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One would think having his powers and existence as a god restored would allow one’s wife to let off on lovingly bullying him into having a better diet. Alas, for Zhao Yunlan, this is very much not the case. Which is why this Sunday afternoon finds him at the grocery store, trailing behind Shen Wei as he fills their grocery cart with all manner of sensible and healthy things, very pointedly ignoring the cup noodle section despite his husband’s pouts and giving Zhao Yunlan mildly reproving looks as he tries to sneak candy and chips into the cart. “Tries” being the operative word, given they always disappear whenever he turns away.

 

Zhao Yunlan is mostly resigned – at least his wife concedes to the practicality of having lollipops at hand as an alternative to chain-smoking - but still he has to try. His furtive fingers had attempted to hide a bag of jelly ace cups under his arm, but of course the Ghost Slayer’s sharp gaze had caught him before he could tuck it beneath a bag of bok choi.

 

“This supermarket has a very good fresh produce section. You can choose the fruit that you like.” Zhao Yunlan had watched mournfully as Shen Wei plucked the package out of the grocery store and returned it to its rightful place, but the truly softly lethal look his wife gives him has him slouching off to said section.

 

Now, he’s staring at a plethora of fruit that frankly he probably would never have touched if he never had a beautiful, amazing, wonderful wife he loved to pieces, who constantly nagged him to take care of his health, godhood and immortality be damned. He makes a face at the durian, pokes at the grapes but they’re all in a pile and he doesn’t much like thinking of all the hands that had sorted through them. He picks up the tangerines and allows himself the small self-indulgent fantasy of Shen Wei feeding them to him after a long hard day of work (along with something harder, after). And then just as he’s turning back to where he’d left Shen Wei, he catches sight of them. Ripe, fresh rambutan, piled high. 

 

They’re truly rather unsightly – small stone fruits roughly  the size of a lychee, their tough skins a bright, deep red and covered with hairy bristles. Zhao Yunlan has tried them before – a grateful client with a way-too green thumb than was normal had gifted SID with individual baskets of tropical fruits. Da Qing had amused himself by batting at the things, and Zhao Yunlan had nearly been put off eating them, but Lao Li had persuaded him to give them a try. Overall, the taste had been very good – sweet and refreshing, like a lighter, more delicate-tasting lychee, but Zhao Yunlan hadn’t been particularly invested in finding them again.

 

But now there’s a tickle at the back of his mind, when he looks at the rambutan. Like a thread of gold he can’t help but follow even as it leads into a winding labyrinth of things he’d forgotten. Ten thousand years’ worth of memories that he frankly doesn’t even know where to begin rifling through, most of the time. Zhao Yunlan holds the rambutan up, frowning. Then he blinks, and he’s in a different place, a different time. A little ghost king shakes his head as Kun Lun holds out a piece of fruit to his lips, trying to coax him into things more civilized than raw flesh. Kun Lun had picked the freshest, ripest, sweetest peach - well, its progenitor anyway -  he could find, to no avail – his Xiao Wei had wrinkled his nose at him and turned it away.

 

Kun Lun had been exasperated, but his little ghost king was so adorable that he found himself smiling anyway. And so he’d kissed Wei’s soft lips, licking his sharp teeth. Kissing him deeper when his little ghost king demanded it, knowing full well he’s spoiling him but really, who ever would have been able to resist?

 

Zhao Yunlan smiles, and then he feels another tickle at the back of his mind, follows the trail of the memory deeper into his mind. He holds the bunch of rambutan up, and then another memory resurfaces: spiny red flesh, like a small durian without the terrible smell, breaking open to reveal white flesh, veined lightly with red. The first fruit Wei had ever liked, that no longer exists in the present-day. Its flavor had been salty-bittersweet, with the lightest tang of iron – which had probably been why Wei had liked it so much. He had never been able to get enough of it the brief times it was in season– had usually eaten almost an entire tree’s worth while sitting on Kun Lun’s lap, licking Kun Lun’s fingers to get at the juice. Whining when Kun Lun told him he wouldn’t give one to him if he snapped at his fingertips, yet holding him tight anyway when he inevitably did it again in his excitement (sometimes drawing blood). Kun Lun pressing a slice between Wei’s soft lips and kissing them, nipping at his lower lip and smiling as he watched Wei eagerly eat and eat and eat.

 

Kun Lun finds himself smiling. And then his eyes meet Shen Wei’s, watching him with a familiar hungry expression behind his glasses.

 

Shen Wei’s eyes look choked up with an emotion he doesn’t quite have the words to express. Kun Lun’s smile softens even further, knowing he’s thinking of the exact same memory.

 

“Let’s take this,” he says, dropping the rambutan into their grocery cart. Shen Wei gives him a jerky nod.

