Meng Yao is well aware of why someone like him would be dating Xichen and Mingjue, a glamorous virtuoso flutist and the youngest-ever head of a major tech conglomerate. He is nobody, knows nobody, and is small, cute and non-threatening. He and Mingjue both work long hours and together they’re like, 75% of a boyfriend for Xichen, who can’t practice the flute all the time. He’s a dimpled placeholder for Mingjue with the added bonus of easy threesomes.
The problem is, Mingjue and Xichen don’t seem to understand this. Meng Yao understands Xichen’s confusion. Xichen is, after all, the sweetest, handsomest, best man Meng Yao has ever met, or seen, or heard of. It is understandable that he does not quite grasp that Meng Yao is only his boyfriend for when Mingjue can’t be his boyfriend and wants them all to live together in beautiful throuple harmony.
The problem is Mingjue seems to believe in beautiful throuple harmony too, or at least acts like he does. It makes it very difficult for Meng Yao to fade out unobtrusively when he judges that is what the situation calls for, but he understands what this relationship is about. He never comes between Mingjue and Xichen unless he is, ahem, literally coming between Mingjue and Xichen, never takes more than he should, and never overburdens them with his personal problems.
On this particular morning, about six months into Meng Yao’s full time residence in the Nie-Lan household, Mingjue’s perceptiveness is making it very hard to maintain the appropriate boundaries. “I just need in the ensuite for a second,” Meng Yao says, trying to keep his voice normal and ending up at ‘frazzled customer service representative.’ He has the beginning of a terrible migraine and he doesn’t want Mingjue to know, but his medication is in this bathroom. He needs it right now . He’s starting to be able to see sounds and it does not feel good.
He hears Mingjue spit and the door finally opens. “You know you’re allowed in Xichen’s bathroom, right?” Mingjue asks, teasingly, and Meng Yao muscles past him and dry-swallows the pill. For one glorious second, he thinks he’s taken it in time, and then the smell of Mingjue’s toothpaste hits him, and he barely makes it to the toilet, which is quite problematic considering he is literally standing next to the toilet. Everything he’s eaten in the last twenty-four hours, which isn’t a lot, comes up.
“Awh, sweetheart,” Mingjue says, and then he’s kneeling behind Meng Yao with a cool, wet cloth for the back of his neck. Mingjue is very warm, always, and it feels so good when the weather is cold and hurts Meng Yao’s broken bones. Luckily Meng Yao is vomiting too much to say so. “I’ll call you in sick.”
“You can’t call me in,” Meng Yao tries to say, but he’s barfing again. He needs to go into work today. He has an elaborate fifty-step plan to take revenge for his mother and himself by seizing control of his father’s company and making him regret throwing fifteen-year-old Meng Yao down three flights of stairs, but he’s stalled out at step two, taking a low-level job at his father’s company. He needs to get back to work to make some progress on step three, working his way into a slightly less low level job. He is currently employed as Jin Zixun’s second assistant.
Finally, Meng Yao gets his stomach a little under control and just has to deal with his splitting headache. Mingjue wipes his face with the washcloth he’s been holding to the back of Meng Yao’s neck. “Luo Qingyang will cover for you, and Huaisang will cover for me,” he says.
“What?” Meng Yao asks. He can not only see sounds - he can taste them. He’s going to need a bucket.
“So I can look after you until Xichen gets home.” Mingjue bends and scoops Meng Yao up, bridal style. Meng Yao is tiny and Mingjue is very big and strong, and has proven many times in bed he can be trusted to lift Meng Yao. That doesn’t mean Meng Yao needs him to, is what he should tell Mingjue.
“... thanks,” is what he says, and buries his head into Mingjue’s chest to block the light out.
He wakes up several hours later. Mingjue is slouched down in bed, his beautifully muscled body pressed warm against Meng Yao’s bad hip and achy back. He’s typing one-handed and rubbing Meng Yao’s shoulder with the other. “You awake, A-Yao?” Mingjue’s voice is very quiet and very gentle. Meng Yao nods, and Mingjue brushes some of his hair away from his face. “A-Huan texted and said to tell you he loves you and he hopes you feel better. Do you want some breakfast? I made rice.”
