Actions

Work Header

i could die twice for you

Work Text:

With the washing machine running, Xiao Zhan doesn’t realize that Yibo is awake until hands are on him and teeth are grazing at his neck. Yibo’s fingers twist in Xiao Zhan’s shirt, dragging Xiao Zhan close as he bites messily into him.

“Hungry?” Xiao Zhan isn’t expecting a response, not with Yibo still newly turned, and he doesn’t get one.

Yibo’s teeth slip out of Xiao Zhan and he whimpers as he bites down again, licking at the blood welling from Xiao Zhan’s wounds. His hips rut up against Xiao Zhan, unforgiving as he pushes Xiao Zhan up against the front of the machine. Right now Yibo can’t help but follow his base urges. He relies on Xiao Zhan to satisfy both his hunger and his desires, drinking and rubbing against him in turn.

It’s been centuries since Xiao Zhan’s own turning so it’s difficult for him to remember the desperation that comes with it. It’s hard to imagine himself acting the same as Yibo is now, and Xiao Zhan never knew the sire who turned him so there’s no one to prove it.

Strung out to the point that he’s trembling, Yibo’s breaths come out in croaking puffs against Xiao Zhan’s blood sticky skin. This early into being a fledgling, Yibo’s body still remembers the actions he did as a human and he struggles to do the same things he used to—he wants to breathe and he wants to feel heat.

Twisting around, Xiao Zhan winces as Yibo’s teeth dig deeper. He extracts himself enough to turn fully, and Yibo immediately nestles back into his arms; his face full of blood and his limbs pulling at Xiao Zhan clumsily. Xiao Zhan can see now that Yibo hasn’t even bothered to get dressed since the last time and his thighs are still wet from earlier.

"Shh, darling," Catching Yibo's fumbling hands, Xiao Zhan soothes, “Let me.”

Xiao Zhan's clothes come off more quickly now that he's undressing himself. He lifts Yibo onto the dryer and slots between his bare legs. He doesn't have time to think about himself when Yibo is this aching and desperate. Taking Yibo's length in hand, he sets a brutal pace while his fledgling suckles at his neck. A few tugs on Yibo’s cock and his release dribbles out to add to the mess on his thighs and finally, Xiao Zhan coaxes Yibo away from his neck and into a kiss.

The taste of his own blood is bitter on Xiao Zhan's tongue, but he knows it's the opposite for Yibo. It’s instinct for Yibo to feed from him until he’s able to hunt on his own. The same blood that tastes acidic to Xiao Zhan is delectable to Yibo. His fangs nip into Xiao Zhan's lip and Xiao Zhan tries not to gag as Yibo licks the taste into his mouth. As the acrid liquid smears over his lips and tongue, Yibo moans around it, greedy in both his needs and his pleasure.

Despite coming only moments before, Yibo's dick is already hardening again and he locks his legs around Xiao Zhan, mumbling "Ge, ge—"

A vampire's greater pain tolerance means that Xiao Zhan doesn't worry about slicking himself up or stretching Yibo on his fingers first. Instead, he drags his length over Yibo's sticky thighs and pushes in.

It only takes a few rough thrusts for Yibo's hips to slip off the edge of the dryer and gravity forces him down onto Xiao Zhan. Even as a vampire Xiao Zhan can feel the burn now, but he doesn’t let up. Using an inhuman level of strength, Xiao Zhan holds Yibo there, keeping him arched on his dick. Pre-turning, Yibo probably would have whined at how uncomfortable he was, but now Yibo relaxes into the contorted position with a sigh.

It was at a club that they met for the first time. The air was humid with blood and sweat and Xiao Zhan was drinking from a young thing sitting on his lap when he and Yibo made eye contact through the mess of swaying bodies.

Yibo was dancing with someone else then. The jewels embedded in his mesh top glittered under the multicolored strobe lights, and his smile grew under Xiao Zhan’s gaze. Baring his neck invitingly, Yibo rolled his hips forward against his dance partner and Xiao Zhan took his time feeding as he watched.

Yibo had been so in control of his body then, from the sway of his hips to the teasing curl of his lips.

It's in stark contrast to the lack of finesse now, letting Xiao Zhan do what he wants as Yibo lies ragdoll over the top of the dryer. Xiao Zhan runs an appreciative hand down Yibo's chest and Yibo curves up with a lazy purr.

"Zhan-ge," he chatters, eyes glassy, "My Zhan-ge."

Xiao Zhan snorts in amusement that these are the few words Yibo has thought to form. Still, he can't stop the affection bleeding through his words, "So clingy.” He hefts Yibo’s hips higher, tipping him back against the surface of the dryer just to watch Yibo’s gaze tremble. “You’re even worse now than you were before."

Considering how many centuries Xiao Zhan has lived, it's surprising that their relationship still has firsts. Xiao Zhan has found other lovers in clubs, he's been with others just as captivating and beautiful. But Yibo is the first lover Xiao Zhan has turned. His first fledgling ever, in fact.

In the early years of Xiao Zhan being a vampire, many of his kind believed that sires became even stronger after consuming their childe. Although Xiao Zhan doesn’t remember his own turning, his sire probably had wanted to do the same to him. During those years, many vampires turned humans just to harvest their hearts—only to find that breaking the bonds between a sire and their childe left them heartbroken and weaker than ever after the death of their fledgling.

“You’ll probably be the death of me,” Xiao Zhan murmurs as he cups Yibo’s cheek, smiling when his naughty childe tries to bite at his fingers.

Fledglings often alternate between periods of sleep and hyperactivity as their body adjusts to the rapid changes, so it's not long before Yibo falls asleep on Xiao Zhan's dick, sated with blood and sex.

Xiao Zhan enjoys the stillness, as he takes his time grinding his last release into Yibo. Even when his cock is tacky and soft he keeps it in Yibo as he admires the elegant line of his body. It won't be long before the marks of sunlight on Yibo's body fade and he'll be as pale as Xiao Zhan. But for now, Xiao Zhan enjoys the indirect kiss of sun as his hands stroke over Yibo's skin.

He’s still so young. Younger than Xiao Zhan was when he became a vampire. Young enough that it took a long time for Yibo to convince Xiao Zhan to turn him.

"I don't want to be older than you," Yibo stubbornly argued each time he brought it up. "So that means you have to turn me soon.” Persistent as Yibo was, Xiao Zhan never had trouble distracting him with a kiss. “Promise you will," Yibo would murmur before he was pulled along with Xiao Zhan’s momentum.

With how fast they had become intertwined, Xiao Zhan didn’t expect Yibo to last. He had met vampire groupies like Yibo before and there were two ways it normally went—guys like Yibo either got sex-drunk on the high of being fed from or they slowly realized the downsides of being with a blood-driven monster.

But somehow, Yibo did neither. Instead, he showed up at Xiao Zhan’s apartment at strange hours—after finishing dance practice at 11 pm, between going to a modeling gig and working at a bar just down the street from where they had first met at 7 pm, and then at 4 am again after serving drinks and fending off propositions. Yibo slipped back and forth between the two shifting worlds of the entertainment and service industry with Xiao Zhan’s apartment as his midway point.

“I don’t even want to debut anymore,” Yibo confessed on one of his stopovers. “But I don’t know what else to do. I just wanted to dance.” He smelled like cigarettes and there were still smears of eyeliner at the corners of his eyes. Even though Xiao Zhan no longer needed to eat, he had cooked for Yibo, and it felt good to see him eat something. “How are you so good at cooking?” Yibo knocked their legs together under the table, playfully coy, “Won’t you adopt me, ge?”

It frightened Xiao Zhan how much he wanted to say yes. He’d lost so many loved ones to the indifferent cruelty of time and Yibo was quickly becoming more than just a hookup he’d met at a club.

Yibo’s visits broke up the monotony of Xiao Zhan’s days. The properties that Xiao Zhan owned across China provided him with a steady stream of income, and the collection of antiques and paintings he’d acquired over the years was worth millions alone. He was lucky enough to be able to pass his days lazily, but with that laziness came apathy.

Most days he spent sleeping, cleaning, and reading. The only days he ventured out were because of hunger or Xuan Lu’s invitations to art exhibitions. His slow everydays were so different from Yibo’s full days of working and training.

He was still so young. So young that Yibo's whole twenty-three years of living felt like no time at all to Xiao Zhan. Young enough that Xiao Zhan often wondered if this was really more than just a fling to him. Their bodies and lives fit together so well that Xiao Zhan had never bothered to draw any clear distinctions. Xiao Zhan was too apprehensive to ask and Yibo never bothered to clarify.

Yibo had never been afraid of him, and Xiao Zhan wasn't sure if it was due to naivety or if that's just how Yibo was. If anything, Xiao Zhan's shows of strength made Yibo more excited. When Yibo's neck was a ring of bruises after breathplay and his voice was so wrecked he could barely speak, Yibo had grinned—just as cocky as he always was—and said that he couldn't wait to be turned so Xiao Zhan wouldn't have to hold back.

Xiao Zhan’s not sure what finally made him give in. Was it Yibo’s repeated pleas or was it his own desire to bind Yibo to himself? All Xiao Zhan knew was that the fear of someday being without Yibo slowly became too difficult to ignore, to the point that Xiao Zhan could no longer keep saying no when Yibo asked.

Age doesn’t always make someone wise.

It was easier than Xiao Zhan expected to buy out the rest of Yibo’s contract. In barely a few hours Yibo was free and they had cleaned the last of his things out of his dormitory. Yibo turned to Xiao Zhan in the passenger seat—momentarily blotting out the afternoon sun—and asked with a boyish grin, “Where are we going now?”

Next, they would have to fill out paperwork to acknowledge Yibo’s upcoming change in status. There was one set of forms before turning, and then another set two weeks later, accompanied by a medical check. Yibo needed two pysch evaluations—one before the turning and one after. Then, he and Xiao Zhan would have to stay in Shanghai until Yibo received his new identification card. But as to where they would go after that…

For the first time since Xiao Zhan became an immortal, he was happy to have a whole eternity to decide.

Xiao Zhan takes advantage of the time that Yibo is sleeping to do small things around the house. He wipes Yibo’s body clean with a wet washcloth, feeling hopelessly endeared when Yibo snuffles in his sleep when Xiao Zhan cleans his face. He’s finally able to finish the laundry and he downs a few chilled pouches of blood so he’ll be at full strength if Yibo wants to drink from him after he wakes. He fills out a government worksheet detailing Yibo’s changes so far. And then, Xiao Zhan waits.

This time when Yibo stirs awake, some of the fog in his eyes has lifted. He groans, flopping an arm over his face.

Xiao Zhan laughs, brushing a hand through Yibo’s matted hair. “How are you feeling?”

“Awful.” Settling his arms by his side, Yibo stretches lazily. His deadened joints pop as he eases into his new skin. He may only be a fledgling but being a vampire already looks good on him. Xiao Zhan can see the signs with the way his pupils have darkened and fangs peek out from between his kiss-swollen lips. Yibo purses those same lips now. “But it also feels so good? It’s just… different.” He looks over at Xiao Zhan and his eyes go wide as he loses his train of thought. “Did I do that?”

