Xiao tries to avoid meddling in the affairs of mortals. They’re complicated, confusing, and usually not worth his time. Even the affairs of the Traveler, who he finds to be the least grating of their kind, annoy him. But, when mortals meddle in the business of adepti, Xiao is always the one to step in.
Xiao has the easiest time being evil, getting his hands dirty--meddling--no matter how badly he doesn’t want to. He has his mask and it’s whispers, and when mortals grow too powerful for their own good, Xiao is there to cut them back down to size.
And this is how he finds himself crouching above the abandoned shrine of a friend, mask throbbing at his hip as he summons his spear to his side. The weapon sings for him, almost as eager as his mask, and Xiao winds his power into it, his rage into it, as the memories of a long lost friend are desecrated by these Fatui.
Rage burns in his throat as he stands from his hiding spot and plunges into the valley below. He has the element of surprise, but from above he had failed to properly estimate their numbers. All at once Fatui grunts mob him, slicing at his belly and chest. With a roar, Xiao swings his polearm, taking skirmishers down at the knees and slicing into their soft bellies.
The ones without any armor go down in a few swift blows. Their screeches fuel him and the pain falls to the wayside, replaced by a thick, sweet rush of adrenaline. The ones with better armor ring him in a loose circle, fear shining in their eyes, even as their commands drive them onward. They are more of a challenge, but their weak spots are evident. Their heavy weapons leave them winded and Xiao cuts through them with sprays of hot blood and fresh screams of pain.
This is a type of slaughter he hasn’t experienced in a millenia. A type of slaughter that he’s missed. The thought has him freezing in place. A halo of bodies splayed around him, dead or half living, attempting to crawl away from him. Marks of their panic live on Xiao’s skin, slices of their blades and bruises marking his belly and chest.
The mask at his hip whispers. Blood stings at his eyes, but he doesn’t think there’s a cut on his forehead. His mind tangles as the rage melts away.
His thoughts are far off when a lone figure slips out of the shadows. His thoughts are with Zhongli, the Archon who put so much trust in him, who rescued him from this slaughter, who allowed him to repay his karmic debt. The man, the god, who Xiao had always knelt to, who gave Xiao everything--and this is how Xiao repays him. More blood. More carnage.
The figure steps in front of him and Xiao summons his weapon, but it’s too late. The sting of Dendro magic hits his face, his throat, his chest. He has enough sense to hold his breath as the powder sticks to his skin. It’s pathetically easy to swing his spear and cut the mage down, but the powder clings to his skin, clots in his wounds, and the magic takes hold immediately.
His knees go out from under him and he crumples to the bloody ground. He tries to keep in his breath, but his lungs are screaming and he gasps for air before long. The fever lights him up in an instant, a clammy sweat prickling across his skin even though he feels like he ’s burning up. It’s a sensation he’s never felt before, he’s not supposed to be susceptible to these sorts of mortal illnesses, but he finds himself retching and gasping as he tries to find his breath.
His vision wavers. And as he catalogues his symptoms, searching for clarity, he finds the throbbing of his cunt between his legs. Swollen, slick, and begging for attention. He clenches around his own emptiness and feels it acutely, a gnawing void in his belly where the fever seems to originate. Sweat drips down his brow and into his eyes. The arousal goes to pain at his clit, hard and aching between his legs.
And although he may deserve this punishment for the terrible things he’s done here today, he’s desperate for relief. He shoves a hand between his legs, hoping that this humiliation may at least bring him comfort. He grinds his palm down against his pussy, until he’s sure his pants will stain, but he finds no relief. As he climbs toward his orgasm, all he can feel is white hot fever, his body twitching and twinging.
He manages to pull his hand away from himself before it worsens. The arm holding him up buckles and his cheek hits the dusty ground, tears streaming down his face. Humiliation burns nearly as hot as his fever, as the toxins working inside of him to cause all this pain and disgust. But there is only one man that could possibly offer relief.
And that relief is enough to drive him onwards, first onto his knees, and then to his feet. Through wet lashes and on shaky legs, Xiao limps towards Liyue harbor.
Night falls as Xiao finds himself slumped against Zhongli’s door. The fever still wracks through him in full force, chills rolling down his spine as he stubbornly wipes the sweat off his forehead. The ache between his legs has only gotten worse, and he knows he makes a pathetic, disgusting figure on the terrace as he raises his hand to knock.
If he still had his voice, he would call out for Rex Lapis, his master, his benefactor. His throat is swollen, his mind is completely foggy and all he can manage is one weak rap of his knuckles, before his arm falls back to his side.
