It’s not like Lan Jingyi’s opposed to the word or anything - words are words and there’s a time and a place for all of them - it’s just that, well, everyone already thinks he’s the un-Lan-est Lan, and he spends enough time doing handstands already. If he doesn’t let himself get used to saying it, he figures, he can’t accidentally drop it in front of someone important.
Which seems like a perfect plan right up until they’re on a night hunt on the border between Gusu and Yunmeng that’s gotten way out of hand and Lan Jingyi’s found himself cornered by a boar yaoguai swollen huge and distorted and stinking with resentful energy. He’s just thinking, “What a terrible way to die,” when purple lightning snakes around the yaoguai’s throat and pops its head clean off. There’s only one person who can have saved him, and he knows exactly who it is, so his only excuse is the shock and adrenaline from his near-death experience when instead of any reasonable answer to the question of whether he’s okay he blurts, “That was SO FUCKING COOL.”
Sect Leader Jiang just smirks at him.
Lan Xichen has known his entire life that one day he was to be Sect Leader. He knows that as the heir and future of the sect, he must strive to perfectly embody all of the thousands of rules of the Lan, and, above all else, always present himself as a shining example of the restraint that is his sect’s trademark.
Which is to say, Lan Xichen does not allow himself to curse.
Nie Mingjue used to tease him for it when they were younger, joking that he must surely have especially foul bits of profanity clenched behind the teeth of some of his tenser smiles. Nie Huaisang had asked, once, after his brother’s funeral, whether he ever wanted to scream and curse and howl at the injustice of it all, and looked lost and small and confused when Lan Xichen only replied, “Of course I do, but I can’t.” A-Yao - Jin Guangyao - had delighted in whispering streams of filth and praise intermixed hot into his ear when they were together as though it must be the former and not the latter which made Lan Xichen blush and writhe and fall apart.
Now Mingjue is dead, again, and A-Yao with him, and Nie Huaisang would not even look him in the eye to give him one more kind lie, and Lan Xichen sinks to his knees in the hanshi and sobs out a small, broken, “fuck.”
It is not that Wei Ying forgets, he thinks, but that sometimes he doesn’t consider just how long Lan Wangji had to let the knowledge of his love and desire for Wei Ying settle into his bones. How it felt to have let him walk away over and over and then to live all those years with him irrevocably beyond his reach. How the stream of his yearning for Wei Ying over the years has flowed from that first, shockingly cold spring of realization bubbling up on a misty mountain, tumbling him around the rapids and falls of teenage teasing and frustration and heartache, to settle into a river running so deep and wide that Lan Wangji feels he has been borne along it his whole life to this place where Wei Ying is his. Inevitable and unstoppable, heading ever onwards to an endless sea.
Which is all a needlessly poetic way to say that Wei Ying sometimes expects him to blush and clam up like he’s still fifteen, and Lan Wangji delights in subverting that expectation. Tonight Wei Ying has been teasing him constantly since the first course of this banquet, practically daring him to react in front of all the assembled most honored etc., etc. with light touches and murmured innuendos and lascivious looks, and Lan Wangji has been so very unflappable, but he is, after all, just a man.
He fixes his husband with a look and beckons him to lean closer. Quiet and low, so only he can hear, he promises him, “If Wei Ying can behave through one last course, I will make our excuses, take him back to our rooms, and see to him until he does not have so much nervous energy for teasing.”
Lan Wangji had not known Wei Ying could blush so hard, but he does know how his husband reacts to a challenge, and is thus unsurprised when a few blinks later, he squeaks out a stunned, “And if he cannot?”
He lets the heat show in his eyes and feels the corner of his lips curl as he nearly growls back, “I will make no excuse, drag him to the first empty room I find, and fuck him into the floor until he cannot so much as walk.”
Wei Ying freezes in silent shock for a moment. Then his grin is near feral as he deliberately reaches for the untouched wine on Lan Wangji’s table, tosses it back, and declares, “My husband is shameless!”
Lan Wangji grabs his arm and rises to his feet.