Rice is about all Mingjue can make, but still, the gesture is sweet. Meng Yao should thank him and tell him to go into the office. “Not hungry, don’t go,” is what he says instead. Where did that come from?
“Awh, darling,” Mingjue says, and squeezes his shoulder. “I promised Xichen I’d get you to eat something. What if I come right back?”
“Can you bring me a sprite?” Meng Yao asks, and Mingjue agrees.
What is going on here? Mingjue and Meng Yao get along great - in bed. Meng Yao has worked so hard to keep it that way. He’s spent months curled up at the edge of the bed they insist he share with them, freezing, because Mingjue and Xichen are both human furnaces and don’t have anywhere near enough blankets on the bed, making sure not to get in the middle of things. Months sneaking away to hide in the guest room when Mingjue and Xichen settle in on the couch for the evening. Months telling himself that it doesn’t matter if he’s jealous as long as they’re not. One migraine and he lets Mingjue turn into Florence Nightingale? Meng Yao’s weakness is going to ruin everything.
Mingjue comes back and Meng Yao gamely chokes down half a bowl of plain white rice before his stomach turns again. He’s going to tell Mingjue he can go to the office, but then Mingjue spoons up behind him and kisses the back of his head . This is completely unacceptable. Mingjue has to be stopped, posthaste.
Meng Yao pulls Mingjue’s arm closer around him and immediately falls back asleep.
That night, Mingjue has ordered tomato-egg noodles, the only thing Meng Yao can eat after a migraine, without Meng Yao needing to ask. How has he learned the significance of tomato-egg noodles, Meng Yao is left to wonder. How has Meng Yao inadvertently revealed himself?
Mingjue offers no answers. “Your back is like concrete, A-Yao,” he says, and pulls Meng Yao’s legs to tangle in his on the couch. Mingjue runs at the approximate temperature of the sun. The heat of his body is delicious, particularly against the place where pins hold Meng Yao’s shin together. “I booked you one of A-Huan’s massages.”
Mingjue buys massage passes at a day spa for Xichen. He’s done it for so long they just keep his card on file at the spa, so Mingjue doesn’t have to call them. It’s the sort of gift one rich, perfect boyfriend buys another rich, perfect boyfriend. Xichen and Mingjue have both offered the massages to Meng Yao several times and he’s always declined. Xichen pressed, once, and Meng Yao made something up about not liking strangers touching him so Xichen would stop asking. This is what he should say to Mingjue as well.
“Those are for Xichen,” Meng Yao says, instead, which is the real reason he doesn’t want to use the pass. This is a terrible miscalculation. He has been far too honest.
“It was Xichen’s idea,” Mingjue says, and then. “He forgot to cancel an appointment. You’re doing him a favour.” This is a lie. They both know it.
“But they’re for Xichen,” Meng Yao says, again, instead of the counter-lie that is right there for the taking. What is wrong with him today ? Mingjue does not need to see the man behind the curtain, the furiously paddling feet under the duck, that keep this relationship going. Meng Yao stops talking.
“Hmm,” says Mingjue. There is a definite tone. What has Meng Yao done?
Xichen interrupts to see if they can videocall before he has to go to the airport. Mingjue makes noises about the screen and Meng Yao’s migraine that maybe Meng Yao should agree with, to make himself seem less invested, but he misses Xichen so so much. He doesn’t care if the screen makes him sick. “Please?” he says, and Mingjue goes to get his tablet.
Meng Yao tries to keep it casual. He asks questions about Tokyo and the concert and Xichen’s flights but Xichen keeps frowning and asking Meng Yao about his headache. Huaisang has called Mingjue for something that really does require his attention, and he’s in the background, looking at something on his laptop and talking to his brother, but he keeps looking over at Meng Yao, observing. Meng Yao does not appreciate Being Perceived.
When Mingjue and Huaisang hang up, Meng Yao scoots to the edge of the couch, ready to give Mingjue and Xichen a few minutes alone, to talk about their real boyfriend stuff. He feels lucky he’s had a few minutes with Xichen. He can go to bed now and not feel so lonely.