A moment passes like an eternity and then the door opens. Zhongli stands in the doorway, dressed down from his usual suit with his hair flowing loosely over his shoulders. Everything in Xiao’s body cries out for him, more than the toxic magic that has infected him. Something much deeper. Something much, much worse.
“Xiao?” Zhongli’s confusion goes to worried shock as Xiao tries to step forward and slumps against him. Warm light from his apartment falls across Xiao’s face, no doubt illuminating every scratch and flake of blood that clings to him. “Inside, inside,” Zhongli murmurs. He gets his arms around Xiao and lifts him easily, cradling him against his chest as he shuts the door behind them.
His head lolls and his hands grasp weakly at Zhongli’s thin linen shirt. Xiao can feel Zhongli’s heat, his power, and even just the whisper of it has the fever inside him surging, screaming for it. He paws at Zhongli clumsily, but only manages to press his palms against the bare skin of his throat.
“Stay with me, Xiao.” The sound of his name has his eyelids fluttering and his cunt pulsing between his legs. Shame is far off now that Zhongli has him. Surely, he’ll have some sort of antidote, Baizhu works late and soon Xiao won’t have to worry about whether or not the slickness of his cunt is obvious through his pants.
He gets brought through into another room where a bath has already been drawn. Xiao tries to fight Zhongli as he sets him into the water, not even bothering to take off his clothes first. “I don’t--it’s okay,” he mumbles, not quite able to wrap his tongue around the words that he wants to say. I’m sorry for being here. I’m sorry for burdening you.
“Hush,” Zhongli says. He pushes down on Xiao’s chest, submerging him deeper into the water. It feels like a cool balm on his skin, a relief after all the heat. “Xiao, you’re burning up, what happened?” His urgency is evident, amber eyes dark and intense as he cups the back of Xiao’s head to keep his face above the water.
The water is turning pink around him, the Fatui blood on his skin staining everything. Xiao swallows and tries not to put his hand between his legs. “Fatui were at… the shrine.” Zhongli stares down at him, thumb stroking the shell of his ear so delicately. He has to close his eyes. “I killed them,” he whispers. “But there was one left, a Dendro mage. She… there was a powder…” He trails off and prays that Zhongli understands enough to not ask about his symptoms.
Zhongli is silent for a long time. “There is no cure that I can offer you.”
Xiao opens his eyes and finds Zhongli looking away from him, face pinched. “But…”
“There is no cure, Xiao.” Ice bursts into Xiao’s veins and his eyes widen. Panic sinks into him and he sits up, ignoring the sloshing water. His heart rate speeds and his breath goes ragged. There’s never been something that Zhongli couldn’t fix, something that they couldn’t get through together at least. They’ve known struggle and pain and difficulty, but never anything so hopeless as Zhongli’s pinched face and admittance that there is no cure.
His hand is still cupping Xiao’s nape and as the water drips off his shoulders, his fever picks up, skin burning at that point of contact. “The fever will either break or it… won’t,” Zhongli murmurs. Xiao stares at him, hating the touch at his neck as much as he craves it. “Unless we take certain measures.” He’s speaking so carefully and Xiao doesn’t know what he’s missing.
Zhongli’s hand drags down his spine, over his bare skin and to where his wet shirt is plastered to his back. “It’s unfair to ask you to make a decision like this, but we don’t have much of a choice.” He gives Xiao a sad smile. “You’ll have to choose if you want to deal with this alone or if you’re okay with me helping to relieve you.”
Xiao stops listening after the word alone. The thought of being left in a room alone in Zhongli’s apartment, or even worse, being made to leave has him feeling sick. He can’t be left alone, not through the fever that might burn him alive. He’s shaking his head before Zhongli even finishes speaking. “Don’t leave me, please, I can’t--” The words fracture as a fresh wave of fever hits him, cheeks burning and head spinning.
“I won’t, Xiao, I promise,” Zhongli murmurs, voice raw and intense. “Let’s get you cleaned up, first.”
Xiao’s head is foggy as Zhongli reaches for a small linen cloth and wets it. He wipes Xiao down carefully, cleaning away the last of the blood and magic on his skin. Each touch seems to stoke the heat inside of him even more, until Xiao is struggling to breathe.
Zhongli helps him out of the bath and then grabs the hem of his shirt. “May I?”
Xiao blushes, but nods. He can’t be walking around Zhongli’s apartment in sopping wet clothing. Zhongli undresses him quickly, leaving his clothing in a pile beside the tub. There’s a moment where Xiao is left in just his linen underwear. They’re wet and sticking to his thighs, barely preserving any modesty.
