Chapter 1: Cloud Piercer
It was said that out of all the opponents that Ye Xiu had ever faced on the battlefield, there was none he had to watch more closely than Zhou Zekai.
Each of the Gods had forged a place for themselves in his carousel of rivals: Desert Dust always came at him with unrelenting force, Troubling Rain wore at his patience with trash talk while exploiting every opportunity, and Vaccaria never failed to keep him guessing, but it was Cloud Piercer’s sheer focus and precision that brought him closer than he’d ever come to being well and truly dethroned.
And now that he was back in the game, Zekai could always feel those eyes on him.
He’d see his own face up on those big broadcast screens, facing the reporters with their neverending streams of questions, and he was acutely aware that Ye Xiu was watching and that to him, every minute shift in his expressions and every tilt of his head were as clear as a semaphore.
He looked into the cameras, his eminently photogenic face fixed in an expression of pleading.
Wherever he was, he knew Ye Xiu could read him like a book and he was well aware of what he wanted.
They’d meet at the hotel where Samsara would be spending the night, whenever their schedules aligned. Zekai would message him the room number in-game, just as if it were another arena match. The Battle God would be waiting, unharried, just outside while he himself had to dodge the press and fans alike with varying degrees of success. Truly, Ye Xiu was blessed to have a face that was neither pretty nor famous.
It always started off the same way, with the two of them squared off against each other, as though they were opposed on stage once again. As soon as they got inside, Zekai would start to strip first. He never tired of the way Ye Xiu would look at him, his eyes coursing over his body in a gaze of both admiration and appraisal.
Glory’s taciturn Adonis had plenty of admirers - too many - and it was only in those stolen secret moments that he lost all resentment for the fact that people couldn't take their eyes off him.
He didn’t mind if Ye Xiu was the one worshipping his body.
“Your team’s doing well,” he stated simply as he tossed aside his dress shirt and pants and went to settle on the bed. Terse as always but sincere. Ye Xiu stripped himself from the waist down but chose to keep his shirt on.
“Thanks. We’re doing everything we can not to get dusted,” he said, and something in that half-smile made Zekai’s heart ache.
He always wondered if Ye Xiu begrudged him the title of Glory’s new number one. But then again, he of all people had to know that he was more than welcome to come and take it back.
Everyone said Ye Xiu’s hands were exquisite, and Zekai loved the feel of them running over his body once he came to join him on he mattress, tracing over his skin and tweaking the sensitive nubs of flesh that had been left exposed to the air. They were hands that could bring him off as easily as they could bang out a tuneless concerto on the piano. Yes - he’d heard all about those fast fingers. But in this moment, Zekai wanted to give as well as he got.
He knew that Ye Xiu had his own reasons for coming to see him, the he had something to prove, had to show someone, anyone, that he was still a force to be reckoned with, even if it was just him.
Zekai didn’t mind, for Ye Xiu didn’t need to hear those reassurances spoken aloud. He knew better than anyone that while his mouth said little, his body spoke volumes.
“You’ve doing great with Samsara,” he murmured as he reached for Zekai’s already hard length. “Not even Li Xuan and Wu Yuce’s new strategy could keep you down.” He leaned down over his prone form and kissed a line down the side of his neck and over his chest as he verbally ticked off his accomplishments. “You deserved to get MVP after a season like that. You played so well...ah...”
He allowed himself a tiny smirk at the interruption caused by his own hand reaching for Ye Xiu. They both moaned as they touched one other, and Zekai reveled in the sound. In the back of his mind he thought that, perhaps more that anything else, what he loved about being with Ye Xiu was how he saw a beauty in him that had nothing to do with the symmetry of his features.
The hand on his length sped to a frantic pace as it pumped him right up until the crucial moment, when the pressure was suddenly removed and instantly replaced with the sensation of being gripped with a merciless pressure right at the base of his cock, sealing his release. Trigger discipline.
He should have expected this, that Ye Xiu wouldn't want to just make him cum but would have him beg for it. No matter how much time passed, he was always the same.
“P-please...” his own voice sounded faint and distant to his own ears. “Y-Ye Xiu...please...I need it...” A small chuckle of triumph seemed to be his way of acknowledging this concession.
His hand released Zekai from its torturous hold and resumed its previous firm, insistent movements. Ye Xiu’s lips and tongue were everywhere, from this lobe of ear down to his shoulders and all over his torso, nipping and kissing in time with his breathy moans.
