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As much as Nie Mingjue liked to dress Meng Yao up in Qinghe colors, he found peeling the robes off of him a far superior pleasure. Meng Yao was always immaculately dressed, in careful layers and not a crease in sight. Too impatient to remove the clothes, Nie Mingjue would inevitably bend Meng Yao over a desk with his robes shucked up and slowly eat him out. Or he would have Meng Yao sit on his cock, fully clothed as they sat in front of paperwork and pretended that their attention was on anything except the heat of their bodies. 

**

There was no eventual ease into a relationship, but like glass shattering, it happened unexpectedly and left them with more cuts than they could explain. Meng Yao could be cruel, years of struggling for survival had taught him many things. An established cultivator wanting to fuck him would be nothing new, but Nie Mingjue was careful, not knowing what the reaction he would garner with his confession.

Meng Yao had stared at him like he had offered him Qinghe on a golden plate. At first he refused to believe that Nie Mingjue considered him anything more than an efficient servant, retreating to his most polite smile and careful words. Then Nie Mingjue kissed him, desperate and urgent, leaving Meng Yao with more questions than answers.

“So you want sex?” he had asked.

“No, you insufferable man. I want a relationship, as equals. If that is something you would like, you know where to find me.”

And then like the fearless cultivator he was, Nie Mingjue hid from Meng Yao over the next few days, even blatantly running away the second he walked into a room. Rumors spread about his supposed fall from grace and how Sect Leader Nie could not stand the sight of him.

Meng Yao was incensed. He schemed with Nie Huaisang and cornered Nie Mingjue in his room one night.

“First you kiss me, then you run away. What is it that you want, Sect Leader Nie?”

He sat down on the bed, suddenly tired.

“I would like your smile directed at me,” he admitted. “A kiss would be nice, if you’re willing. A relationship would be the ideal goal but we’re at war and I don’t want you to promise something I cannot give.”

Meng Yao laughed mockingly.

“You want a relationship with Jin Guangshan’s bastard? A whore’s son? Really Sect Leader Nie, I would think you’re smarter than that. Don’t say things you don’t mean, and don’t go around kissing your subordinates either.”

“I meant what I said, Meng Yao,” Nie Mingjue said, quietly. “You can choose to believe me, or you can choose to walk away and I will never bring it up again. Our relationship will remain as it was, or if you wish, I can write you a recommendation letter to take to your father.”

“Those are my choices? Be with your or go to a place where I am unwanted?”

“Dammit Meng Yao! You know that is not what I meant!”

Nie Mingjue grit his teeth and looked away, unwilling to be dragged into an argument. Meng Yao would have to come to him on his own or not at all.

“If I agree to this, it happens on my terms.”

His head snapped back to Meng Yao. He was standing straight, the only sign of nervousness was the slight tremor of his hands. Nie Mingjue nodded and Meng Yao walked to him, put one hand on his shoulder and placed himself firmly on Nie Mingjue’s lap.

“I’m a greedy man, Nie Mingjue,” he whispered into the space between their lips. “You can still back out.”

Nie Mingjue curled his hands into fists in a conscious effort to stop himself from putting them on Meng Yao’s waist. He wasn’t allowed yet.

“You can lecture me about my poor taste later then,” he quipped. “Now, are you going to get off my lap and let me sleep, or is there something else you need from me?”

Meng Yao finally smiled, a real one with his dimples on full display. The one that he had on only with Huaisang or when he was alone.

“I can think of a few things I need from you.”

(They didn’t do much except for talk and exchange sleepy kisses that night. Their relationship was tentative and Meng Yao was still weary. But he woke up pressed up against Nie Mingjue’s hard body and couldn’t help but press his ass back into it. He was stopped with a rough growl and an arm around his waist.

“Don’t start something you’ll regret.”

“I regret nothing.”

They ended up being quite late for breakfast, and were each subjected to one of Huaisang’s looks, which indicated that he very much knew what they had been up to that morning. Meng Yao simply smiled and put an extra meant bun on his plate.)


 

Their relationship had survived through the war and Meng Yao’s time as a spy. If anything, it had made them unable to keep their hands off of each other. The lives of cultivators were brief and violent, and for Nie Mingjue even more so. He was determined to see their relationship work out.

