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#mo dao zu shi
soursoppi2 days ago
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what is it with overprotective big brothers and their tendency to lose their heads聽馃
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yutaan2 days ago
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Sad papercraft Yunmeng shuangjie time! I used the donghua designs this time around because I love Wei Wuxian鈥檚 hairstyle during his Yiling Laozu days.
This piece is actually a bit of a shadowbox! The art is mostly flat, like many of my papercraft, but the core is placed farther out, closer to the viewer, while the holes in Wei Wuxian鈥檚 and Jiang Cheng鈥檚 chests are much deeper than the rest of the piece, creating an optical illusion that they just go down forever. Creepy! :D
This piece will be available for purchase in my holiday sale, which starts on December 3rd!
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mooskiarta day ago
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autumn vibes
"ay, lan zhan! let's get a coffee, huh?" "hm."
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soannartsa day ago
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[mdzs high school au] are they on a date? maybe. maybe not
bonus: next day schoolyard confession
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fluff-crta day ago
MDZS Donghua: "In winter, you can warm Emperor Smile first, then drink it"
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louscribbles2 days ago
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lunch time gusu paint (sizhui is a good boy and loves his dads)聽
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mitcheeewav2 days ago
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Cheng Cheng forever nyancheng
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story-kata day ago
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Art by聽 chirido_san
Posted with Permission (reprint/edit and/or commercial use prohibited)
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miyakuli2 days ago
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** Permission to post it was granted by the artist Do not repost/edit the art without permission Please, support the artist on their pages too **
Artist : 瀹㈠皬鍖
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ohohsomething2 days ago
nie mingjue and lan xichen with hug and lifting someone up??? for the art dare馃憖
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this ended up soft <3 thank you for the dare!!!
(you can send me a pair (or more) characters and an action/touch/interaction!)
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ibijau2 days ago
Listen when I said I was going through a modern au phase, I wasn鈥檛 kidding
warning for Lan Qiren expressing some conservative opinion about gender and respectability
Lan Xichen stares at the door, much longer than he ought to, but doesn't notice it until Nie Mingjue snaps his fingers under his nose, laughing when it startles him. Realising how very rude he was, Lan Xichen blushes.聽
"Sorry, I was just鈥 that's new, right ?"聽
"The makeup? Not really. Huaisang has been experimenting with that for some weeks now."聽
Against his better judgement, Lan Xichen glances again toward the door, something burning cold inside his chest.聽
"I'd never seen him like that," Lan Xichen says. "And his clothes too鈥 a skirt?"聽
"Ah, it's 'them' actually," Nie Mingjue corrects. "And that is new. They're shopping for pronouns, trying to find who they are, and all that. They say they're gonna try to go as 'she' next."聽
The cold sensation in Lan Xichen's chest falls to his stomach, making him feel sick. It must show, because Nie Mingjue takes one look at him and frowns.聽
"I know you've been raised conservative," he warns, "But I'll choose them over you if you decide to be an ass about this. It really makes them happy to try out that stuff."聽
"I have no issue with Huaisang鈥檚 identity," Lan Xichen mildly replies. "Whatever makes him鈥 makes them happy."聽
Nie Mingjue looks unconvinced, and not without reason when Lan Xichen has always been a poor liar. They just change the subject after that, returning to something safer, but Lan Xichen can tell his friend was disappointed by his reaction.聽
Being a bad friend is easier to bear than the agony of explaining how envious he felt upon seeing Nie Huaisang so happy, so Lan Xichen doesn't defend himself.聽
For no particular reason, Lan Xichen and Nie Mingjue see each other a little less in the weeks that follow, and never at Nie Mingjue鈥檚 house. When they do see each other, they never talk about Nie Huaisang and the stage he's reached in his experiments.
