Wei Wuxian rests his head on his hand and sighs a little. He is shamelessly watching Lan Zhan sipping gently from his glass, eyes considering. He’s got an expression on his face that he only gets when he’s trying to figure out how to ask something he’s not sure if he’s asking the right way. He's so gorgeous, he's stealing Wei Wuxian's breath away. It’s been six months, and Wuxian has been watching him eat breakfast at least every other day for since they first slept together. Maybe more often, recently. It’s been weeks since he’s crossed the road to his own apartment to stay there longer than it takes to change his clothes and sometimes take a shower.
It’s a normal morning, them both sitting in the kitchen as the sun rises, casting the whole room in an orange glow.
The look on his face is worrying Wuxian. Lan Zhan struggles with communication but he’s trying so hard, and every day Wuxian is growing more and more attached.
Too bad they’re just casual.
Every day he expects Lan Zhan to tell him that he wants something real, something that’s more than just convenience between two people who work in the same office and carpooled before they even started sleeping together because Wuxian’s apartment is just over the road from Lan Zhan’s, two people who are seeing each other because the other is close and easy.
Lan Zhan looks at him. Wuxian smiles reassuringly. If today is the day – Wuxian isn’t prepared.
“I want to get married.”
Well. Lan Zhan’s uncle is always telling him he has to get married, telling him about prospective wives and husbands, but Lan Zhan has denied them all until now. He hasn’t told Wuxian why or how he managed to get his uncle off of his back.
Wuxian wants to wonder what changed, why Wuxian isn’t enough for him anymore, why he’s finally decided he wants to do the marriage thing, but it hurts too much for him to care at all right now. Wuxian will have to pretend that he’s okay and ready for them to not sleep together anymore.
He can pretend that he’s okay, right?
“Okay. Yeah, you’d look amazing in red, Lan Zhan.” Wuxian manages to get out.
His throat is closing up and his eyes are itchy.
Lan Zhan smiles at him, big and real, and Wuxian tries desperately not to cry.
Lan Zhan loses the smile immediately, he stands up and draws Wuxian to his chest, hugs him for a few moments. Wuxian clings to him and lets a few tears slip out.
Lan Zhan isn’t going to give him a goodbye or an explanation, just a hug.
He’ll take it.
He hugs Lan Zhan closer to his chest and steels himself to hear Lan Zhan talking about his fiancé and their wedding plans.
Wuxian is going to have to watch Lan Zhan marry someone else and smile through it. Why does that hurt so much?
He’s carpooling with Lan Zhan today, same as every day, so he finishes his coffee and tries not to think too much about the pure joy Lan Zhan is exuding. It’s in the way his lips twitch up slightly as he sips his coffee, the way his ears are tinged pink, his movements slightly slower than normal, the way he keeps staring down at his own hands like he’s imagining his own hand linked with –
With the person who he’s in love with.
He must have found someone he really loves.
Lan Zhan takes his hand, kisses him at the door before they leave.
Wuxian won’t be able to keep doing this, not if Lan Zhan is getting married to someone else.
He’ll take what he can get while it’s still freely given, though.
He holds Lan Zhan’s hand tight, kisses him fiercely. He doesn’t want Lan Zhan to break off the engagement, not when he’s this happy. He just wants to be firmly in Lan Zhan’s memory.
He doesn’t want Lan Zhan to forget him after he gets married. They’ll still be best friends, he’ll still probably offer to carpool, they’ll still share meals sometimes and Lan Zhan will probably still invite him out for walks on crisp Sunday mornings, still come and play music with him, still do their little work lunch rituals.
They drive in silence. This isn’t unusual for Lan Zhan, but Wuxian usually fills the silence by talking about his plans or his work or the piece he’s composing. Sometimes they do sit in silence, mostly because Wuxian takes half of the drive to wake up properly.
When Lan Zhan parks, he stops Wuxian from walking into their office, pushes him up against the car and kisses him. Wuxian lets his arms wrap around Lan Zhan’s shoulders, relaxes into the kiss and lets Lan Zhan kiss him like he doesn’t want to be parted from him for a second, lets him kiss down his neck and push him further into the car.
Maybe Lan Zhan is also trying to get all of Wuxian that he possibly can before they’re forced to split.
