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Private Drunken Soup

Wei Wuxian

The Untamed
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85
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Late 20s / Early 30s
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Male
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Human
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Cultivator
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March 19th, Year 109
@Lan Wangji

Wuxian bit his lower lip as he took a sip of the soup he was making before pouting. The taste wasn’t really there, and he feels that it should be more...smooth, more something. He handed a bit to Xiao and asked her opinion, to which, she agreed—the taste was different. Maybe a bit more spice could help?

Wuxian hummed as he added some spices into the soup—not too much because this soup...was meant to be precious. It was to honor his sister and the soup she always made for him and Jiang Cheng. Lotus root and pork ribs.

It was in moments like these, he wondered what would have happened if his siblings were here; from before his...resurrection. Would they recognize him? Would they want to stay with him and Wangji? Would they have their own daemons? Would the daemons recognize Xiao? It made him wonder as Xiao said that daemons are always there, but cannot be seen in some worlds. Would that mean that Xiao is his own daemon or Mo Xuanyu’s? He has the man’s body but the daemons are people’s souls—so, it’d make sense that their daemons would be different since it was his soul in another’s body.

Xiao shrugged when he asked if that was the case. “Probably? I don’t remember anything from Mo Xuanyu. I remember our childhood and our youth...but after the Sunshot Campaign, things are...blurry. Which is to be expected, I guess. We did die.”

Wuxian nodded absently as he focused on the soup. His death was...a strange matter. One he’d rather not think about now when he was trying to get this soup just right.

“They’re late.”

Wuxian paused as he stirred the soup and looked out the window from the kitchen; the sun had long set and he already lit the lanterns around their home. He’s been trying to perfect it since Wangji left this morning with Yun, trying to search for Sizhui. The young lad had left to travel a bit, however, they haven’t received any messages since—Sizhui always left a note for Wangji or telling him where he was going or what he’d do.

“I’m sure they’re fine.” Wuxian said dismissively, even though his smile was a bit forced. The young man knew the reality of this situation: that Wangji and Yun wouldn’t find Sizhui; that the young boy had more than likely left from Pandora and was back home. Safe and sound...with his mother and Wangji’s wife.

“They usually come home earlier. You know how Lan Zhan’s sleeping schedule is.”
 
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Lan Wangji

The Untamed
Posts
71
Age
Early 30s
Gender
Male
Species
Human
Occupation
Cultivator
Alignment
Neutral Good
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It's complicated
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Wangji was... distraught.

He'd set out early in the morning to go and find Sizhui, since they had heard nothing back from the young man, this was more than just unusual. All of the disciples had often been in frequent contact with Wangji, to the point he sometimes couldn't respond to them individually, but this? Sizhui was always the first to speak to Lan Wangji, always, no matter where he went or how far, he always spoke to his teacher, his father figure, of where he had been and what he would be doing. He knew how important he was to the cultivator, so why... why was he doing this now?

Of course Wangji had already feared the worst outcomes. Sizhui could have been hurt, dying, dead. He would have liked to have thought none of these were true, and to be honest, all the indicators suggested that Sizhui had indeed just... vanished. But he needed to be sure. The breaking point for Wangji was when he'd needed to double check there was absolutely no chance the boy was dead in this shoe box of a world, leading him to play Inquiry. It took him back to how he had played it each day without fail, hoping to hear anything of Wei Ying who had crossed over to the other side and left him behind.

Wangji heard nothing.

He hoped the boy had gone back, gone home to the others where he was with their clan, safe and sound, even if he missed him. His son. His son. Wangji began to spiral after that, without Wei Ying beside him he found himself wandering to the nearest inn, knowing it would be something his partner would have done. He drank but two small glasses of plum wine before he was out like a light, only to reawaken and not remember where he was for a moment. All he could feel was an aching inside of his chest that wouldn't go away, and a not so foreign stinging in his eyes.

He'd begun making his way back home after that, footsteps following familiar pathways until he was coming into view, rising on the pathway that led into their misty oasis. It was late, past Wangji's normal bedtime and as he stood there, in the entryway to their home, he finally felt the last stitch come undone and for himself to unfurl into the mess he had been feeling so much of recently. The cultivator all but stumble-ran to his partner, dropping Bichen carelessly while the guqin on his back seemed to weigh him down, bringing him to his knees in front of Wei Ying.

Yun who had followed the man now hopped into view, looking rather solemn as she shook her head at Xiao, indicating that there had been no luck in finding Sizhui.
"He's gone- Wei Ying he's... He's gone." The man repeated, his voice soft but clearly breaking as was the rest of him. This was the second time his nearest and dearest had left him behind. How many more times was he to feel this awful wave of mourning wash over him? Frustration, anger, heartbreak, all of the emotions in between, they took their toll on Wangji as he sobbed softly, tears rushing down his cheeks which he tried to hide against Wei Ying's robes. While his shoulders shook, hands gripping tightly onto the younger's garments, Wangji whispered so softly it might have been hard to hear at all.

