Actions

Work Header

Beloved

Work Text:

Hua Cheng came to gradually, feeling so much better than he had the last time Mount Tong’lu opened that he wondered if he had simply made it up in a dream. Then he blinked and saw Xie Lian sitting primly beside him while he lay stretched out across the altar, and a felt a stab of fear.

An evil aura—his evil aura—seemed to cling to the god. As he glanced around the temple, he realized it was spread throughout the whole chamber, everything buzzing with barely-constrained energy. There were a few cracked pillars, and the books and rare objects he’d carefully placed in Dianxia’s temple littered the ground. He swallowed around the rapidly-growing lump in his throat and sat up quickly.

Xie Lian turned to look at him and smiled so widely it was clear he was covering something up. Hua Cheng’s stomach sank.

“What happened last night?” Xie Lian asked before Hua Cheng could start to apologize, “Everyone was restless. You were too, and you had quite the temper!” His voice was confident, clear. Hua Cheng didn’t believe that he was saying everything.

“Other than that?” he asked pointedly.

Xie Lian blinked at him, seeming confused. Or maybe unwilling to answer. Hua Cheng swung his legs over the edge of the altar and turned to stare at Xie Lian, until finally the god relented.

“Truthfully, San Lang…” Xie Lian seemed to be winding himself up for something, and Hua Cheng’s chest was tight as he prepared for the worst. But all that came out of Xie Lian’s mouth at the end was: “We fought.”

“We fought?” Hua Cheng asked, nonplussed.

“Yes, we fought!”

“Gege,” Hua Cheng dropped his face into his hand. “I know you’re lying.”

Xie Lian let out a squeak, and Hua Cheng glanced sideways at him. He was red-faced, gripping E’ming tightly in his hands. Hua Cheng could almost feel the phantom touch where his own eye used to be.

“H-how did you know, San Lang?” Xie Lian stammered. “I mean! Not! that you’re right, I just—”

“Mount Tong’lu has opened,” Hua Cheng said, “And my essence of evil is all over you and all over this temple.”

“That’s because we were fighting all night,” Xie Lian said. He looked down and stroked over E’ming’s closed eye. The sword seemed unusually relaxed, preening under the god’s touch. Hua Cheng was momentarily jealous of it.

Then he remembered their current situation, and his jealousy dissolved into despair.

“So, do ghosts always get so agitated? When the mountain opens?” Xie Lian asked, still stroking the scimitar.

Hua Cheng nodded. “I can’t remember what happened, gege, but—you wouldn’t have been able to fight me, not with your—” he gestured at Xie Lian’s shackles.

Xie Lian looked away. “San Lang,” he said quietly.

Hua Cheng’s chest was burning with shame. How Xie Lian was still sitting next to him, after what he must have done, he had no idea.

He fought through his tight throat and said, his voice reduced to a whisper, “Dianxia, I'm so, so sorry. I will never touch you again. I will stay away and only—”

“What!?” Xie Lian whipped his head around to stare at Hua Cheng, wild-eyed. Hua Cheng’s chest seized.

“Dianxia, I know I must have hurt you, you’re a mess, and—and those bruises—” he looked at a spot on Xie Lian’s collarbone, which was revealed by Xie Lian’s loosely-tied robe, and Xie Lian lifted his fingers to it, his eyes filling with something as he did so. His lips parted slightly as he thumbed over the mark.

Hua Cheng had a sudden urge to touch it.

“Please don’t worry about this, San Lang, I—well, to tell you the truth, I—I liked it,” he said finally.

“You what?” Hua Cheng stared.

Xie Lian licked his lips, then glanced up shyly at Hua Cheng. He must have gotten confidence from something in Hua Cheng’s expression, because he straightened up, met Hua Cheng’s eye, and repeated, “I liked it, San Lang. All of it.”

A wave of energy rolled through Hua Cheng, and he couldn’t tell if it was because of the mountain, or because of Xie Lian, or both.

He had very vague memories of what they’d done—lips on skin, bodies crashing together, a moment when he’d pressed Xie Lian up against one of the pillars—but even thinking about it felt disrespectful.

He looked down. “You don’t need to say such things,” he said.

“I’m not! San Lang”—Xie Lian grabbed his wrist, and Hua Cheng watched as he squeezed it. There was energy rushing through Xie Lian’s body, the same as through Hua Cheng’s. It felt unfamiliar, coming from the god. But very, very good—“San Lang, I’m not saying things to make you feel better. I feel. Really good. Really. I hope you do, too,” he added in a whisper.

