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The night had already fallen. Outside, the insects hummed in the summer heat. Wu Xian idled away in his bed, tucked under soft blankets. He was awake, but his thoughts had taken on the haziness common at the end of every day. Feng Xi rested by his side, leaning against Wu Xian's back. The warmth of his body felt familiar and comforting.

With relaxed confidence, he trailed a hand down Wu Xian's arm and settled it on the cool steel strips circling his wrist.

“I’ve been thinking about these lately.”

The tone of his voice meant he'd been thinking dangerous thoughts.

"Oftentimes, I close my eyes and recall how they look. The color of them in the sunlight, the luster of the blades you could form with them."

Wu Xian intertwined his fingers with Feng Xi's.

"I wonder how strong you could make them. What's the point they would break?" Feng Xi continued. "Or the limits you could shape them?"

"Feng Xi," Wu Xian murmured.

"But mostly," Feng Xi said, his voice low and soft, "I think about...someone you could bind down with these, and how easily you could restrain them."

He moved closer. Wu Xian could feel his breath against his skin.

"I imagine the way your steel would look on their wrists."

Wu Xian felt a sense of uneasiness in the pit of his stomach, heavy and unsettling. He couldn’t imagine Feng Xi would want something like that for himself, especially during sex. Above all else, Feng Xi enjoyed his independence, his freedom as all-encompassing as the wind. But it seemed unlikely that Feng Xi really wanted Wu Xian to think of someone else. Not with that voice, not with that way he touched him.

Still, whenever Wu Xian was uneasy, he preferred to mask his feelings away. He turned to face Feng Xi. “Do you imagine it on yours?"

Feng Xi didn't reply for a long time. Finally, he said, "No, not on me.”

His face was difficult to tell in the darkness, but his voice was calm. He traced the edge of Wu Xian's bands, where the metal met skin.

"On you."

Uneasiness passed, and bemusement followed. "I always carry metal on me.”

Feng Xi hummed. "Not in the way that I'm thinking of.” He tapped the steel strips. “Like always, you would be in full control of these. But you would be controlling them to restrain yourself.”

"Hm." Wu Xian leaned closer to Feng Xi. "And what will you be doing while I'm doing that?"

Feng Xi swallowed. "Making you struggle to stay restrained."

The room was so quiet Wu Xian could hear the sound of Feng Xi's breathing.

"Kinky," Wu Xian deadpanned.

Feng Xi scowled in the darkness. Like always, he was easy to rile up. " if I compare to a human like you—"

Wu Xian squeezed Feng Xi's hand, and Feng Xi quieted down.

Wu Xian thought further about the idea. At the start of their relationship, he would have almost certainly said no. But they had shared the same bed, the same house, and the same lives for years now. The differences that had separated them in the beginning had long smoothed themselves out. It was safe to trust him.

And he was not in the habit of lying to himself. He was curious about what Feng Xi would do to him.

Very curious.

Wu Xian continued. "I didn't say I wouldn't do it for you."

"Then..." Feng Xi whispered.

"Just not now. A different night."

Feng Xi kissed him on his neck, and Wu Xian could feel him smile against him. "I was expecting you to be more hesitant."

Wu Xian patted his hand. "Fret not. I can certainly let you indulge your newfound fetishes once in a while."

Wu Xian easily caught the pillow aimed his head, and then he smiled too.


Wu Xian waited for a quiet evening to take Feng Xi's suggestion. The shower ran in their bathroom. If Wu Xian paid attention, he could hear the sound of Feng Xi's footsteps and the rustle of the shower curtain amidst the running water. He wouldn't be long, so Wu Xian slipped his hanfu off and onto the floor. He got on their bed and laid down.

With a flick of his fingers, he cast his steel into the air. Piece by piece, he weaved them into connecting links. He left only one remaining band on each of his wrists for cuffs. When the ends of the chains affixed themselves to the bedposts and to his wrists, the bindings were complete.

Experimentally, he flexed his arm against the bindings. Like this, he thought he would be strong enough to break free from his natural strength. But if he strengthened the metal—weaving the links more tightly together—the bindings could hold against his greatest efforts. It was an unfamiliar feeling, to test both his physical strength and his skill against each other.

But not an unpleasant one.

The door to the bathroom opened. Feng Xi walked out, his hair still damp. The moment he saw Wu Xian, he paused. His lips parted. Below his lashes, his pupils dilated.

“So,” he said finally. “Right now.”

“You were the one who asked for this," Wu Xian said. "Do you only want to stand there and stare?"

A long time ago, Feng Xi would have blushed at Wu Xian's words. His dignity, his reluctance to surrender his body to his mind—both made it difficult for him to get into the headspace to enjoy sex. It was only one facet of everything that had been difficult with their early relationship.

But now he just laughed. "Don't worry." He got on the bed and touched Wu Xian's face. "I have plenty of ideas."

And then he kissed him.