Which isn't to say that Lan Xichen is unaware of those developments. His own brother is, somehow, part of the same group of friends as Nie Huaisang, and Lan Wangji is taking these things very seriously. Every time Nie Huaisang switches to a new set of pronouns like other people try out shoes for size, Lan Wangji comes home and informs his brother and uncle of the change so that they can speak of Nie Huaisang in the appropriate manner, should the occasion arise. Some pronouns are very classic, others are more creative. It's clear that Nie Huaisang is enjoying this chance to experiment.聽
Lan Qiren is unimpressed by all those changes, implying that Nie Huaisang is just doing it for attention, something he refuses to put up with. He eventually informs Lan Wangji that he isn't interested in learning Nie Huaisang鈥檚 newest antics anymore. Lan Wangji, stubborn like a stone, ignores that remark and continues on as before. Tensions rise and rise until they explode one evening at dinner, and it is up to Lan Xichen to smoothen things out.聽
Knowing his brother鈥檚 temperament once he鈥檚 decided to let a grudge settle, Lan Xichen first goes to his brother鈥檚 bedroom. It is a plain, neatly organised room where usually nothing is out of place. Exceptionally, this time, a few pamphlets have been carelessly dropped on the desk. At a glance, it seems they are from the university's queer association. The one on top appears to be advice about coming out to one鈥檚 family. Lan Xichen, who鈥檚 had certain suspicions for a while now, can only wonder. He can鈥檛 even tell himself that those might belong to Wei Wuxian, who has been coming over frequently in recent times, because if anything Wei Wuxian鈥檚 visits only make his suspicions stronger.
Lan Xichen puts on his most harmless smile, and hopes he can solve this situation, because this argument over dinner was probably not just about Nie Huaisang.
鈥淲ell, first of all, I want to commend you for being such a good friend and such a dedicated ally,鈥 Lan Xichen says. 鈥淚 am sure that Nie Huaisang is very glad to have your support.鈥
Lan Wangji, sitting stiffly on the edge of his bed, glares at his brother. 鈥榊ou know that鈥檚 not the only thing鈥, he seems to say. Or perhaps he鈥檚 angry that Lan Xichen won鈥檛 get into fights for Nie Huaisang, making him fear he also wouldn鈥檛 oppose their uncle if he were difficult, should Lan Wangji come out about anything.
"I know you鈥檙e frustrated, but please understand that it's not easy for shufu to understand these things," he patiently tells Lan Wangji. "You need to give him time, and to try and explain these things to him."聽
"He's a teacher," Lan Wangji indignantly replies. "In high school. His students will suffer if he rejects them."聽
"He is learning, Wangji. And you know he is of a different generation. He has鈥 expectations."
"Would he also reject us if we did not conform to his expectations?"
To anyone else, the expression on Lan Wangji鈥檚 face would be nothing but cold anger. But Lan Xichen knows his brother better than that, he can see and hear the fear in Lan Wangji, mirroring his own.聽
Lan Xichen doesn鈥檛 think that his uncle would actually hate them for being different, that he鈥檇 kick them out for not being the nephews he wants, but he鈥檚 also always had the certainty that Lan Qiren would prefer if they didn鈥檛 make waves, that he鈥檇 love them more if they conformed to his expectations than if they didn鈥檛.
It is in Lan Xichen鈥檚 personality to want peace, so the price isn鈥檛 so high to pay. But it is in Lan Wangji鈥檚 personality to want honesty, and this no matter the cost.
Lan Xichen goes to sit next to his brother, and takes his hand. It says something about Lan Wangji鈥檚 state that he just allows himself to be touched.
鈥淚 think that shufu loves us very much,鈥 Lan Xichen says carefully. 鈥淚 think if we weren鈥檛 quite what he thought we should be, it would shock him, and that shock might express itself as anger at first. But he isn鈥檛 unwilling to change his opinion once he knows he鈥檚 wrong, and I think this would be the same. I think he would want us to be happy, as long as our happiness doesn鈥檛 harm others.鈥
鈥淗m,鈥 Lan Wangji says, moving his hand so he can grasp back at Lan Xichen鈥檚, almost painfully tight.
鈥淎nd if the worst comes to pass, if somehow shufu is unyielding, if he decides his love for us is conditional, then we still have each other,鈥 Lan Xichen says with a fierceness that startles him. 鈥淚鈥檓 on your side more than I am on his, I don鈥檛 want you to ever doubt that. I鈥檇 rather not have to choose, but if the choice is necessary, then I鈥檒l choose you. If shufu decides he can鈥檛 support you as you truly are, we鈥檒l pack our things, rent a little flat somewhere, and cut contact with him until he鈥檚 willing to be reasonable.鈥
It is not a promise lightly made. Lan Xichen really doesn鈥檛 think it鈥檒l come to that, he knows their uncle loves them. But just in case, he makes a mental note to keep an eye out for decently priced flats, just in case.
鈥淚鈥檓 on your side as well,鈥 Lan Wangji states, something fierce peeking out under his usual coldness.
