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The meaning of protecting you with my life

Chapter Text

Jiang Cheng could not quite understand what was happening between Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji. The air suddenly seemed to have frozen between them as they were staring at each other with something akin to a mixture of anger, determination and pain in their eyes. As always when he assisted to a meeting between those two, he could not understand them. Why was Wei Wuxian always so insistent on getting on Lan Wangji’s last nerve?

Even back in Cloud Recesses, he used to follow the Second Jade everywhere and bug him every opportunity he got. Needless to say, Lan Wangji did not quite enjoy the attention his chaotic and bothersome brother was showing him. But then, after the indoctrination when he had rescued them from the cave of the Tortoise of Slaughter, something between them have changed, or at least he had thought it had with Lan Wangji looking with him for his idiot brother this insistently. But now, what was happening now?

There seemed to have apparently been a misunderstanding between those two. Or their roles had reversed or something. For this time, it was Lan Wangji who seemed ready to mend their relationship and Wei Wuxian who was acting cold towards him. It was confusing Jiang Cheng greatly.

But then, he just let it go, they would come around when they would want to. His brother had all right to act a bit strangely after being missing for three long months. Although his previous explanation had left Jiang Cheng quite furious, he did not press on the issue. He was sure that Wei Wuxian would tell him later, probably once their sister was there with them so he would not have to repeat everything.

The staring contest between Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji seemed to have finished when the Second Jade demanded urgently: “Come back to Gusu with me.”

Now Jiang Cheng was even more confused. Lan Wangji must have known that they could not leave the battlefront until they prevailed or dropped dead, every hand counted right now. Surely he was not suggesting he wanted to leave and take Wei Wuxian with him?

Jiang Cheng shook off his surprise when Wei Wuxian returned a bit mockingly: “Gusu? The place with more than 3000 rules? No, no, no. I prefer Yunmeng.”

The declaration should not have made Jiang Cheng as happy as it in reality did. Of course he had never doubted his brother would come back with him and they would finally be able to become the Twin Prides of Yunmeng as they had promised; he was now a sect leader and he needed Wei Wuxian to become his right hand man. Clearly that was why his brother was refusing Lan Wangji.

It looked like the Second Jade was about to protest and argue with them so Jiang Cheng stepped in: “Second Young Master Lan, you heard my brother. We are going back to the camp and he will join the Yunmeng Jiang sect troops. There is no place for negotiations. Now please leave, I want to have a private talk with my brother.”

For the longest moment, it did not look like Lan Wangji would heed to his request. He only continued staring at Wei Wuxian, completely ignoring Jiang Cheng, completely disregarding the fact that he was currently his brother’s sect leader and so had a much higher status than the Second Jade who was only a sect heir.

However, when Wei Wuxian lifted his chin a bit and straightened his back, a clear sign that he had already made up his mind; Lan Wangji sighed loudly and turned around. His back was tense but he heeded in the end. He walked out of the room and closed the door with perhaps a bit more force than it was strictly required for the task. His facial expression had not betrayed anything but if this was not a clear show of anger, Jiang Cheng did not know what was.

He turned towards his brother and a small prick of guilt made itself known in his guts. Wei Wuxian was watching the door with a sad expression even after the Second Jade’s steps could not be heard anymore. His brother’s eyes had something that he could only name as longing in them. But that was impossible, he had just said that he wanted to come with Jiang Cheng to Yunmeng.

Suddenly, the moment was over and Wei Wuxian turned towards him again, his usual grin on his lips: “So Jiang Cheng, you said you have been looking for me all this time? Were you worried? I guess you do care about me.” Then he went back to the table and sat down again.

In those three months, Jiang Cheng had almost forgotten how infuriating and embarrassing his brother’s teasing could be. “Shut up, who cares! Sister was worried and told me to go look for you, that is all.”

Wei Wuxian started laughing but for some reason, it sounded strange, strained and not as bright as before. Jiang Cheng shook his head slightly to get the impression that something was very wrong with Wei Wuxian out of his head. His brother was strong and as long as he was alive, Jiang Cheng knew he would pull through just about anything.

Now that he got him back, he had to do what he had planned all this while, he had to apologize for shouting at him the day he had been taken prisoner. He knew fully well he should not have said those words and he wanted to make that clear in case his brother was so dumb to actually take them to heart.

“Wei Wuxian,” he started again, this time in a lot more serious tone, “you know… Before the Wens had captured you… I should not have said those words. I did not mean them, you know that, right?”

For a second, Wei Wuxian froze and was looking at him with a completely blank expression. So he either did not remember what Jiang Cheng had told him at that time or he had not taken it to heart. Jiang Cheng was glad; he did not want things to stay tense or weird between them.

He was waiting for any kind of reply but he only got a completely unrelated question: “So, Jiang Cheng, I hear that you have single-handedly resurrected the whole Yunmeng Jiang sect. Congratulation. I am sure Uncle Jiang would be proud of you.”

Jiang Cheng took the peace offering when it was there and started to tell his brother about everything that happened after he had been captured by the Qishan Wen sect soldiers and Wen Chao.

During his speech, he had all but forgotten that Wei Wuxian had ever been absent from his side in the first place. They clicked together as if nothing had ever happened which made Jiang Cheng happy. He knew they would have to fight in the war tomorrow, but for today, there was no rush. His brother was back and there was much catching up they had to do.