“Shuzi,” Changcheng whispered, sinking his fingers into the softness of the rabbit’s fur and looking up at Shuzi with huge eyes. “She’s so beautiful.”
Shuzi wrinkled his nose. “She’d make a good soup.”
Changcheng snuggled her just a big tighter, holding her protectively closer and scowling at Shuzi. “She can hear you!” He hissed.
“Good,” Shuzi said, crossing his arms over his chest. “Then those giant ears are good for something other than looking ridiculous.”
“Shuzi!” Changcheng stamped his left foot. “There’s no need to be rude to Xiao-Baocai!”
Shuzi took a step closer, pointing a finger at Changcheng. “Oh, no, don’t you dare name her! I didn’t agree to this!”
Changcheng stuck out his lower lip, playing a little unfair, because he was well aware of the effect it had on Shuzi. “But you were the one who said we were ready for a pet, Shuzi.”
“A dog!” Shuzi said, throwing his arms out to the side, gesturing at the many enclosures which had puppies of all types and colors. “Or even a damn cat! Not a useless ball of fluff!”
“Shuuuziii,” Changcheng said, drawing out the syllables of his boyfriend’s name, not letting his pout move an inch. He pulled Xiao-Baocai higher up, very gently settling the tip of his chin on the top of her head.
He squeezed every ounce of persuasiveness and shameless begging that he had at his disposal into his eyes as he looked at Shuzi, using the puppies all around him as inspiration.
Shuzi groaned and closed his eyes, deflating. “I’m not cleaning her cage,” he said darkly, but Changcheng was already laughing joyfully and carefully adjusting Xiao-Baocai so that the three of them could share their first family hug.
“Chu-ge,” Xiao-Guo said, putting his hands on his hips and narrowing his eyes. “Are you letting me win on purpose?”
Shuzi tried not to smile, but felt it flickering at the edge of his lips anyway. “And if I am?”
Xiao-Guo set his stick down on his bag, which was crumpled up on the ground, and then proceeded to jump onto Shuzi in a tackle.
“This is your punishment!” Xiao-Guo shrieked, reaching in for the spots where he knew Shuzi was ticklish. Shuzi tried to endure, but barely lasted a minute before he had to restrain Xiao-Guo’s wrists, his body shaking with helpless laughter.
“Oh, no, no, no —” Changcheng tried to run to the closet as soon as he heard the door, thinking that if he could just get there fast enough he could — what? Curl up in a ball and never come out? Yes, that sounded about right.
But he’d barely even yanked the door open when Shuzi entered the room, and stopped in his tracks two steps in.
Shuzi stared at Changcheng, completely unmoving, face unreadable.
“Shuzi!” Changcheng awkwardly smoothed down the clothes he’d taken out of Shuzi’s closet, steadily cursing himself for ever having such a stupid idea. “I didn’t — I shouldn’t have — I’m sorry, I’ll just —”
Shuzi raised a hand, palm facing out, and Changcheng immediately stopped speaking. His stone-carved face still revealed nothing.
Shuzi lowered his hand and then took a single step closer, trailing his eyes over Changcheng excruciatingly slowly, starting at his feet and tracking up his face.
“Why?” He said, as levelly as if he were asking about the weather.
“Why did I…?” Changcheng squirmed, rubbing one of his feet over the other. “I…uh…” Changcheng licked his lips, and then bit the corner. “Wanted to see how it would… feel?”
To be inside of Shuzi’s clothes, to feel them wrapped around his body, to look in the mirror with that knowledge.
Shuzi took another step closer, and then he raised his thumb to his mouth, running the pad over his lips as he continued to consider Changcheng. “And?” He prompted.
Changcheng found himself relaxing the longer Shuzi went without exploding, and swallowed under the palpable weight of Shuzi’s gaze.
“It feels…” Changcheng brought his hands up, wrapping the end of the scarf around one of his wrists. “Very nice, to be in Shuzi’s clothes.”
Shuzi’s eyes darkened, quickening Changcheng’s pulse.
“I feel…” Now Changcheng took a step closer, and he found that he was moving a little differently — with some of Shuzi’s physical prowess and muscular grace.
He liked it.
“I feel different,” he said, the truth of it settling more firmly into place as he said it.
The thumb that had been playing over Shuzi’s lips stilled, and Shuzi exhaled audibly. “How?” He whispered.
Changcheng impulsively closed the distance between them, putting a hand on Shuzi’s waist and gripping hard.
“I feel strong,” he said, and watched with rapt attention as Shuzi bit his own thumb without seeming to realize it. Changcheng pushed forward until the front of their bodies lined up together, and when he felt Shuzi’s desire, it coursed through him like an incendiary wave. “Like I could do anything I wanted to.”
Shuzi’s body responded to his touch, changing the angle so that Changcheng’s thigh slid between his legs.
“Changcheng,” Shuzi moaned softly as he slid his hip along Changcheng thigh, pupils dilating.
“Do you want to see, Shuzi?” Changcheng said in a low voice, reaching down and digging his fingers into Shuzi’s lower back, dragging him closer.
When Shuzi nodded, eyes fluttering closed, Changcheng pulled him in and gave him a searing kiss, both possessive and possessed, the two of them sliding into the embrace like pieces waiting to be rejoined.