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we are mortal (until the first kiss)

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The first time it happens, Song Shuhang is trying to prevent Senior White from putting a giant crater in the ground. 

 

He has already failed at task number one, stop Senior White from getting distracted, so he puts all his effort into succeeding at this last battle for his safety.


Then he trips.

 

With his arms spread to stabilize Senior White, Song Shuhang can only twist his body to the side. It won’t stop him from crashing to the ground, but at least he won’t get a broken nose.

 

His eyes widen, a second too late to realize this puts his head on a collision course with Senior White’s. Senior White, whose eyes are still glazed over, and who will flatten Song Shuhang because he’s still distracted! 

 

He shouts.

 

A second later, his shout is muffled by a warm mouth that covers his, teeth clacking painfully. Song Shuhang’s brain enters overdrive, eyes sliding shut as he registers soft lips, accidentally traces them with his tongue, and then his nose bumps into Senior White’s--

 

Senior White who he’s--

 

A hand cradles the back of his head, and then Song Shuhang slams into the ground with a heavy body pressing him into the street. He inhales sharply, feeling warm air and the taste of bayberries.

 

His eyes open. Senior White is close enough that Song Shuhang can see the light flecks in his wide eyes, has the sky in his view along with it and thinks-- they’re the same color.

 

Reality crashes into him. Song Shuhang scrambles to get out from Senior White, who at first keeps him pressed down and only lets up when Song Shuhang’s squirming increases. His expression is unfathomable, not the wide smiles that promise despair nor the normal amused indulgence Song Shuhang has gotten so used to he only recognizes its absence.

 

“Sorry! I really didn’t--that wasn’t at all-- I mean--” Should he bow? Dogeza? Take out his saber and just stab himself to prevent another bungee trip?!!

 

“Shuhang,” Senior White interrupts. “It’s fine. Don’t worry about it.” He even sounds honest.

 

Don’t worry about it.

 

Don’t worry about it.

 

Don’t worry about it .

 

Haha , Song Shuhang thinks. I’m fucked.

 

He should have let the ground be destroyed.



-



The next time it happens, Song Shuhang and Senior White are sharing some sweets. A local festival is in full swing, and their arms were laden with goodies they gained through the absolute universe cheat called Cultivation, until Senior White remembered he had a storage space and used it, considerately putting away Song Shuhang’s things as well.

 

This, of course, only frees up their arms for food.

 

And that’s why, two hours later, Senior White and Song Shuhang find themselves seated on an old stone bench. On this hill, the festival looks like a river of lights meandering through the village streets. With joyful distant chatter as the only sound, the two lapse into a companionable silence while finishing off the mountain of snacks. 

 

Finally, only a single sweet is left. 

 

Song Shuhang glances at Senior White in askance, only to find him indifferently contemplating the village. The sweet is one Senior White has avoided the entire night, so Song Shuhang plops it into his mouth without worries.

 

“Wait!”

 

Song Shuhang freezes, sweet tight between his teeth. 

 

He turns to look at Senior White, only to find the man inches from his face. Then soft warm lips cover his, a hand on his shoulder keeping him from jerking back. Song Shuhang’s hands fumble and finally latch onto the lapels of Senior White’s robe as he’s pulled closer in, so close he can feel an echo of Senior White’s steady heartbeat against his own frantic heart.

 

His mouth slackens, and something warm and wet traces his lips and then slides between his teeth. Song Shuhang gasps, too little breath in his lungs and no room to breath as it goes deeper, curls around something and then-- retreats, taking the sweet with it.

 

Eyes half-lidded after he swallows, Senior White licks his lips. “Delicious.”

 

Song Shuhang sputters. 

 

Contacting customer support. Shuhang’sBrain.exe stopped working. 

 

He can barely muster enough self control to glare at Senior White, the past few seconds catching up to him as heat across his cheeks and he grumbles, “You could have just told me you wanted to eat that.”

 

“I was too slow,” Senior White cheerfully answers. “That was the only way to eat it.”

 

Bullshit .

 

Across the festival, fireworks explode in bright flowers across the sky, painting Senior White a kaleidoscope of soft colors. His eyes reflect the sparkles in the sky, a smile pushing up his lips. 

