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Hazy Skies & Gentle Breeze

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Streams of sunlight filter through the smattered copse of greenery, casting a net of mottled shadows on the two sleeping figures. A stray leaf drifts through the window to settle on a strip of pristine white.

A single figure stirs.

Xue Yang wakes up with a yawn, charcoal eyes blinking blearily at the unwelcome brightness. “Mmnn… ‘s morning already?” The trees rustle in affirmation.

Under the soft pastels of early Spring, Xue Yang takes in the man before him. Porcelain skin and ebony locks, the other man’s hair cascades across their shared bedsheets to tickle at Xue Yang’s nose. When he leans over to caress the sleeping man’s face, the corners of his lips soften as the blindfolded man seems to subconsciously lean into the touch.

“Daozhang,” Xue Yang calls out, the words rolling off his tongue as if he’s practiced it a million times. “Daozhang, it’s morning, it’s time to get up.”

A gentle nudge. A teasing tug of an earlobe. Xue Yang’s breath tickles the shell of the other man’s rapidly-reddening ear. The tranquil silence is broken by a low chuckle, as gloved fingers draw circles on the white-clad man’s chest.

“If you’re not careful, I’ll attack you in your sleep, you know? When you wake up, you’ll be covered with bug bites that your collar can’t hide… I wonder what all the villagers will think?”

Xiao Xingchen continues to rest.

Xue Yang pouts. Sidling closer, he nibbles at the other man’s jawline. “Not that you care about what others think. The only opinion you care about should be mine, isn’t that right?” A light laugh. “And I know you like it, just like this, with your mask of innocence, so different to when you moan at night—"

The other man’s chest continues to rise and fall to each slow, even breath.

“—not that you’d ever admit it, when the sun comes out. But that’s what’s fun, isn’t that right, Daozhang? You’re just waiting for me to attack you, pin you down, and have my way with you in a way that makes you lose all control.

Still no response.

“Daozhang, ah,” Xue Yang clicks his tongue, “Look at you now. Since when did you learn to be so sly? I know you’ve been awake for a while now, there’s no need to pretend anymore.”

The tranquil expression gracing the other man’s features finally twitches at Xue Yang’s words.

Xue Yang utters one final nudge. “Give it up already, I’ve caught you red-handed!”

A beat.

There’s a rustle of fabric, before Xiao Xingchen’s lips curve up into a poorly-hidden smile, “I guess I’ve been discovered.”

“Damn right, you’ve been caught!” Xue Yang resists the urge to pull at the other man’s upturned lips. “How could you trick me like this—” he fakes a sob, “—next time, you’ll be lying about staying out late at night, partying with strangers—”

Xiao Xingchen shakes his head, “That won’t happen.”

“—and forgetting to come back home!”

The other man laughs, “You have such an overactive imagination. I’m impressed.”

The black-clad man waves a hand, “I know I’m impressive. Tell me something I don’t know.” A pause, before Xue Yang leers, “Last night, it sounded like you were pretty impressed with me. Don’t you remember what you said?”

“Ah— don’t!” Xiao Xingchen makes a move to cover the other man’s mouth up with his palm.

Xue Yang leans away, “Alright, alright, I’ll stop teasing you. Happy? Besides, it’s morning, don’t you want to get up and start your d—”

Thump. A sturdy weight of white fabric presses down on his chest; his heartbeat quickens in response. Xiao Xingchen murmurs, “Not yet. I don’t want to get up just yet.”

He doesn’t…? Xue Yang’s teasing grin relaxes into something softer, more delicate. “Alright then, Daozhang. Just a little bit longer.”

Stay a little longer, just like this.