The stars in the sky serve as a billion tiny lights, countless constellations and stars that overlook them all in an unfathomable pattern that no one could truly understand the depth of. A sea of white, glowing specks over a midnight blue canvas; Xiao was growing to love the notion that no matter where they were, when they looked up, they would see the same sky, whether the stars were hidden or not.
But... nights where they looked at the same sky together, stretched out along the roof of the Inn in Liyue or the sprawling, open fields of Mondstadt, were the best.
It had been a handful of weeks stretched over months that they had been able to steal these moments together, since the theft of Venti’s Gnosis, and the death of Rex Lapis, and their time together at Mondstadt’s festival. Venti had lost track of how many kisses had been stolen between the minutes, how many times they had left one another pink in the cheeks and breathless.
He could, however, count the number of times he’d laid a hand on an inch of skin beneath those Liyuen clothing layers, and it was once, with his fingers brushing ever so gently against the curve of Xiao’s hips, hiking his shirt up against his wrist—only for Xiao to pick up the sense of corruption that had lingered a mile off, and had ventured out on that Archons-damned duty of his to take care of the malevolence. The mood had been ruined.
That was okay, though. It would come back. It always did.
Like now, with their backs pressed to the rise of a grassy hill, Xiao’s arm half asleep, cradling Venti’s head, which was tucked comfortably at his shoulder, pressing sneaky little kisses up along his jaw. Venti was curled on his side to face Xiao, who laid on his back—but Venti’s hand was acting a little more mischievous than his lips, trailing feather-light touches across the flat plain of Xiao’s belly.
“Barbatos,” Xiao murmured, tilting his head away, though it was a little too late to avoid the red mark that Venti had nipped into the paleness of his throat, just beneath his jaw. In the past, when there were still other Adepti that might tease him for such things, he might have been a little more wary of such marks being left so openly on his skin. Knowing Venti, he likely would have left them proudly, regardless.
A little love-drunk on the taste of Xiao’s skin on his tongue and the warmth of his body under his palm, Venti offered only a smile, and a hum into his shoulder. “Mm?”
“...You’re prodding me.”
The words didn’t seem to sink in at first, and Venti only blinked, distracted from wanting to lay another peppering of kisses on Xiao’s bare arm. “I’m what?” Xiao lifted himself on his elbows, before nodding downwards. In curling up to his side, Venti had pressed his hips forward to Xiao’s thigh—where now there was a noticeable rise in his shorts, pressed flush to Xiao’s leg. “...oh. Sorry.”
“Don’t apologize.” Xiao reached down to pull Venti’s attention up into a kiss, something that definitely didn’t help that pressure against his thigh at all, though when it broke, it was carried off with a sense of lingering uncertainty. “Last time...”
“We were in Liyue,” Venti hummed, a little breathless, as his grasp tightened slowly over the curve of where Xiao’s stomach curved down into his side. “And we were interrupted.”
“Sorry,” Xiao started, even though he had already apologized for it more than once. Venti tilted in to press a punishing little nip to the curve of Xiao’s chin.
“No more apologies. We could make up for it now, if you want. We don’t have to, but,” but there was absolutely no doubt that Venti would be delighted if they did. The hestitation in his movement was not out of disinterest, but… a careful gauge of how much Xiao might be interested.
As if the noticeable bulge in Xiao’s own pants didn’t betray just how he was feeling about that. Still, the Adeptus’s brows furrowed, and after a moment of deliberation, he shifted, tugging on the arm under Venti’s head, but not pulling it away entirely. It was enough to disengage them a little, but also for him to roll on his side and face him.
“...I haven’t before. With anyone.”
The words made Venti sit up, a somewhat startled look on his features. The surprise only made Xiao’s cheeks burn, and he sat up as well, already looking away from the former Archon. He expected teasing, maybe—it would be on brand for Venti, but when he didn’t speak for once in his life, Xiao looked up. The look across the bard’s face was a little… unique. Then again, Xiao had never anticipated that ‘intense, horny interest’ would have its own expression, too.