As always, Wu Xian enjoyed his kisses. Despite his pride and his temper, Feng Xi's gentle side came out whenever he showed affection. His mouth always had a sweet, mild flavor to it, and his hair smelled fresh and clean from the shower. Normally, Wu Xian would have wrapped his arms around him and deepened the kiss, since Feng Xi enjoyed his kisses too. Since he had to keep his arms restrained, he settled for running his tongue against Feng Xi's mouth.

Feng Xi nipped his tongue. The points of his teeth stung. Wu Xian stopped, and Feng Xi hummed happily.

After another minute of kisses, Feng Xi continued down his body. He licked along the lines of his muscles, the crevices of his scars. He lingered over the areas Wu Xian was most sensitive. Some were the obvious spots like his neck and shoulder. Some were spots Feng Xi had found in their years together, like the scar over his heart. He left the skin pink and tingling.

He ignored the most obvious place, however. As he moved down, he passed over Wu Xian’s hard cock in favor of mouthing on his inner thigh.

“Feng Xi,” Wu Xian said, a little breathless.

Instead of responding, Feng Xi bit down on his thigh. At the scrape of his fangs, Wu Xian strained involuntarily against his chains. He reinforced them again. In and out, in and out, he breathed carefully, slowing the beating of his heart.

Eventually, Feng Xi sat up and straddled Wu Xian's hips. Like this, Wu Xian could see that Feng Xi was just as hard as he was.

He took himself in his hand, his elegant fingers sliding around his cock. As he stroked himself, he began to talk. His voice was steady and calm.

"Do you know what I enjoy about this?"

Wu Xian stared at the ceiling. "You like—tormenting me. Taunting me."

Feng Xi laughed. "Do you really think I'm so simple-minded?"

Slowly, he teased the curve of his ass against Wu Xian's cock and grinded down on him. The sensation was very distracting.

"I think you're very selfless, and you're very strong. You give so much to the people around you. You gave this to me, too. But you never ask for much."

"Is that so," Wu Xian said, swallowing.

"Even so, you're still human. You still have desires you need to fulfill, and wants you desire to satisfy."

Feng Xi ran a finger down Wu Xian's chest.

"And I like giving things back for people I like.”

He stretched his hand back and stroked Wu Xian’s cock lightly.

“People like you.”

Wu Xian couldn’t pay attention to anything else but Feng Xi in that moment.

"I like knowing that I can touch you without you giving back for once."

As Feng Xi said each word, his words got less steady.

"I like knowing that I'm the only one who can please you like this.”

Wu Xian arched his back slightly at the movements of Feng Xi's hands. Feng Xi didn't bother correcting him.

“But what I like most of all is—I like knowing you've chosen this, too—“ Feng Xi said, breathless, and then he finished over Wu Xian's chest with a soft moan.

Wu Xian clenched his hands. The person on top of him, the words said to him, the effort to stay still and take everything—all were affecting him. Only a few more strokes, and he would be finishing in moments. Or, Wu Xian imagined, if Feng Xi just brought his thighs around his cock, he could rut against him, come hard all over his legs. He knew from experience that the sight afterwards would look fantastic.

Instead of helping him with any of that, Feng Xi tossed his hair over his shoulder and moved off of Wu Xian.

"By the way. Tormenting you is also part of it.”

Wu Xian groaned. “Your tastes never change.”

"Oh, Wu Xian," Feng Xi purred. "Would you ever want them to?"

Wu Xian flexed against his restraints, but he did not move. Feng Xi smiled smugly and went to rummage around the drawers of their bed stand. As he rummaged further, his smile faded.

"The last time we had sex, did you finish the lube here—and not replace the bottle?"

Wu Xian looked away and tried not to look guilty. “Maybe.”

Feng Xi gave a vexed sigh. "You can't be so careless about such things." To Wu Xian's horror, Feng Xi shifted, and then completely got off the bed.

"You can't be so careless with my needs," Wu Xian hissed.

“Yes, I'm being so careless, leaving you on my long, long journey to the bathroom closet," Feng Xi said, rolling his eyes. "Be good.” He kissed Wu Xian's cheek, and then he slipped into the bathroom again.

While he was gone, Wu Xian resisted the urge to throw his restraints across the room.

Feng Xi returned soon with a new bottle of lube and several fluffy towels. He set the towels on the bed stand.

"Now, where were we?"

"You were going to finish me off," Wu Xian said, as quickly and helpfully as possible.

Feng Xi tilted his head, reaching out and curling one hand around Wu Xian's cock. His touch was light, his thumb running slow circles around the tip. He did not seem to be listening to Wu Xian.

"Certainly, I will. But it still seems too early for that, doesn't it?"

"Does it," Wu Xian said, trying not to moan. 

Feng Xi slipped his hand off and swiped a finger in the mess on Wu Xian's chest. He bit his bottom lip, his cheeks coloring slightly. "Right now, I think I'd like to finish inside you, too."

Wu Xian's cock throbbed. Both of them knew that Wu Xian was not able to come untouched. Feng Xi could drag it out however long he liked, until Wu Xian’s facade eroded underneath him.

