Jiang Cheng stood staring out at the Pier. Water lapped gently around the docks, and Jiang Cheng wanted nothing more than to take his robes off and go swimming in the pleasant weather, but he couldn’t. He was the sect leader now, and he was still building up his sect from the destruction that the Wens caused to it. He could not afford to spend time swimming in the lake when there were still repairs to be made to Lotus Pier and new disciples to be trained to become experts.
He sighed and rubbed his face, about to turn around when a familiar voice interrupted his thoughts, a warm hand falling across his shoulders with a slight, teasing nudge to the waist. “Oiii Jiang Cheng, what are you thinking about?”
Jiang Cheng almost lost his balance and fell headfirst into the lake. “Wei Wuxian!” he hissed.
Wei Wuxian laughed loudly in response. “Were you thinking about me? Your favourite gege? Did you miss me Jiang Cheng?”
“No, you idiot! You are my only gege. Why would I miss you when you’re right here?” Jiang Cheng pretended to look annoyed but could barely hide his smile as he looked away. Wei Wuxian was unbelievable. He really was, but Jiang Cheng would not have him any other way.
He had missed him so much in the three months that he had been away. It had hurt him more than any physical pain ever could have, even losing his golden core. But Wei Wuxian was here now. Jiang Cheng knew that there was something different about him now, that something horrible had happened to Wei Wuxian in those three months.
But he trusted Wei Wuxian and knew him well enough to believe him when he said that he had everything under control, including his demonic cultivation. His brother was strong and an absolute genius at everything, and he always knew he could ask Jiang Cheng for anything, he always had his brother’s back.
“What do you say about going for a swim, huh, Cheng-cheng? You’re looking a bit tired. We wouldn’t want you to get wrinkles because you stayed out in the sun for too long, Sect Leader.”
Jiang Cheng glared at him. “You—!” He pushed Wei Wuxian into the lake, laughing at the way his brother screamed as he fell into the water.
“Jiang Cheng.” Wei Wuxian blinked at him and stood up in the water, walking towards Jiang Cheng. “Come here for a second. I just want to talk.”
Jiang Cheng’s eyes widened in alarm as he backed away from Wei Wuxian, turning around and running as Wei Wuxian pulled himself up onto the dock and ran behind him. “A-Cheng, get back here! Your Xian-gege just wants to talk to you!”
“No! Wei Wuxian, go away! Get away from me!” Jiang Cheng exclaimed. Laughter bubbled up in his chest and climbed up his throat, spilling from his mouth as he sprinted through the corridors of Lotus Pier. His eyes narrowed in on his sister, who was walking serenely towards the Ancestral Hall, and he called out to her. “A-jie! A-jie, save me from him.” Jiang Cheng rushed towards her and hid behind her. “He’s trying to threaten and hurt a sect leader, A-jie. Tell him it isn’t allowed. It should be illegal to do that, right?”
“Shijie, don’t listen to him! You don’t know what he did! Look at me. Jiang Cheng pushed me into the lake and now he won’t even come swimming with me.” Wei Wuxian swiped his hands around their sister to grab a hold of Jiang Cheng, but he failed, making Jiang Cheng grin and stick his tongue out in response. “I wasn’t threatening or hurting him, I just wanted to give him a hug! Don’t I deserve that, Shijie? Don’t I deserve a hug from my didi?”
Jiang Cheng’s jaw dropped as Wei Wuxian pouted and he saw his A-jie melting at the pout on his face. “A-Cheng, why don’t you let A-Xian hug you? I know how much you missed him when he was gone for three months. You both deserve to hug each other.” Before Jiang Cheng could protest or tell his A-jie what Wei Wuxian actually wanted to do, she stepped out of the way, giving Wei Wuxian direct access to Jiang Cheng.
He would like to think that his shriek had been a manly, respectable sounding one that would have been expected to come out of a sect leader’s mouth, but Jiang Cheng knew that wasn’t the case. Wei Wuxian had been soaking wet and as soon as he had hugged Jiang Cheng as tightly as he could have, Jiang Cheng had felt the wetness and the coldness seep into his clothes and his body. He was never forgiving Wei Wuxian for this. If Jiang Cheng got sick, he was going to kill his brother.
“Wei Wuxian!” Jiang Cheng roared in his brother’s ear. Wei Wuxian slowly took a step back as Zidian flared to life in front of him. “I’m going to break your fucking legs,” Jiang Cheng hissed, making Wei Wuxian take off running in the opposite direction.
Jiang Cheng chased right after him, shouting out Wei Wuxian’s name and several threats along with it. Neither of them noticed Jiang Yanli standing to the side, in front of the Ancestral Hall, shaking her head with a soft smile on her face.