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How to Keep Your Diplomatic Asset Close (and Your Wei Ying Closer) by His Excellency

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How to Keep Your Diplomatic Asset Close (and Your Wei Ying Closer)
by His Excellency
by misscam

II

It is the first day of the discussion conference and Lan Xichen is, all things considered, optimistic. It is almost unfamiliar after so many months of depression and guilt and blame, so he allows himself to enjoy it, properly enjoy it until…

“Why is he here?”

It was, Lan Xichen supposes, inevitable that uncle would find out. It is hard to miss Wei Wuxian, after all, all smiles and laughter and frequent chatter, even if Wei Wuxian is not as carefree as he was in his youth.

“I believe he is a guest of Sect Leader Nie,” Lan Xichen says, glancing over at Nie Huaisang, trying to keep his gaze light as he does and not quite managing.

Why,” Lan Qiren says, a complaint more than a question. “Does Wangji know?”

Lan Xichen is not given the chance to answer as Wangji himself walks purposely into the room, hand behind his back, looking as elegant and collected as always, until…

The moment Wangji notices Wei Wuxian, sitting among the Nie delegation, Lan Xichen can see the surprise on his brother’s face, the soft longing, the quiet joy. Anyone else would probably not notice much difference at all, but Lan Xichen knows his brother, and he sees. Oh, he sees.

Wei Wuxian notices Wangji a moment later, raising his drink in a silent toast, his smile soft and slightly teasing, but there is longing in his eyes too, Lan Xichen is certain. As their gazes lock, Lan Xichen wonders if anyone else feels as if they’re intruding on something intimate, or if it’s just him.

It seems to be mostly him, as everyone else keeps chatting on – except Nie Huaisang, who smiles knowingly and then hides it behind his fan.

The very knowing Nie Huaisang, Lan Xichen thinks. He smiles a touch bitterly to himself, then exhales and plasters on a pleasant smile again. This is the first conference he has attended since leaving seclusion, and he has things to accomplish, as well as not wanting to worry Wangji or uncle. He is better. He is.

As Wangji continues into the room, everyone rises and bows formally, Wei Wuxian included, and Wangji bows back, eyes never leaving Wei Wuxian and the longing on his face is almost palatable to Lan Xichen.

Oh, Lan Xichen thinks. Oh, Wangji.

“Hmpf,” Lan Qiren says. He is still staring at Wei Wuxian. “He is bound to be a nuisance best ignored.”

II

Wei Wuxian turns out not to be a nuisance – or ignored. He actually turns out to be quite the asset.

Twice, Wangji makes decisions on conflicting sect matters as His Excellency, and both times, his curt, nonsensical announcements are received with muttering and shaking heads, and twice, Wei Wuxian jumps in, chatters on, rephrases Wangji’s words and adds a touch of flattery and gets everyone to nod along and find His Excellency so very right after all.

It is quite impressive, Lan Xichen has to admit. Wei Wuxian has always been fond of talking and good at asking questions, and with his added maturity, he has become quite the speaker. At least when his heart is in it, and his heart is very much with Wangji, Lan Xichen has become convinced.

Jin Ling gives his uncle more than one disbelieving look, and Jiang Cheng gives his brother more than one scowl, but is mostly content to simply look annoyed, which Lan Xichen supposes is progress.

Lan Qiren, however, looks almost disturbed at this turn of events. He strokes his beard several times, narrows his eyes several times, forgets to drink his tea and ends up leaving it cold, and finally, finally lets out a minute ‘hmmm’.

Lan Xichen hides a smile behind his teacup.

Wangji doesn’t seem surprised by Wei Wuxian’s words, nor does he seem bothered. If anything, he seems thoughtful, almost pensive. His gaze never seems far from Wei Wuxian, and Wei Wuxian always seems turned towards Wangji. Still, they do not speak directly to each other.

“Xichen,” Lan Qiren says, and Lan Xichen turns to meet his uncle’s thoughtful look. “I have reconsidered.”

“Oh?” Lan Xichen inquires, his mind elsewhere.

