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can’t turn off what turns me on

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When Xiao Zhan finally gets off his interminable conference call he finds Yibo in the bedroom, sprawled out with his phone in one hand and the other resting on his bare stomach, rubbing back and forth above his waistband. Yibo’s staring intently at the screen, but when he catches sight of Xiao Zhan he sits up immediately, pulling out one ear bud.

“What’s that?” Xiao Zhan asks, taking off his flannel shirt and hanging it over the back of a chair.

“Nothing,” Yibo says, and takes out the other ear bud. He puts them and the phone on his nightstand and straightens his shirt. “Just a video. Who was that?”

“Business stuff about this show,” Xiao Zhan says, shaking his head. “Sorry, I didn’t think it would take so long.”

He sits on the bed and Yibo moves right over to him, stroking the inside of his thigh and leaning in for a kiss, and they don’t talk anymore that night.

The next time it happens, Yibo’s been sitting in a studio green room waiting for him to finish his interview. When Xiao Zhan comes out, Yibo’s slouched way down in a leather armchair, phone held close to his face. He can see the tips of Yibo’s ears are red above his air pods, and that makes him pause, because that’s how he always knows Yibo’s interested in something.

Xiao Zhan tries to walk quietly, sneaking up from behind to see what’s on Yibo’s screen, but Yibo still must hear him because he puts the phone on his chest and turns around. “Hey. What were you telling them, your whole life’s story?”

“Something like that,” Xiao Zhan says. A couple of PAs come in then, talking with the next guest, so he can’t say or do any of the things he really wants. He settles for punching Yibo’s shoulder lightly, saying, “Come on, let’s go.”

After that he becomes aware of just how often Yibo’s watching something that he doesn’t want anyone to see. There’s a lot of downtime in their lives, where they have to be “on” but don’t have anything in particular to do. Even at home in the evenings, if he leaves Yibo alone he keeps coming back to find him curled around his phone, headphones in, ears and cheeks flushed.

Xiao Zhan knows it’s porn. It’s not like he doesn’t watch it himself, though not nearly as much as when he was younger. He’s not hurt — he can’t be with Yibo all the time, or expect to satisfy everything he wants — but he can’t help wondering what kind of porn Yibo feels like he has to hide.

He knows Yibo’s passwords, but looking at his phone while he’s in the shower feels wrong. He hasn’t been able to catch sight of the screen either, though he’s tried, and finally he decides he’ll just have to ask.

It doesn’t take long for there to be another opportunity. Xiao Zhan comes in later than Yibo one night to find him tucked into bed in the dark, face lit by the glow of the phone cupped in his hands. Xiao Zhan clicks off the bathroom light, and by the time he gets under the covers Yibo’s already switched to scrolling Weibo, ear buds on the night stand beside him.

“What were you watching?” Xiao Zhan asks.

“A video,” Yibo mumbles.

Xiao Zhan rolls over onto his side, head propped up, and reaches down to run his hand over Yibo’s body until he finds what he was expecting. Yibo’s hard even through the duvet, and Xiao Zhan wraps his hand around him.

“What kind of video?” he asks, putting a suggestive tone into it.

Yibo doesn’t answer. He keeps scrolling on his phone, his breathing even but quickening.

“I don’t mind,” Xiao Zhan says. “I watch that stuff too. I just wanted to know what you’re watching all the time.”

Yibo still doesn’t answer, and for the first time Xiao Zhan worries. Maybe the porn Yibo likes is something really weird, or something Xiao Zhan can’t give him. Maybe this is just something Yibo doesn’t want to share.

“OK,” Xiao Zhan says, letting go. He starts to move back. “If it’s too private, I’m sorry — ”

Without saying anything, Yibo reaches over for an ear bud and then hands it to Xiao Zhan. He minimizes Weibo and brings the video site back up, flicking through until he finds what he wants. He gives Xiao Zhan just one quick sidelong glance, and then taps play.

Xiao Zhan pushes the bud more firmly into his ear, and watches.

