say. In writing. Also in advance.” It’s a joke, of course, anything this elaborate would have to be a joke, but it feels good to joke in this way, to… lean into it, to admit out loud in this small way that he does know his behavior is nonsensical. “And you’re not allowed to reschedule without a notarized letter from two sect leaders.”

“So much paperwork.”

“Yeah, bureaucracy these days is really getting out of hand.” 

“It will be very tedious for you,” Lan Wangji says. He adds, with a note of such subtle sarcasm that only Wei Wuxian would ever be able to identify it, “Wei Ying will have to become organized.”

“Merciless!” Wei Wuxian gasps. “Heartless! So cold!”

“Mm. It is the truth.”

“Someone please help,” Wei Wuxian wails, though not very loudly. “My husband is casting aspersions! I am cut to the quick!”

He feels Lan Wangji smile again against the side of his face. “No flinch,” he murmurs. “Would it not be less work to simply talk?”

“Who are you and what have you done with my husband? My husband would rather chew his own leg off than talk.”

“Hm. But mine likes to talk. I like listening to him.” Lan Wangji kisses the point of his shoulder. “So talk.”

Wei Wuxian takes several deep breaths. When he’s steadied himself, he says, “Don’t think I can, actually.” He turns his face, shielded from the room by the curtain of Lan Wangji’s hair, and whispers, both a single desperate swing at honesty and a closely-kept secret, “You were right before, actually. You’re gonna have to force me or trick me. Otherwise I’ll just hide it forever.” He licks his lips, squeezes his eyes shut. “Sorry.”

Lan Wangji’s arms tighten around him again. “No sorries.”

“I really am being inconvenient now, huh?” He manages a little laugh, almost as if he doesn’t mind whatever Lan Wangji is going to say in response.

“You are not. Wei Ying’s well-being is worth time and effort.”

“I’m a pain in the ass, though, you can say it. I’m making you do hard work.”

“In pursuit of a worthy cause.”

“If you say so.” Wei Wuxian’s breath stutters again in his chest. “Okay. Okay, do it, then. I won’t bite.”

Lan Wangji pushes himself up on one elbow, strokes the hair out of Wei Wuxian’s face. “Comfortable?”

He flexes his feet, tugs again on the ribbons. “Getting cold, actually.” Lan Wangji pulls away just long enough to get the blanket folded on the floor and spread it over him. “And you have to be very close,” he adds, swallowing. “I’ll make a spectacle of myself otherwise, and then we’ll both be embarrassed and you’ll never want to do this again.” He can just picture it: Lan Wangji sitting even a foot away, even six inches away, and looking at him and saying nice things until Wei Wuxian thrashes to be free and bursts into tears and--no. No, that’s bad. It makes the empty hollow thing surge and ache. He won’t survive this unless Lan Wangji is touching him. “And--skin,” he chokes out. How is he already driven so far to devastation just by thinking about it? “Skin would be nice.” 

Lan Wangji slides under the blanket with him, pulls open his robes, and winds himself around Wei Wuxian again. The heat of his bare chest against Wei Wuxian’s side is a shock, followed by a rush of off-key euphoria. Wei Wuxian relaxes a few muscles--his legs, his arms, his back--and only then notices how hard he’d been tensed. 

“Hi,” he whispers.

“Hello,” Lan Wangji whispers back, and kisses him. “Good?”

Wei Wuxian nods, squeezes his eyes shut. “Okay. Okay, just--go ahead.”

“Mm. You need only ask me to stop.” 

“No,” he says sharply. “No, I’m going to say stop a lot. It’s going to be constant whining and pleading for mercy. If I don’t have ‘stop’, then I’ll just cry instead.” He cracks one eye open. “You’ll just have to ignore me.”

Lan Wangji presses even closer, close  enough to rub his nose and forehead against the side of Wei Wuxian’s face. “And if you don’t want to be ignored?”

“I’ll call you by your courtesy name and you’ll be too offended to even look at me.” Wei Wuxian is getting a little distracted by the velvet heat of Lan Wangji’s bare skin against his, but that’s quite normal. “You’ll probably roll right out of bed and sulk over your guqin on the other side of the room, and I’ll have to say sorry and promise to only use shameless names for a week. Call you gege in front of the juniors, that sort of thing. Hey, serious question though, what if we just forget about all this and fuck?”

Gratifyingly, Lan Wangji does hesitate for a moment. He smooths his hand, almost unconsciously, across Wei Wuxian’s bare stomach, under the blankets.

