There are times when inspiration does not strike Wei Wuxian so much as it bludgeons him into submission. An idea moves into his head and leaves little room for anything else. Sitting at his desk in the jingshi, muttering to himself with notes scattered all around him, he looks every bit the mad genius he is rumored to be.
This particular burst of narrowly focused energy has lasted three days. Lan Wangji is, of course, proud of his husband's ingenuity, the creativity pouring out of him and the results of it brilliant to behold. He listens as Wei Wuxian thinks out loud and does his best to fill in the blanks when that racing brain moves more quickly than his mouth can follow, dropping words in its haste to keep up. The cocky little half-grin he gets when he makes a breakthrough and impresses even himself is infectious and honestly, Lan Zhan thinks, quite sexy.
And yet, these states always bring with them a tinge of worry. Lan Wangji nudges Wei Ying's meals into his periphery until he looks up, smiles, and thanks him with a quick kiss before eating just a few bites with ink-stained fingers. Lan Wangji had gone to bed on the first night under the assumption that his husband was soon to follow. He awoke with the sheets next to him rumpled but empty, Wei Wuxian's desk once again occupied. The second night was much the same.
On this third night, Lan Wangji sits on the edge of their bed, his hair down, and watches Wei Ying through the open entryway of the bedroom. It is past their usual compromised bed time and Wei Wuxian is still scribbling, attempting to blink the redness out of his eyes. Despite what he himself might think, the former Yiling Laozu needs to sleep just like any other human being. Lan Zhan grows more concerned with each hour that his husband remains awake.
And he misses him, silly as it feels.
Lan Wangji is perfectly capable of sleeping alone but he does not want to. He wants to be lulled to sleep by Wei Ying's fingers in his hair and the ocean-wave sound of his breathing. Though he's changed into his night clothes, his headband is still wrapped around his forehead. Its removal by Wei Ying's hands has become a part of their nightly routine, be it carefully untied just before sleeping or heatedly discarded with the rest of their clothes. To take it off himself seems a waste of an excuses to touch, no longer needed but still readily taken.
Wei Ying has spoiled him, Lan Zhan realizes with the beginnings of a smile. He has become accustomed to the luxury of him.
Lan Wangji knows from experience that were it him sitting at that desk, tired eyes squinting in the candlelight at the pages before him, Wei Wuxian would have no qualms about placing himself between him and his work, dropping himself into his lap or even sitting right on his papers and demanding in no uncertain terms to be looked at. Lan Wangji is not quite so shameless. Still, he rises to his bare feet and closes the distance between them.
He does not climb into Wei Wuxian's lap but settles himself against his back. He hooks his chin over a black-clad shoulder, rounded as it is from slouching over the desk, and splays a hand wide over Wei Ying's chest, a subtle correction of his posture as he hugs him from behind. "Are you coming to bed?"
Wei Ying lets his weight lean back against his husband. He raises his off hand to squeeze Lan Zhan's where it rests on his sternum. He does not look up from his scrawling. "In a moment, my love."
Lan Zhan very nearly frowns. No, this will not do. He nuzzles into the fall of long black hair (somewhat tangled from the repeated pass of Wei Wuxian's hands) as he ponders his next move.
Wei Wuxian is not the only one subject to sudden inspiration.
"Wei Ying." He does not whine his husband’s name, the way Wei Ying does when their roles are reversed. He does, however, turn his face into his neck to mutter, "Pay attention to me."
The brush stills and Wei Wuxian's head turns, bringing the two of them nose to nose. His mouth is open in surprise and curling into a smile. Lan Zhan has stolen his script and is reading his lines.
Emboldened into experimentation, Lan Wangji pouts his lips. Just a little, for effect. Wei Ying gives a theatrical gasp.
"Lan Zhan!" His outrage is undercut by his laughter and the sound of a brush carelessly dropped and clattering on the surface of the table. He puts his hands, both of them now free, on either side of Lan Wangji’s face. “Are you using my own distraction tactics against me? Oh, the betrayal! From my own husband! Ah, I should've seen this coming. My methods are too good, I've taught you too well by example. The student has become the master."
"Come to bed," Lan Zhan asks again, now that that intent gaze is locked on him. He frees a hand to trace his thumb along the edge of the purplish shadow below Wei Wuxian's eye. "Come and sleep with me.”