Zhongli grabs the waistband and glances up at him. Heat pulses through Xiao. For a moment, he thinks that he’s made an awful mistake, remembering his humiliation in the valley, but he can’t be alone. Not like this. “Just don’t… look,” he mumbles, face on fire.
“Okay,” Zhongli agrees, averting his eyes as he tugs the wet linen off. Xiao burns as his cunt throbs. He ignores it and steps out of his underwear, one hand on Zhongli’s shoulder to keep his balance. True to his word, Zhongli keeps his eyes away from Xiao’s body as he stands. Xiao tries to take a step after him, but his knees buckle. His head spins and his gut tightens with nausea.
Zhongli’s there to catch him. “Here, let me.” If Xiao were in his right mind, he would protest, but with his legs so weak all he can do is get swept up into Zhongli’s arms. Zhongli carries him out of the bathroom and into a dimly lit bedroom. The darkness helps cool him and he sighs as Zhongli lowers him to a soft, comfortable mattress. The sheets are clean and cool on his damp skin. He spreads his arms wide and keeps his knees pressed together as Zhongli stands above him.
This is as good a place as any to wait for the fever to break. He closes his eyes and takes a deep breath. As long as Zhongli doesn’t leave him, he’ll be okay. The magic will run its course, and he’ll be fine. As long as he doesn’t touch himself and make that aching, gnawing void inside of him yawn any wider.
The bed shifts. Xiao doesn’t open his eyes, too busy trying to not think about Zhongli so close, so warm, such a relief from all this aching lust. He can’t ask that of Zhongli. He won’t. Zhongli’s hands land on Xiao’s shoulders and his thighs are wet with his own need. And then, Zhongli’s lips are on his.
It’s a gentle, chaste brush of their mouths, that has Xiao lighting up from the inside out. At this first touch, he can feel the Dendro magic ignite inside of him again, as strong as it first was in that valley. His cunt pulses and his skin sings and his arms are going around Zhongli’s shoulders before he can stop himself.
Zhongli doesn’t try to escape. He grabs one of Xiao’s knees, head tilting as he licks into Xiao’s mouth. A whine rattles out of him and Zhongli swallows the sound. He pushes on Xiao’s knee and his legs fall open, mind far away as Zhongli slides between his thighs.
And his skin is bare. Zhongli naked, in bed with him, between his legs, licking into his mouth as his hands stroke down his thighs. Xiao’s breathless and overwhelmed. He doesn’t know how he got here, cunt bare and legs spread. He doesn’t know how he got here, but he can’t find it in himself to stop Zhongli as he pulls away and scoots down Xiao’s body.
“Tell me if you want me to stop,” Zhongli murmurs. He curls one big hand around Xiao’s thigh and kisses the jut of his hip, before lowering his mouth over Xiao’s clit.
Pleasure explodes sharper and brighter than it ever has before. Xiao arches and screams like he’s possessed, an unsatisfying orgasm rolling over him almost immediately. Zhongli’s mouth is hot and gentle, tongue lapping at Xiao as he holds his squirming body in place with a single hand. He’s frazzled, tongue thick in his mouth as desire rolls through him in tidal waves.
All at once the pieces fall together. A fever that can’t be cured with anything other than pleasure, Xiao on Zhongli’s doorstep, and Zhongli with his sense of obligation. A sob wracks through Xiao and he reaches down to grab Zhongli’s hair, a blubbering mess of words with no meaning leaving his lips. Another orgasm rolls through him and his cunt gushes, making these terrible wet noises with each press of Zhongli’s tongue.
Finally, Xiao wraps his lips around the word he needs. “Stop--Morax, please,” he gasps.
Zhongli pulls away, eyes bright and shining as he looks up at Xiao. Xiao’s cum slicks his chin and cheeks and he can feel his flush worsening. He pets at Xiao’s thighs and twists to kiss at his soft skin. “I know it’s overwhelming, but this is the only way to help--”
“No, no, you can’t.” Xiao scrubs at his eyes and leaves his hands there, heart throbbing in his chest as he forces himself to speak. “You can’t do this for me--not for my sake, not just because you feel some misguided responsibility.” He sniffles and tries to press his knees together, to brace for when Zhongli pulls away.
He doesn’t pull away. He presses closer to Xiao and wraps his arms around him. “Oh, Xiao,” he murmurs. “I’m not doing this for you, I’m doing it for me.” He laughs, but it's gentle. “You may think of me as benevolent, but I’m selfish and hedonistic, and all I’ve ever wanted is you.”