 

Something else catches in Song Shuhang’s chest. 

 

“Bullshit,” he mutters with a sigh, and turns to admire the fireworks. 

 

Beside him, Senior White’s smile widens.

 

-

 

The third time it happens, Song Shuhang doesn’t realize until later. 

 

For some ungodly reason, Senior White decided he had to learn CPR. None of Song Shuhang’s entirely valid arguments-- healing techniques! Qi and blood pills! Healing talismans! CULTIVATION -- swayed his mind, and so now they know the theory behind CPR and need to practice it.

 

In the end, Song Shuhang didn’t complain that much. Out of Senior White’s many capricious whims, at least this one is focused on saving lives instead of sucking their soul out via 3 broken speed barriers. Who knows, maybe it would come in handy someday!

 

However…. Didn’t these CPR practice usually involve dummies?

 

So how come Senior White asked Song Shuhang to practice with him??!!! 

 

Surely it can’t be that hard to get their hands on a dummy! Though… he can’t say that acting out some dramatic rescue on a piece of inflated plastic is very appealing. 

 

Was it more horrifying than Senior White beaming at him and saying, “Shuhang, you go first!” ?

 

Was it?

 

On one hand, dummy. Boring .

 

On the other, the enraged screams of everyone who has ever wanted to ki-- cough --breathe life into Senior White’s lungs.

 

And worse… Song Shuhang pushing Senior White down… pressing his hands onto his chest… lips touching….

 

HE DEFINITELY CAN’T DO IT!!! 

 

Not unless there’s a real emergency, at least!

 

Senior White, who was in the process of laying down, pouts. “Fine,” he sighs. “I’ll go first.”

 

And then Song Shuhang finds himself flat on his back.

 

Senior White straddles his hips, butt dangerously close to places Song Shuhang feels his brain melt at the idea of him being close to.

 

There… was something definitely off about this.

 

In fact, the entire situation was odd!

 

“Here I go,” Senior White tells him, leaning in, making all thoughts flee from Song Shuhang’s mind. Song Shuhang’s breath quickens as Senior White’s mouth gets closer and closer and… misses, pressing a soft kiss to the corner of his lips.

 

Senior White chuckles at Song Shuhang’s huff. This close, their breaths mingle distractingly. Senior White has been eating bayberries again.

 

His eyes, which had slid shut of their own accord, open to glare at Senior White. “You need to take this seriously,” he chides. “Don’t get distracted.” 

 

Song Shuhang doesn't want to get turned into Crater-Song!

 

Tension gone from his body, Song Shuhang’s gaze doesn’t leave Senior White’s, who smiles at him. Senior White’s hands slide firmly over his chest and rest on his pecks, and finally, Senior White’s head turns so their noses don’t bump. Their lips meet.

 

For some reason, it’s quite the familiar feeling.

 

Song Shuhang helpfully keeps his mouth open. Senior White’s teeth catch his lower lip and bite it, making Song Shuhang let out a warning noise of annoyance. Senior White chuckles again, and then his lips press firmly over Song Shuhang’s.

 

His breath slides into his mouth. Song Shuhang can’t resist breathing in deeply, an odd and embarrassing realization that something of Senior White is now in him.

 

Who knows, maybe it would boost his cultivation?

 

Before Song Shuhang can mention that and ask for Senior White to try again, this time imbuing Qi into his breath, Senior White sits up.

 

Somewhat dazed, Song Shuhang blinks up at him. “What?” He didn’t even do the chest compressions. 

 

Senior White sighs. “It’s no fun if it’s like this.”

 

Song Shuhang resists the urge to whack him. It’s a life-saving skill, what part of it is supposed to be fun?! 

 

“Maybe if one of us actually is drowning…”

 

“No! No way, absolutely not.”

 

“This is boring,” Senior White whines. 

 

“What part of drowning is fun?!”

 

Song Shuhang will knock him out if he can’t knock some sense into him. He really will. Fate has to be on his side for this!!!

 

“Pfff,” Senior White grumbles. “Fine.”

 

Song Shuhang sighs in relief. Crisis averted.

 

“I’ll just try something new next time!”

 

… Or was it?



-



The fourth time, Song Shuhang brings it upon himself.

