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翻云覆雨 // in clouds and rainfall

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Jiang Cheng, comes a worried voice. Jiang Cheng, you have to wake up now. 

Thunder rumbles in the distance as he opens his eyes, bleary— and in pain. There’s an ache that radiates through his entire body, centered in his right shoulder. A large, warm hand presses firmly down on his right breast, sending a steady stream of energy into his body to keep the poison at bay. The floor is damp under him, cool with mist from the storm.


The night-hunt.

Jin Ling.

“Ah, ah, ah,” Wei Wuxian chides as he tries to sit up. “Lie down. If you move around too much, the poison will spread faster.”

“A-Ling—“ he croaks.

“I’m here, Jiujiu,” comes a wobbly, nasally voice from his elbow, tearful and grief-stricken. “Jiujiu— uuuu… Jiujiu...“

His blood pressure spikes abruptly.

“Cry then!” he explodes. “Didn’t I tell you to watch out for the spines?! Cry more!”

“Please regulate your temper,” Lan Wangji intones, pressing down harder on his chest, and increasing the flow of spiritual energy. “You are only going to quicken the spread of the poison.”

“No need,” Jiang Cheng says, letting his head thump back against the cold stone floor. “Any cure for the Qiongqi’s plague needles will have been lost centuries ago. The Qiongqi has been banished for too long.” [1]

Jin Ling bends his forehead to Jiang Cheng’s hand, weeping piteously. After a moment, Jiang Cheng sighs, heart softening, and extracts his hand to pull his nephew against his chest.

“Alright, don’t cry anymore,” he whispers gruffly. “If anything, at least—“

He trails off.

At least it was me, he completes silently in his head, and not you.

Thunder rumbles in the distance.

He presses his lips to his nephew’s head, and closes his eyes. For a long while, there is only silence in the dim cave, filled only by Jin Ling’s quiet weeping, by heavy rainfall, and distant thunder. It’s pouring outside, as it had been when the Qiongqi’s deadly plague needle had sunk into his heart. The thunderstorm shows no sign of abating.

Ash will return to ash, he muses quietly, as he slips Zidian slowly off his finger, and dust will return to dust.

He presses his mother’s ring into Jin Ling’s hand.

In death, I will become one with the storm.

“A-Ling,” he murmurs. “You— You’ve grown into a bright young man, as kind as your mother, and as noble as your father. If they could see you today, they would be so proud of you.”

He swallows.

“I’m so proud of you,” he manages. “A-Ling. You still have many things to accomplish. Even if I’m not around, you must go on to complete them.”

Jin Ling keens, and Jiang Cheng kisses his head, sighing. Surely, he doesn’t have much time left. Even if Jin Ling isn’t ready to lose his uncle, there is nothing that he can do now to prepare his nephew for the inevitable. 

The moment is interrupted by a pointed clearing of a throat.

“As touching as this all is,” Wei Wuxian speaks dryly, “that wasn’t the real Qiongqi, only a second-rate imitation, and you are certainly not going to die.”

Jiang Cheng whips around to look at him.

“I’m not?” he asks dumbly.

“You’re not!” Lan Sizhui pipes up from over Lan Wangji’s shoulder, eyes wide and concerned. “Senior Wei already explained while you were unconscious. There’s a cure! It’s only that… you may not like the cure…”

Jiang Cheng becomes abruptly aware of the many wide eyes watching him from behind Lan Wangji. The young juniors that they had brought on their little excursion are still in the cave, along with the small army of awkward adults that had arrived as backup when they had unexpectedly been overwhelmed by the Qiongqi.

The Qiongqi that was, apparently, not the Qiongqi at all.

Jiang Cheng snatches his hand away from his weeping nephew, and shoves him roughly off. After second thought, he snatches his ring back from the boy’s snotty grasp.

“Cry then!” he shouts. “Cry more! What do you have to cry about?! Useless child!”

“Regulate your temper, Jiang Wanyin,” Lan Wangji repeats tiredly. “You are not out of danger yet.”

There’s a moment of silence as he and his husband trade meaningful looks.

“You need to make a choice,” Wei Wuxian finally says, “and like Sizhui said… I don’t think you’ll like this choice.”

