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Summer's reach

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The air conditioner makes a despairing clicking sound, and Bai Yu groans inwardly and thuds his head back on the arm of the couch. Summer in Shanghai is a bad time for it to break. He thinks about getting up to hit it with something, but then decides it's too much effort and takes a long drink of beer to try to cool down instead. He's wearing only a sleeveless tee and old shorts with holes in the thighs, but he can feel sweat pooling at the hollow of his throat and damp at the backs of his knees.

Zhu Yilong had gone out earlier to some awards ceremony wearing a velvet tux; he hopes there's good air con in the venue, otherwise he'll be suffocating by now. And he hopes he can get away early. They've barely seen each other lately because filming has taken them to opposite sides of the country for months on end, and an evening together would be precious.

As if a passing genie had granted his wish, he hears the scrabble of the dogs' claws against the floor as they rush to the door even before the latch clicks. When Bai Yu walks into the hall, Zhu Yilong is crouched down with his tux jacket over one arm, petting Cola's furry head.

"Hello, handsome." Bai Yu hands him a cold beer.

Zhu Yilong gives him a tense smile, gets to his feet, and takes a long swallow. He holds the sweating glass of the bottle up against his face and closes his eyes. His white shirt is sticking to him with the heat, his suit trousers hug his muscular thighs, and he looks beautiful, desirable, and unhappy.

"How did it go?"

Zhu Yilong takes another drink. "It was fine."

'Fine' means he hated every minute of it and feels like he's crawling out of his skin. Bai Yu knows he will never complain, but however many public events he does, the number of people, the glare of the cameras and the focus of so much attention never seems to get easier for him.

Bai Yu steps close and brushes a feather-light kiss across his cheekbone, there and gone again. "Why don't you get out of that stuff?" he suggests, giving the material of Zhu Yilong's shirt a tug. Zhu Yilong nods, looking exhausted, and heads for the bathroom.

Bai Yu goes back to the couch and the repeat of a tomb raider drama he wasn't really watching. When Zhu Yilong joins him, in a thin t-shirt and boxers and with his damp hair sticking up, he already looks a little better, as if the shower had begun to wash away some of his tension. He settles at the other end of the couch and turns his attention vaguely to the TV.

They sit in lazy silence for a while, Bai Yu knowing that Zhu Yilong is unlikely to feel like talking much tonight. But then a monstrous-looking character onscreen lets out a scream and starts writhing on the ground, and Zhu Yilong clicks his tongue. "What’s going on?"

"Everyone's been infected by a parasite that makes you sprout hair from under your fingernails and then die," Bai Yu informs him helpfully.

Zhu Yilong rolls his eyes. "Why are you watching this?"

"You've probably been in something with exactly that plot, don't even pretend."

Zhu Yilong hurls a cushion at him, almost knocking over his beer. Bai Yu throws himself down the couch to swat back at him with it, messing up his hair even more. Zhu Yilong grapples with him, making a half-hearted attempt to throw him off the couch, and then desists, leaning back wearily as if the small exertion had tired him out. Bai Yu flops sideways into him, resting his head on his shoulder.

Sometimes after an evening of putting himself on full display, Zhu Yilong doesn't want to be touched, but after a moment his arm circles Bai Yu's shoulders, pulling him further into his side. His fingers scritch gently at the barely-there beard on the underside of Bai Yu’s chin. They sit and watch the terrible show together. It's still unpleasantly warm, but being cuddled up to the person he likes most in the world is wonderfully comforting.

One leg is curled under him and it's going numb; he shifts on the couch and wiggles his toes to ease the pins and needles. Zhu Yilong makes a curious "mmm" sound and Bai Yu feels it reverberate in his chest.

Zhu Yilong tugs at the hem of Bai Yu’s shorts with lazy fingers. "Look at these things."

Of the two of them, Bai Yu doesn't think Zhu Yilong is in any place to lecture anyone on fashion, thank you very much. "What about them?"

Zhu Yilong pokes at his thigh through the hole. "The size of this. I could fit my whole hand in there."

