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To Regulate Oneself

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The Lan clan was cursed. They will only love once in their life, but be consumed by their passions where they forego all morals and logic. People talk about how romantic the Lan clan is, loving only one person and taking one spouse. Little did they know the growing list of rules was too keep their passionate cursed members in line.

Lan Wangji learned about the consequences of his father’s love for his mother. Locked away in a small house away from the rest of the sect, seen only once a month by her children.

He vowed to protect the one he will love one day, he also promised to never do what his father did.

His mother smiled sadly at him, patted his head, and kissed his cheeks.

“The rules exist to protect others, you must abide by them. Someday you will find someone you love and you must remember the rules. I wish for you to be happy, but I hope they too will be happy with you.”

Young Lan Wangji didn’t understand the heavy meaning behind those words.

His uncle had been drilling the same rules into him since he could remember. It must be important if both his uncle and mother told him so.

As a curious child, he once asked his uncle why the rules existed, how did the previous sect leaders and elders agree that these are the rules that the sect should follow. His uncle looked at him with sadness in his eyes that young Lan Wangji did not fully understand and said that one day he will understand why the rules exist. As a child, he could only nod and accept the answer he was given.

It wasn’t until he was 15 and met an unruly disciple that dare break at least 3 rules on their first night at Cloud Recesses that Lan Wangji finally understood what his uncle meant.

As the head of discipline, he could not let him ago. As Lan Wangji, he could not let Wei Ying go.

Yet he was outsmarted and the loud mouth disciple ran off with a cackle. A beautiful sound that Lan Wangji craved for more despite breaking another more rule.

Lan Wangji was in love and he was willing to burn down the world just to see Wei Ying smile.

 

Lan Wangji did not have friends. His social circle was small and he did not interact with people beyond necessary interactions. He only sought out his brother and uncle if necessary.

Wei Ying was a burst of light in his life, lighting up the darkness left in him from the departure of his mother. At first, he was unsure how to approach the other, but Wei Ying made it easy for him and approached him first.

At first, they were forced to be in each other’s presence as Lan Wangji watched over Wei Ying’s punishment. Not only did the head disciple of Yunmeng Jiang fool around instead of completing his lines, he tried to distract Lan Wangji from his work. However, Lan Wangji was already distracted by the mere presence of the teen who shone brighter than the sun itself.

Lan Wangji found that ignoring him seemed to prompt him to speak more. Thus, he duly ignored him while attempting to do his work.

Wei Ying had the most adorable pout that Lan Wangji would love to kiss away, but he kept himself in check. Each day, it seemed like Wei Ying had a new idea on how to get Lan Wangji’s attention even though he had it all this time. He loved the creativity and persistence that Wei Ying had and graced him with a short reply or a nod once in a while. In turn, Lan Wangji was subjected to one of Wei Ying’s sunshine smiles.

Something shifted between them and Wei Ying continued his endless chatter while Lan Wangji spared words in between. Wei Ying never seemed bored of his company and sought him out even after his punishment was over.

Lan Wangji fell deeper and deeper in love, to the point one may call it an obsession.

He absorbed every word Wei Ying said like he depended on it, memorizing every detail so he could some day surprise the teen.

It became a sort of game for them to see how much Wei Ying could get away with before Lan Wangji half-heartedly scolded him. They forewent rules when they were alone in the library, no one else could hear Wei Ying’s beautiful voice and laughter if they were not Jiang Wanyin or Nie Huaisang. Although Lan Wangji could not keep Wei Ying to himself, he monopolized as much of him as he could.

When that wasn’t enough, Lan Wangji tried to share the feelings he had locked behind his cool demeanor but Wei Ying kept missing the cues.

“Aw, I feel the same way about you too! You’re a great friend, Lan Zhan!”

“Aiya, you’re always so nice to me, Lan Zhan. If you keep this up, I’ll be spoiled and never want to leave you!”