Lan Zhan wouldn’t cheat on his new fiancé after they’re married. Lan Zhan isn’t like that. It’s coming as a surprise to Wuxian that Lan Zhan is carrying on with him even after he’s decided he wants to get married, but maybe Lan Zhan is just as desperate for him as Wuxian is for Lan Zhan.
He’s not going to put a stop to this.
Even if his heart feels like it’s cracking. Maybe he's more attached to Lan Zhan than he thought.
They make it to the office eventually, and Wuxian tries desperately to go about his day like he’s fine. He works in a different department to Lan Zhan, so they don’t see each other much in their working day. Wuxian used to dislike that, but now he’s never been more thankful.
He feels about five seconds from crying at any given point.
Lan Zhan comes to collect him for lunch, and he smiles the most content smile Wuxian has ever seen. It breaks Wuxian’s heart a little.
“I’m a little too busy to take time off for lunch today Lan Zhan, I’m sorry.” Wuxian says. It’s a lie, but he needs to protect his heart somehow.
“Oh. I wanted to ask you about rings. Can I sit?” Lan Zhan asks.
Ah, exactly what Wuxian was afraid of. Being asked his advice on Lan Zhan’s wedding to a stranger.
“Of course, ask away.”
Lan Zhan sits, and takes Wuxian’s hand. “I wanted to go ring shopping this afternoon. For an engagement ring.”
Wuxian smiles ruefully at him. “Then go! You’re gonna make a good choice.”
“Doesn’t Wei Ying want a say in the ring?”
“I trust you to choose the most beautiful ring there.” Wuxian smiles again and hopes desperately his heartbreak isn’t showing on his face.
“Mn. I will choose a ring today.” Lan Zhan says, and brings Wuxian’s hand to his mouth, then busses a kiss across Wuxian’s knuckles.
Wuxian smiles at him again. Lan Zhan stays for another ten minutes to ask about what work Wuxian has, and Wuxian struggles to make up plausible reasons why he can’t go with Lan Zhan to pick out a symbol of his love for someone else.
Wuxian eventually stands up and pats Lan Zhan’s arm a little. “Sorry, Lan Zhan, I have to go to the bathroom, but we can talk tomorrow morning? I don’t think I’ll be able to have dinner tonight, I have to call my shijie. I’ll take the bus home.”
Lan Zhan smiles softly at him again and nods, then kisses Wuxian on the temple, and gets ready to go. Wuxian makes it to the bathroom and resolutely doesn't cry. He stands there trying to collect himself, but after five minutes of constant imagining Lan Zhan giving a ring to someone els, he goes back to his desk, puts his headphones on, and turns up his music as loud as it will go.
It helps a little.
“Xianxian? This isn’t when you usually call, is everything okay?”
Wuxian tries to breathe in normally, but it comes out like a sob.
“Lan Zhan wants to get married.”
“He didn’t say he wanted to marry me, he just said he wants to get married. He’s never even told me he loves me or that he wants to date me properly. It can’t be to me, shijie. He would have said ‘Will you marry me, Wei Ying,’ but he said –“
Wuxian pauses, breathes, and controls himself.
“He said ‘I want to get married.’ His uncle is always asking him when he’s going to get married. He’s going to get married to someone else.”
“A-Xian, I’m so sorry. I always thought you two would end up together.”
Wuxian laughs but it sounds more like he's crying. “Me too. I was going to tell him that I want to date him for real, but instead. Instead.”
He squeezes his eyes shut and feels two tears run down his cheeks.
“A-Xian, I’m going to come and see you. I’m so sorry you have to go through this, Lan Wangji doesn’t know what he’s missing, you deserve so much better than him. How are you getting to work if you’re not seeing him any more?”
“I’m still carpooling with him.”
“He still wants to sleep with me. I assume until the wedding, he’ll keep on with me. I don’t want to let him know that something is wrong, I’m still his best friend and I don’t want to lose him.”
“A-Xian, you’re not…”
“I’m okay, shijie, I’m dealing with it.”
“You’re crying, I don’t think you’re okay.”
"How do you know I'm crying?"
"You just told me."