Dual cultivation.

That’s the only viable cure they could come up with, miles away from human civilization, and with a fast-acting poison in his veins.

“The poison is infused with a great deal of Yin energy, which is causing havoc in your body,” Wei Wuxian rattles on. “To counter the Yin, Yang energy must be pushed into your body to restore the balance of Yin and Yang—“

Dual cultivation— with a man.

“We asked around before you woke, and well, you’ve got a pretty big pool to choose from! The men gathered over there all said that they were willing to help—“

He feels numb all over. He’s never— not with a woman, let alone a man. Even with himself, he has been careful not to indulge too much, afraid to slow the progress of his cultivation in any possible way. [2]

“You can pick whoever you want! Whoever strikes your fancy! Just say the name and—“

“You do it then.”

The cave falls into silence. It takes a few moments for Jiang Cheng to register what he had said. Wei Wuxian blinks. In the background, Lan Jingyi’s scandalized face pops up over his shoulder.

“Senior Wei is married!” he protests, in that ever-straightforward way of his. “He’s not on the menu!”

Somehow, Jiang Cheng only grows even more numb at that. Right, of course Wei Wuxian isn’t an option. He’s married now. Jiang Cheng needs to pick someone else.

“Then anyone,” he croaks. “It doesn’t matter.”

Rain patters against rock and stone in the silence. Kneeling by his side, Wei Wuxian bites his lip, and peers up at his husband through Mo Xuanyu’s long, dark lashes. Jiang Cheng does not dare to look at the other man.

Then, finally, after an unfairly long moment, Lan Wangji lets out a breath. The hand on his chest lightens, stroking gently, almost soothingly. Lan Wangji takes the hand off.

“Mm,” he agrees.

Eyes closed, Jiang Cheng allows Wei Wuxian to lower him onto a nest of soft fur and clean linen. The others have moved deeper into the cave to give them privacy, leaving them a lamp to light the stone cavern. Wei Wuxian tucks the blankets around his shidi’s shoulders, sighing as Jiang Cheng still refuses to meet his eye. 

Rain splatters against the mountainside, echoing around the damp interior of the cave as Wei Wuxian divests himself of his outer robes. After a moment’s hesitation, he tucks his robe around Jiang Cheng as well, and pulls a bottle of oil out of his sleeve, setting it off to the side.

“Thank you for taking the needle for me,” he whispers.

Jiang Cheng twitches, but doesn’t open his eyes.

“I didn’t take it for you,” he corrects, “I appreciate you trying to shield A-Ling, but it wasn’t necessary. If anyone should sacrifice for A-Ling, it should be his own flesh and blood.”

Wei Wuxian sighs. Leaning down, he begins to divest Jiang Cheng slowly of his outer robes as well. Jiang Cheng continues to lie there, eyes closed, palms turned up at his sides as if meditating, as Wei Wuxian lowers himself on top of him, turning his face into the crook of Jiang Cheng’s neck, and planting a kiss there.

Jiang Cheng shivers as Wei Wuxian lets out a hot breath against his skin, beginning to mouth wetly along the underside of his jaw.

“What are you doing?” he asks.

“What do you think?” Wei Wuxian murmurs, and scrapes his teeth gently against Jiang Cheng’s pulse point. 

Jiang Cheng jerks, gasping, and Wei Wuxian draws back. 

“Have you never done this before?” he asks.

“None of your business,” Jiang Cheng whispers.

His voice shakes, ever-so-slightly, and Wei Wuxian softens.

He’s nervous.

He lays back down, mouthing wetly down Jiang Cheng’s jaw and neck, mapping the spots that make his breath hitch.

“Relax,” he murmurs. “I’ll make this real good for you, promise.”

With his hands, he explores the contours of Jiang Cheng thighs and hips, before beginning to part the hem of his robes. Jiang Cheng’s breath hitches, brow furrowing as he turns his face to the side. 

Wei Wuxian stops at once.

After a moment, he moves his hands up, holding him around the ribs as he pulls back.

“Look at me,” he whispers.

