"Jiang Cheng! Jiang Cheng, are you there, where are you, your da shixiong has arrived!"
Jiang Cheng groans. Great. His dumbass ridiculous brother was at Lotus Pier. Again. For the third time this month.
Why was he here so often? Didn't he have anything else to do? Like bother that equally ridiculous husband of his, or bully GusuLan's juniors, or something?
"Why the fuck are you here, and where the fuck is that husband of yours?"
Wei Wuxian barges into the hall, completely uninvited, as usual. Jiang Cheng sighs.
"Lan Zhan's off helping Elder Brother with sect matters, so here I am! Ready to brighten up your life!"
"Go the fuck away. Please."
"Aw, you said please," Wei Wuxian coos, and Jiang Cheng desperately wishes he could just… knock himself unconscious.
"But this wonderful da shixiong of yours has too many amazing plans for us to do, so you're stuck with me until Lan Zhan comes back, I'm afraid!"
For the first time in his life, Jiang Cheng finds himself wishing that Lan Wangji would just come and retrieve his husband already. He would even be willing to sit through all their gross affection if it just got Wei Wuxian off his back.
Gods. Please. Jiang Cheng was already begging them internally, but clearly the heavens were not smiling down on him, because Wei Wuxian grabs his wrist and grins widely.
"Come on, shidi of mine! I already have the first thing planned- don't you want to be as happy as Lan Zhan and I? We just need to find you a good wife, then you can give Jiang sect an heir, and you can always, you know, destress! Get rid of all that anger and tension!"
"Shut the fuck up!"
What did Wei Wuxian know? He, Jiang Wanyin, Sandu Shengshou, YunmengJiang Sect Leader, did not need to get laid!
"Relax a little, Jiang Cheng! We'll find the right bride for you yet!"
Would someone please just kill Wei Wuxian already?
Or better yet, would they just kill him?
"I," Jiang Cheng starts, forcing his words through gritted teeth. "Do. Not. Need. A. Bride."
Wei Wuxian, that thrice bedamned bastard, just grins and slings an arm over his shoulders. "Don't be ridiculous, shidi! Everyone needs a wife! Or a husband! You get to fuck your troubles away instead of bottling them up like a normal person, who wouldn't want that? You know, just last week Lan Zhan-"
Dread dawns on Jiang Cheng, and Zidian crackles around his finger even as he slaps a hand over Wei Wuxian's mouth.
"If you continue that sentence," he threatens, but is cut off by the wet sensation of a tongue on his palm.
"What the fuck?"
Disgusted, Jiang Cheng rips his hand away, wiping the saliva off on Wei Wuxian's shoulder. He scowls at his damned brother, and Zidian crackles even more.
He glares, but is only met by Wei Wuxian's shit-eating grin.
"Who the fuck raised you? Wolves?"
"You know who raised me," Wei Wuxian protests, and his smile is unshakeable.
Wei Wuxian pouts, and grabs Jiang Cheng by the arm. The action startles him enough that his words fail, but before he can regain his train of thought, Wei Wuxian is already dragging him out of Lotus Pier.
"Come on, hurry, the matchmaker isn't going to wait forever you know!"
"This is the man that you wanted to find a wife for? No, get out!"
The matchmaker is this close to chasing them out with a broom, Jiang Cheng knows, and he himself is barely held back from whipping out Zidian by the thought that the matchmaker is just a simple non-cultivator.
It wouldn't look good on YunmengJiang if their sect leader was to use his famed spiritual whip on a simple businesswoman, would it?
"Ahh, sister…" Wei Wuxian says, and his tone is the sad, cajoling one that Jiang Cheng had heard him use on countless ladies since young.
And as it always has, Jiang Cheng sees the woman soften.
"Young Master…" The matchmaker starts. "If it was just you, or anyone else… I would be happy to help such a handsome, kind young master like yourself! No doubt, there will be no shortage of young ladies who would want your hand-"
"He's married," Jiang Cheng snaps, and he is definitely not upset at the blatant proof that the matchmaker shops have all blacklisted him.
The woman's face falls almost comically fast, and Jiang Cheng is admittedly petty enough to feel a small surge of smugness at the expression.
No matter that the entirety of Wei Wuxian's marriage was something that gave Jiang Cheng goosebumps just thinking about.
The woman recovers faster than Jiang Cheng expects, which is, well, admittedly impressive. Still, he doesn't say anything.
"Oh!" She says, and there is a forced smile on her face. "Of course, such a handsome young master is no doubt the envy of all and many beautiful ladies will vie for your hand. Someone as charming must of course have as wife a beautiful, refined lady of an important family! If Young Master would not mind, may I ask what virtuous young mistress has taken your heart for herself?"