Xiao Zhan realizes that even though he cleaned Yibo, he had forgotten to clean up the bloody mess on his own neck and shoulder.

“Who else?” teases Xiao Zhan. He enjoys seeing pride and shame war over Yibo’s face. All of this is new enough to Yibo that he’s still not sure how much force he can use on Xiao Zhan. He doesn’t realize that Xiao Zhan is strong enough to handle anything Yibo does to him. That Xiao Zhan wants anything Yibo gives him.

But Yibo will have to figure that out on his own.

“Does it hurt…?” asks Yibo hesitantly, clearly feeling out Xiao Zhan’s reaction.

“Not at all,” Xiao Zhan scrapes his fingers over the crusty dried flakes, letting Yibo see the healed skin underneath. “See? It’s healed already. I just forgot to wash it off.” He pulls Yibo into his lap as he leans back against the headboard. One of the greatest advantages to having superhuman strength is being able to easily move his lazy lover.

Yibo shifts over so that he’s half-straddling Xiao Zhan while still cradled in his arms. “Why waste it?” The blanket falls away and Yibo, reborn like this, makes all the words that Xiao Zhan was going to say die before they leave his tongue.

Perhaps Yibo was always meant to turn; the glimmer of supernatural suits him. The predatory rasp of his teeth over him is too overwhelming and his mouth is so addictive on his skin. The rhythmic licks as Yibo cleans him create a new heartbeat in a chest that’s been dead for so long.

Xiao Zhan isn’t used to attention like this. He mumbles praises and pets Yibo’s hair just to do something.

“How are your joints feeling?” he asks when Yibo winces while shifting his hips.

“Painful,” Yibo admits, sitting back. “It feels like I’m going through puberty and growing pains all over again.”

If Xiao Zhan’s turning is centuries too old for him to remember, then puberty is even more of a distant memory. “What can I do to help?” He kneads softly at Yibo’s hip and Yibo flops back against him. Xiao Zhan snorts, “Who’s the old man now?”

“You say old like that’s a bad thing.” Yibo’s mouth draws up into a lopsided smirk. “I like that I get to teach my old man lover about the 21st century.” Yibo stretches a leg over Xiao Zhan’s lap and Xiao Zhan massages down his thigh, rolling his thumb into the knots of tendons and ligaments surrounding Yibo’s knee.

“Truly an act of charity on your part,” defers Xiao Zhan, “and one with no ulterior motives.”

“Exactly,” agrees Yibo. “What would you do without me?”

If Xiao Zhan had been old-fashioned when they had first met, it was partially because Xiao Zhan hadn’t had any interest in learning about the modern world before Yibo. The humans that he had met were more prey than lovers in Xiao Zhan’s eyes and his undead friends were just as hopelessly out of date as he was. He knew how to use a smartphone but he had never bothered learning how to use it for anything else besides calling.

The first time that Yibo showed him how to order food with it, Xiao Zhan was in awe. When Yibo came over next, Xiao Zhan asked him to order xiao mian and even though Xiao Zhan didn’t need to eat anymore, he dipped a spoon in Yibo’s dish just to taste the familiar sauce. And he tasted it later again on Yibo’s lips and tongue.

Yibo introduced him to other modern advances; a decent collection of video games was beginning to take over Xiao Zhan’s living room and an impressive number of sex toys had taken up residence in Xiao Zhan’s dresser.

“What have you been doing for all these years, Zhan-ge?” Yibo taunted him as he showed Xiao Zhan how to take a dildo and use a vibrator. “Thank goodness you have such a knowledgeable teacher.”

Yibo’s constant curiosity breathed life into Xiao Zhan’s everyday. He never wanted to settle for anything, and it made Xiao Zhan want more, too. Yibo wouldn’t be dulled by the years the way that Xiao Zhan had, not when he wanted to do everything to the fullest like this. Despite the many occupations and hobbies Yibo juggled, he never seemed to run out of interests or energy.

Xiao Zhan squeezes Yibo’s arm gently, moving down towards his elbow. “How is it now?”

Yibo’s face is pinched, and he groans. “Better, but it still hurts.”

“You could try using Tiger Balm,” Xiao Zhan offers. “It’s good for circulation.”

He’s grateful that he thought to look up guides online about what to expect during the turning process. The wiki-how article that he had found had listed a few things that Xiao Zhan would have never thought to prepare, and Xuan Lu had given him even more advice. Don’t worry so much, Zhanzhan, she had laughed. Yibo’s strong. Then she looked thoughtful, sad even. His turning won’t be like yours. Because he has you.

Even with Xuan Lu’s note of confidence, Xiao Zhan couldn’t help but worry.

Yibo looks at him wryly. “Does Tiger Balm work for vampires?”

“Don’t underestimate how helpful traditional remedies are!” Xiao Zhan raises an eyebrow when Yibo’s mouth presses together in repressed amusement. “Why, what is it? Are you going to call me old again?”

“No, it’s just—” Yibo gives up the fight to stay silent, letting laughter bleed into his words as his shoulders shake. “You sound like my mom.” He hums, mellowing as his thoughts drift towards Luoyang and the parents he had left behind when he started training. Xiao Zhan knows that he has barely been home in the past few years. “We should go meet them."

“You think? Won’t they hate me?” Xiao Zhan would hate him if he were in Yibo’s parents’ position. As much as vampires have become a part of society, no one really wants to know one personally. There’s an unspoken rule for humans and vampires to stay within their own circles. The few humans that get mixed up with vampires are seen as foolish and loose, and the vampires that turn humans are dangerous predators. “After all, I’m a vampire and you are—you were….”

“Yah!” Yibo doesn’t let him finish; they’ve had this argument enough times that Yibo already knows where it’s leading. “You aren’t responsible for the choices I make.” Yibo covers Xiao Zhan’s hand with his own, holding it in place. His stubborn determination adds an edge to his words that reminds Xiao Zhan just how headstrong Yibo can be. “They’ll love you.”

It feels strange to talk about Xiao Zhan meeting Yibo’s parents as if the two of them were a human couple. In what capacity did Yibo want Xiao Zhan to meet his parents? Was it as his lover? His sire? His life partner?

Xiao Zhan isn’t even sure if Yibo’s parents know that Yibo decided to turn. As an adult, Yibo hadn’t needed approval for the registration and he hadn’t mentioned calling them either. How would Yibo’s parents feel knowing that their only son was no longer human?

“If you think so,” Xiao Zhan demurs.

“Definitely,” Yibo insists. His eyebrows furrow in concern and it makes Xiao Zhan smile that Yibo, barely a vampire and still a fledgling that can barely leave his side, wants to protect him.

After the brief spell of clarity, the next few days are spent in a haze. Caught between forms, Yibo has trouble getting used to the chill of death and Xiao Zhan nervously dresses him in thick fleecy pajamas to keep him warm. Whether it’s the cold or a continuation of his earlier hunger, Yibo becomes even more needy, sinking his nails into Xiao Zhan to keep him close and whining when he leaves for even a moment.

Time drips syrupy from one moment to the next and even Xiao Zhan finds himself affected by Yibo’s stupor. He sits, pantless, with Yibo’s head cradled in his bare lap, letting Yibo drink from his thighs and mouth at his cock. He doesn’t try to move while Yibo sleeps, he just waits.

With time melting together, he finds himself drifting in between Yibo’s periods of wakefulness and he often comes to at the feeling of a wet mouth swallowing him down. Other times, he lets himself anticipate the next time when Yibo will wake, stroking himself to full hardness and seeing how long he can keep himself on the edge. There are times when Yibo stirs awake at the sound of Xiao Zhan’s slick hand and he eagerly licks at Xiao Zhan’s hardened length. But there are also times when Yibo doesn’t wake and Xiao Zhan is left to fuck into his fist as he watches Yibo sleep peacefully in his lap.

Yibo feeds from his thighs so regularly that it reaches a point where Xiao Zhan’s supernatural healing can’t quite keep up. New blood dries over older wounds before Yibo wakes and sucks them open again.

From timelessness, the minutes and hours filter back in slowly. Xiao Zhan first realizes it when he begins to get hungry himself, and he forces himself to detach from his sleeping childe long enough to go to the kitchen and replenish himself. Once he moves, he starts to remember other things—first, Yibo’s chills and then how nice it feels to be clean.

It’s a bit of a struggle to get Yibo to the bathroom. After carrying a sleeping Yibo there in his arms, he undresses him as he draws a bath. Then, holding him, Xiao Zhan sinks contentedly into the warm water. Yibo wakes when Xiao Zhan is washing his hair. He doesn’t say anything but Xiao Zhan feels Yibo’s head tilt into his chest as his arms wrap around Xiao Zhan’s torso.

Later, as Xiao Zhan tucks the two of them into bed, Yibo slots his head under Xiao Zhan’s, and Xiao Zhan holds him close, absentmindedly humming a song that Yibo has danced to before as the two of them drift back to sleep.

Although Xiao Zhan finds it hard to shed his grogginess after days of limbo, Yibo doesn’t seem to have the same problem. All in all, he’s adjusting to his new physiology better than Xiao Zhan was expecting, and Xiao Zhan’s chest fills with affectionate pride as he watches Yibo shuffle around the apartment. Sometime while Xiao Zhan was sleeping, Yibo traded in his fuzzy pajamas for a loose tee and some basketball shorts, and he looks so very un-vampire-like that Xiao Zhan can’t help but smile.

Distractedly, Yibo walks a loop around the apartment before he finally settles onto the couch to watch TV. The behavior reminds Xiao Zhan of a cat he used to have, and he wonders if this too is another sign of vampirism stripping parts of Yibo down to his purer animal instincts.

“How are you feeling?” Xiao Zhan says as he sits beside him. It feels like it’s all he’s been asking Yibo recently but the only way he can calm his own nerves is to keep checking in.

Yibo leans against him immediately, and he still smells like the shampoo that Xiao Zhan used on him. How did Yibo feel, becoming more and more like Xiao Zhan? Their lives overlapped by living together, sharing so many aspects, and now they even smelled the same—from the artificially soapy fresh smell of shampoo to the copper tang of blood that sank into their skin.

“It feels weird…” Yibo is uncharacteristically slow when speaking his mind today. Immediately, Xiao Zhan tunes out whatever is playing on the TV in the background. “It’s strange to not have bruises. I can feel the soreness still, a bit. But there’s nothing to see?”

Xiao Zhan turns that over in his head, “And that bothers you?”

“It showed that I did something, you know? With dancing, I had bruises. And with skateboarding, I had skinned knees.” Frustration is knitting Yibo’s eyebrows together and he gnaws at his lip, not noticing how quickly it becomes bloody. “But now, there’s nothing? It just feels weird.” He turns to Xiao Zhan, leveling a dark look at him. “Ge, will you?”

“Yes,” Xiao Zhan says, before he thinks to ask what Yibo wants.