The breath steals out of Xiao’s lungs. His skin is hot and his head is starting to pound with the fever. “I don’t--”
Zhongli dips down and presses his forehead against Xiao’s sternum. “I’m sorry that it had to happen this way, but we can’t talk about it now. Please, let me take care of you, and once the magic has run its course, we can speak plainly.”
Xiao forces himself to pull his hands away from his face and look down at where Zhongli is pressed against him, warm and steady and so devoted. He swallows down a hysterical laugh at the thought of Rex Lapis being devoted to him and puts a hand on the back of Zhongli’s head. “Okay,” he whispers.
Zhongli lets out a shuddering breath. His hands stroke at Xiao’s thighs as he scoots back down. He presses an overwhelmingly tender kiss to the soft swell of Xiao’s belly and looks up into his face. “Thank you,” he murmurs.
Xiao’s body throbs at the low rumble of his voice, at the dark tint of his amber eyes, and the warmth of his breath as he lowers his mouth to Xiao’s cunt once more. The burn of his blush is worsening and he tugs sharply on Zhongli’s soft hair with a groan as the blood rushes in his ears. He wishes he had the mind to speak up, to tell Zhongli to stop teasing or stop saying such ridiculous, sappy things.
But as he opens his mouth, Zhongli licks his cunt, and Xiao’s mind goes completely quiet. Instead of rude, complaining demands leaving his mouth, moans tumble out instead--soft and whining as Zhongli laps up the slick dripping from him. Xiao can feel the magic working inside of him, turning what would be normal pleasure into something sharp and unnatural, something to be quelled as fast as possible. Zhongli’s teasing touches only worsen it, until Xiao can barely do more than pull on his hair and whimper.
Zhongli remembers himself quickly enough. The teasing laps of his tongue are replaced by harsh suction around Xiao’s clit as two fingers twist into his wet hole. Xiao howls as another orgasm is ripped from him. This one is more satisfying than the last as that gnawing void inside of him is finally filled by Zhongli’s long, calloused fingers.
The relief is short lived. That need to be filled overwhelms him again, cunt clenching around Zhongli’s fingers until he pushes another inside. The tip of his tongue flicks at the tip of Xiao’s clit until his eyes are watering and his thighs are trembling. He’s making a terrible mess of Zhongli’s bed, cunt dripping a little puddle beneath him, only getting worse with each flick of his tongue and press of his fingers.
Need spears through his haze of desire and he gasps, back arching and fingers tearing as he sobs. “More, more, more--” It’s the only clear thought he’s had in minutes, but his mouth can’t quite wrap around the pleas. “Your cock, Morax,” he gasps out, humiliated by his use of such an antiquated name.
Zhongli doesn’t seem to mind. A fourth finger sinks into Xiao and he barely feels the stretch, thighs falling open even wider as he rolls his hips. “One more Xiao, and then I’ll fuck you,” Zhongli promises. His mouth goes back to work immediately, kissing and licking at Xiao’s clit while his fingers curl inside him.
It feels like Zhongli’s trying to pull the orgasm out of him as he pets and pushes at that sensitive spot inside of Xiao. And it’s working. Xiao trembles all over, gasping and whining as he paws at Zhongli’s head, failing to push him away no matter how overwhelmed he feels. If anything Zhongli only gets more intense, fingers working faster, tongue lapping at the sensitive tip of Xiao’s clit.
He whimpers, belly tightening and body throbbing. “Zhongli, I’m gonna--'' There's a sharp burn in the pleasure, a knot of pressure in his lower belly. He realizes what’s about to happen and tries to clamp down on it, tongue rolling around the words that he can’t quite manage to voice. But it's no use.
The orgasm hits him and the knot inside of him is violently tugged loose. He squirts all over Zhongli’s face with a sob, pleasure rolling through him in massive waves, even as humiliation burns in his cheeks and chest. “I’m--sorry, fuck,” Xiao mumbles, nerves still zinging with pleasure as Zhongli finally pulls his fingers out of him. “I didn’t…” He can’t bring himself to look down at the mess he’s made of Zhongli’s face.
He doesn’t have to look at Zhongli’s face, because rough hands grab him by the hips and flip him onto his belly. He gasps and grabs for the sheets, staring blankly at the headboard as Zhongli pushes his thighs apart and drives into him in one slick thrust.
Xiao shakes apart again, pushing his face into the mattress to muffle his pathetic whimpering as he clenches hard around Zhongli’s cock. He’s big and overwhelming, fucking into Xiao’s belly with sharp, deep thrusts.
His arms cage Xiao against the mattress, his breath ruffling the hair at the back of his head. “You’re beautiful, Xiao, perfect for me.”
