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come back to me in winter

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Hangzhou looked different from far above. Ye Xiu wasn’t sure he liked the view.

The first snow had just begun, and he could see the clusters of icy flakes as they flew through the night sky and brushed against the sparkling glass of the pristine windows. For what seemed like several moments, he stood there simply admiring the wintry scene before him.

He’d been restless these past few weeks, alone and left to his own devices in the place he now called home.

The brand new penthouse apartment he now inhabited had been a gift. The building owners were Glory fans whose dedication may even have rivaled Chen Guo’s, and they had been only too happy to let the legend live in their property rent-free.

The others had been glad to see him get a place of his own, delighted even, that he now lived in a place of luxury so far removed from the tiny, cramped room that at first had been the only accommodation the Boss could spare.

It was all very modern - brushed steel furnishings set against glass tabletops and dark leather. The new carpeting felt plush and springy under his socks. In the kitchenette, polished black marble counter tops gleamed in their barely used state.

Everything was cold.

In the emptiness of his fine new space, his hands had never felt more numb.

He paced around the living area, absently flexing his fingers in the frigid air. Looking back, Ye Xiu thought, winters had always been hard on him.

The city seemed nothing at all like how it had been when he’d first arrived all those years ago, wet snow seeping into his not-warm-enough clothes and soaking the single suitcase he’d taken from home. And then the winter when the tenth server opened had felt colder than any before but that had been...personal. These days everything seemed bigger and brighter, yet...

He couldn’t shake the feeling that this wasn’t where he belonged, that he didn’t, or rather, that he no longer had a place here. Irrelevance. Maybe that was the word he was looking for.

There was plenty of space here for the visitors he was no longer receiving. Now that the season was in full swing, players and fans alike had gone back to their routines. It seemed that with or without him, they would forever be chasing glory. The thrill of Zurich seemed far away now, and he could only stand by as the world continued to turn.

He had really started to get worried when he realized that he actually missed the sound of Wei Chen’s snoring.

He walked over to the bedroom, where resting upon the wide windowsill was Old Wei’s last gift to him: a packet of Chunghwa cigarettes, probably the most practical present he’d ever received.

“Just one pack? I’d say you owe me a whole carton at least,” he’d commented, not exactly joking. All he’d gotten in return was a mild sneer and a light sock in his arm. “So what’ll you do now?”

“Eh, do some traveling I guess? See what I’ve been missing out on.” That encounter at the party was the last he’d heard of Old Wei before he’d headed off to parts unknown, leaving no means of contact. Whatever he was doing, he hoped he was happy.

For a moment Ye Xiu stopped to think: what was it that he was missing?

He idly held up the crimson box, turning it over in his hand before putting it back on the sill. It was nearly empty, but he felt no urge to run out and replenish his supply. He’d been lighting up less and less these days. Smoking alone had long since lost its appeal.

Wei Chen’s gift was one of many he’d been given at the surprise bash the team had thrown for him last week on the day he moved in. Chen Guo had called it a housewarming, but Ye Xiu had seen the celebration for what it was: a retirement party. The memories trickled in as he made his way back to the living room.

Team Happy’s joint present to him rested on the corner desk: a massive custom-built gaming rig sitting beside the sweeping expanse of brand new curved monitor. Perhaps surprisingly, it was off.

Every time he’d go to start up the PC, he’d remember how the team he’d built had a new schedule along with their new captain, one that was too busy to include random BOSS encounters and trolling, especially now that the competitive season was well underway.

He turned away from his computer and surveyed the rest of his apartment. The massive flat-screen mounted on the wall was just as silent as his monitor - he had no interest in any of the popular dramas or variety shows that were playing these days. Draped over the arm of one of the black leather chairs was a mound of red and white nylon - an official Team Happy jacket, a size smaller than the one he had hanging in his closet. It had been left there in the aftermath of the party.

