Yu Wenzhou picks up the object from the bedside table, the melodic clink of metal echoing loud in the otherwise quiet room.
Spread out on the bed, Huang Shaotian follows the trajectory of his arm with laser sharp focus. His tongue darts out to wet his lips. “Captain, do you really think it’s necessary this time? I’ve gotten so much better. I’m so good now. It’s been six years, I’m not eighteen anymore and I can control myself so I don’t think that—”
Yu Wenzhou places a finger on his lips. “Yes, Shaotian, I do think. You know as well as I do that this is necessary if we want a chance of winning tomorrow.” He pauses, leveling a reproachful look at his squirming vice-captain. “And I saw how you tried to touch yourself in the shower not ten minutes ago, when you thought I wasn’t looking.”
Huang Shaotian’s shoulders slump. “I didn’t get off, I promise. I was good,” he protests from behind Yu Wenzhou’s finger.
“I know. Because I turned around in time to catch you.”
“It’s not my fault,” Huang Shaotian mumbles. “I’m still a young guy. So energetic, everyone tells me all the time.”
He ruffles Huang Shaotian’s hair, still a bit damp even after Yu Wenzhou blew it dry. Unlike Huang Shaotian, who won’t get clothes until their task is complete, Yu Wenzhou is dressed in soft sweatpants and a t-shirt. “Let’s save that energy of yours for the game tomorrow, alright?” He holds up the object so it catches Huang Shaotian’s line of sight. “Now, let’s try this again. What do we say?”
Huang Shaotian swallows, his eyes darting between Yu Wenzhou’s face and his hands like he’s looking for a way out and not finding an opening big enough to slip through. He bites his lip and slumps back against the headboard, his eyes downcast. “Please, Captain.”
A sharp inhale fills the air. “Help me play well tomorrow. Please…” he trails off, eyes fixed on the gleaming metal in Yu Wenzhou’s hand. The rest of his words spill out in a quick release of breath. “Please lock me up so I can’t come.”
He’s so cute like this, face flushed red and chest heaving, the peaks of his nipples poking out beneath his fuzz of chest hair. The way he’s arranged leaves no room to hide. Naked on their bed, his bare legs spread wide enough that Yu Wenzhou can sit between them.
The position puts his soft cock on full display. And within easy reach.
“Very good, Shaotian.” Yu Wenzhou rubs his belly, giving him the encouragement he’s earned. Beneath his touch, Huang Shaotian shivers. “You’re always so good for me before match days, aren’t you? Ever since our first game.”
“Third game,” Huang Shaotian corrects him, perking up.
Yu Wenzhou kisses him on the nose. “See? So good.”
They first discovered the problem during their second game as professional players. Neither of them expected that after a year of dancing around each other and their feelings, that getting together would prove so disastrous to their careers. The issue wasn’t their relationship. It was that sex dulled Huang Shaotian’s razor-sharp edge.
Like everything else related to Blue Rain, Yu Wenzhou found a solution. An ironclad one, in this particular case.
He hefts the empty cock cage in his hand, turning it so Huang Shaotian can see the padlock on the top. Years of trial and error have proven that putting the cage on a full day before their match yields the best results. “You know the rules. It’s only until tomorrow. We’ll take it off before the game, but if you want to play you have to wear it.”
The words are more formality than anything. Huang Shaotian made it clear when they set the rules that he didn’t want to wear the cage in public in front of so many people, and Yu Wenzhou would never go against his wishes.
Huang Shaotian squirms and spreads his legs wider, gnawing at his lip. It’s the closest he’s going to come to an outright ‘yes,’ and Yu Wenzhou knows better than to push him any harder. He may be Blue Rain’s indomitable chatterbox, but at this point in their ritual, he always goes silent. Yu Wenzhou suspects it’s because he’s embarrassed by how much he likes this next part, giving up all control over such an intimate part of his body.
He runs his hands along Huang Shaotian’s thighs in long soothing strokes. “Shaotian,” he says, once he can feel the tight muscles ease. “I want you to watch.”
Slowly, Huang Shaotian turns his head to look at Yu Wenzhou. His cheeks are pink.
“Not me,” Yu Wenzhou corrects him, keeping his voice soft. “I want you to watch yourself.”
Huang Shaotian’s gaze obediently shifts down to his cock, laying soft in its freshly trimmed bed of hair. It’s just starting to harden but still soft and small enough to fit the confines of the metal cage.
Moving slowly, Yu Wenzhou coats his fingers in a small amount of lube and takes Huang Shaotian into his hand, guiding him into the cage. The metal has been in his grasp long enough that it’s warmed to skin temperature, and so Huang Shaotian stays still and pliant while Yu Wenzhou secures the main ring behind his balls and checks that everything is fitting properly. He pets along the inside crease of Huang Shaotian’s thighs and rubs circles over the jut of his hips, keeping him nice and calm. The front end of the cage fits over his length perfectly, snug enough to keep him soft but not tight enough that he’s shifting in discomfort.
