Not Just Netflix and Chill (Or Lan Zhan’s Lack of Grasp of Euphemisms)
The evening Lan Wangji – Lan Zhan to friends, or rather friend, being all of one, being all of Wei Ying – accidentally overhears the heart’s desire of his heart’s desire is a cold winter’s day, the first snow falling outside.
He’s opened the window slightly, airing the rooms of his apartment after a week away on a far too tiresome business trip, when a familiar voice drifts through.
“I miss Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying declares, and Lan Zhan goes very still.
“As you’ve said every day this week,” Jiang Cheng’s voice says, unmistakably Jiang Cheng from the annoyance in it. “He’ll be back tomorrow. Stop whining and gazing longingly at Lan Wangji’s door, you idiot. Sister and the peacock are expecting us.”
“You have no sympathies for my heartbreak,” Wei Ying declares dramatically.
“Brother Wei,” Nie Huaisang says cheerfully, another voice Lan Zhan knows far too well. “Still no luck getting Lan Wangji to Netflix and chill with you?”
Jiang Cheng makes a retching noise. Wei Ying makes a stuttering noise.
“I don’t….!” Wei Ying protests, but Nie Huaisang only laughs and Wei Ying stutters again and groans and sighs. “How do you know… I want to….”
“It’s hard not to know,” Nie Huaisang says merrily. He sounds terribly amused by everything.
“Too hard,” Jiang Cheng says grumpily. “Some of us would prefer never knowing, but you can’t even give me the joy of blissful ignorance, you shameless idiot.”
There is the sound of light scuffle, as if Jiang Cheng and Wei Ying are lightly hitting each other, as they are wont to do, Lan Zhan knows. He’s certainly observed it often enough to easily picture it just from the sounds.
“No sympathy, Jiang Cheng,” Wei Ying whines after a while. “Don’t you want your brother to have his heart’s desire?”
Jiang Cheng makes another retching noise. “Netflix and chill with Lan Wangji? No.”
Nie Huaisang laughs. Wei Ying makes another whine, then there are sounds of footsteps in the snow, growing distant, and Lan Zhan looks down at his hands, brow furrowed. Netflix and chill? Wei Ying wants to watch Netflix with him and relax? That is his heart’s desire? It sounds slightly odd, but Lan Zhan remembers Wei Ying once telling him that Jiang Yanli, Wei Ying’s adopted sister, was the only one Wei Ying felt he could truly relax with, and now that Jiang Yanli has married, perhaps Wei Ying misses being able to relax and not having to pretend. (Pretending to be less than he is to Madame Yu, pretending to be everything he can to uncle Jiang, pretending to be unbothered by all the angry remarks Jiang Cheng whips at him – Wei Ying has never told him how he has to pretend with the rest of his family, but Lan Zhan still knows.)
Perhaps Wei Ying feels able to be himself with Lan Zhan just as Lan Zhan feels more himself with Wei Ying than he feels with anyone else except brother. That… That makes Lan Zhan’s heart ache a little, and he looks up with determination.
Lan Zhan wants Wei Ying to have anything, everything, has since Wei Ying persistently annoyed his way into Lan Zhan’s heart when they were 15 and at school together and apparently, everything includes Netflix and chill with him.
Lan Zhan will make that happen.
“Lan Zhan!” Wei Ying calls out happily that morning, and Lan Zhan turns around to see Wei Ying practically bounce up to him, eyes bright and smile brighter, warming Lan Zhan in ways he tries not to dwell too much on.
“Wei Ying,” he says, and Wei Ying’s smile grows even brighter and happier. They fall into step by each other as they walk through the park to the two twin office buildings, one housing Gusu Lan and one housing Yunmeng Jiang.
“Your uncle sends you away on too many business trips,” Wei Ying says after a moment. “I was bored without you, Lan Zhan! Lunch is not the same without you, even if your brother stopped by every day at lunchtime. Isn’t he really busy, by the way?”