"My son..."
 
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Wei Wuxian

The Untamed
Posts
85
Age
Late 20s / Early 30s
Gender
Male
Species
Human
Occupation
Cultivator
Alignment
Chaotic Good
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He’d finished the soup and stayed in their house as he waited. While Wuxian didn’t want to admit it, he was worried about what had happened to Wangji. Was he alright? Did he find Sizhui? Was the young man hurt? Or...worse?

It was when he heard the familiar crunch of footsteps outside. He jumped up from his seat and got to the door just when Wangji entered his sights, falling to his knees while dropping Bichen. “Lan Zhan!”

Wuxian moved to Wangji as Xiao moved to Yun, paw curling over the other’s ears while she shared the somber look the hare had. Wuxian knelt down before his friend as he cried, placing one hand on Wangji’s shoulder and stroked, while the other hand softly moved to his head and gently caressed. He was hoping that it might soothe his friend and comfort in his sorrow.

But he heard those words. Son. Sizhui was gone and he was Wangji’s son. Wuxian didn’t know how he felt. There was a sense of sorrow, of Wangji losing someone so dear to him, but there was also something like...he didn’t know but it felt—

Wuxian stood stock still before he hugged Wangji, letting his arms wrap around his friend. What he felt in this moment, didn’t matter. Wangji needed him and he’d do the best he could. “I’m so sorry, Lan Zhan. Let it out. I’m here for you.”
 
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Lan Wangji

The Untamed
Posts
71
Age
Early 30s
Gender
Male
Species
Human
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Cultivator
Alignment
Neutral Good
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It's complicated
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link
A horrid cry, akin to a pained scream, burst from Wangji's lips as all his lifelong learnt rules about discipline and restraint went out the window. This was Wangji's heart breaking, this was the pain he had been in back at the Nightless City. Different reasons, sure, but losing a part of himself, and his soulmate, would always cause him immeasurable amounts of grief. There were so many things he wanted to cry and shout about that he didn't know where to begin, and even as Wuxian held him, told him to let it out, that he was there, Wangji could not speak. His throat was choking him, tight and full of emotions, it left his body trembling just with the effort it took to breathe, fill his lungs with air so he didn't pass on and join his son wherever he may be.

His son...

Lifting his hands in an attempt to grip onto Wuxian's robes a little better, to hold himself up so he didn't completely fall into the dirt, Wangji only could feel his hands slipping the harder he tried - much like himself and the sorrow that was greeting him. Pressing his face against the black robes he knew so well, Wangji hid his tear stained face as he was falling apart, lips trembling but parting as he found himself finally beginning to be able to speak.
"There's no sign of him. No residual energy even. He's just... gone." Wangji blamed himself, even if it was ridiculous. Had he been with Sizhui even when the boy had disappeared it didn't make a difference to Pandora, the pantheon could and would have still stolen the boy away from him without much remorse. But he still blamed himself, just how he blamed himself for losing Wuxian all those years ago.

Another haunting noise came from Wangji just then, no longer the sound of someone in pain but rather someone's soul, tearing apart and being pulled in every direction. Sinking into Wuxian's embrace the more he felt his body turn to lead, Wangji's voice was slightly muffled with how he hid his face among the sweetly scentd robes, the soft fabric wiping away his tears where he could not. Regrets, horrible little things, they gnawed away at his insides as he sobbed, his head tipping back slowly while he looked up at his partner.

The once revered and put-together Hanguang Jun now looked nothing more than a broken child. The same child who seemed to be destined for a life of losing people, his mother, his father, Wei Ying and now Sizhui after an all too brief reunion. With his normally tidy hair falling messily around his face, the man looked heartbreakingly beautiful as he looked up at Wuxian, his weeping softening but looking no less painful as he began to speak words he usually never would have dreamed of sharing before now.

"I didn't get to call him my son..." He whispered his regret, one of many.
"Grandmaster Qiren... He never let me call him 'son'." Wangji went on, lifting his hand to the ribbon on his forehead, askew and suitably so for the moment, his fingertips brushed over the cloud there, before his fingers curled over the ribbon and he pulled it off, throwing it to the ground in a fit of anger, though it was only momentary as rage was replaced with longing once more. Wangji's relationship with his sect was complex at best, but right now he damned it for how it had restricted him in even one of the most pure and gentle roles he could have had - being a father to a lost boy.