Lan Xichen smiles, his heart speeding up for a moment. It鈥檚 not鈥 it鈥檚 different of course. He has no secrets to reveal to their uncle. His secrets are meant to stay hidden, and he doubts that Lan Wangji could ever guess at what鈥檚 locked away in his heart when Lan Xichen himself refuses to think of it. Still, it鈥檚 very sweet of Lan Wangji to be supportive, and Lan Xichen is definitely touched.
With Lan Wangji now comforted, Lan Xichen goes to check on their uncle. Without surprise, when he enters the study, he finds Lan Qiren pacing there, more upset than properly angry. For all of their stubbornness, it鈥檚 rare for Lan Qiren and Lan Wangji to fall into a real argument, and they both tend to be very dramatic about it afterwards.
鈥淚 bet it鈥檚 that Wei boy inciting him to be so difficult lately,鈥 Lan Qiren immediately says when he notices he鈥檚 no longer alone.
Lan Xichen grimaces, because that鈥檚 technically not untrue. It is certainly his affection for Wei Wuxian that鈥檚 pushing Lan Wangji to test boundaries and to worry whether his uncle鈥檚 love is conditional. But it鈥檚 also unfair to blame all of Lan Wangji鈥檚 behaviour on poor Wei Wuxian, just because he was an absolute terror when Lan Qiren had him as a student.
鈥淲angji is nineteen,鈥 Lan Xichen reminds their uncle. 鈥淗e鈥檚 in university, he鈥檚 having new experiences, and broadening his mind. It鈥檚 normal for him to be forming opinions of his own, and to express them.鈥
鈥淵ou were not so difficult at nineteen,鈥 Lan Qiren retorts. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e still not so difficult now. Why can鈥檛 he be more like you?鈥
Lan Xichen wonders if he should remind his uncle that they too got into arguments, mostly about him staying out past curfew when going out with Nie Mingjue and Meng Yao. He decides against it. This isn't about him.聽
鈥淭his is important to him, shufu,鈥 Lan Xichen insists. 鈥淚f you鈥檒l excuse me for being rude, you鈥檙e the one who turned this into an argument, and I don鈥檛 understand why. I鈥檝e heard you complain more than once against the treatment of鈥 certain minorities.鈥
"I think people should marry as they please," Lan Qiren stiffly replies. "But that boy changing his mind every other day about how he wishes to be addressed is ridiculous. If these people want to be taken seriously, then they have to act serious and not make pointless demands.鈥
The word pointless rings loud in Lan Xichen鈥檚 mind, branding itself into a part of his brain. He ignores it for now. Perhaps he can ignore it forever.
鈥淚 think Nie Huaisang and others like him just operate on a system of values and priorities that are different from your own,鈥 Lan Xichen says with all the gentleness he鈥檚 capable of while so upset. 鈥淚f people are different, does it mean they鈥檙e not worthy of respect?鈥
鈥淒on鈥檛 make me say what I didn鈥檛 say.鈥
鈥淭hen please explain to me how you refusing to acknowledge someone as they want to be seen is different from denying them respect.鈥
鈥淚 take it back,鈥 Lan Qiren snaps. 鈥淵ou鈥檙e just as difficult as Lan Wangji. This is ridiculous, and I don鈥檛 understand why you both think it matters so much if that Nie boy is going through a phase.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 not a matter of understanding. It鈥檚 a matter of acceptance,鈥 Lan Xichen explains. He pauses, hesitating, and decides to take a risk. 鈥淚 suppose it鈥檚 also a matter of needing to guess what you would do, if one of us were to someday come to you to explain something you might not understand, but for which we need your acceptance. It鈥檚 a matter of fearing that you would react the same way if one of us were in Nie Huaisang鈥檚 shoes.鈥
In a second Lan Qiren鈥檚 frustration turns into worry, and鈥 he knows. He has to know, at least about Lan Wangji.
鈥淚t would be different,鈥 Lan Qiren quickly says. 鈥淲angji鈥檚 case is鈥 I wish he had better tastes, that鈥檚 for certain, but I鈥檓 not going to turn him away for who he loves. It鈥檚 completely different from that boy who can鈥檛 decide who he is.鈥
Lan Xichen smiles. It鈥檚 nothing new as such, that there are types of differences that are acceptable, and others that aren鈥檛. He also can鈥檛 stop himself from thinking that it鈥檚 also a little dependent on who is different. Nie Huaisang has never been particularly liked by Lan Qiren because he鈥檚 not particularly academically oriented, so his differences are just another annoyance. It鈥檚 the same with Wei Wuxian. But if it were Lan Wangji who demanded to try out pronouns and identities, it is almost certain that Lan Qiren would make a real effort to support his nephew and understand his struggle.
