Their duel has gone on through the day and night, one round turning into a second and a third and a fourth. Out here, in the depths of Jueyun Karst, there's nobody to interrupt them; they're free to spar to their hearts' content, just as Zhongli had promised him. Childe hasn't felt so alive in years, and he already knows he's going to be dreaming of this battle for days to come.
"You can do better than that, xiansheng!" Childe's laughing as he dodges out of the way, but Zhongli isn't as easily deterred as that — his follow-up stab is so fast that Childe doesn't even have the time to find his footing again. Sparks fly as Childe brings up his dagger just in time to parry the strike, the impact almost knocking it out of his grip; but he manages to keep hold of it despite the pain in his wrist, if just barely. "Try again," he taunts, and he's sure he doesn't imagine the flare of heat in Zhongli's eyes as he darts forward to strike again.
He's always wanted to fight a god. Even without his gnosis, Zhongli doesn't disappoint. Childe's gone through most of his arsenal over the course of the day — he's fallen back on daggers now, one of his best. Zhongli is relentless. He knows better than to do Childe the disservice of going easy on him, not giving Childe a chance to recover from the parry before launching into a series of swift stabs and slashes, forcing him on the defensive. Even when he's struck, however, the pain only serves to stoke his excitement. It must show, if Zhongli's indulgent smile is anything to go by, and Childe's even more pleased to see it.
He watches, waiting for that split-second gap between Zhongli's attacks, and he doesn't hesitate for a moment when the opportunity presents itself. The quick slash that he aims for is unerringly blocked by Zhongli's polearm again, but it's the chance that he needs to snatch back the offensive. "You call this making it up to me?" he demands. He's managing to force Zhongli back through sheer speed, making up for what his daggers lack in power by trying to land as many tiny cuts as he can. "Try harder, xiansheng! You're not getting tired already, are you?"
"I've fought much longer battles than this, Childe." Zhongli parries every blow with steadfast surety, even without the barrier of his shield between them. Childe hasn't given him an opening to put it up again since it last faded, and he doesn't intend to. He'll make sure Zhongli can't spare even a second to think about anything but their dance. "Should you not worry about yourself?"
Zhongli punctuates the words with a sudden uppercut that forces Childe to make an awkward sidestep, the spearhead scraping his jaw. Every time he thinks he's starting to get a handle on Zhongli's style, it always turns out that he has a new move waiting in the wings, and Childe loves it. He could fight Zhongli forever. He leaps back out of range, but he hasn't even landed on his feet before Zhongli kicks his spear forward.
Pain flares up his arm where the sharp point grazes him, but it also gives him the perfect opening as Zhongli surges forward to reclaim his weapon. Childe's hand darts out, just barely brushing over Zhongli's fingers before closing around the shaft of the polearm. A victorious smirk spreads over his face as he leans in, blade flashing towards Zhongli's throat — then Zhongli jerks the spear sharply in his grip, knocking his balance off for a split second before he manages to steady his hold.
In the space of that momentary delay, Childe feels Zhongli's hand wrap tightly around his wrist, staying his blade.
They stay like that for a moment, completely still, taking in the stalemate. Neither of them can attack while keeping their grip on the other's weapon, and they can't let go without offering up a golden opportunity for the other to retaliate. Childe would use this time to regain his breath, but it's harder than ever to breathe with Zhongli so close to him — so close that Childe can see every fleck of gold in the amber of his eyes.
Zhongli is panting lightly as well, the heat of his breath dusting over Childe's his lips. Every tiny sensation seems to be amplified now; the heat, the thump of his heart in his chest, the tight grip of Zhongli's fingers on his wrist. Childe can acutely feel a drop of blood trailing down towards his chin from the cut that Zhongli had left on his jaw, and Zhongli has clearly noticed it as well. Childe watches Zhongli follow it with his gaze, and the heat in his eyes is unmistakable.
"Like what you see, xiansheng?" The words fall between ragged breaths, and Childe feels the shudder that goes through Zhongli's body where his fingers are still wrapped around his wrist. Zhongli wrenches his gaze away from the blood to meet Childe's eyes again, and the concentration in his gaze is just the same as his complete focus in combat. It makes Childe shiver, unable to bring himself to look away. "I'm sure you're up for another round, aren't you?"
