far from home

21 Nov 2020
Part of MDZS Modern AU Collection

Snapshots of Lan Wangji’s year-long stay in Yunmeng

Chapters: 6
Words: 13,636

far from home

Chapter 6
movie night

Lan Wangji had never hosted a movie night.

Was it really him hosting the movie night, though, when it’s not his house?

Maybe, on a technicality, Nie Huaisang is the one hosting the movie night, even though it was Lan Wangji who prepared the place for guests.

It wasn’t even a planned thing. Out of the blue, he got a message from Wei Ying asking him what his Friday night plans are, and when he said he didn’t have any in particular, he got an invitation to come over Lotus Pier and ‘hang out and watch movies’ with Wei Ying, Jiang Wanyin and Nie Huaisang. He had finished his homework, as well as the latest additions he had for this research. He accepted, thinking nothing much of it.


To: Wei Ying 🎶


you can take a-ming and a-chun with you too too if they want! 😀

> They are not here.
> They are working on a group project in their classmate’s house.


well ok just you then! 🥰
wait it’s ok with your seniors right?
do they um like
need madame yu to call them or something
please say no 😬

> No.
> Shige and shijie are in Cloud Recesses for the weekend.
> Regular check in.


wait wait wait lan zhan 😍 lan zhan 😍 oh my sweet lan zhan 😍😍😍
are you saying that you’re alone in the lan house right now?

> Yes.



He waited.

A few minutes later, he got the message:


change of plans 💕 don’t leave we’re coming over 😘💕



And really, from what he had learned living in Yunmeng for the past few months and being friends with Wei Wuxian (and Nie Huaisang, and even Jiang Wanyin) he really had no choice in the matter.

So here he is, standing in the kitchen and reading the instructions at the back of a microwave popcorn packet. It looks unhealthy, but it’s all his guests brought besides ice cream, chips, marshmallows and candies, and there’s, like, five of the cursed packets, so he really should just get started on them.

Behind him, Wei Ying is busy mixing three flavors of chips in one bowl – Lan Wangji now hates that bowl – while already halfway through a bag of marshmallows. He tries to get Wangji to eat the marshmallows too, but Wangji declines. The last time he ate marshmallows, everyone looked at him all weird and Jiang Wanyin claimed that it was a traumatic experience.

He’ll eat the marshmallows later, perhaps. While watching the movie. In the dark. Maybe his giggling will be less traumatic for Jiang Wanyin then.

(It will not be. Lan Wangji knows this.)

From the living room, Lan Wangji could hear Nie Huaisang and Jiang Wanyin’s usual banter as they made the couch comfortable with pillows and blankets while they discussed what movie they should watch.

“I thought we were gonna watch a horror movie?”

“Eh. There’s nothing scary these days.”

“Well, maybe you’ll get scared if you’re not too busy critiquing the special effects and makeup.”

“Let’s just watch Kung Fu Panda!”


“Kung Fu Panda 2?”


“Spirited Away?”

“Didn’t we just watch that yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah.”

“Hey!” Wei Ying calls. “Let’s watch Up!”

“Wei-xiong, do you want your baby brother to cry again?”

“I did NOT cry-”

“You so did cry, Jiang Wanyin.”

“W-Well… so did YOU, Nie Huaisang!”

“I cry over everything, what’s your point?”

“Ah, I lost them so fast.” Wei Ying laughs, then looks towards Wangji. “Lan Zhan, any suggestions? Any movie you like and wanna rewatch? Or you’ve been meaning to watch but haven’t watched?”

Lan Wangji watches the timer on the microwave as it counts down. He isn’t big on movies, although he does remember watching a few with Nie Huaisang when they were little, and then later with his big brother, mostly recommendations from Mingjue-ge or Yao-ge, or the really popular ones that got Xichen curious enough to check out.

“I have not watched the Ghibli movie with the little fish girl.”

Wei Wuxian stares at him.

Then, he nods in approval and shouts, “Okay, time out, lovebirds! We’re watching Ponyo!”



“I love Ponyo whether she’s a fish, a human, or something in between!”

Lan Wangji looks sideways, towards where the two voices reciting the lines in the movie were coming from.