Jiang Cheng does not open his eyes, does not respond. Wei Wuxian sighs, and cups his face, drawing his thumb gently over his cheek, his lip— a familiar person, a familiar face, frozen into such unfamiliar coldness.

He leans down, and presses their lips together.

Thunder rumbles, still faint, but louder than before as Wei Wuxian moves his lips slowly against those tightly pursed lips, licking pleadingly at the seam of his unreceptive mouth, and growing increasingly desperate as the minutes pass, and that still grants him no entrance.

“Kiss me,” he begs. “Jiang Cheng, you have to kiss me back. I can’t do this otherwise.”

And finally, Jiang Cheng’s lips part, his breath huffing out against Wei Wuxian’s mouth. Diving back down, Wei Wuxian captures his lips again. This time, Jiang Cheng moves his lips clumsily in return, breathing raggedly as his hands fly up to Wei Wuxian’s back, fisting tightly in his robes.

His hands are shaking.

“You’re okay,” Wei Wuxian mumbles, slipping his hands under his shidi’s body, and scooping him up against him. “You’ll be fine.”

“Wei Wuxian,” Jiang Cheng murmurs reluctantly. “The poison.”

His meaning is clear. 

They have to hurry.

“Hold onto me,” Wei Wuxian whispers. “Don’t be scared. Just hold on.”

He dips back down, kissing and gently nipping as he pushes open the slit of Jiang Cheng’s inner robes. Jiang Cheng’s breath hitches as he grabs onto the waistband under that, and pushes down until he can feel smooth, corded thighs. Still pressed chest to chest, lips to lips, they push down with their calves and feet until Jiang Cheng can kick them off.

“I’m not scared ,” he grits out, a little belatedly.

“Of course you’re not,” Wei Wuxian agrees immediately, and gently cups him under the knees. “I’m scared, so hold onto me, okay?”

For a moment, it seems like Jiang Cheng is about to call him out on his bullshit, but then Wei Wuxian pulls his knees up and open, and his jaw clicks shut. 

Still kissing him, Wei Wuxian pats blindly off the side of their little nest, until he finds the bottle of oil he’d placed there earlier. Soft, slick noises fill the space between their bodies, half drowned out by the rain, as he wets his fingers, rubbing the slick between them briefly, before bringing them between Jiang Cheng’s legs. Jiang Cheng’s entrance tightens underneath his fingertip.

“Shh,” Wei Wuxian soothes, rubbing gently over that tight furl, oiling it. “Relax. Open up for me.”

With apparent effort, Jiang Cheng unclenches his jaw. His body loosens slightly, and Wei Wuxian quickly slips his middle finger in. Jiang Cheng’s back arches up off the silk beneath him, one hand flying down to grip onto his wrist.

“You’re fine,” Wei Wuxian murmurs. “Hold onto my shoulders. You’ll be okay.”

“I’m not a virginal maiden,” Jiang Cheng bites out, shifting his hips slightly. “Are you— Are you sure it’s supposed to be... there?”

“Did you think something else would magically flower up between your legs?”

A long pause.

Wei Wuxian can’t help but laugh. A moment later, his laughter cuts out into a yelp as Jiang Cheng’s hand tightens painfully around his wrist.

“It’s here,” he confirms, wincing, and crooks his finger up. He chuckles when Jiang Cheng lets go, hands flying to his shoulders with a stifled cry. “Feels good, doesn’t it?”

“Fuck you,” Jiang Cheng says.

“I’m trying,” Wei Wuxian jokes, thrusting his finger for a while longer, before pressing in a second. “I’m sorry. We need to hurry things a bit. Tell me if the stretch gets too uncomfortable. Stop me if it’s painful.”

“I can take it,” Jiang Cheng grits out. “Hurry up.”

Still pressed nose to nose, lashes brushing each other’s cheeks and breaths hot between them, Wei Wuxian opens him up slowly. Two fingers, to three, scissoring gently until he’s pliant and loose, and wet, impossible to resist. Then, he pushes his own pants down, slicks himself up, and blindly fumbles to position himself.

“I’m coming in,” he murmurs, and— thrusts all the way in.

Lightning flashes in the cave, the storm finally upon them, casting their shadow starkly against stone. 

