Lan Xichen and Lan Wangji strolled side by side amidst the sea of Sparks Amidst Snow flowers.
Lan Xichen casually brushed against a flower, white as snow, in full bloom; the motion was so gentle that not even a dewdrop fell. He asked, “Wangji, is there something on your mind? Why have you been so troubled?” However, what was described as troubled, from what others would say, was no different from any of Lan Wangji’s other expressions.
Lan Wangji’s brows furrowed as he shook his head. After a long while, he answered softly, “Xiongzhang, I, want to bring someone back to the Cloud Recesses.”
Lan Xichen was shocked, and repeated, “Bring someone back to the Cloud Recesses?”
Lan Wangji pensively nodded his head. Pausing, he then continued, “Bring back… to hide away.”
Immediately, Lan Xichen’s eyes widened.
Ever since their mother had passed away, his younger brother’s personality had gradually become more and more withdrawn. Aside from going to nighthunt, he would shut himself in his room all day to read, meditate, practice calligraphy, play his guqin, and improve his cultivation. He disliked talking to others and was only able to speak more with Lan Xichen. But, this was the first time words such as these had ever escaped his lips.
Lan Xichen asked, “Hide away?”
Lan Wangji frowned slightly and replied, “But he is unwilling.”
the moment when wwx finds wq in the street is really one of the scenes of all time. the way they come so close to just walking past each other. and even though we want him to help wq we also think maybe, maybe if this time he doesn’t see her, maybe if this wild chance of them wandering into each other didn’t happen... but of course it does. and of course he can’t do anything but help her. of course his fate is sealed, and everyone else’s along with him, the moment they make eye contact. that’s what tragedy’s all about!!!
want the world to believe
[yiling laozu!lan wangji, part 2.1]
[gifset] [part 1]
part 2 was getting way too long so i split it into two! here is the first 2.6k, enjoy :D
It is not yet safe to go back to Cloud Recesses. Instead there is a gathering of clans in Qinghe for a campaign against the Wens. It is safer for us to travel apart, so I will meet you there.
You and I were rescued by Lady Wen and her younger brother. She restored your golden core, and asked in return only that we do not seek her out in the future. Her family, the Dafan Wen, are a peaceful and distant branch of the Wen family. She will endeavour to reach them, and keep them away from the fighting.
She understands that we may not be entirely in control of the campaign, but I promised that we would try. Please join me in this.
I have left a borrowed sword for you to fly to Qinghe, and will myself take a longer route there. Please convey my regards to those gathered, and I will join when I am able.
It's the first thing Lan Xichen sees as he drifts awake, on the table to his side. He reads it without taking stock of what sort of condition his body is in, almost without remembering what events led him to this state.
Soon enough, his body makes itself known. The sharp slashes of pain across his chest, the aching down his back, the dull thrum of energy from his core -
He - felt it being crushed. It comes back in flashes, screams of laughter and the silent clenched-teeth pain, flaring across his ribs and back, and that one point of contact with a burning hand inside his body, reaching in and pulling at his insides and reducing it, smaller and smaller until what was once there, breathing along with him and humming to the beat of his body is - was -
He shuts his eyes, and it only makes it more vivid.
In Chinese art, the Four Gentlemen or Four Noble Ones (四君子 “sì jūn zǐ”) refer to four plants: the plum blossom (梅 “méi”), the orchid (兰 “lán”), the bamboo (竹 “zhú”), and the chrysanthemum (菊 “jú”). In line with the wide use of nature as imagery in literary and artistic creation, the Four Gentlemen are a recurring theme for their symbolism of uprightness, purity, humility, perseverance against harsh conditions, among other virtues valued in the Chinese traditions.
*cracks knuckles* Normal Chinese translation is tricky enough but this is Flowery Idiomatic Chinese so please excuse my attempt
Plum blossom: growing proudly in the snow; cutting through snow and ice; proud and unyielding; noble and unsullied, a person of ethics and integrity
Orchid: blooming quietly in the empty valley; alone but extraordinary; fragrant, elegant, and joyous; a prominent person of high esteem
Bamboo: leaves dancing and stem standing tall and straight; a carefree life without restraints; refined but content with a simple life; a humble gentleman
Chrysanthemum: bravely overcoming adversities; independent and unique; not blindly following; a recluse detached from the world
there’s certain things in tog that still make me weepy when I watch and one of the biggest is when Andy’s doubled over in pain but still giving Nile a watery smile while they’re next to the penthouse window
going be honest i never got the impression that alex disliked reggie?? like i’ve seen that idea thrown around because alex says sort of mean things towards reggie but none of it is particularly mean spirited? alex is just a kinda sarcastic person ￼and reggie is goofy and it’s easy to be snarky with it and reggie doesn’t look personally hurt over any of it either like he knows it’s a joke and that alex is teasing. also reggie isn’t exactly a saint either. compare something like alex’s “i wish i couldn’t see you” vs reggie telling alex “this is why no one hugs you” (let’s not forget luke also does similar comments. “you’re so lucky you can play bass”/“drums are so 90s we’re just going stomp our feet instead”) like sometimes friends are playfully snide and they’re comfortable being like that towards each other so yeah i really doubt reggie and alex don’t like each other and this is without mentioning the literal first interaction we see of them is reggie enthusiastically complementing alex who in return is super bashful and flustered but sure they totally don’t like each other at all
hot take but the old guard can peacefully hang out all together only during missions or at least when they all have something to do, like everyday life as normal people with Yusuf painting and Nicky being a nurse or going to college, Booker being an elementary teacher in Quebec (never forget that), Andy learning how to use technology one youtube tutorial at a time.