Zhongli's answer is to take a bold step forward, leaning in until there's no more than a breath of space between their lips. Childe isn't sure which of them closes the last sliver of distance — Zhongli moves in tandem with him, and their moans tangle together as their lips clash.
The kiss is as much a battle for dominance as their fight had been, desperate and heated. Childe lets Zhongli wrench his dagger out of the way, and he scarcely hears the clatter above Zhongli's groan when their hips press flush against each other. Delight sparks in Childe's chest when he feels the solid heat of Zhongli's erection against his — he isn't the only one affected by their battle in this way after all. "You're so hard, xiansheng… were you that aroused by fighting me?" He smirks, leaning closer to whisper into Zhongli's ear. "Or was it the blood?"
Childe feels a sharp nip on his own ear in answer to that, and the rest of his taunt is overtaken by a gasp. "Speak for yourself," Zhongli breathes, grinding forward and scattering Childe's thoughts as his straining cock presses against Zhongli's. "You're so close that I could make you fall apart with a touch. Just like this…"
Childe cries out when Zhongli shoves a leg between his thighs, his grip on the spear loosening. He lets go to sink his hand into Zhongli's hair instead, grabbing a handful and tugging hard, and Zhongli lets a surprised moan slip as his hips stutter. Smirking in satisfaction, he draws Zhongli in for a long, sloppy kiss — he's expecting another fight, but instead, Zhongli's eyes flash with familiar power in retaliation.
The ground shifts beneath Childe's feet as Zhongli shoves him backwards, his breath leaving him in a gasp when his back meets solid rock. Zhongli pins him bodily to the stone pillar, but Childe doesn't stop grappling anyway; not out of any desire to free himself, but just to see the heat flare in Zhongli's eyes and feel the grip on his wrist tighten. The spear joins his dagger on the ground with a violent clang, and Zhongli carelessly nudges it aside with his foot before pushing his thigh firmly against Childe's cock.
Zhongli is right. He could come just like this, all the heat and desire built up over their day-long duel rising towards a boiling point as he desperately grinds against the firm muscles of Zhongli's thigh. His cock is so wet that his precome is starting to soak through, leaking all over his clothes. He's panting into Zhongli's kiss, loving how incredible the drag of fabric over his dick feels. Zhongli releases his wrist as he all but tears at Childe's shirt, yanking one sleeve halfway down his arm, dipping his head to mouth at his bared collarbone.
Their duel has gone on for long enough that the injuries Childe sustained in the beginning have already started to bruise. Zhongli's fingers skate gently over the purpling marks; Childe expects him to avoid them, but instead, he presses down on the tender skin. The pain hits him as a rush of arousal, blazing through his veins. Childe bucks forward with a broken cry, gasping as his cock drags along Zhongli's thigh.
Zhongli rolls his thumb firmly over the throbbing bruise, and the flare of pain is the last push Childe needs to crest over the edge.
His world is reduced to glorious, overwhelming sensation when he comes, spilling hot and wet all over their clothes. He rides Zhongli's thigh in a desperate chase for more sensation, streaking it with white when his come soaks through, and Zhongli presses harder against him in retaliation. All the pent-up heat of their duel rolls over Childe in his release, and for all that he hadn't even touched himself, it's so intense that he finds himself shaking a little when he starts coming down from it.
"So fast… I thought you would have more stamina." Childe would retort, but he's too busy trying to catch his breath again. But, of course, Zhongli refuses to just leave him be. Childe writhes when Zhongli splays his fingers over the bruises patterning his upper arm, hovering over them without pressing down. "But I am not at all surprised," Zhongli murmurs, "to find that you enjoy pain."
Childe lets out a whimper as Zhongli's hand clamps down over his arm, massaging the bruises with firm, unyielding strength. It feels so good, pain and pleasure shooting through his body in a tangled mass of sensation. "F-fuck," he hisses. His body shies away instinctively from the touch, but he's trapped between the pillar and Zhongli's body, Zhongli's thigh still rubbing against his spent cock. It's been so soon since his orgasm that it aches badly, oversensitised to the point where the slightest stimulation makes Childe tremble, and it makes him long for more. "You… you're not playing fair…"
"All's fair in love and war." Oh, trust Zhongli to spout off the most cliche line in existence. Childe would retort, but Zhongli's lips seal over his, cutting him off. Zhongli keeps one hand on his bruises, the other sliding down his body to rub his dick through the wet, sticky fabric until Childe is moaning into the kiss. Fingers brush over his cock as his pants are tugged down, and even that slight touch is a shock of pleasure. The come that trails between his cock and the drenched fabric is getting all over Zhongli's gloves.