Ye Xiu remembered how that day he’d wandered over to the sitting area to find the young male majority of Happy’s roster huddled on the sectional sofa, all five of them with their heads bowed, eyes fixed on their phones.

His gaze had fallen on the youth squashed into the corner space between An Wenyi and Luo Ji, the one whose gentle features stood out in sharp relief against the sullen faces of his teammates.

Qiao Yifan. All grown up.

“If we’re going to split into balanced teams for 3v3 mode, I think it should be me, Yifan, and Wenyi,” he heard Luo Ji muse aloud, “Mo Fan, if you and Rongxing want to recruit a third...” Judging from their chatter, Ye Xiu guessed that they were trying out one of those mobile battle royale games that had started to get popular these days.

“Fuck off! Yifan’s with me!” spat Deception’s player with an intensity that seemed to stun everyone around him, not least of all the young man in question. “Why do you always get to pal around with the only one of us who isn’t shit at this game?” he asked, voice harsh in accusation. “I mean, besides me obviously.”

“Um...why don’t I sit this one out?” ventured Yifan, always the peacemaker. “That way, the teams will be even and-,” Unfortunately, Yifan’s suggestion had the opposite of its intended effect, instigating fierce protests from both his teammates.

Ye Xiu couldn’t help snickering as he watched them fight it out. A hand fell on his shoulder, and he turned to see the grizzled face of Wei Chen as he sidled up to him, a bottle of soda in hand.

“Not sitting with the boy band?” the old vet asked as he took a chug from his drink. Ye Xiu’s response was a smirk.

“That’s the future of eSports right there.”

On the couch, things had escalated to the point where everyone was on their feet, yelling and waving their phones in each other’s faces as they argued over whose suckage would be enough to drag down their whole team. Yifan was trying to calm them down, to no avail. Ye Xiu didn’t bother to check if Old Wei was rolling his eyes.

The sound of the doorbell broke him out of his reverie. He made his way over to the entryway, and as he looked through the peephole, he instantly recognized the familiar shy smile he’d just been thinking about.

“Ah, Senior, I’m sorry for coming by so late,” Yifan apologized as he walked in. In his hand, he held a plastic bag containing some takeout boxes. He set it on the entryway table as he politely took off his shoes. “Oh, I uh, brought some food. It isn’t much, just dumplings.”

“That was thoughtful of you,” Ye Xiu said with a slight smile as he recalled that he’d skipped dinner. “You know, I could have just brought your jacket to the café...”

“N- no I couldn’t trouble you like that!” Yifan was obviously scandalized by the thought of his former captain running errands like a regular mortal, even if that had once been more or less his job description. Ye Xiu realized then that his ego found a strange sort of satisfaction in the fact that Yifan was still somewhat intimidated by him, even after a year of close habitation.

“Come in. You must be tired after the flight.” The away game against Misty Rain had been the talk of the news just a few hours earlier. It had ended in a victory for Happy, and the media was having a field day playing up the rivalry between the the new captain and her old friend. Ye Xiu had turned off the broadcast as soon as the last match had ended, not bothering to watch the post game speculations from the TV commentators. Mucheng would give him all the details once she was settled, and he knew he definitely didn’t have the patience to watch Pan Lin and Li Yibo clowning it up once again.

Yifan followed him into the kitchen area and got to work laying out the food after washing his hands. He made a move to help, but his guest insisted that he’d take care of things. Feeling somewhat like a bad host, Ye Xiu made himself comfortable leaning against the counter and watched him work, giving him the go-ahead to do whatever he wanted with his supplies.

“How’s Mucheng?”

“Mmm, doing well, I think? She and Guo-jie are optimistic about our chances this season.”

It must have been a relief for her, in some ways, that their ties, if not severed, had been loosened well enough that she was free to stand on her own. On TV, the smile he’d seen on her face looked genuine.

He noticed Yifan poking through the refrigerator, a distraught expression on his face. “Looking for something?