Hua Cheng looked up finally and the god was watching him nervously.

It dawned on him that, maybe, Xie Lian was telling him the truth. In a fit of bravery, he cleared his throat and said, “This San Lang apologizes, his memories are vague. Would gege be able show this San Lang what it was that he liked?”

Xie Lian’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open slightly. He turned his gaze to Hua Cheng’s lips. Hua Cheng felt Xie Lian’s energy coursing through him again, and bit his lower lip.

“San Lang is sure?” Xie Lian asked, voice a bit higher than usual.

Hua Cheng nodded, and Xie Lian scooted closer until they were sitting hip to hip. Then, he took Hua Cheng’s face in his hands and pulled him closer until their lips brushed.

It was just a brief touch, and then he was pulling away. “I’m sorry, San Lang, I don’t know what I—” but before he could finish Hua Cheng leaned in again and pressed his lips to Xie Lian’s.

It was the same, at first, as the few other kisses they had shared, but Hua Cheng knew he must have been doing something different last night, for Xie Lian to be as kiss-bitten as he was. Then Xie Lian tilted his head until their lips slotted together and something clicked in Hua Cheng’s mind.

Oh. This was Xie Lian that he was kissing. Something warm and joyful surged within him, and he turned to pick up the god and settle him onto his lap. Xie Lian’s knees parted easily, and he straddled Hua Cheng’s legs as they returned to kissing. Perhaps because of last night’s practice, Hua Cheng’s lips already knew how to move against Xie Lian’s and he held Xie Lian close as he rolled Xie Lian’s lower lip between his teeth. Then he moved on to give attention to Xie Lian’s jaw, then his ear. He growled when saw Xie Lian’s toes curling after an experimental tug on his earlobe, and soon he was licking into Xie Lian’s ear until the god was a writhing mess against him.

“San—San Lang, ah! Stop, tickles,” Xie Lian complained, but whenever Hua Cheng paused Xie Lian also went still and quiet, as though tense.

Hua Cheng realized, after a few minutes of this, why Xie Lian was so still between Hua Cheng’s bouts of teasing. He’d finally scooted all the way into Hua Cheng’s lap, and his erection pressed against Hua Cheng’s through their clothes.

Xie Lian stilled immediately. “I’m sorry, San Lang,” he apologized and rose up like he was going to back away, but Hua Cheng put a hand on his waist and he stopped. Hua Cheng could feel Xie Lian’s stomach expand and contract with his breaths.

“Did—did gege do this, last night?” Hua Cheng croaked. He couldn’t believe he would have no memory of it.

Xie Lian blushed. “No. Well, ah, against.”

Hua Cheng smirked. Pulled Xie Lian down again. They both sighed when their erections brushed together. “Against what?” he asked.

“Against your leg,” Xie Lian admitted and buried his face into Hua Cheng’s hair.

Now it was Hua Cheng’s turn to go still, remembering Xie Lian’s cultivation path.

“You—did Dianxia come?” he asked.

Xie Lian nodded against his hair. “San Lang did, too. That’s why, ah”—Xie Lian hugged him tighter—“why his essence is everywhere.”

Hua Cheng felt their arousals rub again with Xie Lian’s squirming, but there was pain tinging the pleasure this time.

“You broke your path?” He massaged Xie Lian’s hips, holding Xie Lian still as he did so.

“San Lang’s energy was much easier to take, when we released it,” Xie Lian muttered, his matter-of-fact tone covering what was underneath. The destruction of something he’d been maintaining for 800 years.

“I’m sorry, gege, I would never, if I was—”

“I know, that’s why I’m glad. I don’t miss it,” Xie Lian whispered in his ear, and Hua Cheng shuddered. “San Lang, don’t you feel how much stronger I am, with you?”

Hua Cheng’s dead heart stuttered to life then, involuntarily. “God, gege,” he whispered, and Xie Lian laughed and kissed him.

This time they opened their lips to each other, tasting, then twining around each other’s tongues until Xie Lian was rutting down against Hua Cheng almost frantically.

“San Lang, I want to feel you,” he said and latched his lips to Hua Cheng’s again.

“Mn, are you sure?” Hua Cheng asked. His body was singing with tension and he thought he might come from the merest touch.

“Yeah,” Xie Lian breathed, “You said you wanted me to show you what I liked, right?”

Hua Cheng spluttered. “You didn’t—”

Xie Lian pulled back and grinned, grinding down onto Hua Cheng’s erection. “No. But I thought about it.”