“Hn,” Lan Zhan says. Lan Xichen is tremendously busy, yes, but when Wangji asked him to make sure Wei Ying ate well for lunch while he was gone, Lan Xichen had declared himself more than happy to. “Back now.”
Wei Ying grins. “I’ll see you for lunch?”
“Hn,” Lan Zhan says. He glances over at Wei Ying, his heart fluttering slightly. “Come to dinner tonight.”
Wei Ying glances over at him, his eyes lighting up. He usually comes to dinner at least once a week nowadays, sometimes Lan Xichen joining as well, and each time, Wei Ying seems to very much enjoy himself, even if he snuck spices with him to the meals after the first dinner and only stopped when Lan Zhan bought an extensive spice rack he only uses when Wei Ying visits.
“Would love to,” Wei Ying says happily, taking several steps towards Yunmeng Jiang’s offices before twirling around to grin. “See you at lunch and dinner, Lan Zhan!”
Lan Zhan watches him go before pulling out his phone. He has a few things to arrange before dinner.
Wei Ying shows up early, practically bursting with energy as he stands on Lan Zhan’s doorstep, snowflakes clinging to his hair and lashes, sparkling slightly, and Lan Zhan feeling slightly dazed by the sight, as he often does, and it takes him a full second to remember to step away to allow Wei Ying to enter.
“Smells good,” Wei Ying remarks as they step into the kitchen. “Spicy!”
“New recipe,” Lan Zhan says. “Brother recommended.”
“For a man who doesn’t like spicy food, your brother sure recommends a lot of spicy recipes to you,” Wei Ying comments.
“Are you sure he doesn’t secretly love spicy food?”
Wei Ying laughs. “I’m glad I found the only Lan that actually appreciates spicy food!”
“Hn,” Lan Zhan says, which isn’t technically a lie. He doesn’t actually like spicy food, but he appreciates it for how much Wei Ying loves it.
Wei Ying smiles again, glancing around, and pauses as his gaze moves into the living room. “Lan Zhan? You got a new couch and a new television screen?”
Wei Ying blinks. “Huh. Looks good.”
“Subscribed to Netflix too,” Lan Zhan adds after a moment, and Wei Ying whips around, eyes wide.
“You…. Subscribed… to… Netflix,” Wei Ying says, and his voice sounds odd. “Haha, are you hoping to bring someone home to Netflix and chill?”
“You,” Lan Zhan says, and Wei Ying’s cheeks immediately flush. His lips move, but no sound comes out. Concerned, Lan Zhan takes a step closer. “Wei Ying?”
Wei Ying just stares at him. His expression is a confused mix of emotions Lan Zhan can’t quite sort out, flickering from one to another too fast. “Me?”
“Hn,” Lan Zhan says. “With Wei Ying.”
“Netflix and chill with me,” Wei Ying says. He swallows. “Lan Zhan, are you sure?”
“Sure,” Lan Zhan says, and Wei Ying closes his eyes, licking his lips.
“Found a very good documentary about music,” Lan Zhan goes on, puzzled at Wei Ying’s reaction. Did he not want this after all? “Very relaxing.”
“Relaxing,” Wei Ying says. He looks down. “Oh. Oh. Netflix and chill. Netflix and relax. Oh.”
“Wei Ying?” Lan Zhan says again. “Do you not want to?”
“Oh, I want,” Wei Ying says, and his voice is odd again. He exhales, then looks up with a bright smile that doesn’t reach his eyes. “Sounds great, Lan Zhan. Anything we do together is great.”
“Mn,” Lan Zhan says softly. It truly is.
Wei Ying falls asleep on his shoulder half an hour into the episode about guqin techniques, hair tumbling around his face, and Lan Zhan lets him sleep, finding the warmth of him, the smell of him, the sound of him, the feeling of him pressed against Lan Zhan, far too relaxing to move.
If this is Netflix and chill, Lan Zhan thinks he might want a lifetime of it.