Jiang Cheng gags, and there is the bitter taste of bile rising in the back of his throat.
Why the fuck did Wei Wuxian always somehow charm every single girl he came across? Even in his damned twiglike new body that looked more like a boy barely of age, he somehow still managed to charm women with ease!
Honestly, what the fuck.
"Ahh," Wei Wuxian begins, and Jiang Cheng can see the wide grin on his face that always preceded him gushing about Lan fucking Wangji. "I am married to the most beautiful, most righteous, most virtuous person in the world! As beautiful as jade, as pure as the snow on mountaintops, as gentle as the touch of a cherry blossom falling in your palm."
"What a truly exquisite young mistress," the matchmaker gushes, and Wei Wuxian preens. "Young master must treasure her like no one else, of course!"
For fuck's sake.
"He has a fucking husband," Jiang Cheng barks.
The woman blinks, and her mouth falls open.
Wei Wuxian, that damned bastard, just grins even wider and chirps, "Yep! My beautiful, righteous, amazing Lan Zhan, Han Guang-Jun, Lan Wangji, Second Young Master Lan, Second Jade of GusuLan-"
"Shut the fuck up, Wei Wuxian, no one needs to hear you-"
"But, Jiang Cheng! It's Lan Zhan, how could I not-"
"For heaven's sake," Jiang Cheng sighs.
Wei Wuxian pouts. "Okay, fine, but we still need to get you a bride!"
His idiot brother drags him away before the matchmaker can even get a word out of her mouth, and only Wei Wuxian bothers to call a cheerful, “Thank you for your help, sister!” as they leave.
"No! I will offer my services to anyone but him!”
"Get out of my shop!”
"I have already told you this before! You are not allowed back here!"
"Sect Leader Jiang Wanyin is banned from this establishment. No exceptions.”
Jiang Cheng just sighs. He would be angry, he really would, but at this point in time he is more tired and resigned.
His brother, meanwhile, gapes and clings onto to Jiang Cheng’s arm. “A-Cheng!”
“Who the fuck do you think you’re calling A-Cheng, huh?” Jiang Cheng says, but the protest is half-assed at best. He just wants to go back to Lotus Pier and actually do something productive, for heaven’s sake.
He would even take fucking paperwork, could someone just please get Wei Wuxian off his back?
“A-Cheng!” Said annoying brother continues, staring at him with wide eyes. “What the heck did you do that got you blacklisted from every single matchmaker in the country? We’ve literally been to at least five of them, and every single one has turned you away on sight! Some of them weren’t even in Yunmeng!”
“It’s not my fault that the girls they found were substandard,” Jiang Cheng grumbles. “My requirements were very clear!”
The matchmaker looks pained. “Sect Leader Jiang, please understand, your requirements are too strict.”
Jiang Cheng rubs at his temples. This is a conversation he has had at least ten times over, and every time it just gets more exhausting.
Wei Wuxian, on the other hand, perks up like a wilting flower that has finally been given water. “What requirements?”
The matchmaker sighs. “Half my customers have been completely chased away by Sect Leader, and some of their families won’t even hire me any longer because of how traumatised their daughters are!”
“Jiang Cheng, what in the world did you do to those poor maidens?”
“It’s not my fault! If they didn’t meet my criteria, I shouldn’t even have been called down for a meeting!”
“Sect Leader, please,” the matchmaker says, and even Jiang Cheng can see the way she looks like she’d rather be having any conversation but this one. “Asking for a maiden who is “naturally beautiful, graceful and obedient, hardworking and thrifty and yet comes from a respectable family, with a cultivation level that isn’t too high, a personality that isn’t too strong, who isn’t too talkative and voice isn’t too loud and treats Young Master Jin well” is impossible! Such a maiden doesn’t exist!”
Beside him, his damn brother makes an inelegant sound like he’s trying and failing to muffle his laughter.
“Fuck you, Wei Wuxian.”
Wei Wuxian just laughs harder. “Jiang Cheng, Jiang Cheng, the only people I can think of who would fit those criteria are from the Lan clan, and even then most of them fail the “cultivation level not too high” criteria! A-Cheng, your standards are impossible, how will you ever find a bride like this? Even if Elder Brother Lan and my Lan Zhan were women they wouldn’t be able to meet your standards! If even the Twin Jades of GusuLan can’t meet your standards, who can?”
“What the fuck do you know?!”
