Actions

Work Header

Bestseller

Chapter Text

It started because he was bored, and he missed his husband very much. 

Lan Wangji was away on an important conference. With Lan Xichen still in seclusion, Lan Wangji was often looking after Sect matters until his brother was well enough to take over again. Wei Wuxian understood that, and he thought his husband was an amazing man for looking out for his brother.

That didn’t mean he didn’t miss him. And he didn’t have anything to do. The Juniors were currently in class, and it wasn’t like he had many friends in the Cloud Recesses.

He soon found himself making the journey to Caiyi Town, hoping to find something to alleviate his boredom. He walked through the market, greeting the shopkeepers, who smiled and waved back (he had spend enough time here with Lan Wangji that they all recognised him as the esteemed Hanguang-Jun’s spouse). He glanced around at the stalls, and picked up a few things he thought the Juniors might like. When he came across a smaller, more secluded stall, he smiled deviously and walked towards it.

Wei Wuxian knew this place well. It was a shop that sold more adult materials - pornography, various types of oils, things to make sex more pleasant. He (and Lan Wangji, though his husband would probably deny it if anyone asked) had spent quite a bit of their money here since their marriage. 

The shopkeeper immediately greeted him. After all, Wei Wuxian was one of his best customers. When you had sex as much as he and Lan Wangji did, you liked to experiment a bit and make things more interesting at times, and he and his husband had stopped here on more than a few occasions.

Wei Wuxian strolled around briefly, thinking of picking something up to surprise Lan Wangji when he returned from his trip. He didn’t see anything that caught his eye particularly. He wondered over to a small section of scrolls and books, and flicked through.

“I have a new selection of cut-sleeve texts, if you’re interested,” the man said, grinning knowingly (and more than a little eagerly; he knew how well that rich master from the Lan sect looked after his husband money-wise). 

Wei Wuxian shrugged. He wasn’t exactly doing anything else with his time. Maybe he could even find some knew ideas for he and Lan Wangji to use during their everyday activities…

When he flipped through the small selection of books — there weren’t a lot; it wasn’t like there were an abundance of actual books of that regard around here, let alone cut-sleeve ones — he was immediately disappointed.

They all just seemed so…bland. Wei Wuxian had been a virgin for a long time, but after marrying Lan Wangji, he would very happily call himself an expert on the subject matter. After all, with a lover like the esteemed Hanguang-Jun, how could he not be? The two had all kinds of wonderful, lustful sex, and these texts just seemed so…formulaic. 

(Wei Wuxian didn’t really stop to consider that not everyones sex life was as…adventurous as his and his husband’s).

“What do you think?” The shopkeeper asked eagerly.

“Ahh, a bit boring I guess.”

The shopkeeper's eager smile immediately faded. “What?! Boring?! I just ordered them in! They are every popular, amongst the right crowds.”

Wei Wuxian shrugged. “I guess I’m not the right crowd? Ahh, don’t look so angry! They’re not bad, just a bit…bland?”

“Bland?!” the man was looking more and more incredulous. “I only ever order the best for my store! As if you could do any better!”

Wei Wuxian frowned. He certainly didn’t think these were the best, but then he doubted there was a wide market for these things anyway. He briefly thought of Lan Wangji, and smiled slightly; oh, he was sure he could do better, considering some of the experiences he’d had.

He froze slightly, his eyes widening. Oh, there it was — a way for him to alleviate his boredom! 

He would write a book. A cut sleeve book. A cut-sleeve, pornographic book, to be more specific.

“I will do better,” he told the shopkeeper.

The man scoffed. “We’ll see about that.”

(Oh yes, he was definitely writing the best cut-sleeve pornographic book ever, if only to prove a point. No one said he wasn’t stubborn).

Apparently writing was incredibly hard.

Wei Wuxian stared blankly at the paper in front of him. He had readied himself for a busy day writing, happy to finally have something to keep him occupied. He had relocated to Lan Wangji’s desk, and had set up a small work area with paper, and ink and brush, and jars of Emperor’s Smile.

The thing was — Wei Wuxian had plenty of inspiration to draw from, but actually finding a way to connect everything wasn’t easy. And apparently he would need to come up with an actual plot, which was proving to be ridiculously hard.

He stared down at the page, looking at what he had already come up with. He had his two characters outlined — Li Zhang, a young master from a wealthy family, and Wu Ming, his former school mate and now lover. The two reunited after many years apart, and then — and then — 

Had very lustful, enthusiastic, insatiable sex.

‘Yes,’ Wei Wuxian thought, ‘But what happens in-between?’ Because apparently, if you were writing a book, you needed an actual story line.

He rested his chin on his hand, and pouted down at the page. Any enthusiasm he had previously held was quickly fading as he realised that he didn’t actually know what to write.

After a few more moments of staring blankly at the page, with a few gulps of Emperor’s Smile scattered in-between, he decided that he would come up with the rest of the overarching plot later, and skip straight to the good parts.

