His oath made to the stars and a sleeping Yin Biyue, Luo Mingchuan put a steadying hand on the other’s back then carefully leaned backward until he laid flat on the roof tiles. Yin Biyue’s fingers curled into his robe as he curled into Luo Mingchuan’s embrace. For a while, Luo Mingchuan kept his gaze on the clear night sky, the echoes of Yin Biyue’s mumble still in his ears.
“So good and warm.”
Even if he only thought about it, Luo Mingchuan’s heart throbbed, on Yin Biyue’s back, his hand hitched to slide upward and touch the soft looking skin. The urge surprised him, alerting him he was still affected by the alcohol and prompting him to circulate his Qi to get rid of the inebriation. When he felt more in control of himself, he shook Yin Biyue’s shoulders, calling his name to wake him up.
Yin Biyue did. But he only clung harder to Luo Mingchuan’s chest, frowning cutely as he curled on himself and trembled from the cold.
“Let’s get to sleep,” Luo Mingchuan tried again.
“Mnn,” Yin Biyue refused, hiding his face into Luo Mingchuan’s robe.
Luo Mingchuan sighed in slight annoyance, although, his chest felt very warm even if Yin Biyue still exuded coldness. He straightened from his previous laying position, kept his hand on the other’s back to steady him, yet Yin Biyue clung so hard to him, Luo Mingchuan worried the seam of his robe would be pulled apart.
“Come on, shidi,” he called again, shaking the other. “Be careful, if you don’t stand up, I’ll carry you!”
There was no answer to his false threat, Yin Biyue having slipped back into sleep in just one breath, and Luo Mingchuan sighed anew as he realised he’d have to carry his shidi or let him there, which was out of the question! Adjusting his grip on Yin Biyue’s shoulders, he slid his other arm under the younger one’s knees and stood up.
Shidi holds himself with the grace and weightlessness of a petal, yet he weights his fair share! Luo Mingchuan thought as he lifted his eyebrows high into his hairline only to shake his head; obviously, his shidi couldn’t weight like a petal, he had been stupid to think that. Yin Biyue weighted a normal amount for someone of his build. It was easy for Luo Mingchuan to jump down with his charge and discreetly go to his bedroom.
The inside of the room had been warmed up earlier in the night when they all came back, but now it felt as chilly as outside. No servants had come to bring back a lighted up brazier since Yin Biyue’s introversion and distaste for people in his space was known by all.
Luo Mingchuan lowered down the other who immediately tried to roll into his blankets.
“No, no, shidi, undress yourself first.”
Yin Biyue grumbled in disaccord, batting away the hand shaking his shoulder yet again. Luo Mingchuan showed no irritation to Yin Biyue’s reaction, he shook his head fondly, feeling like he was met with a kid taking advantage of the fact someone was taking care of him.
He can, Luo Mingchuan agreed while grabbing a boot to unlace it. After all, Yin Biyue was a proud and lonely silhouette who never asked for help. Alcohol lowered his barriers and rather than be an angry drunk, he was a needy one.
The other was almost asleep when the second boot was put at the foot of the bed, Luo Mingchuan tried to make Yin Biyue sit so he could undress his outer robe. Yin Biyue only knew he was awoken thus, he stared down a Luo Mingchuan with a frown between his white eyebrows. To hold himself upward, Yin Biyue’s hand had shot forward in quest for some support and landed on half of Luo Mingchuan’s face.
“Shixiong,” Yin Biyue mumbled, blinking a few times to get rid of his sleepiness only for his eyes to droop even more.
“Shidi, undress yourself before getting into the blankets.”
“Mn,” Yin Biyue said noncommittally, patting a few times Luo Mingchuan’s cheek. He sighed, “Good and warm. ‘m better in my clothes, it’s too cold.”
With that, Yin Biyue rolled over to wrap himself into his blankets, his hair spilling out like vermicelli out of badly closed juanzi, the light green of Yin Biyue’s collar performing the role of a vegetable. Amused by such antics, his own thought pulled out of Luo Mingchuan a light chuckle.
Standing up, he leaned over the bundle to catch sight of Yin Biyue’s face, “Shidi, listen, if you get out of your robes, I’ll make sure you’re warm.”
Even without answer, he went to light up the charcoal inside the iron-cast brazier on the side of the room. When he saw the trace of sparks light up the dark matter, Luo Mingchuan sent a glance to Yin Biyue, thinking of a mean to make him move. However, he snapped his head back toward the brazier; he had insisted for Yin Biyue to undress because he did not trust himself not to give ideas to his deeply lonely shidi. Now, Luo Mingchuan could add the fact that Yin Biyue sitting with half-lidded eyes, his inner robe slipping from his shoulder as he pouted cutely elicited a strange reaction in him.
“T-tell me when you’ve finished, shidi.”
Luo Mingchuan glanced one more time and met those pretty eyes. He snapped his head back toward the burning coals, “Alright, go into your covers.” He waited for a little but didn’t dare look back, “Is this good? Are you in your blankets?”
There was no answer, so after a few steadying breaths, Luo Mingchuan turned back. He couldn’t help the soft smile on his lips when he caught sight of his shidi gently curled on himself, wrapped his all his blankets and deep asleep.
Luo Mingchuan crouched down to slip under the bed a closed cast pan with more coals. In this way, the bed above and the whole room would warm up quickly. For a moment he hesitated on attempting to find a servant to prepare some remedy for the next morning when Yin Biyue would surely wake up with a headache, but he chose not to. His shidi might not take well that another than the two of them knew he had exaggerated.
With all that could be done completed, Luo Mingchuan had to accept he wasn’t needed anymore. He stood idly for a moment, poured a cup of water for Yin Biyue and set it on his nightstand then observed for a while the soft face illuminated by moonlight. The moment he noticed his creepy behaviour he straightened and walked stiffly out of the room until he was far enough to clack his cheeks three times in punishment.
When his head hit the pillow, he stared at the roof for a while, images of a relaxed Yin Biyue, all the frost around him thawed into the warmth of early spring, danced in his mind. He didn’t know why, but what was certain was that he slept only for the blink of an eye.