Yanli knows him too well. “I’m fine, I swear. I’ll stop sleeping with him at some point, but for now… I don’t want him to forget me.”
“He’s not going to forget you, you’re closer than I’ve ever seen two people. But A-Xian, you’re just hurting yourself by keeping on with this when he’s marrying someone else.”
“I know, but I’d rather be with him than not. If he gets married I’ll stop, but I don’t even know who he’s marrying so it doesn’t feel real yet. I just know he doesn’t want to marry me.”
“This is so strange, A-Xian. He doesn’t seem like the type, I really never expected this from him.”
Wuxian takes a breath. He doesn’t want to admit this. He hates that it’s true.
“I think I’m in love with him, shijie.”
It’s the first time he’s said it out loud. More tears slip down his face.
“A-Xian, I’m sorry you have to go through this. I’m going to bring A-Ling to see you.”
“Really?” That’s enough to make him feel some hope, at least.
“It’s so cute how fast your mood turns when you know you get to see your nephew. We can be there tomorrow after work if you’re free?”
“That would be so nice, shijie. Thank you, it’ll be nice to see you. You can stay as long as you want. It’s a good reason to not have to see Lan Zhan in the evening, too.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow, A-Xian.”
“Okay. How are you, shijie?”
Yanli starts telling Wuxian about her maternity leave coming to an end and her struggles finding a good nanny. Jin Zixuan has been taking paternity leave, and he seems to really enjoy staying home with Jin Ling. She’s been having endless ideas for the restaurant in her time off and she’s anxious to go back and keep the creative process going. Zixuan is more than happy to spend more time at home with Jin Ling, given that his father has given him as much paternity leave as he wants, and all he’s doing at work is monotonous boring stuff. She’s delighted that he’s taken so naturally to being a parent, and she’s torn between going back to work and spending all the time she can with her family. She tells Wuxian that she’s decided to start going back three days a week in the next week, and this is the last chance she has to bring Jin Ling to see Wuxian. Zixuan will take the chance to go back to work and make sure he’s not being missed.
He’s anxious to see her again. It’ll be nice to have their little sibling group together again.
Lan Zhan holds the ring out.
“What do you think?”
Lan Zhan is really going to ask for his opinion on this? Well, of course. Wuxian is his best friend, that’s who you go to for opinions on rings. Maybe he’ll ask Wuxian to be his best man. It's too early in the morning to be thinking like this.
Wuxian looks at the ring. It’s gorgeous, the band is silver and the diamond inlay is red. A ruby, most likely. It’s delicately crafted, but the silver holding the ruby up has delicate patterns in it.
“I don’t like it.” Wuxian blurts out.
He does like it. It looks like the kind of thing he would wear, and he doesn’t want to see that on anyone else, save maybe Lan Zhan. He doesn’t think he’d like any ring Lan Zhan picked out for someone else.
Lan Zhan looks upset. Wuxian could have been nicer about that. It's too early in the morning and his heart hurts too much for him to remember how to be polite.
“I prefer blue.” Wuxian says, trying to get the furrow out from between Lan Zhan’s eyebrows.
Lan Zhan looks at him, and his eyes are wide. He blinks a couple times, then nods. “Topaz or aquamarine?”
“Which is paler?”
Wuxian had imagined getting married to Lan Zhan. In his fantasies he had a ring that was the same colour scheme as Lan Zhan always wears. White, silver, pale blue. Distinguished and polished. He wears enough red and black, he wouldn’t have a ring to match himself, he’d have a little piece of Lan Zhan to accent his hand. To show that he is as much Lan Zhan’s as Lan Zhan is his.
Lan Zhan looks down at the ring cushioned in the little ring box in his hand and nods slightly.
He looks up at Wuxian and his eyes soften. “Wei Ying should have come.”
Wuxian smiles at him. “I didn’t think you’d take my advice that seriously. It’s your ring!”
“Wei Ying wants me to wear a ring?”
Well that backfired.
“If Lan Zhan wants to. This ring looks more like something I would wear than something you would give to your fiancé! It looks like something I’d give to my fiancé.” Wuxian coughs awkwardly, and before he can say “whenever I get a fiancé, whenever I convince someone to stick around for me,” Lan Zhan takes the ring out of the box and slips it on his own finger.