He briefly wondered where to start. 

‘Their first time,’ he decided at last. After all, where better to start than the very beginning.

(Not the beginning of the actual story, of course, but he would get back to that later).

So then Wei Wuxian started writing, and once he started, he just couldn’t seem to stop. It didn’t fully occur to him that he was basically just rewriting his own sexual experiences, until he was midway through writing a very detailed account of how ‘Li Zhang’ took ‘Wu Ming’s’ virginity on a grassy open field, and then just thought, ‘Well, you can’t beat perfection.’ 

He considered adding in a brief line about the importance of using oil — because after some time had passed, he and Lan Wangji had finally realised that yes, oil existed, and yes, if you were going to have sex every day, you should probably use it — but then decided that this was porn, not sex education, and he wanted to be as real and authentic as possible.

He finished his account of the characters’ first times, and sat briefly wondering what else he could say. He’d gotten lost in his work, and had ended up writing almost ten pages dedicated to a graphic recount of their first time, based pretty much entirely on what he remembered of his own experience. In his opinion, it was far superior to any of those stupid books and scrolls he had seen at the shop.

He hummed thoughtfully and went back, adding in a few more lines detailing Wu Ming’s pleasure filled rambles. A few more, “I’m a fragile man, I’m so delicate, Er-gege is going to break me in half if you keep — OOH please don’t stop, Er-gege, give your husband a kiss.” 

He then went back and scratched out all the ‘Er-geges’ and the ‘husband’ because Wu Ming and Li Zhang weren’t married yet.

He also realised that he was hard. He sighed. Dammit, he missed Lan Zhan.

Apparently writing was a great way to distract himself from his husband’s absence.

He grinned and took a large gulp of Emperor’s Smile, his hand moving in rapid motions as he wrote a detailed account of Wu Ming and Li Zhang fucking in the reading room of Li Zhang’s modest home (a nice adaption of the library pavilion, if he did say so himself). There was no way he wasn’t somehow incorporating his experiences with the incense burner in here.

The incense burner…ah Bichen. Wei Wuxian’s eyes glossed over slightly at the memory. Yes, he was definitely including that. In immense detail, Wei Wuxian detailed the scene of Wu Ming inserting the hilt of Li Zhang’s sword inside him.

(He had to go back a few times and scratch out the mistaken ‘Bichens’ he had written).

Wei Wuxian let out a small whimper at the memory. Oh God, as soon as Lan Wangji got back, they weren’t getting out of bed for at least a few days. He had needs.

After that, well, the scenes kept flowing. Wu Ming and Li Zhang fucking near Li Zhang’s pet rabbits cats. Li Zhang tying Wu Ming up with his hair ribbon (that Li Zhang always tied very neatly around his topknot, and was certainly not a forehead ribbon. It was also black). Li Zhang and Wu Ming having sex in a bathtub (and breaking the bathtub), Li Zhang and Wu Ming having sex while Li Zhang was doing a handstand, and of course, some very nice and normal domestic scenes of Li Zhang and Wu Ming making love in bed.

They also got married at some point in between the reading room and the cats. Wei Wuxian let out a low moan as he remembered the passionate night he and Lan Wangji had spent together after their own wedding day — he had been so exhausted and sore, he could barely walk the next day.

He put that in the book too.

By the end of it, he had a very long account of what was, essentially, the highlights of his and Lan Wangji’s sexual experiences together. Obviously he couldn’t include everything — for them, everyday meant pretty much every day, and he probably had enough material for a full length series if he was going to do that.

But he had a final product that he was, overall, very pleased with.

An almost final product, he reminded himself. He had pretty much forgotten the parts of the story that weren't sex related. Like how Wu Ming and Li Zhang had first met, how they had reunited, any actual conflict, any actual resolution…

With a loud sigh, and an almost permanent pout, he hurriedly wrote a few quick sections on how Li Zhang and Wu Ming had met during their school years, had separated for thirteen twelve years, and how they had quickly reunited after that when they realised their immense devotion and love for each other.

He added in a quick kidnapping subplot inbetween the second sex-near-the-cats and the handstand sex scenes. He decided that there was no point writing a resolution, since Wu Ming and Li Zhang were married and in love, and they would be for the rest of their lives, so was there really any need for a resolution? 

Also, he'd just remembered that he had forgotten to write a sex-on-the-roof scene (courtesy of him and Lan Wangji getting a little too enthusiastic while they watched the stars one night) and, honestly, he would much rather write that anyway.

It occurred to him by the end of it all that he still needed to come up with a name. He toyed with a few — “The Love Story of Wu Ming and Li Zhang,” “Soulmates and Passionate Lovers,” “ZhangMing,” “Love and Sex and More Sex” — but nothing sounded right.

After a few more moments of quiet consideration, sudden inspiration struck him. Oh, it was perfect. With a grin, Wei Wuxian scribbled the name down on the front page, and leaned back in his chair, proud and satisfied with his finished product.