Instead Mingjue puts his arm around Meng Yao and drags him in to be held against Mingjue’s warm, muscular chest. Mingjue and Xichen talk for twenty minutes about better winterizing the house to see if that helps Meng Yao’s migraines, until someone comes to knock on the hotel door to fetch Xichen to go to the airport. “Love you both. Look after A-Yao,” Xichen says.
“Love you, gege,” Meng Yao mumbles. Usually he doesn’t like Xichen to say that he loves Meng Yao in front of Mingjue, because it is sure to inspire feelings of jealousy, but Mingjue is rubbing his neck and Meng Yao is too out of it to care. Does Mingjue’s personal trainer make him do hand push-ups? His hands are so strong .
“Love you, A-Huan,” Mingjue echoes, and lets the call drop. “I knew you liked to cuddle,” he says to Meng Yao.
“It’s for Xichen,” Meng Yao says. He’s 90% of the way to sleep already.
“Cuddling is for Xichen?” Mingjue asks, but Meng Yao is too sleepy to understand the question and doesn’t answer. Of course cuddling is for Xichen. Meng Yao can’t take the feeling of Mingjue’s embrace away from him. He’s only vaguely aware of Mingjue picking him up again.
Meng Yao would cut out his own tongue before admitting it, but he loves to be the little spoon, and he especially loves it when it’s Mingjue holding him. Mingjue smells like the sort of store that doesn’t have price tags and his arms are like steel bars, and he has a certain way of squeezing Meng Yao into his chest that makes him feel so safe it sometimes makes him tear up. It is with the greatest reluctance that Meng Yao goes to roll to his edge of the oversized king mattress.
“A-Yao,” Mingjue says, reeling him back in. His voice has got a certain note, like he’s plotting something. Mingjue is not one of nature’s masterminds. If Meng Yao was even 3% less asleep, he’d have no hope of perpetrating this terrible ruse. “I miss Xichen. Can I hold you instead?”
“Xichen,” Meng Yao agrees, and drags Xichen’s pillow down to hold like a teddy bear. He laces one hand in Mingjue’s to keep it against his chest. He is asleep in seconds.
“Hmm,” Mingjue says, again. There’s a tone again, but Meng Yao is asleep.
Mingjue drives Meng Yao to the spa the next day, a Saturday. “Ah, Mr. Nie,” the receptionist says. “No Mr. Lan today?”
“He’s in Tokyo,” Mingjue says. “This is our boyfriend, the one I’ve been saying needs the massage?”
“Mr. Meng, of course,” the receptionist says, smiling. Her teeth are suspiciously white. “So glad you could finally be convinced. Would you like the double treatment room?”
Mingjue smiles down at Meng Yao. “A-Yao?” He has one hand resting lightly on the small of Meng Yao’s back. It’s reassuring, not that Meng Yao needs to be reassured.
“Sure,” Meng Yao says. He’s not actually worried about a stranger touching him. It’s just something he made up to stop Xichen from asking him about massages. He’s very comfortable taking all his clothes off in a little room with a stranger at this fancy place for rich people where they probably laugh at you if you don’t know the rules.
“That’s great, thanks, Gwendolyn,” Mingjue says.
The forms that ask Meng Yao to list his (extensive, traumatic) previous injuries don’t bother Meng Yao at all. Of course, he asks Mingjue if it’s okay to tell the therapist not to go below his waist, but he didn’t need to. Meng Yao is very comfortable with setting boundaries.
He definitely doesn’t need Mingjue reassuring him that it’s fine to keep his boxer-briefs on or the little kiss for courage Mingjue gives him before he slips under the sheet. If he feels comfortable enough to fall asleep on the table, it’s nothing to do with Mingjue’s low, reassuring voice, as he jokes with the masseuse and the facialist. He doesn’t need Mingjue, he’s fine on his own.
“I can turn my head all the way to the left,” he tells Mingjue, dazed, on the ride home.