Hua Cheng held lightly to Xie Lian’s hips while the god moved. He felt utterly overwhelmed in the best way possible. “Gege is so bold,” he noted, “What’s given him such confidence?”

Xie Lian blushed. “Ah. Um. You.”

Hua Cheng could have died right then. “This San Lang is too lucky,” he praised, “his Dianxia is the most beautiful, the most gracious, the most noble—”

“San Lang,” Xie Lian was blushing furiously now, “Can we?”

Hua Cheng nodded and in an instant had summoned several wraith butterflies to disappear their clothes.

The feeling of Xie Lian’s skin on his, as his thighs squeezed around Hua Cheng’s, was intoxicating. He wanted more of that soft slide. But even better was the feeling of their bare lengths sliding against each other while Xie Lian kept up his rutting, undeterred even for a moment by the sudden removal of their clothes. He simply let out a gasp and threw his arms around Hua Cheng’s neck, breathing into Hua Cheng’s shoulder, then into his ear, then into his hair as he moved.

Hua Cheng’s heart was beating furiously now. It hurt in a completely unfamiliar, almost pleasant, way. He could feel something tense inside of him, stretching taut like a string on an instrument, and he thrummed as Xie Lian rolled against him again, and again.

Hua Cheng was still grasping Xie Lian’s hips, and held held Xie Lian up firmly when he felt himself on the brink of release. Xie Lian continued for a moment and whined when he found no friction, but then seemed to focus again and looked down at Hua Cheng. His cheeks flushed a deep crimson.

“Oh! San Lang, I’m sorry, was it—”

“It was perfect,” he reassured, “I just didn’t want to come yet.”

Xie Lian squeaked and lifted one hand to cover his eyes. Hua Cheng chuckled, tilted his face up, and kissed Xie Lian on the chin. He hummed and lowered Xie Lian down slowly, until Xie Lian’s face was hovering just above his. Eventually, Xie Lian moved his hand and met Hua Cheng’s gaze.

Hua Cheng stared into Xie Lian’s hazel eyes, marveling at the trust he saw in them.

“San Lang?” Xie Lian ran his fingers along Hua Cheng’s cheek and wiped the tears from under Hua Cheng’s eye with his thumb before moving on to tuck Hua Cheng’s tangled hair behind his ears. Xie Lian let his fingers trail lightly down the sides of Hua Cheng’s neck, and Hua Cheng felt it like a bright trail leading to his most sensitive places. He shuddered.

“Dianxia is the most beautiful,” he whispered, the tension and discomfort from Mount Tong’lu opening all but forgotten in the euphoria he felt, being so close to his god, and having Xie Lian looking at him like this. Like he was a treasure.

“San Lang, can I—can I ask you a selfish question?” Xie Lian asked.

Hua Cheng nodded. Xie Lian closed his eyes then, took a deep breath. When he opened them, he couldn’t seem to meet Hua Cheng’s gaze.

“San Lang, please tell me the truth. I—I don’t regret anything, I still want to help you however I can no matter what, you have always been so good to me. But, I have to know… am I, am I your—” he couldn’t say the word. He dug his fingers into Hua Cheng’s hair.

“Oh, gege,” Hua Cheng whispered, heart breaking, “Of course you are.”

Xie Lian’s eyes rose to meet his. He looked disbelieving. “How can I be?” he asked, “I’m not—”

“Noble? Gracious? Special? Beloved?” Hua Cheng kissed Xie Lian between each word, and Xie Lian whimpered against his lips. “Gege is the only one this San Lang has ever looked at. This San Lang is sorry, for causing gege distress. But I wasn’t teasing, earlier.” He kissed Xie Lian again. “I wasn’t teasing.”

Xie Lian’s hands were clenching and unclenching in his hair, and finally he moved them up to pull Hua Cheng down into a kiss.

“Can I, San Lang?” he asked, toying with the string to Hua Cheng’s eye patch. Hua Cheng nodded, and Xie Lian untied it. He set it lightly on the altar next to E’ming, then kissed over the skin that had been revealed. “I want every part of San Lang,” he murmured and placed another kiss there.

Hua Cheng whimpered then, feeling hopelessly bound by Xie Lian’s spell and never wanting to be released. He felt completely exposed, and completely safe.

“Gege,” he said, voice heavy.

“San Lang is my special someone, too,” Xie Lian said. He wrapped his legs around Hua Cheng’s waist then, pulling them even more tightly together.