By the time he had taken his completed work back to the shop in Caiyi Town, Wei Wuxian was grinning ear-from-ear and feeling very proud of himself.

Lan Jingyi and Lan Sizhui had caught sight of him on his way out, and had warily asked him what he was so happy about. Wei Wuxian had quickly hid his work behind his back, and told them that he was just happy that Lan Wangji would be returning soon. It wasn’t a complete lie.

When he walked over to the stall, the shopkeeper’s wary expression — he still vividly remembered his last encounter with Wei Wuxian — turned to one of confusion as Wei Wuxian slapped a pile of pages onto the table in front of him.

“What’s this?”

“I told you I could do better than those other boring books!” Wei Wuxian said cheerily. “Look, I’ve created a work of art.”

The shop keeper looked slightly incredulous. “You actually went and wrote a book? What the hell am I supposed to do with this now?” 

Wei Wuxian shrugged. “I don’t know. Read it? Sell it? I don’t really mind, I just wanted to prove a point. And this was actually quite fun to write…” 

He had briefly considered keeping it, just to show it off to his husband when Lan Wangji returned home, but the thought made him feel slightly embarrassed. Maybe this was a little bit too shameless, even for him.

And honestly, the book had been fun to write, but he had his own memories of doing these exact things with his amazing husband. It wasn’t like he needed to refer back to it.

The shop keeper scoffed, taking a quick flick through the pages. “You think quite highly of yourself, don’t you? Thinking I’d actually keep this around and sell…” His voice trailed off and his eyes widened, his face quickly turning red.

Wei Wuxian watched him expectantly. 

“Wha — you wrote this?” the man's eyes were glued to the page. “It’s quite…graphic.”

Wei Wuxian smirked. “I had a lot of material to draw from.”

The man coughed and closed the book, placing it on the table in front of him. “Fine then. I’ll…keep it. Not saying anyone would actually buy this trash, but you seem quite happy to get rid of it.”

“It’s all yours! And it’s okay, I know it’s better than anything else in your store — you don’t have to say so, your face says it all!”

The man huffed and glanced down at the front page of his work. “You haven’t included your name?” 

“I’m not completely shameless, you know,” Wei Wuxian said, snorting. “As if I’d actually want people knowing that had written this.” Even he wasn’t that shameless. And he would never let his husband lose face.

“And what’s with the name? “Everyday.” What does that even mean?” 

“Something amazing,” Wei Wuxian replied, and started to walk away. He then turned back toward the stall, deciding that he would see if he could find a little welcome home gift for his husband while he was here.

Chapter Text

Lan Wangji returned a few days after he’d dropped the book off in Caiyi Town, and Wei Wuxian soon made the decision not to tell his husband about what he had written. After all, it wasn’t like either of them would ever be seeing the book again. 

And as shameless as he was, he couldn’t help but feel embarrassed at the thought of Lan Wangji knowing that he’d written an entire book based on their sex life (with a very weak plot thrown in-between).

A few months passed, and Wei Wuxian more or less forgot about it.

It all came rushing back to him during a night hunt. He had offered to take the Juniors out with him (including both Jin Ling and Ouyang Zizhen, who had stopped by to visit Sizhui and Jingyi). Wen Ning had joined them, and the two of them had been walking slightly ahead of the rest of the group, when he’d overheard the Juniors very ardently discussing whether “Li Zhang was actually in love with Wu Ming, or was it all just lust?” 

“Are you mad?!” Jin Ling — who had been silent up until now — suddenly snapped. “Li Zhang is obviously in love with Wu Ming! Would he have saved him from the evil Jing Gao’s kidnapping attempt if he wasn’t?!” 

“I mean, Li Zhang does sound very righteous,” Lan Jingyi said, as they continued to walk forward in a small group.

“Oh shut up, it’s true love.”

“They got married, Jingyi,” Ouyang Zizhen pointed out. “Why would Li Zhang marry Wu Ming if he didn’t love him?!”

Sizhui turned to Jin Ling. “I didn’t know you liked ‘Everyday’.”

Jin Ling flushed. “I don’t like it,” he said heatedly, quickly averting his gaze. “I read the book, and I’m just making an observation that should be obvious!”

Wei Wuxian stopped suddenly, feeling a rush of disbelief. There was no way… 

“Master Wei?” Wen Ning asked questioningly.

Wei Wuxian turned to the Juniors, and said, “Uh — what are you guys talking about?” 

The group froze.

“Nothing, Senior Wei,” Sizhui said, after a brief pause.

“No, no, you were definitely talking about something.” 

The four boys shuffled uncomfortably, avoiding his gaze, their faces red.

Lan Sizhui spoke up at last. “It’s just…a book.”

“Sizhui!” Lan Jingyi hissed, glaring.

‘They actually went to a store like that?’ Wei Wuxian thought, feeling slightly incredulous. He didn’t know about Jingyi or Zizhen, but neither Sizhui or Jin Ling really seemed the type. Then, despite his discomfort at the thought of the kids — including his son and nephew — reading that book, he teasingly said, “So, you kids are visiting adult shops now, huh?” 

