There’s No Place I Rather Be:
It begins in the midst of steaming cups of tea and the soft, lulling chimes that hang within their room. It sinks within tired, weary bones. It encompasses tightly, huddled bodies.
Lan Zhan’s finger run gently along Wen Ning’s tangled strands of hair with an ease that causes Wen Ning’s body to shiver. Wen Ning tries his hardest not to move and disturb Wei Ying’s sleep. He didn’t want to wake their beloved that after so long had finally fallen asleep.
“A-Ning…” Lan Zhan whispers ever-so-softly with a strand of hair held in his fingers, “A-Ning has such pretty hair.” Lan Zhan murmurs with a quirk of his lips. Wen Ning’s heart begins to beat rapidly. They’d been together for so long, yet Wen Ning had been unable to change his instinctual reaction towards the compliments that were aimed at him. His face flushes, “Unfair…” He whispers softly in response.
Lan Zhan chuckles, “Still so sensitive…” He says with a fond look. He lets go of Wen Ning’s hair in favor of placing his arms around his waist and pulling him towards himself. He tucks Wen Ning’s head underneath his chin, “A-Ning’s so cute.” Lan Zhan declares shamelessly. In response, Wen Ning’s face flushes crimson and he begins to splutter.
“M’not!” He tries to no avail.
“You are. You are the loveliest.”
“No! You! You’re far lovelier!” Wen Ning retorts with incredibly flushed cheeks. At this Lan Zhan’s own cheeks begin to grow red. In lieu of response Lan Zhan nuzzles against Wen Ning’s nape. It had taken them so, so long to get here. For them to be able to express their love so openly with each other. They both turn to look at Wei Ying sleeping, “It must’ve been extremely difficult.” Lan Zhan murmurs softly, “You loved him then… You must have felt it when he…” Lan Zhan does not finish his sentence. The words still cause an ache in both their chests. They had lost him. They had been unable to save him. He had been devoured by corpses encompassed by the rage of the Cultivators who vied for his blood to be spilled. He had died believing there had been no one who mourned him. Died believing the entirety of the Cultivation World had despised him. He had died not knowing just how much he’d affected them both, and they hadn’t been able to stop it.
“I couldn’t save him. I’m not so sure that he would even have been happy if I had.” Lan Zhan utters softly. There’s a sadness that color his voice. It’s a sadness that Wen Ning knows all too well. One that too had curled itself around his heart that had long ago stopped beating. Wen Ning tilts his head upwards to stare at Lan Zhan’s stormy expression. He wants to comfort him but he himself cannot do so not when he too feels the same. He closes his eyes while pressing himself against Lan Zhan’s chest in an attempt to feel the lulling beating of his heartbeat. It’s a reminder that he’s here with them. That they are together. That they love each other. Wen Ning has many regrets, yet he’ll never regret falling for them both. He will never regret standing at their side.
Lan Zhan’s arms around his waist loosen, and Wen Ning shimmies away from him to get closer to Wei Ying’s sleeping form. His hair lays tussled beneath him in an endearing manner. He’s curled up tightly in the middle of their shared bed beneath the comforter. If Wen Ning stares intently enough he’s able to see the marks that trail downwards from his neck to the little sliver of skin that lay exposed to their eyes. They both know that their lay far more bruises littering his back beneath the comforter. They both took quite a delight in marking up Wei Ying. A reminder that he was back with them. That he was there with them wholly. That he was of flesh and blood.
Wen Ning takes up Wei Ying’s right side while Lan Zhan takes his left, “Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan whispers softly. They both stare in utter adoration, as Wei Ying allows a small whine to slip from his plush lips, “No,” He pouts softly before curling even further into himself. He’s a beautiful sight to them both. Wen Ning settles on his side, “Young Master… Wake up.” Wei Ying’s arms come up to blindly grab at Wen Ning’s inner robes, “I…” Wen Ning watches Wei Ying’s face scrunch up, “Wen Ning, Lan Zhan… I… Please…” Wei Ying’s brows furrow as he continues to whine. Wen Ning quietly gathers Wei Ying into his arms and pulls him towards him to tuck him into his chest.