“Ah, Gege,” he panted a little, and realized he could take in so much more of Xie Lian’s smell this way, the musk that mixed in with his warm wildflower scent as he became more and more aroused. Hua Cheng reveled in it. He buried his face into Xie Lian’s neck.

They started up a rocking motion, then; Xie Lian dug his heels into Hua Cheng’s back and rolled up against Hua Cheng again and again, and Hua Cheng held him tightly in his arms while he responded in the same way. Hua Cheng kept his face hidden against Xie Lian’s neck, but he knew Xie Lian would be able to feel the tears that wet his skin as they moved together.

“Gege,” he said wetly.

“I know, San Lang, shh, it’s okay,” Xie Lian cradled his head, scratching at his scalp. Hua Cheng let out an aborted whine.

“I do not deserve Dianxia’s favor,” he gasped when Xie Lian reached a hand between them to take them both in hand. His fingers barely spanned their lengths, but he managed to align them well enough that the slide became even more intense. Xie Lian felt hot and silky against Hua Cheng, and he moaned at how good it felt, how good Xie Lian’s hand on him felt, how good all of it felt.

“San Lang, San Lang,” Xie Lian chanted, before he spilled over both of them. Hua Cheng stroked down Xie Lian’s back as he trembled, gratitude filling him up, lighting him from the inside out. Xie Lian had let himself feel this way because of him. A lowly ghost.

“So lovely, Dianxia, so perfect,” he murmured against Xie Lian’s lips when the god tried to kiss him sloppily, barely able to connect their lips properly.

When Xie Lian had regained a little more control over his limbs, he leaned forward against Hua Cheng’s chest and took deep breaths to calm himself.

“Was it like this, last night?” Hua Cheng asked. Truthfully his memories, though hazy, were starting to return, and he could remember the snarls of pleasure he had growled against Xie Lian’s chest while he pressed the god against the temple pillars.

Xie Lian laughed and rolled his forehead against Hua Cheng’s shoulder. “San Lang, last night really was a fight, compared to this. You’re so gentle now.”

“I’m feeling romantic,” Hua Cheng argued, “My beloved just confessed to me.”

Xie Lian chuckled, ran his hands up Hua Cheng’s neck to tangle in his hair. “I don’t mind,” he said with a smile that replaced the sun, “I like it both ways.”

Hua Cheng shuddered. God.

Then Xie Lian seemed to realize Hua Cheng was still painfully hard.

“Oh! San Lang!” He sat up, looked down at Hua Cheng’s erection, still covered with Xie Lian’s release, “I was supposed to be helping you, and instead… I didn’t think—”

Hua Cheng pulled him in for another kiss. This time he poured spiritual energy into it, filling Xie Lian up until the god held as much power as Hua Cheng himself. Maybe more. Xie Lian let out a surprised moan at first, but seemed to enjoy the added sensation, kneading Hua Cheng’s shoulders unconsciously as he opened his mouth to let Hua Cheng’s tongue inside.

“There,” he whispered when they broke apart. “You have relieved this San Lang of a great burden.”

He hadn’t realized how much pent-up energy he’d been holding onto before the kiss, but now he felt relaxed, sated despite his aching arousal.

“But, San Lang, you’re still—” Xie Lian glanced down again.

“Please don’t worry about that,” he said, “I can—”

“What if I want it?” Xie Lian asked abruptly.

Something in the phrasing struck Hua Cheng as odd, and he peered at Xie Lian. The god was flushed again, and not just from the spiritual power. He was staring at Hua Cheng’s erection like it held some sort of answer. Whatever he was thinking already had him half-hard again.

“What does gege mean?”

Xie Lian licked his lips, then glanced back up at Hua Cheng. His mouth was open and he was practically panting as he said, “What if I want it inside me?”

Hua Cheng’s whole body flashed with something feral and needy, and he surged forward to crash his lips against Xie Lian’s. He pushed Xie Lian’s mouth open so he could suck Xie Lian’s tongue into his mouth, growling in response to Xie Lian’s moans. He pulled Xie Lian’s hips flush against his waist and guided Xie Lian to grind against his stomach, while his own arousal slipped underneath Xie Lian. Soon Xie Lian was rolling his hips to let Hua Cheng slide through his cleft, again and again, and it was so lewd and felt so good that Hua Cheng groaned.

“Ah, San Lang, put it in,” Xie Lian whined, before wrapping his arms around Hua Cheng’s neck and pulling himself forward until he was plastered against Hua Cheng’s chest, legs tight around his waist. He was trembling.

“Are you sure, gege?” Hua Cheng breathed. He ran a hand up to cup Xie Lian’s head.