Bai Yu doesn't know where Zhu Yilong is going with this, but the fact that he's talking is good. Also his hand is on his thigh, and Bai Yu isn't made of stone. "Yeah? So why don't you?"

Zhu Yilong huffs out a laugh and pushes his big hand through the gap in the material. There's a ripping sound as the hole gets bigger. His hand is hot on Bai Yu's skin and his fingers stroke deliciously at his inner thigh. Bai Yu’s shorts begin to feel a lot tighter than they were a moment ago.

He cranes his head and nuzzles at Zhu Yilong's throat, the side of his jaw. He licks, tasting soap and a hint of salt, and Zhu Yilong makes a small noise and meets his mouth with his own. Zhu Yilong's lips moving against his and his strong arm around him, makes Bai Yu's heart overflow with the knowledge that for this short time they don't have to go anywhere outside of the home they have together. And it's about time for him to climb into Zhu Yilong's lap. He sinks one hand into Zhu Yilong's damp hair and deepens the kiss, but after a moment Zhu Yilong pulls away and wrinkles his nose fussily.

"It's so hot."

Bai Yu nips at his bottom lip. "I know, baby. The a/c's getting fixed tomorrow."

Zhu Yilong brushes his lips against the side of Bai Yu's mouth. His hand is still on his thigh, thumb moving in teasing circles which are doing wonders to distract Bai Yu from the heat. A brilliant idea strikes. "How about if I promise to cool you down?"

Zhu Yilong makes big intrigued eyes at him.

Bai Yu kisses him again, mouth lingering. "Go take your clothes off and lie down."

He retrieves what he needs from the kitchen and when he gets into the bedroom Zhu Yilong is lying full-length on the bed. He's obediently naked, and the expanse of perfect skin sends a hot thrill of arousal through Bai Yu. Zhu Yilong smiles a shade self-consciously, and then his eyes zero in on the bowl of ice in Bai Yu’s hand.

Bai Yu grins at him happily and takes a long, greedy look up and down his body. He allows himself a little time to appreciate the swell of Zhu Yilong's biceps, the jut of his collarbone, the small smattering of tiny moles that are dotted here and there down his throat and across his chest.

Zhu Yilong waves a hand at the bowl. "Are you going to do anything with that, or just leave me to suffer?"

"Don't be impatient, I'm enjoying the view." He gives him an exaggerated leer.

"You're so hokey."

Bai Yu plants a big smacking kiss on his cheek. "You love it."

He scoops out one of the rounded ice cubes, enjoying the sharp chill against his skin, then picks up Zhu Yilong's left hand. At the first touch, Zhu Yilong shivers, so minutely it would be unnoticeable to anyone who didn't know him as well. Bai Yu runs the ice up his long fingers, touches it to the gap between them, and then to the groove between each knuckle, circling the fingers of his other hand over Zhu Yilong's palm.

Zhu Yilong watches him do it, eyes hooded. Bai Yu moves the ice up the corded muscle of his forearm and presses it firmly to the soft skin inside his elbow. Zhu Yilong shivers again and shifts on the bed. Bai Yu turns his attention to his bicep, kissing the ice upwards. It's leaving smears of wetness which he wants to lick away. Not yet.

"I think your ice is melting," says Zhu Yilong. His voice has gone interestingly deep.

"Don't worry." Bai Yu nods to the bowl. "I've got plenty."

He runs the nub of rapidly-disappearing ice over Zhu Yilong's shoulder, just dipping down towards his clavicle. Zhu Yilong's chest swells as he breathes in deeply. Bai Yu wipes his wet hand on his shorts and grabs another piece of ice. He hovers it over Zhu Yilong's chest, and then changes his mind and starts again with Zhu Yilong's other hand, straddling his thighs so he can reach better.

By the time he's worked his way up again to Zhu Yilong's shoulder, Zhu Yilong's eyes have fluttered shut and his pink lips are parted. Bai Yu rubs cool wetness into the curve of his shoulder, circling with his thumb, and Zhu Yilong shivers. This might be working to cool him down but it's having the opposite effect on Bai Yu; his pulse is beating fast and his shirt is sticking to him with sweat at the base of his spine. He yanks it over his head one-handed and drops it to the floor. Zhu Yilong opens his eyes and smiles up at him, and Bai Yu takes another piece of ice and touches it to Zhu Yilong's lips in a cold kiss. He smears it from side to side over his lips and Zhu Yilong pokes out his tongue to lick at it, flickering against Bai Yu's fingers.

