Wei Ying & Lan Zhan: Untold Stories - Chapter 6 "Gusu Part 4"
Wei Ying, what are you doing?
The tip of Wei Wuxian’s fingers continued to brush over his back, tracing with deliberate pace across what Lan Wangji could only presume were his scars. Abruptly, those touches ceased, and so did his breath. Neither the sounds of wind nor water could be heard, when the pounding beat of his heart was louder than the breath of the man behind him.
“Why did you lie?” the whisper, his voice, like a plea, no…it was more of a demand.
Lied? When? His chest ached.
“That’s probably the first for you, wasn’t it?” Wei Wuxian deduced, his open palm placed over the bare skin, a slow pressure as he moved closer, the surrounding ripples of the cold spring spreading. “Your melody stopped when I asked...I should’ve known. You see...,” Wei Wuxian’s voice lowered as though he wanted to keep his emotions in check, “because you never lie, I believed everything you said.”
I did not lie, I just did not disclose.
Lan Wangij’s mind disputed, though featherlight the touch was, the statement still felt like an attack. He moved forward, but the other followed, refusing to allow him to break contact.
“Your brother told me you went back to search for me,” Wei Wuxian continued, and so did his stroking, delicately over the scars unseen by others. “Lan Zhan, you went to Burial Mound, heavily injured as you were…defending a home that was no more.”
Your home, my home...they’re all the same...Wherever you go, I would follow. But...I would rather have you here. Shielded from the world beyond, hidden from those that would only bring you harm.
“That’s why you received these scars. HanGuang Jun, who never had a stain or smirch to his name, was tainted because of this Wei Wuxian. The Wei Dog that others cursed. Why....?”
Why should I care for such a name when I can’t protect this person of mine? And why...should you care?
“How painful were they?” Wei Wuxian asked, his hands continuing to brush over the lines, the tips pressed against the widest blemish. “These scars....they’re deep. But knowing you, you probably did not make a sound.”
Not as painful as losing you…Thousands of blades may cut this flesh, but nothing compares to the moment you let go of my hand.
“I was childish, stubborn...a blockhead. Stupid idiot,” he admitted through the bitter chuckle of his tone. Then, the most astonishing thing happened. Wei Wuxian rested his head on his shoulder, causing Lan Wangji to tremble, but no less than the shaking person who still held him hostage in his grasp. “But you…,” the words choked again, the vibrating pain exuded from his breath, “what made you become such a fool?”
The teasing voice that would haunt my nights,
To the cries of battle in fields of blood,
The arrogance of your plight,
Mustered beneath the fifth and mud.
Your smile, your tears,
Your wile, your fears.
The man I chose to be,
Fool I was, just for thee...
“Lan Zhan, enough is enough!” Wei Wuxian exploded, the pressure on Lan Wangji’s shoulder lifted. Releasing, yet, the arms around him were apparent, capturing him when he least expected. Wei Wuxian turned him around to meet his red shot eyes. ”You owe me nothing!
To this day, that’s still the kind of person you thought of me? Wei Ying, what do you fear?
“You’re kind. You’re honorable. The man I respect," Wei Wuxian reflected. "Without you, I wouldn’t have made it this far. I am forever indebted to you. I don’t think I could ever repay…I owe you more than this lifetime, even in the next I doubt I could ever repay it.”
A debt exists when it is owed. Yet, how can it be a debt when it is given freely?
Face to face, the other studied his features. Wei Wexian had never been the type who couldn’t form words when characters would spill out at their own accord, without regard for how they make others feel. But now, as their eyes locked, just like that night, he gazed back.
In silence. When only the lights shone through, beyond the bamboo shoots. Two souls…Between the branching shadows, continued their wayward battle.
“Lan Zhan, what happened that night?”
Why would you need to know? Better yet, are you ready? The uncertain one thought.
“I couldn’t remember much, just bits and pieces. But...did I…I mean, did we…” a blush appeared, despite the chill of the evening spring.
Wei Ying...how beautiful you are when your color turns scarlet. Not just your face, but your whole self. Soft...bashful, but no one else knows. Only I, Lan Zhan, could see this side of thee.
