I swear, I do not normally make terrible linguistic jokes in my titles, so let’s just consider this one truth in advertising.
One of the things that had surprised Jingyan the most about xiao-Shu, in bed, was that he liked to be held. Jingyan had very clear memories of xiao-Shu being always in motion, always a little restless. He’d liked being in contact, definitely, always reaching for Jingyan’s arm or leaning into an arm thrown around his shoulders, so it hadn’t actually surprised him that xiao-Shu liked it when Jingyan left the marks of his mouth on xiao-Shu’s skin. That was the kind of reminder he could have guessed xiao-Shu would enjoy having. But the xiao-Shu of fifteen years ago had been quick-fire and restless, and not the type Jingyan would ever have expected to like being in any way restrained.
Xiao-Shu now, though, made little sounds of satisfaction when Jingyan’s weight settled over him, or when Jingyan folded his arms around him and held him close. When Jingyan’s fingers wrapped around his wrist so that Jingyan could press a kiss to the inside of it, xiao-Shu’s eyes dropped closed for a breath and his lips parted softly.
And so, this evening, Jingyan let his hold on xiao-Shu’s wrist tighten, winding his fingers firmly around it, and watched xiao-Shu closely. The quick hitch in his breath made Jingyan nod to himself; he was fairly sure he was right about this.
“Jingyan?” xiao-Shu asked, a little husky.
Jingyan gathered xiao-Shu closer and turned them, easing xiao-Shu back against the bed and stretching out over him. He caught xiao-Shu’s soft, pleased sound in a kiss, and said quietly, against his mouth. “My heart. My own.” Xiao-Shu relaxed back against the blankets, a smile curving his lips in response; xiao-Shu, now, also liked it when Jingyan reminded him that he belonged here, with Jingyan. Belonging—that was the key, wasn’t it? Jingyan wrapped his fingers gently around xiao-Shu’s other wrist as well and pressed them both to the bed over xiao-Shu’s head.
Xiao-Shu’s eyes went wide and dark, and his whole body arched up taut under Jingyan’s. “Jingyan…” He could feel tiny tremors running the length of xiao-Shu’s body, feel the sudden quickness of his breath.
“My own,” he repeated, low and sure, sliding a leg between xiao-Shu’s thighs and pressing up between them. Xiao-Shu moaned, low and open, grinding up against him with a complete lack of restraint that made Jingyan’s own breath come faster. Perhaps this wasn’t something he would have expected of xiao-Shu, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t put the pieces together when they were in front of him—and he was more than willing to oblige. He tightened his hold on xiao-Shu’s wrists a little and bent his head to bite, slow and firm, up and down the line of xiao-Shu’s neck.
“Jingyan…!” The note in xiao-Shu’s voice was breathless and yearning, the flex of his body under Jingyan’s hold increasingly wanton. Jingyan made wordless, encouraging sounds as he sucked the marks on xiao-Shu’s neck darker, each one sending xiao-Shu bucking up against him.
“My own, my xiao-Shu,” he murmured against xiao-Shu’s ear, rocking his thigh firmly between xiao-Shu’s legs. “It’s all right; I won’t let go.”
"Yes, this, please." Xiao-Shu sounded near incoherent, and he was pushing up against Jingyan so hard that, if he weren’t begging, Jingyan might be having second thoughts. He had to hold tight enough to xiao-Shu’s wrists, to keep him pinned, that he might be leaving marks there, too. Given the way xiao-Shu was pulling against his grip, he wondered if that was exactly what xiao-Shu wanted. The thought sent a curl of heat through him.
So he settled his weight more securely over xiao-Shu and pinned his wrists hard against the bed. He pushed his thigh up between xiao-Shu’s legs and, when xiao-Shu arched up against him, head falling back, leaned down and closed his teeth on xiao-Shu’s throat.
Xiao-Shu cried out, shaking under Jingyan’s hold as he came undone all in a rush, flushed and half-wild, so beautiful in this moment that Jingyan couldn’t look away. It took a long time for xiao-Shu to quiet again, and even then his breath was still quick, his eyes dark and dilated when he looked up at Jingyan. Jingyan held him against the bed, gentle and firm, and waited.
“Jingyan,” xiao-Shu finally whispered, wetting his lips. “What…?”
“It seemed like something you wished,” Jingyan answered, quietly.
Xiao-Shu took in a quick, trembling breath, eyes falling closed. “I…” He couldn’t seem to find words to go on.
“If it is something you wish,” Jingyan finally said, voice soft, “then you can have it.” He tightened his hold on xiao-Shu’s wrists for a moment.
The sound xiao-Shu made was low and rough and wanting, and the words that followed seemed shaken from him. “I do. I want it, I wanted it so much, then. For you to hold me by you, and not release me. Even when—”
“Even when what?” Jingyan prompted, when he broke off. When xiao-Shu opened his eyes, the desperation in them struck Jingyan breathless.
“Even when I pushed you back, because I couldn’t stand what it would mean.” Xiao-Shu’s voice was raw. “To watch you watch me die… I couldn’t do it. And even so, even then, I wanted.”
Jingyan let his wrists go only so that he could catch xiao-Shu tighter against him, wrapping himself close around xiao-Shu, as if he could ward off even that memory with his own body. Xiao-Shu held just as tight to him, still shaking a little. Jingyan ran a hand up his back into his hair and told him, soft and fierce, “Then I will hold you by me, and not release you.”
“Yes,” xiao-Shu said, low and breathless, pressing his forehead to Jingyan’s shoulder. “Please. Until I can believe it.”
“And after, too.” Jingyan smiled against his hair and stroked his thumb down xiao-Shu’s neck, pressing gently over the marks he’d left, pleased by the hitch of xiao-Shu’s breath—this time, there was a bit of a laugh in it.
“And after,” xiao-Shu agreed, softly, and if there was still more hesitance in it than Jingyan liked, at least it was agreement. He settled xiao-Shu more comfortably against him, running slow fingers up and down his nape, soothing that flicker of tension in him until xiao-Shu sighed and relaxed against him again. And he let the knowledge sink into him, that it hadn’t actually been politics that xiao-Shu had put ahead of their hearts, two years ago.
Jingyan held xiao-Shu closer and smiled, soft and open.