The entire time, Huang Shaotian’s eyes stay glued between his legs, watching Yu Wenzhou’s fingers check the fit of the cage where it’s secured to the ring. There’s a fine tremor in his thighs and his belly each time he breathes, but he keeps his hands fisted in the sheets.
Yu Wenzhou rubs his belly again all the way up to his chest. His skin feels hotter than it did before. “You’re doing so good, Shaotian.”
Inside the cage, Huang Shaotian’s cock gives a futile twitch, his breath catching when the cage does its job. He still doesn’t speak. Not yet.
There’s only one thing left to do.
Under Huang Shaotian’s watchful gaze, Yu Wenzhou threads the padlock into place at the top of the cage. It locks shut with a tiny click. Huang Shaotian makes an echoing noise, a cut-off moan in the back of his throat. Satisfied, Yu Wenzhou leans back to survey his handiwork. Huang Shaotian’s cock is wrapped in the shining bars of metal, locked up tight with a little gold lock.
“You can check it now, if you’d like,” Yu Wenzhou tells him.
Huang Shaotian moves slowly, inspecting his new hardware, poking at it as if testing how well it will hold. The cage is hardly new but it never stops him from searching for weak spots each time Yu Wenzhou puts it on him. He never finds any. The cage was custom ordered by Yu Wenzhou years ago, made to fit Huang Shaotian’s exact measurements.
The informal inspection doesn’t date back to their third match. Rather, it’s something that's grown over time. Huang Shaotian’s detail-oriented mind likes information, likes to know the limits and flaws and the edges of his environment. He tends to accept the cage faster if he has a chance to poke at it before being allowed his clothes again.
Once he’s done, Yu Wenzhou picks up a long yet simple necklace from the bedside table. Strung onto the end is a plain silver key. The key to the padlock. He can feel Huang Shaotian’s eyes tracking his every move as he slips the chain over his neck and tucks the key beneath his shirt to rest against his sternum. Safe and sound.
“Perfect,” Yu Wenzhou says. “All done. You’re going to play beautifully tomorrow.”
The words hit home. Huang Shaotian lets out a small whimper, shifting where he’s laid out on the bed, a feast of skin capped by the gleaming jewel of the cage. The moment passes, and Yu Wenzhou can practically see his energy return to him in the way he puffs out his chest, how his stomach rises and falls as his breathing gets more excited.
“I am, I am, you’ll see! I’ll be the best, the fastest, the most deadly. We’re going to crush them all.”
The little padlock clinks as he moves, and Yu Wenzhou has to bite down on his amusement. “I know we will. You never let me down.” He places a hand over the cage. “Even though you make me work for it.”
“You? You think you’re the one working? Wenzhou, you must be confused. Do you know what it’s like to wear this thing? I have the hottest captain who’s the best, and I can’t even get off to your beautiful face. And your beautiful muscles. Do you have no sympathy for your poor, locked up vice-captain?”
“You can have all my sympathy after the match.”
“I’ll have more than your sympathy, Captain.” Huang Shaotian looks meaningfully at Yu Wenzhou’s crotch. “A lot more.”
He isn’t wrong. The terms of their game stipulate that Huang Shaotian is generously rewarded after the match—win or lose—and Yu Wenzhou is happy to play the part of a prize to be won. It’s a double benefit. Huang Shaotian does play Glory better when he’s on edge, and Yu Wenzhou loves how eager and desperate he is after he’s been freed.
Their ritual is coming to a close, except for one last thing.
“What do we say,” Yu Wenzhou asks, tapping the metal tip of the cage with one finger.
Huang Shaotian shifts around a little on the bed, his lips drawn tight. For someone who can spit out a novel’s worth of insults in a split second, the hesitation is an eternity. This part of their routine always makes Huang Shaotian retreat into himself, but Yu Wenzhou waits for it. They need to draw this line before they rejoin the team.
Finally, Huang Shaotian looks up from the cock that’s no longer fully his own. “Thank you, Captain.”
“You’re welcome.” Yu Wenzhou leans in and presses a light kiss to his forehead.
When he pulls back, Huang Shaotian tries to follow, nearly tipping himself over. Yu Wenzhou steadies him with hands on his bare shoulders. And then he ruffles Huang Shaotian’s hair, drawing a surprised yelp from him as he frantically tries to fix the mess.
“Get dressed. We have practice in twenty and I need you to lead the first half of it.”
Huang Shaotian scurries off the bed towards the closet, mumbling about poor, small Blade Masters who have to do so much work while greedy captains hide keys and withhold orgasms. He’s a whirlwind of motion and chatter and Yu Wenzhou can’t look away from the glint of metal swaying between his legs as he moves. He takes the opportunity to swap his own casual lounge clothes for something more appropriate for the public.
When they’re finally dressed and the cock cage is hidden by a pair of Huang Shaotian’s looser jeans, they make their way towards the training room.
No one on the team notices the way Huang Shaotian moves a little slower during practice, a little more deliberately than usual as he darts from place to place to offer suggestions and give praise as needed. And if occasionally there’s the faint clink of a metal padlock bouncing against metal, no one pays it any mind amidst the clacking of keyboards.
No one except Yu Wenzhou.
The match tomorrow can’t come soon enough.