It was 3:32 AM when the fire alarm rang through the entire dorm. Students poured out of the doors with a zombie’s shamble. If it was between burning to death and leaving their comfortable beds more than half of them were honestly tempted by the calm fires.
Wei WuXian stood outside on the grass in front of the door trying to get a view of the doors. At least it wasn’t a cold night. He was wearing a baggy t-shirt and his short sleeping shorts. His hair was in a worse state than usual and, with very little time to get out, he only managed to put on his crocs instead of shoes.
Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang made it out relatively quickly. Nie Huaisang looked decently put together, both for him and the hour. He was in his silky bathrobe (that he had bought with his brother’s money,) and his nice slippers. He had also managed to get out with his favorite fan too. Priorities.
Jiang Cheng looked like death was coming for him. The bags under his eyes were about to swallow his whole face, his hair wasn’t even up. He was in a t-shirt and some comfortable pants. He was wearing sneakers but didn’t seem to have any socks on.
They walked over to Wei WuXian.
“Well,” Wei WuXian said, “isn’t it a lovely night?”
“Die,” Jiang Cheng deadpanned. He never was a morning person.
“Do you think it’s a real fire?” Nie Huaisang said, his mouth obscured by the fan.
“Is it ever?” Wei WuXian replied.
More and more people came out of the building. Wen Ning showed up in his wonderful cat pajamas. He came over to the group but not too close as Jiang Cheng had murder in his eyes. Luo Qingyang left the building and looked around. Wei WuXian put up a hand and waved.
“MianMian! Over here! Does she not see me?”
“Oh, I think she sees you just fine,” Jiang Cheng said.
She looked back at Wei WuXian, sighed deeply, and walked over.
“Any idea what’s going on?” she asked.
Jin GuangYao, Lan XiChen, and Nie MingJue all left the dorm together. Nie MingJue was shirtless and didn’t seem to mind the entire dorm looking at his killer abs. Lan XiChen had on a nice set of white pajamas. As for Jin GuangYao, maybe it was the fact that he was stood between those two giants, or maybe it was because he didn’t have on his usual hat and boots, but he looked even shorter than usual. He was, however, wearing a stunning silk romper and, damn, did Wei WuXian want to steal that look.
Those three migrated close to the group. Nie Huaisang stood a little bit behind Jiang Cheng as his brother got closer. Nie MingJue looked him up and down anyways though.
“You took the fucking fan?” he asked. He wasn’t mad, just disappointed.
“Don’t be like that, Eldest Brother.” Jin GuangYao smirked.
“We should not fight,” Lan XiChen said, getting between them with a smile.
Jin ZiXuan came out of the building wearing his normal clothes, and despite the looks that Wei WuXian and Jiang Cheng were giving him, he came over to the group.
“What’s going on here?”
“Shut up,” Jiang Cheng snapped.
Wei WuXian rolled his eyes but then looked back to the dorm. There weren’t a lot of people coming out anymore. Then, his face lit up. Lan WangJi walked out in a white bathroom and white bunny slippers, somehow glowing at 3:30 in the morning.
“Lan Zhan!” Wei WuXian yelled. He waved, jumping up and down to make extra sure Lan WangJi saw him. He came over and the group was fully assembled.
“I have an exam tomorrow,” Luo Qingyang complained. “This sucks.”
“It’s not ideal,” Lan XiChen said.
Jin GuangYao flipped his hair. “I need my sleep.”
Nie MingJue stifled a laugh.
“Do you have something to say, Eldest Brother?”
“I can deal with you later. Huaisang, where did you get that robe?”
“I..uh...I don’t know!”
Wei WuXian leaned his head against Lan WangJi’s shoulder and bathed in the smell of sandalwood that radiated off of him. “Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, it looks like we’re having the world’s crankiest pajama party, eh?”
“Who even set off the alarm?” Luo Qingyang said and hell was about to break loose. Everyone looked at each other with a dangerous suspicion, waiting for someone else to throw the first stone.
Nie MingJue was, unsurprisingly, bravest. “Bet it was the damned Wens.”
“Are they even in the dorm, right now?” Jin ZiXuan asked. No one had seen Wen Chao leave.
“One is,” Jiang Cheng said with a glare to Wen Ning.
“Hey,” Wei WuXian said, “Wen Ning wouldn’t do that.”
“He wouldn’t?!” Jin ZiXuan said. “I still have a scar from the last time I saw him.”
“I’m so sorry about that.”
“I’m not saying you deserved it,” Jiang Cheng scoffed.
“Oh, so now you’re on his side,” Jin ZiXuan yelled.
“I’m never on the Wen’s side!”
Jin GuangYao cleared his throat. “You’re temper seems a little... firey today, Jiang WanYin.”
Jiang Cheng slowly turned. “Just what are you implying!”
“Nothing at all.”