“I’m sure you’ll find a beautiful and strong wife just like you some day! I’ll prepare the biggest wedding gift for you when that day comes!”

Lan Wangji wanted to cry every time his feelings are dismissed. He wanted to court Wei Ying, but he also didn’t want to ruin what they had. He even pushed down the hot impulse to push down Wei Ying and ravish him thoroughly that he was ruined for anyone else.

Then his brother approached him to ask for help at Caiyi Town.

While he mourned over any time not spent with Wei Ying, it was part of his sect duties so he did not refute. However, he did not anticipate Wei Ying, along with his brother and Nie Huaisang, to find them before departing.

“Water ghouls? Jiang Cheng and I can help! We deal with water ghouls all the time in Yunmeng!”

Wei Ying was ever so kind and selfless, but the idea of having him near dangerous creatures did not sit well with him. With a high energy and trouble making tendencies, Lan Wangji can feel that something will go wrong.

Looking at his brother, he desperately pleaded not to allow the request with his eyes.

“If Wei-gongzi insists, Gusu Lan sect appreciates the extra help.”

Lan Wangji had never been so angry and betrayed by his own brother. He even looked proud of himself as Nie Huaisang gave a weak excuse to not participate. As much as Lan Wangji loved and treasured the bright smile and excited cheer Wei Ying gave him before running off with his brother to get his sword, Lan Wangji wished that he stayed back.

“You looked like you wanted Wei-gongzi to accompany us. Admittedly, this will do well for sect relations and their experience is valuable.”

Lan Wangji was definitely glaring at his amused brother.

“Pray that nothing happens to Wei Ying.”

Just as Lan Wangji was hoping that it was a simple case of water ghouls, they find a Waterborne Abyss in Biling Lake. It was a large problem that Lan Wangji can already see the headache forming for the elders and his brother as they try to deal with the problem.

Lan Wangji spared two seconds to look at the disciple trapped on a boat, his sword nowhere in sight before he saw a blur and Wei Ying was flying down to save him. Lan Wangji felt his heart drop when tendrils from the Waterborne Abyss reached out of the water for the disciple and Wei Ying. He was acting on pure instinct when Wei Ying fell into the water along with the Lan disciple. There was a second where Lan Wangji considered leaving the disciple to the mercy of the Waterborne Abyss, but Wei Ying would blame himself if anything happened to him so he surfaced with two bodies instead of one.

“Lan Zhan,” a familiar voice called out after a few coughs, “you saved me.”

It was a statement and Lan Wangji did not feel the need to agree or disagree because he would not need to save Wei Ying if it wasn’t for the Lan disciple. The desire to drop him was even greater now but making sure Wei Ying was fine was his top priority at the moment.

They had concluded that it was driven from the Wen sect, given their distaste for Gusu Lan sect. The lake connected upriver to Qishan territory and it was only logical that the Waterborne Abyss was not dealt with but driven away and into Gusu Lan territory. However, Lan Wangji did not care for the political plays and was more concerned about any lasting damage to Wei Ying.

Once they were passed the gates, Lan Wangji personally ushered the two of them to the infirmary.

Su She. Lan Wangji learned his name before turning away to write his report on what happened. He will be paying a little visit to Su She later.

 

Wei Wuxian had been feeling better since Lan Wangji pulled him out of the water. He might have inhaled some water in surprise when he was dragged under, but he felt fine! However, the healers didn’t believe him and did a very thorough check-up at Lan Wangji’s insistence. If Wei Wuxian was a maiden, he would have swooned at how thoughtful Lan Wangji was.

But the check-up took so long that dinner had to be brought to him! He didn’t get a chance to see Lan Wangji and thank him properly.

Since there was some time between dinner and curfew, Wei Wuxian went to find him. Yet it seemed that Lan Wangji disappeared after dinner without a word to anyone so finding him was even harder than Wei Wuxian thought it would be. But he was stubborn to a fault and kept searching.

He checked in most places Lan Wangji would frequent or potentially be, except for his private residence, to come empty handed.