 

He finally remembers that thought he had during the CPR Incident, and absently asks Senior White about it while gaming.

 

Senior White hums. “It may be possible… I haven’t studied many dual cultivation techniques, but especially for cultivators with a wind affinity, it may be both possible and beneficial…”

 

Song Shuhang pauses, then hurriedly resumes bringing down this BOSS’s HP. Thankfully, cultivation is cheat-like enough that he can focus only part of his attention on his game and not face trouble. “Dual cultivation?”

 

“Yes? Isn’t that where you got the idea from?”

 

It was a good thing Senior White was focused on his book, because a blush spreads across Song Shuhang’s cheeks. “No... It was from the CPR practice.”

 

“... Oh .”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Hmmm... Do you want to try it?”

 

Song Shuhang chokes on his spit. “What?”

 

“It’s your idea, so unless we ask the chat about dual cultivation techniques…”

 

“Please don’t,” Song Shuhang weakly interjects. They got enough glee teasing him about his virgin status already.

 

“Then we’ll only know if your idea works by trying it.”

 

They are already sitting together on the couch, so there’s no easy excuse to run away and throw himself into the arctic ocean. Song Shuhang aggressively destroys the BOSS and closes the game, taking a fortifying breath. You can do it, Shuhang! It’s just Senior White, not a tentacle monster with three rows of teeth! “Okay.”

 

Senior White puts away his book. Surprise evident in his wide eyes, he says, “I didn’t think you’d agree.”

 

Song Shuhang gives him a narrow side-glare.“...Do you not want to, then?”

 

Please don’t tell him it was Senior White trying out a new form of teasing. If Song Shuhang was supposed to reject the offer but was too oblivious and mistook it for Senior White’s infinite curiosity… even his thick face will suffer a blow!

 

“Don’t be hasty,” Senior White chides. “When did I ever say that.”

 

“You literally just--mmhmmmm.”

 

Song Shuhang’s hands clutch at Senior White’s shoulders. A warm body covering him, legs trapped underneath it, Senior White’s hands holding his head in place as the two fall back into the couch…

 

The deja-vu is strong in this situation.

 

Senior White’s silky hair brushes against his fingers, and Song Shuhang moans into Senior White’s mouth. It takes a good deal of his self-control to not bury his hands in it. His few remaining brain cells that haven’t been sucked up by Senior White tell him he should stay away from the hair, least he blurt out Little White again and the situation degenerates from pleasant into terrifying. 

 

Senior White’s lips leave his with an audible smack. To Song Shuhang’s amazement, his breath is slightly uneven. “Next time, we’ll add Qi,” Senior White says. “To confirm the effect of the technique.”

 

Right.

 

Dual cultivation.

 

With Senior White.

 

Bye-bye, Song Shuhang’s final brain cells. This dream is far too much for you.

 

Song Shuhang licks his lips. Senior White’s eyes trace the motion with the same fervor he disassembles machinery with. Is this how the household gadgets felt under Senior White’s gaze and hands? He can’t blame them for exploding, then. Song Shuhang feels like his heart might give out.

 

Suddenly irritated, he surges up to capture Senior White’s lips and accidentally bites down. Senior White lets out a surprised noise, and Song Shuhang quickly falls back and buries his face against one of Senior White’s arms. “Sorry.”

 

A thumb brushes against Song Shuhang’s cheek. It is followed by a soft kiss, and Song Shuhang turns to meet the next kiss head-on. The palm stays cupping his cheek, and Song Shuhang melts as Senior White’s weight fully settles over him.

 

Senior White spends some time slowly kissing Song Shuhang, swallowing Song Shuhang’s gasps and sighs. Then his tongue traces his lips, asking for an opening, and Song Shuhang gives it, breath catching as a stream of Qi follows Senior White’s soft exhale.

 

His own energy rushes to guide this foreign-familiar Qi to his dantians. They tingle with the addition. It is energy sharing, but unlike Song Shuhang’s overwhelming previous experiences, Senior White’s Qi is like a tranquil river, soothing and warm.

 

It slides into place as though it always belonged.

 

“Shuhang.”

 

“Mhhmm?”

 

A chuckle. “You too. It’s called dual cultivation for a reason .”

