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Can I sleep with you?

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When Zhu Yi Long opens his eyes to find himself in the middle a vaguely familiar set piece his first thought was ‘I’m pretty sure we’re in the middle of filming Chongqi up in the mountains in the middle of nowhere.’

What is not familiar is the sudden ball of fire coming his way and this is not how filming usually goes.

‘Shen Wei!’

He hasn’t heard that tone in about a year, next thing he knows, he’s being pushed out of the way and there’s a warm body on top of him while said ball of fire collides and dissipates on the wall behind them.

The scene is almost familiar to him but at the same time it’s not possible, seeing that filming on this set wrapped up more than a year ago. Also there was no way the sfx team could have managed that in the budget.

The feeling of arms pulling him into a seated position and patting him worriedly pulls him back to the actual present and Zhu Yi Long blinks. He pinches himself. It hurts.

‘Shen Wei,’ Zhao Yun Lan calls again, staring deep into his eyes, brows furrowed. ’Are you alright, what happened?’

Panicked, Zhu Yi Long widens his eyes and thinks maybe. Just maybe this is a very convoluted variety show that his agency shoved him into and didn’t tell him. Maybe.

Zhu Yi Long gently brushes off Zhao Yun Lan’s hands, reassuring him that he’s alright, however Zhao Yun Lan is not convinced. Not even when Zhu Yi Long widens his eyes guilelessly before a long slow blink that usually gets him out of most difficult interview situations.

Instead he’s dragged back to the SID offices and he notes that they seem to go through proper streets instead of crossing sets. Also there is a disturbing lack of camera and background crew. The unsettling feeling curdles his belly but he squashes it down, there has to be a reasonable explanation for this.

Variety shows always have ridiculous budgets right?

Zhao Yun Lan leads him to over to the sofa before snapping at Zhu Hong to come over and to look over him. She gives him a once over and honestly, how much budget does this variety show have to hire the same cast and set?!

Zhu Yi Long repeats the same guileless look at her, maybe this time it’ll work. Work what he’s not quite sure but he still tries. Then she’s pulling Zhao Yun Lan over to the corner and then they both start whispering arguments while turning to look over at him, with Zhao Yun Lan giving an awkward wave.

Zhu Yi Long returns the awkward wave with a small smile. Slipping back into Shen Wei is almost a little too easy with all the set pieces. Zhu Hong notices them looking at each other before she’s tugging Zhao Yun Lan back into the argument.

He looks down at his hands and turns his hands out, if this was really the set on Guardian he’d turn his wrist this way and -- he jumps when he feels cold steel in his hand. The blade falls onto the floor, loud enough that everyone in the room turns towards him.

He can’t help it. He panics and the next thing he knows is that he finds himself in front of the closest shopping mall.

The first thing he does is make a beeline to purchase a new smartphone. He dials up Lao Bai’s number just so he can start yelling at him except the only answer he receives is the automated voice repeating over and over again that the number is not in service.

Zhu Yi Long looks down at the phone service and takes note of the small differences, a little too much detail for a variety show. Ignoring the fact that he’s just summoned a blade from thin air and literally teleported out of the SID office.

Look, deep down he’s always hoped maybe once things actually start looking up maybe, maybe if he’s lucky he’d be offered second lead to some qidian drama. Unfortunately this feels more like a danmei transmigration subplot.

Disheartened he unlocks his phone again and types into the search function ‘Hotpot near me.’

It pings five different locations and reviews at him.

He picks the closest 5 star review.

Hotpot first, then a nap and then maybe he’ll figure this out.

And some way to yell some more at Lao Bai.