He sits still as Yibo climbs over him, legs spread over Xiao Zhan’s lap. The silky fabric of his shorts brush over Xiao Zhan’s thighs and instinctively Xiao Zhan grabs Yibo’s hips to keep him steady. The position is the same as the many times that they’ve made out on the couch before, back when Xiao Zhan drank from Yibo’s throat and stroked him off at the same time. Out of habit, he skates his fingers over Yibo’s thigh and Yibo grabs his wrist.

Xiao Zhan had always liked that Yibo was straightforward about what he liked and wanted. He never hesitated to tell Xiao Zhan when he wanted it deeper, rougher, more. Did humans have less shame? Or maybe it was just the way Yibo had always been.

So forceful, so spoiled, and so easy to love.

Yibo presses Xiao Zhan’s hand to his throat, resolute, asking for Xiao Zhan’s help.

“No, I want this.”

From the first moment that they met, Xiao Zhan knew that Yibo liked chasing danger. Yibo’s eyes hadn’t left Xiao Zhan as he fed upon the human in his lap, and as soon as Xiao Zhan had drunk his fill and excused himself, Yibo came to find him.

You can’t be full already, Yibo had insisted. And then he had moved close enough that Xiao Zhan could smell the sweet, hot fragrance of blood moving in his veins. Ge, taste me and you’ll never want anyone else.

At the time Xiao Zhan had just laughed, mocking Yibo for being so confident.

But Yibo had just smiled his boyishly smug smirk, Try me, and then you’ll see.

Xiao Zhan brings both his hands up to encircle Yibo’s throat, and he begins to apply pressure.

At the first press of Xiao Zhan’s hands, Yibo sucks in a nervous breath. But Xiao Zhan knows that it’s more habit than anything else. Vampires don’t need to breathe the way that humans do, so there’s not going to be the same lightheaded rush or the same risk of death.

After a moment, Xiao Zhan can tell that that realization is dawning on Yibo too. The tenseness bleeds out of him and his expression shifts from excited to bored. Xiao Zhan releases his grip, cradling Yibo by his nape instead. “Did you forget that vampires don’t breathe?”

Groaning, Yibo collapses forward against Xiao Zhan’s chest. “Fuck, I did. I really did.”

Laughing, Xiao Zhan rubs Yibo’s back in a show of empathy, even though he never really understood Yibo’s love of breath play. As far as Xiao Zhan could tell, Yibo enjoyed something about the danger and the lightheaded feel it gave him, mixed with a loss of control and the slight aching pain.

There wasn’t any special meaning in it for Xiao Zhan; it was just something he did that he knew Yibo liked. And if there was some way that Xiao Zhan could keep Yibo from losing interest in this—losing interest in him—then he’d do it.

“Isn’t there something else that’s dangerous for vampires that we could do?” Yibo tilts his head, peeking up in interest. “Like, I don’t know, you could read Bible verses at me or put a silver necklace to my throat?”

Unfortunately for Yibo, vampires are a hardy breed—that was a big part of why Xiao Zhan had wanted to turn Yibo in the first place. Finally, he would no longer have to fret that Yibo would be hunted down in one of the back alleyways between his jobs. Although Xiao Zhan has lost the taste for death and prefers his meals to be alive, there are other creatures of the night that enjoy the chase and will feed regardless of their prey's consent.

Most of the weaknesses that people know have just been made up for the movies. Garlic doesn't do anything to him and Xiao Zhan doesn't have to be invited in to cross a threshold. The few things that do harm vampires, like stakes and holy water, would cause lasting damage, and Xiao Zhan knows that isn’t what Yibo is looking for either.

Although, there is one possibility…

“There is one thing we can try.” When Yibo sits up, Xiao Zhan wraps his hands around Yibo’s throat again, pressing his thumb gently into the thick carotid artery in his neck. Yibo watches him, lips parting and looking more like the prey that he had appeared to be the first time they met in the club. “We could try bloodletting.” The sharp edge of his thumbnail cuts shallowly into Yibo’s throat, drawing a crimson line across Yibo’s pale undead skin.

“You’ve done it before?” Yibo asks, voice pitched with excitement, as Xiao Zhan leads him into the bathroom.

This has the potential to get messy and the couch has already suffered enough.

“I haven’t, but I’ve heard other vampires talk about how bloodletting is a vampire’s only slow death.” He quirks a smile, trying to be more okay with this than he really is. “And I guess blood is the closest thing us vampires have to breath.”

Yibo’s loose clothes come off easily, and Xiao Zhan’s sweats join them in a pile on the floor. They’ve spent so much of the past few days naked that Xiao Zhan probably shouldn’t feel this awkward about undressing. As a vampire, his body is always cold, but this time he feels a chill when shedding his clothes.

The bathtub feels more cramped than he remembered. The only saving grace is that the small space means that Yibo is close by, folding his gawky limbs as he sits with his back against Xiao Zhan’s chest.

Bracing his arm against the side of the tub, Yibo looks back at Xiao Zhan. “We don’t have to,” he hedges.

Despite Yibo’s offer, Xiao Zhan can tell that he wants to try it. The gleam in his eye is the same as when he starts on a new LEGO build or he's working on a new dance routine. Yibo likes things that are new and exciting, and isn’t that what Xiao Zhan has always liked the best about him?

“I want to,” Xiao Zhan assures him. It would be easy for Xiao Zhan to sink back into the routine of the last few hundred years, but that’s not what he wants anymore. Stepping outside of his comfort zone is exactly what Xiao Zhan needs too. This is for Yibo, and for their future years together. “But, if things start to feel strange or you want to stop then just tell me.”

Xiao Zhan can bite into any of Yibo’s main arteries to begin the bleeding; he knows exactly all the major veins and arteries are, even more so in Yibo after feeding from him over the past year.

He bites into Yibo’s neck and blood gushes into his mouth. As his childe, the blood tastes the same as his own—harsh and acidic, like digestive fluid. Xiao Zhan grimaces as the bitter liquid fills his mouth, only keeping his mouth on Yibo with difficulty. To keep Yibo’s wound from healing, he needs to keep his teeth in Yibo’s skin, no matter how much he wants to pull away.

Yibo relaxes into the bite with familiarity. He’s so trusting in Xiao Zhan’s hold and his head tilts back against Xiao Zhan’s shoulder with a groan of satisfaction. Now that they’re both vampires, Yibo won’t be able to experience the rush of adrenaline that humans get while being fed from, but perhaps the comfort of familiarity is more than enough to make the pain worthwhile.

Whether it feels good, or Yibo is able to endure the pain, he doesn’t complain as Xiao Zhan sinks his teeth deeper into the muscle. Their ability to heal doesn’t take away their ability to feel pain; it’s only years of experience that dull the ache and make it into something more manageable. But then, Yibo has always had a higher pain tolerance than most humans.

Blood runs in rivulets down Yibo’s back and it’s sticky on Xiao Zhan’s skin as well. It drips from Xiao Zhan’s mouth as he tries to swallow as little as possible, keeping his teeth on Yibo as he speaks, muffled and wet, “H..ow’s it feel?”

Yibo is still leaning sluggishly against him, but his whole body is tensed and rigid. “Mmm, it’s kind of… heavy.” He pants, his body still trying to draw on its instinctual ways of reacting when in panic. Jerking, Yibo’s palms drag over the tub and he arches back, ripping free of Xiao Zhan’s bite in the process. Blood is dripping down his arms too now and Yibo’s pressing bloody red handprints on the walls of the tub. “Ah, it feels—”

Xiao Zhan finds the bloody tear at the base of Yibo’s neck and he gnaws at the wound before it can close up. The bitter taste has been coating his mouth for so long that he tastes nothing, but when he peeks over Yibo’s shoulder he sees that Yibo’s cock is hard and leaking.

Reaching around Yibo’s body, Xiao Zhan wraps his bloody fingers around Yibo’s hardening erection.

Yibo’s body jumps like a live wire, twisting and letting Xiao Zhan’s fangs rip the skin even more. “Zhan-ge, oh fuck it feels so—” His body is convulsing in Xiao Zhan’s hold and his words are clotted. “It’s so much.”

Even if Xiao Zhan doesn’t enjoy testing limits in the way that Yibo does, it makes him happy when Yibo feels good. He rubs his fingers through the sticky patches of blood, petting Yibo’s sides as he works at Yibo’s neck. Xiao Zhan closes his eyes, letting Yibo’s needy moans guide the speed of his hand around him. Under Xiao Zhan’s teeth and hand, Yibo sighs and arches, his movements growing more languid as he settles into the sensation.

The first sign that something might be going wrong is how leathery and dry Yibo’s skin begins to feel. Then Xiao Zhan realizes that Yibo has stopped moving. Could Yibo have fallen asleep again? Even his unnecessary habitual breathing has stopped. Trying to tamp down the unease fluttering in his gut, Xiao Zhan releases his teeth from Yibo and tilts in to mumble at his ear instead.

“Yibo?”

It’s terrifyingly silent. There’s no heartbeat to listen for, no pull of breath into Yibo’s lungs. Xiao Zhan waits, eyes darting between Yibo’s closed eyes and the bloody wound on his neck. Blood is caked over Yibo’s shoulders, freckling over the pale skin of his chest and spotting his cheeks. Yibo’s head rolls lifelessly when Xiao Zhan moves and the wound is angry and wet.

The wound isn’t healing.

The wound isn’t healing.

Xiao Zhan’s hands fumble, and he presses one of his hands to Yibo’s neck to stop the bleeding. But there’s too much already, they’re surrounded in the bitter, sticky smell, bathing in it. Xiao Zhan’s flingers are slippery with it as he tries to stanch the mangled wound. “Yibo, answer me,” his voice is shrill and foreign even to his own ears. “You’re so cold, no, no, no.”

He doesn’t know what to do. Yibo's cold, so cold and still. Hands scrambling, he cradles Yibo against his chest as he leans forward to turn on the bathtub faucet and positions both of them under the warm stream of water. The water mixes with the blood and the pinkened water gives Yibo's pale body a faux rosy hue. He’s so cold, so pale he’s almost blue, and his fingertips are beginning to darken with the beginnings of decay. The black patches, like black mold growing on wallpaper, speckle his hands and feet.

Do vampires even need to be warm? Xiao Zhan has been a vampire for centuries and he can’t even remember. The water is so loud and Yibo is so quiet and Xiao Zhan can't think.

“Don’t leave me alone. Don't you dare.” Xiao Zhan thinks about the centuries stretching ahead of him. He doesn’t think he can face it anymore, not if Yibo won’t be there beside him. That was why he had turned him, so selfishly, so stupidly. Babbling, Xiao Zhan clutches him closer, as if he could tuck Yibo inside his rib cage and keep him safe. “You can’t leave—You promised you wouldn’t.”

He was supposed to have kept Yibo safe throughout his turning. He was the one who was meant to protect him. Yibo’s turning wouldn’t be like his, he had promised himself.

Yibo had trusted him so completely, and Xiao Zhan betrayed that trust.

He was already dead, but now he’s dying a second time.