Feng Xi squirted the lube over his hands and rubbed it slowly. When it was warm, he placed one finger inside Wu Xian's hole. The tension from before had returned in full force. They did this often enough that Wu Xian wouldn't really need a ton of preparation, but Feng Xi moved carefully, circling the rim and sliding inside slowly. With each finger he added, he would tilt his head and ask Wu Xian if it was alright, and he would only continue if Wu Xian nodded his assent.

On the third finger, Wu Xian's hips were working themselves against Feng Xi. "It's not as if we haven't done this before," Wu Xian breathed.

"I know," Feng Xi said, pressing against his prostate hard. Wu Xian groaned. "This is on purpose."

When Feng Xi finally deemed him ready, he lined his cock against Wu Xian's entrance. As he started to push his cock inside, Wu Xian was breathing hard, even more aroused than before. Feng Xi was no better, inhaling sharply as he pushed fully inside. Feng Xi moved inside him with little difficulty, burying inside of him to the hilt and pulling out so only the tip was inside, deep and even strokes. Wu Xian's legs spread apart wider, and his toes curled against the bedsheets.

With each thrust, Wu Xian wanted more and more to take off his restraints. It would be so easy; it wouldn't even take a flick of a finger. The constant demand to surrender control to someone else was difficult, unfamiliar. He wanted to be able to push Feng Xi down; he wanted to ride him harder, faster; he wanted to touch him, to touch himself; he wanted, wanted, wanted.

But he also wanted what they had right now: the clutch of Feng Xi's hands on his hips, the rasp of their breaths, the way their bodies moved together. To feel Feng Xi touch him, please him, even when Wu Xian was unable to please him back.

To know he wanted to.

Each second that ticked by felt like an hour. Feng Xi was slow to finish again after finishing before, and he was even slower than usual. As he moved against Wu Xian, moaning sweetly, Wu Xian shuddered. He was agonizingly hard, but pleasure spread through his entire body, starting from his stomach and moving to his extremities. It kept mounting with each movement and each breath. Wu Xian's muscles strained with effort to stay still, to take what Feng Xi was giving him.

Then, just as it seemed like it was going to last forever, it ended. Feng Xi stilled his hips and spilled inside Wu Xian. His face contorted with pleasure, and his fingers clenched hard on Wu Xian's body, his nails sharp pinpricks against his skin.

Twice sated, Feng Xi panted as he pulled out of Wu Xian. There was little grace in his movements, just tired satisfaction. He must have been wrecked as well, for he moved up and on top of Wu Xian's body. His abs pressed right against Wu Xian’s cock, and Wu Xian groaned, the feeling too much and not enough.

"So good," Feng Xi whispered, and he leaned down to kiss Wu Xian again. His tongue ran over Wu Xian's mouth, and Wu Xian moaned against him. It was sloppy, a little sleepy. There was no finesse, just the quiet delight of their mouths meeting together.

But after everything they'd done, the kiss was what finally unraveled Wu Xian.

“Feng Xi," he moaned. "Please."

Maybe Feng Xi was affected by the way he said it, deep and breathless. Or maybe he was swayed by the desperate look on his face, or the straining tension in his arms. Whatever the reason, Feng Xi finally deigned to offer Wu Xian mercy. He moved down his body and brought his mouth near Wu Xian's cock. As soon as Wu Xian felt Feng Xi's hot breath ghosting against his skin, Wu Xian couldn't help himself.

He asked again. “Please, please.”

"As you wish," Feng Xi murmured, and he applied his mouth.

He was devastating. There was none of the slow tenderness from before; Feng Xi laved and sucked on the shaft in the precise ways that targeted Wu Xian's weaknesses. All it took to finish Wu Xian was Feng Xi digging his tongue in the slit of his cock, and Wu Xian was coming all over his mouth and face, moaning and taking gulping breaths of air. The warmth of his pleasure washed over him in waves.

He remained in that position for a long time as the aftershocks took him. A sweet exhaustion settled in his bones. The only thing that brought him out of his stupor was when he realized that Feng Xi was grumbling something against his body.

With a start, Wu Xian realized that he had buried his hands in Feng Xi's hair. The bands had fallen apart on the bed. Whether they had been pulled apart by his power or his strength, he couldn't tell. He pulled back. "Ah. Sorry.”

"No need to apologize. I hoped I could get you to do that, anyways," Feng Xi said. His face was covered in come and spit, and he twirled a strand of hair around his finger. He seemed a little grumpy. “Though it looks like I’ll have to shower again.”

Wu Xian also needed a shower. They were both disgusting. Still, he was in no mood to rush, enjoying the afterglow. "Do you mind it?"

"Of course I do," Feng Xi sighed. "But I think it was worth it."

Wu Xian smiled. He caressed Feng Xi's face with a hand. "How lewd of you."

"Shut up," Feng Xi grumbled. But he leaned into Wu Xian's touch anyways. "Did you like it?"

Wu Xian placed the back of his other hand on his forehead.

“It was—good. You made it good.”

Feng Xi's eyes curved into crescents as he smiled.