Bai Yu breathes in deep as the touch sends arousal washing through him. The tightness of his shorts is becoming a serious problem. Zhu Yilong's cheeks are pink and a tracing of blush is starting to spill down his throat. Bai Yu follows its path with the ice and touches it to Zhu Yilong's broad chest. Zhu Yilong moves restlessly on the bed, his thighs flexing under Bai Yu's ass. Bai Yu lets his eyes drop; Zhu Yilong's pretty cock is filling out and the sight makes Bai Yu swallow hard. He's craving the taste of it, but he's going to make himself wait.

He darts the ice down to press against Zhu Yilong's hard nipple, and Zhu Yilong's shoulders come up off the bed with a gasp.

"Too much," he protests.

"Oh, yeah?" Bai Yu skims the nub of ice just outside the edge of the areola. "Is this too much?"

Zhu Yilong is biting his lip.

Bai Yu lightly pinches his nipple with his cold fingers. "How about this?"

Zhu Yilong shudders beneath him. "You're such a tease."

Bai Yu leans down to kiss him in apology, and Zhu Yilong puts his hands on his hips, pulls him in closer. His hard cock drags against Bai Yu's stomach, leaving a smear of wetness. His mouth welcomes Bai Yu in, eager and hot. Bai Yu is beginning to feel so turned on he's shaky, and they've barely done anything yet. Zhu Yilong's fingers slip further over his ass, pressing inwards, and Bai Yu wants. He circles his hips to try get some friction against his trapped cock, and Zhu Yilong winces as denim rubs on sensitive skin.

He squeezes Bai Yu's ass through his shorts. "Will you take these off?"

Bai Yu eases down his zipper cautiously and shoves his shorts down his legs. His cock springs free; he sees Zhu Yilong looking, eyes hot, and reaches down to give himself a greedy squeeze. Zhu Yilong's hand joins his, fingers tracing teasingly along his arousal, then wrapping firmly around him.

It's getting hard to think, but Bai Yu had a whole plan and everything, and he isn't quite done with it.

"Wait a bit, Long-ge." His voice comes out as a rasp.

Zhu Yilong looks gratifyingly put-upon, as if not touching him right that second is an unbearable hardship, but releases him. Bai Yu wrestles all the way out of his shorts and then grabs for more ice. His fingers are so clumsy that he knocks the bowl right off the nightstand. Miraculously it doesn't break, but the ice tumbles all over the nightstand and the floor.

Zhu Yilong giggles at him, and the sound makes happiness bloom in his heart. He scoops a handful of ice off the nightstand, and ignores the rest. "Smooth," Zhu Yilong comments, his voice fond, and then, "Ah!" as Bai Yu presses an ice cube firmly into the crease of his thigh. He edges the ice up towards where Zhu Yilong's cock is curving against his belly. Zhu Yilong says, "Uh, I'm not sure about this."

Bai Yu moves his hand away and bends to kiss his hip. "Do you want to try? If you don't like it, I'll stop." Zhu Yilong looks into his face, and then nods. Bai Yu rubs the ice all over his hand, getting it cold, and then wraps his hand around the flushed skin of Zhu Yilong’s cock. Zhu Yilong gasps.

"Is this OK?" Bai Yu runs his fingers up Zhu Yilong's length, enjoying the velvet weight of it in his hand. He slicks up the fingers of his other hand with ice and traces them over the head.

"It's, yeah," Zhu Yilong sounds strangled.

Bai Yu grins happily at him, then takes his hand away and ducks his head to envelop Zhu Yilong in the heat of his mouth. Zhu Yilong shouts and his hips come off the bed, forcing his cock into the back of Bai Yu’s throat without warning. The thick fullness of it feels delicious but it's too much at once and Bai Yu chokes around him. Zhu Yilong pants, "Sorry, sorry," and pets at his hair.

