A Long Road Chapter 12 Ficbit – Treed

“So. Looks like we didn’t have to come after all.” Wei Wuxian flopped back against Wen Ning’s solid shoulder, shamelessly leaving his friend between him and a tall, hard, likely chilly tree trunk. Maple, he thought, listening to the river chuckle behind them. At least the leaves looked like maple in the starlight, and the bark had the same ribbed, rough quality as maples back in the Jianghu.

Which was about as much as he wanted to think at all for the rest of the night. Maybe for days.

Unfortunately, they couldn’t keep hiding in Companions’ Field for days. Just long enough for the furor to die down, and the guards to go from jumpy to post-battle-crash sleepy, so they could sneak politely back out through Weaponsmaster Alberich’s hidden gate.

Or less politely, hop the wall. Or simply, quietly-

“We’re not going in the river, Cousin Wei.”

Wei Wuxian craned his head back and slightly up, meeting Wen Ning’s long-suffering gaze. “We’re not? It’d be fast. We could just float under the walls. I can use talismans to dry us both off as soon as we get to shore.”

“Jiejie will needle us both if you get frozen and catch a wind-sickness,” Wen Ning said firmly. “No.”

“But it’d be quiet.”

“Cousin Wei.” Dark eyes narrowed, just a little. “If you go in that river, all the ghosts will rise up. That’s not quiet.”

Wei Wuxian opened his mouth-

“Unless you tell them to be quiet. I know you want to be busy. You always want to be busy when Hanguang-jun hurts you. But you’re tired. And you don’t want anyone to get hurt. We both have to be careful. So just… rest.”

Wei Wuxian closed his eyes. “Lan Zhan didn’t hurt me.”

Wen Ning’s sigh whispered through his bones. “Hanguang-jun didn’t touch you. I know. But you’ve tried to keep that secret so long, and-” He cut himself off, leaning his forehead against Wei Wuxian’s hair. “H-he thinks it was Wen Zhuliu. Even if word gets out Yunmeng Jiang should be fine. Rest, Master Wei.”


19 thoughts on “A Long Road Chapter 12 Ficbit – Treed

  1. Okay… this is where “not having watched any version of the canon” is coming back to bite me.

    Is Wen Ning really all that tactile? I mean, I realize he’s only mostly dead, but…

    Also, a lot of guys who’ve just survived potential sudden death seem to feel like that’s the time for slap fights and other blowing off of steam. So the early part of the scene seems to work better than the later part.

    Not saying that the snapping at each other in a relieved way can’t peter out gradually. And not saying that’s it doesn’t have a sweet tone, because it does. But it’s two guys who are cousins, and yet there’s no casual jostling/joshing tone to it at the end.

    Anyway, that’s my take on a canon I don’t know, right after my first coffee!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Valid takes, but Wei Wuxian in canon is more likely to prank someone than engage in a slap fight. And they’re both tired, and – more important – trying very hard to calm down so they’re not huge signatures of resentful energy in the middle of all this spiritual energy. 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    2. Disclaimer: complete and total non-professional armchair education:

      Regarding the whole tactile thing, it’s something I’ve seen a lot with characters trying to get themselves centered. Reaching and having something physical to hold onto, provide an anchor/sensor feedback that grounds them into reality. Or as in one Transformers fic “Ghost Stories” used to help a ghost recenter themselves into reality after coming back from a period of recuperation separated from reality, by touching a patchwork quilt of many different types and textures of fabric and realign with what the physical world presents.

      Here, I can see Wen Ning (who is still making his slow way from resentment-animated non-decaying corpse to possibly mostly-alive being) using both his own need for tactile feedback and Wei Wuxian’s need to recenter himself after having his secret no-golden-core existence revealed to one of the people he most wanted to hide it from.

      Liked by 4 people

    3. I wouldn’t say WWX isn’t above a little roughhousing here and there, but he is very much the kind of person who tailors his interactions with other people to *them*. And WN is very much NOT a roughhousing kind of person hahaha.

      And while we don’t really get a whole lot of truly peaceful downtime scenes between the two of them in canon, I’m pretty sure I recall things like WWX gently cleaning dirt from WN’s face or detangling branches from his hair. And it’s definitely canon that neither of them have any problem with WN scooping up WWX to travel!

      Liked by 4 people

      1. He did both of those, yes. And made sure Wen Ning got a good bath once he’d escaped the iron nails, in later canon. Wei Wuxian has pretty much adopted him as “little brother to look after”.

        (Wen Ning would say, who looks after who, here? 😉 )

        Liked by 3 people

  2. I don’t grok WordPress so I’m rarely one to comment here but … CALLED IT!!! I ***KNEW*** IT WAS THE DOOR IN THE FIELD YOU NEED A COMPANION’S STRENGTH TO OPEN! (and companion blessings, maybe?) Also, I adored the Wen Ning & Wei Wuxian characterization in this snippet, platonic physical affection included. Thank you for letting Wen Ning be a bit pissed off that his dear friend/cousin/creator/good master keeps metaphorically breaking himself on the Great Ice Wall of Gusu. And I’m so glad that Wen Ning can give Wei Wuxian a safe familial place to *rest* with all this emotional turmoil.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. One of my favorite things about Wen Ning is that he looks out fro WWX in a way that he can’t.
    WWX doesn’t put his own wellbeing even on his list of priorities sometimes and it’s so important that he has such a loyal friend to keep him from catching his death in a river cause he doesn’t even think about it

    Liked by 4 people

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