Oletus manor was the kind of place where time seemed to stop. The grandfather's clock was always at one tick away from 12, yet somehow, it kept swaying, just ticking away without actually reaching that hour. There were no changes in the seasons, and no one has seen daylight from within the place. No matter how many times you peek through the cracked windows of the dilapidated manor, it was always night time. So when it rained, it surprised everyone.
There was the obvious divide among the survivors and hunters, but one can get friendly with another if one really tried. Xie Bi'an was one of the few who was a friendly face in the manor. It went without saying that despite the smiles he showed on his features, Xie Bi'an had been through a lot. Most of the hunters have. But this time, as he watched and listened to the pitter patter of the rain against the windows, anyone who saw him could feel it -- this was not one of those times where he'd be smiling.
He held his umbrella tightly against his body as the rain fell. He didn't want to admit it, but the rain gave him nothing but painful memories. The umbrella was proof of it.
If only I arrived sooner. If only I made him wait somewhere else.
His silent anguish didn't go unnoticed. Michiko, always the most graceful and poised among them approached him, her steps like that of a butterfly fluttering its wings, silent yet something that didn't bear a single drop of hostility or danger. Xie Bi'an looks up to her image, arms still protectively around his umbrella.
"Shiro Mujou-han(1)," her voice was that of wind chimes, sweet and soft. Her accent was also something that tends to catch everyone's attention when she talks. It was always affectionate. "Is everything alright?"
Michiko knew the answer was most likely a 'no', but she had to ask. She sees the man swallow, but he forces a smile on his face.
"Thank you, Michiko-shijie(2), for your concern." He answers, fully aware that his smile was fooling nobody. His tight grip on the umbrella remained, eliciting a look of concern from the Geisha. He sighs, smile turning into a look of obvious discomfort. "I'm just... not good with the rain."
Michiko could feel that there was more to this story. But she didn't pry. Instead, she seemed to have thought of something, prancing away in a hurry, and coming back with a white cloth, a tissue paper, a rubber band, and a short rope.
The Geisha just smiled at him, putting her fan down on the table before picking up the tissue, turning it into a ball before wrapping it in the white cloth.
"From where I come from, there's something we make to stop the rain." Her hands worked on the thing in her hands, securing the tissue paper inside with a rubber band. "We call it a Teru-Teru Bozu(3)."
She ties the rope around the same area that the rubber band was on, and she stood up, hanging it by the window. She looks at him again, a smile on her face. Xie Bi'an looked at the white ghostly doll, then to the Geisha that stood in front of him.
Ah, she was trying to cheer me up.
"Thank you, Shijie."
This time, his smile reached his eyes. Michiko smiled back before picking up her fan and walking away. She looked back at him and the grip on his umbrella loosened. He now held it against him as if he was holding the most beloved thing in his life. And he really was, to be honest. Michiko's smile didn't falter as she left him alone.
I hope the rain lets up soon.
No one knew what day it was, but the rainy days continued. It stops for a while, but comes back again and lasts a few hours. It felt like a reoccurring nightmare for Xie Bi'an. But he'd sit by the doll made by Michiko, praying the rain stops everyday. Eventually, though, the humidity it brought became a bit too much for him.
He wanted to see Fan Wujiu.
He stands up, leaving the room without a word to anyone. The rain was pretty heavy, but he had an umbrella and that was fine with him. The moment he opens it, black liquid fell in large drops, forming into something that resembled a human being. As the last of the black liquid fell, Fan Wujiu opened his eyes.
"Good morning," Xie Bi'an greeted, a smile on his face. It was only when the umbrella was opened like this were they allowed to see each other. It was hard, but nothing they couldn't manage.
Fan Wujiu notices that the smile felt forced. He takes the handle of the umbrella from him.
Xie Bi'an's smile didn't disappear, but he did look away, as if tuning something out.
"Nothing you need to worry about."
Fan Wujiu frowned, but he had an idea why. The rain continued to fall. He looks around. The rain wasn't hard, but it was quite similar to that day.
He took Xie Bi'an's hand, much to the other's surprise. His hand was balled into a fist, cold and slightly trembling.
"A-Bi'an(4)," Fan Wujiu's eyes met his, "walk with me?"
Really, all he did was invite the other for a walk. That was all it was supposed to be. But the moment the two got into the shed, one kiss that was intended to comfort Xie Bi'an let to another thing entirely.