“As much as it pains me to admit, Wei Wuxian may turn out to be an asset to Wangji after all,” Lan Qiren announces. “I shall go convince Wangji to ensure Wei Wuxian attends the rest of the conference as well.”

“Uncle…” Lan Xichen begins, but Lan Qiren has already gotten up and is striding purposely towards Wangji. He leans in, whispering something that makes Wangji’s eyes widen minutely.

Lan Xichen hums and takes another sip of his tea. His uncle looks quite pleased with himself when he returns, stroking his beard and not even scowling.

“Wangji promised to keep Wei Wuxian close for the rest of the conference,” Lan Qiren proclaims.

Wangji would like to keep Wei Wuxian very close for the rest of his life, Lan Xichen thinks and hums again.

Eventually, when the formalities end and most cultivators turn to festivities, Wei Wuxian slips away, and after a moment, Wangji excuses himself. Lan Xichen watches him go, wondering if Wangji will finally, finally let himself indulge his desire. It would be about time.

II

“Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian exhales, his heart racing at the familiar timber of Lan Zhan’s voice, feeling almost as if the sound of it reverberates within his skin. He turns slowly, trying for a lighthearted smile.

“Lan Zhan,” he says. “Nie Huaisang insisted I accompany him. Refused to take no for an answer! Bet you weren’t expecting to see me here, Lan Zhan.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan says, watching him as Wei Wuxian more or less skips up to him. “Pleasantly surprised.”

Wei Wuxian feels his cheeks flush slightly. There is something intense in Lan Zhan’s gaze, burrowing into him, and he fidgets slightly.

“Bet your uncle was less pleased,” Wei Wuxian jokes before the urge to say something truly embarrassing overcomes him, like how he’s longed for Lan Zhan since they parted, how wonderful it feels to see him again, how much he’d like to never stop seeing Lan Zhan, please.

“Uncle considers Wei Ying a diplomatic asset,” Lan Zhan says, and Wei Wuxian boggles at that. Lan Qiren considers him what? “Very determined I keep Wei Ying close for the rest of the conference.”

“An asset?” Wei Wuxian repeats. “Your uncle considered me an asset – to you?”

“Mn.”

“Maybe he thought I’d make it less boring for you, haha,” Wei Wuxian says after a moment, still slightly baffled, but finding the idea of staying close to Lan Zhan a far too enticing prospect to question it further.

“Mn,” Lan Zhan says again. His lips curl upwards just faintly. “Never boring with Wei Ying.”

Wei Ying laughs at that. “Lan Zhan, is that a compliment or an insult?”

“Think for yourself,” Lan Zhan says, and Wei Wuxian laughs again, delighted.

“Lan Zhan! Teasing me! Is that a way to treat an old friend you haven’t seen for many months? Is that a way to treat an asset – an asset according to Old Master Lan himself?”

“How would Wei Ying like to be treated?” Lan Zhan asks after a moment, and Wei Wuxian’s breath catches at the question. It sounds almost flirty, by Lan Zhan standards, but Lan Zhan doesn’t flirt… Does he?

Lan Zhan keeps looking at him, calmly awaiting his answer, and Wei Wuxian feels flustered.

Of course he knows the answer, oh yes. He knows it all too well. He’s had months to come to the realization of how he’s wanted Lan Zhan to treat him since… Well, since a long time ago, another life ago.

He wants to be kissed by Lan Zhan, he thinks. Kissed breathless. Touched by Lan Zhan. Touched breathless. Ravished by Lan Zhan. Ravished breathless. Kept very, very close indeed.

Lan Zhan’s eyes go wide, and Wei Wuxian realizes with a sudden horror that he’s spoken it all aloud, and, oh no. Oh no no no.

Fuck.

“Lan Zhan,” he says hurriedly, feeling something akin to dread, wondering if he’s in a few words managed to ruin a friendship that means the world to him. He is an idiot. He is the worst idiot. “Lan Zhan, I…”

Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan says, and kisses him.

