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seeing, believing

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Shen Qingqui doesn't realize how much time he spends staring at Luo Binghe until he can do it openly. He's so used to hiding his face behind his fan so nobody will notice.

It turns out that Shen Qingqui watches Luo Binghe all the time, to the extent that he's embarassed about it. Even if it's his own husband, it feels weirdly shameful to want to watch him do everything -- writing and sparring, threatening demons with his fangs dropped down in a threat display that never fails to make even the most arrogant demon lords cower. He watches him folding clothes and making their bed. He watches him lounge on his great throne like a sleepy, bored lion waiting for something to show weakness. He watches him in the mirror as he puts up Shen Qingqui's hair and fusses over his sash and belt with every evidence of artistic enjoyment.

He watches him -- well.

Sometimes that's when he has to close his eyes, but then he feels Luo Binghe, close as his own skin, and maybe that's even better.

One night he wakes to the cry of cicadas and blinks his eyes open with an effort. He stares in the darkness for a moment and then looks down at Luo Binghe -- or at least, at the tangle of curls and waves buried into Shen Qingqui's chest. Luo Binghe's broad shoulders are hunched up, his legs tucked in tight, in an effort to fit in Shen Qingqui's arms the way he had when he was much smaller but still shameless about getting Shen Qingqui to dote on him.

He cards his finger through the soft mass of Luo Binghe's curls. Luo Binghe stirs a little, pressing close to his hand. "Oh, Binghe," sighs Shen Qingqui. "What is this teacher to do with you?"

Luo Binghe doesn't respond, deep in trustful sleep, but Shen Qingqui can easily imagine him getting closer, saying, "Love me -- love me more ---". His arms tighten around him in a sudden spasm of tenderness.

Luo Binghe stirs. He rubs his head against Shen Qingqui's shoulder and Shen Qingqui pushes his hair away from his face. Somehow, impossibly, he manages to cuddle closer to Shen Qingqiu and smiles in his sleep.

Shen Qingqui can see the barest hint of fang exposed. It gleams like a seed pearl in the moonlight and Shen Qingqui wishes he dared to touch it. But if he does, Luo Binghe will wake up, and shamelessly demand more -- and they've got a lot to do in the morning.

Shen Qingqui closes his eyes. Tomorrow, he can look his fill again.