It’s an amateur video, their heads offscreen, filmed from the side. The room is mostly dark, lit by the warm yellow glow of one lamp in the background. One of the guys is laid out on his stomach, white sheets rucked up around him, and the other moves on top of him, between his legs. They’re both fit — not body builders but they have wide shoulders and round, firm asses, below their trim waists — and at first all Xiao Zhan can focus on is the sinuous, muscular motions as they grind together, the top snapping his hips down sharp and smooth.

Then he hears what they’re saying. “That’s it, sweetheart,” the guy on top groans. “You take it so good, honey, yeah. Come on, darling. Let me give it to you deep, baby.”

Beneath him, the other man is gasping, voice high and soft. “Like that — oh please yeah — fuck — ” until it turns into wordless pleading moans.

“Oh baby,” the guy on top slurs. “Mm, yeah, that’s my pretty sweetheart. You like that? Like that, baby?” He fucks in faster, and the guy beneath him cries out as he croons, “oh yeah, that’s it, beautiful, yeah,” and ducks down to audibly kiss the back of his head.

The thrusting slows, until the guy on the bottom is sobbing for breath. Xiao Zhan has to listen hard, but his whole body glows with electric shock when he hears the guy sigh, “thank you, daddy.”

The phone screen goes black, and he lies next to Yibo, feeling like he’s been turned inside out. As far as porn goes, it was barely even explicit, but the intimacy of the scene and knowing it’s something Yibo likes enough to watch over and over have left him stunned, not sure what to do next.

At long last, Xiao Zhan licks his lips. “That’s — what you want?”

It was so simple, but he can tell Yibo’s embarrassed as he clears his throat and mutters, “yeah.”

However much time it took to get here, they’re on the same page now. Xiao Zhan pulls out his ear bud and reaches over to turn off the phone, taking it gently from Yibo and putting it on the nightstand. They’re left in darkness, and he runs his fingertip over Yibo’s familiar features, across the smoothness of his brow and down his straight nose, over the seam of his full lips.

The sweet, sentimental words feel strange in his mouth, but not when he thinks about Yibo. They feel right.

“OK,” Xiao Zhan says. “Darling.”

The reaction is instant. Yibo surges up to kiss him, hand tangled in his hair. Xiao Zhan lets himself be pulled down, kissing back hard. He can hear Yibo whimpering against his mouth, frantic, and some of it passes to him too. The thrill of knowing something that Yibo wants so much, the excitement of giving it to him.

“Baby,” Xiao Zhan gasps, as they pull at each other’s clothes. He gets Yibo’s pants and briefs down, and then turns him over, stripping him all the way. Yibo buries his face in the pillow, arms crossed beneath it, and Xiao Zhan reaches up to grab a handful of his hair where it’s thick at the crown, pulling him into a kiss.

“This is what you want?” Xiao Zhan breathes, against Yibo’s mouth. He’s caressing the curve of Yibo’s ass, slipping a finger between, stroking him gently.

Yibo nods, as much as he can. This is how he gets when he’s really into it, just letting Xiao Zhan do what he wants, and it’s such a fucking turn-on to think that this time they’re doing what he wants.

“I’ll take care of you, sweetheart,” Xiao Zhan says, and then he moves away to get ready.

Sex has always been good with them. They do it in lots of ways, usually fast and easy, enjoying each other’s bodies before they move onto other needs like food and sleep. It’s warm and affectionate enough, but when Xiao Zhan thinks about it, maybe something has been missing. Maybe Yibo’s thought so too.

Now he kneels between Yibo’s spread legs and runs his hands down Yibo’s back, tenderly, pushing up his shirt to bare his skin. “Gorgeous,” he murmurs, and he feels Yibo shiver under his fingertips. He’s always thought so; it just hasn’t occurred to him to say it much.

“Gorgeous,” he says again, louder. “Just look at you, baby.”

Yibo moans, into the pillow, shifting restlessly. “Zhan-ge.”

“I got you, darling,” Xiao Zhan says, reaching into the drawer for lube. “Daddy’s got you.”