Wei Wuxian stutters in surprise, then just stutters at how Lan Zhan’s lips feel against his, soft and full, simply resting against his at first, then slowly brushing, caressing, nipping until Wei Wuxian parts his lips and then…

Well. This is certainly being kissed breathless, Wei Wuxian thinks, feeling Lan Zhan’s mouth encasing his, licking Wei Ying’s moans as if the feel and taste of them are to be savored. One of Lan Zhan’s hands have settled at the lower part of his back, pressing him closer, the other at the nape of his neck, brushing his skin. He digs his own fingers into Lan Zhan’s robes, desperately trying to pull Lan Zhan even closer, as if wanting to melt into him.

He isn’t sure how long Lan Zhan kisses him. It manages to feel like an eternity and not long enough at once. They are both panting when Lan Zhan pulls back slightly, and his lips feel flushed and swollen as he draws his tongue across them in wonder.

Lan Zhan kissed him, he thinks. Kissed him. Is looking at him as if he wants to keep kissing him, and far more than that, too.

Oh. He is truly an idiot. How did he fail to realize this until now?

“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan says again. He takes Wei Wuxian’s hand in his, laces their fingers together. His ears are flushed, but his voice is steady. “Want too. Will kiss Wei Ying breathless. Will touch Wei Ying breathless. Will ravish Wei Ying breathless. Will keep Wei Ying very, very close.”

For once, Wei Wuxian finds himself bereft of words, so he simply finds Lan Zhan’s lips and kisses his very enthusiastic approval at all of it.

II

In Lan Zhan’s room, Wei Wuxian is touched breathless, as promised. Lan Zhan brushes his fingers and strokes his palm across every inch of Wei Wuxian’s skin, while Wei Wuxian makes breathless noises whenever Lan Zhan finds a particular sensitive spot and lingers there. When warm hands find his cock, Wei Wuxian whimpers and bites his lip and arches and digs his fingers into Lan Zhan’s shoulder. The touches seem scorching, making him pant and moan, Lan Zhan kissing, licking and biting marks into his skin as he does. It is good. It is the best. It is better than the best, and Wei Ying comes like that, breathless and hot.

Later, in the bath, he takes Lan Zhan in his mouth, and discovers how to make Lan Zhan breathless, how to make Lan Zhan’s ear flush with heat, how to make Lan Zhan’s heart quicken and thunder, how to make Lan Zhan come with a breathless call of his name.

Lan Zhan’s lashes are dark against his skin when he closes his eyes in pleasure, and he looks so beautiful it makes Wei Wuxian’s own breath catch.

Lan Zhan takes him to his bed, and they hold each other under the covers, foreheads pressed against each other, until Wei Wuxian leans forward and kisses him, and kisses him, and kisses him and… Well, they both end up kissed and touched breathless yet again, in the end.

(Wei Wuxian is pretty sure this isn’t exactly Lan Qiren’s idea of keeping diplomatic assets close, but as far as Wei Wuxian is concerned, His Excellency’s idea is a very, very good way to be kept close and he’d very much like to kept close like this forever, please.)

II

“Why didn’t you ask me to stay?” Wei Wuxian whispers, feeling Lan Zhan’s arms tighten slightly around him. The faint light of morning is slowly moving into the room, but the sun holds no warmth compared to the heat and comfort of Lan Zhan’s embrace, Wei Wuxian finds.

“Wasn’t sure how Wei Ying felt,” Lan Zhan says quietly. Wei Wuxian kisses his nose in response. “Wanted Wei Ying to feel free, not obligated.”

Wei Wuxian swallows slightly. “I wouldn’t have felt obligated.”

Lan Zhan looks at him, considering his words. “Why did Wei Ying leave?”

“Wasn’t sure how you felt,” Wei Wuxian says quietly, and Lan Zhan is the one to kiss his nose this time. “Wanted you to feel free to pursue your promise as His Excellency, not be further tainted by association to me.”

“Would not have felt tainted,” Lan Zhan says firmly. “Never tainted. Wei Ying is… To me, Wei Ying is light. Wei Ying is happiness. Wei Ying is precious.”