Xiao Zhan rips his fangs into his own wrist, dripping his blood over Yibo’s lips. “Fuck, fuck, fuck,” If it worked once then it should work again. It has to work. “Yibo, come back.”

Most of the blood drips down Yibo’s chin rather than between his lips and it’s too slow and ineffective. Everything is rushing around Xiao Zhan, and every action feels like a decade in Yibo’s lifetime of seconds. Irritated, Xiao Zhan drinks from his own wrist, passing the liquid to Yibo’s mouth with his own.

The sour taste burns the inside of his mouth, and it feels like he’s filling their lungs with seawater. Holding Yibo’s chin steady, he passes one mouthful, then two, kissing the bitterness into Yibo’s mouth.

And finally, Yibo’s lips move against his.

“Zhan-ge,” he croaks.

If Xiao Zhan were a religious man then he would be thanking whatever god he still believed in. It’s only with Yibo in his arms, holding him, hearing him, feeling him, that the world begins to make sense again. He notices suddenly that the faucet is still running and he leans over Yibo shakily to turn it off.

“I thought I was going to lose you,” he mumbles finally. He can’t stop touching Yibo, looking at his bleary but open eyes.

“What are you talking about?” Yibo’s words are distant and dreamy. He smiles but it’s diluted, like the blood in the bathwater. Xiao Zhan is relieved to see that the black spots on his fingers are slowly fading away, and he’s no longer quite so pale. He looks to be physically whole, although his mind appears to be a bit slower returning. “Nothing bad can happen to me when I’m with you.”

Xiao Zhan isn’t so sure of that anymore. All he wanted was to protect Yibo, but perhaps he really is just a dangerous predator. Even by trying to please Yibo, he might be the one to destroy him.

Suddenly, Xiao Zhan thinks back to the vampires of years ago and laughter bubbles out of him. He had always thought them to be so stupid and greedy for turning humans just to suit their own desires. To Xiao Zhan, it felt like divine punishment for them to suffer after the murder of their childes. They’d stubbornly clung to their own dreams, despite any warnings, at the expense of their childe’s life. A life for a life, Xiao Zhan used to say scathingly.

But how is what he did any different?

His laughs are coming out as hiccups now, and he’s crying, “I never should have turned you, should I?” The adrenaline is leaving his body and he feels so exhausted and empty.

“Zhan-ge?” Yibo’s gaze is clearing as he blinks away the drowsiness, and he looks stricken to see Xiao Zhan looking so upset. He tries to lift his hands to touch Xiao Zhan, but his limbs can’t quite move. “What’s wrong?”

How can he make Yibo responsible for what he’s done?

“Nothing.” Shaking his head, he smiles wanly. “It’s nothing you have to worry about.”

He had always known that he was a little bit too attached to Yibo—isn’t that why he turned him in the first place? They weren’t even really anything, Yibo was just a young idol trainee who had happened to fall into Xiao Zhan’s life. Yibo had an interest in becoming a vampire and Xiao Zhan had—stupidly, so indulgently, so lovestruck—given in. His first mistake was to fall in love, and his second mistake was to stay in love.

If only he had been able to keep saying no, if only he hadn’t turned Yibo at all.

Yibo treats him gently following the incident. Even though he’s just as clingy, Xiao Zhan has the feeling that Yibo is doing it partly for Xiao Zhan’s sake. He follows Xiao Zhan as he moves around the apartment; he’s rarely ever more than an arm’s length away, as if he knows that Xiao Zhan would prefer to have him within his sight at all times.

Sometimes Xiao Zhan pauses what he’s doing just to look at Yibo. Seeing Yibo in front of him calms the lingering anxieties trapped in his chest. Whenever Yibo catches Xiao Zhan’s eyes on him, he reaches out for Xiao Zhan’s hand, lacing their fingers together and squeezing.

And when they sleep, Yibo hooks their legs together, so tangled up in each other that Xiao Zhan doesn’t have to open his eyes to see that he’s there. It also helps that Yibo doesn’t stay still for long—he keeps touching Xiao Zhan, talking to him, cuddling closer. He still hasn’t lost the habit of breathing, and Xiao Zhan feels grateful for the small repetitive actions that tell Xiao Zhan that Yibo is still with him.

It scares him, being so dependent and needy.

Yibo, on the other hand, appears to be completely unaffected by everything that has happened. Xiao Zhan isn’t sure if it’s because he still doesn’t realize how close he came to death, or if Xiao Zhan is just affected more because he was the one to see Yibo that pale, cold, motionless.

Even the wound on his neck has already healed without a blemish. Xiao Zhan kisses the unbroken skin when they’re in the shower, trying not to think about how pink the bathroom had been with blood just days earlier.

With a bit of distance, Xiao Zhan knows that he doesn’t regret turning Yibo—how could he regret holding onto what has made him the happiest in his years after death?

Nor should it be Yibo’s fault that Xiao Zhan is lacking. In the end, the problem isn’t Yibo’s turning, or Yibo’s need for danger, but Xiao Zhan’s own shortcomings as a sire. Yibo doesn’t know anything of this world, and he’s counting on him. He could be better prepared for next time.

He had to be better prepared for next time.

And if he’s not prepared, then there shouldn’t be a next time. Yibo deserves more than that.

Xiao Zhan flip-flops between wanting to bring it up to Yibo, and not knowing how to broach an experience that he’s not even sure if Yibo remembers. Could he describe how scared he felt that day? Did he want to break the illusion that Yibo had of Xiao Zhan as his protector? He keeps thinking of what Yibo said, that nothing bad could happen to him if Xiao Zhan is around and the guilt festers, itches. The wound on Yibo’s neck had healed, but all of Xiao Zhan’s raw emotions had barely scabbed over.

“We need to talk,” Xiao Zhan says at last when he can’t take it anymore.

Yibo pauses the video game he’d been playing, some racing game that Yibo likes. “Yeah, okay,” He blinks at Xiao Zhan, looking far more nervous than he’s looked in days.

Xiao Zhan sits next to Yibo on the couch. He doesn’t know how to put everything into words. “I don’t want to do that again,” he finally says.

“Oh,” Yibo sounds surprised, but the tension bleeds out of him. He doesn’t even ask what Xiao Zhan is talking about, like he was expecting them to talk about it eventually. “Okay.”

Xiao Zhan doesn’t know how Yibo can agree so easily. His eyebrows knit together. “But I thought that’s what you wanted—”

The words you almost died, Yibo are sitting on his lips.

“I don’t want it if it’s not what you want. Aren’t we…” Yibo gets caught on the words he wants to say and the controller slips out of Yibo’s hands as he turns to Xiao Zhan, really looks at him. “You don’t always have to say yes to me.” It seems like Yibo has also been letting some of his own feelings build up because his words come out in a rush. “Xiao Zhan, I know you feel like you have to—I don’t know—indulge me. You’ve always been like that. And you probably feel that even more with the bond that we have now. But, it’s okay to say no.”

Xiao Zhan had been expecting Yibo to be stubborn, but not in this way, and now they’ve gone off-script.

“I like indulging you,” he counters without thinking. “It’s just you’re also such an adrenaline junkie. You almost died, Yibo. I’m the one who had to see you like that. Sometimes you ask for things that are just too much, and you don’t even think—”

“You didn’t have to say yes!” yells Yibo, and the game controller clatters to the ground.

Perhaps because Yibo is a dancer, there is always movement in his body, and now his whole body is tight like a spring.

“Yibo—”

“Why did you turn me?” The tension pulls Yibo in on himself. Even as he crumples, his voice is flat and aloof. “Did you only do it because I asked you to?”

To Yibo it must have seemed like a sudden decision. But to Xiao Zhan, it wasn’t.

For Xiao Zhan, it was the slow culmination of evenings and mornings together, waking up with Yibo’s hair against his cheek and thinking, If only my days could be like this forever.

It was okay if he couldn’t have Yibo forever, just as long as he was there. Even if Yibo left him, then at least Xiao Zhan could know that he was somewhere living happily. Besides, even if they weren’t together, they would still have the sire-childe bond to tie them together. Surely, that could be enough if Xiao Zhan let it.

It wasn’t for Yibo, but it was because of Yibo all the same.

“I—” Xiao Zhan stops.

Yibo is still looking at him but the silence stretches out longer and longer.

Xiao Zhan always feels helpless when it comes to Yibo.

Sighing, Yibo picks up the discarded controller. “I meant what I said earlier: you’re not responsible for my choices.” The hardened edge to his voice makes it clear that the conversation is over as far as he’s concerned. “But if you only made me into a vampire because I forced you to, then—you should have just said no. Maybe you feel responsible for me now because you turned me, but my life is my own.”

Xiao Zhan may have thought that Yibo was overconfident when they first met, back in that seedy bar where Yibo had propositioned him when his mouth was still wet with the blood of another human, but Xiao Zhan quickly realized that Yibo’s words were not unfounded.

When such a beautiful boy was offering himself up on a platter, how could Xiao Zhan say no? He invited Yibo back to his apartment and tasted him that very night, drinking from Yibo’s neck as he took him from behind, finding himself ravenous even though he had just fed. There was something different about Yibo that stirred excitement in Xiao Zhan that he thought he had long forgotten. For the first time in centuries, he was breathing.

Even though vampires hardly needed to sleep, that night he had fallen asleep with Yibo nestled in his arms. Xiao Zhan’s cock was still buried in Yibo, and his lips were still kissing the spot where he had been feeding.

When he awoke the next morning, Yibo had already left.

And if Xiao Zhan had been able to let go then, maybe it could have stayed a one-night stand. But one week later, Xiao Zhan had found himself in the same bar, looking for a glimpse of the pretty dancer that had been stuck in his mind for the past few days.

“Zhan-ge, you came.” Yibo was behind the bar that night, and his eyes lit up in recognition when he spotted Xiao Zhan. “Are you meeting someone—”

Xiao Zhan cut him off, too impatient to wait. “When do you get off work?” Yibo stared at him, not understanding, and Xiao Zhan leaned on the counter with a wolfish grin. “Didn’t you say that I wouldn’t want to drink from anyone else?”

“Ah, I didn’t think that you’d actually—” Trailing off, Yibo’s cheeks pinked at the reminder of those arrogant words. “You mean you came here for me?”

Meeting Yibo’s searching look with his own, Xiao Zhan finds the sudden shyness hopelessly endearing. Did Yibo really not expect Xiao Zhan to come and find him again? He wondered how many times Yibo used confidence as a shield for disappointment. Did other people let him down that often?

No matter, Xiao Zhan would give him everything that other people couldn’t give him. By his side, Yibo wouldn’t be lacking for anything.

By his side—but when did Xiao Zhan become this selfish, making Yibo into a vampire himself just to uphold that promise? He’s such a hypocrite, pretending that this is for Yibo when it was just for his own satisfaction.

There’s a knock on the door and Xiao Zhan suddenly remembers that Xuan Lu had planned to come by today. There’s still an awkward energy in the room from their unfinished fight, and Xiao Zhan mentally curses himself for trying to plan ahead and asking Xuan Lu to stop by with supplies. At the time, Xiao Zhan had expected that they would be low on blood bags by now (which is still true), but he hadn’t anticipated that Yibo would be awake or that the timing would be this bad.