Jin Ling immediately turned bright red. “What are you talking about?!”

Wei Wuxian winked. “It’s okay, I understand.”

“We didn’t go to any shop like that, Senior Wei!” Sizhui insisted, looking and sounding very embarrassed. Wei Wuxian thought it was adorable. “We — well, Zizhen got us copies…”

“My sister got them for me!”

Jin Ling snorted. “Oh sure.”

Wei Wuxian stared. “Um — I’m sorry, copies?” 

“Everyone’s reading it,” Jingyi said, his voice slightly defensive. “It’s not just us.”

“Besides, we’re mostly just reading it for the plot line,” Ouyang Zizhen added. “Right guys?” 

There were frantic nods from the rest of the group. Wei Wuxian stood still, his head swimming.

‘Copies? COPIES?’ 

He walked numbly around for some time after that, trying to convince himself that he had misunderstood the whole situation. Perhaps it was another book with characters called Li Zhang and Wu Ming, and a villain called Jing Gao, and…and…

He forced the thought out of his head, and reminded himself that while they were on a night hunt, he was responsible for these kids. This was not the time to ponder the erotica he’d written during a prolonged period of boredom.

It was nothing.

He managed to force all thoughts of the book out of his head for around another week, until he overheard yet another group of people — this time some of the senior Gusu disciples — talking about it, and then decided that enough was enough, and made an impromptu trip to the store while Lan Wangji was busy with his classes.

It was probably nothing. Maybe someone from Gusu had bought the book, and had been lending it to a few of their friends. That was probably all it was — and okay, it was kind of embarrassing, but Wei Wuxian had definitely done worse in his life.

When he finally made his way to the stall — definitely not out of breath from running, because he wasn’t panicking at all — the shopkeeper looked more than a little wary to see him. Wei Wuxian didn’t think it was just because of their last encounter.

When he finally managed to wrangle the whole story out of the other man, he wasn’t sure whether he should shout or simply stare in horror. Or go back to the Cloud Recesses, find his husband, and tell him that he was very, very sorry.

The man had apparently sold the book to a wealthy customer, who had loved it. He had also been very disappointed to hear that there were no more copies, after he’d dragged along two friends with him a week later. After trying to find out where he could find the book, and being utterly shocked when he learnt that there was only one copy in existence, he had convinced the man to allow him to create multiple copies for sale — with a sizeable fee from the sales given to the shopkeeper, of course.

“I thought it would be popular, but I was not expecting it to blow up the way it did,” the man said, shaking his head. “Honestly, I’m surprised this is the first time you’ve heard of it.”

Wei Wuxian stood still, his mouth opening and closing silently. 

“You told me I could do anything I wanted with it!” the man added, slightly defensive. 

Wei Wuxian was fairly certain he managed to walk away with his dignity somewhat intact, but his head was swimming like mad so he wasn’t too sure. He managed to stumble back to the Cloud Recesses, trying to formulate some sort of plan to break the news to his husband.

That night, after many rounds of sex, and curled up in Lan Wangji's arms, he decided that it wasn’t really that important. Alright fine, this was embarrassing, but so what if a few young disciples had read his book? He and his friends had looked at more than their fair share of scrolls back in the day, and who was he to deprive the new generation of their entertainment? 

He wasn’t fully comfortable with it, no, but it wasn’t like any of them knew he had written the book. It wasn’t like any of them knew that the book had been based entirely on Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji’s everyday activities.

And it wasn’t like Lan Wangji was likely to ever read it, or hear about it really, so what was the point in getting so worked up about it? 

(And he doubted the book was as popular as the shopkeeper had made it out to be. The man was obviously exaggerating).

The man wasn’t exaggerating.

A few days later, he caught Lan Qiren reading a book as he passed the Library Pavilion. The name on the front cover — Everyday — made him miss a step, and Lan Qiren hurriedly hid the book under a table, and snapped that he “wasn’t a cut-sleeve, he had just grabbed the wrong book from the library.”

Wei Wuxian was too horrified to point out that there wouldn’t be any books like that in any library in Gusu.

He overheard snippets of conversation as Junior and Senior disciples alike spoke of Wu Ming, and Li Zhang, and broken bathtubs, and cats, and libraries and swords, and Wei Wuxian could only walk numbly past, and try to block all of it out. 

‘It doesn’t matter,’ Wei Wuxian kept reminding himself. ‘It’s not like any of them know that you wrote it, or who or what any of it is based on and — and even if they did, who cares? It’s not like you have anything to be ashamed of.’ 

Oh, but he doubted Lan Wangji wanted their private business aired to everyone. His husband could be very possessive…

Wei Wuxian’s eyes glazed over slightly, and he felt something warm in his lower regions. He quickly shook his head, and thought, ‘Shut up you idiot, this is how this whole mess started.’ 