Wei Wuxian hides his head against Lan Zhan’s chest, feeling his cheeks flush and his heart race. “Lan Zhan! My heart cannot take it when you say things like this! At least warn me first!”

Lan Zhan merely hums, and dips his head down to find Wei Wuxian’s lips, kissing them until they feel as flushed as Wei Wuxian’s cheeks.

II

When the discussion conference breaks for lunch on the second day, Lan Xichen retires to his room. He has his eyes closed in attempted meditation when he hears footsteps approach. With a sigh, he opens them and sees uncle walking into the room.

“Wei Wuxian was very useful again this morning,” Lan Qiren says. Lan Xichen nods. Wei Wuxian was indeed useful, diffusing an argument between two sect leaders and managing to talk several notable cultivators into backing Wangji’s proposals this morning. Even more importantly, all morning there has been the soft look in Wangji’s eyes that speaks of a happiness Lan Xichen has wanted for his younger brother for so long.

“He is a troublemaker,” Lan Qiren says, a familiar scowl on his face. “Even so, I must admit he seems to have his uses. He is truly a diplomatic asset when he puts his mind to it.”

Lan Xichen merely hums softly.

“There might be some wisdom in ensuring a more permanent position for him near Wangji,” Lan Qiren muses.

Lan Xichen smiles. “You may be right, uncle.”

“Perhaps as a secretary,” Lan Qiren muses. “Would Wangji enjoy Wei Wuxian in such a position under him?”

Lan Xichen nearly chokes, remembering all too well when he walked into Wangji’s room this morning after breakfast to find Wei Wuxian in very much such a position – pressed to the desk, Wangji on top and kissing his way down Wei Wuxian’s neck with great enthusiasm while Wei Wuxian let out delighted noises, and well, it certainly seemed like his brother was enjoying himself a great deal.

“All too well,” Lan Xichen says, voice pained.

“Perhaps I should discuss the matter with Wangji,” Lan Qiren says, nodding to himself. “I’m sure he will understand the importance of keeping his diplomatic assets close. Where is he?”

“I believe he had a few matters he wished to raise with Wei Wuxian,” Lan Xichen says, managing just barely to keep his face even.

His uncle seems to accept that, nodding slightly. “Discussing the best strategy for the rest of the conference, I hope.”

They are most certainly not, Lan Xichen doesn’t say.

Lan Xichen closes his eyes as uncle leaves, returning to his meditation, pushing the image of his brother necking Wei Wuxian out of his mind. After all, while he does want Wangji to be happy, he has no desire to see just how Wei Wuxian makes Wangji happy.

II

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian moans. Lan Zhan’s fingers are pressing into him, growing ever more insistent as Lan Zhan grows more confident with every moan Wei Wuxian makes. “Lan er-gege.”

Lan Zhan hums faintly, licking Wei Wuxian’s collarbone. Wei Wuxian moans again, clenching slightly, pressing his flushed face against Lan Zhan’s shoulder.

“We are… supposed to be… having lunch,” Wei Wuxian points out, panting.

“Mn,” Lan Zhan agrees. “Wei Ying should have thought of that before teasing.”

“I wasn’t teasing,” Wei Wuxian protests, biting his lip hard as Lan Zhan’s fingers brush against a particular spot, making him almost buck in response. “I was… showing you… the oil… I got from Nie Huaisang…”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan says. He kisses Wei Wuxian’s neck, sucking a mark into it, pressing another finger in, and Wei Wuxian has no breath to even gasp. “Not just showed.”

Maybe he also explained what he wanted Lan Zhan to use the oil to do, Wei Wuxian admits to himself, but he didn’t mean right now. He would have been content to wait after lunch, he would.

Probably.

…. Okay, probably not.

“Shameless,” Lan Zhan declares, and Wei Wuxian has no breath to argue just who exactly is shameless, their positions considered, merely bites a protest into Lan Zhan’s shoulder and decides to argue it later. Much later.

II

The evening’s discussion end very well, as it turns out. Lan Xichen is very pleased for his brother when all the sects finally, after much discussion, shouting and listening to more than one impassioned speech by Wei Wuxian, agree to sponsor more night hunts for villages or towns that need help, but cannot offer much in terms of payment.