Lan Xichen doesn鈥檛 wonder in which category he falls.
This isn鈥檛 a question he wants answered.
鈥淭o you it鈥檚 different, but to Wangji it鈥檚 the same thing,鈥 Lan Xichen says. 鈥淧lease be careful with what you say about Nie Huaisang, or he might start to think you will react the same to anything he might have to confess.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 ridiculous,鈥 Lan Qiren complains, but he doesn鈥檛 insist any further and leaves the study to go talk to his younger nephew.
Lan Xichen follows and lingers by his brother鈥檚 door as the two of them talk about their argument. Just in case it goes bad again, and he needs to intervene, or in case Lan Wangji decides that this is the moment when he should reveal to his family that he likes men. But that confession will have to wait, and for tonight Lan Wangji and Lan Qiren just reconcile, which is already pretty good.
Two days later, when Lan Wangji informs them of Nie Huaisang鈥檚 newest pronoun experiment, Lan Qiren makes no comment.
It鈥檚 a victory, and Lan Xichen tries to rejoice.
Almost two weeks after that particular incident, Lan Xichen meets with Nie Mingjue and Meng Yao at the library for a study session. When he鈥檚 on the tube after and heading home, he realises that he accidentally grabbed Nie Mingjue鈥檚 notebook as well as his own. It鈥檚 Friday night, they won鈥檛 see each other for the weekend, and Nie Mingjue will probably be upset if he can鈥檛 get any work done until monday. Lan Xichen changes lines at the first chance and heads for his friend鈥檚 flat, hoping to catch him there and give him back his notebook.
When he gets to the flat, Nie Mingjue hasn鈥檛 arrived yet. He texted Lan Xichen to just drop his notes with Nie Huaisang, who is sure to be there because they鈥檙e going to a party later that night and they must still be getting ready.
Nie Huaisang is there indeed, but they鈥檙e far from getting ready yet. Instead they鈥檙e just wearing one of Nie Mingjue鈥檚 old t-shirt and eating chips. They appear a little surprised to see Lan Xichen, perhaps even a little wary at first, but they relax when the full situation is explained.
鈥淒o you want to come in and wait for Da-ge?鈥 they offer.
鈥淚t鈥檚 not necessary, I was just returning this.鈥
鈥淧lease stay,鈥 Nie Huaisang insists, grabbing Lan Xichen鈥檚 sleeve and pulling him inside. 鈥淒a-ge will scold me if I鈥檓 not a good host, and anyway I need an opinion for my outfit.鈥
Lan Xichen tries to resist, but Nie Huaisang is nothing if not stubborn, and forces him to sit down on the bumpy old sofa while they prepare some tea. Lan Xichen is then left alone with his tea for a while, until Nie Huaisang returns with skinny jeans that make their legs look longer than they are, a pale tank top, and a colourful button-up shirt with a pattern of exotic birds.
鈥淲hat do you think?鈥 Nie Huaisang asks. 鈥淚鈥檓 just going for drinks with Wei Wuxian and Jiang Cheng, but I just know Jiang Cheng will dress up, and he gets so damn annoying when he thinks he鈥檚 the most fashionable person in the room, so I鈥檝e got to give him competition.鈥
鈥淚t鈥檚 nice.鈥
鈥淛ust nice?鈥 Nie Huaisang pouts, disappointed. 鈥淚 was going for 鈥楳agnum PI鈥-core, to fight how cloudy it is. Is it too much? Or not enough?鈥
鈥淚 think it鈥檚 the right amount of too much,鈥 Lan Xichen assures him. 鈥淚t鈥檚 a good colour on you.鈥
Nie Huaisang glows upon being praised. 鈥淚t鈥檒l look even better when I鈥檝e put on a little makeup. I鈥檝e got that nice shade of green lipstick that I鈥檝e never used yet鈥 Can you wait a little more? I really need an opinion, and Da-ge can鈥檛 be counted on.鈥
Lan Xichen should refuse. He needs to go home, Lan Qiren will be annoyed if he is late without warning, but鈥 but there鈥檚 something about this situation that makes him want to stay, even though it鈥檚 unreasonable.