Wen Ning watches, as Lan Zhan settles behind Wei Ying to draw circles on his slightly exposed back. He watches the way Wei Ying’s breath hitches with every stroke. Watches as Wei Ying’s lips part in a gasp at Lan Zhan’s ministrations. Wen Ning cannot help but fall deeper for them both. His chest curls at the sight of his beloveds. They’re both so beautiful within this lighting. The way Wei Ying’s lithe body lays against his chest. The way Lan Zhan’s lashes lay pressed against rose colored cheeks. They’re by far the most beautiful men that Wen Ning had ever seen and they were his. All his. They loved him, as he loved them. It had taken them so long…
They had waited years… Years for Wei Ying. Years to understand each other. Years for Lan Zhan to accept he held feelings for Wen Ning. Years for Wen Ning to believe they could love him. Years for Lan Zhan to even fathom the thought that his feelings could have been requited. Years for Wei Ying to believe he even deserved to be loved. Even now they sometimes struggled to do so. It was a work-in-progress. However, so long as they had each other then Wen Ning was willing to push through it. He was willing to go to the ends of the earth for them if need be. A sentiment he knew they both shared. Wen Ning closes his eyes, “Have I ever told you of our first meeting?” Wen Ning murmurs. Lan Zhan shakes his head, “You have not.” He replies. Wen Ning’s lips pull upwards into a rather fond smile, “We met within the worn down trails of QiShan Wen. He,” Wen Ning struggles with finding the words to explain what he’d seen that day. To explain the emotions that had surged, “He was blinding. He looked at me… And I… I never wanted him to look away. He was the Sun. Truly,” Wen Ning smiles, “He was not the blazing Sun of QiShan Wen, but the Sun that encompassed the world! Never afraid to give his light and warmth to others… He was… Salvation. I think I was a little infatuated with him. He was beautiful in that subtle sort of way. His beauty stemmed from his mannerisms. His way of just being.” Wen Ning murmurs out.
“Wen Ning…” Lan WangJi whispers softly. He stretches his arm out to settle against both Wei Ying and Wen Ning’s waist. He pulls both of them closer to his chest, “Wen Ning. You’re so, so good. I love you. I love you so, so much. Thank you for being there with him when I was too blind to see. When I hid from him. Wen Ning… Thank you for being with him now. Thank you for being here with us… Me. Thank you for being able to love us. And… Thank you for allowing us… Me, to love you in return. I love you so much. I love both of you so much.” Lan WangJi professes to him. There are tears gathering at the corner of his eyes that Wen Ning can’t help but reach over to swipe away with his thumb, “Don’t cry. I’m so grateful for both of you. I love both of you with all my heart. Lan Zhan… You always treated us kindly. Never looked at Qing-Jie or the others with any malicious intent. You bought little A-Yuan gifts. Gods… You raised A-Yuan despite the fact that you knew what blood he bore. You’re so, so good as well. Thank you…”
Wen Ning doesn’t shed a tear. He thinks that if he could he would. Then, a voice piques up from between them, “Between is there’s no need for that.” Wei WuXian murmurs sleepily. He cocks his face upwards to stare at both of them from his position in Wen Ning’s arms. Wei WuXian smiles at them with hazy eyes that reminded him that Wei WuXian had just woken up, “Hi…” He whispers. His eyes gleam prettily that both Wen Ning and Lan WangJi can’t help but burrow their face against his skin. Where Lan WangJi nuzzles against his nape, Wen Ning does so against the hollow of Wei WuXian’s throat. He feels Wei WuXian laugh at their antics, “My big boys… I love both of you so, so much. You’re both so wonderful. So utterly beautiful. I’m thankful that I was blessed with the chance to experience this love. I… I do not deserve all this happiness… That is why I’m forever thankful I have it. I’m so glad for all that we have lived together. Throughout both of my lives. Lan Zhan… Do you remember how we met?”
“Atop a ledge, Emperor Smile within your hands. You asked me to keep your naughty actions a secret in exchange for a Jar. I struck forward.” Lan WangJi whispers. Lips brushing softly against Wei WuXian’s nape.
“You did! Lan-Er-GeGe going up against defenseless XianXian! I had nothing on me Lan Zhan!” Wei WuXian petulantly whines, “You never needed anything A-Xian.” Wen Ning rebukes with a petty nip against his throat.
Wei WuXian chuckles, “Ha? Lan Zhan? Wen Ning? How utterly shameless! What would your younger selfs think?! They’d loose face! What happened to my good, adorable, shy boys?!”
“Here. With you.” Wen Ning whispers softly. He feels Wei WuXian shiver against him, “Mhm, you’re here. With me. Happy…” He whispers softly.
“Do you remember how I used to plant A-Yuan? I promised he’d get little buddies! Ah! It was so fun to tease him!” Wei WuXian says, “Lan Zhan! Is it true that you used to bury him in a pile of rabbits? I heard so from ZeWu-Jun!” He asks, giggling as both Wen Ning and Lan WangJi nuzzle against his ticklish skin.
“Mhm. So he could grow.” He replies.
“Then we should bury Master Wei under the rabbits.” Wen Ning teases, Wei WuXian gasps, affronted, “Wen Ning! Are you saying I’m short!”
“Mhm.” Lan WangJi says.
Lan Zhan smiles. Wen Ning thinks he’s one of the most beautiful beings he’s has the pleasure of meeting. Wei WuXian aside.
They’re both so beautiful under the moonlight that makes its way through the window. He loves them so much. He wants them. Now… Forever. His chest warms with all the memories they’ve recalled. Despite all the hurt that some memories bring he cannot help but cherish them. Cherish the time. And he cannot wait to make many more with them all together.
“I love you.” Wen Ning whispers softly. He looks at both beautiful men in his embrace and smiles, “I love both of you so, so much.” He says with a reverence that doesn’t surprise him at all. He watches as both Wei Ying and Lan Zhan smile at him and thinks that, yes, this is right where he wants to be.