Honestly, he was doing fairly well, all things considered. Lan Wangji had obviously noticed that something was off, because of course he had — Lan Wangji always noticed everything when it came to Wei Wuxian. Wei Wuxian was quick to assure him that nothing was wrong, and honestly, Wei Wuxian had more or less managed to convince himself that that was true.

Just block out the thought that his son, his nephew, and Lan Qiren had read the book, and it actually wasn’t that hard to pretend that everything was fine.

Then he caught sight of Lan Xichen’s new reading material when he met up with his brother-in-law for their weekly tea and conversation (while Lan Xichen was still in seclusion, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji were doing their best to support him, and keep him company when he permitted it).

Lan Xichen looked slightly embarrassed when he saw what Wei Wuxian was looking at. “It isn’t what I would normally read,” he explained, “but I kept hearing about it, so I thought I would give it a try. It is…very interesting, that’s for sure.”

‘How have you been hearing about it?’ Wei Wuxian thought, with rising horror. ‘You’re in seclusion, for godsake!’

Everything was fine.

He told Lan Xichen that some tea had simply gone down the wrong way when he started coughing wildly from the shock of seeing that cursed book in his brother-in-law’s possession.

That was a lie, of course. Being married to Lan Wangji for this long meant that he pretty much had no gag reflex anymore.

(He’d put that in the book too).

‘Oh God,’ he thought, as Lan Xichen asked him if he would like to borrow the book, ‘everything is NOT fine.’

Everything came to a head during the next Discussion Conference, which was being held at Lotus Pier.

Lan Wangji went in his brother’s stead, since Lan Xichen was still in seclusion (and enjoying his new favourite book, Wei Wuxian thought bitterly). Wei Wuxian accompanied him, along with the Lan Jingyi and Lan Sizhui, who had wanted to come and see Jin Ling.

They were staying at Lotus Pier for the duration of their stay. He and Jiang Cheng had managed to mend their relationship some time ago, and this wasn't the first time Wei Wuxian had spent time in his childhood home. While Lan Wangji sorted through everything he would need for the Discussion Conference, Wei Wuxian took the kids into town for the afternoon.

It was while they were at a local restaurant, and he was preparing to pay for their meals — funded by his lovely and generous husband, of course — that he overheard a group of nearby men discussing that accursed book, and felt a wave of irritation.

“I have no idea how a cut-sleeve book is this popular,” he snapped, and realised a moment later that he’d spoken out loud.

“Hey!” one of the men said. “Be a little more open-minded.”

Wei Wuxian gaped.

“Yeah,” agreed another man, “that book is a godsend. Who cares if it’s about cut-sleeves? It’s given me and my wife so many ideas about how to experiment more.”

“Yes! My wife has gotten very adventurous ever since reading that book!”

“I was reading the chapter about — ”

Wei Wuxian laughed weakly, dumped a pile of coins on the front desk — more than he actually owed, he was fairly certain — and hurried back to the juniors.

Oh god, what had he done?

The thing was — and what Wei Wuxian had failed to understand — books of this time were very practical, and not many scholarly people who could both read and write were willing to waste their time writing erotica. And even texts and novels of that nature were mostly very simple, and just didn’t tend to go into the…detail that Wei Wuxian’s book had.

This was something largely new, and people were loving it. The women found Li Zhang and Wu Ming incredibly sexy; the men were interested in gaining more information that they themselves could use. Some were actually very invested in the storyline (and other more colourful features of the story).

Some, as they would soon come to discover, just might be cut-sleeves themselves. 

Wei Wuxian, who had honestly just wanted to prove a point, and alleviate some of his boredom, just didn’t understand any of that. He couldn’t understand why everyone was so invested in the sex life of two fictional characters.

(If he followed that line of thought a bit further, he probably would have realised that the reason he didn’t care was because he lived out these ‘fictional’ scenarios every day of his life. It was hard to get caught up in a piece of fiction when you actually got to live out the fantasy).

Wei Wuxian dragged the Juniors back to Lotus Pier, and tried to put the book out of his mind. It had to die down sooner or later. It had to.

Any hope of ignoring the situation until it went away was destroyed when he ran into his brother sometime before the Discussion Conference, and caught sight of the book Jiang Cheng was holding. He had it tucked behind his sleeve, as if to conceal it, but this was the book that had haunted Wei Wuxian’s waking moments for the past few weeks. Of course he was going to notice it.

“It’s a good book, okay?” Jiang Cheng snapped, following his gaze and immediately realising that any hope of hiding the book was futile. “Just because I like the storyline does not make me a cut-sleeve.” 

Wei Wuxian could have probably latched onto that and made a few teasing comments. Hell, Jiang Cheng was probably expecting him to do just that. But all he could think was, ‘Incense burner, sex near rabbits, broken bathtub, BICHEN - ’ and he turned around abruptly and hurried in the opposite direction, ignoring Jiang Cheng’s confused calls.