“Aiyo, this shidi of mine is always so angry!” Wei Wuxian sighs, and Jiang Cheng has to shrug his arm off of his shoulder. “You should listen to your da shixiong sometimes, A-Cheng, look who managed to snatch the esteemed, beloved Han Guang-Jun all to himself, huh?”
Jiang Cheng rolls his eyes so hard that he’s surprised they don’t roll out of his head completely. “It took you almost two decades and literally dying to realise that Lan Wangji liked you, I wouldn’t use you as a good example.”
“I will have you know,” Wei Wuxian begins haughtily. “That I am a prime example of marital bliss, thank you very much. Do you know how well Lan Zhan treats me? He always lets me do whatever I want, and every night he f-”
“Once again,” Jiang Cheng interrupts through gritted teeth. “I don’t want to hear this!”
"But, Jiang Cheng-"
Jiang Cheng storms away before his idiot brother can say much more, leaving Wei Wuxian to scramble after him.
(Of course, Jiang Cheng could easily have flown off on Sandu, effectively getting away from Wei Wuxian, who had no sword to follow him on, but the idea doesn't even occur to him.)
"I give up!"
Wangji looks up from his scrolls, and he is at least mostly certain that he is projecting an air of gentle query, even if his expression is blank. He had really only been back in Gusu for maybe two hours when Wei Ying had come barrelling back into the Jingshi.
His husband had then proceeded to collapse on the bed, throw his hands up, and pull the blankets over his head.
When Wangji's aura of questioning clearly doesn't pull an answer from Wei Ying, he deigns to make a sound. "Mn?"
It works, this time, and Wei Ying pushes himself into a sitting position on the bed, pulling the blankets tight around his shoulders before he stands and drapes himself limply over Wangji's back instead.
"So you know how I went to Yunmeng while you were out with Elder Brother, right?"
Wangji nods, and tries to ignore the way Wei Ying's breath fans out over the back of his neck.
"So, like the amazing older brother I am-" Wei Ying continues, and his voice is muffled by the way his face is pressed into Wangji's shoulder. "Obviously, as his big brother and happily married, I needed to help Jiang Cheng find marital bliss too, right?"
Wangji hums noncommittally, but Wei Ying clearly takes it as an agreement, because he nods vigorously. "Right! So anyway, here I am, visiting multiple matchmakers all over Yunmeng and the neighbouring areas, arranging for me to bring my brother over for a meeting, then when I actually bring Jiang Cheng over- Lan Zhan, did you know that Jiang Cheng apparently has a countrywide ban from matchmaker shops?"
A faint amusement rises in Wangji at the statement, and he wonders vaguely just why Wei Ying is surprised. Really, it was Jiang Wanyin they were talking about, after all.
"Lan Zhannn," Wei Ying whines. "Don't laugh, why are you laughing? Han Guang-Jun is really so mean, what would people think if they knew that the virtuous Han Guang-Jun laughs at others' misfortune?"
"Not laughing," Wangji refutes.
"Lan Zhan! How could you, you know lying is forbidden in the Cloud Recesses!"
"Not lying." And he really isn't- laughing assumed that one was actually making noise, or even smiling, neither of which he was actually doing.
Still, Wei Ying has been his husband long enough that the other knows when he is amused, and Wei Ying pouts at the statement.
"Lan Zhan, how could you?"
Wangji feels the corner of his lip twitch at the clear indignance in Wei Ying's voice, and he lays his brush down before turning to face his husband. He rubs a soothing hand down Wei Ying's back, and presses a kiss to the corner of his mouth. "Not laughing at Wei Ying."
Wei Ying pouts, but clings tighter to Wangji. "Okay, Lan er-gege, but you have to kiss me properly!"
Wangji offers Wei Ying a soft smile, and tangles his fingers in Wei Ying's hair. His reply comes in the form of tugging Wei Ying down to press lips to lips, and Wangji revels in the small, pleased noise that Wei Ying makes.
When he pulls back, Wei Ying is grinning dopily at him, and Wangji cannot help but press another light kiss to Wei Ying's lips.
“Love Wei Ying,” Wangji offers, hugging his husband close. “Wei Ying shouldn’t worry about Jiang Wanyin, he will settle down when the time is right.”
In his embrace, Wei Ying mumbles something that sounds like, "But Jiang Cheng is so dumb, he won’t be able to find a good wife if we don’t help…”
Wangji hides his smile in Wei Ying’s hair, softly amused at the utter lack of faith his husband has in his own adopted brother. “Jiang Wanyin is old enough to make his own decisions, Wei Ying.”