“You um, don’t keep too many groceries around...”

It was true. He’d drunk the last bottle of Mirinda orange soda yesterday, leaving himself with cupboards and refrigerator shelves that were almost entirely bare.

“Is there any tea?” Yifan gestured toward the ceramic pot and cups he’d already laid out on a tray next to the plate of dumplings.

“That I’ve got.” Ye Xiu reached up to one of the high shelves and brought down the tin. He took the pot and scooped in the leaves before Yifan could object, the light fragrance of pu-erh rising in the air as he filled it with the hot water dispenser.

“She’s probably looking to prepare the next team captain,” he said as he put the pot back on the tray and carried it out to the sitting area. “I’ll bet it’s going to be you.”

“W- what?” Yifan seemed shocked at the very suggestion.

Ye Xiu laid it out for him as the two of them sat together enjoying their meal. He was the most qualified in terms in skill and potential, he explained, not to mention the most dedicated. Yifan simply nodded along with his statements, seeming to not quite believe him as he dutifully refilled his teacup practically every time he took a sip.

“Just try not to doubt yourself,” Ye Xiu said, laying an encouraging hand on his shoulder as he had so many times before. He felt the urge to let his touch linger, but he pulled back when he saw Yifan nervously look away.

“Thank you...”

“Hm? For what?”

“For being so good to me.” Yifan looked at him then, and for a moment Ye Xiu was transfixed, caught under the gaze of his most attentive and obedient pupil. Perhaps it was to be expected of Yifan, that he would take for benevolence what others saw only as arrogance.

Their paths had crossed by chance, and yet this quiet, unassuming player had become a fixture in his world, staying by his side and affirming all of his teachings about Glory: that teamwork could thwart sheer talent, that knowledge and patience were tools as deadly the greatest weapon, and most of all, that nothing was ever truly impossible.

Here alone with him, Ye Xiu could admit to himself the he might have cherished their relationship as something beyond that of mentor and student.

He’d felt the impulse at times when they were living and working alongside one another, but back then, to toy with Yifan's emotions when he was still so vulnerable had seemed too close to cruelty. After considering the consequences, he had decided that the kinder choice was to leave him be and do nothing about these warm, fond feelings. As a result, their interactions for the rest of his career had remained commendably wholesome.

“Yifan,” Ye Xiu spoke first, interrupting the moment, “want to play a bit before you go?”

The two of them both nearly laughed when he said the words. Some things about Ye Xiu would never change.

This time, he allowed Yifan to clear the table while he got things prepared. He went to the computer and hit the ON button, watching as the RGB-lit behemoth woke with a crimson glow.

Ye Xiu had made a slew of new accounts when the latest server was recently unveiled. These were stacked at the corner of the desk, all low levels of varying classes. But what he had his eye on was the account card lying next to the reader, an old friend to them both.

Yifan came over to join him at just the moment he put in the Lord Grim card.

“Go ahead. Give it a try.”

“Are you serious?” Yifan regarded him with wide eyes, letting out a breath of excitement as Ye Xiu nodded in response. He sat down at the keyboard, awestruck at the fact that his first experience with the Unspecialized class would be with this legend.

Yifan was mesmerized as he entered the practice arena, moving Lord Grim forward with hesitant steps, starting off with only the familiar-looking swordsman and night walker skills before moving on to some more complex combinations. Gaining confidence, he even threw down some ghost boundaries just like old times.

Ye Xiu sat back in the guest chair, watching with rapt attention, pleased at the sight of Yifan’s curiosity and also inwardly relieved at the chance to give the poor kid a break from pouring him tea.

It wasn't difficult to move unnoticed with the sound blaring from the speakers. Yifan didn’t suspect a thing as Ye Xiu slung and arm around his shoulder, easy and companionable. It was such a simple thing for him to turn his head, taking note of Yifan’s wide-eyed gasp of surprise and the luminescent heat from his cheeks as he realized how close they were. Trying to ignore the inner voice saying, I deserve this, Ye Xiu leaned in just the tiniest bit, allowing their lips to touch.