“Mn. I like this ring.”
Wuxian looks at the little piece of him that is decorating Lan Zhan’s hand and smiles, but he knows that it’s weak and watery.
Lan Zhan cups his face and kisses him softly, softly.
Wuxian doesn’t know how much longer he can do this.
“Will get a blue ring. One that Wei Ying likes.”
“Okay, Lan Zhan. Come on, we’re going to be late for work.”
They’re not, but at this point he’ll do anything to stop Lan Zhan looking at him like that.
Yanli better get here soon.
“Shijie!” Wuxian runs to embrace her as she gets out the taxi, and she hugs him back and laughs.
“Get off me, my son is still in the car”
“My favourite nephew!”
Yanli gets Jin Ling out of the car and puts him on her hip.
“Oh wow, A-Ling is so big! So big and strong!” Wuxian takes his little hand and shakes it in the air.
Jin Ling stares at him then hides his face in his mother’s hair.
“He’s just being shy, he’ll say hi soon.” She turns her face to look at her son. “You want to say hi to uncle Xian?”
Jin Ling stares at Wuxian.
Wuxian laughs, delighted. “Hey, get him inside, I’ll take your bags. He’ll warm up to me soon, let him be shy!”
She goes inside and Wuxian pays the driver, gets her bags and follows her to the building entrance.
Lan Zhan is standing in the entryway next to the stairs, one of his fingers in Jin Ling’s tiny fist.
How come Jin Ling likes Lan Zhan more than his own uncle?
“Lan Zhan! How did you do that?”
Lan Zhan looks up at him and his eyes soften. “He held his hand out to me, so I…” Lan Zhan looks back at his own hand.
Jin Ling blinks at him.
They both look confused.
Wuxian can’t hold back his smile, his heart feels so full. “Natural friends, Lan Zhan and babies!” he exclaims, bouncing over to Lan Zhan.
“Did I tell you, shijie, Lan Zhan is very good with children. He volunteers at the library with me, and he reads the best to the kids. My A-Yuan-”
“The one from the orphanage?”
“That one! He loves Lan Zhan’s story time. He goes to Lan Zhan for help with his schoolwork before he comes to me which is rude because Lan Zhan is awful at maths, and-“
“Wei Ying.” Lan Zhan says. He’s trying to make it look like he’s not fighting a smile.
“Sorry, Lan Zhan, you’re heading out? Sorry, we’ll stop getting in your way!”
“No problem. Hope Wei Ying and Jiang Yanli have a good evening.”
“Jiang Cheng will come soon. We’ll try to keep it quiet, no big parties with this one.” Wuxian says, nodding at Jin Ling who hasn’t taken his eyes off of Lan Zhan.
Wuxian gets it.
Lan Zhan nods at him. “I hope to meet you properly before you leave, Jiang Yanli.”
Jiang Yanli doesn’t quite smile at him. Her eyes narrow and she nods a little bit.
Lan Zhan looks at Wei Ying. He smiles apologetically.
Lan Zhan brings his other hand up and gently disengages Jin Ling’s hand.
He nods at Wuxian and Yanli, then leaves.
Yanli watches him go. “A-Xian, he’s so nice even though he’s treated you so badly. How am I meant to meet with him and be nice to him?”
“He’s a nice person. I don’t think he would keep doing this if he knew it was hurting me.”
“Then you should tell him that he’s hurting you.”
“I can’t, shijie. I don’t want to give him up, I can’t.”
She steps forward and hugs him again. She only draws back when Jin Ling, trapped between them, starts squirming.
Both their eyes are wet. Neither of them mention it.
“Let’s go upstairs, make some dinner before Jiang Cheng gets here.”
She smiles at him and squeezes his arm, then starts up the stairs. He picks up the bags and follows.
They make hot and sour soup with beef dumplings and put it on to cook just as Jiang Cheng rings the doorbell.
Wuxian is bribing Jin Ling with some mush from a jar, so he doesn’t get up to see Jiang Cheng. They see each other all the time anyway, A-Ling is more important.
“A-Ling! Jiejie he’s got so big!” Jiang Cheng ruffles Jin Ling’s hair. “Look at how much hair he has!”