Wei Wuxian's eyes dart between Lan Wangji’s face and his scraps of paper, a tad guiltily. He sighs, shoving his face into Lan Zhan's neck even as his fingers inch towards his writing brush again. "Just give me fifteen more minutes? Then I'll come join you. I promise. I'll pay you as much attention as you like."
"Mm. Five minutes,” Lan Zhan counters, and Wei Ying pulls back to narrow his eyes at the challenge. His husband so loves to haggle.
"Ten, and you can keep holding me," he says, wiggling in his arms in demonstration.
Lan Zhan considers this offer for a moment before nodding his agreement.
Wei Wuxian presses a noisy kiss to his cheek in thanks. "Who would've thought Hanguang-Jun would be seducing me away from note-taking?" he asks, throwing a smirk back over his shoulder as he picks up the brush and begins reshuffling his various papers.
Lan Wangji almost, almost bites his earlobe in retaliation, halting himself with the reminder that this is not actually the seduction attempt he's just been accused of. He really does want them both to go to sleep. So he keeps his teeth to himself and returns his head to its resting place Wei Ying's shoulder.
He's always liked watching Wei Ying's hands, even back when he didn't want to like it. From this vantage point, he has a clear view as they write what looks like a list of reminders for when Wei Wuxian returns to his work in the morning. Those hands rearrange piles of notes and sketches into a new system of organization Lan Wangji doesn't attempt to decipher. Between the warmth of the body in his arms and the sight of familiar hands doing familiar tasks, Lan Zhan finds himself relaxing further against Wei Ying's back. He could, if he allowed himself, fall asleep right here.
He does not get the chance. After fourteen minutes (They both knew at the start that Lan Wangji would allow him the full fifteen he asked for), Wei Ying places his brush in its holder and twists in his hold to face him, hands once again cupping either side of his jaw. "Let's go to bed, Lan Zhan."
Lan Wangji helps him to his feet, regardless of if he needs it. In their bedroom, he snuffs out the lights while Wei Wuxian unceremoniously strips down to his pants, as he does when he can't be bothered with changing just to sleep. Lan Wangji does not complain, especially when his bared skin makes clearly visible the place where he likes to lay his head, a dip of muscle carefully triangulated between Wei Ying's head and shoulder and chest. Once in bed, Wei Wuxian knowingly pats the spot in invitation, readily accepted as Lan Zhan slots into place next to him.
"Oh, you're still wearing your headband," Wei Ying realizes aloud, just as they've settled. His fingers skim across Lan Wangji's scalp until they reach the knot tied at the back of his head, loosen it, and set the ribbon aside aside. They return to comb through his husband's hair unimpeded.
A slow, contented breath leaves Lan Zhan's mouth to brush across Wei Ying's collarbone. This is much better than the quiet sound of shuffled paper and hushed swears from a room over. He stretches his arm across Wei Wuxian's chest, to hold him close and to hinder his wriggling out of bed in the middle of the night.
"My poor Lan Zhan, married to such a neglectful man," Wei Wuxian sighs. Lan Wangji's eyes and mouth open to protest (Had he been too transparent in his neediness?), but he finds Wei Ying looking down at him with an easy smile. "What can this husband do to make it up to you?"
"He can do exactly this." The arm across Wei Ying's chest tightens for a moment, a squeeze to his ribcage to indicate all of their current arrangement. "And he can sleep through the night."
"I'll try," he answers with a little laugh.
"I know." Neither of them can force the rapid flow of his thoughts to stop but Lan Zhan hopes they can at least coax them to slow. Enough to let him sleep.
"But hey--" The slow rhythm of his fingers through Lan Zhan's hair is broken by a brief tug, gentle but enough for Lan Zhan to feel it. "If I start thinking too loudly for you to sleep, you have my full permission to distract me again.”
Lan Wangji opens his eyes just enough to shoot him a look, though he can't help the little twitch at the corner of his mouth. "Good night, Wei Ying."
He falls asleep to the answering laugh.
When he wakes up in the morning, Wei Ying is asleep. His closed eyes are pleasantly sleep-puffy and his hand is practically ensnared in Lan Wangji's hair, but carefully extricating himself from their tangle is a price Lan Zhan is as happy to pay, like the silver pieces that buy Wei Ying's wine. The temptation to linger in the warmth of their bed mounts higher than the not-yet-risen sun.
Five minutes, Lan Wangji tells himself, sinking back into Wei Ying's side. It is more like fifteen.