Even after Zhongli draws back, Childe still can't catch his breath. Nimble fingers close around his cock, stroking over it until Childe is dizzy with pleasure. "So which is this?" Childe gasps, bucking into the touch. "Love, or war?"
Zhongli regards him with a long, measured look that has him shivering beneath its intensity. He leans in, and Childe's expecting another kiss — but instead, Zhongli presses tender lips over the shallow cut he left along his jawline. It stings faintly; it's still bleeding, just a little, and Childe's heart races even faster at the sight of Zhongli's lips stained red with his blood before his tongue darts out to lick it away.
Childe almost fails to process the answer, distracted by the sensation of slick, heavy heat pressing against his hole. He has no idea when Zhongli managed to get his own pants open, or where he even found something to — oh.
He'd used Childe's come.
"After all, they can often be one and the same."
Zhongli releases Childe's cock so that he can hoist him off the ground, using the pillar as leverage to keep him pinned. Childe's world starts falling apart as the thick length spreads his hole open. Zhongli is so hot, and the come makes the most obscene squelching noises as he slides in — not smoothly, but the burn of being stretched feels so good that it takes Childe's breath away. Zhongli leans in again, and this time he does kiss Childe, the coppery taste of blood on his lips sending spikes of arousal through Childe's body.
Zhongli sets a punishing pace immediately, giving Childe little more than seconds to adjust. His impatience is clear in every thrust of his hips, each inward stroke a rush of almost painfully intense pleasure that brings tears to Childe's eyes. Fuck, he's still so sensitive — not that Zhongli cares at all, the rhythm so merciless that Childe has to cling to him for dear life. He's kicked off his pants to wind his legs around Zhongli's hips, helped along by Zhongli, and thrown his arms around his shoulders; whenever Zhongli pushes in, his cock brushes against his stomach in a rush of extra stimulation.
It's so soon that he still aches, but he's getting close again, his throbbing cock leaving streaks of precome all over Zhongli's shirt. Each time he's filled up he feels like he can't breathe, his world consumed by sensation. Any thoughts that try to take root are swiftly scattered by the overwhelming pleasure; his focus has narrowed into the delicious heat of being fucked and filled. Childe scrabbles at Zhongli's shoulders, clenching down helplessly around his cock, and at a particularly deep thrust he can no longer resist.
His second orgasm is just as messy as the first, and Zhongli fucks him straight through it, drawing out even more come than usual. No, more than that — Zhongli fucks him past it. Even after Childe's orgasm starts to wane, he doesn't stop or slow down. Each brush against Childe's prostate makes him gasp and cry out, the stimulation so intense he can't even form the right words to beg Zhongli for mercy. He's reduced to desperate, pleading noises, not quite sobs but far from words, just unintelligible babble as he shoves weakly at Zhongli's chest.
But he'll admit, he doesn't try as hard as could — not when he can feel the urgency in Zhongli's thrusts, the way his cock is swelling, filling Childe's thoughts with the promise of his orgasm. And sure enough, it's barely seconds before Zhongli buries himself to the hilt with a groan, and liquid heat fills Childe up from the inside out.
He can't help his gasp of satisfaction, squeezing down on the hot, throbbing cock inside him as he takes in its load. Zhongli comes so much but Childe still greedily longs for more, drunk on the heat of it, and he's never been more glad that there isn't anything between them — he wants to be filled up just like this. He isn't even fully hard, but his spent cock releases a last spurt of come, dripping down the shaft as he pants.
Zhongli finally, finally stops after that, hips slowing to a halt. Childe whimpers aloud at the sensation of come leaking out of his hole, clenching instinctively out of the helpless desire to keep it inside him. Zhongli obligingly pushes in deeper again, trapping his come inside Childe as much as possible, while his lips press over Childe's again. This time their kiss is slow, intimate, and unhurried — Zhongli takes the time to taste him thoroughly, until he's boneless and breathless, letting Zhongli bear the full extent of his weight.
They're both complete messes. Childe's aware that his shirt is hanging off one shoulder, gaping open to reveal most of his torso, and it didn't avoid being stained by his come. Some of it is even on his scarf, which must have gotten tangled with the sleeve at some point. His pants and underwear are even more of a lost cause, crumpled somewhere on the ground by his feet with come streaked all over the inside. Hell, he doesn't know when they came off, but his boots are missing. He hopes he didn't ruin them in the process of removing them. Probably the only thing that survived their battle is his gloves.