He tasted so sweet.

On the monitor, Lord Grim stood motionless, his player’s mind temporarily transported to a faraway place.

The kiss was interrupted as both of their phones suddenly let off an alert. Ye Xiu almost didn’t recognize the sound, and felt a pang of loss as Yifan turned away from him, startled as he fumbled in his pockets to silence the volume.

Ye Xiu grabbed his phone off the desk -he was still getting used to having one of the damn things- and checked the message to see what was so urgent.

Heavy Snowfall Warning. Roads Closed Due to Safety Concerns. Citizens Advised to Stay Indoors.

He checked the window and saw with his own eyes the blizzard that now raged outside. Apparently, the glass was so thick that they’d neither heard nor felt the fury of the storm.

“No way you should be going out in this weather.” He looked over and watched Yifan as he frantically swiped over his screen, taking in the bad news.

“Everything’s blocked...train’s cars available...” Yifan murmured anxiously.

“Guess that means you’re staying the night,” Ye Xiu said cheerily as he got up and went over to the linen closet in the hallway - strange to think he actually had one of those now. He calmly took out all the things he needed: a clean fluffy bath towel and a spare blanket for the guest bedroom, before bringing them back and offering them to Yifan.

“Here. If you want to borrow some clothes, you can check my room and take whatever fits. ”

“I...thank you, Senior.” Yifan took the proffered items with a grateful nod and went off in search of some suitable pajamas after Ye Xiu pointed him in the right direction.

Interesting turn of of events he thought to himself as he watched him go inside. Given what had transpired between them only a few minutes ago, poor Yifan was probably just about ready to keel over from jitters. He’d have to make up up to him somehow.

“Bathroom’s right inside if you want a shower. Hairdryer’s under the sink. Should be a few spare toothbrushes, too.” Ye Xiu called out after him, hoping to forestall any future awkwardness. He went back to the computer, logging off Lord Grim before going online in search of things to distract himself from the fact that at that very moment Yifan was naked in his bathroom - the rushing sound of water from the tap being turned on alerted him that he’d taken him up on his offer of a shower.

He opened up Weibo and was glad to see that, judging by the group chatter, no one had suffered any serious damage, though plenty were annoyed at the inconvenience of finding themselves snowed in for the night. A few minutes laters, his concentrated focus on reading through his messages was broken by the sound of the shower being turned off, and the distant rustle of the bathroom curtain. The tell-tale sound of rushing air that followed told him that Yifan had found the hairdryer. He shut down the PC, moving to settle on the couch where he had decided to wait to confront the person whose presence here had his emotions on edge.

Yifan walked in a few moments later, dressed in one of his old t-shirts and pajama pants that looked about ready to fall off his hips. In his hand, he held the bundle of his old clothes.

“I um, left the towel in the hamper,” he said. The timid sound of his voice gave the impression that he was all too ready to retreat to the relative safety of the guest room. To allow that might have been the more noble thing to do, but the restless energy in him had Ye Xiu wound up like a spring waiting to be released.

“That’s fine. You can leave your stuff wherever.” Yifan cast about for a moment, looking lost, before setting his clothes on one of the empty side tables. “Want to sit? We can talk for a bit...”

“You kissed me,” Yifan blurted out. Well, at least there would be no beating around the bush. Ye Xiu reached out for his hand, tugging him down to sit with him .

“I did,” he said evenly “and I’ve wanted to for a long time.”

The smile Yifan gave him made his heart ache.

“Does that mean you’ll-, I mean, that we’ll be together tonight?” Yifan looked up at him, eyes expectant.

He sucked in a breath. The truth was, he hadn’t anticipated it, hadn’t meant for any of this to lead to anything more than a bit of heavy petting. But now, having gotten a taste, Ye Xiu realized he was starving.