 

Song Shuhang’s eyes open halfway, too much of a boneless mess to put in more effort. His fingers inch up to the top of Senior White’s neck and curl into the soft strands, pulling him closer even as he sends a stream of his own Qi through their connection.

 

He can feel it as it mingles with Senior White’s Qi in their mouth, almost as tangible as the air they share. Then it slides pasts Senior White’s lips and to his dantians. Song Shuhang thought that would be it, as the energy is fully turned into Senior White’s, but he can feel as it spreads throughout his body and joins the ocean that is Senior White’s Qi.

 

Song Shuhang feels as though he is spreading through Senior White’s body, his own nerves ablaze from the feedback loop. He gasps. “Senior White.”

 

A hum.

 

“Senior White.”

 

Another hum.

 

“Senior White, Senior White, Senior--”

 

Senior White swallows all his gasps, that stream of Qi not ending, teasing Song Shuhang’s Qi out even as a part of Senior White’s joins his own. Song Shuhang’s fingers clenched tightly on his hair, forcefully relax, and tighten once more.

 

It’s too much, too much, his dantian swelling as though he cultivated for a week. Every corner of his body tingles, as though it wants to merge with Senior White above it, get even closer than they already are--

 

Senior White cuts the connection. 

 

Song Shuhang whines. His eyes snap open, arms straining to pull Senior White down again. “Why did you stop?!”

 

A thin wet line connects their lips. Red dusts Senior White’s cheeks, and his breath can only be called composed in comparison to Song Shuhang’s own labored breathing. 

 

His eyes curl upwards as he smiles. “Impatient~ This is a new technique, of course we need to take a moment to observe the effects.”

 

Song Shuhang is fully capable of observing the effects without stopping!

 

Still, he takes a moment to observe his body. His cultivation really did increase as though he diligently cultivated for a week--maybe even more, once Senior White’s Qi fully settles into his own. His body still tingles pleasantly, the only side effect he can feel that isn’t related to his racing heart, labored breath, or full-body flush.

 

All that from just a few minutes of kissing…

 

Ah, but for Senior White, the effect must be much less. Song Shuhang sighs. 

 

Maybe he can bribe Senior White with something…

 

He feels a soft kiss pressed to his forehead and looks at Senior White in askance. 

 

“Why are you sighing like that? Don’t tell me you’re tired already.”

 

Song Shuhang shakes his head.

 

Senior White’s smile widens with that edge that always raises Song Shuhang’s hairs. “Good, because I need more data for this.”

 

He leans in and captures Song Shuhang’s lips in another kiss.

 

They don’t move for a long, long time.



-



The fifth time is also related to cultivation. 

 

The entire… hours of ki-- no, that still sounded embarrassing. Experiment with breath and Qi… too formal and weird. ... Fine . The… dual cultivation episode was a resounding success.

 

In just a few hours of non-stop kissing, Song Shuhang’s cultivation advanced enough that it was as though he had practiced for a few months. 

 

Senior White, as the one with the higher cultivation realm between them, obviously received less benefits. In a perfect world, the two would have similar realms, and receive equal gains from the… dual cultivation.

 

This is a problem.

 

Song Shuhang wants to do it again.

 

It hasn’t left his mind ever since, and it has gotten to the point where he started dreaming of being pushed down, and soft lips sliding over his, and--

 

And a few hastily cleaned bedsheets.

 

All this, without even gaining the benefits! At least if he had been kissing Senior White he would have advanced his cultivation! It was by far one of the greatest ways to advance he’s found! No pain, all gain!

 

In other words, the situation is unbearable! 

 

Song Shuhang would just go up to Senior White and ask if he wanted to do it again, but in this group of theirs, everything must have an equal exchange.

 

And cultivating that way… did not lead to an equal exchange.

 

Furthermore, since Senior White’s initial curiosity over the technique was sated, it wasn’t like he would eagerly volunteer to kiss Song Shuhang for hours.

 

(The thought of asking someone else crosses his mind for approximately three seconds, and then is sent flying into a volcano with a mental rendition of the Disposable Flying Sword Version 4)

 

Song Shuhang needs some kind of bribery!

But what?!