Yanli laughs. Jin Ling blinks at Jiang Cheng. He smacks the spoon Wuxian was holding. Wuxian pouts at him.
“A-Xian, that means he wants more. I think he’s warming up to you!”
Wuxian puts more mush on the spoon and holds it up for Jin Ling who grabs the mush on the spoon then shoves his hand in his mouth.
Wuxian turns to look at Yanli.
She’s trying not to laugh.
“He likes to eat it with his own hands. It’s nothing against you! He just likes to play with his food.”
Jin Ling waves his hands at Wuxian and babbles.
“He likes you!”
“He likes me because I give him food.”
“That’s why he likes me, too.” Jiang Cheng says. “I don’t think we can start properly competing for his affections until he can talk.”
Jin Ling hits his chubby palms against the high chair he’s in and says “Ba!”
Wuxian points at him. “I think he wants us to compete now.”
“I think he wants more food.” Yanli says with a laugh in her voice. “He’s only eight months, give him time to pick which one of you is his favourite.”
It’s nice to have them all together, even more so with Jin Ling here. Yanli is getting to be such a grownup with a baby and a husband. Wuxian is so proud, if a little burningly jealous. How come the peacock gets this while he can’t even get Lan Zhan to date him?
“A-Cheng, how are you?”
“Much better now.” He smiles, and Wuxian realises just how much stress and unhappiness they’ve both been carrying lately. They haven’t been together, all three of them, for months. It’s been too long.
He lets himself be drawn into their familiar dynamic, sniping at Jiang Cheng with Yanli mediating and laughing at them both, with the nice addition of Jin Ling babbling at them.
The dinner feels refreshing to his soul and his spirit. He didn’t realise how in need he was of time with his family until they were there with him.
Wuxian still hurts, his soul still aches knowing that Lan Zhan isn’t in love with him. It feels less bad knowing his family is here, his family loves him. If he tells Lan Zhan that he needs to stop, his world won’t stop turning. He has his brother and his sister, he has friends in Wen Ning and Wen Qing and Nie Huaisang and Luo Qingyang. Lan Zhan not loving him isn’t the end of the world.
He has other people that he does love.
He has other people who love him.
Even if knowing he has to stop seeing Lan Zhan feels like a knife through his chest sometimes, he can cope with it. He’ll get through.
Jiang Cheng puts on his coat then hits him on the shoulder. “Wei Wuxian. Stop looking so sad, I’m going to see you tomorrow, we’re going to see A-jie again soon. Jin Ling won’t grow that much before we see him again, you don’t have to pout.”
Wuxian gives him a weak smile. “You’re right, we should go and see shijie and the peacock, though. As annoying as the peacock is, we don’t see shijie enough.”
“You’re welcome any time, of course. I’m sure A-Xuan would love to have some help with A-Ling when I go back to work!”
Wuxian shakes his head. “Shijie, we’ll go to see you despite the peacock being there.”
Jiang Cheng laughs, then pretends he hadn’t when Yanli gives him a reproachful look.
“I’m going to go home to sleep, but A-Jie, I’ll meet you tomorrow to take A-Ling around the museum while Wei Wuxian has to work?”
Yanli nods and hugs him goodbye.
As soon as the door has closed behind him she turns on Wuxian.
“You didn’t tell him?”
“That Lan Zhan doesn’t want to marry me? Why would I?”
“He wouldn’t make fun of you for that, A-Xian, he’d want to help.”
“I want some time before everyone finds out. He thinks me and Lan Zhan are sort of together, I have to tell Lan Zhan that we can’t sleep together anymore before I tell anyone else that he essentially broke up with me.”
“I’m pathetic, I know shijie. Just let me be a child and ignore my problems for a little bit longer.”
She smiles sadly at him. “A-Xian. One day you’ll be more mature than A-Ling.”
He smiles back. “Not today though!”
“Come on, he’s asleep so we can watch some TV before I fall asleep. My sleeping schedule is almost the same as his these days, so I might fall asleep immediately.”
Wuxian laughs. “That’s okay, shijie. I can’t imagine how tired you are, sleep whenever you want to, the spare room is made up for you. I’ll tell him tomorrow, though. Definitely.”