He took Yifan’s hand in his, holding it gently.

“Only if that’s what you want.”

“It is.” Yifan met his gaze, and Ye Xiu could see in his eyes the resolve that was battling with apprehension, as though he were weighing the options, worried that he was once again taking on more than he was ready for.

“Your first time?” Eyes still unwavering, Yifan nodded.

“What do you know about me, Yifan? When it comes to things like this?” Things were happening so fast, and while Ye Xiu knew that his own feelings had been building for a while, he could only imagine what Yifan had come to think of him in their short time together.

“Um, you’re...really experienced?” Oh yeah, he’d definitely heard the rumors. The ones that said he’d slept around with just about every captain and at least half of the rest of the players in the professional alliance. Even some of his closest acquaintances seemed to take it for granted.

Ye Xiu sighed. He’d have to clear things up eventually, but right now all he wanted was for Yifan to just relax.

“Well, would believe me if I told you there’s no one I’d rather be with right now than you?” Yifan stared, but before he could let out a self-deprecating remark, Ye Xiu turned and put his lips to his neck, inhaling the smell of his own shampoo and soap as he left a line of kisses down his throat. “If you hadn’t asked, I’m not sure if I would have been able to restrain myself...” He let out a whimper as Ye Xiu sucked hard at his skin, leaving a mark that would definitely bruise.

As was always the case with Yifan, a little praise went a long way. Ye Xiu was pleased when he reached down to his crotch and found him fully hard.

He took him by the hand and led him to his room, almost afraid to catch the starstruck look in his eyes. Now was his chance to make Yifan’s first time a memorable one in all the best ways.

Ye Xiu tore at their clothes before they’d even made it to the door, tossing his belt and shirt aside before reaching over to Yifan’s front and tugging at the loose-fitting pants. They dropped off of his hips easily and Ye Xiu left them to pool on the floor.

Yifan removed his shirt as they entered and went to sit on the bed with him, and Ye Xiu took his time to admire the body that was revealed to him, skin lit by the soft glow of the bedside lamp. He really had filled out in the time since they’d met, no longer the skinny seventeen-year-old he’d once caught crying backstage.

He reached into the bedside table and pulled out what they needed, feeling a belated surge of gratitude as he remembered its origin.

The extra-large tube of lubricant had been a special surprise present from Bao, as all of Team Happy could uncomfortably recall.

“Boss’s finally gonna have a social life now, right?” he’d said at the party, all smiles and completely oblivious to the awkward silence that had instantly fallen over the room as soon the gift had been unwrapped. Ye Xiu wondered if he would still have been as enthusiastic if he'd known who he'd be using it on.

“Lie down and spread your legs a bit,” Ye Xiu instructed gently, returning to the task at hand. “This way might be easier for you first time.” He was being sincere, but what he didn’t say was that he wanted to watch Yifan's face while he fucked him.

He watched him fixedly as he dutifully complied, the strain of his own erection growing more unbearable with every passing second, reveling in the sight of his body as he lay back and got into position, exposing himself to his mentor's scrutiny.

Ye Xiu stripped off the rest of his clothing and stopped to kiss his lips as he moved to kneel before him. Lube was squeezed generously onto his fingers. Yifan wouldn’t have to be in pain if they did things properly.

“Tell me if it hurts,” he said softly as he laid one more kiss right below his ear.

The first finger went in slowly - he heard Yifan gasp at the intrusion before quickly calming himself, lying back, eyes closed, trying so hard to be good for him. With the second, he moved carefully, drawing them in and out with measured strokes, again and again, until the tension finally ebbed. We have all night he reminded himself. With three he looked at Yifan to ensure he was ready, pressing them into him while his other hand pumped his arousal. Ye Xiu leaned down to tease his tip with his mouth, and Yifan practically sobbed, the onslaught of stimulation overwhelming him.