 

He already gave Senior White something to speed up his sword--he shudders at the memory--and vows to never do so again. It’s not like he had the materials or means.

 

Spirit stones… eheh… let’s not mention the gigantic debt he still owes.

 

Magical treasures? Senior White has them by the dozen.

 

Interesting gadgets… maybe he can break into a government laboratory and search for something that Senior White hasn’t taken apart already?

 

….Sheesh. This guy truly is a joy to buy presents for.

 

That leaves… something to catch his attention. Something to drive his attention down the ‘dual cultivate with Little Friend Shuhang’ highway.

 

Song Shuhang’s eyes light up. He snaps his fingers. That was it!

 

Later that afternoon, he corners Senior White before he can get into meditation. “Senior, have you studied more about dual cultivation techniques?”

 

Senior White blinks at him. “A bit. Why?”

 

How to phrase this without turning into an embarrassed puddle formerly known as Song Shuhang… “Is there a way for um... dao partners of different realms to both gain equal benefit from a cultivation technique?”

 

Contemplation slips over Senior White’s face like an old, familiar friend. “It’s likely there is… however, in those cases it’s best to tailor-make the technique. Even for dao companions from the same sect, whose cultivation techniques are the same, personal variations can lead to very different effects…”

 

Song Shuhang licks his dry lips. “And for us?”

 

Senior White blinks. An amused smirk curled up his lips. “Ah, I’d need to experiment with that.” He pauses. “I should do that right now.”

 

Then, to Song Shuhangs absolute frustration, Senior White grabs a pile of papers and starts scribbling incomprehensible designs upon them. 

 

It’s fine! This is his goal! It’s not like he wanted Senior White to just take this as an invitation to kiss him. Of course not. That would be ridiculous and unfair to Senior White.

 

So Song Shuhang sits on the couch in a quiet stupor, watching first in secret dismay then open intrigue as Senior White works. He has never actually seen Senior White create a technique. Sometimes, it feels as though his genius is such that Senior White has a thought, and the universe immediately provides an answer.

 

His concentrated focus is so unlike Senior White’s usual blasé calm that Song Shuhang can’t help the surge of affection. It nearly bursts out, complicated emotional tangles smoothed out into the warmth he feels for this ridiculous OP Senior of his. What powerhouse of his level drops everything to work on a silly little technique, all because Song Shuhang proposed it? Truly, this man...

 

“I figured it out!” Senior White exclaims cheerfully.

 

… was way too OP. It was irksome. Did that even take him ten minutes?!

 

Song Shuhang’s lizard brain then takes over. “Wait, so we can try it out now?”

 

Senior White beams at him, which is all the answer Song Shuhang needs to slide closer. His hands don’t quite rest on Senior White’s shirt, fingers drifting over buttons before he forces them back to his side. 

 

When he looks up, Senior White’s gaze is lidded. Song Shuhang swallows. “Well, what do we need to do?”

 

Senior White’s hand traces his cheekbone. “Can I draw a talisman on you?” His thumb slides softly over Song Shuhang’s lips, which part around a trembling breath. Song Shuhang’s heartbeat trembles in time with his breathing, anticipation surging within him.

 

There is nothing Song Shuhang could answer except, “Yes.”

 

He has little time to appreciate the way Senior White’s eyes curve in obvious fondness. Not a breath later, lips slide over his own, and a tongue slides past his teeth. It crackles with energy, electrifying all his nerves and drawing a startled gasp from his mouth.

 

Senior White hums appreciatively, and Song Shuhang’s hands clutch at him, off-balance and overwhelmed by Senior White’s ocean of strength. His muscles are firm under Song Shuhang’s grip, enough so that Song Shuhang cannot help but admire it.

 

He wonders, with dizziness that must come from lack of air, what Senior White looks like naked.

 

The resulting image makes him whine into Senior White’s mouth.

 

Senior White almost jumps back, staring at Song Shuhang with wide eyes, as if though he could see what Song Shuhang imagined. Under Song Shuhang’s embarrassed but unmoving stare, he colors. 

 

Song Shuhang should have expected blushing only made Senior White more beautiful.