It becomes a new routine after that. Dinner at least once a week, as they have since meeting up again after university, and watching Netflix together afterwards, usually a program of Lan Zhan’s choosing as Wei Ying never seems to care all that much what they watch.
They watch a series about the art of calligraphy, an episode about the music of the dizi, a documentary about traditional sword fighting, and far too many episodes of a show about a vet, simply because it features rabbits quite often.
Wei Ying always seems so charmed by Lan Zhan’s admitted love of rabbits (an admission it took Wei Ying several years to needle out of him), grinning in delight whenever Lan Zhan feels his face soften at a rabbit appearing onscreen.
“You should get a rabbit,” Wei Ying says one night, pressed against Lan Zhan, as he always seems to end up being. “No, two rabbits, so they always have each other.”
“Hn,” Lan Zhan says softly. He has considered that. They were not allowed pets when living with their uncle, but he lives on his own now, and can make his own choices. He does want rabbits. He wants… Oh, he wants, and he glances down at Wei Ying’s face. “One day.”
Wei Ying lights up at that. “Will you let me help pick them?”
Wei Ying beams, taking his hand, and Lan Zhan feels a sharp jolt as their fingers intertwine. Lifting his eyes back to the screen, but he finds himself not really watching it as Wei Ying’s hand remain in his, warm and soft.
It is a week later when Lan Zhan walks into Yunmeng Jiang’s office, looking for Wei Ying to invite him to dinner at Lan Xichen’s, only to find Wei Ying not in his office. For a moment, he considers merely sending a text instead, but he likes giving out invitations in person, as that allows him to watch Wei Ying smile, smile at him, just at him. Wei Ying smiles often, and at many, and Lan Zhan tries not to mind that, but he still loves the smiles Wei Ying only gives him most of all.
So, he finds himself heading to Jiang Cheng’s office, reasoning that Wei Ying is probably there.
He is right, he discovers, hearing voices as he approaches. Jiang Cheng sounds particularly annoyed, whereas Wei Ying sounds… Sad?
“He doesn’t think of me like that, Jiang Cheng,” Wei Ying says.
“Of course he does!” Jiang Cheng. “Also, ew, yuck, he does.”
Wei Ying sighs. “Lan Zhan just thinks of me as a friend.”
Lan Zhan goes very still. He does think of Wei Ying as a friend – his one friend, his best friend – but not just. Never just. Wei Ying was always more than that to him. He just wasn’t sure if… didn’t quite dare to hope… that he was more than that to Wei Ying.
“The hell he does,” Jiang Cheng says. “I hate myself for saying this, since ew, gross, but just snog him already. You’re shameless enough for that.”
There is the sound of something being thrown. Wei Ying at Jiang Cheng, Lan Zhan guesses.
“I can’t, Jiang Cheng,” Wei Ying says miserably. “If I kiss him and he doesn’t want that, what am I going to do? I have to be… I have to be sure. I can’t risk… You don’t understand, Jiang Cheng.”
Lan Zhan finds himself nodding, throat dry. It is the same reason he hasn’t just kissed Wei Ying already, after all. He couldn’t risk what he already had – Wei Ying’s renewed presence in his life was far too precious after their years apart during university, and he didn’t think…
“I understand that you two act so indecently with each other you should come with an age restriction, and you’re telling me Lan Wangji actually wants to sit down and watch Netflix with you to relax?”
Is that not what Netflix and chill means, Lan Zhan thinks distantly, his mind adrift in a sudden deluge of emotions.
“He does,” Wei Ying says protests. “He genuinely does. Anyway, I actually like watching Netflix with him.”
“He probably picks shows as boring as he is,” Jiang Cheng says darkly.
“Lan Zhan is not boring,” Wei Ying says hotly. “He is fascinating and fun and really, really great, and I really, really like him.”
Lan Zhan feels his ears grow hot. That’s how Wei Ying feels?
“And you really, really, really want to actually, ew, Netflix and chill with him,” Jiang Cheng adds, and makes another retching noise.
“… Yes,” Wei Ying says, voice low, and Lan Zhan feels his heart fall at how miserable Wei Ying sounds.