“Yeah.” Xie Lian nodded, nipping at Hua Cheng’s ear, “Do you want to?”

Hua Cheng swallowed. “Yes, god. yes, gege,” he said, “Please.”

“Good,” Xie Lian whispered, his hot breath sending shivers through Hua Cheng’s body.

“Okay,” he whispered, suddenly feeling the momentousness of what he was doing like a blow to the gut, “I have to get you ready first. Is that okay?”

Xie Lian nodded again. “Mhm.” He loosened his grip on Hua Cheng until he could sit astride his lap again, and watched Hua Cheng with a slightly awed expression while Hua Cheng summoned a butterfly with oil to help with his task.

Hua Cheng had thought about this for—well, for centuries. Since his moment on Beizi Hill, as awful as it was. He’d never thought he would see Xie Lian like this—hungry for his touch—under any circumstances that weren’t poison-induced. The reality was so much more intoxicating, and frightening.

He needed to do this right.

“Come here, gege,” he murmured, and pulled Xie Lian up onto his knees.

Xie Lian complied quietly, watching Hua Cheng with heavy eyes.

Hua Cheng glanced down. Xie Lian was hard again, and leaking a bit. “Gege? Can I touch you?” he asked.

“Yes.” Xie Lian was already breathing raggedly, and Hua Cheng hadn’t even done anything yet.

Hua Cheng stroked up and down Xie Lian’s leg, up to his waist and back down again. Xie Lian was trembling. Hua Cheng’s own heart felt like it was vibrating in his chest. “We can just keep doing what we were doing, gege,” he said, watching Xie Lian’s face, “We don’t have to go any further.”

“I need you, San Lang,” Xie Lian whispered.

Hua Cheng’s throat burned. “Okay,” he said, and slowly, watching Xie Lian’s face for any sign that he’d changed his mind, he reached for Xie Lian’s length.

Xie Lian buckled when Hua Cheng closed his hand around it, dropping down to rest his forearms on Hua Cheng’s shoulders and pressing his forehead to Hua Cheng’s. “Oh!” he gasped.

Hua Cheng started to stroke, gathering the moisture from the tip and dragging it down Xie Lian’s length. Feeling the way the god’s skin slid under his fingers. The way Xie Lian tensed and jumped in his hand even though he was barely doing anything. Gradually, as he became more confident, he started stroking Xie Lian the way he would stroke himself. The same long pull, the same twist, and Xie Lian was spreading his legs and sinking down further until he could kiss Hua Cheng with force, his whole body quivering.

“Ge-ah—has gege never done this to himself before?” Hua Cheng wondered, completely shaken.

“Mn-nn,” Xie Lian muttered into the kiss.

Finally, when Xie Lian was writhing under his touch, Hua Cheng moved his free hand from the back of Xie Lian’s leg to dip his fingers into the oil, and then returned to Xie Lian’s backside. Slowly, he moved his fingers closer and closer until he was circling Xie Lian’s entrance, massaging the muscle there. He’d done this to himself before, but never to someone else, and he was struck with the fear that it would be different somehow, that he’d hurt Xie Lian.

But then Xie Lian paused to reach behind himself and put a hand over Hua Cheng’s. “Please?” he whispered against Hua Cheng’s mouth, and Hua Cheng whined.

He pushed his finger slowly inside. “Did gege think about this last night, having his San Lang fill him up?” he whispered.

Xie Lian groaned at the words and came unexpectedly, almost violently, crying out and hugging tightly around Hua Cheng’s head. Hua Cheng rode out the orgasm, feeling awed as Xie Lian shook and came across his stomach. He stroked the god through it, keeping his finger barely inside until Xie Lian started to drop down onto his lap. Then he pulled out.

“Wow, gege,” Hua Cheng said, wonderingly, and leaned forward to kiss the god.

Xie Lian whined and covered his face with his hands. “San Lang,” he said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me.” His voice was muffled.

Hua Cheng let out a breathy laugh, gently pried Xie Lian’s hands from his face. He leaned forward to kiss Xie Lian on the forehead, then worked his way down to Xie Lian’s mouth. They lingered, lazily sucking on each other’s lips.

“Dianxia is perfect,” Hua Cheng said when they broke apart. He ran his hands down Xie Lian’s arms to tangle their fingers together.

“I—” Xie Lian blushed.

“Gege is pleasing this San Lang so much, looking so beautiful, sounding so beautiful, letting San Lang make him feel good,” Hua Cheng praised.

