FANDOM: Mo Dao Zu Shi
PAIRING: Lan WangJi / Wei WuXian
NOTE: Modern AU; High school students Lan WangJi x Wei WuXian; both 15; light-hearted slice-of-life.
A/N: Daily update until the end of the story.
A story of two high school boys learning how to take care of an injured kitten.
Luckily, the kitten didn’t seem at all unreceptive to be placed into Lan XiChen’s care. Lan WangJi entrusted the rest of the canned food to his brother but Lan XiChen scowled a tad when he read the nutrient information on the canned food, proceeded to rub gently on the kitten’s stomach, before he put the food aside.
“These were everything it’s been eating since yesterday?” he asked Lan WangJi.
Lan WangJi nodded as he said, “And some milk.”
Lan XiChen closed his eyes, pondering. “It seems to be recovering from a broken leg too. I don’t think it’s a good idea to feed it canned food all the time. Some variations with better nutritional values might help it better,” he suggested after.
“Wei Ying suggested scrambled eggs,” Lan WangJi added.
“Oh? Scrambled eggs sound good. But why didn’t you feed it?” Lan XiChen asked.
Lan WangJi pursed his lips. “We… didn’t know how to cook.”
Lan XiChen broke into a chuckle. “I guess it’s a good thing you didn’t try.”
Lan XiChen scrutinised his brother for a bit before he smiled and said, “Or do you want to try now?”
Lan WangJi looked at Lan XiChen, expression as impassive as ever, without a word.
Lan WangJi stood on the crossroad, not moving an inch. He’d have everything done and prepared in an hour’s time. His blazer was neat, his appearance as sleek as it ever was. A few students on their way to school greeted him, in which he responded to all of them with a fleet nod. He looked at his watch. It’s about an hour before classes started and by Wei WuXian’s standard time of arriving in school, he’s probably still taking his own time and would only leave the house fifteen minutes before the bell rang.
It’d take ten minutes to walk to school. But if Wei WuXian ran, which he always did, then he’d be able to reach school by five minutes, just on time to catch Lan WangJi’s cold glare as he dashed passed the school gate at the nick of time. Lan WangJi never knew why he does this on purpose all the time. Why can’t he come earlier? By that, he wouldn’t need to rush, and he wouldn’t need to face Lan WangJi’s Cold Prince vibe either.
But Wei WuXian never answered that question of his no matter how many times he was to ask. Eventually, Lan WangJi stopped asking.
Now, though. He knew he was way too early. He probably should go to school first. But Wei WuXian had told him to bring the kitten with him and he didn’t do it either. He felt a tad bad for that. So he thought, perhaps then he could see Wei WuXian for himself and perhaps… explain himself before Wei WuXian caught him.
He wasn’t sure if he was ready to face a disappointed Wei WuXian.
Heaving a sigh under his breath, he turned towards an opposite direction where his house was and paced down the path — leading towards Wei WuXian’s house.
Wei WuXian’s house was about the same size as his own; not overly opulent, not overly modest either. They’d been staying in this neighbourhood for as long as they could remember and naturally, Lan WangJi knew just the right place to find the spare key the Wei family would always sneak in the mailbox in any case someone forgot to bring their keys out with them. He fumbled in the mailbox and took just two seconds for his fingers to make contact with a cold metal-something that he knew was the keys right away.
He’s in no position to be telling another family what they should be doing but this kind of sneaky gesture wasn’t that hard to be deciphered then taken advantage of especially by anyone who held malice intentions. Luckily, Lan WangJi wasn’t one of them. Despite so, he’d advised Wei WuXian subtly a few times, but Wei WuXian simply brushed him off saying that they didn’t have anything of value to steal from anyway, and besides, the community had always been peaceful and calm, there’s just no way and things will happen.
Lan WangJi said no more after that.
Using the keys, he opened the front gate, strolled right towards the front door, and easily opened it too. The inside of the house was quiet as he entered. Figuring that Wei WuXian might have gone to catch some sleep before he got himself ready for school, he made himself at home, laid his bag on the couch, and was about to walk towards the kitchen when he heard the sound of a door closing from the floor above. By the time he looked up, he’d met eyes with Wei WuXian. Both of them were stunned, light-coloured orbs met dark orbs, as they stood rooted on the spot.
