If there was one thing Wei Wuxian didn't really care about, it was his studies. His family still thought it was miraculous he'd even managed to graduate from high school, but Wei Wuxian's argument was that he wasn't dumb, he was just unmotivated when it came to schoolwork. He had no intention of pursuing higher education for the time being either (mostly due to him not wanting to be a financial burden, but he also wasn't entirely sure what he wanted to do with his life), and said to everyone that he would be fine working part-time and making barely enough money to get by. His family didn't approve of this idea.
Wei Wuxian lived with the Jiang family, having lost his parents when he was young. For the most part, he enjoyed the company of the Jiangs and was extremely grateful to them for giving him a good, safe upbringing. But they kept trying to tell him what to do, and it annoyed him. Wei Wuxian's instincts told him to disobey every order thrown his way and resist authority as much as legally possible. From a young age, he talked back to teachers, refused to listen to his parents and essentially just did whatever the fuck he wanted. This earned him the resentment of his adoptive brother Jiang Cheng, who found Wei Wuxian's behaviour deplorable at best.
In truth, his parents were worried about his future, and so was Jiang Cheng. They were convinced that something bad would happen to Wei Wuxian at some point and they wanted to help him before things got to that stage. During high school, his adoptive father Jiang Fengmian had tried to convince him to at least find a nice girlfriend, and his mother Madam Yu attempted to set him up on several dates with daughters of women she was friends with. After about the fourth time, Wei Wuxian finally admitted to his family that he wasn't interested in girls, and maybe their plans would work better if they could hook him up with a cute guy instead.
Jiang Fengmian had immediately apologised and had said he would take it into consideration. Madam Yu was less keen, although she'd said she'd ask around in case anyone had a son or a nephew who was like-minded. Wei Wuxian's sister Jiang Yanli had been extremely supportive and had told her brother that she'd always love him no matter what.
Jiang Cheng had been outraged. He hadn't understood why Wei Wuxian hadn't simply told their parents in the first place and instead had wasted their time. He'd argued that he didn't care about Wei Wuxian's sexual orientation as such, just that he'd inconvenienced so many people and wanted to know why someone as free and non-caring as his brother had kept quiet for such a long time. Jiang Yanli had managed to shut him up and had told him he had no right to ask such private questions, which Wei Wuxian was eternally thankful for. He didn't want to explain to Jiang Cheng if Jiang Cheng couldn't work out what Wei Wuxian had been afraid of. Jiang Cheng had eventually apologised, however, and the two were on friendly terms again.
One day, Madam Yu had called a family meeting. These were not unusual in the Jiang household, and Wei Wuxian was sure it was just something stupid again, like it usually was. Only, it was apparently about him.
Wei Wuxian nearly choked on his tea when Madam Yu explained the situation to him.
"I'm sorry," Wei Wuxian said after he'd caught his breath, putting a hand up. "Are you... serious?"
"Why wouldn't I be?" Madam Yu furrowed her brows, looking extremely displeased. "I went through all the effort to set this up for you -- is this not what you wanted?"
"I..." Wei Wuxian paused, lowering his hand. "Well, yeah, but not quite like this."
"Why are you complaining, A-Xian?" Jiang Yanli asked. "I think this is a wonderful opportunity!"
The opportunity in question was thus: Madam Yu was friends with a woman whose husband was friends with a man who had a gay nephew. The man was reportedly looking for a potential suitor for his nephew, but said nephew kept rejecting anyone who his uncle tried to offer him. So, when Madam Yu had heard about this, she'd volunteered Wei Wuxian. The uncle and nephew had both agreed, and Wei Wuxian had no fucking clue what strings Madam Yu had pulled to manage that.
Wei Wuxian was about to protest, when Jiang Cheng spoke exactly what he'd been thinking: "This is ridiculous, Mother!"
"For once, I agree with you," Wei Wuxian laughed. "I'm sorry, Madam Yu, but I've never actually had any dating experience. There's no way I'd be a good boyfriend let alone a good husband."
Jiang Cheng scoffed. "At least you're aware of your own shortcomings," he commented. Wei Wuxian simply shrugged exaggeratedly.
"Then this could be a good chance to learn," Madam Yu said. "Since your partner apparently has high standards, you'll most likely just be going on a single date before he's had enough of you. But at bare minimum you have to attend the date."