Jiang Cheng is actually the first to agree (followed by Jin Ling), which should perhaps be surprising, but somehow, Lan Xichen finds that he is not surprised. Beneath all the loud grumbling, Jiang Cheng does care, after all.

Lan Qiren looks more than pleased, giving Wei Wuxian a genuine, if curt nod as thanks, and Wei Wuxian gives a slightly confused nod back.

The dinner is boisterous and loud, and Wangji endures the bare minimum of it before he excuses himself, pausing only to listen to uncle’s insistent whispers, and then again in front of Lan Xichen, bowing slightly.

“Brother,” Wangji says. Lan Xichen regards him and smiles pleasantly at his younger brother.

“Wangji,” he says. “Today went well.”

“Mn,” Wangji agrees. His ears are faintly flushed, and he doesn’t quite meet Lan Xichen’s eyes. He seems to remember all too well what Lan Xichen walked in on this morning.

“Wei Wuxian seems very determined to make you a success as His Excellency,” Lan Xichen observes after a moment. “He thinks very highly of you.”

Wangji’s face softens just slightly. “Wei Ying… is truly an asset, as uncle keeps insisting.”

“Indeed,” Lan Xichen agrees. “Not just diplomatically, no matter what uncle may think.”

“Mn,” Wangji agrees again. “… I have missed him.”

“I know,” Lan Xichen says. Oh, how well he knows. “Ensure you will not miss him again, Wangji.”

“Mn,” Wangji says, an exhaled promise. “Will ask him tomorrow, after the end of the conference.”

What Wangji plans for tonight, Lan Xichen doesn’t ask. He merely smiles, knowing all too well what Wangji wants to ask, has wanted to ask for a long time. “I am happy for you, Wangji.”

Wangji lets out a soft exhale. “Thank you, brother.”

Lan Xichen watches him go, and moments later, Wei Wuxian slips away as well, following, unnoticed by most, but certainly not by all.

Jiang Cheng makes a disgusted face, Nie Huaisang smiles and fans himself, and Lan Xichen, Lan Xichen decides he needs another cup of tea.

II

When he admitted he’d like to be ravished breathless, he really had no idea what that meant, Wei Wuxian has to admit. Sure, he had read books and seen drawings, and had a general idea of what it entailed to be with another man, but he sure had no idea what it meant, no matter how much he might have fantasized and imagined.

He could not have imagined how it feels when Lan Zhan presses into him, cock hard and smooth and hot and coated in oil, inching deeper and deeper and making Wei Wuxian’s breath stutter and catch. He could not have imagined idea how intimate it feels, having Lan Zhan sheathed in him, his forehead pressing against his, his hair falling around Wei Wuxian’s face, his eyes wide with arousal and desire and pleasure. He could not have imagined how his body adjusts to such penetration, slowly welcoming it and wanting more and more, how his legs spread wider without thinking, seeking to drawn Lan Zhan in even deeper.

It is wonderful. It is glorious. It is beyond words, even for Wei Wuxian. It is even better when Lan Zhan begins to move, thrusting slowly at first, trying angles until he finds one that has Wei Ying arching sharply into him, whimpering in pleasure.

Truly, he could not have imagined the pleasure of that, the sharp jolt that makes his body spark, again and again as Lan Zhan thrusts into him, as promised, ravishing him truly breathless, senseless and weightless.

II

“Sect Leader Lan,” Nie Huaisang says, bowing formally. “Zewu Jun.”

He refrains from more familiar titles, and Lan Xichen isn’t sure those will ever return, or if he will ever welcome them again. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

“Sect Leader Nie,” Lan Xichen replies, keep his voice cordial, if not friendly.

“His Excellency and Brother Wei seem to no longer be present,” Nie Huaisang observes after a moment, fanning himself as he regards the room. “Pressing matters have come up, perhaps?”

Lan Xichen doesn’t comment on that. He exhales, then turns his gaze to actually look at Nie Huaisang. “Thank you for bringing Wei Wuxian here.”