“Could you not before?” Mingjue asks, and puts his hand on Meng Yao’s on the center console.
“I guess not,” Meng Yao says, feeling like he’s melting into the heated seats of Mingjue’s ridiculous luxury SUV.
“Hmm,” says Mingjue. Meng Yao should do something about the tone of that hmm, but his whole brain has turned off.
Meng Yao, of course, knows what he’s expected to do after something like this. He goes to Xichen’s bathroom and showers with all the bath products that smell like Xichen, and then goes to find Mingjue, wearing boxer-briefs and the shirt Xichen had on the day he left. He has a whole thing planned, it’s definitely going to be worth the spa visit.
“Poor A-Yao, I miss him too,” Mingjue says, when Meng Yao finds him on the sofa. He holds one arm open and Meng Yao goes to him and lets Mingjue cuddle him up against Mingjue’s side again. “He’ll be home tonight.”
Mingjue starts running his hand through Meng Yao’s hair. It makes Meng Yao feel like a kitten being carried around by the scruff of his neck. He cannot move anymore. “I was going to blow you,” Meng Yao mumbles.
“Hmm, good idea,” Mingjue says, and flips positions so that Meng Yao is under him, supported by the couch cushions and bracketed by Mingjue’s body. He kisses Meng Yao, and then trails downwards, his lips on Meng Yao’s neck, his hands on Meng Yao’s nipples, teasing and teasing until Meng Yao is squirming under him, trying to press his hips up into Mingjue’s abs.
“This isn’t what I meant,” he says, and tangles his hands in Mingjue’s hair without meaning to. “ I was going to blow you. ”
“Turnabout is fair play,” Mingjue says, and nips him. Meng Yao shudders. Mingjue finally relents and slides down his body, mouthing at the v of Meng Yao’s hip. Meng Yao makes a breathy noise, which is ridiculous. Mingjue hasn’t even touched his cock yet, but…
He and Mingjue have fucked without Xichen, of course. It’s usually Meng Yao on all fours, fast and fun. But once, just before Meng Yao moved in, Mingjue had kept him on his back, held his hips down and fucked him so slowly and tenderly that Meng Yao thought he would boil out of his skin. He’d come so hard he’d blacked out.
The next day, he’d locked himself in the single toilet at work and untucked his shirt from his suit pants, just to look at Mingjue’s thumbprint purple over his waistband. He’d pushed down on it, and it was like everything outside the mirror vanished, his whole awful day, his whole awful job. He’d wanted to ask for it again, more marks, reminders, but he’s not that kind of boyfriend. Those are for Xichen, who actually gets very annoyed about sex bruises, now that Meng Yao thinks about it.
“Sensitive?” Mingjue asks, and Meng Yao can feel that he’s smiling. He licks along the line of Meng Yao’s iliac crest and Meng Yao whimpers . Mingjue does it again.
“Leave a mark,” Meng Yao’s mouth says, without his brain’s permission.
“Oh fuck,” Mingjue says, and starts to suck.
Meng Yao is so hard. He feels like a stiff breeze could bring him off. Mingjue slides his enormous hands under Meng Yao and pulls his cheeks apart, squeezing again and then licks a long stripe down Meng Yao’s cock.
Meng Yao bites down on his bottom lip, hard. He is an adult man. He’s not going to come before anyone gets their mouth on his dick.
Mingjue fumbles for something and then slick fingers are pressing against Meng Yao’s opening and Mingjue is licking at the head of his dick. “I prepped,” Meng Yao gasps. He came down here with an ulterior motive, but now he just wants to get fucked, or he’ll die.
“I’m blowing you,” Mingjue says, and presses his fingers against Meng Yao’s prostate, taking his cock deeper. His other hand slides around Meng Yao’s thigh and he squeezes again, and there’s going to be a mark and -
Meng Yao groans and comes.
Mingjue coughs, but swallows, and Meng Yao’s brain comes back online. “Sorry,” he says. “Sorry! I was -”
Mingjue squeezes again and suddenly there are no more words left. “I see ,” he says, as if Meng Yao has done something very revealing. He still has his fingers in Meng Yao, and starts to pull out, kissing the inside of Meng Yao’s knee very soothingly, like they’re done.