Unable to resist, Lan Wangji’s hand began to reach.
“Lan Zhan, did I embrace you?”
Pardon? What did you say?
The water surface was only halfway breached, but the frozen hand, as well as the rest of Lan Wangji’s body, froze. Lan Wangji looked at him, disbelief in his eyes. Slowly, very slowly, hardly even a movement, but still noticeable. He shook his head, the correct response because he didn’t plan to lie. But before he could form the right words to clarify...the other let out a relieved sigh.
“Whew...That’s good to know. This whole time I thought I attacked you that night. I mean I was drunk, feverish. I was afraid you hadn’t stopped me if I had tried something like jumping you...”
You did, you were on top of me. But not for long. As weak as you were, there was no possibility that you would be embracing...
“Of course, HanGuang Jun wouldn’t have allowed such a thing to happen. What a relief, nothing happened!” Wei Wuxian excitedly exclaimed, but paused when he registered the other’s expression. Eyes averted due to shame, he tried to explain, “Um...I mean..Lan Zhan. You see...”
Was the experience so traumatic, you chose to forget the most crucial parts? It was their first time...it’s not like he knows everything. It wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect...There might have been moments when it went too far...and he couldn’t control himself, inexperienced as he was...Still, Wei Ying was begging for him to continue despite the pain, was he not? Even through his pleas...he..he...
Wei Wuxian anxiously rambled on and on, unaware that his every word repeatedly pierced through the other’s heart. “My dreams were a bit erratic...I mean I have no control over them. I didn’t mean to offend you. Let’s think of them as an unfortunate dream that I concocted in my head. Lan Zhan, I’m sorry for what I had imagined during my fever. Let’s just think of them as bad dreams…”
Lan Wangji could no longer listen to another word from this thoughtless being, did the only thing he could do. However, instead of his usual method, he snatched the other’s neck and shoulder, taking Wei Wuxian off guard as he shoves his head under the water!
Policy is lifeless, while the living is alive. A phrase often preached by the most lively person who graced the steps of Gusu. Upon awakening from nearly a fortnight of being bedridden, his energy returned within a day or two.
Senior Wei, Wei Gege, Yiling Laozu…Young Master Wei...numerous addressed, but no matter, because Wei Wuxian would always be the first adoptive father he knew.
Since his memories returned, Lan SiZhui’s life hasn't changed, apart from knowing it was okay to break rules every now and then. The stringent upbringing may be ingrained, but ever so often, he saw a glimpse of the past unchanged. The youthful life of hardship, but the warmth was there regardless. Memories of running and starving, were replaced by comfort and shelter. Those visions, restored day by day and night by night, until the current pages of his life were overwritten.
The forgotten hidden child of their past, exists now to bring his two fathers together at last. His fathers...Lan SiZhui bemused. Was he allowed to phrase them as such? No matter, because to him, they are the family he knew.
However, it did not mean he should keep spoiling the one who still refused to leave his quarters. Senior Wei had decided to stay longer than the permitted visiting hours. Earlier today, he even threatened to expose their little scheme to HanGuang Jun if they didn’t provide him with unlimited supplies of Emperor's Smile. Drinking wine in their quarters was one matter, but Senior Wei didn’t want to drink alone.
Thus why, into the wee hours, Yiling Laozu, along with Lan Jingyi and after the latter arrival of Jin Gongzi, all three had drunk themselves to oblivion. Lan SiZhui himself was saved from the pressure because Wei Wuxian demanded him to play his Guqin. Still, no matter how many songs he played, Wei Wuxian was not satisfied. After playing all the songs he knew, Lan SiZhui finally asked what song Senior Wei wanted to hear. Of course, he didn’t get the answer he sought, because Wei Wuxian didn’t know the name of the song either.
Meanwhile, Lan Jingyi and Jin Ling, after countless bottles had gotten into another round of incoherent arguments. Not surprisingly, this led to a physical altercation, again forcing Lan SiZhui to throw them out before they could damage his room. Luckily, they took their fight elsewhere as they were told.