“Who’s that?” Yibo bristles at the noise, looking at Xiao Zhan accusingly.

Along with being more needy than normal, being newly turned has made Yibo more possessive over their apartment as well. Xiao Zhan reaches out to hold Yibo’s hand and he’s glad to see that Yibo doesn’t try to shy away from his touch. He squeezes his hand, trying to comfort Yibo in whatever way he can.

“It’s just Xuan Lu. She offered to bring more blood by, in case we were getting hungry.”

Yibo still looks unsettled, but he calms down at the mention of Xuan Lu. He’d always liked her in the days before his turning; as a fellow dancer they had a lot of things to talk about and she understood some parts of Yibo that Xiao Zhan probably never would.

Sullen and territorial, Yibo hides behind Xiao Zhan as he opens the door. Yibo’s nails bite into Xiao Zhan’s arm as he peeks over his shoulder.

“Don’t worry, I won’t come in.” Xuan Lu says by way of a greeting. As she leans across the threshold to put the cooler on the floor, Yibo’s nails draw blood from Xiao Zhan’s arm. “You’re looking healthy, Yibo.”

“Of course. Xiao Zhan is taking good care of me,” Yibo says defensively. Hooking his chin over Xiao Zhan’s shoulder, Yibo’s arms wind possessively around his middle.

“I’m sure he is,” Xuan Lu agrees good-naturedly. While at her job at the vampire clinic she’s seen far worse cases than Yibo’s and she knows how easily irritable fledglings can be. Xiao Zhan remembers hearing about fledglings who wouldn’t even unhook their teeth from their sires for the first week. “He cares about you a lot.”

Feathers soothed, Yibo tucks his face unsociably under Xiao Zhan’s chin, clutching tightly to his shirt.

“He’s handling everything really well,” Xiao Zhan brags as he steals a glance at the head pressed against his neck. He wonders if Yibo’s turning has affected him too; he feels so much pride for Yibo and he wants everyone to know how strong he is and how naturally he’s taking all of this. “There’s really not much I have to do.”

Rolling her eyes, Xuan Lu smiles. Xiao Zhan can tell that she wants to tease the two of them, but she likely doesn’t want to upset Yibo anymore than he already is. “I’m glad to hear it.” Tapping the cooler in front of her with a sneakered foot, she adds, “I got a variety of different blood types because I wasn’t sure what Yibo would like. If you need more later on, just text me.”

“You’re an angel,” Xiao Zhan says and means it.

Xuan Lu snorts, “A sweet talker like usual, I see.” She tilts her head to the side, trying to get one last glimpse of Yibo’s face. “I’ll leave the two of you alone, but thanks for letting me stop by. I was looking forward to seeing Yibo again.”

Seemingly feeling ashamed, Yibo unlatches himself and peeks up. His hair is poking up in odd directions and he looks more unsteady and cautious than he was when it was just the two of them. His hand searches for Xiao Zhan’s. “Thank you.” Although he sounds muted, the words are heartfelt. “For everything.”

Her smile softens immediately. “Don’t mention it. I’m the one who should be thanking you, you know,” her eyes flick to Xiao Zhan and her smile widens. “For making Xiao Zhan happy.”

Yibo seems to be taken aback by that. He sneaks a sideways glance at Xiao Zhan and Xiao Zhan squeezes their laced fingers.

The act of affection only seems to make Yibo more confused. He stares at Xiao Zhan, mouth parting.

If Xuan Lu picked up on their earlier fight, she doesn’t mention anything. She reminds Xiao Zhan to call the clinic when they’re ready to book a check-up while Yibo watches. The presence of a third person has completely overwhelmed Yibo’s earlier irritation with Xiao Zhan and the longer Xuan Lu stays, the more possessive Yibo becomes, latching his teeth into the side of Xiao Zhan’s neck by the time that Xuan Lu bids them goodbye.

After Xuan Lu leaves, the awkwardness comes back. Yibo lets go of Xiao Zhan and shuffles forward to grab the cooler that Xuan Lu had brought.

Hesitantly, Xiao Zhan follows Yibo to the kitchen. “Now that Xuan Lu’s brought the new blood packets, are you ready to try feeding on your own?”

Popping open the top of the cooler, Yibo pokes through the bags with disinterest. Xiao Zhan can relate—blood never tastes as good from a bag as it does when it’s drunk fresh from a human. Yibo’s nose wrinkles with distaste at the plastic pouch held between his fingers. “Can’t I just keep drinking from you?”

Yibo being demanding like this is something familiar. It’s something that Xiao Zhan can work with.

“Such a spoiled fledgling I’m raising,” Xiao Zhan teases, grateful for the subject change. “If you’re drinking blood from me, then who am I supposed to drink from?” Xiao Zhan is gratified to see a blush darken Yibo’s cheeks. Seeing the more honest emotions hidden under Yibo’s veneer of stubbornness and confidence is so alluring that it makes Xiao Zhan want to tease Yibo even more.

“You can drink from me,” Yibo says, brazenly holding his arm out. “Just drinking is fine, right?”

Interlacing their fingers together, Xiao Zhan brings Yibo’s wrist to his mouth. He grazes his teeth over Yibo’s pulse, watching Yibo’s eyes darken.

“Should I?” He bites gently, too softly to puncture the skin. Bile rises in the back of his throat at the thought of drinking from Yibo again, as he remembers the bitter taste of his blood and how pale Yibo was. He pushes the discomfort down, trying to keep Yibo from noticing. Yibo deserves a sire who can take care of him and satisfy him the way he needs. Still, he lets some of the truth slip out. “But, now that you’re my childe, it’s different.”

“Why?” demands Yibo with a frown. The irritated possessiveness of being a fledgling is starting to show again. “But, you said you wouldn’t feed from anyone else but me.”

“Your blood tastes different to me now that you’ve turned.” He kisses Yibo’s palm apologetically before curling their fingers together. “Now that we have the same blood, it tastes bitter and it won’t nourish me like it used to. But don’t worry, there are other things—”

Scowling, Yibo snatches his hand back. “Did it taste disgusting when you drank from me earlier too?” Angry tears are already forming at the corners of his eyes, still high on the emotions of his turning and feeling the rejection even more acutely. As the agitation builds, his body tenses with repressed energy, like a panther on the prowl. “I’m always forcing you to do all these things you don’t even like, huh?”

Xiao Zhan should have realized that this would be a sensitive subject to bring up this early into Yibo’s turning, especially with how recently they’d tried bloodletting. It had been a mistake to try to touch on such a serious topic so frivolously because what started out as light-hearted banter was quickly heading in the wrong direction.

Grabbing a hold of Yibo’s arm, he tries to keep him in one place for a moment. “Hey, it’s not like that.”

Yibo rounds on him, still ready to fight. His eyes narrow accusingly. “Then what is it like? Xiao Zhan, is there anything you want out of us? I was so stupid, thinking that you agreeing to turn me meant anything to you. I thought—”

“‘Us’?” Xiao Zhan pauses, hesitant. “Yibo, what do you mean?”

Although Yibo tries to pull away again, he gives up when Xiao Zhan doesn’t budge. “It’s not like I can say anything! You’re always so kind, so generous, and I’m just me.” His eyebrows are knotted and his voice is thick. “I thought I was special to you, but when you look at me all you see is just a lost kid.”

How could it be that Yibo didn’t know how much he meant to Xiao Zhan? For Yibo to not realize just how special he is, what a light he is in Xiao Zhan’s life, makes Xiao Zhan’s stomach roil. How could Xiao Zhan have ever denied Yibo that knowledge, just for the sake of his pride and his own anxieties?

“Darling, look at me.” He uses his free hand to tip Yibo’s chin toward him, Yibo fighting it all the way. “You asked me why I turned you, right?”

“Xiao Zhan,” Yibo’s eyes close and then flit up to meet Xiao Zhan’s. The sweeping gaze becomes steady, hardening into Yibo’s usual stubborn resolve right before Xiao Zhan’s eyes. “I honestly don’t want to hear it.”

Can’t Yibo see that Xiao Zhan is finally trying to explain himself? “Yibo—”

Hotheaded as always, Yibo cuts him off. “My choices are my own, I know. But you have to know, right? It was never being immortal that I wanted.”

“Then what did you want?” Xiao Zhan tries to coax an answer out of him again.

Mouth thinning, Yibo just shakes his head, unwilling to say more.

“Because I knew what it meant to me,” Xiao Zhan says, cupping Yibo’s cheeks. So dear to him, Xiao Zhan feels like he’s holding all of the sunshine that he’s missed over the years between his hands. Yibo may have started out as just a pretty face in a club, but he had grown in Xiao Zhan’s heart until he had completely overtaken him. “It didn’t mean nothing. You said it was just because you asked, but that’s not true. I’m not as good as you think I am. I’m selfish, and greedy, and—Yibo, I said yes because I love you.”

It feels weird to finally lay his feelings bare with words. But, ultimately, like his decision to turn Yibo, he doesn’t regret anything. Even with the fluttery, nervous feeling that settles into his stomach and the caustic anxiety rising in his throat, he’s already waited too long to be honest, and it’s not something that can wait any longer.

“Really?” Yibo is staring at him again, and Xiao Zhan hates that he still looks so uncertain.

“Did you really not know?” Even if he had never said the word before, Xiao Zhan had never tried to hide any of his feelings. Xuan Lu teased him about it relentlessly: how he always had a dopey look on his face whenever Yibo was with him and how he had trouble looking away from Yibo even when other people were talking. He might not have been saying it in words, but his eyes and his hands were always full of love for Yibo.

“I mean, you’ve always treated me well. But I always wondered if it was just because you felt like you wanted to ‘save’ me or something. You’ve always talked about your life in the past and how our experiences together are so short in comparison. Are you sure that you really—” Yibo pauses, his voice going soft and cautious, “Are you sure you really love me? It’s not some weird kind of vampire influence from feeding from me? How do you know it’s not just a part of your vampire instincts?”

Xiao Zhan snorts. If that were the case, then he wouldn’t have waited so long to turn his first fledgling. He’s fed from others who were just as addictive. Although Yibo’s blood had tasted good, there are others who have tasted just as good. Better even.

No, there was always something different about Yibo. Something special.

“If it’s just based on our feelings when feeding, then shouldn’t I be asking you that too?” Xiao Zhan points out. “The adrenaline rush you can get from being fed on is pretty addictive. Are you really going to be happy to be with me if you no longer feel that?”

“That’s not the same!” Yibo says indignantly, then he mellows out a bit as he considers it. “Did you worry about that for me too?”

“All the time,” he admits. “Haven’t you ever wondered why I’ve never turned a human before?” Xiao Zhan cups Yibo’s neck, stroking his thumbs behind his ears. “Yibo, turning you was the most selfish thing I’ve ever done in my centuries of living. I couldn’t stand to think about living all the years ahead of me without you. Even the thought of losing you years from now was too painful. More than anything that happens in the future, I can’t stand to lose you.”