The praise hooks into a primal part of Xiao’s mind, the place that he saves for Zhongli and Zhongli alone. That part of him glows with Zhongli’s words, sparking and bleeding pleasure into the rest of him. “You take me so well, little bird,” Zhongli whispers, voice ragged as he sinks deep and rocks his cock inside Xiao. “If I could have you like this all the time, I would. I’d keep you here in my bed, so sweet and obedient.”
Xiao lets loose a long, keening cry. He flexes his fingers in the sheets and reaches for Zhongli’s wrist instead. He holds onto him as that magical void inside of him is finally filled. “My darling Xiao,” Zhongli murmurs and Xiao thinks he might explode if he hears his name in this low, intimate tone again.
Zhongli’s hips pump and Xiao clenches around him, cunt making these obscene, wet noises as Zhongli stretches him open. His low rolling words are exchanged for deep moans and bitten off growls that sound more animal than human.
Xiao slides across the mattress and he reaches out to brace himself against the headboard, hips rolling back against Zhongli’s hips. He whines as Zhongli sinks that much deeper, the tip of his cock kissing up against Xiao’s cervix. It should hurt, but Xiao can only cry out at the sweet ache of it all--of being filled and owned so completely by him.
It’s that possession that makes Xiao gasp and throb around him. “Zhongli, more--I’m gonna--” He tries to let go of Zhongli’s wrist to reach under himself, but Zhongli beats him to it.
He lays down over Xiao’s back and reaches beneath him to rub at his clit. Xiao bites his bottom lip, rolling clumsily against Zhongli’s cock, skin tingling everywhere they’re connected. Belatedly, he realizes he’s crying, nose running as he tries to swallow down the most embarrassing of his noises. Zhongli flicks at his clit and drives deep into his cunt and Xiao is gone, biting his lip so hard it splits as he gushes around Zhongli’s thick cock.
Zhongli lowers himself onto his elbow and curls his arm around Xiao’s chest. He presses his warm palm to his sternum as he fucks Xiao through it, until he’s whimpering and trying to squirm away. Zhongli only tightens his hold on him, but slows the movement of his hips and pulls his fingers away from his clit.
“How do you feel?” Zhongli asks. He kisses the point of Xiao’s shoulder.
Xiao’s entire body is throbbing, overworked and somewhere between pain and pleasure. His cunt is dripping, clit aching where it’s framed between two of Zhongli’s fingers. And there’s still that void inside of him, demanding to be filled.
He sniffles and relaxes into the mattress, into the cage of Zhongli’s arms. “More, please,” he murmurs.
And Zhongli obliges.
Hours pass. Zhongli has him in every position possible, until they’re panting and licking into each other’s mouths while he fucks down into Xiao. His knees are up by his shoulders, sweat dripping down the backs of his thighs and making Zhongli’s grip slip. One last orgasm is wrenched out of Xiao and all at once, the events of the last few hours come crashing down on him. The magical fever breaks and he claws desperately at Zhongli’s shoulders and hair.
“Nonono, no more--too much,” he gasps. It’s the most coherent he’s sounded since the first time Zhongli came inside of him, and the man takes notice.
He pulls out of Xiao without question, carefully easing his legs back down to the mattress. “Shh, it’s okay, I’ve got you,” Zhongli murmurs. He pets and strokes at Xiao’s tender skin, marred with fingerprints and teeth shaped bruises. His cunt throbs as Zhongli’s cum trickles out of him. Zhongli’s still hard and Xiao reaches for him clumsily, barely able to keep his eyes open. Zhongli grabs his wrists and shakes his head, smiling down at him.
Zhongli lays down beside him, carefully tugging Xiao’s lax body out of the wet spot. Really, the entire bed is a lost cause and Xiao hopes that Zhongli’s paychecks are big enough to afford a new one. Or maybe he can break his self imposed rules just this once.
The sun is cresting over the mountains surrounding the harbor and golden light starts to come through the curtains as Xiao’s eyes grow heavy. “Sorry,” he mumbles, already getting dragged deep down into sleep.
Xiao shrugs. He curls himself tightly around Zhongli’s body. It’s easy to believe that he’ll fall asleep and Zhongli will be gone, just some dream he had while the fever burnt itself out. And Xiao isn’t quite ready to let go of him yet. “For coming here. Usually I can take care of myself.”
Zhongli squeezes him tight and kisses the crown of his head. “I wouldn’t have wanted you to be alone. Or go anywhere else.”
And Xiao thinks that maybe Zhongli isn’t quite ready to let go of him yet either.