Nie Huaisang lowers his fan. “I was more than happy to honor Zewu Jun’s request to do so.”

It sounds sincere. Perhaps it even is. Lan Xichen chooses to believe it is. Perhaps it is naïve, but he is beginning to think that if he constantly thinks the worst of everyone now, he will lose even more of himself than he already has.

He is tired of loss.

“Happy for Brother Wei too,” Nie Huaisang says after a moment. They were friends, Wei Wuxian and Nie Huaisang, Lan Xichen remembers, a long time ago. Is this an attempt at making amends? To Wei Wuxian and Lan Xichen at the same time? “He has been very miserable being apart from Hanguang Jun.”

“As has Wangji,” Lan Xichen says quietly. Sure, his brother has masked it well enough, buried it beneath duty and responsibility well enough, but Lan Xichen saw it all too well.

“There has been enough misery,” Nie Huaisang says softly, glancing down at his hands, face pained for just a moment before he smiles again. “Will I be invited to the wedding, Zewu Jun?”

Lan Xichen doesn’t bother to ask how Nie Huaisang can be sure a wedding will follow. After all, Nie Huaisang has turned out to be far more receptive than most gave him credit for, and anyone who knows Wei Wuxian and Wangji well enough, and sees them well enough, will know the depth of their feelings and what is bound to follow now that they’ve found their way together.

“That will be for them to decide,” Lan Xichen says. “But I will not oppose it if they do.”

“Thank you, Zewu Jun,” Nie Huaisang says and that too, sounds sincere.

II

“Lan er-gege,” Wei Wuxian whispers, making his voice sound almost properly scandalized. “Lan er-gege, such shameless ravishing of your diplomatic asset!”

“Wei Ying wanted,” Lan Zhan says, closing his eyes slightly as Wei Wuxian catches his flushed earlobe between his lips. “Wei Ying.”

“Wei Ying wanted,” Wei Wuxian agrees happily. He feels sore and spent, but it is a wonderful sort of sore and spent, all his nerves still seeming to tingle with echoes of pleasure. “You truly ravished me breathless as you promised, Lan er-gege. Not only once…”

“….”

“Not only twice, “Wei Wuxian goes on, his toes curling in delight as he remembers bouncing on Lan Zhan’s lap, tied wrists behind Lan Zhan’s neck, Lan Zhan’s hands digging into his hips to help him move, to help him fuck himself on Lan Zhan’s cock.

“…”

“… but thrice,” Wei Wuxian concludes, thinking of being bent over the bed and thrust into hard and deep, again and again, leaving him helpless to do anything to bite his whimpered moans into the sheets.

Even knowing Lan Zhan’s strength as a cultivator, Wei Wuxian has to admit he’s impressed at the stamina. Impressed, and very, very pleased.

“…. Wei Ying wanted,” Lan Zhan says again, eyes sliding shut as Wei Wuxian runs his tongue along the shell of his ear.

“Wei Ying wanted,” Wei Wuxian agrees again. He very enthusiastically wanted, and made certain Lan Zhan knew just how much, after all. “You’ve spoilt me, Lan er-gege! How will I be able to stop wanting now?”

“Won’t have to,” Lan Zhan promises solemnly, and before Wei Wuxian can ask what that’s supposed to mean, he finds himself being kissed, being touched, being shifted onto his side and…

“Does Wei Ying want?” Lan Zhan asks, voice hoarse and strained.

“Yes,” Wei Wuxian says, closing his eyes. “Yes, please.”

Lan Zhan does.

II

The discussion conference is completed with a rather boring and formal ceremony that Wei Wuxian internally yawns his way through (which to be fair, is in part because he got barely any sleep last night), but manages to keep his face straight through nonetheless. It matters that this conference is a success, that Lan Zhan is considered a good Chief Cultivator, that he is seen as the good, truly good man that he is.

There is no one better than Lan Zhan, Wei Wuxian has long since decided. No one even close.

He finds himself smiling at Lan Zhan more than once, feeling Jiang Cheng’s eyes at him every time he does, barely resisting the urge to stick his tongue out at his brother.