鈥淚f you value my opinion, I鈥檓 honoured and very happy to help.鈥
For some reason this makes Nie Huaisang frown, as if they鈥檇 expected Lan Xichen to refuse. Before he can wonder if he鈥檚 accidentally overstayed his welcome, Nie Huaisang starts smiling again, more brightly than before.
鈥淕ege spoils me,鈥 they tease. 鈥淚鈥檒l have to find a way to thank you for this. Ah! I know! What if I put on you the best shade of lipstick for you? Gege has such nice lips, they鈥檇 look amazing with the right colour, and it so happens that I think I have just what you need!鈥
Again, Lan Xichen should refuse. He can tell that he鈥檚 being teased, that Nie Huaisang just wants to see his reaction, perhaps even to shock him a little if they think that Lan Xichen objects to their gender indecision.
He should refuse.
If it were anyone else making that offer, Lan Xichen would refuse. But Nie Huaisang feels鈥 safe, for lack of a better word. They feel like someone who won鈥檛 judge him for conducting an experiment, and who can guide that experiment toward a better result.
鈥淪ure, I鈥檒l let you try if you want,鈥 Lan Xichen says, his voice trembling enough that Nie Huaisang can鈥檛 have missed it.
Nie Huaisang frowns again, looking at Lan Xichen as if they鈥檇 never seen him before. It is not an unkind look as such, but it gives the impression of wheels turning and jigsaw pieces falling into place. It鈥檚 terrifying. It鈥檚 a relief. When Nie Huaisang silently motions for Lan Xichen to follow them in the bathroom, Lan Xichen can only obey.
Sitting on the edge of the bathtub, Lan Xichen watches as Nie Huaisang puts on some light golden make-up on their eyes, accompanied by a very bold shade of green on their lips. It makes them look like those exotic birds on their shirt. They laugh when lan Xichen says so out loud, a slight blush adding further colour to their cheeks, making them more handsome than anyone has any right to be.
鈥淵our turn now,鈥 Nie Huaisang then says, digging into the drawer of a small chest in quest of another tube of lipstick.
Suddenly terrified again, Lan Xichen closes his eyes and lifts his head. He shivers when one of Nie Huaisang鈥檚 delicate hands pushes under his chin, forcing him to lift his face a little more. He shivers again at the sensation of lipstick on his mouth, much drier than the balm he sometimes uses in winter, and exhales slowly in relief, feeling oddly safe.聽
It takes a lot less time than Lan Xichen would have expected before Nie Huaisang is satisfied with their work and orders him to come check himself in the mirror.
Lan Xichen gets up from the bathtub, takes one step toward the sink, looks at the mirror above it, and feels鈥
Underwhelmed doesn鈥檛 even begin to cover his feelings. Because in that mirror is still him, the same face, even if his lips are now a nearly crimson red that contrasts with his pale skin and dark hair.
It鈥檚 still him.
Of course it鈥檚 still him. It would take more than a little make-up to make him look like a woman. He鈥檚 still himself, and it nearly makes him want to cry because for just a moment he thought that maybe he didn鈥檛 have to be that person.
鈥淚 was right, it鈥檚 perfect on you,鈥 Nie Huaisang remarks, their cheeks a little redder. 鈥淟ook at you, such a pretty jiejie!鈥
Lan Xichen flinches, a deep shiver running through his spine.
The lipstick didn鈥檛 change anything, but hearing himself called 鈥榡iejie鈥 hits him like a truck because it feels so right. It feels like something falling in place, like a missing part of himself finally returned where it belongs.
Next to him, Nie Huaisang frowns again. 鈥淪orry, I should know better than to tease like that,鈥 they quickly say, looking and sounding so sincerely apologetic that Lan Xichen doesn鈥檛 know how to explain his reaction was a good one. 鈥淚t really does look good on you, though. If I didn鈥檛 think your uncle would have a heart attack, I鈥檇 send you home like that. Oh, can I take a picture? Only, you鈥檙e really pretty like this, I鈥檇 like a memory, right?鈥
Lan Xichen nods. He wonders if Nie Huaisang is trying to flirt, or if they鈥檙e just playful. If this is flirting, then it鈥檚鈥 complicated. But when has anything not been complicated in Lan Xichen鈥檚 life? Sometimes it feels like he never stops worrying about things, even when others seem to manage just fine when confronted with similar situations.
Right now, as Nie Huaisang angles his face to take the best possible picture that can be obtained from a quick portrait done in a bathroom, Lan Xichen wonders what it鈥檚 like to find life easy.
