It's not like Wei Wuxian didn't like rules.
He did, seriously.
Well, he didn't *like* them, but he understood and respected useful rules That's the only reason he had survived so many years as the Yunmeng Jiang Sect's head disciple and hadn't been murdered by Madam Yu... yet.
He had been thrilled when Uncle Jiang had announced they were going to be studying in Cloud Recesses for a year. Even though most people thought him to be lazy and carefree, Wei Wuxian actually loved learning new things. His memory was not good when it came to his own personal life, and remembering things that had happened to him, or people he had met only a few times at most, but when it came to his studies and cultivation, he remembered every single detail of the things he learned.
This translated to him becoming extremely bored in lessons and looking for ways to distract himself, thus ending up scribbling scrolls, drawing instead of taking notes and playing a lot instead of studying.
Yet, when quizzed on the material, he would be able to answer every question thrown his way, and because of his need to burn through his endless supply of energy by doing physical exercises, when made to demonstrate his shooting abilities and sword forms, he would do so impeccably, leaps ahead of the rest of the disciples, much to Madam Yu's chagrin.
So, when they had been given material to go through in preparation for their stay in Gusu, Wei Wuxian had read it so fast, he had finished reading all the tomes by the time the rest of the disciples were barely starting on the second one.
And had been promptly horrified at the amount of useless rules the Cloud Recesses had.
Everything that made life worth living was forbidden.
No laughing, running, playing, sleeping in late on free days, being overly happy or overly sad (and really, what did being overly happy even mean?), no alcohol, no feasting... How could the people in the GusuLan sect even survive in that kind of environment, where the number of things you could do was so limited? Their existence would surely be monotonous and boring.
Wei Wuxian loved finding new things and making new friends, but he doubted he would be able to survive the Cloud Recesses without breaking at least 100 rules just by existing.
Even Jiang Cheng, as he finished reading the entire list of sect rules, had turned to him and stared at him in wonder, and when Wei Wuxian had asked what was wrong, he had just muttered, "I have no idea how you're going to last more than 5 days without getting kicked out. Mother is going to kill you if you disgrace the sect by getting banned from the Cloud Recesses."
Wei Wuxian had pouted until Jiang Yanli fed him lotus root and pork rib soup while patting his head with an amused smile.
From his time in Gusu, he not only wanted to get as much knowledge as he could but also try to make friends with those in as many sects as possible, for he was already good friends with Nie Huaisang from the Qinghe Nie sect, as both of them and Jiang Cheng used to play when they were younger and conferences took place in Lotus Pier, as Sect Leader Nie refused to let his younger brother out of his sight.
But as he finished packing everything he would need to take for a year away from home, he couldn't help thinking back to the 3000 rules he had memorised already, and couldn't help thinking that maybe, making friends with someone from the GusuLan sect would be incredibly hard for someone like him, someone loud, ruddy and impulsive, someone that was the embodiment of everything the sect rules were against. Who from the GusuLan sect would ever want to be his friend, when he would likely break rules by just breathing?
He finished putting away the last of his robes and sighed, letting himself drop back onto the bed, and closing his eyes for a minute.
Wei Wuxian loved being his own person, loved his family, and loved helping people when he could. But he also loved freedom, improvisation, and spontaneity.
How would he be able to befriend someone that was stuck in a monotonous existence?
He didn't think it would be possible.
Lan Wangji's life was perfectly organised.
He would get up at 5 AM, meditate for an hour before having breakfast, then he would train his swordsmanship for 2 hours, practice guqin for the rest of the morning, have lunch, and then he would self-study for the entire afternoon, taking breaks to help his brother or uncle with anything they needed, and to impart discipline when someone broke rules and needed to be punished. In the evening, he would have dinner, retire to his room to meditate before bedtime, and go to sleep at 9 PM every single day. The only exceptions would be when he was needed for official sect activities, or when he had to patrol to make sure no one was out of bed after curfew.
He was the perfect disciple. The perfect student. A model sect member, second in line to the sect leader title after his brother. The two jades of Gusu, they called them.
Yet while Lan Xichen was liked for his gentle smile and kind demeanour, Lan Wangji was respected for his neutral features, always looking serious and distant. While people his age admired and wanted to be close to Lan Xichen, they stayed far away from Lan Wangji, intimidated by his serious face and lack of words.
In all his years of life, he had never made a friend.
And while gossiping was forbidden in the Cloud's Recesses, it didn't stop both disciples and Elders from saying the same thing, "If he doesn't change, he will never find a friend, least of all a lover."
Lan Wangji's life was perfectly organised. He was the perfect disciple. But he was also lonely, stuck in the same routine since he was a child.
Until HE appeared.