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the correlation between salvation and love

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When Luo Binghe had brought him to the duplicate bamboo house, he’d said Shen Qingqiu had the run of the place, as it were. At first, Shen Qingqiu had every intention of staying put in the house - it was set up exactly like his memories (and no matter how unsettling it might be to think on Luo Binghe’s reasons why, he couldn’t deny he relaxed at having something familiar again, the same way the weight of a fan in his hand settled him now), there were overpowered demon servants who would bring him anything he required, and he finally had what should have felt like a moment of leisure.

The bamboo house just wasn’t the same without Luo Binghe; he came to the startling realization that it felt like the period after the abyss, where Shen Qingqiu saw him everywhere he looked - out of the corner of his eye and in every familiar motion, expecting someone to be by his side.

He’d looked, somewhat often too, to see if he could catch Luo Binghe. Shen Qingqiu knew he was near, from the oh-so-familiar congee to the way that no matter how talented a maid he’d been given, she wouldn’t have been able to pick up after Shen Qingqiu exactly as he remembered. Not to the point that he found himself falling into old habits, reaching for things without looking and knowing they would be there under his hand.

He’d told Luo Binghe that he didn’t want to see him, but found himself eased by this familiarity, this reminder of his presence, rather than resenting it like he should - what was wrong with him?

Then the congee tasted different. There was no way he could’ve mistaken that taste - even after five years, in a new body with new taste buds, he’d known it so instantaneously that the switch back was equally jarring, the ground shaking underneath him each time he tried to make sense of new information - nothing was the same anymore.

Luo Binghe was supposed to be solidifying his place with the Northern territories at this time, he reminded himself. He wasn’t supposed to be looking after Shen Qingqiu like this. So much had already changed from the original timeline, he shouldn’t be begging for more!

When the congee was still different the next day, even the maid had to comment. “Is something the matter, Master Shen? You’ve hardly touched today’s meal…”

Shen Qingqiu set down his chopsticks, giving up the entire spread before him as a lost cause. Everything tasted off. “It’s nothing. I suppose I’m just not very hungry.”

If he suspected correctly, the maid was entirely unused to this sort of service, but she still recovered her expression quickly and simply hummed. “Perhaps a walk would help?” Her eyes darted around the room at the clutter that had started to pile up, more evidence that it was unlikely that she was the one sneaking around so stealthily to clean up behind his back.

Shen Qingqiu sighed. “You may be right.” He couldn’t stay cooped up here, as much as it was giving him time to read - Luo Binghe had even faithfully replicated their bookshelves, though with a few demonic additions, and with no one he needed to hide his non-scholarly reading from, he was making much better progress than usual.

While the duplicate bamboo house was in a break in the cave system, Shen Qingqiu quickly found himself lost wandering in its labyrinthine depths. Thankfully, he’d long-since perfected the image of an immortal, cooly unperturbed even by the concept of directions, under the impression that anywhere he was was exactly where he’d chosen to be.

It was how he found himself in what had to be Luo Binghe’s audience hall. He couldn’t help but think back to the Huan Hua Palace pavilion, but there was nothing upon the dais here, nothing out of place, nothing to make him stop in his tracks. In fact, there was almost nothing at all; the room seemed almost cavernous with how empty it was, and a part of Shen Qingqiu’s heart ached as he thought of Luo Binghe sitting up there alone.

He was about to turn back and wander somewhere else when he heard it.

A low groan, coming from behind what he’d previously assumed to be just another screen, decorative to fill the space, but investigation revealed was concealing an alcove.

An alcove containing a blood-covered Luo Binghe.

It was hard to tear his eyes away from the sight of Luo Binghe, curled up on the ground, body shuddering slightly with each breath, but once he did, it was clear this wasn’t just any alcove. There was a mat underneath him, as well as a small stack of clothes, neatly folded. Was this where Luo Binghe slept? A part of Shen Qingqiu had just assumed Luo Binghe had been sleeping in the sideroom of the bamboo house, as always, slipping in and out while he rested.

It didn’t match the image of an all-powerful demon lord at all. Looking at it, it felt...small and lonely. Why would Luo Binghe do this, especially injured? Was it just to hide it from him?

