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Mo was nodding off by the end of the movie, the living room dark and the four of them on the couch. Xi and Jian Yi occupied one corner of the couch, somehow Xi ended up with his arm around Jian Yi’s shoulders, both with fixed attention on the tv. Mo wasn’t sure if they were a couple. He’d never been sure. Jian Yi had been flirting so much with Xi since they were kids and now, years after high school, Mo still wasn’t sure. He’d asked He Tian a couple times what he thought but He Tian usually just laughed and shrugged. Jian Yi had barged in to crash on Xi’s couch and been living with him for a year now. There was only one bedroom.

Mo wasn’t sure why he thought about it so much. He should just ask. His eyes closed again too long, his arms crossed tight across his chest. When his head lulled to the side, his cheek leaned against He Tian’s shoulder. They were sitting side by side, thighs touching.

He didn’t know what was going on between Jian Yi and Zhengxi—but they probably didn’t really know what was going on between him and He Tian either.

Were they dating? No. They had never gone out on a date. Not really. What they did was more than that. It was routine. They hung out all the time. They went to the gym together and sometimes slept over at each other’s places but were they a couple? They made out and there was no one else. No one else for Mo and he was sure that He Tian never looked at anyone the way he did him. It was hard to bear at first—hard to be important to someone like that—but now he couldn’t imagine living without it. Even thinking about being without He Tian left a hollow feeling in his chest.

He woke up when the movie ended, Jian Yi and Xi rising and stretching to leave. They wanted to catch the last train. Mo walked them the handful of steps through his little apartment to the door while He Tian waved them off from the couch, checking his phone.

Mo shut the door, more awake now than he’d been a few minutes ago. He turned and looked at He Tian still on his couch. He was about to ask if he was staying over or going home tonight, so he could  lock up, but a part of him was worried asking would prompt the other man to leave. He didn’t want him to leave. Didn’t ever want him to leave.

He Tian smirked at his phone. “Yi’s already texting on the group chat. Says they saw a cockroach downstairs.”

Mo rolled his eyes and locked the door, coming back to the couch. His apartment was in a shitty building but none of them ever said anything about it. It was still a tiny bit bigger than Xi’s place and not all the way uptown where He Tian lived. Mo scratched the back of his head, coming back to the couch. He couldn’t believe he’d been thinking about how to get He Tian to just stay, not for a night but for all the nights. They’d never even fucked before. And his place was a hole compared to He Tian’s.

He was about to sit back down on the couch when He Tian dropped his phone to the side and reached out quick, grabbing his thigh and pulling him to his lap. Mo landed on his knees, straddling He Tian’s waist, hand bracing against his shoulder. He exhaled something that felt too much like relief and sat down, kissing him. Mo struggled to make the first move most of the time, but that didn’t stop him from craving the closeness, the feel of He Tian’s hands, or his kiss.

They made out, hands wandering, until Mo was drinking up He Tian’s sounds, rocking his hips to rub them together.

“You’re hard,” He Tian said, smile curving his lips when he broke their kiss to speak.

Mo buried his face in He Tian’s collar, trying to hide the burning flare of his cheeks. “Shut up,” he mumbled against skin, muscles tensing up his back when the other man’s hands wandered under his shirt. He closed his eyes, clinging to He Tian, resisting the urge to roll his hips and look for more contact. Why was it so hard to make contact? Why couldn’t he close space between them as effortlessly as He Tian did?

He Tian’s mouth found his neck and Mo sighed deep in his chest, tongue and teeth making his skin ache and his fingers twitch against the other man’s shoulders.

“I’m going to think about this when I jerk off later,” He Tian said, voice husky and hushed.

Mo shuddered and felt himself grow harder, his skin unbearably hot. They never went much farther than making out and sometimes dry humping. In the beginning He Tian had tried for more, had reached for the front of Mo’s pants, even offered to blow him, but Mo had always put a stop to things there. After enough times, He Tian stopped pressing.

Mo felt his own breath stuttered against He Tian’s naked shoulder, his hands twisting in the thin fabric of his tank top. “Y-You don’t mean that…”

“Mean what?” He Tian bit softly at his neck, behind his ear.

Mo groaned, grappling for clarity. “You don’t…When you…do that…you don’t think of…me…”

He Tian stopped his attack, hands still on Mo sides under his shirt, sliding slowly down to his waist.

Mo cringed, sure that if he lifted his face from He Tian’s chest he’d find that dark gaze waiting to hold his. Had he ruined this already?

“I think about you all the time,” He Tian said into the dark room, his hands so warm and strong gripping Mo’s sides. He could hear when He Tian smiled, when that devious grin pulled at one side of his mouth. He felt it in the air, making his skin hot and his breath catch. “Sometimes I think about you on your knees, cheeks flush and bulging with my dick in your mouth. Sometimes I think about you in my lap, like this, but we’re naked and rubbing together. Sometimes I’m inside you,” he went on, slowly as if thinking about it right now and describing it for him.

Mo groaned, shaking, clinging to him and almost wishing now that he had opened his eyes—that he could stare at anything rather than have those images playing across his own imagination. But why? The images were good. The images were ones he’d fantasized about too when he was alone.

