When Lan Wangji pushes open the doors of the Jingshi, he finds the place empty. No signs of Wei Wuxian anywhere.
That in itself is not surprising. Wei Wuxian is on a night-hunt with the junior disciples, after all, it's normal for him to be gone from home for a while. His excuse to go was often because he was bored, but he mostly did it because he was worried. Not that he didn’t trust Wen Ning with them, he just wanted to be there.
He's coming back soon, though, or so Lan Wangji had been informed.
Normally, Lan Wangji waits by the gates of the Cloud Recesses, wanting to always be the first one to welcome his husband and the juniors back into the sect. He delights in the way Wei Wuxian smiles at him, bright as the sun. The way he runs up to Lan Wangji and tackles him in the tightest hug, leaving him breathless in the aftermath. The way he kisses him in front of everyone, as if no one else matters, even as one of the juniors gags in mock-disgust.
Now, however, he isn't going to do that. And he isn’t going to stand on the porch of the Jingshi, either. He has something else in mind and he can't do it outside of their home.
Lan Wangji steps inside, and carefully puts Bichen and his guqin down. With his hands free, he strips himself from the countless layers he's wearing and changes to just a baby blue sheer robe instead. Then, he slowly sits down in front of his bronze mirror, pulling all the pins and ornaments out of his hair and brushing it until he's satisfied. Reaching for his cosmetics, he finally applies a faint red tint to his cheeks and lips.
He looks at himself in the mirror, considering his appearance. It isn't the first time he dolls himself up like this for the sake of surprising Wei Wuxian, but every time he does it, his heart beats wildly. Is it out of nervousness? Perhaps excitement from the intimacy of such an act or the way Wei Wuxian always looks so delighted at the sight? Lan Wangji doesn't know, but he loves doing this all the same.
With a sigh, he stands up, making his way to the kitchen to prepare dinner — he'd specifically given instructions to the cooks not to make them anything — when he notices something on the floor. He almost steps on it, but retracts his foot just in time.
He squints, focusing on it to try to see what it is. It's black, round, not too big — almost the size of his big toe, at least — but noticeable enough, and… Is that a flutter?
When he realizes what he’s looking at, Lan Wangji stumbles backwards in a panic, losing his balance and falling on his behind.
It's a bug , he thinks dizzily. A bug in his home. And it has wings.
The bug turns in his direction, startled by his sudden movements. Lan Wangji's breath hitches. He quickly gets back to his feet and grabs Bichen, pointing it right at the bug .
Obviously, he's not going to slash the bug, but the blade serves its purpose in giving him a small sense of protection.
That is, until the bug takes exactly one step towards him. Suddenly the sword isn't making him feel so safe anymore and he opts for running to hide behind the folding screen instead.
It's then that the doors of the Jingshi open a little too loudly, and a man dressed in black and red steps in.
“Lan Zhan, my dear!” Wei Wuxian chirps excitedly, slamming the doors behind him. “Those brats finally let me go… Your husband demands kisses!”
And, oh, how Lan Wangji wants to . He would do anything just to pepper kisses all over his husband's stupidly handsome face right now, if not for the disgusting creature in his home. He can't even find it in him to look at Wei Wuxian, too busy keeping his eyes focused on the bug lest it starts moving.
“Lan Zhan? What are you doing back there?” Wei Wuxian calls out, the confusion apparent in his voice. Lan Wangji doesn't speak or move, and after a few seconds, Wei Wuxian's eyes brighten up. “Ah! Are we playing hide and seek? I just got back, but if my husband really wants to, then I suppose I must…”
Wei Wuxian steps forward, a mischievous smile on his face as he rubs his hands together. He doesn't notice anything on the floor, and at this rate, if he keeps going, he's bound to step on the bug.
“Wei Ying! Stop where you are," Lan Wangji yells. He doesn’t shriek, but it’s a close thing. Wei Wuxian stops immediately, one foot hanging in mid-air as he looks at Lan Wangji with his head tilted in a silent question. Lan Wangji points at the spot near Wei Wuxian's feet, and his husband looks down, finally noticing it.
“Ah!” Wei Wuxian gasps, stepping back. “Then… Is that why you're hiding? Lan Zhan, could it be...? You're scared of bugs?”
Lan Wangji doesn't spare him an answer. Is he scared of bugs? Of course he is. He wouldn't be hiding like this in the first place if he wasn't. He hates bugs. They're terrifying, and they disgust him beyond all reason.
He resorts to glaring at Wei Wuxian, who laughs in amusement.
“Aiyah, why are you so adorable?” Wei Wuxian says, clutching his chest dramatically with one hand and putting the back of the other on his forehead. “Fear not, Lan Zhan, this husband of yours will get rid of it for you!”
When Wei Wuxian said that, Lan Wangji expected him to come up with one of his elaborate plans and trap the bug, or go about this like he does to any case they solve together. Anything but aiming at it with no hesitation or foresight.
Needless to say, it does not work out for Wei Wuxian.
Worse, the bug immediately gets alarmed and starts flying. Right in Lan Wangji’s direction. If Lan Wangji did not shriek earlier, he sure is doing it now.
He yelps and runs around the folding screen, Bichen accidentally slipping out of his hand and falling on the ground with a loud thud . He can't bring himself to care about it, though, considering the bug is flying everywhere in the Jingshi.