Another gasp broke him from his musings; he glanced up in time to see Luo Binghe toss slightly, revealing the state of his robes. The black hid bloodstains well, but it couldn’t hide the rends in the fabric, the length of some of the tears making Shen Qingqiu flinch in sympathy. It also couldn’t hide the way his robes reeked of blood, the scent of it thick in the air and turning Shen Qingqiu’s stomach at the thought of what sort of wounds would have bled so freely.

Crouching down gingerly to investigate, he could see that the flesh underneath was in much better state than the robes, the wounds already closing up and pinking over. Shen Qingqiu thought of the scar on Luo Binghe’s chest, on his hand, at the clear evidence before him he hadn’t had to keep those marks.

He couldn’t help but look up at Luo Binghe at that, his chest tightening as he did. Luo Binghe’s brow was furrowed tightly, his jaw clenched almost as much as he struggled with whatever was happening. As he noticed the sheen of sweat that had broken out across Luo Binghe’s forehead, at the mark there that seemed duller than usual, Shen Qingqiu’s hand had lifted to check for fever before he’d even thought about it.

Looking at his hand like it’d just betrayed him, he stood up quickly, almost stumbling into the wall of the alcove in his haste. What was he doing? If Luo Binghe wanted to hide himself away in some alcove to heal so that no one could see his moment of weakness or whatever, who was he to begrudge him that? Who knows how he’d even gotten those wounds! He was already meddling enough in this world’s affairs, he should let some things be - clearly Luo Binghe had done a decent enough job building an empire if he had demons willing to try and plant bamboo for him!

He was halfway out of the alcove when a small whimper stopped him in his tracks.


In the time it’d taken him to turn around and then around again, Luo Binghe had already rolled over to face the other wall, curling back up into a ball, his hand digging tightly into the mat beneath him.

Shen Qingqiu sighed in defeat, giving in to his impulses to go over and lay a hand against Luo Binghe’s forehead.

...before yanking it back almost instantly. What sort of fever was this? Touching his skin was like touching a pot of hot tea! What was this demon physiology?

What was Shen Qingqiu supposed to do now? Clearly Luo Binghe had hidden himself away, and maybe he knew best — and Shen Qingqiu couldn’t deny that there was a small part of him that was hurt at that — but also, Luo Binghe was curled up in an alcove with a fever, all alone.

Shen Qingqiu had Luo Binghe in his arms before he’d even had another chance to think about it. He couldn’t drape Luo Binghe over his back, not with the still-healing wounds on his chest, so draped in his arms, supporting his back and legs it was.

It said something for the state Luo Binghe was in that he barely stirred as Shen Qingqiu adjusted him in his arms. Shen Qingqiu kept expecting him to wake, to cling to him, to struggle, something, but there was no response as he figured out how to get Luo Binghe into his arms with minimal jostling. The last time he’d carried Luo Binghe like this, he’d been so much slighter, that small white lotus of a disciple… But the memories brought something back - he tried to drape Luo Binghe’s arms around his neck to better balance him, tucking his head as best he could against his shoulder to settle his weight against him so that Shen Qingqiu could carry him securely in his arms.

Getting back to the duplicate bamboo house was far faster, even through the system of caves - even if Shen Qingqiu didn’t have a sense for how he’d gotten to the audience room, the wide-eyed demonic underlings pointing in that direction as they bowed certainly helped.

He hadn’t actually been into the side room yet, though the dedication to replicating the bamboo house even down to the plants outside made it no surprise when he went through the doorway to find it almost exactly the same as in his memory.

It was also no surprise to see that the bed had signs of being slept in, if not recently.

“What am I to do with you?” he asked the man in his arms, who gave absolutely no reply, except to shift in closer, though that may have just been Shen Qingqiu’s imagination.

Carrying a Luo Binghe with an absurdly high fever had left Shen Qingqiu also feeling overheated. At least, that had to be the answer for why he was also feeling short of breath as he stared, lowering Luo Binghe to the bamboo bed and settling him.

“Shizun?” Luo Binghe’s voice was faint, as was his grip on Shen Qingqiu’s robes. Both stopped him in his tracks immediately, leaving Shen Qingqiu able to do little but continue staring.

“Shizun, I know...know you...I don’t...don’t go...leave me...again.”

All the air seemed to leave his chest in a rush as Luo Binghe released his robes, his arm falling back on the bed in exhaustion. What?

What was he doing? He jolted himself out of his stupor, retreating to the other room to go and grab a cloth to soak in water. And perhaps to splash some on his own face.