“I think you’re ready now,” he said softly. “Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle.”

Ye Xiu had coated himself well, but when he entered Yifan for the first time, he took no chances, sinking into him at a deliberate pace that was agonizingly slow. His body was urging him to just pin Yifan down and start rutting with abandon, but he held himself back.

Yifan gasped at the sensation of being filled completely. Seeing that he was trying to stay calm, Ye Xiu kept his initial thrusts shallow and and even.

“I love-,” Before Yifan could finish the sentiment, Ye Xiu pounced, covering his mouth with his, acting purely on impulse. He worked him with his lips, drawing out light gasps and hoping that Yifan would understand that the interruption was not a rejection, but rather something they would have to work out between them in a time when their bodies weren’t so desperate.

He kissed him with each thrust as he buried himself in him again and again, searching for that perfect spot. At last he found what he was looking for, and he felt his cock involuntarily twitch at the sound of Yifan’s yelp of guileless surprise when he deliberately nudged himself hard against it. Then he moved deeper still, all the way inside, balls slapping against Yifan’s entrance. He brought his head down to kiss his neck again, feeling the gust of his breath against the side of his face.

“How, ah-, how does it feel for you?” Yifan murmured breathlessly as Ye Xiu started driving into him in earnest.

“Amazing,” he answered, catching a groan in his own throat as he bottomed out. It wasn’t an exaggeration.

“Good. It-, ah, it feels so good...Ah-,” He was becoming addicted to the sound of Yifan’s needy moans that told him exactly how much he loved his senior’s cock.

“Ah!" Yifan's breathing had become frantic and labored," I- I’m gonna... ah-!”

Ye Xiu looked down and found himself enthralled by the sight of Yifan’s sweet face as he gasped in ecstasy.

“Yifan, I-,” Ye Xiu couldn’t bring himself to slow the pistonning of his hips. He took a deep breath, trying to calm his mind, readying himself to make the split-second decision of when to pull out.

“Please,” Yifan pleaded, head thrown back, eyes dazed, voice barely above a whisper, “D-do it inside me.” He shifted his gaze, and those eyes looked up at him, adoring. Ye Xiu lost it in an instant. He grabbed Yifan’s thighs to brace himself as he thrust in as deep as he could go, bowing his head to kiss him one last time as he came.

The kiss didn’t end until long after, when Ye Xiu felt he’d spilled himself completely into the who’d done him the honor of asking him to be his first lover.

He pulled out slowly, mind and body sapped by his release. His hands gently lowered Yifan’s legs, running fingers - now so warm - over them to calm the tremors brought on by the strain of being held up to accommodate him. He finally brought his body down to the bed and put his arms around Yifan, and within seconds the two of them were consumed by the oblivion of sleep.

When Ye Xiu woke, he could tell immediately that he had only dozed off for a short while. Beside him, Yifan was still fast asleep. He must have been exhausted, Ye Xiu realized, having played a whole match and flying back before coming to see him.

He looked out the window and saw that outside, the storm had waned, but soft cascades of snow still tumbled down from the sky, coating the city in a blanket of white. Fueled by impulse, he got up, pulled on his sweatpants, and walked over to the corner of the room, instinctively reaching for a familiar pair of objects - the Chunghwa pack and lighter perched on the wide panel of the windowsill. He thumbed open the box and shook out a single cigarette – his very last one. With his other hand, he nudged open the window just a sliver. A blade of frigid air sliced into him, knocking his consciousness into full alertness as the skin of his unclothed torso tensed in response. He put the cigarette to his lips and brought the lighter up- his hands worked with movements so well-practiced that even the rush of cold air did nothing to impede him from igniting the tip. He released the first few puffs slowly, replaying the events of the last few hours in his mind as the nicotine hit his bloodstream. It all came back to him with perfect clarity - the look on Yifan’s face as he let himself go, the sounds he’d made, how good he’d felt around his cock. Arms crossed, Ye Xiu took another deep drag from the filter as he became lost in his thoughts, reliving it all as the smoke streaked out through the window to join the cold night air. Never before had he allowed himself to engage in such pure indulgence. He stood there against the wall a while, unmoving, head clouding with obscene remembrances that caused heat to pool in his groin once again, aware that somewhere deep down he reveled in the fact that, no matter what transpired between them after tonight, part of Yifan would always belong to him.