As for Zhongli… he's technically wearing more than Childe is, but he doesn't look any more put together for it. There's come everywhere — on his coat, his vest and shirt, even some on his tie. He'd pulled his pants down just far enough to free his cock, and now they're just as stained. Childe has tugged some of his hair loose from his ponytail; it hangs over his shoulders, the ends brushing over Childe's skin and making him shiver. And unlike Childe, his gloves very much did not make it through unscathed, painted white with traces of Childe's come.
All this while, Zhongli has kept his cock inside him, and the satisfaction of being stretched and used has warmth settling in the pit of his gut. Childe breathes out a low, contented moan, loving how full he feels. Before long, Zhongli starts to grind into him again, small, rolling movements that have arousal starting to stir beneath his skin. He's so overstimulated that even these slight movements make him groan, and when he feels Zhongli's hand close around his half-hard cock, his breath catches in his throat.
"X-xiansheng, that's… if you do that, I — " Childe hisses, hips stuttering, but Zhongli's answer is to squeeze down on his cock, stroking over the sensitive skin until Childe cries out. "Slow down!" he gasps, and for a wonder, Zhongli actually does — but the curve to his lips is unexpectedly devious.
"What's wrong? Do you surrender?" Zhongli's eyes gleam with devilry. "You simply need to say the word, and I will let you go. But, of course, in that case I believe it would only be fair to name me as the victor of our duel. Do you agree?"
Oh, he's playing dirty. So he's not above tactics like this, is he? Childe's learned so much about Zhongli today. He may look prim and proper and polished, but he'll use any strategy to win a fight. It's an approach that Childe can get behind — and he can't deny that it makes his cock stir with interest.
"Please, xiansheng, as if I'd let it be as easy as that for you to win." Bracing himself against the pillar, he reaches up to sink his hand into Zhongli's hair again and tug roughly, until even more of it comes loose. "You're going to have to work a lot harder than that to make me admit defeat."
The smile that spreads over Zhongli's face is a sweet mix of amusement, arousal, and affection. His kiss is deliciously heated, and Childe feeds shameless moans into his mouth as he starts thrusting again. Childe has to confess that Zhongli's just as much of a god in this aspect — he's fully hard again, and the feeling of being split open on Zhongli's cock when he's so sensitive… he has to blink rapidly to stop the gathering tears from falling, but the way Zhongli trails up to kiss the corner of his eye makes it obvious that he noticed. His breath washes over Childe's heated skin as he whispers, "I accept your challenge. Let me know when you want to surrender."
When. That arrogance is both maddening and too much of a turn-on for Childe's comfort. He answers Zhongli by leaning in to nip his ear, hissing when he feels firm fingers once again pressing down on his bruises. The pain feels incredible, especially in the wake of his two orgasms, but Childe forces himself to focus. He can't lose here.
"I-I've fought much longer battles than this," he gasps out, sentence broken up by another hard press on his tender bruises. "Don't underestimate me."
The goal has shifted, but the fight is still on. Now, Childe's objective isn't to pin Zhongli down — it's to outlast him, to wring Zhongli out until he succumbs to exhaustion. To hold out until Zhongli has no choice but to stop and admit he's lost.
Can he defeat a god in this? He's not sure. It's his first time fucking one, after all, but Childe is confident in more arenas than just the battlefield.
"Underestimate you? Certainly not." Zhongli's kiss leaves him so breathless that he can't answer just yet, allowing Zhongli to get another sentence in. "I expect great things from you, Childe. You're the first person in a very long time who has been able to keep up." His thrusts speed up, making Childe gasp at the increased pressure on his sweet spot, hips bucking up unthinkingly. "Don't disappoint me."
Childe can't help laughing, for all that his vision is dancing with spots from the pleasure. But he won't give up — he'll fight until the very last moment, and the next chance he gets, he's going to try to tip the scales. He loves the weight of Zhongli's cock inside him and the satisfaction of being fucked, but it should only be fair that he gets to bury his cock inside Zhongli too… once he finds an opening.
Yanking Zhongli's head down for another bruising kiss, Childe whispers against his lips.
"The war's just started, xiansheng."