鈥淵ou鈥檙e really looking so good,鈥 Nie Huaisang coos, making him move again for another semi-artiful picture. 鈥淚f I had my way, you鈥檇 always wear make-up from now on. You know, more and more men do, so it wouldn鈥檛 be so scandalous.鈥
鈥淚 don鈥檛 think I鈥檓 brave enough to do that. It鈥檚 quite admirable that you have that courage.鈥
Nie Huaisang stills, their expression growing serious for a second before they laugh nervously.
鈥淚鈥檓 not sure I鈥檇 call myself brave,鈥 they say, taking one last picture before putting away their phone. 鈥淚t鈥檚 more than I don鈥檛 think I had a choice. I think it would have killed me to try and hide who I really am.鈥
鈥淵ou must think I鈥檓 so dramatic,鈥 Nie Huaisang huffs, trying to make it sound like a joke, but something in their voice makes it clear they鈥檝e been accused of that before, and the wound hasn鈥檛 healed yet.
鈥淣o, I think I understand,鈥 Lan Xichen says. 鈥淗iding hurts. But鈥 but it makes me think there are also cases of people who won鈥檛 die from it. People who can endure.鈥 Lan Xichen sighs, and catches Nie Huaisang staring at him with a mix of pity and anger. It鈥檚 stupid, it鈥檚 so stupid, but some part of Lan Xichen still sings from having been called 鈥榡iejie鈥, and that part of him wants to to trust Nie Huaisang. 鈥淲angji likes boys, and I think he is like you about that. I think it would destroy him to hide it. I really think shufu will accept him, but鈥︹
鈥淏ut you think it鈥檒l be harder for your uncle if he has two queer nephews, that he鈥檇 rather have a normal one,鈥 Nie Huaisang guesses, their expression softening. 鈥淎nd if Lan Wangji can鈥檛 be normal, while you鈥檙e capable of enduring, you think you should just continue to endure.鈥
Lan Xichen nods, his throat too tight for words. It feels different when he hears someone else say it. It sounds almost cruel.
鈥淚 don鈥檛 think Wangji would be very happy if he knew that you think that way,鈥 Nie Huaisang remarks, crossing their arms on their chest. 鈥淚 think he鈥檇 be very upset, actually. How would you feel if you could only be happy because he has to hide parts of himself?鈥
Lan Xichen laughs joylessly. 鈥淚t鈥檚 different. I鈥檓 the eldest. I have to protect him.鈥
鈥淎nd who鈥檒l protect this pretty jiejie then?鈥 Nie Huaisang asks, the word 鈥榡iejie鈥 causing Lan Xichen to shiver once more. 鈥淗m?鈥
鈥淚 can take care of myself. It鈥檚 fine. I鈥檓 probably not really鈥 it鈥檚 just silly things I think about. I鈥檓 not miserable about鈥 I鈥檝e read up, you know. About gender and...I don鈥檛 think I have dysphoria or anything. I鈥檓 not miserable.鈥
Nie Huaisang grimaces, and grabs a brush on the sink, trying to put some order to their hair. They have very longer hair, and that makes Lan Xichen envious. He wonders if he could grow it. Maybe that wpuld feel right, the wqy the lipstick didn't quite manage to change the way he looks.聽
Lan Xichen watches Nie Huaisang braid their hair and wishes he too were allowed to play like this, to try things out.聽
鈥淪o you're not miserable," Nie Huaisang says after a while." But you鈥檙e not really happy either, are you?鈥
It鈥檚 a question Lan Xichen doesn鈥檛 ask himself often, because the answer is always either a lie, or unpleasant.
鈥淚鈥檓 tolerably satisfied with my life. It鈥檚 more than a lot of people can say. And it doesn鈥檛 fill me with dread to live the kind of life that鈥檚 expected of me.鈥
鈥淒oesn鈥檛 it, jiejie?鈥
Lan Xichen shivers again. He wants to ask Nie Huaisang to stop calling him that. He wants Nie Huaisang to never stop. He wants to go back half an hour into the past and not have come here at all, because half an hour ago the future didn鈥檛 bother him as much.