He slips away to pack when all the cultivators begin to exchange more informal pleasantries, bundling together his belongings in an undignified heap before walking over to Lan Zhan’s room, finding Lan Zhan waiting for him there.

Somehow, he knew he would. Neither of them is willing to part again, Wei Wuxian supposes. He knows he is certainly not.

“Lan Zhan,” he says, unable to keep the grin from his face. “I thought I might give Sect Leader Nie a break and bother the Chief Cultivator with my presence for a while instead.”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan says. He steps forward, kissing Wei Wuxian softly. “Not a bother. A joy. Want Wei Ying close.”

“Warn me, Your Excellency!” Wei Wuxian reminds him, his heart skipping several beats. The thought of being Lan Zhan’s joy makes him want to grin stupidly and run around announcing it to everyone, but he supposes that would be a touch undignified.

Lan Zhan frowns at being called His Excellency. He kisses Wei Wuxian again, hard, as if stressing a point. “To Wei Ying, I’m not His Excellency.”

“What should I call you, then?” Wei Ying teases. “Hanguang Jun? Lan Wangji? Lan Zhan? Lan er-gege? Lover?”

“They are all acceptable,” Lan Zhan says softly. “As would husband be.”

Wei Wuxian swallows. “Husband?”

“Mn,” Lan Zhan says, taking his hands. “Want to marry Wei Ying.”

For a long, breathless moment, Wei Wuxian merely looks at him, looks at the man he loves, the man who loves him, the man who wants to marry him. It feels too good to be true, to wonderful to be anything but a fantasy, that he should be as loved as he loves, and finally gets to live that.

“Wei Ying?” Lan Zhan says, and it is the hint of nervousness, the faint catch in Lan Zhan’s voice that convinces Wei Ying that yes, this is not a dream, not a fantasy.

“Yes!” Wei Wuxian declares enthusiastically. He throws himself at Lan Zhan, who steadies him with practiced ease, shifting one hand to his back to keep him close and keeping one hand intertwined with Wei Wuxian’s. “Want too. Will marry you. Will marry you breathless. I love you. I love you. You, you, you. All of you. Want to be His Excellency’s diplomatic asset, Hanguang Jun’s cultivation partner, Lan Wangji’s confidant, Lan er-gege’s lover, Lan Zhan’s husband. Every day.”

“Will be,” Lan Zhan promises. “All of it. Every day. Love Wei Ying.”

Wei Wuxian finds himself laughing in delight. He can’t help it, feeling unable to contain all the joy within him. “Lan Zhan, Lan Wangji, Lan er-gege. Kiss me breathless again?”

Lan Zhan does.

II

“The conference went very well,” Lan Qiren observes as they get ready to return to Cloud Recesses. “Very well indeed.”

“Indeed,” Lan Xichen agrees.

“We must ensure the next conference goes just as well,” Lan Qiren declares after a moment, pacing slightly, his brow furrowed.

“I believe Wangji has found a way to keep Wei Wuxian permanently close,” Lan Xichen says.

Lan Qiren stops pacing. “Oh? That is fortunate.”

“Indeed,” Lan Xichen says. He tries to keep his tone even, but still, uncle seems to keep up on something.

“How?” he demands.

“As his husband,” Lan Xichen says pleasantly, allowing himself a moment to enjoy the prospect of that, of his brother finally finding happiness, just as he had hoped to accomplish by getting Nie Huaisang to bring Wei Wuxian here, to bring them together to realize how much they had missed each other.

There has been enough misery, after all. He will see his brother happy, and perhaps, in time, he will find something akin to happiness himself too.

“As his what,” Lan Qiren says, face like thunder.

“They are to be married.”

“They are what.”

“Married,” Lan Xichen repeats dutifully.

“... What,” Lan Qiren repeats dully, and sits down, pressing fingers into his temple. He looks as if he’s having a rather severe headache. “Why.”

Lan Xichen, helpfully, gets him some tea – and for the first time in a long while, doesn’t feel the least bit guilty.

FIN