Quietly, he slips away, mind racing, and heart racing even more.
“Brother,” Lan Zhan says as he walks into the office, and Lan Xichen looks up, smiling pleasantly.
“Wangji,” he greets. “Did Wei Wuxian agree to dinner tonight?”
“Did not ask,” Lan Zhan says. “Brother, I…”
Lan Xichen looks at him, nodding slightly as if realizing Lan Zhan is feeling overwhelmed. He has always been good at that, at reading Lan Zhan and understanding, understanding him better than Lan Zhan sometimes thinks he understands himself.
“What does ‘Netflix and chill’ usually entail?” Lan Zhan finally asks. He thinks he knows the answer, but he still wishes to have it confirmed. He cannot afford another wrong assumption, not when it makes Wei Ying miserable.
Lan Xichen blinks once, eyes gentle as he meets Lan Zhan’s gaze. “I believe it is considered an euphemism for sexual activity.”
Lan Zhan just nods slightly, swallowing. Wei Ying wants… wants… with him.
“Wangji,” Lan Xichen says softly. “Why don’t you tell me what has happened between you and Wei Wuxian?”
“Brother,” he manages to say, and Lan Xichen’s smile softens. “You knew?”
“I have known a long time,” Lan Xichen says simply, and his voice holds no disapproval, no judgement, only gentleness and love, and Lan Zhan feels a surge of affection and love so strong he can’t find the words for it, can only look at his brother and see his gaze soften as Lan Xichen sees, as he has always done, what Lan Zhan can’t find the words for.
One dinner and one concise and not very detailed explanation later (but Lan Xichen still hearing all too well what isn’t said), Lan Xichen brews them both tea and as they sit together by the kitchen counter, hums softly.
“Brother,” Lan Zhan says after a moment. “I… I don’t just want… I…”
“You have been courting him for over a year in your very Wangji way,” Lan Xichen says gently. “You’ve loved him even longer. I know. I’ve noticed. You want a future with him, not just a night.”
“I want to marry Wei Ying one day,” Lan Zhan says, and it feels strangely freeing to voice it, to speak his heart’s desire so plainly after feeling it for so long.
Lan Xichen smiles at him. “He makes you happy, Wangji, and for that, I will be happy to see you wed when the times comes.”
“Even if uncle is not?”
“Even if uncle is not.”
Their gazes meet in understanding – they both love their uncle, but they both know that their uncle doesn’t really know or understand them, and never has. He always saw what he wanted them to be, not what they were.
“Thank you, brother,” Lan Zhan says solemnly. He means it. He is far more grateful for his brother than such simple words could convey, but they are the best he has.
Lan Xichen smiles again, taking a sip of the tea. “Now, for you and Wei Wuxian…”
Lan Zhan waits, trusting his brother to know, to advise, to offer the way forward.
“I believe Jiang Cheng had the right idea,” Lan Xichen says, eyes bright, amused and fond as Lan Zhan purses his lips at the idea of listening to anything Jiang Cheng has to say. “Kiss him, Wangji. Be shameless enough for that.”
Lan Zhan swallows. “Hn.”
A day later, Lan Zhan’s heart is thundering loudly in his chest when he opens the door that Friday evening, revealing a smiling Wei Ying, whose smile does nothing to calm his heartbeat.
“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying says happily. Now that he listens, Lan Zhan thinks he might hear the faintest hint of longing in his voice as well.
He swallows. “Wei Ying.”
Wei Ying tilts his head slightly, as if picking up something in Lan Zhan’s voice. “Lan Zhan?”
“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan says again. He shifts to allow Wei Ying to enter and hang up his coat, closing the door behind him. Wei Ying gives him another curious glance, then walks into the kitchen and stares.
There are flowers on the counter, and soft music fills the room, a dizi and guqin duet, and the smell of lotus root and pork soup fills the room. Lan Zhan hasn’t wanted to serve it yet, wanting to perfect it first, but tonight is special, and Jiang Yanli convinced him it was more than good enough and that Wei Ying would love it the way Lan Zhan cooked it just as much as he loved Jiang Yanli’s way.