"Alright, fine," Wei Wuxian sighed. Challenge accepted. "When's the date?"
"Next Sunday," Madam Yu announced. "You'll be having lunch at the Silver Bamboo restaurant."
Jiang Cheng made a noise. "Isn't that really expensive and super hard to get reservations at? How's Wei Wuxian gonna pay for it?"
"His date offered to pay," Madam Yu explained. "His family's quite well off, it seems."
Wei Wuxian had never actually been on a date before. Usually, he tried to pick up guys at a gay bar he frequented, named Rainbow Rabbit. He'd had a few one-night stands, but that was about as far as he'd gone. He'd never set foot in a fancy restaurant, as the Jiangs didn't have that kind of money, and he hated the stuffy atmosphere of such places, anyway.
"H-How rich are we talking?" Wei Wuxian asked cautiously. The idea of having a rich partner definitely sounded appealing, especially if it meant he could get away with only working part-time.
"They're loaded," Madam Yu sighed. "The family runs several businesses and are good with money, from what I've been told. His older nephew is being trained to take at least one of the businesses over when he dies."
So he had a brother. Presumably, his brother wasn't gay, otherwise he'd be the one Wei Wuxian would be meeting for lunch.
"What about their parents?" Jiang Cheng questioned. Wei Wuxian had picked up on this too.
"I'm not sure," Madam Yu replied. "All I know is that both boys live with their uncle, and he's looking for a suitor for his younger nephew."
"Do you at least know their surname, my lady?" Jiang Fengmian asked his wife.
"Lan," Madam Yu said.
Jiang Cheng audibly gasped. "The Lan family?" Wei Wuxian turned to look at him.
"Should I know who they are?" Wei Wuxian asked, raising an eyebrow. He never kept up with which families were important, since the only family that mattered to him was his own.
"No, probably not," Jiang Cheng grumbled. "But I've heard several rumours about how much money they have. Supposedly they're one of the richest families in the country, although I have no idea how true that is."
If they were rich enough that people were making those kinds of rumours about them...
Wei Wuxian had been orphaned at a young age, so he'd grown up with no money. He still found it weird being able to spend his own money on things for himself that weren't necessities like food, which was partially why he'd fantasised about having a mega-rich boyfriend. Of course, those had just been silly daydreams. Nobody that rich would be interested in someone like Wei Wuxian, surely.
"Wei Wuxian!" Jiang Cheng exclaimed, placing both hands on Wei Wuxian's shoulders suddenly. "You've always wanted this, right? Normally I don't care about what happens to you, but if you have any sense of pride, you need to make this work! I don't care how you do it, but you absolutely have to win the younger Lan over!"
"You're being too supportive, Jiang Cheng," Wei Wuxian commented in a teasing voice, wriggling free from his brother's grasp. "But you know me, I'll never say no to a challenge!" he grinned, deciding that he'd worry about how weirdly nice Jiang Cheng was being later.
Jiang Cheng smiled at him, which was a rare occurrence. "Don't fuck this up, Wei Wuxian." He paused, then added, "Or maybe I should tell you to fuck it up, that way it'll actually go well."
Wei Wuxian laughed loudly. "Aww, Jiang Cheng, you're finally starting to understand me after all these years!"
Jiang Cheng huffed. "I've always understood you," he claimed, "I've just never wanted to enable you until now."
Wei Wuxian laughed again. "Sure, dude, whatever you say..."
He was presented with an information card of his date, which included a picture, contact details and his name, along with some facts about him. His name was Lan Wangji, he was the same age as Wei Wuxian and didn't appear to be all that interesting. His only hobby listed was 'reading' and his 'fun facts' section told Wei Wuxian that he could play the guqin and owned three pet rabbits.
Wei Wuxian stared at this Lan Wangji's photo, studying him. He was, admittedly, rather handsome, at least from that one particular angle. He had long, straight black hair that was neatly tied back into a ponytail and wore an expensive-looking business suit.
Despite being attractive, he sounded quite dull on paper. Wei Wuxian hoped his judgement was wrong and that his date would turn out to be interesting. Wei Wuxian disliked quiet, moody people, as they were the opposite of himself.
But even if he ended up hating the guy, Wei Wuxian was at least going to score a free lunch. A free, fancy, probably delicious lunch. Too bad Sunday was still several days away, and he had to get through the boring part of the week first.