 

In the end, it is Song Shuhang who looks away first, flushing brighter under the memory of his thoughts. He doesn’t move away, wrings more wrinkles into that shirt and mumbles, “now what?” Senior White’s energy is like bayberries on his tongue. His lips twitch, and he regains the confidence to return Senior White’s unmoving attention.

 

“Just channel energy through that seal,” Senior White says. “It’s not a true amplifier, you can’t do that with qi. But it’ll make the process easier for you, and I’ll gain more benefits that way as well. Anything more will need more time to develop.” 

 

“I’m glad,” Song Shuhang says. It’s true. It eases something in him, that this isn’t just for Song Shuhang’s benefit. Of course, it’s impossible to make Senior White do anything he doesn’t want to. Song Shuhang knows that Senior White doing this--doing all of this--is because he wanted to.

 

Still, he is glad.

 

He steps closer, though they are already pressed together. Senior White moves with the motion, falling back to the couch he was on. He pulls Song Shuhang with him, hands resting on Shuhang’s hips. Song Shuhang is acutely aware of their every movement. But contrary to his expectations, they remain there.

 

Is he disappointed? 

 

He doesn’t question himself for long, this new position making him every so slightly taller than Senior White. Senior White tilts his head up imperiously, and when Song Shuhang does nothing but admire the slight swell of his lips, surges to capture Song Shuhang’s lips once more. 

 

“Shuhang,” Senior White mutters into his lips, swallowing Song Shuhang’s surprised gasp like it was never there. “Why do you always get so distracted?” His amusement makes Song Shuhang blush more than any reproach would. “Come now, we have to test this.”

 

Song Shuhang is not wholly a dead-brained teenager, so he answers Senior White’s surge of energy with one of his own. It is indeed easier this way, his energy easily flowing through their connecting point. It also has the unfortunate side-effect of making Song Shuhang acutely aware of everything in his mouth, of the way their tongues drift past each other, of their breaths mingling, of the way his heart wants to leap out of his chest and burrow into Senior White’s.

 

Dizzy, he breaks away, and distantly notes a trail of saliva connecting their mouths. 

 

It really should not be that appealing, but Song Shuhang nearly drowns in the desire. He desperately chants buddist mantras in his head until he some clarity returns.

 

Senior White, he notes with frustration, still looks delectable. His hands have, at some point, drifted down to Song Shuhang’s butt without him realizing. Song Shuhang continues chanting buddist mantras.

 

“Shuhang,” Senior White pouts. “Any new technique needs abundant trials before it can be deemed a success.” His voice drops, silky and dangerous, and entirely too arousing. “Surely we aren’t done?”

 

Ah , Song Shuhang realizes, three dozen trials later. He’s going to be the death of me.

 

But wow, what a way to go.






+1

 

The first time Song Shuhang kisses Senior White, they have already kissed a multitude of times.

 

There was a cultivator gathering that they had been invited to, and as these things tended to go for Song Shuhang, he spent the entire week doing this or that thing, running around, and avoiding the Scholarly faction who looks three seconds from kneeling at his feet every time they see him.

 

Senior White’s invitation to tea and snacks on a building’s rooftop is a delightful respite from the hubbub of the daytime. Even if Song Shuhang did have to provide the ‘snacks’ himself. Honestly, this man. Song Shuhang should have known he just wanted access to Song Shuhang’s cooking-related skills.

 

Still, the sea of stars that stretches above them is a sight he rarely sees in polluted city, and he and Senior White spend a great deal of the night comparing notes about constellations. 

 

Song Shuhang tells him about the 88 constellations that the Westerns made (though they are both only familiar with them in a distant sort of way), while Senior White explains his encounters with some of the legends behind the Chinese constellations. 

 

They lay on the rooftop, arms brushing every so often. Their voices are close to whispers, as though to speak louder would break the moment. At one point, Senior White claims the angle is wrong, and so scoots closer to Song Shuhang until their arms press fully together.

 

“After it finished eating, it flew off and left me some of its feathers,” Senior White is saying of a legendary bird. “I used them to make a powerful fire-talisman. But some would argue the real treasure was the cherry seed it gifted me. I planted it, and now my millenium cherries are quite coveted.”

 

“They sound delicious,” Song Shuhang sighs. 

 

“That reminds me, I have to check on it… If there’s any cherries, I can give one to you.”

