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Step 1: Peel the cucumber.

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In hindsight, Shen Qingqiu could admit that perhaps picking up his old hobbies now that he found himself with an abundance of free time - given that he was no longer afraid for his life or beholden to the system, but married to a man who, despite his clinginess, was still very much a Demon Lord with all the responsibilities that entailed - had been… a mistake.

A very, very big mistake, but in his defence, the authors he critiqued back in his old life never came looking for him.

And none of them (he hoped) were witches.

“So,” said the witch, smiling unpleasantly across the table at him. “Peerless Cucumber, hm? An interesting name, for an illustrious Peak Lord such as yourself.” 

Shen Qingqiu winced. 

So, okay, maybe using his old forum name had been a mistake as well, but to be fair, he hadn’t expected anyone to connect a sharp-tongued literature critic with a terrible, immature nickname to the lofty immortal husband of the local Demon Lord. 

There were many, many things he could say to the witch, starting with ‘I don’t know who you’re talking about’ and ending with ‘yes, and I offer my services as an editor at a very low price’, but what came out when he opened his mouth was: “How did you get in my house?”

And… how had she gotten into his house, exactly? This was his and Binghe’s residence in the Demon World - it wasn’t like you could just walk in.

“Magic,” said the witch - because she was definitely a witch, with her pointy shoes and pointy hat and really, Shen Qingqiu didn’t remember her from the original <<Proud Immortal Demon Way>>, but he would bet everything he owned on Airplane-bro inventing her after a Soul Eater marathon, the greasy nerd - and then she wiggled her fingers sardonically at him.

“Um,” said Shen Qingqiu. “Is this about One Night In The Sheets With An Unbridled Stallion Of Pleasure?

All humour on the witch’s face disappeared. 

“That book was my pride and joy! ” she spat. “My life’s work! And you called it trash! Garbage! A ‘poorly-written heap of turds’!”

“Well…” Shen Qingqiu said. “It was.”

“You fool,” the witch said. “You imbecile. You just don’t know what good literature looks like!”

“...You called the ‘pleasure stallion’s dick a ‘throbbing meat wand’ in the first chapter,” said Shen Qingqiu. “You used the phrase ‘heaving bosoms’ five times in one page.”

“And so what if I did!” snapped the witch. “It’s descriptive! It’s sexy!

Shen Qingqiu spluttered. “You called his orgasm a dick aneurysm!

The witch snarled wordlessly at him. 

“Look, if it’s any consolation, I’ve read worse,” said Shen Qingqiu. “...Well, maybe not. But I’ve definitely read other things just as bad. I think.”

“...You know what I think,” said the witch, her eyes glinting dangerously. “ I think you’re just vanilla. You don’t know what good sex looks like because you’ve never had any.”

My husband drank wine from my ass once, Shen Qingqiu did not say.

He did, however, snap his fan open in front of his face, and say, very politely, “I hope you’re ready to face the consequences when Lord Luo hears what you’ve said about him.”

The witch, terrifyingly enough, laughed. 

“What consequences?” she said. “If anything, he’ll be thanking me.”

She raised a cupped hand to her mouth and blew an odd, shimmery, green-grey powder in Shen Qingqiu’s face - and then the last thing Shen Qingqiu heard before he passed out was, “Oh, no, that wasn’t supposed to happen.”

Shen Qingqiu woke up… small. 

Everything felt simultaneously squished and stretched , and he couldn’t move at all. Just lie there, on the table, his face pressed against the wood. 

“Binghe?” he tried to call, but it came out oddly muffled. “Binghe!”

There was a thump from outside the room, and then Luo Binghe barged into the room with a distressed cry of “ Shizun!

“Binghe!” said Shen Qingqiu. “Quick, help me up, someone broke in and cursed me. I can’t move.”

There was dead silence. Luo Binghe didn’t even seem to be breathing.

“...Binghe?” said Shen Qingqiu. “What happened? Is everything okay?”

“...Shizun,” Luo Binghe said, his voice wobbling, “You’re a cucumber.”

Shen Qingqiu processed this silently.

“...This master must be getting deaf in his old age,” he said, eventually. “I could have sworn you said I was a cucumber.”

Luo Binghe didn’t respond, but gently picked Shen Qingqiu up - and now that his face was off the table, he could see how big the room had become - and crossed over to the mirror, cradling him like he was fragile.

Shen Qingqiu… was, indeed, a cucumber. One of the big ones, too, almost 14 inches, with a narrow point where the stalk had been at the bottom. The ridges on the skin warped in one area, forming what could almost be called a face - his face. 

Shen Qingqiu wished he could rub his temples, but he was a cucumber, and cucumbers didn’t have temples.

“Get Shang Qinghua,” said Shen Qingqiu. “Now.”

“You know how this works just as well as I do,” Shang Qinghua had said, refusing to make eye contact with either Luo Binghe or his… extremely green husband. “I can’t help you, bro. It was a sex curse, probably… so you’ll, you know, have to… yeah.”

He’d then run off as fast as his weaselly little feet could carry him, leaving Shen Qingqiu alone with an… oddly flushed Luo Binghe.

“...Now?” Shen Qingqiu said, as Luo Binghe carried him over to the bed. “But it’s the middle of the day!”

Luo Binghe laid him gently on the bed and undid his sash, averting his eyes almost bashfully as he began to disrobe. 