Mind still hazy, he looked out at the cityscape that spread out into the horizon, faintly outlined by his own reflection in the glass. In a moment of inspiration, he thought of how good Yifan would look pressed up against it, naked and legs splayed, eyes fixed on the view, fully exposed while Ye Xiu thrust into him from behind. Maybe next time.


That train of thought was interrupted by the real voice of the person he’d just deflowered. Ye Xiu pushed the window tightly closed before leaning over and hurriedly stubbing out the remains of the cigarette in an ashtray that had been resting on one of the tables. He watched with interest as Yifan cast about for his clothes before realizing he’d left the pajama pants in the hallway. Seeming eager for modesty, he yanked the t-shirt back on before coming over to him.

He paused just before Ye Xiu, as though afraid to approach him directly, still apprehensive even after all that they’d done together. If he’d only look down he would surely notice the newly formed erection that tented his pants.

His mentor gave him a nod of encouragement, as though urging him to make the first move. Yifan regarded him with caution.

“You were smoking...” he said softly, eyes downcast and bashful. Back to his old self again.

He was just about to take pity on him by drawing him into an embrace, but a moment later, Yifan steeled himself and stepped forward, gently taking him by the shoulders before tilting his chin up and capturing his mouth in a kiss. Ye Xiu could hardly suppress a grin as he heartily accepted. Emboldened, Yifan deepened the kiss, and he then found himself pleasantly surprised by the sensation of his protégé's tongue tentatively teasing its way into his mouth, light, hesitant licks soon giving way to bolder strokes as he leaned forward. Ye Xiu pressed his chest against Yifan’s, and relished the sound of a soft, sweet moan escaping him, the sound of it sending a bolt of need straight through his body. In his pants, he felt the brush of his partially aroused cock against the fabric as it twitched with renewed interest. Yifan’s soft pants and earnest, unpracticed movements of his mouth were making him harder by the second. His closed eyes opened as Yifan pulled away, completely out of breath, the need for air finally overwhelming the enthusiasm in his burst of passion.

Ye Xiu pulled him into his arms, as he released the chuckle that had been building in the back of his throat and reveled in the warmth of Yifan’s full-face blush resting on his collarbone and the soft texture of his t-shirt against his bare chest. He held him close, trying not to betray the powerful arousal caused by the implication that not all of Yifan’s thoughts about him were pure and innocent. It must have taken all his courage to lay that kiss on him.

“I...always wanted to do that.” Yifan voice was sheepish as they broke apart, and he seemed to be trying to avoid Ye Xiu’s eyes.

“Yifan,” His head snapped up in recognition at the sound of his name, and Ye Xiu was taken aback by the dark note of tension in his own voice. “Get back on the bed.”

His student was eager to comply, giving him a quick nod before scrambling onto the sheets. Ye Xiu followed him, yanking down his pants before tossing them off to the side, sucking in a breath as his erection was exposed to the cool air.

Yifan lay on his back, and he was pleased to see that the heat of the moment had rekindled his arousal as well. He made to peel his shirt off, but Ye Xiu stopped him with a hand on his wrist.

“Mm, leave it,” he said as he took his mouth again, pressing their bodies down and groaning as their cocks brushed against each other.

“Senior, please...” Yifan sounded so desperate, so utterly gone, and Ye Xiu took it as his cue to guide him to lie on his stomach, fingers sliding under his shirt and caressing his sides as he turned him.

