WangXian are like
At a grocery store or something
And while Wei Ying manages to befriend some random lady in the spices isle
Lan Wangji and the woman's husband just sit a little a-ways, waiting for them to be done with their shopping and talking
And the husband makes some Generic "I hate married life" Straight Man Joke™️
And LWJ just doesn't
"Do you not love your wife?"
"Well I do but you know, feels like being in shackles sometimes, haha"
"No, I do not. I feel very happy to be married."
"I mean... yeah, but isn't it a little annoying sometimes?"
"No, not at all. I love my husband very much."
"W-well, doesn't he just make you lose your mind sometimes?"
"Only in a good way. I apologize if I am overstepping, but if you do not enjoy being married, you should divorce."
Thankfully, Wei Ying parts with his new friend a few seconds later and dumps a whole lot of chili in their shopping cart, raising an eyebrow at the confused expression on Lan Zhan's face.
"Straight people are... unusual." He says and Wei Ying bursts into laughter so loud half the store turns a side eye.
Obedience Curse AU!
What if when WWX punched JZX, it was YZY who came instead? She refused to have the brat’s actions destroy JYL’s betrothal. So she didn’t let JGS dissolve it and took it upon her own hands to make sure WWX would never be a problem for them anymore.
So she tells LQR that there would be no need to expel him. She would handle it.
And so she fetches WWX from the hall he was kneeling in. He’s as subdued as he could get whenever it was YZY the one to punish him. He knows that killing is forbidden in CR, so perhaps she won’t use all her strength with Zidian today. He knows he fucked up. He put JYL’s happiness in danger. He knows only the worst would come once he heard it was YZY who answered the summon.
In the privacy of his own guest room, he strips his robes and seals his core under YZY’s watchful eyes. He kneels and waits for the strikes to begin.
But Zidian doesn’t come.
Instead, YZY grabs him by the hair and pulls him back, baring his chest to her. “I am done with you causing problems to our Sect everywhere you go, Wei Wuxian!” She seethes as knife’s blade comes into view. “You insist on causing trouble and breaking the rules with no care for the Sect that took you in! Fed you! Trained you!” His eyes water as the sharpness begins cutting — no, carving — into his skin, right above his heart. “Listen to me, you useless brat!” He can only stare as the knife twists, forming sigils with each cut. His core would have been able to heal them before scarring, but that is not what YZY wanted. No. She wants this to be a reminder for him to never dare disobey. Because now he’s beginning to understand what the carving will do once it’s completed.
“You won’t break the rules for as long as you stay here. You won’t make us lose face! You won’t make A-Cheng bear the brunt of your idiocy! Don’t be a nuisance to Lan Qiren or his nephews! Don’t be the reckless brat you insist on being! Don’t do anything that would trouble A-Li or A-Cheng. Don’t do anything that could bring even more trouble to our Sect! And if you ever do, don’t even dare see my family and home again!” She heaves as the last line is in place. “And you won’t tell a soul.” She whispers just before activating the array carved on his chest.
JC is confused at first, seeing WWX behaving for once. A-Niang’s scolding must have been enough to scare him for a few days.
LQR is glad that YZY managed to make the Jiang’s ward stop messing around. He stays quiet in class, only speaks when spoken to and stopped trying to distract LWJ.
NHS feels like something is off. Wei-xiong suddenly stopped playing and sneaking papers in class. When invited to drink, he simply shook his head with a strained smile and left for bed. Before curfew.
LWJ is relieved at first, that WWX finally stopped teasing him. But then even LXC noticed how calm the boy was now. Unnaturally so.
He tries approaching him, but WWX flees before he can speak. When he goes to JC, he is met with annoyance. “Just leave it, he must have grown bored after you ignored him for so long. Be grateful he stopped bothering you.”
It is only a few days later that NHS comes to him. “You noticed it too, right?”
That day, they had been hanging out with JC and WWX after class, but after an innocent comment from WWX, JC grew annoyed and told him off. WWX lowered his head and left. Just like that. No teasing remark.