“Never?” Venti finally managed, his fingers resting down on Xiao’s thigh as he took a breath. “We can change that. If you’d like me to.”
Xiao scoffed. “I wouldn’t be here, and your hand wouldn’t be there, if I didn’t. I just...” Xiao’s jaw tightened, and he took a slow breath to do that thing that Venti liked to call ‘being open and communicative about his needs,’ as hard as it was. “I don’t want to hurt you. I don’t want to lose control, and-”
“You won’t.” Venti took his hand from the grass, lifting it, so he could press a few kisses to his palm, and the callouses and scars there. Hands he had found himself fond of more than once, hands that he loved to feel in his own, on him, against him. Hands that he wanted to know every inch of, and hands he wanted to know every inch of him. “I know you won’t. No more than I want you to hurt me, at least.”
The mischief in Venti’s gaze was enough for Xiao to feel himself twitch in his pants, but his pause was clear enough for the former Archon to take control. Venti moved forward, pressing a hand against Xiao’s shoulder and guiding the Adeptus back down, encouraging him to lay against the grass once more. In the same motion, Venti shifted himself forward and swung a leg over him, straddling his hips and letting his weight rest comfortably flush to where he strained against his pants.
Every movement was slow and meticulous, gentle like the touch of a breeze. Venti started slow, his fingers finding Xiao’s elbows, working his way up to his wrists with his fingers mapping the muscles of his forearms. The motion lifted both arms, until Venti could wrap his fingers around Xiao’s wrists, lifting them well above his head and pinning them in place.
He had never been held down by anything but the chains of his own fate before, but there was something different about the weight of Venti’s body in comparison—or the pressure around his wrists. They were not shackles. They were the furthest thing from, really.
Leaning over him to keep his hands pinned over his head, Venti pressed another slow series of kisses to his lips this time, instead. He caught Xiao’s between his own, tugging at it, soft skin against soft skin until he could see the shine of teeth when Venti pulled his lip back a little roughly, caught between his own teeth this time instead.
His lower lip bounced back into place, flushed and swollen from the former Archon’s attention. Venti had thought of how this could go a hundred times, a hundred different ways, but he could think of none better than unwrapping Xiao like a present beneath him. Pink, and beautiful, and begging to be ruined properly.
Venti’s hips rolled forward at the thought, grinding them together in a way that made them both demand more. It was the barest touch of friction, with layers and layers of clothing blocking what heat they could get from one another. The kisses, like a catalyst, only drive them on. While it had been fun play at first, to grind down against Xiao, the slide up a little so he could sit fully against his clothed cock without crushing it—or rather, without crushing it so much that it would hurt.
“Do you want me?” Venti whispered, and Xiao did not miss the glow in his eyes, the huff of warmth from the breath from his lips close enough to kiss the skin of Xiao’s throat. A roll of his hips, to send a message, to feel the way it made Xiao’s cock press hard to his ass. “Tell me, Alatus. Tell me you want me. Show me.”
With his wrists free, and Venti keeping himself upright by letting his hands wander to start stripping away Xiao’s shirt and decorum, Xiao’s hands snapped quickly to Venti’s thighs, not only to keep Venti from moving too quickly, but so he could grasp the plush skin under his fingers. If Venti had been a normal mortal, the grasp would have been enough to bruise—but he wasn’t, and Xiao would have to try harder than that.
Xiao planned on that, though.
Though Venti had removed his half-cloak to lay across it on the grass, he still found himself feeling a little too overdressed for the situation. From the way Xiao was tugging at his pants, the Adeptus felt the same—and after feeling the fabric of his clothing start to strain and almost rip, Venti gave a soft chuckle.
“Ah-ah. Be careful how you handle my clothes; they do not exist in droves.”
“Stop rhyming and take them off, already,” Xiao half-growled, the sharpness to his eyes more demand than request, though it was more ‘angry kitten’ than ‘furious tiger’ to Venti’s perception. The former god snickered again, wriggling just a little in a way that made Xiao’s breath hitch.