Bai Yu pulls off, presses his fingers together over the ice to get them good and cold, and traces them over Zhu Yilong's heavy balls. Zhu Yilong's head thumps back on the pillow.

Bai Yu alternates hands and mouth until Zhu Yilong is breathing hard and leaking salty precum over his tongue. It wouldn't take much to make Zhu Yilong finish like this and if Bai Yu was a better boyfriend maybe he would, but the feel and taste of Zhu Yilong has pushed his own arousal to unbearable heights, and he's aching to be filled up.

He licks lovingly at the slit at the head of Zhu Yilong's cock and then pulls back. There's a glorious ache in his jaw and he feels like his needy body might just float right off the bed. Zhu Yilong's hand comes down to cradle his face, caressing his lips with his thumb.

Bai Yu turns his cheek into his palm and murmurs, "Will you fuck me? I really want it."

Zhu Yilong breathes in and out heavily and then lunges for the night stand drawer, knocking even more ice to the floor as he retrieves the lube.

Bai Yu grins at him. "That's a yes, then."

Zhu Yilong gives him a look like, obviously, and then moves his hand away when Bai Yu reaches for the lube. "Let me."

Zhu Yilong's fingers in him… yeah, he wants that. Zhu Yilong guides him so he's kneeling up and reaches between his legs to rub, cool and slippery, at his hole. Bai Yu shudders at the tease of it, right where he wants Zhu Yilong in him, and braces himself with one fist on the bed. Zhu Yilong squirts more lube on his hand and pushes in. The stretch of his blunt finger inside Bai Yu fires up his nerve endings and makes his cock swell still harder. Zhu Yilong knows just how to read him, knows he doesn't want to wait. He pushes in another finger past his rim, and thrusts in deep and out again until Bai Yu is gasping and trying to fuck himself further down onto his hand.

"Come on," he pleads. "I'm ready."

Zhu Yilong pulls his fingers out slowly, leaving him empty and feeling like if he doesn't get something better in him soon he might explode from want. Zhu Yilong pours out more lube and coats his cock, and Bai Yu's hungry eyes watch the shine of it as Zhu Yilong's hands rub the slick over his engorged skin.

Zhu Yilong spreads his legs, making room for him in the cradle of his hips, and Bai Yu curves his spine, planting his forearms firmly at each side of Zhu Yilong's shoulders and letting Zhu Yilong guide him into position. Zhu Yilong cranes his head up to kiss him messily. "We good?" he asks.

Bai Yu takes a shaky breath against the side of his mouth. "We are so fucking good."

He inches backwards, and Zhu Yilong's cock rubs right up against the crease of his ass in a delicious slide. Then Zhu Yilong reaches down to guide himself in and Bai Yu feels the blunt head of his cock push past his rim. Zhu Yilong pauses there for a long, aching moment, making Bai Yu whine in needy protest. He tries to squirm further down on him, and Zhu Yilong takes an urgent breath and bucks his hips upwards until he's sheathed deep inside.

It burns just a little, and the pressure inside Bai Yu is overwhelming and he wants all of it. He gasps for breath and clenches around the hardness inside him, and Zhu Yilong swears, squeezes his hands tighter over his hips and starts to rock in and out of him, sending waves of heat skittering through his body.

Bai Yu's shaky arms can't support him; he slumps down onto Zhu Yilong's sweat-slick chest and the change in angle makes Zhu Yilong drive even deeper inside on the next thrust, making them both groan. Zhu Yilong's hands are strong on his hips, manipulating his desperate body just as he wants him. Bai Yu lets himself fall into the melting perfection of it - the slick drag of Zhu Yilong's cock sparking pleasure inside him as it rubs up against his prostate, the sound of their bodies moving together, the tantalising press of his own cock moving against Zhu Yilong's stomach.

He's shaking to hot pieces, so close to coming on Zhu Yilong's cock, poised on the edge and unable to fall. He rubs his face against Zhu Yilong's chest, pants despairingly against his skin, and tries to shove one of his hands between their bellies.