As he knelt over his prone form and pressed two fingers to his entrance, Ye Xiu felt a surge of lust run straight to his cock as he realized Yifan still had his cum inside him. The lube was quickly snatched off the bedside table, its contents slicked onto his length and over his fingertips in a matter of seconds.

Ye Xiu prepped him quickly, senses overwhelmed with the desire to fuck him again, as hard as his body could take. He positioned himself carefully on top of Yifan, his hands draping over his before lacing their fingers together, and as he slid deep inside him, the sound of their shared moans reverberated through the quiet room.

Yifan was eager for him, arching his back and with a look in his eyes that all but screamed he was begging to be taken again. Ye Xiu complied, cock sliding smoothly into his tight heat as he pounded him into mattress. He ground his hips as he went deeper, stimulating Yifan where he now knew he was most sensitive. Both of them lost all sense of control, giving themselves over their desperate need. Ye Xiu reached under them and took his partner’s neglected erection in hand, his grasp tight and purposeful as he drove into him even harder and deeper than before chest rubbing hard against his clothed back. Yifan came again with a strangled gasp, Ye Xiu’s name on his lips as his whole body tensed. Mere moments later, Ye Xiu followed him, the pent up tension practically causing him to black out as he spent himself in him for the second time that night. Fighting not to collapse and crush the body beneath him, his hands wrapped around Yifan’s waist as he rolled them to the other side of the bed into the softness of the unsullied sheets.

Though it was no longer cold, he found himself basking in Yifan’s warmth. He radiated heat like a small sun, one that could be pulled tight against his body, allowing him to selfishly trap it in the circle of his arms. None of this was noticed by Yifan, who had finally given in to exhaustion and was dead asleep, far beyond recall. Summoning his last reserves of energy, Ye Xiu nuzzled his lips against his neck, murmuring words that were known only to him. His closed his eyes as sleep quickly came for him, the restlessness that had plagued him now long forgotten.

The next morning, Ye Xiu woke to the sound of muted footfalls and the frantic rustling of cloth.

Yifan was half-dressed, yesterday’s shirt and the borrowed boxers hanging messily on his frame. Ye Xiu tried not to stare as hurried around the room, ostensibly trying to collect his belongings.

“You’re up early,” he called out, trying to sound casual.

“Senior!” Yifan looked over in surprise. “I-, about last night...”

“We should talk about that...” Ye Xiu practically shivered as he propped himself up. Just a few minutes alone and his bed already felt too cold.

Yifan came over to stand close to the bedside. He looked as unsettled as he’d had ever seen him, doubt, embarrassment, maybe even regret - whirlwind of emotions crossed his features, and Ye Xiu felt a twinge of something in his chest as he realized that he was the cause.

“You’ve probably got important things to do,” Yifan stammered. “The roads are clear now. I’d better go...” As he made to leave, Ye Xiu caught him by the wrist stopping him in his tracks.

“Right now, there’s nothing more important to me than being with you.”

Yifan gaped at him, as though not believing the words he’d just heard. Ye Xiu was quick to use his distracted state to his advantage, taking this opportunity to reach out and yank him back into bed. Yifan rolled over him with a soft “Oof” landing haphazardly amongst the pillows.

“You know...” he continued, “I could use a roommate.”

Ye Xiu maneuvered himself expertly, trapping Yifan beneath his naked form as his hands sought his warmth. “Say you’ll stay?” His tone was playful, but both of the knew it wasn’t really a question.

Yifan’s face flushed once again, the tiny “Okay” barely audible even in the morning stillness.

Ye Xiu’s heart leaped in triumph as he held him close. It was shameless move, he supposed, to engage in this with someone who never could say no to him.

The thought left him as his fingers found Yifan’s ticklish spot again, eliciting a bright peal of laughter that was as sweet as winter sunshine.

Maybe it would catch up to him someday, but for right now, his heart told him he had exactly what he needed.