“Fuck me,” Meng Yao says, and then wonders again why he is saying these things. He’s maintained the fiction that he does not like to be fucked after an orgasm for eighteen months, saying that it is too much.
That part’s not a lie. It is too much - way too much. He loves it, but it turns him into a needy, clingy, overstimulated mess. That’s for Xichen to be, on the rare occasion he’s in the mood for it.
“Oh fuck,” Mingjue says again, and crawls over Meng Yao on the sofa, lining himself up. The stretch is - a lot, but it’s so, so good. Meng Yao squeezes his eyes shut and wills himself not to make any embarrassing noises.
Mingjue sets his hand on Meng Yao’s hip, over the bruise he sucked into Meng Yao’s skin, and Meng Yao realizes he’s making a high noise in his throat. His eyes fly open.
Mingjue is looking down at him, mouth slightly open, panting, like Meng Yao is the hottest thing he’s ever seen, but also like he’s worried. “Is this good?” he asks, voice strained. Meng Yao has never heard himself sound like this before, so the concern seems valid.
“ Don’t stop ,” Meng Yao says, and Mingjue starts to fuck him, agonizingly slowly, grinding against his prostate. Meng Yao loses his mind . Mingjue fucks him forever, while Meng Yao begs him for all the things he wants, but is too scared to say. “Yes, yes, harder, harder , Mingjue, Mingjue, gege.”
He’s struggling against Mingjue, trying to get something, more friction, just more. Mingjue squeezes and thrusts harder, grinding deeper into Meng Yao and that’s - He comes again, or feels like he does.
Mingjue swears and yanks Meng Yao down on his cock. “Gege,” Meng Yao says, tears leaking out of the corners of his eyes. “Da-ge, gege, please .”
Mingjue pulses inside of him, hot and wet. Meng Yao takes another sobbing breath. “Please, please,” he says again, and Mingjue lets out a ruined noise and fucks him through his orgasm. “Ming-ge, Mingjue,” Meng Yao says, and Mingjue collapses on top of him, the weight of him grounding Meng Yao back into his body.
“Hey, hey,” Mingjue says, featherlight, and kisses the tears off his face. “Christ, A-Yao, you’re going to kill me.”
Meng Yao wraps his arms around Mingjue’s shoulders and nuzzles into his neck. “Don’t let go,” he says. “Okay?”
“Of course,” Mingjue says, and pets Meng Yao’s hair again. They’re quiet for a minute. “I thought you didn’t like me,” Mingjue finally says.
“Don’t be stupid,” Meng Yao tells him, and falls asleep.
It’s dark when he wakes up again, still under Mingjue on the couch. Darkish, anyway - someone has turned on the lamp on the end table. “Xichen,” Meng Yao says. He is suddenly worried. He didn’t mean to do this. He overstepped. He’ll be in trouble.
It must show on his face, because Xichen kneels next to the sofa and kisses Meng Yao’s forehead. “I love you,” Xichen says and it is the right thing to say, as always. Mingjue is also awake. To him, Xichen says “I told you so.”
Mingjue grumbles, and Xichen gives him a kiss on the forehead, too, and then pushes at his shoulder to get him to roll off Meng Yao. “Fine, you were right,” Mingjue says, as Xichen ducks in to kiss Meng Yao hello properly, with just the right amount of tongue. Meng Yao’s hand comes up automatically, to run his fingers through the silky fall of Xichen’s hair but -
“What?” says Meng Yao. Don’t get him wrong, he’s happy to be awoken from his post-fuck nap by two gorgeous men both touching him longingly, but he seems to have missed something. He’s the spare boyfriend, not the center-of-attention boyfriend. “Am I still asleep?”
“I told him that the two of you had something to work out,” Xichen says, smugly. Meng Yao barely has time to appreciate how sexy it is when Xichen gets all smug and petty. “And I was right. I’ll leave you to it.”
