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Sep 22, 2021 4:30 PM
Wei Wuxian meets up with the other time travellers
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Spicy food!  Made by the best sister in the world!

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They eat.  Jiang Cheng is pretty sure that they're supposed to be eating in silence, but Wei Wuxian is loudly and effusively praising A-Jie's cooking, so during a lull he asks, "I don't suppose you have a way to put yourself back into your own body?"

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"I don't have a finished spell for it, no.  I'll work on one.  Then - I guess the other Jiang Cheng will wind up in this body?"

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"Can you put him into the body of a toad instead?"

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"Oh, Jiang Cheng.  How cruel!"

He senses Jiang Cheng flinch at that.  That had struck a nerve that Wei Wuxian hadn't been aiming at.  Before he can get up and storm away, Wei Wuxian reaches over and pulls him back down. 

"Jiang Cheng is one of my favorite people in the entire world.  You need to be nice to him."

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"After everything he did?"

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"There is nothing that you could do to make us stop caring about you, A-Cheng.  You are always our brother."

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Wei Wuxian nods in agreement at this.

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"And that goes for you, too, A-Xian."

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What?  No.  That doesn't sound right.  They can't turn this around on him!

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It absolutely sounds right.  If Jiang Cheng is going to have to deal with this Being Unconditionally Loved thing, then Wei Wuxian is going to join in and suffer alongside him!

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"But a great deal of the future really was my fault.  Your future self was just reacting to things that I caused."

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"Shut up!  I'll fight anyone who says that you aren't worth having around.  Don't make me punch a six year old."

He considers this.  "I'm going to have to get all of my punching of Sandu Shengshou in while he's still in your body."  Jiang Cheng needs to go over the future information and take note of every single problem that Sandu Shengshou caused and make sure that he pays for each of them.  Where did he put those notes...?

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Wei Wuxian rolls his eyes.  "Don't beat yourself up over it.  It's in the... Past?  It previously happened and is influencing events, and it isn't in the present, and won't happen beyond this point in time.  So, past.  I think."  Time travel: so hard to talk about!

"Also, don't punch my face!  How am I supposed to charm all the pretty girls once I get back to my body if it's all covered in bruises?"

This inevitably devolves into roughhousing.  They absolutely need to defuse all of this mortifying honesty.  Wei Wuxian tries his best, but Jiang Cheng (in violation of the proper behavior of little brothers) is bigger than him and refuses to be pinned down by a six year old.  Unfair! 

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Jiang Yanli watches.

Once this has gone on for long enough that they're at risk of being late for class, she breaks it up.  "Alright, you two.  A-Cheng and I need to go to the lecture.  A-Xian, will you stay out of trouble for me?"

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But there's nothing else to do in Cloud Recesses.

"I'll be good today, Shijie," he says anyway.  He will try.

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Jiang Cheng also intends to be good today.  He doesn't have to be told to because he's the responsible one. 

He gets to class without incident.  Master Lan Qiren's lecture is very boring but he does his best to memorize the information anyway.  It is the reason that he's in Cloud Recesses at all.

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Wangji had been keeping watch near the guest quarters just in case their meeting went badly and Wei Ying needed help.  He'd left once Jiang Wanyin had brought Wei Ying to his sister.  It was more out of a need to prepare for class himself than any desire to leave them alone.  Jiang-guniang is a calming influence.  Her brothers rarely fight in her presence.

He does not fidget or look longingly towards the door.  He sits upright with perfect posture in his seat near the front of the classroom.  When the Jiang disciples enter he shifts his head only just enough to glance at them.  Wei Ying isn't with them.  That is understandable.  It would lead to questions if a child entered a class where everyone else was twice his age.  Jiang-guniang is happy.  He suspects that she would not be happy if Wei Ying were harmed. 

The lecture is calming, but too quiet.  Wei Ying should be here and causing trouble.  Passing notes to Nie Huaisang or sticking crude drawings to Uncle's back.  Prodding at Jiang Wanyin until the other man complains loudly enough to get scolded for it.  Answering Uncle's questions with brilliant and unconventional approaches that lead to arguments. 

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How about sending a paperman talisman to sneak around the classroom?  Because here's one right now!  It spirals downward from the rafters and lands on Lan Zhan's shoulder, then mimics his upright sitting posture. 

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Wangji relaxes by about a thousand percent as soon as he notices the paperman.  This is not obvious to anyone else, but Wei Ying knows him.  Wei Ying is here, alive, and very much himself. 

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Lan Zhan seems to like that Wei Wuxian is sitting in class like he ought to be.  More or less.  As much of sitting in class as he can be given his current state.

He does his best to be properly attentive.  This lasts, oh, about two minutes.  He begins playing with Lan Zhan's hair.

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Wangji is also having a hard time focusing on the lecture.

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The morning continues.  The lecture is an especially boring one: something about the history of the sects.

Wei Wuxian cleverly manages to evade notice.  He visits Shijie and dances around on her desk.  Looks over Jiang Cheng's notes.  Sneaks up to the front of the classroom to balance on the paper screen behind Master Lan and mimic his every movement. Shortly before class wraps up he drifts back to Lan Zhan.

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His shoulder is the safest place in the room.  If Wei Ying is going to be in a room with Jiang Wanyin at all, he should be on Wangji's shoulder.

The class ends and Wangji exits along with the students. 

Seething and resigned beneath his carefully neutral expression, he approaches the Jiang siblings and begins following them back to their guest quarters.  Brother is far too busy to micromanage this.  Wangji had intended to take on more tasks to assist him.  As one of only three Lan currently aware of the time travel and the one with the fewest other duties keeping track of future-related things must therefore fall to him.  It is unfortunate that dealing with Jiang Wanyin is a part of this and that murder continues to be illegal in Cloud Recesses. 

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"Here's the place where Lan-er-gongzi arrived from the future," he tells Wei Wuxian as they follow that same path - the fastest one between the main buildings and their guest quarters.  "The first thing he did when he woke up was try to stab me with Bichen.  He still hasn't apologized to me about it."

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