While Yibo clearly enjoys the way that Xiao Zhan is petting him, there’s still a stubborn edge to his pout. “But all I do is cause you trouble, and make you do things you don’t want to.”

“You’re not trouble,” Xiao Zhan sighs. “You’re right. I need to be more vocal about my own boundaries. I’m just— Now that I’ve turned you, I don’t want you to regret it.”

He’s seen it happen with other turnings. He’s seen vampires who resented being stuck at the age they were immortalized at—there still may be ways to die as a vampire, but a turning can only happen once. If someone is turned at the wrong time, or for the wrong reasons, it can never be undone.

Or, if not because of the turning itself, then some vampires resent the bond between them and their sire. A turning gone wrong could hurt both of them, irreparably. And yet, for all of Xiao Zhan’s careful considerations, he didn’t stop to consider any of that properly before he turned Yibo. He was too scared to have Yibo slip through his fingers, and too selfish to let Yibo say no once he had already said yes.

“I’m not going to regret this, and even if I do, it’s not your fault.” Yibo frowns. “How many times do I have to tell you not to take responsibility for the decisions I make?”

Yibo was still so young, how could he comprehend the years that stretch ahead of them? It was hundreds and hundreds of times longer than the time he’s been alive up until this point. How could Yibo realize what it meant without living it as Xiao Zhan has?

“You think that now,” Xiao Zhan warns. “But what about one hundred, two hundred years down the line? A turning lasts forever.”

“Then we’ll figure it out then,” insists Yibo, like it’s really that simple. “Don’t you realize, Xiao Zhan? That’s the gift that you gave us: time.”

Then again, with Yibo, maybe it really is that simple.

Maybe that’s what makes this all different. The centuries that Xiao Zhan has lived were centuries without Yibo. How could he know how the years will change while they’re together? How could he know how the years shape the relationship of two people through the future?

Xiao Zhan has seen the last hundreds of years as shackles, but looking through Yibo’s eyes, the years ahead are beginning to look different to him.

“Maybe a few hundred years down the line I’ll feel differently about bloodletting too,” Xiao Zhan says wryly.

The corner of Yibo’s mouth quirks up. “If you feel differently in the future, we can try it again. But, if you don’t then we won’t.”

Without the pressure of the future upon them, Xiao Zhan can appreciate the present more. He looks at the beautiful vampire in his arms, carves Yibo’s smile and his eyes creased in crescents into his heart.

He had thought before that being a vampire suited Yibo and he thinks the same thing again now. For as long as Xiao Zhan had known Yibo, his hair had been damaged and dry from the repeated bleachings and style changes that his agency asked for. But now, his hair is black and glossy, bringing out the newly acquired translucent glow to his skin even more.

“I just— I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You don’t know how much life I’ve gained from you.” He shifts his hand to cup Yibo’s cheek and Yibo holds it there, grinning.

From the shit-eating look on Yibo’s face, Xiao Zhan knows he’s going to say something nitpicky before he even begins talking. “Well, if we’re competing about who has added more years of life to the other then I think you might have me beat there.”

“Shut up,” Xiao Zhan says fondly, pulling Yibo in with an arm around his waist. He leans against the counter, Yibo tucked safely in his arms. “It’s like you said. The years only matter if there’s something worth living for. And that’s you.”

“You keep talking about how lucky you are to have me, but—” Yibo hums, “I never felt special until I met you. Seeing you there at the club was like Wow and then it was like This is really all for me??”

“Like wow, huh?”

“I haven’t been reading for a million years like you have, okay?” Xiao Zhan can hear Yibo frowning just in the tone of his voice. “I’m trying to say that I love you too, all right?”

And even though Yibo had never said it in words either, Xiao Zhan had felt bits of it before in Yibo’s touches, his kisses.

“You said I gave us time, right? So I guess you have time to read now, too.” Xiao Zhan can’t stop smiling. He’s too giddy to think about anything else besides Yibo, feeling that this is real. Marveling that this could be real.

Stepping back, Yibo looks at Xiao Zhan imperiously, tilting his face in the same way he’s been taught by his agency. It angles his jaw in just the right way to draw attention to his Adam’s apple, and it’s a pose that would look more natural on a magazine cover than on a newly turned vampire wearing basketball shorts and a graphic tee in Xiao Zhan’s kitchen. “What, so being pretty isn’t enough?”

“You could be pretty and well-read.” Xiao Zhan remembers fondly a time early on in their days together when Yibo had tried to impress Xiao Zhan with his art knowledge, praising Xiao Zhan’s large collection of “reproductions” without knowing that all the famous works on Xiao Zhan’s walls were original.

Yibo’s nose wrinkles in disgust at the thought of opening a book. Since logic is failing him, Yibo turns to his other methods of persuasion. “Can’t we use our time to do other things together?” He boxes Xiao Zhan against the counter, leaning in. “But you have to be honest with me about what you don’t want to do, too. I don’t have to read and you don’t have to…”

“Hmmm,” Xiao Zhan smiles teasingly as he pretends to think. “Okay, then I don’t want to drink from the blood bags. I want to drink from a warm body.”

“Hey!” Yibo is torn between wanting to object, and saying yes to prove his point. In the end, he settles for whining petulantly, “You’re the one who said that you’d only drink from me from now on!”

Xiao Zhan puts his hand on Yibo’s head, petting through the glossy strands. “There are other things we can do. There are ways to treat the blood to make it more flavorful. Or maybe my possessive fledgling would prefer to fill me up and take me from behind as I drink from another? Yibo, I’m always going to be yours so there’s nothing you need to worry about.”

“We can discuss it more,” Yibo blushes, and Xiao Zhan wonders if he likes being referred to as Xiao Zhan’s fledgling. “Hey, ge, what if I learn how to drink from the blood bags myself, and then you drank from me? Would that change things?”

Xiao Zhan never thought of that before. He still feels apprehensive about drinking from Yibo again, but knowing that Yibo won’t be disappointed if he’s still not ready takes some of the pressure off. Additionally, there’s a part of him that wants to rewrite their earlier experiences and try again. Just drinking a few mouthfuls won’t be the same as draining Yibo dry. He can do this.

“It’s worth a try.”

He isn’t sure what type of blood Yibo might like the best. Based on check-ups that Xiao Zhan had at Xuan Lu’s workplace, his blood was type B when he was alive, so he picks out a type B for Yibo to try first.

When Xiao Zhan passes Yibo the bag, he tilts it this way and that, looking it over. “I think I know how to use these… my teeth go here, right?”

Since the plastic bags are made to be drunk from directly, they’re easy even for fledglings to use. While the main plastic of the bag is made of a more durable material that can’t be easily punctured, the bottom half is made of another material that allows fangs to puncture it.

“There are two ways to drink from a blood pouch: either at the bottom or by ripping it here,” Xiao Zhan explains, pointing at the handle. “When you rip the handle open, it creates a spout to drink from.” He usually drinks from the bottom, so it’s probably what Yibo is most familiar with as well. Xiao Zhan likes to feel his fangs dig into the material, then for the punctures to seep blood into his mouth.

Yibo looks at the bag dubiously, and Xiao Zhan starts laughing.

“Here, sit up on the counter and I’ll help you.”

After Yibo hoists himself up onto the counter, Xiao Zhan stands between his spread legs. Holding the bag between them, he lets his other hand fall to the counter. His hand caresses up Yibo’s thigh, curling around Yibo’s leg to bring their bodies flush against each other. He can feel that Yibo is already starting to get hard.

Maybe because the feeding sessions that they’d had in the past were always accompanied by sex too, Xiao Zhan thinks in amusement.

He doesn’t touch Yibo’s erection, merely savors the feeling of his length pressing against him.

“Unless you want to drink it cold, make sure to warm up the blood first,” Xiao Zhan instructs, gesturing towards the small white appliance sitting nearby on the counter. Flipping open the top, he slots the plastic pouch inside and seals it. The appliance is designed to heat blood to whatever temperature a vampire prefers, so Xiao Zhan sets it to standard body temperature and presses start.

“Can’t I just use the microwave?” Yibo grumbles. His sullen face is so cute that Xiao Zhan gives him a quick kiss, wrapping his arms around Yibo as they wait.

“You can if you want huge clots in your meal,” laughs Xiao Zhan. “I can tell you from experience that it’s not very appetizing.”

Before they manufactured blood heating pods like this one, Xiao Zhan had to heat his meals using a pot and stove. He might not be too familiar with modern conveniences, but Xiao Zhan sure is grateful for this one.

A beep alerts them that the blood has finished heating, and Xiao Zhan takes out the heated pouch, holding it out by the handle for Yibo to drink from.

“Be careful when you’re biting, sweetheart. You know how much I like it when you feed neatly.” Xiao Zhan feels Yibo’s hips give an aborted buck at the endearment, and he coos teasingly. “My baby fledgling will make me so proud, won’t he?”

Yibo’s mouth is thin with displeasure, but his cheeks are flushed. He doesn't bother to give Xiao Zhan a response, silently opening his mouth and leaning forward to pierce the bag in front of him.

Xiao Zhan gets to watch as Yibo’s fangs lengthen, and he savors the moment when his sweet fledgling transforms into the bloodthirsty monster that Xiao Zhan knows they both are.

This close to feeding, Yibo’s eyes are red with hunger. He lunges forward to drink, but it’s clumsy with Xiao Zhan holding the bag and Yibo trying to match the distance and angle and despite his best efforts, some of the blood drips on Xiao Zhan’s arm.

Tutting, Xiao Zhan lets Yibo take over holding the bag to his lips. “Hold it carefully,” he mockingly scolds. And if Yibo weren’t busy drinking, he probably would be complaining.

As Xiao Zhan licks the droplets of blood from his arm, he watches Yibo drink. Grasping the bag easily in one hand, Yibo’s throat bobs as he greedily feeds. The bag empties quickly under Yibo’s eager feasting. Dropping the empty plastic husk to the counter, Yibo looks up at Xiao Zhan with wild eyes.

“How does it taste?” Xiao Zhan leans forward, his hands on Yibo’s thighs. The way Yibo’s legs are spread leaves little to the imagination and Xiao Zhan can see that Yibo’s erection has gotten bigger. Humming, he rubs his knuckles over Yibo’s length, pulling the slippery fabric of his shorts back and forth over Yibo’s hardening cock. “You looked like you were enjoying yourself.”

Yibo’s red-tinged eyes are watching Xiao Zhan’s mouth and he seems a bit distracted. “Zhan-ge,” he mumbles entreatingly.

Xiao Zhan kneels on the floor. Now eye-level to Yibo’s groin, he braces his hands on Yibo’s legs, pushing up the legs of Yibo’s shorts to expose the milky white skin underneath. “You didn’t forget that you need to wait for me to drink my fill, have you?”

Immediately, Yibo shakes his head and Xiao Zhan rewards him by hooking his thumb under the bunched leg of Yibo’s shorts and stroking the sensitive skin of his upper thigh. “Good boy.”