When Zekai sense he was losing himself to orgasm, he closed his eyes, and all he could see was him.
The real number one.
It took several minutes for him to catch his breath, and he lay there drowsy and sated for a time, unable to move. His companion was patient and gentle as he helped him clean up, but there was an unmistakable air of self-satisfaction about him that hadn’t been there before.
Zekai didn’t mind. The gleam in Ye Xiu’s eyes told him he was ready for the counterattack.
Chapter 2: Blue River
These days, it seemed that everyone was telling Xu Boyuan that what he really needed was a day off.
He couldn’t disagree. Between keeping an eye on the status of the 10th server’s BOSS kills, the guild drama, and the constant wariness about being trolled, his nerves were stretched to the breaking point. Ever since Lord Grim had entered his life, it had felt as though his internal screaming would never stop.
And that was how he found himself in the little tea shop in a quiet part of town, surrounded by rosewood furniture and walls adorned with calligraphy. His guildmates had recommended the place to him, telling him that some quiet time in an urban oasis was just what he needed. It seemed a nice, relaxing place, perfect for taking the time to sit down and read a novel or contemplate your life choices.
He didn’t tell them that he planned on meeting someone here.
Aside from his initial “wow, what a name” reaction, he hadn’t put all that much thought into what the player behind Unrivaled Super Hottie must be like. They’d had messaged him seemingly at random, asking - humbly - if he could offer guidance to someone leveling their first Knight. Normally, he wouldn’t have had time for such a request, but he couldn't deny that he was nostalgic for this kind of simple interaction. He’d answered their questions as best he could, and the two of them struck up something of a rapport. Before long, his new friend Unrivaled had become something of a confidante. (And honestly, if you wanted to be funny, it sounded as if his smurf account Peerless Looks had found their perfect match).
He told them more about himself as time went on, encouraging their progress and giving them tips as an old Glory veteran, at one point admitting his deep admiration for Huang Shaotian.
“I guess there’s no accounting for taste.” That had struck Boyuan as a bit odd, but he brushed it off. He supposed people from Tyrannical Ambition were loyal to Han Wenqing alone.
From their chatting style alone, they seemed to be a more pleasant sort than most of the crowd he encountered in-game, and after all his years of guild-leading, the player usually known as Blue River considered himself to be a pretty good judge of character. He vented to them, in the vaguest terms possible, about his many trials: the feeling that he wasn’t getting any respect, his failed spying campaign, and especially the neverending aggravation supplied by Lord Grim.
“What a shameless guy!” his new friend replied after he’d finished another long outpouring, and Boyuan’s heart was warmed by the feeling of solidarity.
“Heh...I don’t think he’s a bad guy, really...” he admitted sheepishly. “Just wish he would torment someone else for a change. No one here cares about what I have to deal with.”
“Everyone asks Where’s Blue River? But nobody asks How’s Blue River?...😔” Unrivaled’s message and the accompanying pensive face emoji made him feel oddly touched.
“BTW...” the Knight continued, “Going to be in your area next week. Wanna meet up?”
Boyuan had agreed with more enthusiasm than he dared admit.
He walked into the tea house just a few minutes after he’d planted himself at one of the ornate wooden tables. They were the only two customers in the shop.
“Blue River?” he asked, eyes hopeful. Boyuan almost blushed. He'd tried not to let the guy's in-game handle color his expectations, but he had to admit he liked the look of his face.
The proprietress came over as soon as they had both taken their seats.
“What kind of tea do you like?” The player of Unrivaled Super Hottie smiled gently at his query.
“How about...something healthy?”
The woman serving them spoke up readily.
“Perhaps you would enjoy some Jin Xuan oolong? It's very soothing and excellent for lowering one’s blood pressure.”
“Sounds like just what you need,” his companion said, reading his thoughts exactly.
“I’ll bring that out for you shortly,” the proprietress nodded graciously as she headed to the back of the shop to prepare their order.
They made smalltalk mostly, with Boyuan taking the lead in asking gently probing questions in the hopes of getting to know the mystery man a bit better: What do you do? Internet cafe manager. What are you doing in town? Visiting. And most importantly...
“What’s your name?”
“Ye Xiu.” He almost did a double take. That sounded way too much like the old captain of Excellent Era.