The image lasts only a split-second, but it sears itself into his mind: one body, arched sharply off the ground, and the other, hunched over the first. In the deafening crash of thunder that follows, Wei Wuxian feels startled awake, like he’s been doused in cold water, lucid.

The rain pours on outside the cave. Beneath him, Jiang Cheng breathes raggedly through his mouth, eyes closed. He hasn’t opened them since this all began.

“Look at me,” Wei Wuxian asks.

And this time, Jiang Cheng complies.

His eyes are dark, alight with a sheen of moisture, as he looks up at Wei Wuxian through his damp lashes. There’s something almost lost in his slack expression.

Wei Wuxian thrusts.

“Ah—“ Jiang Cheng chokes.

“Look at me,” Wei Wuxian says, thrusting again. “Keep looking at me. Don’t look away.”

“I’m looking,” Jiang Cheng says, almost bitterly. “When did I look away?”

His voice hitches as Wei Wuxian begins to fuck him for real, firmly and deeply, holding Jiang Cheng’s body tight against his chest. His brows draw together, but he doesn’t break their eye contact.

“Yeah,” Wei Wuxian whispers, quickening his pace. “Does it feel good?”

Jiang Cheng mouth widens into an oh at the harder pace. Under the sounds of the pouring rain, his open-mouthed breaths come loud and ragged between reluctant, hitched noises. 

Moans, Wei Wuxian realizes.

Grabbing Jiang Cheng under the knees, he spreads those long legs up and open, thrusting wildly. Jiang Cheng cries out. There’s no mistaking the sound of his moans now, and they only rile Wei Wuxian up further. He pushes the the neck of Jiang Cheng’s robes open, yanking the lapels roughly apart. 

Thrusting harder, faster, he grunts through his teeth, eyes fluttering closed from the pleasure.

“Who was the one who looked away first?” Jiang Cheng snaps breathlessly.

Wei Wuxian opens his eyes at once.

His eyes fix immediately on a long raised scar, running like lightning over the broad expanse of Jiang Cheng’s chest, and his protests die in his throat. Growing up, they had seen each other shirtless, even naked, countless times. They had swam together, bathed together.

They had gone swimming the day Lotus Pier had burned, he remembers suddenly. That had been the last time he had seen Jiang Cheng bare.

Grief rises in his chest like a tide, choking up in his throat, almost painful. Letting out a trembling breath, he bends his head to soothe that scar with reverent lips, but Jiang Cheng stops him with a firm hand to the shoulder.

“Don’t,” he says.

Wei Wuxian blinks. He looks up at narrowed brown eyes, feeling strangely lost.

“When you thought you were dying,” he blurts out, “you had last words for A-Ling, but why didn’t you have any for me?”

Jiang Cheng’s eyes widen.

“Are you— fucking serious?” he says.

“I thought that you must hate me,” Wei Wuxian continues, “but then you— you chose me. Jiang Cheng— do you really hate me? Do you—“

“Shut the fuck up,” Jiang Cheng grits out.

But still his mouth continues to run.

“Why would you choose me if you hate me?” he babbles. “But why would you— why would you treat me so coldly if you cared?”

“Stop it!” Jiang Cheng snaps. “Do you seriously want to do this now? Of all times?”

“If not now, then when?” Wei Wuxian challenges. “Once this is over, you’ll just run off again!”

“Who’s the one running off?!” Jiang Cheng explodes. “When have I ever run from you? Tell me when have I ever run from you! You’re the one who’s always running away from me!”

Lightning cracks again, seemingly right outside the cave. A sudden gust of wind howls through the cavern like a shriek, bringing a flurry of small leaves. Wei Wuxian ducks his head, instinctively hiding Jiang Cheng against his chest as thunder roars around them, echoing deafeningly against the stone walls. In the aftermath, the downpour thickens to a roar. 

They must be in the center of the storm now.

After a moment, Wei Wuxian pushes up onto his elbows, looking down at Jiang Cheng.

“Are you okay?” he asks.

And finally, Jiang Cheng breaks eye contact.

“Get off me,” he grits out.

Wei Wuxian sighs.