Oh God. Oh God, his brother had read the book. His brother had read intimate details about his sex life, because who cared if Wu Ming and Li Zhang were just fictional characters, these were literally the exact things he had done with Lan Zhan, save for a few changes here and there. And who cared about the a different sword name, or an altered location, or cats instead of bunnies. It was still pretty much exactly the same.

‘What have I done?’ he thought, feeling slightly sick.

And then he thought, ‘Lan Qiren has read this book. LAN QIREN has read this book. Somebody kill me, please.’

He sat stiffly next to Lan Wangij during the conference, trying very hard to avoid looking in Jiang Cheng’s direction. His husband glanced at him, and Wei Wuxian could see the concern in his gaze. Of course Lan Wangji had sensed something was wrong with him. Wei Wuxian gave him a weak smile, and tried to relax.

Honestly, Wei Wuxian hated these Discussion Conferences, and he was pretty sure that no one really wanted him here, but he was Lan Wangji’s cultivation partner; he had a right to be here, and he knew it put his husband at ease. 

Besides, no one was actively protesting his presence anymore, which Wei Wuxian suspected had something to do with the fact that he now had the support of the four great sects; Jin Ling and Nie Huaisang were more than fine with him being here, he obviously had the support of the Lan Sect, and now that he and Jiang Cheng had finally mended their relationship, he had the backing of Yunmeng Jiang as well. There wasn’t much that these minor sects could say in protest.

Since Jin Guangyao’s reveal and subsequent death, the sects had yet to agree on a new Chief Cultivator, which meant that, for now, the four main sects would take the lead during these conferences.

Since Lan Wangji generally stayed quiet, unless someone said something truly outrageous, that left most of the proceedings to Jiang Cheng, Jin Ling and Nie Huaisang.

Needless to say, everyone was in agreement that they would need to find a new Chief Cultivator very soon.

Nie Huaisang stood up, and Wei Wuxian prepared himself for a long, boring meeting. At the very least this could give him some time to think about everything that was happening, and figure out what he was going to do.

And then Nie Huaisang started talking about that damn book, and all of his plans crumbled.

The other Sect Leaders — and, in many cases, their heirs, who had been brought along to observe the conference — mostly just looked confused and annoyed. It shouldn’t have surprised them, since these meetings never seemed to have much structure anymore, and always seemed to descend into Nie Huaisang talking about nothing important, Jin Ling arguing with everyone, and Jiang Cheng threatening lives.

Lan Wangji would look as stone faced as ever, and Wei Wuxian was pretty sure his husband would like to be anywhere else. Usually Wei Wuxian would think about all of the things that they could be doing instead, but right now, whenever he thought of that, he’d think about Jiang Cheng, Lan Qiren, Lan Xichen, and whoever else had read that stupid book, and — goddammit, those names should never be associated with his and Lan Zhan's everyday.

“There’s no point in pretending, is there?” Nie Huaisang said, when someone asked what he was doing, and why they weren’t talking about the actual things they were scheduled to speak about. “Everyone in this room has clearly read Everyday.”

“I certainly haven’t read it!” Sect Leader Yao snapped.

“Nor I!” agreed Sect Leader Ouyang.

“I saw you reading it,” Ouyang Zizhen argued.

“I — I was simply trying to see what you were hiding in your room, Zizhen!” Sect Leader Ouyang stammered, his face turning red. “How dare you read such a thing!”

“My wife made me read it,” someone muttered awkwardly.

“You have to admit — cut-sleeve book or not, there’s nothing quite like it.”

There were reluctant murmurs of agreement around the room.

“Of course it is!” Nie Huaisang agreed enthusiastically, while Wei Wuxian sat still, feeling dread creeping up his spine. “Like that scene where Wu Ming shoved Li Zhang’s sword up his — ”

“Have you no shame?!” Sect Leader Yao snapped.

Wei Wuxian risked a glance at his husband, and saw the slight furrow in Lan Wangji’s brow. He felt a wave of panic sweep over him.

Jiang Cheng glared at Nie Huaisang. “Would you be quiet?!”

“Yeah,” Jingyi said. While he shouldn’t have even been in the room at the moment, he had somehow managed to sneak in with Sizhui, Jin Ling and Ouyang Zizhen, not wanting to be separated from his friends and left to his own devices for hours. “The best scene is obviously when they’re on the roof.”

Jin Ling snorted. “You’re joking. It’s when they get married.” He then immediately turned bright red as he realised what he had said.

“Aww, Mistress Jin is a romantic,” Jingyi said, smirking slightly.

Jin Ling glared. “So what if I am?!”

“What are you kids doing, reading books like that?” someone called out, their voice disapproving.

Someone else snorted. “Oh, as if — ”

Oh God, he couldn’t take this anymore. Wei Wuxian could feel his panic rising, and there was a strange look of recognition in Lan Wangji’s eyes, and he needed to stop this now. “Aren’t we all here for a reason?” he asked, his voice cracking slightly. “Seriously, why are you talking about books like this, when you should be talking about serious things like — like — ” He turned to Nie Huaisang. “What are we talking about?”