Wei Ying says nothing for a moment, then turns around, eyes wide. “Lan Zhan? You learned to cook lotus root and pork soup?”
“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying says. He sounds a little choked. “I can’t believe you learned to make that just for me.”
“For you,” Lan Zhan repeats. “All for you. Only you.”
Wei Ying’s eyes go even wider. He looks almost hopeful, but also almost afraid, and Lan Zhan remembers his expression that night, when for a moment Wei Ying must have thought he was actually getting his heart’s desire, only to realize seconds later that no, he would not, and oh, Lan Zhan’s heart aches with that, knowing his misunderstanding caused that.
He can’t let Wei Ying misunderstand again.
He steps forward, kisses Wei Ying as he’s wanted to since he was 15, and finds no shame in it, only joy. Wei Ying’s lips are still slightly cold from being outside, but he caresses them with his own until they feel warm, hearing Wei Ying’s breath catch more and more with each brush of lips. His fingers tangle themselves in Lan Zhan’s hair, while Lan Zhan keeps his hands at Wei Ying’s waist, pressing him close.
Wei Ying lets out a soft whine when Lan Zhan pulls away slightly.
“Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan says softly, gazing at him lovingly, wanting him to see how he sees Wei Ying.
“Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying says, voice thick with emotion. He licks his lips, and Lan Zhan feels an almost overwhelming desire to lick his way into Wei Ying’s mouth.
“Never was just a friend,” Lan Zhan says, and Wei Ying kisses him at that, lips slightly parted, breathing his name into the kiss again and again, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan.
“Misunderstood Netflix and chill,” Lan Zhan murmurs, pressing another kiss to Wei Ying’s lips. “Didn’t know the euphemism. Want the sexual activity with Wei Ying too.”
Wei Ying laughs then, laughs brightly and happily, his head falling against Lan Zhan’s chest. Lan Zhan strokes his back, finding his laugh too delightful to mind.
“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan,” Wei Ying breathes between laughs. “Sexual activity… You… Oh Lan Zhan, you couldn’t just say you wanted to fuck me, could you?”
Wei Ying laughs again, and Lan Zhan lifts him up and carries him through the flat, kissing the laughter from his lips, kissing him breathless, kissing him panting, kissing him moaning Lan Zhan’s name before lowering him down on his bed and following.
“Want to fuck Wei Ying,” Lan Zhan says dutifully to Wei Ying’s delighted giggle, and sets out to demonstrate how.
How becomes kissing and caressing and clothes ending up on the floor, and Wei Ying’s cock almost burning against Lan Zhan’s palm, hot and soft and hard all at once. He strokes, Wei Ying pants his name, his noises and expressions a guide for Lan Zhan to follow in where to touch, what pace to set, how to please and bring Wei Ying to a pleasure that makes him arch and stutter and toss his head back and forth.
How becomes Wei Ying’s mouth on his cock, licking, swallowing, tasting, Wei Ying’s hair falling around his face as he does, occasionally glancing up, eyes mischievous and bright. Lan Zhan can only breathe, and occasionally whimper whenever Wei Ying discovers how to take him an inch deeper, and try to cling on until he can’t, and the pleasure drowns him with bright heat.
How becomes the shower and kisses and hands, ever roaming hands, until they run out of hot water and end up on the towels outside, still touching, still kissing, until Lan Zhan makes Wei Ying come with a keen, and Wei Ying makes Lan Zhan come with a breathless exhale.
How becomes Lan Zhan’s fingers coated in lube, sliding and touching, Wei Ying curling his fingers into the sheets and breathlessly talking nonsense about euphemisms for sex until Lan Zhan removes his fingers and inches his cock inside instead, and finds there are no words for the feeling of that, of his cock sheathed in Wei Ying, Wei Ying’s warmth feeling as if envelopes him completely.