What had he done? Surely Luo Binghe knew his own body, and wouldn’t have simply gone off to hide if it weren’t something he thought he could recover from? He’d surely been in fights in the years they’d been apart that he’d had to heal from. What if there was some special healing element to the alcove that Shen Qingqiu had just disrupted? What if Luo Binghe had been telling him to leave just then?

He shook his head as he wrung out the cloth, carrying it back to Luo Binghe’s bedside. He laid his hand once more upon Luo Binghe’s forehead, but little had changed - his skin was still uncomfortably hot to the touch.

A touch which Shen Qingqiu was finding had changed to straight-up stroking Luo Binghe’s brow, slipping down the side of his face entirely without his consent. He’d just been taking Luo Binghe’s temperature! No matter if his brow had eased at Shen Qingqiu’s touch, or a soft sigh had left him, finally a breath that hadn’t sounded somewhat pained.

Scolding himself sharply, Shen Qingqiu focused intently on placing the cool cloth against Luo Binghe’s forehead - this was what would actually help!

It wasn’t like you could get a fever from heartbreak, no matter how high the system told him those points were!

“It’s a fever from the Heart’s Rend Poison.” Shang Qinghua declared as he stood up, eyes flicking between Luo Binghe still lying on the bed and Shen Qingqiu pacing in the corner.

“But that poison wasn’t anything - it was over in a couple chapters!” Practically the blink of an eye for one in a long line of plot-adjacent ailments and dilemmas, he was surprised he even remembered it! Shen Qingqiu looked back at Luo Binghe. “And only affected the harem! It’s been two days and he hasn't gotten any better.”

Shen Qinghua tilted his head, then shrugged. “Your memory for these things is way better than mine, but sure. It’s still what it is -- short of kidnapping Mu Qingfeng again for a second opinion, that’s all I got.”

Silence stretched out between them as Shen Qingqiu started to pace again, eventually ending up by Luo Binghe’s bedside, where he was realizing he’d been more often than not the past couple days.

“’re really worried about him, aren’t you?”

“No! I’m...I mean, it’s just not supposed to affect him like this, and what sort of story is it if the protagonist just…” He stopped, hoping he’d cut off early enough that Shang Qinghua wouldn’t be able to tell just how thick his throat had gotten at the thought of a world truly without Luo Binghe.

It was just that it was normal to be worried about your friends, right? Friends and fellows and disciples, and...loved ones.


No, no, no! There just wasn’t any story without Luo Binghe, that was all! That’s why he was more worried than normal, more than trying to imagine anyone else here, in Luo Binghe’s place. This was more than those years when everyone had thought he was mourning, because he’d known Luo Binghe would be back, even if no one else did, and now he...didn’t.

Tearing his eyes away from Luo Binghe, he realized that the room was empty. Had...had he really been staring for so long, so intently, that he hadn’t even noticed Shang Qinghua leaving? Shen Qingqiu groaned, making to rise when he felt a hand wrap around his wrist.

Luo Binghe’s eyes were intent on his face, which was normal. His eyes were soft, which wasn’t. Or maybe it was? It was strange, taking in Luo Binghe’s gaze without the filter of trying to match it to anything Shen Qingqiu knew of the original. What else had he missed?


He debated with himself whether or not to reply, but at the sight of tears beading at the rims of Luo Binghe’s eyes, there really wasn’t another option. Not this time. “...I’m here.”

Something in his chest clenched tightly, though, as he watched Luo Binghe roll to his side, curling as best he could into himself as he pulled Shen Qingqiu’s hand to his own face. His skin was still hot - Shen Qingqiu’s first instinct was to flinch back from that heat, but instead let his hand relax, letting Luo Binghe clutch it, press his bowed head against it.

“At’ll stay with me.” Somehow, Luo Binghe’s tears were even hotter than his fevered skin, or at least they felt scalding as they fell on Shen Qingqiu’s hand. “I know...not good enough. But…” His voice lapsed, and Shen Qingqiu held his breath, trying to hear the faintest sound, any last words, but there was only Luo Binghe’s breathing, still slightly labored.

He sat back as best he could without tugging his hand from Luo Binghe’s grasp. He’d have a cramp in his arm, but each time he thought about trying to extract his hand, he looked at the tear tracks still on Luo Binghe’s cheeks and couldn’t.