“But you’re still—”

“Aching?” he asked wryly. Xie Lian squeaked and nodded.

“I’ll tell you a secret,” he said, opening his hands to let his fingers caress between Xie Lian’s. “I’ve ached for Dianxia forever. I can wait a little longer.” Hua Cheng knew as he said it that the line was hopelessly cheesy, but he was so earnest that Xie Lian laughed and cried at the same time. It came out as a wet sniffle.

“I’ve never felt like this before,” Xie Lian admitted as Hua Cheng wiped at his tears, “I’m scared.”

“Of what, gege?” Hua Cheng frowned.

“That it’s too much,” he whispered.

Hua Cheng now found himself close to tears, too. He wrapped his hands around Xie Lian’s arms, rubbed up and down to comfort the god. “Gege. I promise, whatever it is you feel, I feel it the same.”

Xie Lian stared at him, his eyes full. “I just want you,” he said simply.

“You have me,” Hua Cheng promised.

They came together for a kiss, Hua Cheng keeping his hands lightly around Xie Lian’s backside until Xie Lian had recovered and was once again scooting further into Hua Cheng’s lap, looking for more.

“Can we try again?” he whispered, when they pulled apart long enough for Xie Lian to catch his breath.

“Mhm,” Hua Cheng agreed, returning to Xie Lian’s lips. He was feeling the edge of that unnatural agitation again, and pouring his energy into Xie Lian seemed to be doing good things for both of them. His whole body felt full, like he might burst if not for this dazzling connection with his god.

He moved one hand away to slick his fingers again, then caressed down Xie Lian’s spine, past his tailbone, then into his cleft. Xie Lian sighed and spread his legs wider when he felt Hua Cheng start to massage over his entrance again.

This time felt less frightening, after seeing Xie Lian’s earlier reaction, so once he was sure Xie Lian was relaxed he let his finger sink inside again.

Xie Lian gasped against his mouth, pouring some of the spiritual energy back into Hua Cheng, and he tried to push back against the finger before Hua Cheng’s grip on his backside stopped him. Hua Cheng pushed a little further inside, broke their kiss, and guided Xie Lian to raise up a bit on his knees. Xie Lian complied and Hua Cheng took the opportunity to lick over Xie Lian’s chest, then his nipple. When Xie Lian gasped, he tried licking it harder, then rolling it between his teeth.

He laughed, teeth still pressed to the skin around Xie Lian’s nipple, when the god surged forward with a shocked ‘ah!’ He began to pump his finger slowly into and out of Xie Lian, and Xie Lian arched his back, hands on Hua Cheng’s shoulders, gripping him tightly. Hua Cheng continued to pay attention to Xie Lian’s chest, delighting in the way Xie Lian writhed under his tongue.

“Gege,” he said conversationally. He sucked on a nipple until Xie Lian was near tears, then let go. “You’re sensitive.”

“It’s because San Lang is too good at this,” Xie Lian retorted. Hua Cheng felt the praise pool in his gut, and he whined. Then Xie Lian said, “San Lang is also sensitive,” and started running his fingers across Hua Cheng’s scalp, letting his nails scratch lightly against the skin, and Hua Cheng whimpered.

Hua Cheng was working from the steamy scenes he’d read in books and things he’d imagined while fingering himself, along with the signals he was picking up from Xie Lian’s enthusiastic responses. Xie Lian was canting his hips like he was looking for more friction, so Hua Cheng pulled him forward until he was rutting against Hua Cheng’s stomach. When Hua Cheng slowly inserted another finger, Xie Lian let out a low moan and sank lower until their lengths were brushing over each other, and then Hua Cheng moaned, too.

He worked Xie Lian open at what seemed to be a distressingly slow pace for the god (’San Lang, more, please,’ he begged every few minutes), but Hua Cheng was reveling in the feeling of Xie Lian gradually opening up to him, and didn’t dare go faster, to disturb his gentle unraveling. It was worth it for the way, after an indeterminate time and with four of Hua Cheng’s fingers inside him, Xie Lian’s hips stuttered and his breath came out in little ‘ah’s’ while he hung his head low over Hua Cheng’s shoulder, his weight fully supported by Hua Cheng’s arms. Every few strokes, Hua Cheng would brush over that sensitive organ inside and he would see Xie Lian’s toes curl while he cried out, and Hua Cheng’s own erection would jump in response.

“Gege, how do you want me?” he asked finally, when Xie Lian was sobbing quietly into his hair.

“Like this,” he hiccuped, “Want to hold you.”