On the other end of the couch, Nie Huaisang and Jiang Wanyin are bundled up together in one blanket. They look very cozy, Nie Huaisang in Jiang Wanyin’s arms, sharing a bowl of popcorn between them. Wei Ying, who is half-sitting beside them with his legs on Huaisang’s lap and half-leaning on Lan Wangji with his head on Wangji’s shoulder, attempts to jostle their popcorn bowl, but he misses and grazes Jiang Wanyin’s leg instead, the one propped up on the coffee table.

“Ow! Wei Wuxian!” Jiang Wanyin hisses.

“What movie will you two not quote together?”

Nie Huaisang pops popcorn in his mouth. “You can quote it with us if you want, Wei-xiong. We’re not stopping you.”

“No! Unless it’s a meme quote, I just feel like a third wheel!”

“You never felt like that before.”

“Of course I- Huh, you’re right, we always quote movies, all three of us.” Wei Ying says. “But now you two look at each other all sappy afterwards! Gross! Cute but gross!”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about Wei-xiong.” Nie Huaisang replies, keeping a straight face even as Jiang Wanyin nuzzles his cheek, which apparently means ‘feed me some popcorn’ because Huaisang does just that, all without looking. “Besides, it’s your fault we got together anyway.”

“I thought you guys were pranking me.”

“Eh. That was the intention, but we think this is nice too, you know? So thanks, I guess.”

“You’re wel- Jiang Cheng, since when were you so-… so handsy?! Right in front of my salad?!”

“What salad.” Jiang Wanyin deadpans. “And I’m literally just adjusting our blanket, what the hell are you on about?”

Wei Ying pouts before he shifts to wrap his arms around Lan Wangji’s arm and wail into his sleeve. “Ah, Lan Zhan! Look at them, being mean to me. Shouldn’t they be nicer? I literally helped them get together!”

Lan Wangji doesn’t know what to say to that. Lan Wangji also doesn’t know what to do with his arm that Wei Ying seems to be determined to detach from his body. Lan Wangji does see the three-flavor chip bowl in danger of falling over from where it sat dangerously on Wei Ying’s stomach, so he moves his free hand to grab it and set it in his own lap instead.

They all watch as Ponyo and Sosuke hug each other.

Lan Wangji takes a deep breath. It is adorable. The children. Are adorable.

Wei Ying sniffs. “Look at them! They’re like, three. And they have each other! When will I ever find true romance, Lan Zhan?!”

Someone chokes, presumably on popcorn, and they both look over to see Jiang Wanyin coughing while Nie Huaisang pats his back, giggling. When he recovers from his near-death popcorn encounter, he just… snorts and smothers his laughter in Huaisang’s shoulder, and Nie Huaisang snuggles closer to laugh with him.

Wei Ying gapes. “Hey! Are you two laughing at me?!”

“N-No, Wei-xiong, of course not!” Huaisang says between giggles.

“See how they disrespect me, Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying complains. “Sometimes I think you’re the only one around here who loves me.”

Lan Wangji still does not know what to say to that, although he does send the other two a disapproving frown. How dare they make fun of Wei Ying, who is only understandably upset at the prospect of being alone and not finding romance.

“And shijie, of course! Jiang Cheng, wait until shijie hears about this, you bully.”

Jiang Wanyin snorts. “Wei Wuxian, jiejie is tired of your dumbass too, she’s just too nice to say it.”

Wei Ying gasps, scandalized. “How dare- She is not !”

“Aw…” Nie Huaisang coos. “I’m sure your kind and gentlemanly Hanguang Jun will be happy to keep you company until your person comes, Wei-xiong.”

“Yeah, he’ll always be there to comfort you.” Jiang Wanyin nods, and above Wei Ying’s head Lan Wangji shoots him a look , which is ignored in favor of Jiang Wanyin obviously attempting not to laugh again. “Won’t you, Lan Wangji?”

Let it be put on record that if not for his friendship with Nie Huaisang, and the fact that it would make Wei Ying and Jiang Yanli sad – Lan Wangji would have stood up and challenged Jiang Wanyin into a fight to the death, right then and there, in front of little innocent Ponyo. Sect politics be damned.

But he did not want to earn the ire of Nie Huaisang, who can and will weaponize dangerous childhood friend knowledge against him. He also did not want to upset Wei Ying – brilliant, kind Wei Ying – and Jiang Yanli – she always gives him tea after every night hunt; he kind of feels like she only deserves nice things – so Lan Wangji restrains himself and only nods.