“Lan Zhan. The longer I leave this, the more painful it’s going to be. You can tell Jiang Cheng if you want, by the time you get home I’ll probably be a wreck and will need hugs from you and A-Ling to make me happy again.”
“Of course, A-Xian, let us know when you need us to be back and we’ll come as soon as possible.” She pats his head gently. “We’ll always be here for you.”
He is loved.
He’ll get through Lan Zhan not loving him back.
Wuxian’s doorbell rings. Yanli and Jin Ling had left about two hours previously, and he had been doing some extra work sent his way. That is to say, he had been procrastinating seeing Lan Zhan so Yanli, Jin Ling, and Jiang Cheng would have a good time in town before he called them back in floods of tears. Or that’s what he’s telling himself.
He doesn’t want to do this.
He needs to do this.
“Come in.” He calls, not looking up from his book.
“Has Jiang Yanli gone home?”
Wuxian looks up.
“Lan Zhan. She’s in town with Jiang Cheng. I was meant to work, but I finished much earlier than expected. Why?”
“Can I come in?”
“Of course, always.” Well. Maybe not after he’s broken Wuxian’s heart. “Is something wrong?”
“No. I want to set a date.”
Wuxian closes his book.
“For the wedding. When would be best for you?”
For him? Should Lan Zhan really be scheduling his wedding around Wei Wuxian? “I don’t mind.”
“What time of the year do you want to get married?”
“I haven’t really thought about it. What about you? It’s your wedding.”
“Spring. Spring or summer.” Lan Zhan says.
It’s February. That’s not long. Wuxian’s heart clenches. He needs to end this.
“Next year, or the year after. Don’t mind having a long engagement, as long as I know I’m getting married.” Lan Zhan says, and smiles very gently at him.
Wuxian can’t imagine spending two years watching Lan Zhan be in love, sleeping with Lan Zhan on the side. “Most the time I don’t feel old enough to get married.” Wuxian says. If this was a year ago, he would also say he wouldn’t know anyone he wants to get married to, but Lan Zhan… Well, Lan Zhan changed things for him.
Lan Zhan looks at him. “Sometimes when you meet someone, you know that connection will last forever. I knew no matter how we both change through the years, it’s not going to change how I feel. I want to have this forever. It’s not too soon for me to propose.”
Lan Zhan is going to love this person, they’re both going to change and grow and Lan Zhan is going to love every version of them that they become.
That’s what Wuxian wants with Lan Zhan.
“Lan Zhan, I have to tell you something.”
Wuxian takes a breath. He steadies himself. He has to say this.
“I love you.”
“Mn, I love you too.”
That’s not helpful.
“No, Lan Zhan, I’m in love with you.”
“In love with Wei Ying as well.” Lan Zhan looks very confused.
Wuxian is also very confused. Lan Zhan is in love with him but he’s going to marry someone else?
“You’re going to marry someone else?”
“What?” Lan Zhan looks alarmed and confused now.
“You love me?”
Wuxian feels his eyes well up. He doesn’t want to cry, but Lan Zhan isn’t getting it.
“You’re going to break up with me?”
“No. Am going to marry you.”
Wuxian can feel his entire body shaking, including his voice. “You never asked me!”
Lan Zhan is staring at him. “Asked Wei Ying. Said I want to get married, Wei Ying agreed.”
“You didn’t say you wanted to get married to me!” Wuxian hits his chest on the last word and that’s when he feels the tears spill hot and humiliating down his cheeks.
Lan Zhan looks horrified.
“You didn’t say you love me, you didn’t say you wanted me, you didn’t say it was me, Lan Zhan.” Wuxian chokes out, his voice breaking and his cheeks hot.
Lan Zhan sweeps Wuxian up in his arms and presses his lips into Wuxian’s hair, almost like he’s trying to press them into one person, press the tears back into Wuxian. “Wei Ying, Wei Ying, it’s always been you. I love you, I want to marry you, I want to be with you forever.”
Wuxian clings to him and sobs into his shoulder, overwhelmed at the pain and longing that he had been holding back for these two days that had felt about a year long.
Lan Zhan loves him.
When he can breathe normally, he pulls back. “I love you so much, Lan Zhan.”