Jin Guangshan had finally acknowledged Meng Yao as his son, but Meng Yao had politely told him that he would stay at Nie Mingjue’s side, where he belonged. The snub did not go unnoticed and the Unclean Realm was inundated with letters requesting Meng Yao’s presence in Lanling. It was irritating, but Nie Mingjue could be petty as well.

Whenever Meng Yao visited Lanling, he wore marks of Nie Mingjue's favour. His robes and hair crown matched Nie Mingjue's with only a slight difference in design, and on his right hand was a ring that closely resembled the Qinghe Nie Sect's official symbol. Every inch of Meng Yao was a reminder to the Lanling Jin Sect of how much Nie Mingjue valued him. It was a reminder of how their arrogance had led to the Qinghe Nie Sect receiving an irreplaceable asset. It made Jin Guangshan's teeth gnash and Nie Mingjue incredibly smug.

**

“You look beautiful in my colors,” he muttered biting a path down Meng Yao’s neck. “So gorgeous, absolutely breathtaking.”

Meng Yao laughed breathlessly. Nie Mingjue had caught him a few minutes after he had returned and dragged him to their room. It wasn’t long before two oiled fingers were pressing up against his rim and teeth worrying at his nipples. Nie Mingjue had added a third finger and moved to his neck, whispering words of praise as if they would be branded against Meng Yao’s skin.

It was a ritual that Nie Mingjue called ‘fucking Lanling out of A-Yao’. Every time he would visit, Meng Yao would come back with an unbearable headache and the urge to smash the nearest vase in Jin Guangshan’s face. Nie Mingjue was always there to take care of him. Sometimes it meant that Meng Yao would tie him up and ride him into exhaustion. Other times, Nie Mingjue would slowly take him apart with sweet words and a tongue that didn’t know when to quit.

“Da-ge, please.”

Nie Mingjue looked at Meng Yao, spread out on their bed with swollen nipples and the shadow of his large hands from how tightly he had been gripping that waist. He raised one leg over his shoulder, pressing a kiss against his knee and sliding in. Meng Yao’s eyes fluttered, but he only let out a moan as Nie Mingjue bottomed out, settling fully inside him.

“Move.”

Nie Mingjue needs no further instruction as he rolls his hips forward, brutally slamming into Meng Yao. There were no words when Meng Yao got like this, just the slap of skin against skin as Nie Mingjue fucked him into incoherency, into forgetting whatever poisonous lies he was fed at Lanling.

Meng Yao had already come once, after Nie Mingjue had tongued at his nipples till he cried. But once Nie Mingjue got close, his hips began losing rhythm and he caught Meng Yao’s cock in a rough grip.

“Won’t you come for me one more time, my love?”

Meng Yao could do nothing except gasp and shake his head. Nie Mingjue stroked him once, twice, before he was arching off the bed in pleasure. Nie Mingjue fucked him through his orgasm, before pulling out and coming all over Meng Yao’s already soiled stomach.

He dropped down next to Meng Yao and kissed his sweaty temple.

“Next time,” he panted. “I’m going to Lanling with you and we’re ruining every room of that awful tower.”

Meng Yao laughed tiredly and head-butted him.

“That idea is awful. Instead, we can simply decorate Jin Guangshan’s bed with an impotency powder or something equally bad. No need to make extra work for the servants.”

Nie Mingjue shook his head. His lover’s devious mind was not something he would ever want to change.

“Your intelligence is why I love you.”

“Your hand is on my ass, da-ge,” said Meng Yao, drily. “Are you sure intelligence is the only reason?”

Nie Mingjue copped a feel and then hummed.

“It certainly adds to your appeal.”

Meng Yao rolled on top of him and bit him, right above his heart.

“Be a good mattress and quiet down. I’d like to get some sleep before Huaisang comes looking for us. I promised him news about his friends and I’m sure he’s eager.”

 

(Over the next few years it became obvious why Sect Leader Nie did not take a wife or succumb to qi deviation. His retractors would disappear under mysterious circumstances and his calmer temperament assured that Jin Guangshan was beaten at his own game, multiple times. Everyone pretended not to notice Meng Yao’s deadly smile from next to him, lest they wanted to be added to the list.)