The jingshi was dark and quiet when Lan Zhan entered, making him wonder if Wei Ying had gone into town to replenish his supply of Emperor's Smile. It would be quite uncharacteristic of him to do so without telling Lan Zhan, but maybe he hadn't wanted to disturb the meeting with Sect Leader Yao.
Not that the man's continuing enmity had ever stopped Wei Ying before; on the contrary, he usually enjoyed bursting in and draping himself all over Lan Zhan, simultaneously staking his claim while rubbing it into the small-minded sect leader's face that His Excellency, the Chief Cultivator, Hanguang-jun himself, had chosen none other than the Yiling Patriarch as his cultivation partner. Lan Zhan didn't mind, a part of him still not quite able to believe that it was real, that, after all the pain and grief, he got to have Wei Ying by his side. Sharing his life. His bed.
Which brought Lan Zhan back to the issue at hand. Having lit some lamps with a flick of his fingers, there was still no sign of his husband, and no note anywhere to be seen. Despite knowing that Wei Ying was more than capable of looking after himself, Lan Zhan was beginning to get worried and considered seeking out Lan Sizhui or maybe check with the guards at the exits of Cloud Recesses.
However, before he could come to a decision, the man in question arrived, sounding out of breath as he scolded, "Lan Zhan, what are you doing here?"
"Where else should I be?" Lan Zhan regarded Wei Ying with confusion, taking in his disheveled appearance. Was that flour clinging to his black hanfu and powdering his face and hair?
Wei Ying blushed and tried to ineffectually clean himself with one hand, the other remaining hidden behind his back. Instead of explaining, he mumbled mutinously, "I told Zewu-jun and A-Yuan to keep you busy."
"I... left early. Sect Leader Yao was talking in circles," Lan Zhan explained, still mystified.
This distracted Wei Ying, and he beamed at Lan Zhan almost like a proud father. "Oh, Lan Zhan, you kicked him out - I wish I'd been there to see it!"
"Wei Ying, explain." Lan Zhan felt himself getting impatient. It had been a long day, and he'd been rather looking forward to spending at least the evening relaxing with the man he loved.
"Yes, yes." Wei Ying was undaunted, but he did step closer, eyes bright with anticipation of whatever surprise he was still hiding in the hand not currently smoothing out the wrinkle between Lan Zhan's eyes. "Come, Lan-er-gege, calm down."
As always, his touch and closeness were enough to make Lan Zhan forget everything else. When he reached out to pull Wei Ying into an embrace, however, his husband danced out of his reach with a laugh. "Not yet, not yet, I need to give you your present first!"
"Yes. I worked on it all day, because truth be told I had to start from scratch a few times. It's something your brother told me about. I figured you deserved a treat, since today's your birthday and everything, and you've been working so hard!"
Finally, with a great flourish, Wei Ying presented a covered plate to Lan Zhan, almost vibrating out of his skin with anticipation as Lan Zhan uncovered it. He wasn't quite sure what to expect, but it wasn't a pair of steamed buns, coloured red and resting on a bed of gentians.
"I made them red so that they'd be more festive, I hope you don't mind, and I do hope they taste at least half as good as the ones your mother made. I know I'm not much of a cook, but A-Yuan helped, and your brother was my taste tester, and..." Wei Ying stopped babbling, suddenly sounding uncharacteristically uncertain as he asked, "Lan Zhan? Is... is this alright?"
Finally Lan Zhan was able to tear his eyes from the plate. Words stuck in his throat, and he had to swallow a few times before he managed to say hoarsely, "Wei Ying. You... you did that for me?"
"Of course!" Wei Ying was smiling again, wide and happy, and Lan Zhan felt his own lips curve upwards in response. "You always do things for me, I just wanted to do something for you for a change. Because you're so good, and I love you so much, my Lan-er-gege."
After this, Lan Zhan simply had to kiss him, and kiss him, and kiss him some more, ignoring Wei Ying's protests that he should at least try his present before he thanked him. Lan Zhan didn't care if the buns turned out to taste burned, too spicy or absolutely perfect, he had all the presents he needed right here, in his arms.