“I’m Xu Boyuan. It’s great to finally meet you.” They held each other’s gaze as a teapot and two delicate cups were set down before them. The first steep of tea was poured, and the fragrant aroma helped to calm his nerves.
Only once they were left alone again did his companion choose to speak.
“It’s great to meet you too, Happy’s Number One Babysitter.”
Boyuan promptly choked on his piping hot tea.
“Y- you’re Lord Grim!” he sputtered, raising an accusatory finger and looking him right in the eye, tongue smarting from the mild burn he’d just inflicted on himself. Of all the shameless...
“Aren’t you glad we had the chance to see each other like this?” his companion asked with an infuriating lilt in his tone. Boyuan wanted nothing more than to splash the tea in his face and run out of this shop as fast as he could.
As if sensing his distress, Ye Xiu grasped his wrist in a gesture of comfort. Boyuan tried to shake it off.
“I know you've been stressed lately. Let me make it up to you.”
Half-standing to close the distance, the bane of his in-game existence leaned over and pressed his lips against his.
“Mmph!” A helpless sound formed his throat as he let Ye Xiu kiss him. To his tremendous embarrassment, he felt a stiffness in his jeans start to build. Leave it to Lord Grim to give him a stress boner.
They pulled apart, and the wicked grin Boyuan saw once again made him want to flee to safety. Ye Xiu put a finger to his lips and ducked beneath the table, moving so fast that he didn’t even have time to protest.
He felt the fingers tugging at his fly and was powerless to resist as he felt himself being eased out of his boxers.
Ye Xiu’s mouth had been warmed by the tea, and Boyuan suppressed a whimper as he was swallowed whole. He scanned the shop for any sign of movement, terrified they’d be overheard or that a customer would walk in at any moment.
He pushed back and looked under the table as he yanked at Ye Xiu’s hair, muttering through gritted teeth.
“What the fuck are you doing?! Are you crazy...Ah-!” But just like in Glory, he couldn’t help but be suppressed. Ye Xiu’s mouth worked him over faster and better than anything he’d ever felt before, and he held the dark polished edges of the table in a white-knuckled grip as he came.
The sound of footsteps sent him into a panic, and his hands flew to smack the smug asshole away and zip himself back in. Lightning-quick, Ye Xiu popped up right back where he’d been seated, calm as anything. He’d swallowed him cleanly, and aside from his own reeling consciousness there was nothing to betray what had just transpired.
The proprietress didn’t bat an eye as she prepared the next serving of tea, and Boyuan was left in a fog of indignant pleasure as they sipped the rest of their tea.
“Shall we continue after this?” Ye Xiu asked cheerfully, completely ignoring the death glare being sent his way.
“You can’t be serious!” Boyuan didn’t even both trying to lower his voice.
“I was hoping you’d take me home with you after this.” Ye Xiu gave him an expectant look that was utterly devoid of remorse.
“I-,” Boyuan again felt the heat rising in his face and running down his neck. There was something almost evil in the smirk that crept over his companion’s face
“After all...” Ye Xiu covered his hand with his own, and this time he didn’t pull back. “Lord Grim has a lot of favors to repay.”
Chapter 3: Windward Formation
People that had a problem with Wei Chen were quick to point out what they perceived as his worst flaws: he was rude, selfish, and he smoked enough to ruin the air quality of a small city. Just yesterday he'd found and discarded the home-printed "Repiratory Hazard" sign complete with gas mask icon that one of their team's young punks (probably Fang Rui) had taped to their door.
But perhaps his greatest weakness was a vice that he kept hidden where few could bear witness. Now that Happy was on track to enter the playoffs and Ye Xiu had him convinced that you really could teach an old dog new tricks, he couldn't resist indulging his vanity a little every now and then.
He was sitting at his desk regarding the monitor with a look of profound intensity. On the screen, Windward Formation slowly turned 360 degrees in the character selection window as he held down the right arrow key. The avatar’s visage - his own face - wore a smug grin as though it were aware of the sleek, newly-acquired set of armor it had equipped that coordinated perfectly with the Death’s Hand scepter clutched in its hand.
“Looking good,” he said to the empty room.
At least...he’d thought it was empty.
“Wow! Old Wei, isn’t this really too shameless, even for you?” Ye Xiu’s voice called out from the doorway behind him
Wei Chen turned so he wouldn’t have to look at him, fingers rubbing his temples in annoyance. He’d thought Ye Xiu’s training session wasn’t supposed to end for another half hour.