“I like the idea of you riding me, fucking yourself on my cock until you can’t take it anymore and you come on my chest,” He Tian went on, hands sliding slowly up and down his sides, fingertips catching on the waistband of Mo’s pants but not hooking in and dragging them down. Mo bit his lip to swallow back the frustrated groan in his chest because after all these years of pushing those hands off, he wanted them to try again. “And sometimes I just think about you watching me, seeing me hard and jerking off and waiting for you to tell me I can come.”

Mo realized he was still rolling his hips, still rubbing them together through their pants, his breath labored and his skin hot.

“Tonight, I’m definitely going to think about this,” He Tian whispered. “I’m going to stroke myself thinking about how you felt rubbing against me, about the sounds you're making right now, and your hands fisting in my shirt, and—”

“Fuck,” Mo snapped, pulling his face from the curve of He Tian’s shoulder and sitting up.

He Tian blinked back at him, surprised.

Mo felt his cheeks burning, his vision swimming with frustrated tears. Suddenly He Tian looked worried, that wolfish grin gone and his dark eyes searching Mo’s face, one hand coming up to his cheek. Mo slapped the hand away, biting his lip hard. He reached out and tugged at the front of He Tian’s jeans, popping the buttons and tugging down the fly.

He Tian groaned, watching him in a mix of surprise and wonder. “Momo…” he started, floundering.

It wasn’t often that Mo got to confuse He Tian. Maybe he’d revel in that later. When he wasn’t pushing He Tian’s pants down his hips enough to pop his erection free. They both inhaled sharply. Mo stared for a second, part of his brain screaming to get up and leave right the fuck now, but he shook it off. He was sick of always fighting what he wanted, and because of what? Because he was so sure He Tian was just fucking around? Because he had convinced himself that He Tian would get over this joke and leave? It had been years. They were grown up and they were best friends and they were so much more. It wasn’t a joke and He Tian wasn’t leaving.

He ran the backs of his fingers slowly up He Tian’s hard cock, his skin so soft. He Tian moaned deep in his chest, fingers flexing against Mo’s sides. His breath came a little faster when he wrapped his hand around him, stroking slowly. Mo watched his own hand on He Tian sex for a while, his every nerve on fire, and then He Tian swallowed hard and Mo’s gaze shot up in time to see his jaw clenching and head rolling back a little. Suddenly He Tian was the one wound tight—the one on edge and shaky. Those dark eyes were still watching him, half-open and glassy with want, but ever honed on Mo.

His thumbs rolled circles against Mo’s hipbones and Mo could read the question in his eyes. He nodded, still pumping He Tian’s erection in his hand.

He Tian’s eyes widened a little, surprised by that nod. His jaw unlocked to open and suck air, groaning to life when he let himself move just enough to pull at the waist of Mo’s pants, tugging them down his hips and ass. Mo winced against embarrassment when his hard cock was exposed, ducking his head to press his forehead against He Tian’s shoulder again. He opened his mouth wide to gasp when He Tian touched him, first like he was studying him and then soon in time with the strokes of Mo’s hand on his sex.

They were so close that their moving hands brushed, hips flexing to almost knock them together. Mo shuddered because that was what he wanted. He turned his face into He Tian’s neck, breathing down lungfuls of his scent. “L-Let go,” he heaved out, the words breaking in his throat.

He shouldn’t have been surprised when He Tian immediately let go, though not without groans of dismay and a reflexive lift of his hips. He clawed his own sides to keep from grabbing at Mo. But Mo hadn’t let go of him, hadn’t jumped up and fled the scene of their pent up affection. He curled one arm around the back of He Tian’s neck and touched his forehead to his, tasting his breath and hearing them turn to moans when he slid his hips closer, rubbing their cocks together. He Tian’s hands clutched at Mo’s hips the second they connected, the second he realized this hadn’t been rejection or a stop—just a change in plans.

Mo curled his fingers around both of them as best he could, squeezing them together and stroking, his own hips still rolling, rocking against He Tian.

He force himself to open his eyes, to tip his head back and watch He Tian when he lost himself, when his whole body tensed and spasmed under him, wetting the back of his hand. His pleasure was a tide that swept Mo away, dragging him over the edge until he was gasping for air and shivering, slowly coming back down, sitting back on He Tian’s thighs.

He blinked at the mess they’d made on He Tian’s tank top, and the cum mingled on the back of his hand. He was about to rub it clean on himself when He Tian caught his wrist and lifted his hand, that tongue snaking out to lick their mess from his skin. Mo choked back a moan, but fought the impulse to look away. He didn’t want to look away.

“Wh-What are we?” he asked, voice gravel with spent lust and serrated nerves.

He Tian looked back at him, confused for a second before his expression smoothed. His fingers tangled with Mo’s. “We’re together. I can live with calling it anything you want.”

Mo swallowed hard and nodded. He got up, pulling his pants back up and blushing hard. He Tian stripped off his dirty shirt and followed him down the hall to his bed. They didn’t bother with the lights. They both knew the layout. Mo took off his shirt and crawled into bed, laying on his side, waiting. He Tian ditched his jeans and got in on the other side of the bed, rolling onto his side and reaching out in the dark to curl an arm around Mo’s waist, pulling him back into the curve of his body.

Mo sighed, content. “Do you want to stay?” he asked in the dark. They were in bed, half-asleep. He wasn’t asking him to stay the night. He was asking him to stay.

He Tian hugged him tighter. “Yes,” he answered, his smile in his voice.