Shows how careful editing can tell a different story – or in this case, fill in gaps. Lovely!
“I’m just–a little bit of rest would be nice,” Jiang Cheng finally admits, and he leans even more heavily against Lan Xichen. He’s just glad that he’s too sick to get as flustered around Lan Xichen as he usually does whenever the other is even slightly close to him.
“A little bit of rest it is then,” Lan Xichen easily agrees and slings his arm around Jiang Cheng’s waist. “You’re burning up.”
“It’ll pass,” Jiang Cheng mutters, though now that he knows he doesn’t have to pretend to be alright anymore, he feels worse with every passing second.
“Under the right care,” Lan Xichen says and carefully walks Jiang Cheng towards his quarters.
Jiang Cheng gets sick. Luckily Lan Xichen is more than happy to care for him. This is soft and warm and lovely.
“I…” he began, then had to lick his dry lips. “I know what it’s like.” Lan Xichen met his eyes, raised his brows. “To lose…someone. To be betrayed.” He stopped, wincing. “To feel betrayed by someone you trusted.” He swallowed, closed his eyes for a moment. “To lose them, too.” He felt Lan Xichen’s gaze on him, but couldn’t look up. “Anyway,” he continued roughly, “I’m sure you’re handling it much better than me.” He downed the remainder of the wine in his bowl.
Lan Xichen surprised him with a huff of laughter. It sounded dry, twisted, more bitter than he could imagine a noise coming from the First Jade could ever be.
“Hardly,” said Lan Xichen.
Two men carrying so much pain, finding solace and maybe even healing in each other… It’s what appeals to me about this ship, and this fic is pretty much perfect!
He doesn’t know how one can feel so vulnerable, so stripped, so laid bare (granted figuratively but also very much literally) and yet at the same time not want to be anywhere else at this moment in time or alternatively strike the person down with Zidian who dares to put him in this position.
Smoking hot XiCheng smut – I love the thought of these two together!