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Kiss It Better

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“Are you all right?”

Shen Wei could feel Zhao Yunlan’s eyes on his back, but he didn’t dare turn around to face him.

“I’m fine.”

Shen Wei hadn’t even winced when the knife nicked his fingertip, and why would he? It was a tiny cut, nothing more than a scratch that barely broke the top layer of skin. He’d endured far worse in his life.

Dark energy would take care of it soon enough and Zhao Yunlan needed to be fed, so Shen Wei swapped out his knife for a clean one and went on chopping the vegetables.

Rarely did he have such accidents – if anyone could wield a blade, it was him – but Zhao Yunlan was being especially distracting. That in itself wasn’t out of the norm. Shen Wei liked to think he’d become somewhat desensitized to Zhao Yunlan’s tight jeans and tendency to fellate lollipops. (He wasn’t actually desensitized but he could cope without an outward reaction and, honestly, that was what was important.)  

What made this night different was Zhao Yunlan’s topic of conversation. He kept prattling on about someone he wanted to date, someone who was gorgeous and brilliant and seemingly oblivious to all of Zhao Yunlan’s advances. Shen Wei wanted to be a good friend, but this was bordering on unbearable.

It wasn’t Zhao Yunlan’s fault. He had no way of knowing that Shen Wei had fallen for him ten millennia in the past and even if he did, it wasn’t like Shen Wei could expect him to feel the same. He should be content that he’d found Zhao Yunlan across the vast expanse of time. That alone should be enough. And it was. 

He just wished Zhao Yunlan would shut up about whoever it was that had caught his attention. Yes, yes. They dressed impeccably and had beautiful calligraphy. Who didn’t? 

Zhao Yunlan. That’s who didn’t. He was a disaster of a mess and Shen Wei wanted to spend the rest of his life looking after him. Would Zhao Yunlan still let Shen Wei cook for him when he finally won over the person he wanted? Would Shen Wei end up cooking for them both? Would he watch them get married and buy a house? Would Zhao Yunlan forget about him? Would—

“Let me see.” 

Zhao Yunlan was standing beside him, which meant Shen Wei had been so lost in worry that he hadn’t noticed Zhao Yunlan’s approach. That wasn’t a problem yet, but it would be if Shen Wei didn’t do a better job of controlling his wandering thoughts. Zhao Yunlan was far more observant than he seemed on the surface and if Shen Wei wasn’t careful, he would grow suspicious.

“It’s fine,” Shen Wei said again. He dropped the knife so he could safely shrug off the fingers gripping his wrist, but Zhao Yunlan didn’t let go. 

“You’re hurt.”

“It’s barely a scratch.”

“It will get infected.”

“It won’t.”

“It will leave a scar. Here. Give me your finger.” Zhao Yunlan was pulling on his arm and Shen Wei found himself going along with it for reasons he couldn’t quite articulate. “I’ll make it better.”

Shen Wei stared, eyes wide, as Zhao Yunlan held his wrist with one hand while reaching for the nicked finger with the other. Carefully, Zhao Yunlan lifted it so that it was at eye level, then tilted his head slightly to gently press his lips against it.

The whole thing was a joke, nothing more, and Shen Wei knew it. Zhao Yunlan was always touching and teasing someone. He’d done it to Shen Wei before, going so far as to use him as a living pillow. This brief contact shouldn’t have caused Shen Wei to tremor. And yet it did.

“There. Now it will heal up without scarring.”

Zhao Yunlan said nothing about Shen Wei’s shallow breaths or the fact that he couldn’t seem to manage to find any words to reply. He just stood there, smiling softly, still holding Shen Wei’s hand, as if there was nowhere he’d rather be.

“I… thank you,” Shen Wei finally managed to say, ducking his head away from Zhao Yunlan. His face was on fire and he desperately hoped Zhao Yunlan didn’t notice. “That was very considerate of you. Now let me finish cooking and—”

Shen Wei stopped talking as he again felt the press of lips against his finger.

“You needed a second treatment,” Zhao Yunlan explained. “To be certain that it worked.”

“I see.” That was a lie. Shen Wei had no idea what Zhao Yunlan was doing, much less why he was doing it. Both kisses had been gentle and soft, not the exaggerated affair of someone actually teasing, and there had been none of the boisterous laughter Shen Wei expected to follow.

“I like your fingers,” Zhao Yunlan said. “They’re pretty. And so are your hands. And your face. And the rest of you, if I’m being honest.”

The room felt like it was spinning and Shen Wei focused on trying to breathe.

“I liked kissing your finger,” Zhao Yunlan continued as he stepped even closer, seemingly oblivious to Shen Wei’s distress. “I’d like to do it more often, if you’ll let me.”

“You want to kiss my finger.” It came out more as a statement than a question.

“Yes. And your hands. And your face. And the rest of you. But only,” Zhao Yunlan’s warm breath ghosted across Shen Wei’s ear, “if you want it, too.”

Shen Wei swallowed hard and kept his eyes focused on the vegetables waiting for him to resume chopping. “But what about the person you wanted to date? The oblivious one?”

“He’s even more oblivious than I realized. How can you be so brilliant, Shen Wei, but also so clueless?”

“I don’t understand.” Shen Wei turned his head to find Zhao Yunlan smiling with such a fond expression that it made his chest tight.

“It’s you. You’re the one I’ve been going on about all night. I thought for sure you’d figure it out when I mentioned the sleeve garters, but maybe I should have been more direct.”

“And you… want to kiss me?” Shen Wei felt lightheaded and he was glad Zhao Yunlan was still holding his hand.

“Yes!” Zhao Yunlan beamed at him. “But like I said, only if you want—”

Shen Wei surged forward, pressing his lips against Zhao Yunlan’s. There was a terrifying split second where Zhao Yunlan stood frozen and then he was kissing Shen Wei back, humming happy little sounds of encouragement that made it clear Shen Wei had nothing to worry about. Zhao Yunlan wanted him and, if the obscene things he was doing with his tongue were any indication, he wanted Shen Wei just as badly as Shen Wei wanted him.

“I should finish cooking,” Shen Wei said when he finally pulled back to catch his breath.

“Can it wait? Da Qing scratched my lip this morning.” Zhao Yunlan stuck his bottom lip out. Shen Wei couldn’t see an obvious injury, but he recognized the invitation.

“And you need to make sure it doesn’t scar?”

“Exactly! Can you help me, Shen Wei? Please? Preferably on the couch, while lying on top of me. It, um, helps the healing process.”

Shen Wei seriously doubted that was the case, but it didn’t matter. Not when Zhao Yunlan wanted to spend the evening kissing on the couch.

“Very well. But only if you promise to eat something before you go to sleep.”

“I swear. Now come on. I can feel it starting to scar. I need your help, Shen Wei.”

And with that impassioned plea, what else could Shen Wei do but follow Zhao Yunlan to the couch so he could take very good care of Zhao Yunlan’s lips?