“We should break Shizun’s curse as quickly as possible,” he said. “Who knows what side effects it might have.”

Shen Qingqiu laid on the bed like a - well, like a cucumber - and watched his very naked husband hunt eagerly through the bedside table for the grease. 

His logic was sound, but… wasn’t there something off about this situation?!

Luo Binghe knelt on the bed, hovering over him with the grease in his hand. 

“If… if Shizun is uncomfortable, we can find another way to break the curse,” he said, even as he reached for Shen Qingqiu.

“This master is fine,” Shen Qingqiu said, delicately, “but Binghe is… strangely happy?”

Luo Binghe blushed. “This one…” he said, quietly. “This one has always wanted to feel his husband inside him.”

Shen Qingqiu spat blood (or, in this case, water, because cucumbers were 96% water). What was with this play?! Why was Luo Binghe, scourge of the Demon Realm, acting like a shy maiden on her wedding night?! Was he really so deprived?!

“Binghe,” he said, with the driest tone he could muster, “I am a cucumber.”

“Shizun is Shizun, no matter what his body looks like,” Luo Binghe said earnestly. “This one would be honored to have Shizun inside him, in any form.”

Shen Qingqiu wished desperately for a fan to cover his face. Even a sleeve would do, just- something, anything to conceal how excruciatingly embarrassing it was hearing Luo Binghe speak these words to a cucumber.

“...Very well,” he said eventually, unable to say no to the hope on Luo Binghe’s face. “If- if Binghe is alright with it.”

He was very alright with it, if the eagerness with which he scooped Shen Qingqiu up was any indication, cradling him tenderly against his chest as he dipped his other hand into the pot of grease. 

He reached around behind himself, and, snug against his chest, Shen Qingqiu had a perfect view of the way his breath hitched and his nipples hardened, as Luo Binghe slid a finger inside himself with an ease born of practice.

...No wonder he’d been getting so good at fingering Shen Qingqiu, if he was doing the same for himself!

Shen Qingqiu couldn’t help but be a little miffed that his husband hadn’t seen fit to share this with him, and a little more miffed that the first time he got to see Luo Binghe fuck himself open on his own fingers was when he was a fucking cucumber, completely paralysed and unable to see it.

Above him, Luo Binghe shuddered, his head dropping back as he slid a second finger in and slowly scissored them apart, stretching his hole to take his Shizun.

“Shizun,” he murmured, his voice gone rough and needy the way it only did when he was sheathed fully in Shen Qingqiu’s hole and on the edge. “Please, Shizun.”

Shen Qingqiu wished he could get hard.

They were definitely going to revisit this later, when he wasn’t a vegetable and had full use of his hands (and his dick).

“If Binghe is waiting for his husband’s permission, he has it,” he said stiffly, still trying to reconcile the fact that his brain wanted him to be horny with the fact that his body didn’t have sex organs and so could not, biologically, be horny.

Luo Binghe pulled his fingers out with a soft, wet sound, and reached for the pot of grease again, spreading it over Shen Qingqiu’s bottom half with tender care.

“This one… thanks Shizun for his kindness,” he said, and Shen Qingqiu refused to look at him or the unbridled affection he knew was painted across Luo Binghe’s face.

He passed Shen Qingqiu behind him and spread his legs further, positioning the pointed end at his entrance - and Shen Qingqiu, as gently curved as he was, still couldn’t see anything, which was a crying shame - and slowly pushed the tip in.

Luo Binghe took him easily, the ridged skin of the cucumber drawing tiny, broken moans from his lips as he pushed Shen Qingqiu in deeper, until the pointed tip of the cucumber pressed against his prostate and Shen Qingqiu felt him gasp.

Luo Binghe’s walls clenched around him as he pulled Shen Qingqiu out almost to the tip, and pushed him back in, hitting his prostate with enough force to make his hips jerk and setting a punishing rhythm for himself, and Shen Qingqiu might not have had a dick or any other kind of equipment (although, if you wanted to get technical, he was a fertilized womb) but that - and Luo Binghe’s filthy moans, embarrassingly loud in the silence of the private estate - was definitely doing something for him.

Luo Binghe clenched around him again, as he gasped out his name, his thighs shaking where he held himself up off the bed, and Shen Qingqiu stifled a moan as a wave of pleasure crested over him, and - something spurted out of the end of the cucumber.

“What-” Shen Qingqiu said, and then the room started spinning, and everything suddenly started to look a whole lot smaller.

He came to only moments later, back in his original (normal, human) body, entirely naked and draped over a trembling Luo Binghe. 

Cucumber seeds dripped from his hole, leaving glistening trails down the inside of his thighs, and Shen Qingqiu moved almost on instinct, pushing himself up and reaching down to clean off his poor husband, who was probably traumatised now.

Luo Binghe rocked back against his hand with a muffled cry, and Shen Qingqiu froze. 

...Oh. He was still hard.

Luo Binghe’s hands fisted into the bedsheets, his erection hanging heavy underneath him, precome drooling from the tip.

“Please,” he gasped into the pillow, his face still pressed into the bed where Shen Qingqiu’s sudden de-cucumbering had pushed him over, his ass in the air. “Please, Shizun, husband, I need you.

Shen Qingqiu swallowed, hard.