“Yes.” he says, while deciding that perhaps he’ll go on an impromptu night hunt later and cut down some fierce corpses. To cope.

But then Wei Ying coos hopelessly and hugs his arm tighter – Lan Wangji is not sure if he still has that arm, really, seeing as he couldn’t feel it anymore.

“Ah, that’s my Lan Zhan, he will never betray me! Unlike you traitors, he is loyal and kind and sweet.”

“Indeed, he is.” Jiang Wanyin says, and oh no, he is being nice about Lan Wangji, and Lan Wangji does not feel good about that-

“Yes he is!” Wei Ying declares. “I will be lucky to have him as my friend for the rest of our lives!”

On second thought, maybe Lan Wangji should get up and fight Jiang Wanyin after all. To cope.



Lan Wangji remembers Nie Huaisang declaring that they are watching Mamma Mia! next, and he sat through the movie musical listening to Huaisang and Wei Ying singing along to all the songs. It’s a nice movie. It is ridiculous, but nice.

He remembers there being another movie, but by then, it was way past nine. Wangji doesn’t remember how he fell asleep, but now he’s waking up, feeling warm, but slightly uncomfortable. His body had woken him up, practically complaining, and then he realized why.

He is still on the couch. He had fallen asleep on the couch.

He had fallen asleep slouched on the couch with Wei Ying sprawled across his lap, thankfully with a pillow under his head. As his eyes trail further, he sees Jiang Wanyin also asleep on the other end of the couch, one leg dangling off the edge, the other tangled with his brother’s. Lan Wangji wonders how he’s still breathing, though, with who must be Nie Huaisang also asleep right on top of him, curled up like a cat and hogging what was supposed to be their shared blanket.

The TV is still on. Wangji would turn it off, but the remote is out of his reach. When he shifts, he realizes that his hands are tangled in Wei Ying’s hair. Carefully, he removes his hand, and Wei Ying groans and burrows into his pillow.

Lan Wangji does not know how they managed to sleep like this.

He should wake them up, or they’ll all end up sore in the morning. The sleeping bags and extra pillows are right there on the floor, so there’s no reason to complain about moving far.

Slowly, Wangji slips out from under Wei Ying, setting him down on the couch gently as he stands up.

He doesn’t even make it one step when his foot lands on an oily bowl of popcorn and he slips backwards. The bowl flies up and lands on Wei Ying’s face, waking him up, his involuntary kicking making Jiang Wanyin bolt upright in fight mode, grabbing the nearest object which is someone’s phone, while the Huaisang-shaped blanket mound on top of him rolls off and falls to the floor.

“What the fuck, Wei Wuxian!?”

“Owww…. who threw a… a bowl??? At me? I have oil in my hair? I HAVE OIL IN MY HAIR!

“What happened… A-Cheng, why did you push me off…”

They all stop when the TV is switched off.

“I am sorry.” Lan Wangji says putting the remote down, as all three turn to look at him. “I slipped on the bowl. You should use the sleeping blankets, or your back will hurt in the morning.”

They stare at him for a few groggy seconds before they all sigh and move. Jiang Wanyin manhandles Nie Huaisang back up the couch, then he trudges towards one of the sleeping bags and drags it back with him on the floor beside the couch before he grabs one of the stray pillows and practically collapses right there. Nie Huaisang aimlessly swats at Wei Ying until Wei Ying gets off the couch, and then he lies down and sleeps too.

Wei Ying and Lan Wangji stare at the two for a while, waiting for movement, but all they got was Nie Huaisang curling up into a ball again and Jiang Cheng reaching for another pillow nearby and hugging it.

“Ah, they’re knocked out.” Wei Ying says, laughing lightly. He looks at Wangji. “I think I need to wash my hair first.”

Wangji nods, and takes the oily bowl from him. “I will get a towel.”



While Wei Ying cleans up, Wangji picks up the used bowls, mugs and wrappers from all over the living room. He was only just beginning to wash the dishes when Wei Ying steps inside the kitchen.

“Oh no, sorry for making you clean up alone, Lan Zhan!” he hears the other say. “We could’ve done that in the morning, you know?”