Oh well. Though with his hand in Luo Binghe’s, there was something he could try. He’d assumed Luo Binghe’s demon physiology would take care of whatever poison or wounds he’d received, all of this nothing more than a short aside, but Luo Binghe was still on the bed, still unable to keep anything down. This body of his, made from spiritual energy, had plenty to spare. Shen Qingqiu didn’t know if it would help, but most anything was better at this point than continuing to watch Luo Binghe suffer in front of him, of thinking of how much he’d endured.

Closing his eyes, he focused instead on the feeling of energy flowing from him to Luo Binghe, on keeping it cool, calming, as if it could wipe away Luo Binghe’s tears on its own. He tried to sense if the fever or the poison was causing a blockage, sending more and more energy from the seemingly-bottomless reserve this body had. He’d been able to break free of an Immortal Binding Net; what use was it if he couldn’t help Luo Binghe now?

With that thought in his mind, he could feel himself drifting off to sleep, now clutching Luo Binghe’s hands almost as tightly as his own had been held earlier.

“Hey, I— oh.”

Shen Qingqiu woke abruptly, his neck and back protesting every single move as he straightened up sharply.

“Did, did you really spend all night at his bedside— no need to glare like that, relax a little.” Shang Qinghua sat down next to him, but thankfully made no more comments about the way Shen Qingqiu’s hands were still tangled up with Luo Binghe’s. Even if his eyebrows were saying quite enough, thank you very much. “You really aren’t a morning person, are you?”

“Just get on with it,” Shen Qingqiu ground out. “Your memory on this is the only reason you’re alive right now, just so you know.”

“Sheesh, if this is what you’re like when he’s just got a fever, I don’t blame your entire sect tip-toeing around you about literally anything about him.” Shang Qinghua’s eyebrow was still raised, but to pull his hand back now would be to admit defeat. Besides, was it just his imagination, or did Luo Binghe’s forehead feel less feverish this morning?

“Anyway. Heart’s Rend Poison - you were right, you know, it did only affect Bing-ge’s harem, not even touching Bing-ge, but it affected them in order of their insecurity about their position in the harem, which really was just a side character poll result — believe me, I had to think for a while to remember what the justification for that poll was.” He spread his hands in front of him with a shrug -- he was lucky Shen Qingqiu was still groggy from passing energy all night as well as loathe to disturb Luo Binghe’s rest by trying to pull his hands away or else he really might’ve strangled Shang Qinghua.

“You can probably guess the rest.” Shen Qingqiu felt one eye twitch at the vulgar hand gesture Shang Qinghua was making. “It’s also why it only took a couple of chapters. Other than just enough to appease the side character fans, without dragging it out too much for the rest. Just an energy buildup release at the end after the fever’s cleared, and he should be just fine.” Shang Qinghua was backing away now, both hands up. “Don’t shoot the messenger, it’s not like I — yep, going now, good luck, bye!”

More than the lack of his rambling voice, the weight of Shang Qinghua’s implication made the silence in the duplicate bamboo house stark. Now that he was fully awake, it was obvious that Luo Binghe’s breathing was easier, the expression on his face the most restful he’d seen in days; without Shang Qinghua here, it was much easier to gently extract his hand. Laying it across Luo Binghe’s forehead was almost habit at this point, and the relief in the confirmation that the fever had finally broken shot through him cleanly, drowning out all other thoughts. It seemed like the endless energy he’d sent through Luo Binghe’s core had done some good in the end - author or not, they’d seen more than once that Shang Qinghua didn’t know everything about this story!

But Luo Binghe would be fine, which was the most important thing. He took a deep breath, checking over his meridians once more; as he did, his mouth started to dip downward. While his meridians were clearer now, there still wasn’t any sort of flow or circulation, certainly nothing of the sort he’d expect from an all-powerful protagonist!

Just as he was about to investigate further, he felt Luo Binghe shift. “Shizun?”

It was normal to feel a rush of relief at hearing someone you’d been taking care of sound somewhat normal again, right? Perfectly normal to still have a bit of worry at how soft their voice was? To have to stop yourself from smiling in that relief?

Shen Qingqiu shook his head slightly to clear all of that and did his best to instead pin Luo Binghe with his stare. “You got poisoned - you’ve had a fever these past few days.” He hoped his voice had a stern edge to it, not tinged in the strange mix of fondness and worry that kept swirling in his gut. “You tried to hide it.”