because if they're on HOLIDAY, which is a big deal because they take a holiday once in a decade, a HOLIDAY where they pick a Place To Visit (note to self: you have to buy an updated map or you'll try again to reach the kingdom of the two sicilies and the locals won't appreciate the misunderstanding) and they have to rELaX and enjoy themselves, and no talk about work, Andy, we're on holiday, a HOLIDAY where Yusuf is wearing his best Dad on Holiday attire and Nicky turns into that specific type of Italian mother who takes pictures of your most unflattering angles with the Duomo in a corner in the background, a HOLIDAY where their idea of relax varies for each of them (Yusuf is big on museums, Nicky is big on mornings in bed with Yusuf, the rest of the world can burn and he won't care — of course he'd care but please God let him have one morning —, Andy wants to sit quietly in a place with many people and hear the noises of a normal life, unchanged across the centuries, and Booker secretly wants to hang out with the others but he's too emotionally constipated to admit he loves playing Monopoly, plus Nicky gets brutally capitalistic when they play, which is ironic considering he doesn't know how to restrain himself and save money when he sees a fancy pan irl).... let me tell you. It's chaos.
(random thoughts under the cut)
The first day is... fine? they're travelling together, they're used to that. They sleep all the time even if the ride is not comfortable at all, catching up with the last decade of exhaustion, and Nicky collects his first folder of Blackmail/Cute Photos. They have so many priceless works of art and ancient manufacts at home they could travel in first class, but they're so used to the mercenary life and how people travelled in the past that the idea is not even contemplated. if he had to choose, Nicky would always travel in his fiat panda, they'd make it work. Andy is a fan of trains, though. She still thinks they're neat even if they're not the most recent invention, so they all try to make her happy that way.
They pack too many weapons, but no one acknowledges that because they're on HOLIDAY, no talk about work. Booker asks what is that sword-shaped lump in Nicky's suitcase and Nicky says he wants to take up hockey. He will regret that lie very soon. Yusuf On Holiday is a weird hoarding creature: he forgets how to pack lightly because he gets anxious and he thinks they'll really need three blenders, six combs, nine canvas. He also tries to pack all of their plants because he doesn't trust the neighbours to water them anymore. Nicky tries to tell him the cacti will be fine but Yusuf is not buying it, Ebeneezer needs his love.
By the third day, they're still exhausted but for a different reason. Booker has threatened to go back to Canada five times because all this relaxing makes him anxious. Andy refuses to acknowledge the contraband liquors were her idea so now they have so much vodka it's not even funny anymore, Nicky needed the freezer to store his soup (long story). Nicky is trying to make Yusuf understand he would really like to spend the morning just the two of them, but Yusuf has already laminated the plan of the day and it involves at least five family activities. When Nile joins, she is the only one who hasn't visited the place EVER, so she's unironically into tourist stuff, can you blame her??? Joe is delighted.
Imagine the old guard on a rollercoaster. The photos are hysterical. Andy is unaffected. Her hair refuses to be swept by the wind. Nicky is finding out he didn't really get over his fear of heights in the seventeen century and is crying on Yusuf's shoulder. for once, Yusuf doesn't care that Nicky is not okay and is smiling wide, hands up in the air, him and Nile LOVE THIS. Booker doesn't trust rollercoasters.
I don't know what my point was anymore but I'll have more soon
alex’s little “come on, reginald” in this band is back is so cute and for literally no reason at all i headcanon that he’s the only one allowed to call reggie that. like even luke isn’t allowed to do it reggie just doesn’t like the name but for whatever reason it’s just different with alex
-last ‘week’ of school babey....
-it didn’t last very long but the way the shower left my partially-dried hair was a real Look
-did So much lazing today it was great
-heard ‘collar full’ for the first time today, it’s a bop
-put together what i think was a pretty stylish outfit for my Brief outing today
-said outing was to return some books to my school and being on campus again, seeing students and teachers and School doing as school does... idk it was kinda nice
-im pretty sure my sister was a special interest/hyperfixtation on miitopia and listening to her talk about it and roll out info off the top of her head is Great actually
-made and traded picrews with a friendo, good bonding activity i think
-y’know what’s good? found family. i like found family
-me: here is my kinda weird/boring/not-fun-to-listen-to interest i will try not to talk about it sorry | someone: no wait i like ur talking about it | me: :0 /pos
-mr husband man briefly made appearance today to call someone out and kiss me, perfect use of his short fronting time i think
-watchin a horror game for the first time in a bit, ive missed this
-a lot of people suck but even more people dont and those people make me believe in humanity
-blink snipe: very nice checking in on me when im not feeling great i appreciate her manys