“Young Mistress! Princess! Missy? Jin Ling...?”
Wei WuXian sat in the classroom, waiting for Lan WangJi to appear and glanced at Lan Jingyi who tried his best to get his friend’s attention.
Calling him nicknames obviously didn’t work, and he was too late to try his real name, having annoyed Jin Ling already into ignoring him completely. The latter sat with his back in Lan Jingyi’s direction, frowning and pouting in annoyance.
“Jin Ling, hey! Have some manners! Someone’s calling for you,” Wei WuXian teased, but he was ignored just as much, and he shrugged. He was just looking for something to throw to the front of the class to get Jin Ling’s attention with when Lan WangJi entered, and the chattering noises slowly died down, so he also decided to just sit back and behave.
Wei WuXian looked with pride and admiration how his husband stood in the front and silenced the group of young disciples with merely his presence. Watching him dreamily, he rested his head in his hand and sighed longingly.
“We will continue where we left off...” Cool and calm as always, HanGuang-Jun lectured the teenagers about cultivation, the rules in the Cloud Recesses and night hunts. Lan WangJi’s teaching was truly amazing, he looked serene and beautiful, which was why Wei WuXian was here today, just to watch him.
Not to listen, though... Bored by the lesson’s contents that brought him back way too much to his own time of studying, Wei Ying sighed softly and glanced over his shoulder at Lan XiChen who stood in the back.
He was watching his younger brother’s teaching with a proud smile, and greeted Wei Ying with a nod when he noticed him staring. Wei WuXian grinned and nodded back.
“HanGuang-Jun! I have a question!”
“HanGuang-Jun, is it true that you defeated the Tortoise of Slaughter when you were our age?!”
After class, Lan WangJi was attacked by all of the disciples begging for his attention, and Wei WuXian watched how a little crowd gathered around his lover.
“Young Master Wei. Let’s go.” Confused that Lan XiChen suddenly asked him to come, Wei WuXian looked over at his husband one more time before getting up and following Lan XiChen outside.
“Such a beautiful day. Are you well? Are you enjoying your time at the Cloud Recesses?” Wei WuXian blinked in surprise at the gentle questions; he rarely had private conversations with Lan XiChen without Lan WangJi there with them. He smiled.
“I am. Lan Er-Gege is taking good care of me.” Lan XiChen chuckled at his playful remark, and he eyed him carefully.
“How is the scar on your stomach? WangJi asked me to check on you the other day.” He did? Wei WuXian smiled, feeling so cared about by the two precious Lan brothers. He patted his stomach.
“It’s healing very well, you can barely see it! Thanks to you of course, ZeWu-Jun. Thank you!” He winked thankfully at Lan XiChen.
He then continued, “Jin Ling already apologized for it many times, and then I tease him by saying it still hurts. But don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt. And I know Jin Ling didn’t mean it. We can joke a little about it now, really. He is a good kid, and he has a good heart.”
The timing couldn’t have been better; both Lan XiChen and Wei WuXian looked up when a certain growl was heard: Jin Ling.
“Leave. Me. Alone!” Jin Ling was hissing at Lan Jingyi who had been showering him teasingly with flower petals. Wei WuXian cocked his head curiously. It was pretty rare to find Lan Jingyi without Lan Sizhui around.
“But why, Young Mistress? I was just looking after you.” Wei WuXian was surprised when Lan XiChen invited him to kneel behind one of the bushes so they could observe the duo in secret. Jin Ling stood with his bow in his hand, having left class to practice his archery skills when Lan Jingyi had obviously followed just to be a little dick to him.
“Would you just stop? I will kill you!” Jin Ling aimed at Lan Jingyi for real and luckily missed. It reminded him of when a younger Lan WangJi would attempt to slash him with his sword back in the good old days.
“Alright princess. But hey, if you finally hit the mark we might just invite you to join our night hunt with Wen Ning tonight.”
“As if I want to join you!” Jin Ling spat back, accidentally dropping his bow when he made a frantic movement with his arm. Lan Jingyi burst out in a cute, Wei WuXian thought it was cute- laughing fit.
“Well that wasn’t very graceful!” he laughed at Jin Ling’s clumsiness. And that ate the last remaining patience of Jin Ling; the fussy youngster roared and sped after a giggling Lan Jingyi, resulting in what looked like a heated yet playful chase.
“Jin Ling, fighting is prohibited at the Cloud Recesses! Running is prohibi-aaahh!” The loud voices went deep into the forest, until Wei WuXian could barely distinguish if they were cries or even laughter, but he was pretty sure the second came pretty close. He smirked.
“Those two are so obviously in love.” Lan XiChen looked at him as they both got up, patting the grass off his robes.
“Yes? And how so?”
Wei WuXian chuckled and crossed his arms cockily.
“Jingyi’s always picking on Jin Ling, they’re fighting all the time. He seems eager to get his attention. Always teasing him. And our Jin Ling acts like he doesn’t like it, but I’m sure he’s very flattered. Did you see that blush just now? He is so cute. They both are.” Lan XiChen nodded slowly, a sweet smile stretching his lips as Wei WuXian explained.