Fuck,” Yibo says, explosively, his whole body tensing up. “Don’t — ”

Xiao Zhan doesn’t know if that was over the top, or just pushing Yibo too far. He slicks Yibo up fast and pulls down his own underwear to free his cock, pressing against Yibo’s ass.

“Are you ready, baby?” he asks, breathless. “Ready to take me?”

Yibo doesn’t answer, just gets onto his knees to arch back against him, and Xiao Zhan pushes in.

Neither of them are really ready this fast, but Xiao Zhan’s still so turned on from the video they just watched. There’s a hot prickling tension everywhere like they’re still watching it, or being watched themselves. He works inside, hips swiveling and grinding, and it feels like they’re dancing together, the way Yibo rocks back. He leans in harder, pressing Yibo down into the bed, angling his thrusts until Yibo lets out a choked sound, one Xiao Zhan knows well.

Now it’s like they’re really in the video, Yibo moaning sharply as Xiao Zhan fucks him, hitting that one spot, and it’s easy to shut his eyes and go back to those words that set them both on fire.

“I got you, honey,” he murmurs, and dips his head to kiss the back of Yibo’s shoulder. He fucks in hard and short for a minute, pounding down, and Yibo groans, hips bucking up helplessly. “Sweetheart, you feel so good. Deeper, you want it deeper?” he asks, as Yibo whines, and he slips in more, until their hips are flush together.

“Back,” Yibo manages, incoherently. “Where you — fuck, I’m almost — ” He moans harshly, frustrated, and Xiao Zhan kisses his shoulder again.

“I know, baby,” he promises, and shifts the angle again. “You’re so gorgeous, and I know just how to make you come.”

He thrusts in just like that, strong and steady, that hot pleasure building between them. Yibo keeps moaning, bitten-off cries that sound like he’s shoving his face into the pillow, and Xiao Zhan keeps kissing his shoulder, murmuring in his ear.

“Come on, darling,” he whispers, and just saying it fills him with infinite affection, so fond and tender for Yibo beneath him. “Baby. Pretty baby. My pretty little sweetheart. That’s it, beautiful. I want to see you coming on my cock, just like that, ah, so beautiful....”

Yibo lets out a strangled curse, arching up beneath him, and then it’s all gasping, breathless cries, “Zhan-ge, Zhan-ge.”

Like that, Xiao Zhan is there too, the edge of ecstasy cresting all at once with Yibo so tight around him. It’s sudden and intense, a brief burst of wildfire, and he’s just slipping over when he hears Yibo sigh, so quiet he almost can’t hear it, “thank you, daddy.

“Oh holy fuck,” Xiao Zhan says, and comes.

He’s laughing almost before it’s over, and he can feel Yibo laughing too. Xiao Zhan is slumped over, too exhausted to move, but he bites Yibo’s shoulder gently before dropping his head there.

“Screw you,” Xiao Zhan says, no heat in it, and then they just breathe together.

Before long, though, Yibo shifts under him. Xiao Zhan makes himself roll over, groaning as he does. They lie facing each other, eyes adjusted to the dark now. He can see Yibo smiling.

“Good?” Xiao Zhan asks.

Yibo smirks. “What do you think.”

Xiao Zhan pauses. “Sorry that I didn’t ever do that before. I guess I didn’t think you’d be into it.”

It’s not his first relationship with a guy, but everything is different with Yibo, somehow. He’s more careful, feeling like it matters more. He reaches out, stroking Yibo’s cheek, and Yibo leans into it, tilting his head.

“I ran across that video one day,” Yibo says, his voice low and rough. “I don’t know, I kept watching it. They’re really...sweet? It felt real. I guess that’s what I liked.”

“Yeah,” Xiao Zhan says. “That, and someone getting called daddy.”

Yibo smirks again. “Hmm, I don’t think I’m the one who was really into that.”

He gets up on his elbow, coming in closer to kiss Xiao Zhan, and just before their lips touch Yibo whispers, “love you, sweetheart.” Xiao Zhan catches his breath, surprised, at the words and at how they make him feel, the warmth that sweeps through him. Sweet and sincere, real, just like Yibo said.