Hua Cheng knew vaguely that this wasn’t the most comfortable position for their first time, but Xie Lian was so relaxed, and the altar was cold and hard and truthfully, Hua Cheng didn’t want to let go of him either. Their bodies pressed together was a revelation he never wanted to forget.

“Okay,” he agreed, withdrawing his fingers. He slicked oil over his length, then pulled Xie Lian as close as he could. “We’ll go slow, okay, gege? And tell me as soon as it feels uncomfortable. It should only feel good.”

Xie Lian swallowed and nodded. “Okay, San Lang.” He swallowed again, and Hua Cheng realized that he was trying not to drool, and the image triggered such a strong wave of arousal he almost lost his focus. He forced his mind back to the surface.

“Here,” he said, and put his hands on the backs of Xie Lian’s thighs. Xie Lian wrapped his legs around Hua Cheng’s torso and his arms around his neck.

“Still okay, gege?” he asked as he lined himself up.

Xie Lian nodded quickly.

“Okay.” He guided Xie Lian down with one hand on his hip until he was pushing up against Xie Lian’s entrance, and then Xie Lian shifted his hips and Hua Cheng was slipping inside.

“Ohh,” Xie Lian moaned, squeezing his eyes shut. He was flushed down his torso, breathing hard. He leaned back slightly, looking down between them. Then he let himself sink a bit lower around Hua Cheng, and keened.

Hua Cheng, for his part, was losing his mind. Xie Lian was so hot, and tight, and Hua Cheng struggled to hold himself together as Xie Lian clenched and relaxed around him, getting used to the intrusion. He wanted to make this last, but he had no idea how he would manage that.

“Gege,” he moaned as Xie Lian sank lower, and they stared at each other, mouths open. “Kiss me?”

Xie Lian nodded, but seemed to have lost the strength to move so Hua Cheng pulled him a bit closer and leaned forward to meet his lips. Xie Lian entered his mouth this time, stroking Hua Cheng’s tongue insistently as Hua Cheng lowered him down a little bit further, then a little bit more, until he was fully seated in Hua Cheng’s lap, knees drawn high around Hua Cheng’s sides. He was leaning back against Hua Cheng’s arms, chest heaving, just staring at Hua Cheng like he was having an epiphany.

Hua Cheng felt just as overwhelmed.

Then Xie Lian spoke. “San Lang, I can—ah—oh, I can feel you,” he said breathlessly, pressing a hand to his stomach.

Hua Cheng could only let out a broken sob and pull Xie Lian up to kiss him again. “Gege,” he prayed, and rocked forward.

“Oh!” Xie Lian crossed his ankles behind Hua Cheng. “Yeah, yes, San Lang, yes,” he said. He tightened his hold around Hua Cheng’s neck. Hua Cheng held him close as he started to move, feeling the tight slide like a torture he didn’t want to end.

After some time (it might have been one incense time, or a day, Hua Cheng’s mind had dissolved into a mess of pleasure and couldn’t keep track) Xie Lian whispered “Harder, San Lang,” and he stood up. Xie Lian sighed and arched back into Hua Cheng’s hands, and the angle put pressure on him in a new, equally unbearable way, and he began to thrust into the god in long, smooth strokes, fingers digging a little into Xie Lian’s back. Then, he realized Xie Lian was sobbing, and stopped moving.

Xie Lian made a strangled noise and tightened his grip with his ankles, trying to squirm closer.

“Is gege okay?” Hua Cheng asked, worry sending his heart skittering.

“No! Why did San Lang stop?” Xie Lian’s tears were streaming down his face now. He opened his eyes and stared at Hua Cheng.

“You’re crying,” Hua Cheng said.

“So is San Lang,” Xie Lian retorted, “You were doing it just right,” he said.

Hua Cheng met his gaze a little disbelievingly. “How?” he asked. He’d been moving purely on instinct.

“I don’t know! It just was, just—San Lang, please,” Xie Lian begged, “Please keep going.”

Hua Cheng felt something inside him snap then, at the insistence in Xie Lian’s voice, and he walked them to one of the cracked pillars, pressed Xie Lian to it (warming it with his spiritual energy when Xie Lian shivered), and hauled Xie Lian up higher so he could thrust into him harder. He rolled his hips up into Xie Lian with a fervor, and Xie Lian let himself rest heavily into Hua Cheng’s arms. He arched his back and cried, his legs suddenly tensing and then relaxing again, every time Hua Cheng found that sensitive organ inside of him. Hua Cheng hooked Xie Lian’s legs up over his shoulders so he could get the right angle, and then every time Xie Lian’s legs tensed his ankles tightened behind Hua Cheng’s head, which gave him a whole new set of images that made Hua Cheng feel like he was burning down from the inside out.