Mingjue laughs. Meng Yao’s blood freezes. This is exactly what he was trying not to do. He’s taking Mingjue from Xichen. His mind barrels through twenty or thirty worst case scenarios, and they’re all broken up and sad and he’s homeless again, and Jin Guangshan is there, laughing at him. “Wait, wait,” he says, and shoots to his feet. “I should - I need to - he was just missing you, he said so, don’t -”
Mingjue stops laughing. Xichen looks down at Meng Yao. “Ah,” he says very gently, and pulls Meng Yao in tight against his side. “Alright, both of you come with me. We can talk about it in the shower.”
“Oh, this is serious,” says Mingjue, who has never before been allowed in Xichen’s bathroom.
Meng Yao feels very small and stupid when he gets upstairs. It’s late, and Xichen’s been flying all day and Meng Yao keeps saying things. He means them, of course, but he still shouldn’t say them.
“Mingjue is your boyfriend,” he explains to Xichen, while Xichen strips to shower. Xichen had tried to undress Meng Yao, but he’d pulled Xichen’s shirt closer around himself. Xichen had merely smiled and kissed Meng Yao’s temple.
“Mingjue is our boyfriend,” Xichen explains, again. “Do you want to keep my shirt on in the shower, dear heart? You can.”
Meng Yao reluctantly shrugs out of it. He does, but not enough to ruin one of Xichen’s shirts. “That’s just - that’s not how it works, Xichen.”
“Because of Mingjue?” Xichen asks.
“Yes!” Meng Yao said, and catches the hurt look that Mingjue tries to hide. “I mean, no! It’s not that I don’t want to be with Mingjue.”
Xichen just looks confused. Mingjue pulls Meng Yao into his arms and Meng Yao hides his face in Mingjue’s chest, even though that’s exactly what he’s not supposed to be doing. He’s really going to miss this when they break up with him for being too needy.
“Can I guess?” Mingjue asks, and Meng Yao nods without pulling his face away. “Alright. Well, after this weekend, I believe you when you say you want to be with me, and no one who’s seen you look at Xichen would doubt your feelings for him. But you still need a little space, right?”
Meng Yao shrugs. Xichen is moving around the bathroom, getting the shower running. “You need the space,” Meng Yao says, so quietly that he hopes Xichen won’t hear.
“Ah,” Mingjue’s voice has that knowing tone again, and Meng Yao suddenly has the urge to take off and run into the night. He won’t, of course, but mainly because he’s naked and it’s winter. “You think that we’ll get tired of you?” Meng Yao nods and burrows closer. “And maybe jealous of each other?”
“People like me shouldn’t come between people like you,” Meng Yao says.
“I don’t agree with that,” Mingjue says. “I like you right here.”
“But Xichen,” Meng Yao says, and then Xichen is there behind him, sandwiching him into Mingjue.
“I think you fit very nicely right here,” Xichen says. “Come have a shower, my love.”
Meng Yao does love the enormous steam shower, the centerpiece of Xichen’s architectural-award-winning bathroom. It’s even better when he’s between Mingjue and Xichen in it, Mingjue kissing down his body and Xichen gently shampooing Meng Yao’s hair. Meng Yao thinks that will be it, that they’ll shower and go to bed, but Xichen’s fingers trail down Meng Yao’s spine, circling his hole. He pushes back into it.
“I did miss you both very much,” Xichen says, and presses his fingers into Meng Yao. “I was hoping that you might have done something like this. And A-Yao, in my shirt.”
Meng Yao’s knees almost give out and he has to grab onto Mingjue’s shoulders. Mingjue chuckles and leans in to take Meng Yao back in his mouth. Xichen’s fingers go away and come back, slick. “You’re wet with him, still,” Xichen murmurs into Meng Yao’s ear.
“Uh huh,” Meng Yao manages to say. Xichen’s fingers are pressing insistently against him and he’s having trouble thinking. Xichen usually winds him up so slowly, kisses him for hours.
“Please,” Meng Yao says, his voice breaking. Xichen pushes in, and then there are two sets of hands holding Meng Yao steady, which is good because he’s so much shorter than Xichen he has to be on his toes for the angle to work. He leans harder on Mingjue who pauses, hooks one of Meng Yao’s legs over his shoulder, and then sucks him further down.