"A-Bi'an, really, we shouldn't be doing this here!"
Try as he might, Fan Wujiu's protests were all ignored by the other man. The umbrella remained outside the entrance of the shed, wide open and wet under the rain.
"It's fine," Xie Bi'an said against the other's ear, breath hot making Fan Wujiu shiver, "With the rain being this heavy, no one's going to come out."
"That's not the point! Ah!"
Fan Wujiu accidentally let out a moan as a finger slipped inside him. Maybe it was because they got wet out there despite the umbrella, but Xie Bi'an's finger went in smoothly. He looked at Fan Wujiu who squirmed beneath him, splayed out on a beaten-up worktable. His blackened-skin had a dark blush, spreading over to the spot the small spot that remained white. Fan Wujiu wasn't looking at him. Instead, the Black Guard has one hand gripping the other's sleeve tightly, and the other hand hiding his own flustered face.
Xie Bi'an couldn't help but smile.
Fan Wujiu had always been the kind to wear a strong, aggressive front, but when it was just the two of them, the mask crumbles and it shows the soft, weak side of Fan Wujiu hidden away from the rest of the world. He loved it. A face only he could see. Expressions only he knew how to pull out of him. He added another finger inside Fan Wujiu, making the other moan loudly again, only to realize it and quickly cover his mouth with his hands. He glared at Xie Bi'an, but it had no real force behind it. As he pumped his fingers in and out of the Black Guard who shivered beneath him, his tongue was on his neck, licking a trail down towards his exposed chest. Fan Wujiu's markings was only spread onto the right half of his body, the other half being white as porcelain. But despite that, his nipples were like cherries on a black and white canvas, light and pink, tantalizing the other who was full of desire.
"A... Bi...an.... I-I can't... If you don't stop now, I-I'm going to cum!"
Xie Bi'an kissed his fingers that was now barely covering his mouth as moans slipped out of his lips.
"Go ahead. Cum as much as you want."
The Black Guard's mind went blank as he reached his climax solely from the stimulation brought by the others fingers. The white liquid was beautiful on his marked body. Xie Bi'an slung one of Fan Wujiu's legs over his shoulder, positioning his erect member against Fan Wujiu's wet entrance. He looks at Fan Wujiu, eyes as if asking for permission. At this point, the Black Guard looked like a mess. His hair was disheveled, body smeared in sweat and from his own cum.
"Seriously? You're going to ask my permission now that you've gone this far and after ignoring my protest in the beginning?"
His glare was met with a sheepish grin. Xie Bi'an slowly pushed his member in, stretching the insides of Fan Wujiu whose shaky moans got louder the deeper it went. Xie Bi'an kissed his thigh, sucking on it lightly as he started to thrust in and out in a slow pace. His eyes drift onto the panting, moaning person whose eyes were closed in pleasure.
He's feeling it a lot more today. With that thought in mind, he pulled back enough to only have the tip left inside the entrance before ramming it back inside, making Fan Wujiu practically scream in pleasure. Xie Bi'an's eyes closed as he moved. Fan Wujiu always made him feel good. Whether it was through intercourse or not, he always found himself feeling the most pleasure when he was with him.
Which was why when Fan Wujiu disappeared from his side, his world shattered into a million pieces. The fear from the trauma sent a shiver down his spine, making his hold on Fan Wujiu tighter, his movement becoming rougher.
"A... Bi.. an! Too... Too rough!"
But Xie Bi'an couldn't hear Fan Wujiu.
He was trapped inside that space in his mind again.
The lifeless body of Fan Wujiu which he held against his own despite the heavy rain. His screams so loud, so hard it made his throat bleed. His tears that fell along with the rain.
Empty days that passed by, a colorless world. His tears that fell like rain as Fan Wujiu was buried 6 feet into the earth.
Xie Bi'an forgot what it was like to smile.
What was it like to feel again?
The hole that was made when he forced himself to live a life without Fan Wujiu... it was Hell.