“Such a demand, wise and grand, but for you, my Alatus? Verily, your wish is my command.” Rather than tugging at his own clothing with the same subtle vehemence that he had afforded for Xiao’s, he sat up straight, lifted one hand, and snapped his fingers.
Archons-damned god powers, Venti was sitting naked against Xiao’s lap. Where there had been fabric under Xiao’s fingers beforehand, there was just bare, smooth skin. Venti gave him a leisurely smile, his gaze glowing with warmth once more before he set his hands back down to the hem of Xiao’s shirt, pushing it up along a the light tone of his stomach. He stopped only when his fingers exposed Xiao’s nipples, and playfully, he dragged his nails, feather-light, along one. Xiao’s breath froze in his chest, and his grip tightened.
“Feel good?” Venti murmured, as if he didn’t already know the answer. He didn’t even give time for Xiao to answer before he leaned forward, pressing a kiss to it instead. His lips parted against the skin, and his tongue drifted out to flick against it. If Xiao’s jaw had been clenched to school himself into saving face with silence, that precarious control shattered in a heartbeat, his gasp audible and his hips jerking. Venti would remember those nipples were sensitive, knowledge he would tuck away in his pocket for safe keeping.
For now, the jerk of Xiao’s hips had reminded him fully of the need there, restrained carefully like all other aspects of Xiao’s life—and Venti could not wait to see him fall to pieces.
He left the perk nipple shiny and flushed from the brush of tongue and teeth alone, lifting himself up on his knees so he could reach down and work his fingers into Xiao’s pants, pushing them down as well. Finally, they had skin on skin. Xiao’s nails were digging at his thighs now, and he could feel the almost desperate grind of the Adeptus’s cock against the curve of his ass.
Xiao wanting him was cute. Xiao needing him was cuter.
“Ah-ah, my paramour, before we begin, there’s something more.” Venti punctuated his words with a hard settle of his body down, making sure to pin Xiao’s little thrusts down to the ground with his body weight, holding him in place.
When Venti pulled the little bottle of oil from mid-air, Xiao recognized it immediately. He had lived among those at the Wangshu Inn for so long that it was impossible not to notice the messy scrawl on the outside of the glass—Smiley Yanxiao’s. Venti must have ‘borrowed’ it one of the last times they’d been there.
“You’ve been planning this?” Xiao asked, lifting a brow.
“I wouldn’t say ‘planning,’ but… when you’ve got such a handsome Adeptus around so often, it pays to be prepared?” Venti offered, his grin sly. He tilted down for another kiss, affectionate, intentionally missing Xiao’s lips, clumsily clipping his chin with his lips before trailing them down to press to his throat. In the meantime, he busied his hands, uncorking the oil before seeking out one of Xiao’s hands. Carefully, he measured the length of Xiao’s fingernails by brushing them against his own finger-pads, and finding them to be blessedly short, he decided to let Xiao explore a little first. He tugged the hand away from where it held the vice grip on his thigh, to a more easily accessible angle.
He tilted the oil bottle down, spilling a little over Xiao’s fingers. “Put those in me. Slowly. One by one. I’ll let you know when to add another,” he guided, his laugh breathy as Xiao adhered to that advice immediately—and the cup of Xiao’s palm against his ass was not missed. “Start with your index finger.” It would be the largest, and start the prep the fastest, while not being overwhelming.
Following his guidance to the word, Xiao found his rim, circling it with his slicked fingers before he pressed in just one finger. It’s tight—gods, how many centuries ago had he last taken a lover—but Xiao is surprisingly patient, for all of his worry of hurting him. He explores him like uncharted territory, respectful and devout as a worshiper, until Venti whispered to add another—then another. Xiao felt a little larger than he’d expected grinding up against him, and though a bit of sting could feel wonderful, he knew his Adeptus was worried about hurting him.