“Can’t you go take a nap or something?” he said in annoyance as he heard him come in and close the door.
“Not tired enough. You?”
“I-,” Truth was, Wei Chen was ready to do just about anything to get Ye Xiu off of the topic at hand - as his roommate, he wasn’t sure he could restrain himself from strangling him if he was going to be in the position of being the butt of his jokes for the rest of the season.
“Want to fuck around?” he asked. Ye Xiu eyed him curiously.
“You’re clean right?”
“Just showered this morning. Can’t you tell?” he barked in annoyance.
“With you? Never.” Wei Chen rolled his eyes. Seriously, there were times when being FWBs with this asshole was more of a pain than it was worth. Nothing but disrespect and negative aftercare, but really, what else should he have expected?
“Old Wei...” he approached slowly, voice low, and Wei Chen felt the heat run through him as Ye Xiu’s hand touched his shoulder. They fell back onto his bed, and his breath hitched as he felt him grind his hips against his.
“You’re so handsome!” he exclaimed, mirth in his eyes.
“SHUT UP!!!” Wei Chen mashed a palm into Ye Xiu’s face, pushing that infuriating grin away from him. The sound of his laughter echoed through the room and he answered with curses muttered under his breath.
In any case, Ye Xiu seemed to be in a damned generous mood today. After they had both stripped, he allowed Wei Chen the coveted position of lying back on the bed, knees bent and head resting on the pillows. They were both half hard already, and the sight of Ye Xiu positioning his naked body to straddle his was enough to get him fully stiff.
He parted his lips to accommodate the cock that was thrust down to his face, and the sensation of his roommate taking him in kind caused him to moan around it. He bucked his hips up to meet the warm, wet heat of Ye Xiu’s mouth, a shudder running through him as he felt a hand reach over to cup and fondle the area around his sac.
He couldn’t suppress a whimper at the sensation of the thumb massaging the area just beneath his balls, practically making him squirm. Goddamn Ye Xiu, so fucking lazy but always needing to show off in times like these.
“You okay there, Old Wei?” Ye Xiu pulled his mouth off of him to ask the question, and Wei Chen could practically hear the smirk in his voice.
“Fuck off and get back to sucking me,” he snarled. The truth was, he wasn’t sure how much longer he’d last. Normally he could have gone all afternoon, the two of them blowing each other till both their necks ached too much to keep it up and they had to stop and finish with their hands. But today Ye Xiu had managed to get him wound up tight, and just a bit more would be enough to end him, he was sure.
His vulnerability must have been transparent, because just a moment later he felt Ye Xiu’s hand and mouth leave his crotch and heard a wet, sucking sound. And then when he felt the slick fingers tease around his hole and slide into him he moaned so loud he was afraid that Bao had heard them in the next room over and was going to come barging in to rescue him at any second. Thankfully, they were spared the interruption, and Ye Xiu proceeded with fuck him with his fingers while his mouth sucked him relentlessly.
It was more then Wei Chen could stand, and as those talented fingertips brushed against his prostate, he came hard with a ragged groan Ye Xiu must have felt as he came down his throat mere moments later.
Sweaty and intensely sated, they extricated each other from the messy knot they’d formed and threw themselves down on their respective beds. Within seconds, Wei Chen felt the heady waves of tired satisfaction wash over him as his eyelids fell closed.
To his surprise, he was the first one to awaken three hours later, the afternoon sun having sunk low in the sky and his empty stomach rumbling at the prospect of mealtime.
Ye Xiu was still fast asleep, naked and shielded by nothing more than a single sheet he’s pulled messily around himself when he’d drifted off. A sadistic impulse overtook him as he went over to shake him by the shoulder.
“Hey! Wake up! They’re shutting down Glory. Company just declared bankrupcty.”
“Wha-?” Ye Xiu’s eyes started to open blearily, and Wei Chen was gratified to see a hint of genuine alarm in his features.
“I’m kidding. Come on - get up so we can go get some dinner.”
Looking uncharacteristically somber - maybe it was just the drowsiness - his roommate dragged himself up and started to put on his clothes.
He slapped Ye Xiu hard on the shoulder as they walked out together and headed downstairs for their meal.
Neither commented further on Wei Chen’s little prank. He suspected he could guess at the reason why.
No one knew better than the two of them that these were their last days left to dream.