Zhu Yilong goes still and Bai Yu says, bratty, "Don't stop." Zhu Yilong paws at his side and says "Hoist up a bit." His hand is going in a promising direction, so Bai Yu masters his limp-noodle limbs and pushes himself up so Zhu Yilong can reach his cock. Bai Yu rocks back on the hardness inside him and Zhu Yilong groans and squeezes him tighter. The sensation magnifies the arousal pooling through Bai Yu from where he's being fucked, and he screws himself further down on Zhu Yilong's cock, shaking and panting for breath as his orgasm punches through him.

He flops down, messy and exhausted, onto Zhu Yilong's chest. Zhu Yilong is still rock hard inside him; he makes a small movement and Bai Yu yelps from the overstimulation. Zhu Yilong strokes a hand down his sweaty back, gentles a hand on his hip and pulls out carefully. The bulge of his cockhead rubbing past Bai Yu's sensitive rim makes him moan and quiver all over again. Zhu Yilong wraps his arms around him and rolls them over so they’re on their sides, legs tangled together.

Bai Yu tries to gather his scattered brain and looks into Zhu Yilong's flushed, lovely face. He's breathing hard, full of tension, but giving Bai Yu time to simmer down. Bai Yu kisses him, running fingers through his sweaty hair, and Zhu Yilong makes a whimpering sound and rolls his hips forward so that his hardness rubs through the mess on Bai Yu's stomach. Bai Yu feels fiercely possessive and fond. He palms Zhu Yilong's cock, pressing it further against his belly, come and lube mingling on his hand, getting everything slicker. He jerks him with fast movements of his wrist as Zhu Yilong rocks into him shakily, eyes creased shut, until he shudders and cries out, and comes in slick pulses all over Bai Yu's fingers.

Bai Yu holds on to him, feeling Zhu Yilong's fast breath against his lips gradually even out. He feels lazy and wonderfully wrung out, and just a tiny bit sore. Zhu Yilong's eyes are shut, and all the tension has flooded out of him. He looks exhausted and Bai Yu considers letting him be, but it's too hot to fall asleep while in this much of a sticky mess. He kisses the arch of his cheekbone. "Come on, let's go get clean." Zhu Yilong opens bleary eyes and wrinkles his nose at him, but gets up slowly and follows him to the bathroom.

He's moving like a sleep walker and Bai Yu has an instant of worrying that he's broken him, but under the pleasantly cool spray of the shower he revives a little and peppers soft kisses over Bai Yu's face as they wash each other down. He says something that Bai Yu can't hear over the noise of the water. He shuts off the faucet. "What did you say?"

Zhu Yilong pushes Bai Yu's wet hair off his forehead. "Thanks for taking care of me."

Bai Yu's heart clenches. Zhu Yilong deserves everything good in the world and will never admit to himself that he does. Bai Yu leans down and kisses him right below his ear. "If you fucking me like that is taking care of you, I'm gonna be doing it a lot more often." Zhu Yilong wraps his arms around him and holds him tight.

Bai Yu is sleepy, well-fucked, and his legs are going rubbery, but he doesn't want the moment to end. He kisses Zhu Yilong's throat again. "What are you doing tomorrow? You free?" he asks, knowing the answer from the workaholic he's fallen for will most likely be no.

"I have scripts to read." Zhu Yilong’s voice is hesitant.

"Spend the day with me. We could..." Bai Yu thinks fast. "We could go to that pretty mountain place up above Changshu. It'll be cooler up there."

“There’s so much to do.” Zhu Yilong sounds like could be persuaded otherwise.

"Hell, bring your scripts with you. We can sit in the shade and read them together."

"Getting out of the city would be nice."

Bai Yu didn't expect success to be this easy. "It's a deal, then."

They towel each other dry and walk through the quiet house. The dogs are asleep in their baskets, other than Oscar who's a pale lump curled up under the table. Zhu Yilong pauses by the defunct air conditioner. "Don't bother," says Bai Yu. "That thing's dead."

Zhu Yilong scowls thoughtfully and then mashes every button on the machine with abrupt force. There's a whirring noise, and cold air begins to spill feebly through the room. "You're a genius!" exclaims Bai Yu. Zhu Yilong kisses him smugly, then takes him by the hand and leads him back to their bed.