Luo Binghe at least had the grace to look admonished at that - his face was always so open when it was just the two of them, Shen Qingqiu realized. “Shizun was worried? I didn’t…”

“You didn’t think, is what. What, you thought that just because I didn’t come here exactly willingly, that I, that I wouldn’t care? That I— “ he stopped, catching sight of Luo Binghe turning from him, or at least trying to turn, his body still clearly weak.

Shen Qingqiu caught Luo Binghe’s chin with his hand, gently pulling him back to face him.

“I know I have to keep you here; I know that you won't stay if I'm not strong enough to, and if you saw me like'd...I’m not…,” Luo Binghe murmured, softer and more coherent than he’d been during his feverish ramblings, but making no more sense to Shen Qingqiu’s ears. He half-wished he had his fan to smack the top of Luo Binghe’d head lightly.

He settled for resting his hand atop Luo Binghe’s hair, the gentle stroking motion he found himself indulging in surprising them both. “What part of me would be happy seeing you suffering?”

Luo Binghe looked stricken at that, pinned in place, and Shen Qingqiu took advantage of his acquiescence to grab up his hand once more. “Now, I was just checking your meridians to see if the poison was clear, though if it’s affecting the...erm, demonic side more strongly, I don’t know how much help I can be.”

A flush started to suffuse Luo Binghe’s cheeks, but Shen Qingqiu didn’t know what there was to be embarrassed about. “…,”

“Yes?” He continued searching out the source of the blockage, even as he listened with half his attention. “As I suspected, everything seems clear, but there’s a blockage somewhere; I’ll clear it if I can. Let’s see…”

“Shizun!” Luo Binghe’s cheeks were outright red now, but there was no way the fever could have returned that quickly. “I...I know where the blockage is.”

“Hmm?” And just as he said that, Shen Qingqiu also realized - the combination of Shang Qinghua’s words, Luo Binghe’s expression, and realizing exactly which meridian the blockage was behind slamming into him all at once. “Oh. I, um. I see.”

“Shizun doesn’t have to stay. I” Luo Binghe tried once more to roll away from Shen Qingqiu, to face the wall, but he couldn’t even get the energy up to do that much. How was he ever going to do...that?

Shen Qingqiu could have left, just as he could have left when he found Luo Binghe in the alcove. Surely with a little more rest, his own energy would replenish and this would all just be another awkward situation behind them they’d hardly talk about. But just as he found he couldn’t walk away then, he couldn’t walk away now. The memory of Luo Binghe clutching at his robes when he’d just gotten up to grab a fresh towel kept resurfacing in his mind, the broken soft pleas for something he’d thought was only attainable in a dream. If he got up and left now, would he be any better? Would he be worthy of Luo Binghe’s endless devotion? He’d stood up, but coming to a decision, sat back down firmly, squaring his shoulders.

“No. Binghe, you shouldn’t have to face this alone. This...I…” If this had been the original novel, there would have been any number of young women and demons willing to devote themselves to Luo Binghe, ready to serve at his whim or do whatever it took to make him happy. They would have fought to stay by his bedside, and perhaps while there still might have been some like that in this world, Shen Qingqiu was realizing he’d turned them all away before they could even get across the threshold. He’d let no one else come close - Shang Qinghua, as usual, didn’t count - and found he didn’t begrudge the burden. “I won’t walk away this time.”

Inexplicably, tears sprung to Luo Binghe’s eyes at that. This glass heart! Shen Qingqiu had thought he would be overjoyed. “Shizun, you don’t have to force yourself. I know...I know you want to leave, but you feel responsible. I— “

Shen Qingqiu cut him off again, once more wishing he had a fan handy, both for his own face and as an aid to get his point across. “Responsible, nothing! Do you think I like seeing you hurt? Seeing you almost die in front of me?” Thankfully Luo Binghe seemed too stunned to even start to respond when he stopped for breath, because something had uncorked inside of him. “Do you think I’d do this for just anyone? I apparently chased off anyone else who might’ve wanted to help, and you can barely move, so don’t give me any excuses that you’ll be fine on your own, now or in general, because if you won’t accept help from me, who will you accept it from? I’m here now.” His face flamed, but somehow he still got out his last words. “You’re stuck with me, too, you know.”