“I don’t know!”

Wei Wuxian swallowed heavily and let out a weak laugh.

“Stop pretending you haven’t read Everyday,” Jiang Cheng said, rolling his eyes.

Wei Wuxian cringed, and he made a point of not looking in his husband’s direction. “I haven’t! Why would I? It sounds like an awful book anyway.”

Jiang Cheng glared at him, as if he had somehow deeply offended him.

Somehow they managed to turn the topic back to things they should actually be talking about, and Wei Wuxian managed to leave that conference relatively unscathed. He kept expecting Lan Wangji to mention the book, but he didn’t hear any more about it.

He was starting to believe that he’d actually gotten lucky, until he wondered into their bedroom a few days later, and caught sight of Lan Wangji flicking through a very familiar book.

Wei Wuxian’s shoulders slumped in dismay.

Lan Wangji glanced up. “Wei Ying,” he said, his voice level and unchanging.

“…In my defense, I really didn’t expect it to get this big.”

“Uncle has read this,” Lan Wangji said. “Brother too.” Wei Wuxian could see the obvious discomfort in his husband's expression.

“Yes,” Wei Wuxian agreed, “but in my defense…I think a lot more people than just those two have read it.”

Lan Wangji set the book down on the bed, and let out a sigh that sounded more than a little exasperated.

Wei Wuxian shuffled slightly, and averted his gaze. “Are you very mad at me?” 

“Not mad.” Wei Wuxian glanced up; no, Lan Wangji didn’t look mad, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t embarrassed. His husband had read that mess he had written. Forget what he’d told the shopkeeper, he didn’t think it was that good.

There was a pause, and then: “You forgot the cold springs.”

Wei Wuxian’s brow furrowed in confusion. “Huh?”

“The cold springs,” Lan Wangji repeated. “Two months ago.” He gave Wei Wuxian a pointed look.

Wei Wuxian remembered, and immediately flushed. Oh right — it turns out he hadn’t included everything in the book. 

He walked over to the bed, and clambered on, crawling over to his husband. Lan Wangji immediately pulled him onto his lap, and wrapped his arms around Wei Wuxian, holding him close. Wei Wuxian allowed himself to be cradled in his husband’s arms, and breathed in the familiar and beloved scent of sandalwood. 

“On the bright side,” he murmured, smiling contentedly when Lan Wangji kissed him on the forehead, “they don’t know everything about us, right?” 

Lan Wangji pressed his face into Wei Wuxian’s hair, and let out a sigh that sounded almost like a laugh. Wei Wuxian smiled and snuggled closer.

“It doesn’t matter,” Lan Wangji said at last, pulling away slightly. Wei Wuxian pouted at the distance, and Lan Wangji’s mouth twitched upwards in amusement. He tugged Wei Wuxian forward slightly, and allowed Wei Wuxian to settle his head on his chest. “What is in the book does not matter. There are still many things we have not done. No one will know about those.”

Wei Wuxian let out a loud bark of laughter. “Hanguang-Jun! You have such a dirty mind! Already thinking about what you want to do to me…”

“Mn. Wei Ying likes it.”

“Well of course I do, Lan Zhan! It doesn’t mean you can just say those things. My heart isn’t that strong, and since I gave it to you, you should take better care of it!”

“Will always take care of Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji said seriously, and Wei Wuxian bit back a squeal. Honestly, this husband of his.

“You know,” Wei Wuxian said, his voice teasing, “I could always write a second book.”

Lan Wangji didn’t look amused.

“I’m kidding, I’m kidding! No one would want to read that anyway.”

“No more writing,” Lan Wangji said firmly.

Wei Wuxian grinned. “I don’t need to. Honestly, I only wrote that because I was bored and I missed you. Now that my husband is here, why would I need to write about him, when I could be doing other things with him…”

Lan Wangji immediately pulled him forward, and Wei Wuxian let out a laugh of delight, wrapping his arms around his husband’s shoulders. That was right; who cared about that stupid book. Sure, the thought of all of those people reading about what he had written was kind of horrifying, but it would all die down eventually. Maybe. Hopefully.

In the meantime, while they enjoyed his — admittedly, pretty subpar, save for the erotica parts which were amazing — story, he got to experience the real thing. And there was no way he was complaining about that.

Extra:

In the privacy of his own room, Jiang Cheng let out a wide grin, his hands gripping the item he had been searching for. It had taken him weeks, and a substantial amount of money, but finally, he’d managed to track it down.

The original copy of Everyday.

Oh, Jiang Cheng would never admit it aloud, but that book was amazing. He’d never read anything like it. He had read the whole thing in one go, and had then stopped to wonder why anyone bothered with actual relationships when their were fictional works of art like this to keep them going.