“Yes, touch me,” Wei Wuxian breathes encouragingly, melting further into the blankets and pushing up against Lan Wangji’s palm. 

But that seems to remind Lan Wangji of what he’s doing, because the touch becomes much more businesslike, sliding around Wei Wuxian’s ribs and cinching them as snugly together as they can get. 

“Wei Ying is not an inconvenience,” Lan Wangji says, speaking directly against Wei Wuxian’s skin--he slams his eyes closed and suppresses the urge to squirm. “Wei Ying is precious and important.”

“Stop that,” he mutters as promised, because otherwise he will simply die. 

It gets worse from there. Lan Wangji doesn’t move his hands below the waist, though he sweeps his open palms along the length of Wei Wuxian’s side, his arms. He speaks and speaks and speaks, and Wei Wuxian has never heard him say this much all at once in all the time he’s known him. It is all said in the same straightforward way, the same low rumble of voice that Wei Wuxian can feel vibrating against the side of his chest. His breath is hot against Wei Wuxin’s ear and neck, his lips close enough to brush the corner of his jaw. 

Some of it makes him laugh, and some of it makes him… flinch, yes, that was a good word for it. Some of it chafes him sore, exposing far too much of his tattered and bruised little heart. Some of it makes him stop breathing. Some of it makes him go cold and clammy, for reasons he is too far gone to articulate; some of it sends flushes of heat from his nose to his knees. Perhaps most embarrassingly, some of it gets him hard.

All of that alone would have been enough to leave him wrenched and scraped raw, but then Lan Wangji noses closer to his ear, and drops his voice even quieter, and calls him A-Ying.

 

*

 

When he’s able to speak again, the first thing he says is, “I don’t want to talk about it.”

Lan Wangji is looking offensively smug and pleased with himself, Wei Wuxian can tell. Not that he’s looking at him. Not that he’s ever going to be able to look him in the eye again. What a shame, to be married to someone and sleep next to them every night and never again look upon their beautiful face, for fear of shriveling up into embarrassment about the fact that they made Wei Wuxian weep and beg and come so hard he went deaf for a solid twenty seconds, just by talking painfully sweet nothings into his ear and hugging him and calling him--that. What a shame, what a shame.

He can feel that he’s still bright red down to his collarbones.

“Do you need anything?” his horrible husband asks as he unties the ribbons from the bedposts. He sounds all sweet and solicitous, as if he’s not a fucking demon in perfect, pretty Lan whites. 

Wei Wuxian needs several things, in fact. A cloth to wipe all the come off his thighs, a second cloth to wipe all the gross tears and snot off his face, a blanket that isn’t drenched, a snack, several bottles of wine, at least ten months in strict seclusion, and for Lan Wangji to come back and hug him again, because every moment that he’s not directly touching Wei Wuxian is becoming exponentially alarming.

He runs through the list and tries to prioritize. His brain is not working properly, still sluggish and misfiring in occasional little bursts of sparks, the aftershocks of pleasure. It has been minutes since he came. What the fuck. “Washcloth.”

Lan Wangji pulls off his clothes and offers his own inner shirt. Wei Wuxian wipes his face on one sleeve, wipes up the mess with the other, throws it off the side of the bed, kicks off the blankets, and snatches up one of Lan Wangji’s outer robes to wrap himself in. It’s warm and it smells amazing . The feeling in the center of his chest, which is too complex and loud to be described with any word besides intense, eases a little. He holds out his arms and makes grabby hands. “Now take responsibility.”

Lan Wangji, prompt and efficient, bundles him up against his chest. Wei Wuxian rubs his face against it. “Stop feeling so pleased with yourself,” Wei Wuxian mutters. “It’s forbidden in the Cloud Recesses.”

“Are you upset?”

“I’ve never come so hard in my life and my ears are still ringing, let’s never speak of this again.”

“It is unnecessary for Wei Ying to now develop a sense of shame.”

“You take that back. Who are you calling shamed? Did I have any shame earlier this afternoon?” He’s attempting to go for a scolding tone, but he’s still a little too woozy for his words to have any edge. “What did I say then? I said, if you fuck me deep enough I’ll definitely get pregnant. How dare you imply that I have any shame.” 

“My mistake.”

Wei Wuxian grumbles under his breath and rubs his face against Lan Wangji’s chest again. Lan Wangji’s nice warm hands rub up and down his back. “So cruel to bully your poor husband like this,” he said. It came out half-garbled around a yawn. “Just--gonna nap for a minute, okay?” He patted Lan Wangji’s chest. Such a nice chest. Such a nice husband. “Then you can bully me again.”

