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two mornings

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The sheets of the royal crown prince of WuYong are luxurious. They’re crafted delicately by hand, white as pearls and smooth as water. Jun Wu hasn’t known anything else, thus he cannot compare them, but he knows that they are special by the fact that everything in his quarters is. The sheets, though, are his favorite, watching them cling to the body laying next to him, hugging his form and sticking to sweat. Even better when they slide down his waist and pool at his hip, drawing Jun Wu’s eye down with it along the curve of his body.

Just as soon as he begins eyeing him, Mei Nianqing sits up and swings his legs over the side of the bed. Jun Wu catches his wrist before he can stand. “You never stay,” he says, almost hating the way Mei Nianqing smiles at him as if he were a child.

“What would your attendants think if they found us in the morning?” He bends down to press a chaste kiss to his prince’s lips, and Jun Wu leans up to chase his mouth for another.

“It hardly matters what they think, I’m their prince. Stay.”

“My dear highness, it would not bode well for your following to have an unsavory rumor spread now. People would talk about us Head Priests in particular.”

Jun Wu uses the hand holding his wrist to reach up and gently entangle itself in Mei Nianqing’s hair. It’s usually so immaculate and perfectly kept, but now after their night together is a horribly unkempt mess. He gently pulls the priest down to kiss again and Mei Nianqing follows easily, never able to refuse his prince, and Jun Wu speaks against his mouth. “I’ll silence whatever rumors may come, I’d protect you.”

Mei Nianqing chuckles into another kiss. “It’s not me I’m worried about, this one holds no shame in being your partner.”

He lifts an arm to wrap around Mei Nianqing’s waist, slowly pulling the man back into bed as Jun Wu rolls over with Mei Nianqing on top. “Then stay. Just one night.”

It’s hardly any decision when Mei Nianqing has already been pulled back against Jun Wu. He cups the side of Jun Wu’s cheek and smiles down at him, a bright and lovely thing. His fingers curl behind Jun Wu’s ear.

“Yes, your highness.”


 

“Get off of me already,” Jun Wu heaves through a strained breath.

Mei Nianqing barely stirs, and it takes a less than gentle arm elbowing him away to get the man off his chest. He still manages to cling to his side, though, arms wrapped tightly around Jun Wu’s thin form with a pool of drool forming on his shoulder.

Naturally, a number of inconveniences came along with losing his powers as a martial god. He had expected the obvious ones like being unable to win fights, struggling to work at all, and general fatigue. What he didn’t expect was for it to extend into his own bedroom, suddenly unable to even breathe with Mei Nianqing sleeping peacefully on his chest.

Once upon a time, he would walk into feasts in his name carrying Mei Nianqing with one arm and a cattle to be slaughtered for the banquet in the other, just because he could. The sight would be met with loud, overwhelming applause, and Mei Nianqing would laugh and laugh even as his face turned red. From where he was perched on Jun Wu’s shoulder, he would look down and they would grin at each other, joy seeping from every pore.

Mei Nianqing hums as he slowly comes to. He blinks awake gradually with a loud yawn and sits up to stretch, giving Jun Wu momentary relief before he falls right back down into the crook of his arm. Mei Nianqing makes himself right at home in Jun Wu’s half embrace, curling an arm around his waist as he nuzzles his face into a pec.

“Good morning, your highness,” he says groggily, pressing a kiss to his bare chest.

Jun Wu purses his lips. “I’m hungry.”

“What a spoiled child I’ve raised. I’ll get breakfast in a few minutes…”

He wants to reply snarkily, but there’s nothing he can say that wouldn’t simply prove Mei Nianqing’s point. Apparently his silence is response enough, as Mei Nianqing eventually turns his head to look up at him with a tired smile. Jun Wu frowns, and his smile becomes brighter.

“You used to beg me to stay in bed with you,” Mei Nianqing recounts with a pleased hum, turning so he can cross his arms over Jun Wu’s chest and prop his chin up on his folded hands.

“I never begged for anything,” Jun Wu says. “I didn’t understand why you always left.”

“His highness said that he would protect me, even though it’s his reputation I was worried about. You made me so happy with that.”

“Everyone knew we were together anyways.”

“I suppose they did, didn’t they?”

With his head propped up on Jun Wu’s chest, Mei Nianqing’s eyes drift back shut. Jun Wu isn’t sure if he should jostle him awake or repeat his request for food. He finds himself busy watching Mei Nianqing’s smile, still on his lips even as he lulls back into sleep, and Jun Wu is amazed how it doesn’t disappear.

It had been like this back then, too, hadn’t it? After convincing Mei Nianqing to stay for the first time, Jun Wu had awoken before him. At first he laughed at the fact his priest would sleep longer than his prince, and then he caught sight of that silly looking smile on his face. He watched, waiting for it to return to a straight line as whatever dream he must be having ends. But it stayed the entire morning until Jun Wu found he had been awake for nearly an hour simply watching Mei Nianqing’s resting face.

He could look upon that smile forever, he had thought peacefully. Back then, everyone smiled at Jun Wu, his presence like the sun that lit up any room he walked into. Even the common people would all turn their heads with bright faces, cheering for him wherever he showed his face. It was only his close retinue that knew him personally, though, and he relished in the expressions of his friends who saw him for himself. Those smiles meant more to him, meant something personal.

And then, on a higher degree, was Mei Nianqing.

What he wouldn’t give to return to those simple times.

After mulling over how he should wake his partner up for so long, Jun Wu is caught off guard when he hears Mei Nianqing begin snoring again, back in a deep sleep. It hardly took long at all, but he had been watching his face for quite some time, too.

With an exasperated sigh, Jun Wu rolls the other way and waits for Mei Nianqing to seek his warm body out in his sleep. It only takes seconds for pale arms to snake around his waist as the priest scoots forward, pressing his chest against Jun Wu’s back and breathing contentedly once settled behind him. Jun Wu’s stomach rumbles underneath Mei Nianqing’s hands, and he wills it to be quiet for a few more minutes.