A few days later, he met up with his two closest friends, Wen Ning and Nie Huaisang, who he'd known since high school. Wen Ning now worked at a bakery (which Wei Wuxian sometimes helped out at if he needed a bit of extra money) and Nie Huaisang's family ran a publishing company (that specialised in erotic fiction of many kinds -- Wei Wuxian had read several novels that Nie Huaisang had personally recommended to him).
Wei Wuxian decided to tell them the news. The more he'd thought about it, the more excited he was.
"Wow, marriage?" Wen Ning asked, looking concerned. "Isn't that too soon?"
"Apparently I don't have to marry him, like, right away," Wei Wuxian explained, slouched on the table the three were sat at. They'd picked a quiet café for lunch. "And if I don't like him, I can turn him down."
"Lucky you," Nie Huaisang sighed, twirling the straw of his soda. "My parents would never do something so nice for me, they expect me to find a girlfriend myself."
Wen Ning laughed. "I don't think my family have any hope for me at this point."
"But you're still young!" Wei Wuxian protested, gesturing with his fork towards Wen Ning. "You'll find someone!"
"I hope so..." Wen Ning said quietly, blushing slightly. "I wouldn't mind having a partner..."
Wei Wuxian cut a piece off his slice of chocolate cake and sighed. "I mean, I know nothing about the guy, other than that he can play the guqin and he likes rabbits. And that he's rich." He shoved the cake in his mouth.
"Have you seen what he looks like?" Nie Huaisang asked, taking a bite of his cheesecake.
"I've seen one small picture," Wei Wuxian replied, eating more of his cake.
"Well... c'mon," Nie Huaisang urged. "Is he hot?" Nie Huaisang had said in the past that he wasn't sure if he was interested in men, but he could at least appreciate the good-looking ones. He was a man who loved gossip of any description, too.
"He appears to be," Wei Wuxian replied with a shrug. "Like I said, I've only seen a small picture."
"So you've got a date at a fancy restaurant with a super rich guy and the goal is to marry him?" Nie Huaisang summed up nonchalantly, sipping at his soda.
"Pretty much, yeah," Wei Wuxian laughed. "It's stupid, but I'm gonna go for it. Unless he's like, super fucking boring, in which case we'll be done after Sunday."
"Good luck!" Wen Ning smiled gently. "I know you can do it, Wei Ying." Wei Wuxian knew Wen Ning's words were genuine. He was a man who didn't lie at all. Hearing him say something like that made him swell with confidence.
"Thanks, Wen Ning," Wei Wuxian grinned.
"I believe in you too, Wuxian," Nie Huaisang nodded in agreement. "Go grab that rich guy's dick and make it yours!" Wen Ning blushed harder at Nie Huaisang's odd words of encouragement.
"I dunno if I'll be grabbing any dicks after one date, Huaisang!" Wei Wuxian said jokingly, laughing again.
"Be sure to give us updates at least!" Nie Huaisang said, finishing off his cheesecake. "Even if it's a disaster."
"Of course!" Wei Wuxian grinned again. "If, by some miracle, I do end up grabbing his dick, I won't provide any details about that, however..." he trailed off, smirking at Wen Ning, who turned redder.
"P-Please don't..." Wen Ning mumbled. The other two laughed teasingly at him.
Wei Wuxian was aware that Wen Ning was uncomfortable talking about topics that were sexual in nature, despite being friends with Wei Wuxian who did nothing but talk about vulgarities. Nie Huaisang, however, enabled Wei Wuxian's perverted jokes, and chimed in with some of his own from time to time too. The three of them were an odd group, but they got along with each other. Jiang Cheng was convinced that Nie Huaisang and Wen Ning were only friends with Wei Wuxian so that Wei Wuxian wouldn't beat them up in high school and were too far in at this point to back out, because surely nobody would actually want to hang out with Wei Wuxian. But Jiang Cheng was probably just jealous, since he struggled to make friends of his own.
At the very least, Jiang Cheng and Wei Wuxian's friends all wanted this date to succeed, and it was rare that both parties agreed with each other about Wei Wuxian. This did put some pressure on Wei Wuxian, but it also helped hype him up. He was going to win this Lan Wangji's heart. And his wallet. And maybe his dick.