NHS has a theory, coming from stories and fairytales. That of an empress who forced her maid into obedience. One of a general who made his soldiers follow him without question. One a a gift from the gods to a child’s parents.
But all of them ended in tragedy. He didn’t want to believe that is what was happening.
Meanwhile, WWX grows quieter by the day. Even resisting the curse brand becomes a searing pain, not just the constant pressure.
He wonders how easy it would be if JC snapped again and told him to die. He wouldn’t mean it, of course.
But as the weeks go by, it is all he wants. If only the curse didn’t make him so compliant that JC didn’t have enough reason to berate him.
If he could annoy LWJ one more time, he would yell “Get lost!” And he would. Just like that. Gone from the suffocating obedience that was cast upon him.
When NHS tells LWJ and LXC of his suspicions, they take the matter to LQR, who refuses to believe YZY would go as far as casting a forbidden curse on WWX.
Of course, after that, even he begins noticing the unnatural way WWX has been behaving. Abiding by the rules more strictly that the Lans themselves.
By the time he relents and allows them to enter the forbidden section to study any means to break the curse, WWX has gone missing.
JZXun had ran into him and yelled for him to leave his sight, that a peasant like him shouldn’t be sharing space with the gentry like him.
And so he left. And whenever anyone from the search party grew nearer, he ran faster. He could run now, having finally passed the bounds of Gusu.
It is only weeks after, with no tolling bells to signal the time for the meals and spiritual energy too drained to practice inedia, that his body collapses. He is found near Yiling by WQ who nurses him back to health.
By the time he wakes up, the Lan Sect has issued a petition for trial against YZY. His body was examined by the healers and they have all the evidence to prove her fault. Only his confirmation was needed to proceed.
But when he entered the conference, skin burning at the commands broken, YZY could only scoff.
His sight swirled as YZY’s words resounded in his head. “Don’t even dare see my family and home again!” His eyes burnt, pain consuming all his senses. He fell to his knees, scratching at his own face, fingers digging painfully as the leaders and healers present watched in panic. WQ and LWJ tried to pry his hands off his face, but the damage was already done.
Unconscious once again, WWX is carried out for his eyes to be tended to. The trial continues without him.
YZY is sentenced to seclusion for barely three years, since the one affected was of her own Sect and of no noble background.
He was taken back to CR and the curse was reversed with the help of WQ.
WWX blinded himself that day. He would never again see Lotus Pier nor the Jiangs. The damage has irreversible, but he would otherwise be healthy enough.
He attempts going on nighthunts with LWJ, and soon enough finds himself attacked by a ghost he couldn’t perceive. It is then, half possessed, that he gets to see the world around him again, through the ghost’s eyes.
After months of studying the effects of resentful energy, his core becomes darkened to the point ferocious ghosts no longer see him as a threat. He becomes a new bridge between cultivators and resentful beings.
The next time he visits the Wens in Yiling, a ghost child takes his hand and guides him to the BM. There, the dark tendrils don’t hurt him, but welcome him.
He cleanses the BM enough for it to no lo longer be a threat to the living, but not enough to take away the safe haven that many ghosts have found there.
He becomes Liuming-jun 柳明君, the man who stands between life and death, a light in the darkest hours, a ray of hope born in pain.
After years, he still finches whenever he hears something as small as a suggestion, waiting for the burning sensation in his chest. After years, the scar on his chest hasn’t faded. After years, he still has a reminder of all the pain that came from disobeying.
After years, he has LWJ to grab his hand when the phantom pain gets too much. He has LWJ to kiss the scar on his chest and whisper sweet reassurances, that it won’t burn anymore. He has NHS who supports his studies of resentful energy and helps him keep his name on the good graces of the common people. He has LXC and LQR who guide him in the learning of musical cultivation. He has the Wens, who open their arms and care for him. He has WQ who nags at him to take his medicine. He has WN who accompanies him on his travels to the BM to tend to the offerings for the dead. He has A-Yuan who took a special liking to his Xian-gege.
After years, he has a place for himself. One that doesn’t demand too much from him. He has a home.