 

That evening, Shen Wei peels the fruit meticulously and feeds them to his god, his head on Shen Wei’s lap. Sweetness drips down his fingers and Zhao Yunlan licks them off, laving his tongue up and down Shen Wei’s fingers and wrist while watching him through hooded eyes. Shen Wei’s eyes flash red, his teeth going thin and far too sharp to be safe, and Zhao Yunlan smirks as he pulls Shen Wei down over him, ready to sate an entirely different hunger. Peeling that tight suit off like he’s unbinding Shen Wei from his own shackles of self-control, his slender shoulders flexing under his lover’s hands, vulnerability and fathomless hunger both in his dark gaze as Zhao Yunlan – Kun Lun – lets Shen Wei crawl on top of him, lets him all but tear his clothes off and pin his wrists to the bed. Kun Lun smirks lasciviously as he lets his legs fall open, revealing his erect cock beaded with precome and his already prepped hole, taunting in the face of Shen Wei’s hunger and bristling, desperate need.

 

That tenuous line of self-control snaps, and Shen Wei’s rutting against him. Sharp teeth biting into his mouth, elegant hands pushing his thighs apart. Entering him and Kun Lun shouts at the too-sudden sensation, clenching down on Shen Wei as soon as he’s sheathed inside. Grinning at his lover through his pants almost cruel as he rocks his hips up against him, and Shen Wei lets out a growl that would send ice shooting up anyone else's spine but just has Kun Lun's flesh heating up for more.

 

Shen Wei's fingers scrabble at Kun Lun's hips, just this shy of drawing blood. Kun Lun covers Shen Wei's hands with his, forcing him to fall still. Shen Wei whining at the stern, soft look on his god's face, his breath coming in deep gasps as Kun Lun kisses the corner of his mouth. Sweat beads Shen Wei's porcelain skin as he visibly fights to get a grip on himself. Kun Lun waits, rubbing soothing circles onto Shen Wei's wrists, calming him, timing his next move just right.

 

Between one breath and another, and before Shen Wei can react, Kun Lun’s flips them over. Shock flits across Shen Wei's face as Kun Lun bears down on him, giving him a sunny, mischievous smile. Working him mercilessly while Shen Wei moans and suddenly slaps a hand across his mouth, tearing hard into the flesh. Kun Lun catches his wrist and holds it to his lips, his power sealing the wound and leaving only a smear of blood that he licks off.

 

“None of that,” Kun Lun whispers harshly, lovingly at the shame in Shen Wei’s eyes. He keeps Shen Wei’s hand pressed against his mouth as he rides him, curls his fingers tight around the other. Shen Wei groans, hips bucking up, Kun Lun gasping out a curse as it hits his prostate and fuck, he’s gonna be sore for days but his little ghost king feels too good to stop.

 

Still, the memory won’t leave him, not even now. The ecstasy on his little Wei’s face back then the same as it is this very moment, and yet again Kun Lun feels the places in his heart left frozen by ten thousand years’ worth of separation thawing out.

 

He presses his lips against Shen Wei’s palm, then up his wrist, licking at the dried blood mingling with the dried fruit juice. The expression on Shen Wei’s face makes his heart ache.

 

“You still remember that fruit I used to feed you?” Kun Lun murmurs, letting Shen Wei’s hand slide down over his beating heart. “The first you ever ate?” The first of many things Shen Wei took on to cast aside his very nature, because Kun Lun demanded it of him. Shen Wei shudders with old grief, and Kun Lun clasps his hand tighter.  He doesn't regret what had to be done, but he will never not hate himself for that lost, lonely look on his little ghost king's face. 

 

“I couldn’t bear to eat it again, after you passed.” Shen Wei whispers, his eyes haunted, broken. His hand grips Kun Lun so very tightly. “The tree went extinct shortly after you died. I tried saving seeds to remember you by, but I could never get them to grow, and eventually they just crumbled.” Kun Lun kisses Shen Wei’s knuckles, then leans down, grazes his lips over his forehead, his eyes.

 

“I’m sorry,” Kun Lun says roughly. Not the first time he’s said so, but he’ll say it over and over again. Shen Wei looks up at him, and his expression is the same as that of the trusting child that followed him and never once looked back.

 

Shen Wei jerks his hand free. And then Shen Wei grabs at him before Kun Lun can react - always a fast learner - still inside him as he shoves Kun Lun down, caging him  between his arms. Kun Lun yelps as Shen Wei pulls almost all the way out, and it turns into a shocked moan as he drives in with a brutal thrust, and Kun Lun’s left moaning, legs spread open, letting his little ghost king take and take and take.

 

“It’s not really the fruit itself that I wanted.” Shen Wei pants into his ear as he fucks into him, making sure Kun Lun will feel him, will know who he belongs to. Kun Lun feels himself drawing closer and closer to the edge. He turns his head, brushes a messy kiss against the corner of Shen Wei’s mouth as he feels Shen Wei's fingers - rather, claws - bite into his hips.

 

“Is that so?” he breathes, and Shen Wei lets out a low growl that has the hairs on the back of Kun Lun's neck rising. His hands are gonna leave deep bruises and claw marks. Kun Lun fucking loves it.

 

(Kun Lun loves Shen Wei.)

 

“I loved it because it's how I imagined your flesh would taste like.” Shen Wei pants into his ear, and Kun Lun laughs, clenching tight around his little ghost king’s cock. Shen Wei whines, a low animal sound that has Kun Lun chasing his mouth down with one biting kiss after another.

