Tang Yi looks up as Shao Fei finally enters the bedroom, his face still flushed from the hot shower and rubbing relentlessly with a towel at his wet hair. Warmth spreads through Tang Yi’s chest at the sight of his boyfriend. He watches him coming closer to the bed, sitting down at the edge of the bed, still rubbing his hair. He has not said anything. Which is weird. Tang Yi hesitates. He isn’t sure, but he could swear he’s seen a shadow falling over Shao Fei’s face right before turning away. A frown settles in on his face.
Silence isn’t exactly Shao Fei’s forte. At all.
Something feels off. Tang Yi doesn’t know where it comes from, but he can sense the tension filling up the air around them. He looks closer. Looks at the way Shao Fei pulls up his shoulders, avoiding his eyes, looks the visible tension hold within his body, the tense muscles, easily spotted in Shao Fei’s shirtless frame.
Tang Yi lets out a small sigh, propping himself up a bit.
“Tell me what’s wrong.”
It’s not a command. It’s a soft request. Still Tang Yi can see Shao Fei wincing at the sound of his voice. Which only makes the knot forming inside his stomach grow even bigger.
Shao Fei straightens up, towel still on top of his head. “Oh! It’s nothing!” He replies cheerfully, too cheerful, too quickly. He doesn’t turn around, won’t meet his eyes. And like that Tang Yi really starts worrying.
“It’s nothing. I’ve just been”, Shao Fei stops. “-thinking”, he finishes.
He still won’t look at him.
The uneasiness starting in his stomach, spreads to his chest. It feels like a cold hand is reaching out for his heart, taking its claim.
“Thinking about what?” Tang Yi requests, trying to figure out what this is all about.
Shao Fei turns around abruptly, eyes wide. Tang Yi blinks in surprise.
“Don’t you regret getting involved with somebody as inexperienced as me?” Shao Fei blurts out.
Realization sets in.
Oh! That what this is about!
Tang Yi relaxes a bit at the thought. Nothing too serious, he tells himself. Something easily fixed.
Still. The distraught so visible on his boyfriend’s face is enough for him to not simply lay down again. He folds back the blanket, moving out of the comfort of the bed eager to give some of it to Shao Fei.
“Shao Fei-“, he starts softly but gets interrupted by Shao Fei, who throws up his arms making Tang Yi stop in his tracks. His eyes are wide.
“No, no! Forget it! Just forget I’ve even said something! It’s ridiculous. I don’t even know why I brought it up!” Shao Fei rushes to say, before turning away again, getting back to kneading his probably already dried hair.
But Tang Yi won’t be fooled. He scoots up behind Shao Fei, reaches out, laying his left hand on the other man’s shoulder. He can feel Shao Fei freezes under the touch, but at least he's abandoning the senseless hair rubbing. He lets the towel sink down and Tang Yi’s corner of the mouth turns up. He brings up his right hand, laying it on top the other shoulder, positioning himself behind Shao Fei. Close enough to show presence, but their body not yet touching. Slowly, he lets his thumbs stroke softly over the skin underneath, causing a shiver to run over Shao Fei's body and him leaning into the touch. Tang Yi smiles at Shao Fei’s immediate response.
“How can I ignore it, if it’s clearly something important to you?”
Too bad, he still sits with his back to me, Tang Yi thinks, his face has probably a strong shade of embarrassed red, if Tang Yi assesses his boyfriend correctly. Too bad.
“Stop messing with me.” Shao Fei responds, the pout undeniably audible in his voice, Tang Yi can’t help but shake his head in adoration.
“I’m serious”, Tang Yi adds, his voice soft and honest. “I like your shyness. Your hesitation.”
“Why? Is it funny to you?”
Tang Yi sighs at the reflective sound of Shao Fei’s voice. He can hear annoyance, sure, but also something else. What is it… hurt? Embarrassment?
With Shao Fei? No, that doesn’t feel right.
Tang Yi feels the conversation slipping into the wrong direction. A change of plans is needed.
Tang Yi tightens his grip on Shao Fei’s shoulders, leaning down and presses his lips to the spot on Shao Fei’s spine, where his back meets the neck. Right when his lips meet skin, he can feel the breath hitching in Shao Fei's chest and smirks against the warm skin.
He presses another kiss to the soft spot in front of him, before tugging gently at Shao Fei’s shoulders, nudging him to lean back against Tang Yi’s chest. Shao Fei follows reluctantly, pout still on his face.