“I’m sorry I hurt you.” Lan Zhan has tears on his face too, and that nearly sets Wuxian off again. Wuxian wipes the tear tracks away and smiles at him, and despite his face being gross and his heart aching, he knows it’s the happiest smile Lan Zhan has ever seen from him.
Lan Zhan loves him?
“You’ll make it up to me. We both sucked at communicating, we have to be better at that.”
“Wei Ying, did you not know we were together?”
“I thought you wanted to keep it casual, you never asked me on a date for real or said you loved me, then you said you wanted to get married and I thought it was your uncle pressuring you to get married to some business partner. We only kissed six months ago, it’s so soon.”
“No, told uncle that I love and will marry Wei Ying. He hasn’t tried to set me up since. And I said, it’s not too soon for me.”
“You told your uncle you love me before you told me that you love me?”
“I thought I told you. I think it every day.”
Lan Zhan loves him.
Wuxian’s heart aches. “Lan Zhan, you can’t just say things like that, you’ll kill me!”
“You can cope. Will tell Wei Ying I love him every day. Will show Wei Ying I love him every day.”
Lan Zhan kisses him, and Wuxian knows that he loves him and it feels so much better than it ever has before.
Lan Zhan pulls back and looks at him. “What were you going to do?”
“If I married someone else.”
Wuxian feels himself blush and avoids Lan Zhan’s eyes. “I was going to support you, then move away and try and forget about you. I never would have got over you if I was near you every day.”
Lan Zhan kisses his forehead, and Wuxian realises all over again that Lan Zhan loves him.
“I would never let you leave without an explanation.”
Wuxian looks him in the eyes, kisses him gently on the lips, and says, “I love you. I want to be with you forever, I want to fall in love with every version of you that you become, and I want to grow old with you. I will marry you.”
Lan Zhan gets up.
Well that’s not what Wuxian wanted.
He sits up.
He watches Lan Zhan rummage in his coat, get out a box, and come back to kneel in front of Wuxian.
Maybe this is what Wuxian wanted.
“Wei Ying. Will you be my husband?”
Lan Zhan opens the box and shows him the aquamarine diamond ring. It’s perfect, it looks like a part of Lan Zhan.
Wuxian can’t form words. He nods, and kisses Lan Zhan’s lips, his forehead, his cheeks, everywhere on his face.
When he draws back Lan Zhan is smiling. Lan Zhan slides the ring onto Wuxian’s finger, his smile fading into a look of utter contentness.
It fits perfectly.
The red gem ring is still on Lan Zhan’s finger. Wuxian takes it off of him, kneels in front of Lan Zhan, and holds it up.
They kneel, facing each other. Wuxian takes a breath and looks Lan Zhan, the love of his life, in the eyes.
“Lan Zhan, will you be my husband?”
Lan Zhan smiles again. Wuxian can’t believe this, his fiancé is the most beautiful man in the world and he won’t stop smiling.
“Yes. Will marry Wei Ying. Will be with Wei Ying for as long as he will have me.”
Wuxian wants him forever.
He slides the ring onto Lan Zhan’s finger, leans in, and kisses him.
“A-Xian, I knew Lan Wangji wouldn’t do that to you. Despite him making you cry, I support you getting married. Maybe not yet, though.”
“No, we’re going to wait a while. We just know we want to be together forever.”
“Jiejie, now you know how we felt when the peacock made you cry!”
“Well now you need to start dating someone A-Cheng, then we can be protective over you, too!”
“She’s right, Jiang Cheng. We’re waiting.”
“Don’t you two gang up on me! At least if I dated someone I would know that I’m dating them before they propose to me!”
“A-Xian! Stop hitting him where Jin Ling can see! You’re a terrible role model!”
“Lan Xichen, it’s been a while, how are you?”
“I’m good, thank you. I hear congratulations are in order?”
“Ah, Lan Xichen, you probably knew about Lan Zhan’s proposal plan before I did.”
“I didn’t, actually. He said it was spur of the moment. Not to spoil the surprise, but he had been planning one since you first started seeing each other. He said this was unexpected and impulsive but the best thing that could have happened to him.”
“Lan Zhan had been…”
“Yes. I also hear he proposed before he asked you out?”
"And it worked?"