 

Song Shuhang pushes himself on one arm, palm digging into his cheek. “What do you want in return?” 

 

Senior White remains laying down, only using his arms as pillows as he regards Song Shuhang with half-lidded eyes. A smirk forms on his lips, every inch of him a predator that caught his prey. “Well, it was going to be a gift, but since you insist~ How about a kiss?”

 

The protests rising on Song Shuhang’s tongue die out. His eyebrows furrowed in confusion. “A kiss? Can’t you get one whenever you want?”

 

Ever since Song Shuhang figured out the benefits of dual cultivation, and the fact that Senior White was amenable to doing it, it had become something of a normal part of their routine. So... a kiss? Really? 

 

He was practically giving it away for free.

 

Senior White blinks, his mouth falling slightly open. Song Shuhang drinks in the rare instance of Senior White being completely caught off-guard.

 

“Well,” Senior White begins, almost hesitant. “That’s usually pre-planned… when dual cultivation happens between dao companions, there tends to be agreements set in place. Boundaries need to be respected, so I can’t just ‘get one whenever I want’…”

 

Dao companions.

 

They were….

 

Something bright bubbles in Song Shuhang’s chest, and he presses a deep kiss to Senior White’s lips. A chuckle burns bright next to his fast beating heart. 

 

When Song Shuhang retreats, Senior White looks at him in an amused daze. 

 

Song Shuhang blushes at his own boldness and then tilts his head proudly. “I want a cherry,” he tells Senior White. “You already gave your price, so you can’t take it back.”

 

“...Fair enough.”

 

“A-and…” Song Shuhang takes a deep breath to steel himself. “I want to become dao companions. Officially.”

“...No.”

 

Song Shuhang’s eyes, which had been closed in fear, snap open. His heart drops. No? But--

 

“Shuhang.” Warm hands catch his own and interlace their fingers, pulling his attention back to Senior White’s face. Senior White’s expression is soft, lips twitching as one of his fingers brushed against the corner of his eye. 

 

“I want you to marry me,” Senior White says. “Officially.”

 

...

 

Song Shuhang smacks his arm, then curls his fingers into Senior White’s long hair and leans in for a kiss.

 

This asshole...

 

Why ever did he fall in love with him?

 

He must have mumbled that in his annoyance, because Senior White laughs into his kiss. “It’s all part of my master plot,” Senior White cheerfully reveals when Song Shuhang leans back for breath. “To get you to marry me. You almost ruined my plans to propose by proposing first!”

 

“I should smack you,” Song Shuhang threatens. “Make you sleep on the couch.”

 

Senior White’s hands slid up his arms and under his shirt, two warm brands on his back. “But Shuhang,” he purrs. Song Shuhang can feel a technique activating as the two slide through space and fall to a bed.

 

He finds himself turned onto his back, Senior White bypassing his lips to mouth at his neck. Song Shuhang gasps.

 

“I’ve stocked up on dual cultivation techniques, and there’s still so much left to explore...” Senior White presses a smile into his neck. “Besides, you can’t make me sleep on the couch until after the wedding! That’s only a power spouses have.”

 

Song Shuhang laughs at the absurdity. “Can too.”

 

“I’ll convince you otherwise.”

 

“You can try!”

 

He’ll have time to get his revenge on Senior White later.

 

A giggle bursting from his chest, Song Shuhang pulls down Senior White into a kiss.

 

It can wait until after the wedding.





EXTRA

 

Thrice Reckless Mad Saber: [picture]

 

Thrice Reckless Mad Saber: HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT SHUHANG KISSED SENIOR WHITE AND DIDN’T GET THROWN INTO OUTER SPACE.

 

Loose Cultivator Northern River: WTF

 

Butterfly Island’s Soft Feather: YEEEEEEESSSSSSS

 

I'm that little white crane at the edge of the Earth's End: NOOOOOOOOOO

 

Venerable White: …. So it was you watching us.

 

Venerable White: seniorwhite_smile.png

 

Thrice Reckless Mad Saber: SHIT SHIT IM SORRY

 

Stressed By A Mountain of Books: ….

 

Venerable White: He can be the fireworks at our wedding.

 

Stressed By A Mountain of Books: seniorwhite_smile.png