“You do punch the walls sometimes,” Nie Huaisang said sheepishly.
“The alarms here are very sensitive. A strong vibration might be able to set them off,” Jin GuangYao said.
“I didn’t punch anything tonight!”
“Yet,” Wei WuXian added. “The night is still young.”
“Shut up, Wei Ying!”
“Wait,” Nie Huaisang muttered. “Brother also punches walls when he’s upset.”
Wei WuXian looked at him. “Say that louder.”
“I’d rather not.”
“Okay. Everyone! Huaisang says that Nie MingJue also punches walls!”
Everyone looked at Nie Huaisang.
“Huaisang,” Nie MingJue said slowly. “Are you accusing me?”
“I- I don’t know! I don’t know!”
“You seem tense today, Eldest Brother,” Jin GuangYao said. “When was the last time you blew off steam?”
“Please,” Lan XiChen said. “Let’s calm down.”
“You’ve been awfully quiet, Lan XiChen,” Luo Qingyang said.
“Is that an accusation?” Wei WuXian added, playfully.
“No,” she shut him down.
“Maybe it should be,” Jiang Cheng said, crossing his arms.
“Second Brother would never,” Jin GuangYao said.
“He is always cooking in the kitchen, though,” Jiang Cheng and took a step closer. “Maybe you were getting a midnight snack, Lan XiChen.”
“I wasn’t. I was asleep.”
“All Lans go to bed early,” Wei WuXian said.
“I can vouch for Second Brother; he was asleep.”
“Ah ha!” Wei WuXian said. “If you can vouch for him, then you weren’t asleep.”
“Wei WuXian, why would I set a fire?”
“I can think of a reason or two,” Nie MingJue said and crossed his arms.
“Eldest Brother, you know me. I would never,” Jin GuangYao said with such overexaggerated offense.
“If punching a wall could trigger it, all those hair products of yours could too.”
Jin ZiXuan looked to the group but fixated on Luo Qingyang. “And what about you? We don’t know anything about you . How do we know you didn’t do it?”
“I’m the one who asked.”
“The perfect bluff.”
She rolled her eyes. “This is so dumb.”
“Hang on,” Jiang Cheng said. “There’s one person here who doesn’t belong.”
He pointed the finger at Jin ZiXuan, the only person not in pajamas.
“Everyone else looks like they were in bed, but not you. What were you doing, then, Jin ZiXuan?”
Fire trucks’ sirens went off dramatically as the trucks approached the building.
“I don’t answer to you, Jiang WanYin.”
“It would clear your name,” Lan XiChen said.
“I was doing homework, alright?” He held up a hand that was stained grey on one side. “Look, I’m still covered in ink.”
“Alright, the story checks out.”
Wei WuXian nodded then turned his attention to Nie Huaisang who had been hiding both behind Jiang Cheng and his fan the entire time.
“Huaisang, what about you?”
“What- what about me?”
“It’s always the quiet ones.”
“As if you’re one to talk,” Jin ZiXuan said. “Why are we even asking this, we know Wei WuXian did it!”
“He has broken many rules,” Lan XiChen said softly.
“Quite the troublemaker,” Jin GuangYao said.
“Look, Wei WuXian isn’t perfect,” Luo Qingyang said, “but I don’t think he did it.”
“You have a crush on him; you’re biased.”
“Oh come on,” Wei WuXian said. “Huaisang, Wen Ning, you know I didn’t do it.”
“You did just accuse me,” Huaisang said.
“I believe you,” Wen Ning said with a small smile.
“Well, no one believes the Wen,” Jiang Cheng said.
“Jiang Cheng, come on. You know me.”
Jiang rested his chin on his hand as if he were deep in thought. “Yeah, and that doesn’t help your case.”
“You were the first one outside.”
Everyone gasped. Wei WuXian almost fell back but was caught by Lan WangJi. Even his own brother was turned against him. He looked up into the beautiful eyes of Lan WangJi as he wrapped himself in the strong scent of sandalwood.
“Lan Zhan, you know I’m innocent, don’t you?”
“See? Do you believe him?”
“Was that a yes?!” Jin ZiXuan asked. “That could’ve been a no! That could’ve been anything.”
“It was a yes,” Lan XiChen translated.
The firemen came over as the sirens switched off. “Excuse me, the alarm was triggered by incense in room 102. Any of you live there?”
Jaws dropped. Heads turned.
102 was Lan WangJi’s room.
“Me,” Lan WangJi said. Everyone else was in stunned silence.
“Can I have a word with you?” the fireman said.
“Mn,” Lan WangJi nodded and headed off.
The group looked at each other, all the other students were headed back in but the group wasn’t moving.
“Well,” Wei WuXian said, “Good night, everyone.”
And he walked off and over to his boyfriend, Lan WangJi: the arsonist.