鈥淚t鈥檚 a manageable amount of dread,鈥 he eventually decides. 鈥淚t makes things easier for Wangji, and for shufu. I have to think of them. It鈥檚 all so silly, anyway. It鈥檚 not like I鈥檓鈥︹ he sighs, suddenly so drained that he has to sit on the edge of the bathtub again. 鈥淚鈥檓 not like you. Just because I sometimes think鈥 it鈥檚 very silly, and I shouldn鈥檛 think I鈥檓 something I鈥檓 not..鈥
鈥淗m. You know, the first sign of being a girl is wanting to be a girl,鈥 Nie Huaisang points out.
鈥淚 can鈥檛 want that,鈥 Lan Xichen replies, which isn鈥檛 the same as saying he doesn鈥檛 want it, and they both know it.聽
What he wants鈥 what he wants is secondary. He has to take care of Lan Wangji, and of Lan Qiren. That鈥檚 what he really wants, anyway. He wants them to love him and be happy more than he wants anything else.
If their love comes at a price鈥 nothing is free in life. He can pay that price.
鈥淚 think I should go,鈥 Lan Xichen says, though he doesn鈥檛 move yet. 鈥淚鈥檇 just come to drop that notebook, I鈥檝e already stayed too long, and I鈥檝e bothered you with such odd things鈥︹
He tries to get up, but Nie Huaisang forces him to sit down again.
鈥淟ipstick,鈥 they just say, grabbing some cotton pads and a bottle of clear liquid to remove the makeup they used on Lan Xichen.
It鈥檚 funny. Seeing himself with that lipstick felt like it didn鈥檛 change anything, but having it removed definitely leaves Lan Xichen a little sadder than before.
鈥淚t鈥檚 up to you what you do with your life,鈥 Nie Huaisang quietly says as they wipe Lan Xichen鈥檚 lips clean. 鈥淚 won鈥檛 force you to make choices, and of course I won鈥檛 tell anyone what you told me today. But if you want, when we鈥檙e alone鈥 I can call you jiejie.鈥
They鈥檙e rarely ever alone, only meeting when Lan Wangji or Nie Mingjue are around, so it鈥檚 a rather pointless offer. But something about this still pleases Lan Xichen. There鈥檚 something liberating about having shared his secret with someone, and to be accepted not only in what he wishes he could be, but also in his current choice to remain hidden. He鈥檚 always thought that when it comes to the closet one could only be in or out, but he suddenly feels like even while in the closet, it鈥檚 possible to open the door to varying degrees and share a little of what鈥檚 inside, just with the right people.
鈥淚鈥檇 like it if you did that,鈥 Lan Xichen replies. 鈥淚t鈥檚 nice when you call me that.鈥
鈥淎s jiejie wishes,鈥 Nie Huaisang says with a smile. 鈥淥ur little secret!鈥
Lan Xichen smiles back.
Nie Huaisang isn鈥檛 a bad person to share a secret with.
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sonderdda day ago
You know what I love and hate about MXTX novels? It's that by the end of the story the main antagonist is defeated and the main couple is together and living happily, but ONLY the main couple. All the other problems can go screw themselves. Oh there's this guy who's whole soul is devoted to this one person but he lost him forever and never got to mourn? Cool cool, here's some Bingqiu smut. Oh what's this? The aftermath of a really bad event and multiple people left brokenhearted and unfulfilled? Nah how about some Hualian fluff, you'll love it. Broken relationships? Death? Mourning? What's closure? Never heard of it.
I'm telling you a love story between these two guys and even the world burning down won't stop me, and once their story is over who cares if everything has been reduced to ashes? Look they're kissing now!
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dinosaurscreechsounda day ago
MDZS modern au jobs (via me)
Wei Wuxian- Medical examiner
I just think wwx in a lab coat makes sense.
Lan Wangji - Pianist
Large string instrument. Fancy.
Nie Huasang- Tattoo artist
He's fully tatted under his clothes but they're normally not visible
Jiang Cheng- Police chief
Big J Jonah Jameson energy. But as a cop. But like a fantasy not racist cop.
Jiang Yanli- Pastry chef
She is the first in the family to not work in anything relating to catching crime
Wen Qing - Doctor
Duh. She works with wwx alot
Wen Ning - Nurse
He works in pediatrics
Lan Xichen- Music store owner
Run by the Lan family for generations. Hes got the best customer service smile, banished lan wangji from the shop cause he does not.
Lan Qiren - Retired
He hangs out at the music store being grumpy about kids and their electric guitars. He teaches classes part time
Nie Mingjue- Bakery shop owner
Is also fully tatted, Nie Huasang did em all
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