uhhhhh anyway I make even the softest prompts into something...probably not that; this was written for the prompt Jiang Cheng x Nie Huaisang + "Hurt/Comfort after nightmares"

"It's okay to grieve," Nie Huaisang says patiently, fingers twining in Jiang Cheng's as he sits down.

There's decades of friendship between them but all he can think about are the differences- the joke of a Sect Leader he let himself be, how defenseless he acts, the ways they chose to move forward after losing family, and-

"Is it?" he snarls back, because there's a hurt that weighs heavy in his heart, pain that hasn't faded since he watched Lotus Pier burn around him, a weakness that clings to him despite every attempt he's made to ignore it.

Huaisang smiles, and in the flickering candlelight, there's very little of the carefree, fresh-faced boy he met so many years ago. "If you do it productively," he says, nails running across the palm of Jiang Cheng's hand before he lets go. "Make your loss someone else's nightmare."