 

“Always so hungry for me, Xiao Wei,” he gasps. “Do you want some more?” and Shen Wei glares at him, eyes red and wild, and Kun Lun’s wicked smile turns just this side of cruel. His hand tightens around the back of Shen Wei’s neck just as he arches up against Shen Wei, feeling his hips stutter, the two of them drawing closer and closer to the edge.

 

“Come and eat your fill, then.” He purrs, and Shen Wei’s eyes burn. All the warning he gets before Shen Wei unleashes ten thousand years worth of pent-up hunger. Thrusts turning punishing and kisses turning bloody and Kun Lun feels like a wreck, feels like a bloodied lump of meat, he cannot get enough of Shen Wei’s hands on him, his mouth, his teeth. Devouring him and all he can do is keep offering, laughing breathlessly as he urges to  Shen Wei eat his fill.

 

“Xiao Wei,” Kun Lun gasps against his lover's mouth. “Xiao Wei-” His toes curl on the sheets. The ghost king bares his needle-sharp teeth, growling, near-insensate, his hair wild and silken as it flows around his shoulders, his eyes red, red, red and Kun Lun grins at him, loving him so much he can feel himself breaking open.

 

“Fuck me, Xiao Wei,” His hands fist into Shen Wei’s beautiful hair, hearing him whine. “Fucking eat me up-” and Shen Wei roars.

 

One last thrust that damn near tears him apart, and Kun Lun’s coming, dragging Shen Wei along with him over the cliff. The last thing he feels before he whites out is the clumsy press of Shen Wei’s bloodied mouth to his.

 

 

 

 

--------

 

It takes a little hunting. Luckily Shennong-bo is willing to make inquiries among the Flower yao, and through them Zhao Yunlan learns that there are still some extremely resilient old growth forests around the world, completely untouched by human hands. Or even the Ghost Slayer’s.

 

Zhao Yunlan thanks the the Flower tribe messenger profusely as he's presented with a package carefully wrapped in silk – it’s a pity he couldn’t go check the forest out for himself, but work had been busy and he might have alerted Shen Wei to his surprise if he’d tried. As he unwraps the package and sees the thirteen seeds carefully swaddled in raw silk, he makes a mental note to plan their next vacation.

 

Today is a rare slow day, so he goes home early, even before Shen Wei has gotten back home to his office. And because luckily he can speed things up for his convenience, all he has to do is bury a few of the little black seeds  and clap his hands.

 

When Shen Wei goes home, Kun Lun is waiting for him. Shen Wei’s eyes go wide behind his glasses as he stares at the sweeping red tree, new-grown in their backyard. Five decades’ worth of growth crammed into fifty seconds, and the neighbors won’t notice. As far as their perception would go, the tree would have always been there.

 

Kun Lun is lounging by the roots, his fingers smelling sweetly of juice and the fragrance of flowers, a bowl beside him piled high with fresh-peeled fruit. His grin widens as Shen Wei’s eyes sweep over the tree’s thick branches, laden with spiky red globes and moon-pale flowers alike – spring growth and summer harvest crammed into one season because Kun Lun is a god, okay, and is more than willing to cheat nature a little to make his little wife smile.

 

“Hey,” he says gently, his heart squeezing painfully at the sheen misting over Shen Wei’s gaze as he looks at him. “It’s your favorite.” He holds up a creamy white slice, veined with fresh crimson. Shen Wei’s throat flexes as he swallows. His mouth opening, but no sound comes out, all his eloquence deserting him and he looks as young and full of yearning as when Kun Lun had met him along that riverbank. Kun Lun's cherished little treasure, from the very beginning. 

 

Kun Lun pats his lap invitingly, and Shen Wei obediently clambers onto him– the learned grace of millennia deserting him just for the moment, as he tucks himself against Kun Lun as close as possible. Kun Lun plucks off his glasses before wrapping an arm around him. Staring into those wide, solemn eyes, as he sinks his fingers into newly-lengthened locks. Reaching beside him, for a garland made of thirty-six flowers. Carefully draping it on top of his little ghost king’s head before cupping his face in his hand.

 

Way back when, his little ghost king would have closed his eyes and pushed his head into Kun Lun’s touch, reveling in it. Now, Shen Wei stares at Kun Lun like he’s afraid he’ll disappear. As if he can’t believe he’s allowed this, that he deserves this. It aches to see, a wound that would be slow to heal, if it ever would. 

 

Well. Kun Lun will just have to convince his little ghost king that they now have forever. He’s honestly looking forwards to it. Grinning, he kisses Shen Wei on his forehead and then his lips, holds the slice of fruit to his mouth, admiring the contrast of the white flowers against his beautiful hair. His own tongue flicking out to lick away the moisture brimming in the corners of the dark eyes he loves so, so much. 

 

“Eat,” he says hoarsely. Kun Lun’s  eyes prickle when Shen Wei takes the slice between his sharp teeth, chewing and swallowing before pressing his mouth to his. His cheeks are wet, like Kun Lun's. His lips taste like joy, like tears.