“We don’t really have a choice right now,” he reminds Jiang Cheng.

“You never bother to give me a choice,” Jiang Cheng retorts. “You always go right ahead and make all your choices by yourself!”

“You chose me!” Wei Wuxian bites back. “It’s not like I forced you to—“

He freezes.

“Wait— you’re not talking about this. You’re talking about—“

They are both silent for a long moment, before Jiang Cheng turns his face stubbornly to the side. Wei Wuxian is struck suddenly by the absurdity of their position, arguing, as always, but joined together in the most intimate of ways.

“Who gave you the right?” Jiang Cheng whispers. “Why do I have to thank you when I didn’t want this, when I didn’t ask for this , when the whole reason I got caught was because—“

He cuts himself off.

“When the whole reason you got caught was because…?” Wei Wuxian asks numbly.

There is silence for a long while, filled only by the roar of rain, and the occasional crack of lightning, but the damage is done. Wei Wuxian’s mind is running a mile a minute.

“Didn’t you go back to get Uncle Jiang and Madam Yu’s bodies?” he whispers. “Didn’t you?!”

Jiang Cheng doesn’t respond, but Wei Wuxian doesn’t need an answer. He knows in his heart that no matter how upset Jiang Cheng had been back then— surely, he wouldn’t have been so stupid. He’d been grieving, not suicidal. He had been lost, not daft.

The Wens— they wouldn’t have let the two of them go that easily, would they? He and Jiang Cheng had been adrift on the lake for nearly a shichen, definitely long enough for Wen Chao’s army to take stock of the bodies and find two missing. The next logical course of action would of course have been to look for them, and the first logical location they would have gone looking—

“They came for us,” he whispers, stunned.

Jiang Cheng doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t need to. Wei Wuxian can figure out what had happened on his own.

“Jiang Cheng,” he chokes out.

A single tear slips from the outer corner of Jiang Cheng’s eyes, disappearing immediately into his dark hair, like a sliver of lightning in the night, gone in an instant.

“It’s not fair,” he whispers.

It isn’t.

It isn’t.

Swooping down, he presses his lips to Jiang Cheng’s, gasping desperately into his mouth. Jiang Cheng sobs against his lips, letting him swallow his next hitched breath. They clutch at each other for long moments, rutting their bodies gently into the joining of their hips.

Jiang Cheng moans as Wei Wuxian finally draws back, gasping like a swimmer coming up for air. With a forceful yank, he finally undoes Jiang Cheng’s sash enough that he can seize the lapels, and throw them wide open.

The mark of the Jiang family’s discipline whip splits the expanse of Jiang Cheng’s pale chest, jagged— clumsily wielded. Wei Wuxian bends his head, worshipping the raised, puckered edges of the scar with his lips and tongue. Jiang Cheng pushes him away, gasping, and tries to pull his lapels closed.

“Don’t,“ Wei Wuxian pleads, grabbing his wrists. “Please, let me. Please.”

He kisses the back of Jiang Cheng’s hands, his tense knuckles, his trembling fingers until they finally loosen. Then, he peels the thin cotton robe back open. Jiang Cheng’s nipples are erect in the cold air, goose-pimpled and pink, as if begging for a mouth on them. Wei Wuxian lavishes those pearls with tongue and teeth for a good minute, before he pulls back.

“Arms overhead,” he instructs.

Jiang Cheng hesitates for a moment, but eventually complies. The position arches his back, pushing his chest out slightly. Wei Wuxian cups his ribcage, tweaking his nipples gently with his thumbs, before he lowers his head to kiss the raised scar.

Jiang Cheng’s breath hitches as he mouths and kisses over the entire length of it, rubbing both nipples gently with his thumbs, and occasionally taking his mouth off the scar to take a nipple into his mouth. Jiang Cheng’s hips lift as he sucks, grazing the sensitive nub with his teeth.

“Ah,” Jiang Cheng gasps. “Wei Wuxian—“

“I’m here,” Wei Wuxian whispers. “I’m right here. I’m not going anywhere.”