He didn’t know where most of the words came from, but they hung there between the two of them all the same, stretching out in the silence as they stared at each other. Luo Binghe’s eyes were still tearing up, and Shen Qingqiu had had enough.

“Oh, for,” he said, as he leaned in to seal his mouth over Luo Binghe’s. Really, his heart was too fragile! It was a new experience, each time he kissed Luo Binghe. Before, it had been a shock, Luo Binghe biting at his lips with him too stunned to respond. Now, Luo Binghe was the one unable to respond, whether from surprise or lack of energy, Shen Qingqiu didn’t care to give him enough opportunity to find out. It did mean that the kiss was much more gentle than he’d expected - surprisingly, having tender thoughts about someone and confusedly realizing that you returned their equally surprising feelings for you led to a confused and tender kiss.

Luo Binghe joined in quickly enough; though he still couldn’t lift his arms enough to wrap around Shen Qingqiu’s shoulders, he could get them high enough to clutch the front of his robes, pulling him in like he never wanted to let go.

Shen Qingqiu, not that he’d had a lot of experience kissing or communicating through kisses, still tried to soothe Luo Binghe, to send some sense of that truth and surety that he’d unlocked in his soul. Some piece of it felt like a weight lifting off of his shoulders, and made it that much easier to pull back, easier to look Luo Binghe in the eyes as he trailed a hand down his chest. He was dressed only in thin sleeping robes, easy to push aside.

Luo Binghe was still looking at him with a stunned look, but it had gained much more of that star-struck edge Shen Qingqiu was now realizing was familiar with from his white lotus days. At the sight, he realized how worried he’d been that through all of this, all of his fumblings and misunderstandings and trying to look at Luo Binghe through the wrong lens, that he’d lost that entirely.

“Shizun,” Luo Binghe whispered, but his eyes were all wonderment and trust, and oh, that trust, just as fragile as his heart.

It’s what gave Shen Qingqiu the strength to let his hand continue downward as he skimmed past the scar just above Luo Binghe’s heart, to not stop and stare, to swallow past all the things he was realizing. He’d do it right this time - not that Luo Binghe had ever needed protecting from anyone but him, but he’d do it all the same.

He swallowed with just as much emotion - though perhaps a different one - when he pushed down the waistband of Luo Binghe’s pants. Heavenly pillar was right! Even almost completely soft - not quite, though, and at feeling how rapidly not soft said pillar was growing, Shen Qingqiu looked sharply up at Luo Binghe’s face, but found no trace of artifice there, no evidence that he was faking lacking energy. He was fairly sure that if Luo Binghe had had any strength to spare, Shen Qingqiu would’ve been wrapped in his arms far more securely and far more strongly, for that matter. He tried to smooth out his expression as his hand simply continued working, trying adamantly not to think about any other logistics. On some level, it wasn’t so different from working his own cock, something he admittedly hadn’t done in far too long, but the noises from above him made it an entirely different experience.

Luo Binghe made up for not being able to move in a show of appreciative noises, a constant stream of gasps, of ‘Shizun’s, and of bitten-off moans that more than helped abate any embarrassment Shen Qingqiu could have felt about his explorative attempts. Learning just how to twist his hand, just where under the head of that overly-large cock to press was easy under such guidance - it was easy to tell that Luo Binghe preferred a light touch when his cock literally jumped in Shen Qingqiu’s hand when he trailed his fingers down that length, or when he would stop entirely.

Shifting so that he could lean up, he let his lips trail over Luo Binghe’s forehead, kissing the mark there that had, so softly, begun to glow once more. “You’ve done so well, Binghe. I’m here now, let me take care of you.” Just as he was about to move down to kiss the tears that were still streaming from Luo Binghe’s eyes away - honestly, he could cry at anything - he felt it. A release, in more ways than one, the power of it almost shaking even the room itself.

Shen Qingqiu held him through it; he supposed it was a clear sign that their efforts had worked when he felt Luo Binghe’s arms encircle him fully, clutching him tightly and pulling him in close. It was an awkward angle, being squashed into Luo Binghe’s chest with one hand covered in his come, his body perched half on the bamboo bed and half off of it, but Shen Qingqiu figured he would have plenty of time to move in a moment, plenty of time to figure out what to do next. For now, he could press kisses to Luo Binghe’s brow and the mark there, keep murmuring into Luo Binghe’s ear assurances that he would stay.