"Sizhui... Sizhui wasn't mine biologically. I didn't even get married-" A choked, humourless laugh left Wangji then, as he had been reminded several times by tense dinners and hardened looks from Qiren that he was a failure in that aspect. The second child of Lan, perfect in all ways but one or two, expected to marry and continue the lineage, had done no such thing even after nearly two whole decades of losing the love of his life.
"But he was mine." Wangji added firmly, voice still soft, but his tone suggesting there was nothing that didn't make Sizhui his son, blood relation or not.

"He was my son and I couldn't even address him as such. He was mine. My boy..." Moving through the regrets he felt, Wangji still wept before he bowed his head once again, arms wrapping around Wuxian firmly as he held him close in a tight hug.
"You didn't even get to..." Trailing off, Wangji couldn't put into words what he wanted to say, what his heart wanted to scream. Simply, it was too much for even him. A wave of apologies flew from his lips after that, all whispered, all soft, though who they were directed at was not obvious.

"I'm so s-sorry."
 
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Wei Wuxian

The Untamed
Posts
85
Age
Late 20s / Early 30s
Gender
Male
Species
Human
Occupation
Cultivator
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Profile
link
Organizer
link
Hearing Wangji’s cry of anguish felt so...it pained him to hear Wangji like this. There was anguish, sorrow and so much pain in his voice. Wuxian has never heard his friend like this—never.

He felt like his heart was in his throat with how much it ached to see Wangji like this. For now, he simply held Wangji—one hand absently caressing his head as the man cried, telling him he couldn’t feel Sizhui. Wuxian wondered if Wangji would still feel the same if they had been together when it happened. Knowing his friend, he would—it’s never easy losing someone you love, especially if it’s your son.

After several minutes, Wangji raised his head from Wuxian’s chest. He had felt the tear stains against his clothes but didn’t say anything. He’d be here for Wangji, whatever he needed. But his next words made Wuxian frown.

Why wouldn’t Wangji be allowed to call Sizhui his son?

Wuxian jerked in surprise when Wangji tore off the ribbon and threw it aside—the ribbon that Wangji always made a big deal about. And yet, he didn’t say anything. He let Wangji speak, letting him let out his frustrations and words.

There was regret in his voice, and while it barely registered to Wuxian that Wangji never married, the fact that Sizhui meant so much to Wangji...made sense. From the little interactions they had, Wuxian could tell there was something that restrained Wangji from doing or saying more.

Wangji bowed his head again on his shoulder as he wept, as Wuxian embraced him. But he frowned when he said that Wuxian didn’t even get to do something before he apologized to him.

Wuxian looked over to Xiao, who had curled around Yun before briefly meeting his gaze. Steeling himself, he kept holding Wangji as he spoke. “Why are you apologizing, Lan Zhan? You don’t need to; you have nothing to apologize to me for.” Biting his lower lip, Wuxian gently spoke to his partner as he slowly began to stand up. “Come on, Lan Zhan. Follow me.” Still holding him though, he took him to the kitchen where he’d been cooking soup and had him sit down on a stool before he poured a generous bowl for Wangji and giving it to him.

“Eat up, Lan Zhan.”
 
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Lan Wangji

The Untamed
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71
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Early 30s
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Male
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Human
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It's complicated
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What did he have to apologise for?

Everything...

He's your son.

Wangji wanted to speak the words that rolled around in his head, trust him, he really did. But there would be no living with himself if he ever divulged such information, not now, not when he was a mess. Wei Ying had already done so much for him, did he deserve to hear these kinds of things now? Feel the same kind of loss? It would be akin to telling someone they had their child return, only to be snatched from them before they could do so much as even embrace one another. What was the point? Wangji could shoulder the pain on his own, but the guilt would continue to eat at him.

He allowed for himself to be brought through to the kitchen, sitting down on the stool he was guided to while his head hung low. Staring at his reflection in the bowl of soup, Wangji could only see someone still so weak and useless, someone who was left behind no matter how much he tried hanging onto the people he loved and adored. Even now, he wasn't giving his everything to the man he loved, the man he had mourned for for over a decade.

With his tears beginning to dry up, Wangji used his sleeves to lightly brush away the stains from his cheeks, a small pout forming on his lips as he sat there. Eyelids hooded, a little puffy from his weeping, Wangji spoke up just loud enough for Wei Ying to hear.
"I have my regrets..." He admitted softly, gaze drifting to the sliver of movement he saw from the corner of his eye. Yun and Xiao had followed not long behind, the both of them sat together and staring at Wangji, as if they could both feel the pain and heartache, he supposed that was true for the rabbit - but Xiao too? Did Wei Ying consider him close enough now to share in his heartache?

Seemingly making no move to eat, the cultivator finally turned his gaze on Wei Ying. Unlike the wailing adult he had appeared to be a moment ago, now he looked more like a stroppy child, refusing to eat unless he was fed. Pout remaining in place, Wangji frowned at Wei Ying a little bit, the neglected child within him reaching out, asking to be coddled and looked after just this once - just a bit more.
 
