Bedtime Story

Author's Note: Writer's Month 2019, day 14 - word prompt: fairy tale.

I had great problems deciding on what to write, but in the end my current complete and utter obsession with The Untamed and my love for Ah Yuan with his co-parents WangXian won out. Sorry not sorry. 🙂

"Tell me a story." That was how most of Ah Yuan's favourite evenings started.

Back at the Burial Mound, as the only child, everyone was happy to indulge him. His favourite of course had been Wei Wuxian, who knew the best tales and did all the voices. However, as time went on, good memories faded along with the bad ones.

There were plenty of stories at the Cloud Recesses, too, although they tended more towards the dry and edifying. However, there was one person Ah Yuan loved listening to, and it was one most people would have least expected.

Hanguang-jun was a man of few words, yet when Ah Yuan begged for a bedtime story, he always acquiesced, eyes softening. Then, gaze turning inwards towards memories both precious and painful, he began quietly, "There once was a boy, born with a face that smiled even in the darkest times. He came to Cloud Recesses, where he met another boy, who'd been lonely all his life."

"You were that boy, weren't you, Hanguang-jun?" Ah Yuan invariably inquired at this point.

Lan Wangji nodded solemnly. "Mn. And I made this song for him."

Humming softly, he summoned his guqin and began to play, a melody of love and loss and longing that, for all its melancholy, reminded Ah Yuan of paper butterflies dancing and a flute playing. Sighing happily, he snuggled up to Hanguang-jun, who simply made room on his lap for him. As Ah Yuan fell asleep, Lan Wangji played on, telling a story without words.

It was only many years later that Ah Yuan, long since grown out of bedtime stories, realised whose tale it had been. Watching the two men who'd raised him looking at each other, he smiled to himself.

This. This would forever be his favourite story.

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