How to becomes shallow, slow thrusts while Wei Ying rests his head on the pillow and pants for more, becomes lingering deep inside while kissing Wei Ying’s back and neck, becomes hard and fast until Wei Ying calls out sharply and comes, becomes long, languid thrusts while Lan Zhan fucks Wei Ying through his orgasm and into another, becomes erratic before stilling as Lan Zhan loses himself to Wei Ying, to happiness.
In the morning, Lan Zhan wakes to Wei Ying wrapped around him just as firmly as the blankets and just as warm, and Lan Zhan allows himself to stay there just five more minutes, the happiness of it far more quiet than the happiness of last night, but just as good.
This, he thinks, this he also wants. When it comes to Wei Ying, he wants everything, morning, day, and night.
Then, he gets up to make himself breakfast and to see if his lotus root and pork soup can be saved with a bit of reheating.
Much later, a yawning Wei Ying pads into the kitchen, dressed in one of Lan Zhan’s t-shirts and sweats. He perks up when he sees Lan Zhan, shamelessly jumping up on the counter and dragging Lan Zhan into a morning kiss that becomes a morning make-out and nearly gets the rice burnt, which Wei Ying only laughs at.
They’re halfway through breakfast when Wei Ying’s phone starts ringing insistently, and Wei Ying groans and goes to retrieve it from his coat.
“Hello, Jiang Cheng,” he says brightly. “Yes, I forgot we were going to have breakfast together today. No, I am not dead in a ditch somewhere, sorry to disappoint. Yes, I am sorry I didn’t call. I just forgot.”
Lan Zhan wonders for a moment if he should feel sorry he distracted Wei Ying enough not to tell Jiang Cheng he would be staying over, but then, decides yes, he probably should, but no, he does not.
“Yes, I stayed over at Lan Zhan’s,” Wei Ying goes on. His eyes light up with mischief as he continues. “Watching Netflix, yes, but actually, we also had a lot of age-restricted indecent sexual activity. Lan Wangji is the bestest best in bed ever. Thought you might like to know! Have a good day, Jiang Cheng!”
Lan Zhan can hear angry stuttering from the other end before Wei Ying hangs up with a chuckle. “Jiang Cheng is going to want to murder me, but it will be worth it for the face he is going to make every time he sees you.”
“Hn,” Lan Zhan says simply. His ears feel red. Bestest best?
Wei Ying laughs again, running a finger down his ear and pulling him into a kiss and not letting him go; they end up not having the rest of the breakfast and just having each other instead.
Later, much later, wrapped in one of Lan Zhan’s white robes and blankets, Wei Ying finally eats Lan Zhan’s lotus root and pork soup on the couch, reheated, and declares it very good, actually, curling up on Lan Zhan’s lap afterwards.
Like this, with Wei Ying close, Lan Zhan’s flat feel more like a home and less like a place to stay, Lan Zhan finds, and his heart aches with the happiness of it all.
“Lan Zhan?” Wei Ying whispers after a while.
“I want you,” Wei Ying says breathlessly. “Not just like last night. I mean, also like last night, because fuck, that was really great and I want to do it every night, but also… Also…”
“Also,” Lan Zhan agrees. He leans down and kisses Wei Ying, lips still swollen and flushed, finding it just as filled with joy as their first kiss, and every kiss after. “Want every night, not just last night. Want a future – with Wei Ying.”
“That’s what I want too,” Wei Ying says, shifting to sit upright in Lan Zhan’s lap, pressing their foreheads together. “I want to wake up with you every morning. I want to have lunch with you every day and make Jiang Cheng regret ever calling us indecent before we got together by how indecent we are when together. I want to live with you. I want us to get rabbits together. I want to watch Netflix with you – actually watch Netflix with you and also, I want us to fuck every night and maybe every morning and…”
At that, Lan Zhan kisses him silent, ears red, as shamelessly, joyously, he finds himself wanting all of that too just as much as Wei Ying wants it and knows that now, now they can make it happen – together.