“No. It’s because I like you.”
“Stop distracting me with sweet talk.”
Tang Yi lets out an affronted scoff, looking up from where his face had been buried in Shao Fei’s neck.
“That’s not what I’m aiming at.”
With his arms around Shao Fei, he can feel the other man taking a deep breath and awaits the next comeback.
“Then”, Shao Fei starts, voice a bit too high for him, “then answer my question.” He turns his head a bit, looking into Tang Yi’s face. “Why me?”
Tang Yi can see the worry in his eyes. Fear, too. Of rejection maybe? Something inside his stomach sets.
“I like it because it’s honest. It’s real. It's you.”
Honesty, Tang Yi thinks, something so rare in his field of work, and in his world, too. He presses another kiss to Shao Fei’s shoulder. Something so special is meant to be savored.
After a moment of silence, Shao Fei speaks up again. “And you don’t regret it?” Shao Fei’s voice is hitched. He sounds so unsure, but there’s also the hint of hopefulness. At least that's what Tang Yi sets on.
Tang Yi retreats his arms, from where they are wrapped around Shao Fei. Smiling at Shao Fei’s small sound of protest in response to the loss of contact. He then softly pulls at Shao Fei’s shoulder, nudging him to turn around, so he could see his face. Shao Fei complies, slowly turning around. And sure enough, there it is. The faint redness on Shao Fei’s face Tang Yi adores.
The blush has risen all over his faces, even tainting his ears a wonderfully rich red. But his eyes are still averted, still avoiding Tang Yi’s. So, Tang Yi reaches out, placing his fingers underneath Shao Fei’s chin, lifting up his face, slowly, until their eyes meet. There’s no doubt in his voice or eyes when he continues.
Shao Fei's eyes are wide open, staring a thim, but he doesn't say a word. So he continues.
“Shao Fei, I could have had any experienced person out there. If I’d wanted. But I didn’t. Still don’t. I only want you. Experienced or not. If it’s you, I really don’t care.”
Shao Fei snorts. He grimaces. “Anybody? Really? Don’t you think you got a little too cocky there?” His tone is playful. But his eyes still look haunted, Tang Yi realizes.
“No.” Tang Yi shrugs. “Not cocky. Realistic.”
Shao Fei rolls his eyes at that, some of the hauntedness leaves his eyes, which is enough of a reason for Tang Yi to smile.
“And you don’t regret it?”, Shao Fei asks again, starting to fidget with the towel in his lap again. “I mean, if you really could have had anybody, why choose inexperienced-me?”
“I really shouldn’t have said it like that, should I? But, oh well, Shao Fei, I’m getting the impression you really have no idea.”
Tang Yi raises his hand, letting his fingertips dance over the sensitive skin behind Shao Fei’s ear, trailing down over his throat, to his shoulders. Drinking in, the shudder rolling over Shao Fei’s body his touch causes. The faint hitch of breath. The way his eyes close just a bit more, lips opening a tad. Tang Yi can’t help but lean forward, capturing the so slightly parted lips with his own. Shao Fei so much as melts into him, hands abandoning the towel, fisting into Tang Yi’s shirt instead, pulling him closer. It’s a sweet, short kiss. A simple reminder of having the other. A promise if you will.
When they break apart his eyes are full of wonder, as he lets his eyes wander over Shao Fei. Taking in the blissful look on his face, the way his eyes slowly open up, a little glazed, creating the most adorable look possible on an adult man. He takes in the way Shao Fei has invaded his space and heart and how perfectly he fits into it.
“You are so good.” Tang Yi’s voice is a little raspy as he speaks again, underlining his words with little kisses pressed to Shao Fei’s lips, neck, forehead. “So good.” He continues.
“In your responsiveness. Your natural bravery. Your recklessness. How could I not fall for you? What’s a little experience? With enough time, I can give you all the experience needed.”
Shao Fei’s already red face darkens at that, making him look even more endearing.
“So, no. I don't regret it. Now, do you believe me? Can you?”
Shao Fei smiles, and for the first time that night, it reaches his eyes.
“I believe you, Tang Yi.”
Shao Fei leans in and kisses him. Captures his lips, a little clumsy but full of passion. Tang Yi doesn’t have to think. He just responds, pulling Shao Fei even closer.
Shao Fei eventually leans back, a little breathless, eyes shining. He looks right into Tang Yi’s, his face only centimeters from his face away, a genuine smile on his lips. “Thank you, Tang Yi.”