Jiang Cheng shuts his eyes tight, tears leaking from the corners as Wei Wuxian begins to thrust his hips. His hands clench and unclench in the fabric above his head, grasping desperately for purchase. After a moment, his face screws up, and he turns his head away with a sob.

“You said that in the future you’d be my vassal and I’d be your liege,” he whispers accusingly. “You said you’d follow me for a lifetime, that Gusu has the Twin Jades, but Yunmeng has the Twin Prides, that you’d never betray me, never betray the Jiang sect— but in the end— you still—!“

Wei Wuxian cuts Jiang Cheng off with a desperate kiss, sealing their lips firmly. Jiang Cheng threads his fingers into his hair, panting against Wei Wuxian, and opening his mouth to be plundered as Wei Wuxian licks along the inside of his lips. 

As he draws back for air, however, Jiang Cheng continues, seemingly determined to finish.

“Don’t forget that you were the one who broke that promise!” he cries. “You were the one who left first!”

Wei Wuxian kisses him again, furiously, desperately. A tear slips down the bridge of his nose, and vanishes into the wetness of their cheeks. At this point, he can no longer tell whose tears are wetting his skin. They have shared too much sorrow over the years. Their grief and pain has twined their wounded hearts too thoroughly into halves. No matter how he has tried in this second life, he cannot stop caring about this person. He cannot tame the urgings of his heart.

Finally, he draws back for breath. Jiang Cheng grabs onto him as he pulls away, hands fisting in his robes.

“I never left,” he whispers hoarsely.

He lays his palm flat over Jiang Cheng’s abdomen. Under cool skin and toned muscle, he can feel the thrum of spiritual energy, of a golden core, churning beneath the surface.

“I was always with you,” he continues, “right here.”

The rain pours over the mountainside. Jiang Cheng stares at him for long moment, eyes wide. Then, all at once, his face crumples, and he begins to sob; loud, hollow sobs that wrack his whole body. Wei Wuxian slides a hand under his head and another under his back, scooping him up close to his chest.

“No matter where I go,” he continues, “I’ll always be with you, protecting you.”

Jiang Cheng turns his face against Wei Wuxian’s cheek, slotting their lips together. He’s crying, tears sliding hot and wet against Wei Wuxian’s cheeks, against his palms as he cups Jiang Cheng’s face, deepening the kiss. Jiang Cheng is panting hard beneath him now. He seals their lips, kissing Jiang Cheng hard and deep, unwilling to part from him for even a second.

It takes him a moment to register the fist, hitting weakly against his chest. He pulls back the moment he does.

Jiang Cheng sucks in a deep breath, panting hard.

“I can’t breathe, you idiot!” he scolds.

His voice is a little nasal, and Wei Wuxian can’t help but laugh. His nose must be blocked from all the tears.

“Who asked you to cry so much?” he teases, bending his head to nuzzle Jiang Cheng’s cheek with his own.

“Then tell me who’s the one smearing tears all over me,” Jiang Cheng retorts. “Your eyes are so swollen right now.”

Wei Wuxian laughs, kissing him on the lips again, once, twice, three times.

“My shidi,” he whispers, “my liege, my A-Cheng.”

Jiang Cheng turns his face into the crook of Wei Wuxian’s neck, seeming vaguely embarrassed. But his arms are tightening around Wei Wuxian’s back, his legs sliding down to tangle with Wei Wuxian’s. That sends a frisson of arousal curling through his gut.

“We were in the middle of something, weren’t we?” he mumbles against Jiang Cheng’s ear.

He presses a kiss to Jiang Cheng’s temple, breathing in the familiar lotus-scent of his hair, before he pushes up onto his elbows, and begins to thrust.

“Ah—“ Jiang Cheng chokes, before forcibly cutting the moan off. 

Wei Wuxian wants to overwhelm him with pleasure, wants to make him cry from feeling so good, wants to hear his voice moaning without restraint. He reaches down, grabbing Jiang Cheng under the knee, and folding his legs up against his stomach. Then, he shifts his hips down slightly, angling himself upwards into Jiang Cheng, grinding his hips at the end of each thrust.

Jiang Cheng seems to melt under him. He’s moaning now, loud, and slightly choked, as if he’s still trying to hold them back.