Unbeknownst to him, his grip on Fan Wujiu was starting to leave a bruise. Fan Wujiu tried to get him to loosen his grip, all the while struggling with his rough movement. Pissed about being ignored, Fan Wujiu grabbed Xie Bi'an by the back of his head, pulling his head down to crash their lips together in a lip bruising kiss. This successfully snapped Xie Bi'an out of his trance and his movement stopped immediately, senses overwhelmed by Fan Wujiu's tongue invading his mouth. His grip on Fan Wujiu's leg and waist loosens as Fan Wujiu sucked on his bottom lip, making Xie Bi'an moan. As Fan Wujiu pulls away, a thread of saliva becoming the only proof of a deep kiss they shared.
They didn't say anything at first, eyes locked onto each other, black and white faces with markings that mirrored each others. Fan Wujiu pulls him close to a hug, legs wrapping around the others waist.
"I'm right here," his voice just above a whisper as he held Xie Bi'an tightly, "I'm right here and I'm never going anywhere ever again. We'll always be together now. Forever."
Xie Bi'an's body slightly trembled. He held Fan Wujiu against him, embracing him just as tight. "Promise me. A-Jiu, promise me you'd never leave me again."
Fan Wujiu felt something hot and wet drip on his exposed shoulder. He smiled slightly. "I promise."
Xie Bi'an, to Fan Wujiu, was still a crybaby. If Fan Wujiu was reduced to being a gentle, soft, weak person in front of him, Xie Bi'an was a crying, clingy mess. Behind the calm, collected, and smiling facade, he was really someone who was too possessive of the one he loves. He'd always been sticky(5), even when they were still alive.
They stayed like that for a while, before Xie Bi'an suddenly lifts him up in the air and shoves himself deep inside of Fan Wujiu, taking him by surprise.
"A-Jiu, I apologize, but --"
Fan Wujiu cut him off with a kiss. Xie Bi'an took this as a signal to keep going and he did. He trusts deep into Fan Wujiu, earning mewls and moans that just sent him closer and closer to his own climax.
"A-Bi'an... I'm... I'm cumming..."
"Ah, I know..." Xie Bi'an answers, while sucking on his exposed neck and leaving marks anywhere he could, "Let's do it together, alright?"
With a few more thrusts, Xie Bi'an spills his seed inside of Fan Wujiu who trembles as he climaxed for the second time. Both men were panting, but they kissed with fervor. As their eyes met, both of them knew that this was just the beginning.
Fan Wujiu enters the manor with a closed umbrella in hand. He grunts, irritated with how his back and waist hurt with every step he took.
That idiot went too far!
"Oh, welcome back."
Fan Wujiu looks up to see Michiko who was climbing up the stairs. He nods towards her and approaches her when he noticed something hanging by the window. He froze in his tracks. The sight of the Teru-Teru Bozu immediately sent an image flashing into his mind.
"A-Bi'an, don't! Don't do it! Stop!"
His pleas reached no one. He knew he couldn't hear him, but Fan Wujiu had to try. Why wouldn't he? The man he loved, his best friend stood on the wooden stool, hands wrapped tightly around the noose.
"Please, I beg you! Stop it!"
But Xie Bi'an didn't. He tightens the noose around his neck.
"A-Jiu, I'll go meet you now."
Xie Bi'an kicked the stool under him. He didn't struggle as his windpipes were crushed by the rope or when his neck broke with a sickening crack due to the weight.
Fan Wujiu screamed as he watched his beloved's lifeless body dangle like a broken doll.
Michiko's voice snaps him out of his trance and he didn't realize how much he was shaking.
"Ah, I apologize. I... seemed to have blanked out for a bit." He approached the ghostly doll, taking it off the place it was hung on. "Shijie, what is this?"
"Oh, it's a Teru-Teru Bozu I made for Shiro Mujou-han. He said he didn't like the rain so I made it for him. It's a doll made to wish for sunshine, to stop the rain."
Michiko sighs. "But the rain is almost never stopping so I'm afraid the charm was ineffective. Maybe I should have made more. What do you think?"
Fan Wujiu shakes his head. "I believe there's no need for that. As strange as Oletus Manor is, the rain should stop soon."
Michiko thinks for a bit. "You believe so? Alright, then. I need to go meet up with the others. Would you care to join me?"
Fan Wujiu pockets the doll. "Of course. Lead the way."
The next day, the rain still hadn't stopped. But Xie Bi'an notices something on the nightstand by the bed. It was the Teru-Teru Bozu Michiko had made for him. But the rope was taken off of it and beside the doll was a small, pink flower.