Jiang Cheng had then proceeded to reread the book. Multiple times. If anyone asked, he had read it once, out of pure curiosity, and maybe, if he liked the person enough, he’d admit that he kind of saw the appeal of it. It was an okay book.

That was all they would be getting out of him. He had dignity. No one had to know that Everyday was now officially his favourite novel ever, and he longed to go back to the day that he’d first read it and do it all over again.

Sadly, there didn’t seem to be a sequel to the book (‘Yet,’ Jiang Cheng thought hopefully), but Jiang Cheng longed for more. Honestly, he was very bored these days, what with his quest for vengeance against Wei Wuxian more or less over, Jin Ling spending more time away at the Lanling Jin Sect after he had taken over as Sect Leader, and his brother happily married over in Gusu. That was yet another thing Jiang Cheng would never admit.

His desire to find the original copy of the book had come when he had heard that the book had initially only existed as one single copy, and had eventually been reprinted multiple times by whoever had bought it.

As if anyone had the gall to suggest this book not be distributed amongst the masses. If Jiang Cheng ever found the author (who foolishly wished to remain anonymous), he would be having words.

Jiang Cheng had immediately decided that he wanted it. It might even have extra parts that hadn’t been included in any of the copies.

Jiang Cheng settled back in his seat, laying the book gently on the table in front of him. He had his tea set on the table as well, and poured himself a cup.

The original version of the book looked nothing like the nicer copies everyone else had ended up with. Though Jiang Cheng obviously didn’t know this as he prepared to delve into yet another re-read of his new favourite novel, Wei Wuxian hadn’t bothered to make the book look pretty before delivering it to the stall in Caiyi Town. He had simply wanted to finish it, and prove to that shopkeeper that he could write a good piece of cut-sleeve erotica.

This meant that the original book did not have a pretty front cover, or nice writing, or professionally bound pages. The man who had bought this initial copy (and who had ultimately agreed to sell it to Sect Leader Jiang after much hassling, and a sizeable payment) had ensured that any copies of the novel would have a nice leather-bound cover, pages made of quality paper, and neat writing.

More importantly, evidence of Wei Wuxian’s redactions did not exist in any of the newer copies. In this original version, however, anyone reading the book could immediately see that certain words had been crossed out from time to time.

Wei Wuxian had done an alright job of editing these out, but you could still make out words that had been crossed out if you paid enough attention.

Most people wouldn’t care enough to do so. But Jiang Cheng, who had already felt a strange sense of dread building when he first started reading and realised that something just seemed off, realised with a sudden rush of horror that the words that had been hurriedly scratched out in the midst of Wu Ming’s lust-filled ramblings were a series of ‘Er-Geges.’

‘It doesn’t mean anything,’ he tried to tell himself, forcing himself not to dwell on the memory of Wei Wuxian clinging to Lan Wangji’s arm and repeatedly calling him that, or the time he'd had the misfortune of sleeping in a close vicinity to them during one of their visits to Lotus Pier, and had overheard some of their nightly activities.

He managed to convince himself that everything was fine for about two seconds, before the horrifying realisation of just why he had been sensing that something was wrong hit him suddenly. 

That handwriting. He knew that handwriting. How could he not, when he’d grown up with that idiot.

‘No, no, no,’ he thought, flipping madly through the book. This couldn’t — there was no way — 

When he saw the scratched out ‘Bichen’ — barely visible behind the author’s hurried attempts to cross it out — in that famous sword scene, the cup he was holding fell and shattered on the floor, and he let out a horrified scream.

From outside his quarters, a few Yunmeng Disciples — who had been told to stay away from his room for the rest of the afternoon — heard an enraged roar of, “WEI WUXIAN, YOU ASSHOLE!” and immediately thought, ‘Oh God, they’re fighting AGAIN, aren’t they?’

Jiang Cheng briefly fantasied about killing his brother, or at least torturing him with Zidian for a while, but then was simply too mortified to actually confront him about it. He decided that there was no way in hell he was suffering alone though. If he had to torture himself with the knowledge the author’s true identity, then someone else was going down with him.

He decided that he couldn’t hurt Jin Ling that way. Telling Lan Sizhui was something he had briefly toyed with, but he’d ultimately decided that even he wasn’t cruel enough to damage a poor child’s mind like that.

He instead settled on further chipping away at the sanity of a man who was already on the brink.

“Wei Wuxian wrote Everyday,” he told Lan Xichen the next time he was visiting the Cloud Recesses, and happened to bump into the man, who had just slowly started to come out of Seclusion.

Honestly, he had nothing against Lan Xichen, other than the fact that he was related to the man who had taken his brother away from him, and who had inspired that monstrosity of a book, but Jiang Cheng refuse to be the only brother who'd had his mind violated by that idiot.

Lan Xichen immediately paled, and Jiang Cheng thought he saw him swaying slightly on his feet. He had a moment to wonder if maybe he had gone too far, before Lan Xichen was hurrying away from him, back to the peace and sanity of his own home.