“My gorgeous shidi,” Wei Wuxian whispers fervently, kissing him, anywhere he can reach— lips, cheek, neck, shoulder. “My sect leader. My liege. I’m sorry I left you alone for so long. I’m sorry.”

Jiang Cheng’s face screws up. He’s probably crying again— he’s always been an ugly crier. Wei Wuxian laughs breathlessly, still thrusting, still kissing every available surface of Jiang Cheng’s pale skin.

“You’ve worked so hard,” he continues. “You’ve accomplished so much. My A-Cheng, my shidi, gods, I couldn’t be prouder to call anyone my sect leader.“

He kisses Jiang Cheng’s sternum, then the edges of that long scar.

“Now, it’s my turn to take care of you,” he continues. “Let me make you feel good.”

Jiang Cheng threads his fingers into his hair. As he raises his head, Jiang Cheng presses a kiss to his brow. With a chuckle, Wei Wuxian seals their lips again, kissing him deeply.

“Wrap your legs around me,” he whispers. “Hold me tight.”

Then, kissing him again, Wei Wuxian begins to move his hips more firmly, lengthening his thrusts the way he knows feels best, grinding up where he knows Jiang Cheng’s sweet spot must be. Jiang Cheng lets his mouth fall open, moaning so sweetly. Wei Wuxian can’t help but plunder that open mouth with tongue and teeth, can’t help but plunder that open body, so hot and inviting.

“Wei Wuxian,” Jiang Cheng moans.

They rock together, panting and groaning, chest to chest and clutching each other desperately. Jiang Cheng’s strong thighs squeeze his waist as he seems to draw nearer and nearer to orgasm, a sex flush rising up under his cheeks becomingly and spreading down his neck, down his chest. Wei Wuxian traces that flush down his body. Jiang Cheng throws his head back as Wei Wuxian begins to lave at his nipples, rolling the hard beads gently between his teeth.

“Gonna come,” he gasps.

His hands tighten in Wei Wuxian’s hair and robes, and then, his body begins to convulse, bucking and twisting wildly. Raw, punched-out moans echo against the walls, his body clenching down on Wei Wuxian, milking him.

Wei Wuxian closes his eyes tight, crying out as he falls over the edge, held deep inside Jiang Cheng’s clenching body, held in his tight embrace.

It feels like coming home.

He loses count of how many times they have each other after that, seeking each other out blindly again and again, lips moving wetly, body writhing in naked sweat. He lets Jiang Cheng have him too, rolling them over so Jiang Cheng can take him. They satisfy each other also with hands and mouths, kissing the seed from each other’s lips in the aftermath.

When he wakes, the sun is rising outside, and the cave is awash in drowsy grey light. A light rain patters soothingly outside the cave. It seems the worst of the storm has passed. Morning is finally here.

A tall figure is bent over him. What had woken him was the whisper of gentle fingertips across his cheek, likely brushing away a stray lock. Jiang Cheng slumbers on in his arms, naked, sated, and thoroughly exhausted. He adjusts the blankets more securely around his shidi, smiling as their interloper reaches out to help, tucking the sheet around them both.

“Husband,” Wei Wuxian murmurs.

Lan Wangji hums quietly in acknowledgment.

“Is the poison purged?” he asks.

“Very thoroughly,” Wei Wuxian says, smiling like the cat that got the cream. He sobers after a moment. “Is this okay?”

Lan Wangji blinks, slowly, long lashes fanning over his sharp cheekbones. He looks down at Wei Wuxian for a long moment, eyes austere, but inscrutable, like the gaze of a statue chiseled from ivory and gold.

“Yes,” he finally says, sounding a little surprised at his own answer. “It’s okay.”

The rain falls light over the mountain, gentle amidst the quiet sounds of morning birdsong.

“I want to let him sleep a little longer,” Wei Wuxian says.

Lan Wangji nods. 

“I’ll watch over you both.”

Settling back down into the blankets, Wei Wuxian tucks his shidi more snugly into his arms, and closes his eyes.

“When this is over,” he murmurs, “let’s stay in Yunmeng for a spell.”

A large hand brushes gently through his unbound hair.