As he walked by the forest, he heard a rustling and remember the rabbits he caught for Lan Wangji before. Since Lan Wangji liked the two he caught before, Wei Wuxian thought it would be a brilliant idea to catch another one or two and gift them to Lan Wangji again until he had a whole herd of rabbits.

But instead of tracking down the rabbit like he intended to, he came face to face with Lan Wangji. Weird how that worked out, except Wei Wuxian remained empty handed.

“Lan Zhan!” He called out once he spotted him in the distance and ran up to him until Lan Wangji turned and he saw a bright splash of red on Lan Wangji’s usually pristine clothes, blood dripping off Bichen. “Uh…”

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji addressed him calmly as if he was not drenched in blood with unidentifiable lumps of flesh in front of him. “What are you doing here?”

“I was looking for you!” Wei Wuxian huffed before his eyes strayed to the gore before them. He can already hear Jiang Cheng reprimanding him for his choices in life. Even he knew he’s treading into dangerous territory. “Ah, Lan-er-gege, I thought killing was prohibited.”

“It is.”

“Who is it?” Wei Wuxian asked, too curious to hold his tongue. There were shreds of what used to be robes around, but it was so thoroughly soaked in blood that Wei Wuxian could not tell what colour they were before. “Or rather, who was it?”

“Su She.”

Wei Wuxian faintly remembered that name. “That disciple from the afternoon? The one that lost his sword to the Waterborne Abyss?”

“His incompetence hurt Wei Ying.”

Well fuck, if Wei Wuxian said he didn’t swoon at that, he would be a liar.

“Lan-er-gege did this for me?” Wei Wuxian asked. Despite his teasing lilt, he meant it. To go as far to break the rules for him…

“Yes.”

“Is…” Wei Wuxian wet his dried lips and stared straight at Lan Wangji. “Is Lan-er-gege wiling to do anything for me?”

“Always.”

“Even if I asked him to kiss him?”

Wei Wuxian saw the way his eyes widened fractionally, his posture stiffened, and the sharp inhale. Instead of asking again, Wei Wuxian tilted his head to the right and pouted a little as he waited for his answer.

In three strides, Lan Wangji closed the distance, dropped Bichen along the way, and swept Wei Wuxian into a heated kiss. With a hand behind his head and another snaked around his back, any lingering question about how Lan Wangji felt about him was chased away by press of body heat. Wei Wuxian grasped onto the front of bloody white robes to ground himself. After their first kiss, came a second and third one, until they were both out of breath and lips were kiss bruised.

Wei Wuxian looked at Lan Wangji and laughed at the absurdity of the situation.

“You know, I never really liked him,” Wei Wuxian said and gestured to the mess. “There was something about him that felt off. I don’t know how to describe it. But I don’t have to worry now because Lan-er-gege took care of it for me!”

“Mm. I will always protect Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian laughed as Lan Wangji held him closer by the waist. For someone who said he did not like physical contact, he was rather handsy.

“Ah, should we clean up or something? I think someone will have a heart attack if they see you return with your robes dyed in red,” Wei Wuxian said and tried to separate to access the damage on Lan Wangji’s robes, but the latter would not let go.

“They will understand,” Lan Wangji said cryptically. Wei Wuxian didn’t get a chance to ask as Lan Wangji continued, “The rules exist to protect others; the Lan clan has been cursed for many generations.”

“Cursed?” Wei Wuxian asked as he buried his face in Lan Wangji’s shoulder.

“Mm. We will love once and only once. The love will be all consuming, obsessive, and will do anything in their power to attain the person of their affection,” Lan Wangji explained.

“What will you do since you already have me?” Wei Wuxian leaned back in embrace to look at Lan Wangji with amusement. This was not how he imagined confessing, but he wasn’t complaining considering all the kisses he got out of it already.

“Court you properly,” Lan Wangji said with earnest. Wei Wuxian laughed again.

“I look forward to being courted then!”