Then the tension that had been building inside him broke, and he drove helplessly into Xie Lian as he sucked at the inside of his leg, pleasure coursing through him in uncontrollable waves. He had no idea what part of this was the spiritual energy from Mount Tong’lu and what part was his own release, but he cried out and shook with it regardless. He felt weak at the knees as he buried himself inside Xie Lian, wrung out with the aftermath, and realized with a start that Xie Lian was clenching around him hard, and shaking at least as much as Hua Cheng had been. Hua Cheng lowered Xie Lian’s legs to let them squeeze around his waist instead, and he held Xie Lian to him while the god sobbed.

“Dianxia is so perfect,” Hua Cheng cooed as Xie Lian came down from his high, “So good for this San Lang.”

“No,” Xie Lian said, leaning back against Hua Cheng’s arms. He took long, slow breaths, his eyes heavy. Hua Cheng thought he might fall asleep soon.

“No?”

Xie Lian shook his head. “San Lang is the one who’s too good”—Hua Cheng felt a tingle inside of him at the words—“I could never…”

He really was drifting off, Hua Cheng realized with a surge of affection. He had to try hard not to break apart into a kaleidoscope of butterflies.

“Gege,” he murmured.

Xie Lian closed his eyes, smiling faintly. “Hm?” he asked.

“Never mind,” he said, and summoned a few butterflies along with one of his sets of distance-shortening array dice. He rolled them, and the next moment they were back in his room, in his residence, and he walked them to the bed.

He pulled out of Xie Lian to lay him down, but before the god could even work up a protest Hua Cheng had crawled in behind him, wrapped his arms around Xie Lian’s waist, and slipped back inside. Xie Lian hummed contentedly and pulled Hua Cheng’s hand up to hold it over his heart, which was beating evenly and hypnotically.

“How did it feel, gege?” he asked, rubbing his hand over Xie Lian’s chest.

“San Lang has to ask?” Xie Lian murmured, his voice thick. He was already halfway asleep.

“En. This San Lang would like to know how he can please gege better next time,” he said, only half-joking.

Xie Lian squeezed his wrist. “I just want you,” he repeated his words from earlier, and Hua Cheng pushed his knees up behind Xie Lian’s, curling them more tightly together.

“That doesn’t answer my question, gege,” Hua Cheng pressed, nosing at the back of Xie Lian’s neck. Xie Lian felt so good this way, supple and relaxed in Hua Cheng’s arms.

“I think… San Lang is fishing for compliments,” Xie Lian argued with slow words.

“And?” Hua Cheng smirked into Xie Lian’s skin.

Xie Lian twined their fingers. “It was amazing, San Lang. I didn’t know I could feel so good. Or want someone so much.”

Hua Cheng’s throat went tight. He thought about all those years Xie Lian had wandered alone, with no one by his side. He pulled the god even closer.

“Then this San Lang will make it his mission to remind gege that he has me, every day,” he murmured.

Xie Lian shivered. “Every day?” Hua Cheng could feel his heart speed up.

Hua Cheng blew warm air across Xie Lian’s skin. Licked the back of his neck just because he could. Xie Lian let out a little ‘mm!’ but didn’t protest.

“Mhm. What does gege think?” he asked.

“Oh,” Xie Lian breathed. “Maybe more?”

Hua Cheng smiled into Xie Lian’s hair, suppressing a squeal of delight.

“Of course, gege,” he agreed.

“Only if San Lang doesn’t mind!” Xie Lian added, his heart beating fast under Hua Cheng’s hand.

Hua Cheng kissed behind Xie Lian’s ear. “I would make love to Dianxia forever, without stopping, if he asked.”

“Mn, that’s… impractical,” Xie Lian argued.

“That’s okay, we don’t need to be practical,” Hua Cheng hummed.

“True,” Xie Lian agreed with a yawn.

Hua Cheng propped his head up on his hand and watched Xie Lian as he drifted off to sleep. He couldn’t keep the smile from his face, thinking how unexpectedly the day had gone. Then he laid back down and tucked his face into Xie Lian’s hair as he too drifted into a dreamlike half-sleep.

Soon, the trouble from Mount Tong’lu would force them out of bed and back into reality. But until then, he simply held Xie Lian close and marveled at his existence.