Like this, Meng Yao has no control, nothing to do except let his boyfriends hold him up. Mingjue pulls off when Meng Yao starts to shake, and he’s left with nothing but the feeling of Xichen filling him up. Mingjue looks up at him. “Right where you’re supposed to be,” he says. Meng Yao almost comes.
Xichen likes it too, because he shoves into Meng Yao indelicately hard, pushing him into Mingjue, and fills him up with come. “Ours,” he says. “Ours.”
Mingjue helps them disentangle, and then pins Meng Yao between them and kisses Xichen over his shoulder, deep and filthy, until Xichen is panting with it. Meng Yao can feel Mingjue hard against his stomach, and shivers. “Something you like?” Mingjue asks.
“Will you?” Meng Yao asks. He’s going to be so sore tomorrow. He’s looking forward to it.
“Whatever you want,” Mingjue promises. “Xichen?”
Xichen laughs. His legs are shaking. “I’m following you,” he says. “I really do want to clean up, though.”
“I get you all to myself,” Mingjue says. His eyes are very dark.
“Da-ge,” Meng Yao says, without meaning to. Mingjue swears and picks him up. Meng Yao expects to be tossed onto the bed, but Mingjue is very careful with him, and sets him down like he’s made of porcelain.
Meng Yao shivers. Mingjue is watching him, his eyes dark and heavy-lidded. When Meng Yao goes to roll over, Mingjue stops him, and crawls over him on the bed.
“A-Yao,” he says, his voice gravelly, and ducks to kiss Meng Yao’s belly. The tenderness is almost Meng Yao’s undoing.
“Please,” he says, and Mingjue smiles, full of promise.
“Patience, darling,” he says, and reaches into the bedside drawer for the lube. He jacks himself lazily a couple of times, his smile turning wicked, and pulls Meng Yao down towards him on the bed. It is another reminder that Mingjue is much larger than Meng Yao, which should be frightening, but just makes him feel safe, looked after.
“Please,” Meng Yao says again, and follows Mingjue’s gaze to the bedroom door, where Xichen has stopped to watch. “Gege,” he says, not sure who he’s asking for.
“Be nice, Ming-ge,” Xichen admonishes, and Mingjue chuckles and presses home. Even though Meng Yao has already had him tonight, and just had Xichen, it’s a stretch, and Meng Yao feels a shudder roll through his body. He brings his arms and legs up to wrap around Mingjue, trying to get closer.
“That’s it,” Mingjue says and sets a slow, deep rhythm that leaves Meng Yao clawing at his shoulders, his eyes falling shut.
Mingjue shifts and Meng Yao opens his eyes to see that Xichen has come over, and he and Mingjue are kissing. Meng Yao whines before he can stop himself. Xichen laughs into Mingjue’s mouth and then lies down on the bed next to Meng Yao and tilts his head over with two warm fingers.
“I like this version of you very much,” he says, and kisses Meng Yao. Xichen’s sweetness is an anchoring point against Mingjue’s inexorable movement. Meng Yao flings one hand out and Xichen catches it and holds it close to his heart.
“Please,” Meng Yao says, every time Xichen lets him up for air. “Please.” He’s not sure what he’s asking for.
Mingjue pulls him away from Xichen and kisses him devouringly, biting at his lips. “Da-ge,” Meng Yao says, and Mingjue growls. Xichen retaliates by reaching one long, elegant hand between them and closing it around Meng Yao’s cock. He doesn’t do anything, just lets the motion of Mingjue’s body push Meng Yao into his fist.
Coming is like falling. Meng Yao holds on to Mingjue and Xichen as hard as he can, shaking through his orgasm, and barely registers Mingjue following him. He’s scared to open his eyes after, of seeing their expressions.
“Not on him, Mingjue,” Xichen says, and Mingjue falls to the side and takes Meng Yao with him. Meng Yao hides his face in Mingjue’s shoulder again and tries to catch his breath. After a second, Xichen settles behind him, and Meng Yao is held between two warm bodies. “A-Yao?” Xichen asks.