Even though Yibo stays still, Xiao Zhan can feel his body trembling under his touch. He pauses to revel, feeling the power he has over Yibo’s body in this moment. Then, as he peeks up to meet Yibo’s heavy gaze, he shoves the leg of Yibo’s shorts as high as it will go and—bracing himself for the bitter taste of Yibo’s blood—he sinks his teeth into the soft skin of Yibo’s upper thigh.

As Xiao Zhan’s teeth sink into Yibo, Yibo’s body shudders. Xiao Zhan is dimly aware of Yibo holding onto the edge of the counter to keep himself upright, and then Xiao Zhan can’t think about anything but the delicate taste flooding his mouth.

Since Yibo is the first vampire he’s turned, Xiao Zhan has never tasted a vampire before and after their turning like this. The bitter taste that made him feel nauseous earlier is completely gone. Instead, Xiao Zhan can taste the blood of the donor—the same taste as the blood he had licked from his arm—along with a taste that’s unique to Yibo.

It’s a shadow of the same taste that Xiao Zhan remembers from when Yibo was a human, and he grips Yibo’s thighs and forces them wider, chasing that distinctive flavor that he’s missed. He feels lightheaded, tasting such a familiar note in the warm blood that spills into his mouth. He’s always preferred drinking from a warm body—even if it’s one that has been warmed artificially through pre-heated blood—and this is Yibo. The Yibo that he remembers from before.

He yanks Yibo’s legs forward as he drinks and Yibo falls back onto his elbows as he struggles to keep himself from sliding off.

“Ah, fuck—” Yibo had been trying to keep still, but he can’t keep his hips from rutting up, fucking the air near Xiao Zhan’s face. “Ge, it feels so good when you drink from me.”

The endorphins that affected Yibo pre-turning may not affect him now, but clearly his body remembers how it used to react. Could it be that Xiao Zhan has fucked the feeling into Yibo enough times that Yibo doesn’t even need the flood of chemicals to feel the same lightheaded arousal?

Showing Yibo some mercy, Xiao Zhan curls his hand around Yibo’s covered erection, jerking him off through the silky fabric.

With Xiao Zhan’s face pressed against Yibo’s thigh, he can smell Yibo’s arousal, and he knows that when the fabric begins to stick to Yibo’s skin that he must be getting damp with precome.

Xiao Zhan drinks until the craving to get his mouth on Yibo outweighs his hunger. He pulls away, licking messily over the soft skin and yanking the leg of Yibo’s shorts as wide as he can. With another layer of briefs underneath, Xiao Zhan can’t press his face against Yibo’s bare skin and he has to settle for kissing over his covered bulge.

“Ge,” Yibo wails, and Xiao Zhan finally looks up at the tearful face of his childe. Even though Yibo had tried his best to drink cleanly, there’s blood smeared around his lips and his fangs are still protruding. He’s so monstrous and he’s never been more beautiful.

Xiao Zhan moves up to kiss his pretty bloody lips and lick into that vicious mouth.

“Did it,” Yibo huffs, still breathing. “Did it taste better this time?” Yibo’s given up on trying to keep himself up at this point, and Xiao Zhan pins him to the counter with all of his body weight, lazily rubbing his dick against Yibo’s as he kisses the corner of Yibo’s mouth, then his pinkened nose.

“So much better,” soothes Xiao Zhan. “Better than anything I’ve had before. There was a bit of your pre-turning taste in the blood too. I liked tasting you in the blood. My childe.”

“Yeah?” Yibo’s too blissed out to give a proper reply, but his smile is smug. “I knew I’d always taste the best for you.”

“Is that so?” Xiao Zhan shifts enough so that he can fist Yibo’s cock, and he tugs it experimentally. “But sweetheart, even without the taste of your blood, you have so many other parts that need tasting too.”

“Gege’s such a pervert,” Yibo singsongs mockingly. “He can’t even teach me how to drink blood without wanting to fuck me.”

“I didn’t realize you dislike it so much,” Xiao Zhan bites back, dragging his fingers over Yibo as he stands, and smirking as Yibo’s hips buck up to follow his touch.

“I’m willing prey when it comes to Zhan-ge,” Yibo wiggles in a way that he probably means to be seductive but looks more like a worm dangling on a baited hook.

Xiao Zhan puts his hands on Yibo’s hips to still them, then he pushes Yibo’s shorts and underwear off. As he eases the elastic waistband over his length, Yibo's dick is left bare, pink and curved up against his stomach.

Rucking Yibo’s shirt up, Xiao Zhan enjoys the view of Yibo’s cock against the expanse of honey-toned skin. With Yibo as active as he was, it was only natural that he would tan, and skateboarding coupled with the different swimsuit shoots he’d done on the beach had given his skin a beautiful golden tinge. The only part of him that’s still pale is the area around his hips and dick.

Yibo’s tan is another lingering mark of his humanity. Over the next few weeks, the golden tone will start to fade and he’ll be pale like Xiao Zhan forever. Although vampires can go outside in the sun, their skin burns quickly—much faster than humans—and they can’t tan.

Laughing, Xiao Zhan traces the blatant tan lines on Yibo’s upper thighs. “They had you wearing shorts this short, huh?”

Yibo flops around as he tries to twist up and see the area that Xiao Zhan is talking about. Eventually he gives up, stretching back over the counter. “It’s just part of the job.”

“I know,” Xiao Zhan returns easily. He flattens his hand over the pale stretch of skin, trapping Yibo’s dick against his stomach. “Too bad they’ll never know how beautiful you are here too.”

Huffing in a deep breath, Yibo smiles crookedly, “This way it’s only a view for you, ge.”

While Xiao Zhan is happy to play into Yibo’s possessiveness, he doesn’t feel the same kind of need to claim everything of Yibo’s. Still, there’s a sense of pride knowing that he gets to enjoy parts of Yibo that haven’t been packaged and sold to other people in photoshoots and advertisements.

“And what if I wanted to show you off to other people, fuck you for a crowd.” He hoists Yibo’s legs up, slotting between Yibo’s bare legs and pressing his denim-covered length against the pale V of skin.

“As long as it’s with you,” groans Yibo. He stretches his arms up to rest limply by his head, putting himself even more on display. The thin baggy tee is bunched around his armpits, and Xiao Zhan kisses the center of his chest, just to watch Yibo’s eyes track his movements.

“Maybe we should have traveled first before your turning,” Xiao Zhan muses. “The beaches out near my cottage are all private, so you could have tanned without getting any lines at all.” Rolling one of Yibo’s nipples under his thumb, he hums in appreciation. “My beautiful golden childe tanning nude on the beach and ready for his sire.”

If he had one regret about turning Yibo, it was that he hadn’t properly wined and dined him beforehand. He should have taken Yibo to Sanya and bought him all of the best dishes and dressed him in all the most fashionable clothes.

“Zhan-ge,” pleads Yibo. Eyes still on Xiao Zhan, he ruts up against Xiao Zhan’s jeans and his whole body quivers.

Truly, there isn’t any need to daydream about what could have been when his childe is already so gorgeous and ready in front of him.

“Turn over,” Xiao Zhan commands.

Stepping back, Xiao Zhan starts to take his shirt off as Yibo shakily jumps down from the counter. He pauses, watching Xiao Zhan undress with a sleazy smile until Xiao Zhan chucks the t-shirt at him.

“Who’s the pervert now,” Xiao Zhan grouses, standing in the kitchen in just his jeans.

“I’m pretty sure it’s still you,” smirks Yibo. His hands play with the hem of his own shirt teasingly, “Should I also take my shirt off?”

“No, just turn around.” As soon as Yibo turns, Xiao Zhan crowds him against the counter, kissing the nape of his neck sweetly. He loves the way that even from the back he can see the curve of Yibo’s cheek rise in a smile. “Baby, I’m still hungry. Are you going to let me feed more from you?”

“Should I drink more—”

“No, I have another idea,” admits Xiao Zhan. He noses into Yibo’s neck, kissing the freckles along his hairline.

Yibo’s head tilts as he considers, but he doesn’t bother to turn back around. Letting out a pleased hum, he drums his fingers on the countertop in front of him. “Do what you want, if I don’t like something I’ll tell you.”

“You need to bend over more.” As Xiao Zhan walks backwards he tugs on Yibo’s hips, pulling him back slowly. “Arch your back, Yibo.”

Grumbling, Yibo totters backwards as he leans into the counter, arching as Xiao Zhan’s hands shape his back then move down to cup his ass.

“You’ve got tan lines here too,” says Xiao Zhan, laughing as he traces where Yibo’s skin color transitions.

“You’ve seen me naked this whole week,” complains Yibo. “Why are you only bringing them up now?”

“Didn’t you say we have time now? I decided I want to enjoy my time looking at you.” They have time for Xiao Zhan to pause and enjoy every moment. Especially when Yibo won’t be able to tan this way in the future. “It’s amazing that they’re still so visible after a week,” he adds wonderingly.

“I might burn easily, but when I tan, it lasts,” Yibo needlessly explains.

“It’s beautiful,” Xiao Zhan assures him. Keeping one hand on Yibo’s back, Xiao Zhan leans forward to flip open the cooler. He picks through the different blood types, eventually settling on a type A. Bringing the pouch to his lips, he rips the top handle with his teeth, opening up the spout.

Yibo looks completely relaxed, resting against his elbows. Xiao Zhan thumbs at the dip in his back, then slides his hand up to keep Yibo’s shirt from dropping back down.

Then, he begins to spill blood down Yibo’s back.

“Wha—” Yibo jolts from the sudden coldness of liquid dripping over him. “Is that—”

“Stay still, sweetheart,” soothes Xiao Zhan. Then he pauses in his actions. “Still good?”

“Yes, yes, I—” With the scent of blood heavy in the air, Yibo’s fangs are lengthening again. He jerks forward once more, teeth searching for prey, until he’s able to get his body under control once again and he stands still, legs trembling.

Xiao Zhan puts his mouth against Yibo’s skin, lazily lapping at the blood sliding over his skin and tasting Yibo’s skin under the coppery liquid. The ridges of Yibo’s spine are bumpy under his tongue and he gets caught on one patch of skin, licking and licking until the only taste is Yibo.

Working slowly and inconsistently over Yibo’s skin like this, he doesn’t bother to worry about the bloody patches of skin that he misses. Distracted, Xiao Zhan’s hand tips and more blood goes sluicing over Yibo’s hip, hugging around his thighs and dripping down each leg.

Fledglings have a harder time controlling themselves around blood than older vampires do and Yibo’s fingers grip desperately at the counter, nails scratching over the hard surface.

“This isn’t your time to feed,” Xiao Zhan tuts. “Is it, baby?”

Writhing forward, Yibo snarls. He presses his face into the counter, almost going rigid with how strung out he is.

Xiao Zhan ignores Yibo’s thrashing movements, holding him steady as he pours more blood down his ribs and laps it up. His mouth is coated in blood but it’s not enough. He brings the pouch up to drink through the pour spout directly, emptying the bag and tossing it to the counter.

Then, leaning over Yibo, he tips Yibo’s face up and kisses him.