“Hmhm. I agree,” he finally said.
“Does remind me of someone, though,” he added calmly. Wei WuXian jumped up with excitement.
“Oh, really? Who?”
“Two juniors I knew. In the end, they finally got together.”
“Two ju- !” Wei WuXian finally noticed the playful quite teasing smile on Lan XiChen’s face, and realization struck him.
“....” He froze, and the realization grew stronger.
“....! Excuse me.. ZeWu-Jun!” He ran. He wasn’t even sure why, but he was so flustered that his legs were acting on his own, taking him far into the woods in some random direction.
“How.. I wasn’t...” he muttered to himself as he continued to walk fast. He wasn’t asking for it, but memories that had turned vague in his mind were now becoming clear, and specific bits flashed through his mind.
Teasing Lan WangJi. Fighting with Lan WangJi. Wanting attention from Lan WangJi. Admiring Lan WangJi’s looks. Thinking about Lan WangJi. Dreaming about Lan WangJi. Talking about him all the time. Even throwing flowers...
He stopped in front of a tree, and caught his breath.
He shook his head, “I just... wanted to be friends..” But the tiny voice in his head that was totally agreeing on Lan Jingyi and Jin Ling having a thing for each other disagreed.
“I was in love..” Wei WuXian frowned. He had a crush on Lan WangJi, even then? That was what it meant? An image of Jiang Cheng sighing and scolding him, “You’re so clueless...” after another of his regular quarrels with Lan WangJi flashed through his mind as well.
Was it that obvious to others, too? If Lan XiChen knew... The blood rose to his cheeks and ears, and he squatted down, leaning against the tree.
“Can’t believe myself,” he giggled. Lan WangJi had already long admitted that he had liked Wei WuXian, even then. It was just like Jin Ling actually, in a more calm and serene way: always rejecting Wei WuXian, always refusing him. While in fact...
Wei WuXian rested his hand against his chest to feel his racing heartbeat.
He looked up when he heard the sound of clashing swords, and leaned back to glance through the bushes where at an open field, Lan Jingyi and Jin Ling were going at one another. He hadn’t even been aware that he had followed quite the same path as they did. So things had gotten as far as them drawing their swords hm?
“Accept your punishment!” Lan Jingyi huffed.
“You’re just as much in need of punishment! Leave me alone!” Jin Ling replied. Wei WuXian’s eyes widened at first now that he saw the resemblence that Lan XiChen had noticed earlier, and he then softened and watched them fondly. Silly teenagers.
“Don’t be such a princess. Someone should keep you in check, hm?” Lan Jingyi actually made Jin Ling trip right then, and Wei WuXian watched his nephew eat grass gracelessly as he fell face-first, his sword dropping to the side.
“Oh. Oops..” Lan Jingyi carefully leaned over him to see if he was alright.
“Are you...?” Jin Ling then grabbed Lan Jingyi’s ankle, pulled so hard that the latter fell just as gracelessly, and as Lan Jingyi rolled through the grass, Jin Ling fetched his sword again and ran away, leaving his opponent sprawled in the grass.
“Just wait until my uncle hears...!” his angry voice disappeared in the distance, and Wei WuXian shook his head with a smile at the hopeless couple.
He really should teach Jin Ling not to use Jiang Cheng as a threat all the time. Wei WuXian made his presence known with a cough and stepped forward, the leaves beneath his feet rustling.
Lan Jingyi raised his sword at the sudden approach, but seeing it was just Wei WuXian, he lowered it and sighed. His forehead ribbon was all crooked, his robes dirty and he looked quite cute and hilarious actually.
“Oh, it’s just you.” Putting away his sword, he got back up and patted the dirt off his clothes.
“That’s not how you speak to your elder!” Wei WuXian scolded, but he just got a little snort in return.
“Ah, young love,” Wei WuXian sighed dreamily, curious to see Lan Jingyi’s reaction at pointing out his possible affection. The defeated teen turned his head, frowning.
Wei WuXian simply shrugged.
“Why would you tease our Jin Ling like that all the time? Isn’t it because you like him?” Lan Jingyi didn’t even blush. He rolled his eyes and simply walked away.
“That’s ridiculous.” Ah. As expected. Wei WuXian smirked. Even if someone had told him back then, he probably would’ve reacted in the same manner. It wouldn’t have changed anything. Still, the realization that Lan WangJi had a special place in his heart all this time without him even realizing... He smiled. Somehow, it made him feel so very happy about it.
“What are you smiling about?” Lan WangJi asked him later that night, as he couldn’t stop smiling and giggling when they were cuddling in bed together.
“....Do you really want to know?” he asked. Lan WangJi loosened their embrace and looked at him.
Wei Ying wondered what his husband’s face would be like if he told him he might’ve liked him since way before, without even realizing it himself. He smirked.
Many possible reactions flashed through his imaginative mind.
“Not telling,” he said sneakily after a long pause. Well, perhaps he would want to find out another time. Just not today~!