“It is no trouble.” Wangji says, running the dishes under the cold water.

“You’re so responsible.” Wei Ying sighs, but he must not be in the mood for disagreement because he simply stands beside Wangji and grabs a dish rag. “I’ll dry the dishes. Then, we both go to sleep. Okay?”

It’s then that Wangji makes the mistake of looking at him. He almost drops the mug he’s washing as he takes in the sight of Wei Ying, with damp hair for once let down from his signature ponytail. He looks so soft and different like this, a light blue towel slung messily over his shoulders, wearing one of Wangji’s shirts.

“Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying blinks, then he smiles. “Are you okay? You’re sleepy aren’t you? It’s way past nine, Hanguang Jun…” he teases, nudging Wangji’s side. “C’mon, let’s finish this quick so we can get you to bed.”

It’s an effort to look away and focus back on washing the dishes. “Mn.”

They work methodically, Lan Wangji washing the dishes, then passing them to Wei Wuxian to wipe dry.

“Hey, Lan Zhan. Thanks for letting us crash here. We know it’s not really your thing.”

“Don’t mention it.” Lan Wangji says. “It was… pleasant.”

“You think so? You looked like you wanted to fight the TV at Mamma Mia.

“I was confused. In some places. But it is fine. It has a good message.”

“Yeah. It does.” Wei Ying says, laughing lightly. “But really. Thanks. We needed it.”

Wangji glances at him, brow furrowing a bit, curious. “Needed?”

“Uh… things… Well. Things weren’t… all okay, back at home, today. You know, parents. You love them but sometimes they… they’re not that easy to be with. We’ll be fine, of course! But we needed to do something else, just for tonight, so A-Sang suggested movie night and came over, a night early. Straight from school, all the way from Qinghe! The dedication… We don’t know how he convinced Mingjue-ge, or Nie-zongzhu.”

He shakes his head, but there’s a grateful smile on this face.

“So. That was the plan! We’ll still be home but at least it’ll take our mind off things. Then you said you’re all alone here, and we got the perfect excuse to actually get away, you know? Ah – what am I saying all this for…. I’m sorry, I’m rambling.”

“No.” Wangji says. “I understand.”

“Ah… Okay.”

Wangji finishes up washing the dishes, but stays standing beside his companion.

“So,” Wei Ying asks absently. “Lan Zhan… If we didn’t call movie night, you would’ve just… spent tonight all alone in this house?”

Wangji nods.

“That’s so sad, Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying looks at him, brows furrowed. “Next time, you call us, okay? We’ll come over! Or you can come over. Or we can go out, whatever.”


“You shouldn’t be all on your own, away from home like this, not when you have friends nearby.” Wei Ying continues. “But… I guess, I’m glad you’re comfortable enough in Yunmeng to be okay being alone.”

Wangji simply listens, and as Wei Ying is focused on his task, this gives him room to look, freely.

Which is why when Wei Ying looks towards him, their eyes meet easily. “I mean, are you?”

Wangji blinks.

“Comfortable? In Yunmeng? I never really asked. You must be homesick a lot…”

Wangji looks down for a while, thinking of an answer. He isn’t good with words, but…

But someone else is.

“Huaisang.” he starts.

Wei Ying tilts his head, curious. “Eh? A-Sang?”

“When we moved in.” he continues, recalling the words carefully. “He told me that… Yunmeng is a lovely place. It is far from home, but I will love it.”

“Aw.” Wei Ying grins. He puts away the last dish, and then the towel. “That’s our A-Sang. So dramatic.”


“So, do you?”

Wangji looks at him, slowly. “Yes?”

“Do you love Yunmeng now?” Wei Ying asks, still smiling.

Lan Wangji finds that he can look at that smile now, that it doesn’t distract him anymore, not as much as it did before. He is realizing that nowadays, whenever he sees that smile, he doesn’t want it gone anymore.

He wants it to stay.

“Yes.” Lan Wangji finally answers. “I do.”

The smile stays, as Wei Ying bids him good night, then goes to join Jiang Wanyin and Nie Huaisang sleeping in the living room.

The smile stays, as Lan Wangji goes to bed, and even after he closes his eyes and drifts off to sleep.





Story End Notes:

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