“I thought Wei Ying didn’t wish to talk about it.”

“S’right,” he mumbles, around the last ragged shreds of consciousness. “But talking and doing is different.”

 

*

 

Wei Wuxian wakes up the next morning, very sore in several different sets of muscles but not even a bit sticky--what a good boy his husband is--and sleepily examines his wrists. The skin feels a little chafed, but there aren’t any visible marks. There are a couple new ones on his chest, though, a pair of love-bites that were bright red last night and have developed to purple this morning. 

He gradually becomes aware that he’s starving, but the light is too bright for it to be early morning.

He rolls over to his other side, pushes himself up on one elbow, and peers across the room--ah, as expected, there is breakfast waiting for him.

It still takes him another ten minutes before he rolls out of bed, stretches until all his joints pop, wraps the robe he’d stolen from Lan Zhan tighter around himself, and shuffles across to the table. 

There are a few covered bowls, kept warm by talismans, but front and center of all of them are a pair of peeled tangerines and a neatly folded piece of paper with Wei Wuxian’s name written on it in beautiful calligraphy. 

Wei Wuxian gazes at it for a long time, feeling some of that complicated intensity from the night before still simmering in his chest--he feels again that compulsion to object in the strongest terms to this, to pound his fists against Lan Wangji’s chest and bewail his poor fragile heart which could not possibly take even one more sweet word.

As if that's fooling anyone, he seethes at himself. It certainly isn’t fooling his husband. “I want you to know my feelings, Wei Ying,” he mutters to himself, glaring at the peeled tangerines as if they might accuse him of being too greedy, too grasping, too hungry, too--much. 

Except the more demanding, the more obnoxiously needy, the more too much he is, then the more Lan Wangji just… accommodates him, and seems delighted to do it, in that quiet and serene way he has. Case in point: Peeled tangerines left with breakfast, because Wei Wuxian might want them, and Lan Wangji wants to be the one to do it for him. 

It is making his head spin. It is, frankly, making him a little anxious--when is he going to run into a limit? Was there an upper limit? 

Wei Wuxian eats one of the tangerines and gazes suspiciously at the letter. At last, he huffs a breath and tsks at himself. “You’re the Yiling Patriarch, you spent three months in the Burial Mounds, went back voluntarily, and took up corpse puppetry as a fun hobby. What do you have to be scared of? Dying?” he scolds, and picks up the letter, unfolding it.

The first thing he notices was that Lan Wangji had used the nice paper. And his nicest calligraphy, and--Wei Wuxian bends to sniff the page--the very best ink, delicately perfumed with incense.

To the esteemed Wei Wuxian, greetings.

If convenient, this humble one would beg the honor of your indulgence ten days hence at a time to be determined, for an appointment lasting no more than five minutes. This humble one, if permitted, will present a list of the qualities and virtues he most admires in your venerable person.  The list will be in regards to the following topics:

First, that this humble one bears a great and abiding affection for you;

Second, that this humble one often meditates on the ideals that you best embody and aspires to model them according to your good example;

Third, that this humble one, if all previous items in the presentation have been deemed acceptable, would be very pleased to commit certain acts upon your distinguished personage which are too vulgar to commit to paper.

Respectfully yours,

Lan Zhan, courtesy name Wangji

Wei Wuxian carefully folds the letter back up and sets it on the table. Then, he topples slowly onto his side, buries his face in a cushion, and has a bit of a hysterical moment during which he is not sure whether he is screaming or giggling deliriously or, possibly, both. 

When he collects himself and sits up, cheeks still stinging with a blush, he gives the letter the sternest look he can manage and says, “I can’t even look at you right now.” He shoves it under the breakfast tray, tries not to think about it while he eats and finishes waking up, fails miserably at step two, and eventually gives up and pulls it out to read five more times.

When he has collected himself a second time, and then a third time, he scrambles to his feet, pilfers through Lan Wangji’s writing supplies, finds the good paper and the very best inkstick, and settles down to write a response.

Lan Zhan,

I can’t believe that I thought you were cool when we were teenagers. You really have to learn how to flirt better, or someone is going to take advantage of you one day! Come home for lunch, your husband will teach you.

In regards to your application for an appointment ten days hence, I have luckily discovered an opening in my schedule later this evening. In the future, however, this esteemed one would request that you make the list of proposed topics in much greater detail, particularly in regards to item number three. There is nothing too vulgar to commit to paper. Please include diagrams.

Love,

Your A-Ying