Wei WuXian was half-naked, only with a towel hanging around his waist. His hair was a mess, and he had a toothbrush in his mouth too. His eyes were wide when he saw Lan WangJi. It was Lan WangJi who had looked away first, coughing mutely as pink rose to the tips of his ears.
“L-Lan—“ Wei WuXian tried to speak but upon noticing that he had a mouth full of toothpaste, he ran back upstairs. Lan WangJi heard a door opening, then the sound of water, and soon enough, Wei WuXian was running down to the foot of the stairs again, grinning brightly.
“I knew it could only be you but I didn’t think you’d actually come so it still surprised,” he said. “Why are you here? I told you I’d go to school by myself.”
“How do you know it’s me?” Lan WangJi asked.
“Of course I know! I—“ His eyes widened, he clapped a hand on his mouth. With an awkward chuckle, he scratched the back of his head and then, finally, realised that he’s still half-naked. There’s nothing below his towel, he’s not even wearing underwear. The towel was so thick he doubted Lan WangJi could even tell but it’s still so embarrassing to be standing right in front of a person who’s deemed to be a role model for students, while he’s, well, being indecent.
Coughing out loud, he pulled a beam and said, “Anyway, now that you’re here, take a seat first! I assume you came to make sure that I reach school on time, aren’t you? Tsk, tsk, give me some dignity, Lan Zhan. I know I’m always one of the last to arrive but ask yourself, have I ever come late to school?”
“But since Prefect Lan came all the way to catch me to school, I guess I can be a good student just to return Prefect Lan kindness and try as hard as I can to be a role model like Prefect Lan too just for one day. How’s that?” he ended with a wink.
Lan WangJi wanted to say tons of no to everything Wei WuXian had said but for some reason, he had this nagging feeling that Wei WuXian was trying to escape from him so he held those words in his throat and simply watched as Wei WuXian throttled out of sight, sprinting back to the second floor.
Lan WangJi’s gaze lingered on the floor above, and then, his attention landed on the stack of books scattered all over the floor, a few clothes lying around, before he shook his head with yet another sigh under his breath.
By the time Wei WuXian came down, now properly dressed in his uniform, he was immediately greeted by a pleasant scent that had his stomach growling. Needless to say, it’s definitely from the kitchen, and, needless to say, there could only be one person who’s the cause of this scent.
With his curiosity piqued, he crept towards the kitchen, noticing how his entire living room was spic and clean while he’s on the way, and then, unsurprisingly, he found Lan WangJi standing right in front of the stove, his blazer taken off, hanging loosely on a chair, his sleeves rolled up, as he focused on something on the stove.
Wei WuXian snuffed the air a few times, pulled a smile, then walked towards Lan WangJi. “Lan Zhan?”
Lan WangJi almost dropped the plate in his hand but thankfully for his sturdy strength, he managed to secure it in time before he could drop it for real.
“This is…” Wei WuXian peeked into the pan. As soon as he made out what exactly was in the pan, he chuckled out loud. “Scrambled eggs? You— You actually know how to make scrambled eggs? Why didn’t you tell me earlier? We could’ve made food for Fluffball yesterday without worrying about burning down your house!”A faint tint of pink shaded Lan WangJi’s earlobes as he avoided Wei WuXian’s eyes. Wei WuXian was about to pick up one small piece of the scrambled eggs then, seeing that Lan WangJi wasn’t intending to answer him as usual, before Lan WangJi grasped him on his wrist with a muted voice,
“It’s not ready yet.”
“Hm? Doesn’t matter! I just want to try how these precious scrambled eggs cooked by the ever-so-pristine Prefect Lan taste like!” Wei WuXian insisted.
“It’s…” Lan WangJi struggled. He took Wei WuXian’s hands away and repeated the same words. “It’s not ready yet. Wait outside.”
Seeing that Lan WangJi was persisting, Wei WuXian decided to take a step back. “Okay then. I’ll prepare for the table. Take your time, alright? I’m ready anyway, we can go once we’re done eating.”
He ran towards the door and when Lan WangJi thought that he was gone for real, he let loose a muted sigh when he heard Wei WuXian’s voice again from the door, causing his fingers to shiver on the bowl.