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Wei Wuxian

The Untamed
Posts
85
Age
Late 20s / Early 30s
Gender
Male
Species
Human
Occupation
Cultivator
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Profile
link
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It was strange to see Wangji in such a state. Wangji was always said to so serious and cold—some consider him emotionless, even though Wuxian knew that wasn’t true. He knew his friend kept his emotions under check, but as time had passed, especially since they reunited, Wuxian has seen Wangji’s emotions: his smiles, his frustrations, and worries.

And now, he’s also seen his sorrow and grief. It...pained him to see him like this, to see him mourn for the loss of his son. It made him wonder if Wangji would react like this to him vanishing as well.

Xiao and Yun moved closer, the ferret feeling the pain of their partners so clearly. She knew how they both felt on the matter and she hoped Wuxian would do what needed to be done.

When Wangji wiped the dry stained tears with his sleeve and then said he had regrets, Wuxian frowned in confusion. What regrets would Wangji have? Not being able to call Sizhui his son, would be one. But what else could there be?

The young man noticed how Wangji wasn’t eating and he looked like he was a child that wanted to be fed. It was so...strange, but he’d feed Wangji. He’d do anything if it meant that Wangji would feel better.

He sat across him and took the bowl, before using the spoon to gently put some lotus root and meat on the spoon. Wuxian blew on it to make sure it wasn’t too hot, before he offered it to Wangji, before he gently asked in a clear voice. “What kind of regrets, Lan Zhan?”
 
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Lan Wangji

The Untamed
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Early 30s
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Male
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Cultivator
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It's complicated
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Wangji lifted his gaze just enough to follow the movement of his partner, still pouting slightly until he saw the food being prepared lovingly for him. It made a pang of guilt hit him in his chest harder than before, but considering how desperate he was for the love of the soul sitting opposite him, he reminded himself he was only human and the promise he'd made never to miss out on opportunities with him, ever again. So he leaned in, lips parting around the food and taking it before he leaned back and seemed to chew solemnly.

Minutes ticked by before he finally answered.

"In the Nightless City..." He trailed off, taken back to that night some thirteen years ago, the frown on his brows deepening as he felt his heart ache.
"I should have been there for you." The man continued, his voice no louder than a whisper and his golden gaze having sunk back to his hands in his lap, a soft sigh leaving his lips before he spoke quietly. Clearly, it was a great effort for him.
"You were on your own. You..." You let go of my hand, you let go of me. He wanted to cry the words but he couldn't bring himself to, not when he was already feeling selfish for bringing this up in the first place.

It had been Wei Ying's death he spoke of after all.

"You needed someone on your side the most then. And I let you down." Wangji explained, slowly looking up into Wuxian's eyes, searching to see if this was enough to begin to try to explain why he had regrets. Gripping the sides of the table, Wangji used his strength to push it aside, bowl and all, making space between him and his partner. Closing in moments later, the elder shuffled close enough to wrap his arms around Wei Ying, his head resting on the younger's shoulder and his face hidden from view while he just... hugged him. As he wish he had done much more in the youth, if at all.

"I'm sorry for how lonely you must have been to make that choice..."
 
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Wei Wuxian

The Untamed
Posts
85
Age
Late 20s / Early 30s
Gender
Male
Species
Human
Occupation
Cultivator
Alignment
Chaotic Good
Profile
link
Organizer
link
Wuxian had been worried that Wangji would have refused the soup but seeing him eat made him smile. At least he was eating—Wangji could have easily refused and simply sit there. But he was glad the man was trying. Hopefully, with some food in his belly, he’d feel better and not want to pass out. The Lan clan didn’t have a high tolerance for alcohol.

After several minutes, Wangji spoke. And it broke his heart to hear what regrets he had. After his death, Wuxian didn’t clearly remember that night at the Nightless City. Bits and pieces, but mostly he remembered the pain. It hurt to remember cradling his sister in his arms, it hurt to remember the pained look on Wangji’s and Cheng’s face. It hurt to feel that he lost everything and wanted it all to end.

“Lan Zhan...” His eyes saddened as the man continued and was about to push the bowl aside when suddenly, Wangji pushed aside the table. The younger man yelp, almost trying to save the small bowl before it crashes to the ground but his attention was torn away when Wangji...hugged him.

For a moment, Wuxian didn’t know what to do—for a moment, he was worried if Wangji would pull away and try to avoid this. But he wrapped his arms around this man and leaned his head against him.

“You didn’t let me down, Lan Zhan. Far from it. The choices I made...are my own; nobody else is to be blamed for them.” He sighed, nose tickling with the smell of Wangji’s clothes and alcohol before he continued. “I don’t remember some things that night. I am not sure if it’s because of the resurrection or otherwise. But, I do remember...you were there for me.”
 
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