Meng Yao shakes his head. Xichen starts to say something, and then there’s the wet noise of Mingjue kissing him to shut him up. “You don’t have to say anything, A-Yao,” Mingjue says, and it rumbles out of him. “You’re where you’re supposed to be.”
Meng Yao nods and then is finally brave enough to open his eyes. “There you are,” Mingjue says, and kisses him. Xichen tugs him onto his back to do the same thing. No one looks angry at him.
Meng Yao looks back and forth between them, trying to gauge what he can ask for. There’s one thing he really wants. “Can I sleep here?” he asks.
“You always sleep here,” Xichen says, looking worried. “What…”
“In the middle?” Mingjue asks, and Meng Yao nods. It feels like a lot to ask. He still doesn’t quite believe that this isn’t a trick. “Yes,” Mingjue says, and squeezes him into Mingjue’s chest. “I thought you’d never ask.”
“It does get rather warm, Mingjue and I,” Xichen says, and settles down on his back next to them. Xichen, Meng Yao thinks, and smiles, and Xichen’s eyes crinkle. He leans in again to kiss Meng Yao. “Dimples,” he says, one hand on Meng Yao’s chin. “I’m helpless for these dimples.”
“Be helpless quietly,” Mingjue says, but still kisses them both goodnight.
Some Months Later
Meng Yao looks up at Mingjue, trying not to make it too obvious that he is deeply in need of some reassurance, again. He’s already got Mingjue’s arm around his waist - he doesn’t know how much more reassured he can get, in public. Mingjue ducks and kisses his forehead. “It’s fine,” he says again, patiently, and Meng Yao can hear the edge of a smile in his voice. “Xichen and I both have a plus one, and besides, you look so dapper.”
“Right, of course,” Meng Yao says, adjusting his bowtie. The tuxedo is a bespoke Tom Ford, courtesy of Mingjue. “I’m not nervous.”
He is, a bit, but it’s been so much better. It turns out that cuddling with Mingjue at night stops Meng Yao from having nightmares about falling down the stairs, and the weekly massages have really helped his headaches. Xichen has been equally attentive, and Meng Yao has found that a lovingly Xichen-prepared dinner, followed by an hour or two of amazing sex with his two boyfriends, has really helped take his mind off work stress. At first, Mingjue had made noises about Meng Yao either working for the Nies, or just staying home, but Xichen spoke to his brother, who referred him for a project management job with the Jiangs. Meng Yao will be putting in notice on Monday.
“The ideal end to this night is me punching out Jin Zixun,” Mingjue says, with the far-away look he usually only gets when he’s thinking about sex, or large cuts of meat. “So don’t worry.”
He presents his ticket to the doorman, and he and Meng Yao are ushered inside the banquet hall with a quiet “Mr. Nie.”
“I should just,” Meng Yao says again, and Mingjue drags him into the hall. It is the problem of dating someone who is giant and can lift furniture over his head.
Of course, they immediately encounter Jin Zixun. “Meng Yao,” he calls. “Did they make a mistake at the door? Ha, ha, ha - oh shit.”
“Introduce me,” Mingjue says, smiling dangerously. It’s the smile of a man who could definitely get away with starting a brawl at a society wedding.
“Jin Zixun,” Meng Yao says, politely, bowing a little. “My partner, Nie Mingjue.” It is extremely satisfying to watch Jin Zixun choke on his own tongue.
Mingjue chuckles, and kisses the side of Meng Yao’s head again. “Jin Zixuan,” he says, to mess with him. “C’mon Yao’er, let’s go find Xichen. I’ll buy you a drink.” They get a few steps away. “That was what you wanted for your birthday?” Mingjue asks. “Really, better than the car?”
“A million times better, gege,” Meng Yao patiently explains. “But I still like the car.”
“Spoiled brat,” Mingjue says, affectionately, and kisses Meng Yao with tongue in front of God, Lan Qiren and everyone else. Meng Yao is glad they’ve cleared up all the confusion over what kind of boyfriend he is.