“By the way, thanks for tidying up the place for me. I, er, didn’t know you’re coming so I didn’t clean up. I’m not always like this though. It’s just that, yesterday, you know, weー I mean, I adopted Fluffball, and then, it was just a mess after that.”
Lan WangJi stole a glance from the corner of his eyes and caught sight of Wei WuXian poking his head from behind the door, grinning at him.
He shook his head. With another beam, Wei WuXian left. This time, for real.
Wei WuXian has had the table set up by the time Lan WangJi carried two plates of scrambled eggs into the dining space. He was already sitting on the chair, looking like he’s highly anticipating what he was about to taste like it’s the most luxurious food ever made in history. Honestly, it made Lan WangJi feel a tad insecure. But what’s done was done and there’s no way he could take it back and throw the food away and act like nothing had happened. Especially not when Wei WuXian’s eyes were twinkling and he’s staring so enthusiastically at the humbly made plates of food in Lan WangJi’s hands.
Swallowing down his throat, Lan WangJi places the plates on the table; one, he pushed it towards Wei WuXian, the other, he took for himself.
He’d tried the taste itself. It tasted pretty well, at least on his own taste buds. But Wei WuXian was always one who preferred heavier flavours so perhaps… perhaps he’d find it too bland for his taste? Feeling more and more insecurity budding on his chest, Lan WangJi curled his fingers on the table and spoke with immense difficulty,
“Do you have sauces in the house?”
Wei WuXian was about to dig in when he heard Lan WangJi’s question. Tilting his head, he stared at Lan WangJi with an expression filled with nothing but curiosity before his mouth rounded into an “oh!”.
He stood up. “Are you okay with chilli sauce? I should have it but I don’t think we have anything other than that. You know, my family is, er, they lean towards the heavy side of flavours. If you prefer ketchup, I can run down to the shop and get one, though. I think they should be opened by now.”
Lan WangJi shook his head. “Chili sauce is fine,” he said.
But when Wei WuXian took it over, he wasn’t using the sauce at all. Instead, he simply placed it in front of Lan WangJi and was about to start on his food when Lan WangJi spoke again,
“Are you not using it?” he asked.
“Huh? Me?” Wei WuXian blurted, slightly taken away. Then, he waved a hand, beaming. “I’m fine, I’m fine. I want to taste the food you made in its original taste.”
“Won’t it taste… too bland?” Lan WangJi finally brought himself to ask the question, no longer able to sustain the pressure of keeping doubts to himself.
“Even if it is,” Wei WuXian said, scooping up a spoon full of eggs and stuffed it into his mouth. “It’s food you made. So I’ll enjoy it nevertheless,” he continued before his eyes widened.
“Wow, delicious! Lan Zhan! I can’t believe you know how to make such good scrambled eggs! How come you never told me?! Can you make me more next time? And perhaps we can feed some to Fluffball too! Spill it, what else do you know how to make? Do you know how to make fried rice? Or, or, erm, sausages or… oh, do you know how to make sunny-side up?”
Lan WangJi can’t bring himself to see Wei WuXian in the eyes any further. Staring at his own plate of food, he uttered under his breath,
“Don’t speak when eating.”
“Oh, right, I forgot to ask — where’s the cat?”
Lan WangJi’s hand froze on the gate. He didn’t answer Wei WuXian. Wei WuXian wasn’t pressing it on him either. He let him take his time, as he always did. It’s only when they’d reached the crossroad when Lan WangJi finally answered his question,
“Brother is taking care of it.”
“Oh. Is XiChen-ge okay with it? Ah, right, that reminds me too. I bumped into him when I was heading back earlier. He seems to be in a good mood.”
“I hope Fluffball likes him then,” Wei WuXian said.
“En,” Lan WangJi answered.
“Hahaha! What’s that ‘en’ for? It likes him? Or, you hope it likes him too?” Wei WuXian laughed.
“It likes him,” Lan WangJi said.
“Great!” Wei WuXian cheered, crossing his arms behind his head. “I knew it’ll like you— I mean, your brother.”
Lan WangJi gave him a suspicious look, having a hunch that there’s something behind Wei WuXian’s words, but he didn’t probe on further.