“Ah, no! Come back!” Wei Wuxian chases after it in a haste, bumping into probably every surface in the place; walls, tables, everything. He knocks things over, stubs his toes multiple times, and curses as he continues his pursuit. After a lot of running back and forth, Wei Wuxian finally manages to grab the bug and holds it between his fingers.
“Finally!” He huffs, irritated but nonetheless pleased now that he caught it. The bug squirms around, kicking its legs and trying to spread its wings to fly but it's useless, given the hold Wei Wuxian has on it. In fact, he doesn’t seem fazed by its resistance at all, and Lan Wangji is disturbed. “You know, this little thing might have been a little cute if it didn't fly all over the place… Right, Lan Zhan?”
Lan Wangji wants to scream. Regardless of whether it flies around or stays still, it will never be cute . The fact that Wei Wuxian would even ask this question in the first place is ridiculous.
He loves his husband. He really does. But, sometimes, Lan Wangji can’t help the concern he feels for him. Not only did he compliment the bug, he's also holding it with his bare hands. And he is not disgusted. All Lan Wangji can do is stare in absolute horror, part of him worried the bug might escape and fly away any second now.
Wei Wuxian grins when he sees his expression, and steps towards him. Lan Wangji instinctively walks backwards with each step Wei Wuxian takes, until his back touches the wall and he has nowhere to go.
“W-Wei Ying,” he calls out, voice strained. He can't be thinking of releasing the bug to mess with Lan Wangji… Right? Surely, he wouldn't have the heart to do that to his beloved. “Please get rid of it.”
Wei Wuxian stares at him in silence for a few seconds, almost as if he's thinking deeply, and then pouts. “Why, don't look at me like that! I'll get rid of it for you, don't you worry. Wait here.”
He turns and heads for the doors, clearly intending to get rid of it outside of the Jingshi. Just before he could go outside, Lan Wangji says, “Please don't kill it.”
Lan Wangji hates bugs. They scare him, they gross him out, they make him want to scream and peel his skin off whenever they touch him, but he could never have the heart to kill them. And he doesn't like the idea of Wei Wuxian doing it for him, either.
“Lan Zhan! Stop being adorable! You're scared beyond your wits, and here you are, so kind and amazing, asking me not to kill it. Just—” Instead of saying anything more, Wei Wuxian squeals, and hastily makes his way out of the Jingshi. Lan Wangji stands frozen in place, flushing at Wei Wuxian's words.
Though now that the bug is gone, he can finally relax.
Lan Wangji sighs and sits down on the bed. He waits, and waits, and every moment is pure agony. He only wanted to have a good time with his husband now that he's back from his night-hunt, and here he is, waiting for him to come back from disposing of a bug.
He fiddles around with the fabric of his robes as he stands up, pacing around the room. But not so long after, he hears a sound by the doors.
“It's gone now, husband,” Wei Wuxian says with a whine. “Can I have my kisses now?”
He opens his arms wide, making obnoxious kissing noises, clearly intending to glomp Lan Wangji into one of his too-tight hugs. Had it been under any other circumstances, Lan Wangji would gladly accept it, but this time, he moves out of range.
“Wei Ying, go wash your hands.”
“What?! I saved you from a terrifying bug, and now you treat me like this? Ah , what have I done to myself, marrying such a heartless beast like you?” Wei Wuxian whines, and whines, and keeps whining even while he’s doing as asked. He washes his hands thoroughly, and once Lan Wangji is satisfied with the end result, he finally allows him to get near again.
They fit into one another naturally then. Lan Wangji's hands find Wei Wuxian's waist, and Wei Wuxian's hands wind around Lan Wangji's neck. They stare at each other with smiles on their faces, and it doesn't take them long to lock their lips together.
It's a slow and sugary kiss, nowhere as eager as the ones they share sometimes. And yet, it’s just as intoxicating, enough to leave them panting for breath as they pull away from each other.
Wei Wuxian giggles, carding his fingers through Lan Wangji’s hair soothingly. “Who would have thought the great Hanguang-jun could be so scared of a bug… I learn new things about you every day, Lan Zhan.”
“Do not tease,” Lan Wangji scolds, his grip tightening on Wei Wuxian's waist. His voice is firm, but his ears have always been traitorous. One look at the way they're burning red right now is enough to let Wei Wuxian know just how embarrassed Lan Wangji is about it.
“Ah, but how can I not? It made you drop Biche— Ow!! What was that for?” Wei Wuxian wails, rubbing at his side where Lan Wangji just pinched him.
“Stop teasing, or there will be more,” Lan Wangji warns, and this is enough to make Wei Wuxian zip his mouth shut. For the time being, at least.
They both know he is going to bring it up again eventually. He isn't going to let Lan Wangji live this one down, that's for sure. Even when their hair starts greying and they grow old and weak, Wei Wuxian will still tease him about it.
Though, if teasing is one thing he has to endure by his husband's side, he will gladly do so. Wei Wuxian acts like this with the ones he loves, and he never intends to mock anyone. That, Lan Wangji knows.
At the very least, he feels comfort in the fact that they have each other's backs. If one of them is scared of something, the other is there to ward it off. As long as they live to see another day, they'll be there for each other, always and forever.