In the meantime, Venti had left trails of pink along Xiao’s collarbone, whispering every word of praise he could manage; he wanted Xiao to feel good about this. He wanted Xiao to know that this closeness wasn’t dangerous, not for Venti, and not for Xiao, either. He didn’t imagine the little inhale of pride when Xiao’s fingers brushed his prostate, either.
In fact, it was Venti who caved to that need first.
“Here, wait-” Xiao decidedly liked how Venti sounded out of breath when he spoke, but acquiesced to the request, pulling his fingers free. Venti shifted to press himself to sit up straight, his hands splayed on Xiao’s stomach.
Xiao’s pupils flushed wide, taking in the sight of Venti using his thighs to press up, hovering over the Adeptus for just the amount of time that it took to pour the rest of the warmed oil against his cock, then slowly sink down on him.
It’s more warmth than what he’d managed to get grinding hopelessly up against his ass. Though he’d stretched Venti on three fingers, he can’t imagine it had been enough with the way that Venti squeezed him. Venti, however, seemed to be doing just fine—the minute Xiao’s cock was settled fully into him, the Anemo Archon rolled forward as if he didn’t need a moment to settle at all, dragging a moan from the depths of Xiao’s throat. He loved that about his Adeptus. He loved the huskiness to his tone, the smooth lilt to his voice. If the bard could ever convince him fully, he was sure he’d have a lovely singing voice.
He’d just have to make him sing another way, really.
“Alatus, Alatus look at me,” Venti coaxed, breathing hard as he steadied himself with his hands against the other’s chest. Though the Adeptus might have been dazed before by the feeling, watching as Venti pressed down slowly on him to lift himself brought him back to earth. The body over him was glowing with the faint sheen sweat and warmth and want, but even still, the way Venti moved right down to the way he rolled forward each time their hips met was like a love letter to his desire to make Xiao feel good.
His braids were bouncing with each rougher motion of sliding himself down on Xiao’s cock, and he had long lost the ability to even pretend to stay quiet should anyone come across them in the grassy fields of Mondstadt. His head tilted back, plush lips rosy but parted with each sound he let slip free, as vocal as ever. Xiao could feel the rise of tension building, and with it came impatience of his own.
Xiao lifted his knees, digging his feet into the grass so he could start to rock upwards to meet the other’s grinding. His hands had resettled on Venti’s hips instead of his thighs—a vantage point he used to pull the other harder down on him, now that he was sure those noises, ever louder, were of pleasure rather than pain.
While Venti’s soft words may have started as praise for Xiao to sooth any worry over the situation, they were quickly far more genuinely aimless—a babble of sweet, senseless want as he rode Xiao with abandon. The sound of his voice was nearly enough to make Xiao cum alone on any normal occasion from simply memory, but the feeling of Venti’s warm walls squeezing tight on each pass down was a death sentence; his saving grace is wanting to see Venti undone, and in a last, quick gesture his hand moved from his waist to wrap fast around Venti’s cock, stroking it hard just as he dragged the former Archon fully down on him, spilling in him with a sharp, aggressive little cry of his own.
The gesture is enough to make Venti cum at the exact same time, tilting back to grasp Xiao’s thighs as he jerked forward, making a mess of the Adeptus’s stomach, his spend jerking from him in a few, smooth arcs. One strand lands below those exposed nipples, still framed by the pushed-up shirt. Both struggle to catch their breaths in the tense moments after, hazy and golden in afterglow before Venti slips off of him and to his side once more; his arms felt too much like gelatin to risk staying on top of him.
“Well?” Venti managed, when he could breathe again. “How was your first time?”
Xiao was silent for long enough to almost worry him, before the Adeptus turned, staking a slow, possessive kiss on his lips. “...I’ll need to assess if it’s worth my time with a little more practice.”
“’Worth your time?’” Venti’s sulk was present, but playful. He knew what the other meant. “You can just say you want to go for another round...” He dragged his fingers playfully against the other’s chest, snickering as his fingertips met the trail of his own cum. “Maybe after a bath, first.”