The kiss is half blood and half fangs, as Yibo lunges up to force his tongue into Xiao Zhan’s mouth. He’s desperate, probing his tongue nearly down Xiao Zhan’s throat as he tries to get every last drop. The points of his fangs drag over Xiao Zhan’s lip and then he’s latching on there too, feeding and sucking.

There’s not much for Xiao Zhan to do but stroke Yibo’s hair and wait for him to get full enough for the crazed hunger to subside.

Finally, Yibo releases him, kissing over his bloody lip and reluctant to pull away.

“Better now?”

“Yeah,” Yibo breathes shakily, eyes flicking from Xiao Zhan’s mouth up to his eyes. “I just fed, why am I so hungry?”

Xiao Zhan snorts. “You’re still a fledgling,” he says simply as he reaches for another blood pouch. Gulping down a few mouthfuls, he presses his mouth to Yibo’s to allow him to drink a bit more. With Yibo’s bloodlust subsiding, they kiss languidly and blood drips down Yibo’s chin, clinging to the cut angle of his jaw.

With the way they’re standing, Yibo’s bare ass is pushing against Xiao Zhan’s jeans, and Xiao Zhan reaches around Yibo’s hips to push them firmly together. If the rough denim feels harsh against Yibo’s ass, he doesn’t complain, mewling into the kiss even as Xiao Zhan grabs one of Yibo’s legs and lifts, forcing his denim covered bulge against the cleft of Yibo’s ass.

He rocks his hips forward experimentally even as they keep kissing and when Yibo’s legs begin to buckle, Xiao Zhan lets go of his chin to keep him from falling instead.

“Feeding still gets you so worked up, even as a vampire,” Xiao Zhan laughs between kisses. “Are you thinking of me filling you up down there, too?”

“Ge, when are you going to fuck me?” Yibo bites back impatiently.

When Xiao Zhan steps back to shed the rest of his clothing, he has a chance to see just how wrecked Yibo is already. Sticky patches of blood are smeared over his back and his thighs, and the t-shirt that Xiao Zhan hadn’t wanted him to remove is also crusted with blood and stretched from Xiao Zhan’s pulling.

He’s never seen a sight more stunning.

Without Xiao Zhan to hold him upright, Yibo slouches forward across the counter. He spreads his legs wider so he can reach between his legs to fist himself, lazily tugging on his heavy cock. Looking over his shoulder, Yibo’s smug smile grows when he catches Xiao Zhan watching.

“Always pushing the boundaries,” scolds Xiao Zhan, stepping forward to grab Yibo’s wrist. It feels good to be free of the confines of his jeans, and Xiao Zhan steps up behind Yibo in one motion, pinning him down against the hard surface.

Perhaps because vampires are traditionally predators, something primal curls in Xiao Zhan’s gut as he keeps Yibo in place, nipping at his throat. He rubs his cock between Yibo’s legs, the head of his dick pulling at Yibo’s thighs as he spreads precome over his skin.

Titling back, he reaches for the unfinished pouch of blood on the counter. Shoving Yibo’s shirt up over his shoulder blades, he pours the rest of the blood down Yibo’s back and over his own dick.

Xiao Zhan spreads Yibo’s ass, feeling the blood dripping over them as he rocks forward. With blood acting as lube, the thrust of his dick is smooth against Yibo’s ass, squelching as he revels in the wet slide.

“It’s…safe? Like this?” Yibo’s voice pitches up nervously, and Xiao Zhan almost laughs at how human his thoughts still are.

“We’re vampires.” Reaching between them, Xiao Zhan guides the flow of blood into Yibo’s hole, opening him up on his fingers. “We already drink blood, it’s not going to make a difference if I fuck it into you too.”

Considering how much sex they’ve been having, Yibo is surprisingly tight around Xiao Zhan’s bloody fingers. Xiao Zhan works his fingers in as he kisses Yibo’s bowed spine, trying to coax him into relaxing. As Xiao Zhan’s teeth graze over the spot where Xiao Zhan used to feed from him, Yibo crumples forward with a whine and Xiao Zhan’s fingers slip deeper.

“You’re so hungry for blood even here, aren’t you baby?”

Face against the counter, Yibo tilts his ass up as much as he can, giving Xiao Zhan a better angle to fuck him deeper, longer. “Like you said, I’m a fledgling.” Yibo turns his head, looking at Xiao Zhan with his cheek pressed into the countertop. He grins. “I can’t help it if I’m hungry.”

Ripping his fingers free, Xiao Zhan pushes into Yibo with one long thrust.

Yibo moans as he’s shoved forward, then again when Xiao Zhan’s hands are around his cock and jerking him off through the wet slide of blood.

Not only Yibo’s blood, but also the taste of his skin, the warm feeling of Yibo sucking him in, is unbelievably fulfilling. When Yibo told Xiao Zhan that he wouldn’t want to taste anyone else after Yibo, he may have just been talking about his blood, but for Xiao Zhan everything about Yibo is irreplaceable.

“Yibo,” he mumbles desperately, covering Yibo with his body and lacing their fingers together. He’s not sure what kind of answer he’s expecting. Just being able to call his name and hear a response is enough.

And somehow Yibo seems to know that too. “Xiao Zhan, I’m here,” he babbles.

Xiao Zhan squeezes their fingers, then flips Yibo’s hand. There’s a scar laced over his Yibo’s wrist—the only scar that will never heal even though he’s a vampire. It’s the same spot where Xiao Zhan had drained his blood, had killed him, and also given him life again.

As his hips continue thrusting in, rubbing the blood they now rely on to survive over Yibo’s walls, Xiao Zhan kisses the mark that binds them together.

Ever since Yibo’s turning, Xiao Zhan had spent so much time worrying about the negative what ifs that he hadn’t properly appreciated all the things they’ve gained. How lucky was he to have this kind of bond with the person that he cherishes the most? How lucky was he to find someone who wants to build a future together?

Even though Yibo is the fledgling between them, Xiao Zhan feels so hungry to be touched, and to feel Yibo deep inside him.

“Ah, fuck, Yibo.” Xiao Zhan groans. “I need you.”

Xiao Zhan pulls out and at once, Yibo is turning, kissing him, holding him. “I’m here, ge.”

He might be the sire, but he’s lucky to have a childe who wants to care for him and protect him, just as much as Xiao Zhan wants to for Yibo. Yibo holds his face as they kiss, and he lets himself get lost in the bloody slide of their lips until they’ve kissed every last bit of blood from each other’s tongue and skin.

Yibo sits, then tugs Xiao Zhan down to straddle him. The floor is a bloody mess from the liquid that Xiao Zhan had spilled over them, and Yibo readjusts with difficulty, his body sticking to the thickening puddles of blood. Yibo kisses Xiao Zhan’s wrist, right over where his own turning mark is.

“Use me as much as you need.” Unfurling Xiao Zhan’s fingers, Yibo kisses his palm, lovingly, teasingly. “I’m here.”

There’s still a bit of blood left in the packet from before and Xiao Zhan gets his fingers wet with it, swiping a few cursory fingers inside himself to coat his own walls in blood. Yibo lets him do as he wants, watching silently as Xiao Zhan lines himself up over Yibo.

Yibo reaches up to hold him steady, and then Xiao Zhan is sinking down, seating himself on Yibo. With the minimum amount that Xiao Zhan has done to prepare himself, the stretch burns. Yibo doesn’t move, quietly playing with Xiao Zhan’s fingers.

“Remember, we have all the time,” Yibo whispers, tilting up to kiss the underside of Xiao Zhan’s chin.

The day that Xiao Zhan had finally agreed to turn Yibo had felt like any other of their mornings together. Yibo had come home in the wee hours of the night, just when the sun was starting to rise and the whole apartment was a muted blue. Lying in bed, Xiao Zhan had heard the quiet snick of the key turning, and then the bed dipped as Yibo slipped in next to him.

Zhan-ge, Yibo had mumbled, as he shuffled closer, and Xiao Zhan smelled cocktails, blood, and cigarettes in his hair. Ge, I’m home.

Just a few words, and yet, Xiao Zhan couldn’t stop thinking about them.

And the more he thought about them, the more he realized how true they were. This was Yibo’s home and his home was Yibo as well. He never wanted that to change.

Several hours later, when Yibo was eating tofu soup and praising Xiao Zhan’s cooking, Xiao Zhan asked, Do you still want me to adopt you? and Yibo had looked up, so eager, so open.

Are you finally going to turn me and keep me?

As a vampire, the pain bleeds away quickly and after a few moments, Xiao Zhan is ready to start moving, rocking up and down as he rides Yibo on the bloody floor of their kitchen.

This is what he’s been looking for all along, someone who he can care for, but will care for him in return. His partner for the rest of eternity.

Xiao Zhan speeds up as he begins bouncing on Yibo’s dick and Yibo begins to snap his hips up to meet him, mixing his precome with the blood inside to ease the relentless assault of Yibo’s dick stretching him wider.

That Xiao Zhan would be able to feel this loved for all of eternity, it’s something that he never would have expected after the nightmare of his turning. That Yibo’s dick can stroke him just right, make him feel like Yibo is everywhere around him and overwhelming him with his touches, his kisses, his voice.

With a cry, Xiao Zhan comes, his release spilling from Yibo’s chin to his chest. Yibo follows him soon after, likely triggered by Xiao Zhan’s orgasm, and Yibo pulls Xiao Zhan down so that Yibo can kiss him as he fucks the mix of blood and come up into Xiao Zhan with a throaty moan. The taste in their mouths is also come and blood, as Xiao Zhan licks his own release from Yibo’s lips.

“Well, I definitely know some other ways to feed now,” Yibo says when they’re able to separate for more than a moment. “You’ve always complained about drinking from the bag, but I didn’t think it was that bad.”

“It’s not like this is usually how I drink,” Xiao Zhan retorts, even though he knows that Yibo is well aware that this was an outlier of a feeding. He looks at Yibo, somewhat sheepishly. “It really is different when we’re together. Even something as mundane as feeding.”

Laughing, Yibo leans back against the cabinets. “I think I’m okay if we have some boring feedings too. Not everything has to be an event.”

“It would probably be better for our kitchen too,” Xiao Zhan adds sadly as he looks around at the blood crusted on the floor and splattering up the cabinets. He’ll have to ask Xuan Lu if she has any tips for dealing with bloodstains on wood and linoleum.

There are other things to think about for the future. Like how Xiao Zhan can make a good impression on Yibo’s parents, or which of Xiao Zhan’s countryside houses they should visit first. There are decisions like Xiao Zhan and Yibo picking out summer sun hats and windbreakers for a trip to the beach. Maybe Yibo will go back to dancing as an instructor or post dance covers to that YouTube site that Yibo showed him. Maybe Xiao Zhan will take up painting again.

But they have time for all of that. Right now, Xiao Zhan can spend this time enjoying Yibo’s turning and taking care of his new fledgling.

Intertwining their fingers together, Xiao Zhan looks at their turning scars side-by-side with a growing smile. “C’mon, I think we need a shower.”