Wangji shushes Wei Ying with another kiss, and watches as his eyes slip shut. Wei Ying melts into the kiss, and his lips are soft against Wangji's, gentle yet hungry, moving almost perfectly in sync. The kiss is wet, heated, and when Wangji finally pulls away to gasp for breath, Wei Ying is limp in his embrace, cheeks flushed red and lips swollen. His eyelashes flutter, fanning out against his cheek before they open to reveal unfocused, dazed eyes.
Wangji spends long moments looking at Wei Ying before his husband finally seems to come back to himself, blinking a little before he offers Wangji a bright smile.
"Lan er-gege," Wei Ying murmurs, forehead pressed to Wangji's. "Lan Zhan, why do you get better and better at kissing me every time we do?"
Wangji lets his lip quirk in a small smile, and reaches up to card his fingers through Wei Ying's messy hair. "Wei Ying is good too."
Wei Ying flushes, and ducks his head to hide his face in Wangji's shoulder, whining. "Lan Zhan, you can't say things like that without warning!"
Wangji just pushes his amusement down, and rubs his fingertips lightly against Wei Ying's scalp, soothing. He hums softly, and continues stroking.
Slowly, Wei Ying goes completely limp in his arms, almost purring as Wangji combs through his hair with his fingers softly.
It is a long while later that Wei Ying mumbles a soft, "What was I talking about earlier?"
Wangji presses a kiss to his forehead.
"Jiang Wanyin," he reminds gently.
Wei Ying blinks languidly, resting his head against Wangji's shoulder and yawning lightly. "Oh. Right. Jiang Cheng's sad love life… Ah well, Lan er-gege is always right, I suppose. In time, Jiang Cheng will figure it out on his own."
Wangji nods and stands, scooping Wei Ying into his arms. "Wei Ying is tired. Rest."
Wei Ying blinks again, looking up at him with the cutest confused expression Wangji has ever seen, and his heart quickens in his chest.
What he ever did to deserve this man, Wangji will never know.
Still, he simply adjusts Wei Ying in his hold, and makes his way over to the bed. He lays Wei Ying down softly, deftly untying his hair ribbon and helping Wei Ying remove his outer robes and boots.
Throughout the entire process, Wei Ying is uncharacteristically pliant, lifting his feet when instructed and letting Wangji shift his body to remove his robes. It is only proof of how tired Wei Ying actually is, and Wangji just shakes his head and presses another gentle kiss to his husband's forehead when he is done preparing Wei Ying for bed.
"Good night, love," Wangji murmurs, stroking Wei Ying's fringe away from his eyes tenderly. "Sleep well, I will wake you when it is time for dinner."
Wei Ying hums softly, eyes already sliding shut, and Wangji watches as he slips off into sleep, expression smoothing over.
Wei Ying is beautiful like this, untroubled, soft, almost vulnerable. It is moments like this that his kindness shines through, that shows Wangji how beautiful his husband is on both the inside and out.
Jiang Wanyin has never been the nicest to Wei Ying, no matter their shared past -although he had been definitely making an effort, in recent years- and still Wei Ying tried his best to see his shidi happy.
To anyone else, the efforts to matchmake his brother may have looked joking, like a tease, or a convoluted prank, but to Wangji its true intention is clear.
Wei Ying wanted nothing more than to see his shidi happy, to see him lose some of that harshness, that anger at the hand the world had dealt him. Wei Ying wanted Jiang Wanyin happy, at peace, to know the bliss that Wangji himself tried to provide Wei Ying with.
Wei Ying is gentle, and caring, and he tries so hard to hide it behind that veneer of jokes and pranks, and Wangji cannot decide if it is a shame or a pleasure that no one else sees the Wei Ying that he sees.
Wangji strokes a gentle hand over Wei Ying's hair, brushing his fringe from his face, and leans down to press a kiss to his forehead. When Wei Ying is like this, edges sanded down with sleep and exhaustion, Wangji finds him particularly irresistible. It is a shame that Wangji has sect matters to settle, papers to mark, that have waited the days that he has been away. It is a shame, because if he did not have a duty, he would have been more than willing, more than happy, to lay down beside his husband and hold him close, too awake to truly sleep, but content to just curl around Wei Ying and stroke the hair from his cheeks, to press soft kisses to skin and watch his eyelids flutter, watch dark eyelashes fan out against tan skin.
It takes all the willpower Wangji has to pull himself away from Wei Ying's side, from the soft comfort of his love, but Wangji manages it nonetheless.
After all, the sooner he finishes his duties, the sooner he will be able to join his husband.
With that thought, Wangji settles down to finish his marking, and lets the anticipation buoy him through.