Shen Yuan rarely wakes up before Binghe, and when he does, he either tries to go back to sleep again or stand up to do his morning routines which inevitably wakes his husband up as well.
Not today, though.
Nowadays, Shen Yuan has been feeling more... needy. And he does not like it. Not the fact that he can barely get an alone time with his husband to relax before someone comes knocking on their door, asking for help regarding this issue and that matter. Sure, they’re an esteemed peak and demon lord each, but the least the universe could do is give them time to relax more than the passionate nights they spend with each other, you know? Sometimes, especially the past few weeks, even that’s being taken away from them! It’s getting really frustrating!
No one can really blame him for catching himself reaching out to touch Binghe wherever and whenever, having to grumblingly scold himself internally more often than not because of that. Shang Qinghua told him he’s growing older after catching him in the act more times than one because apparently that’s the only reason why he can thicken his face enough to actually think of doing the clinging and not the other way around, to which Shen Yuan would have beaten up the An Ding Peak Lord if he didn’t value the presence of his only fellow transmigrator in this once-unfamiliar world. Can’t he just naturally miss his husband? Is it that weird to want to be close to Binghe all the time?!
Sure, he looks especially unapproachable and cold-looking in the eyes of the whole cultivation world thanks to the original Shen Qingqiu’s resting bitch face and Shen Yuan hadn’t really helped with that fact by trying his hardest to replicate the icy aura in his early years of transmigrating, but still!
They’re husbands! It’s normal to crave the company of your spouse, and it’s exactly because of that that the cultivation world should give them more leeway to spend more time with each other!
Maybe he’s just touch-starved.
He’s definitely touch-starved.
Courtesy to the heavens’ laughable will, Binghe has been going to take care of demon lord matters more and more these days, and it usually takes long enough for them to not see each other for a couple of days, as much as Binghe tries to do it quicker. Also, Shen Yuan’s work has started to pile up as well, what with the cities surrounding the mountains experiencing one problem after another. Even though Shen Yuan has tried to take care of the said problems many times before, they just keep coming back and piling up! Just his luck.
He blinks sleepily up at the peaceful sleeping face of his husband. His sour thoughts instantly dissipate into thin air at the sight. Binghe still has his arms around Shen Yuan, his chin previously propped up on the peak lord’s head. No matter how much they moved on the bed in their sleep, Binghe never failed to draw back towards him and take him into strong and loving arms, which Shen Yuan deeply appreciated and secretly loved, as much as he pretended to be uncaring towards the stickiness of his former disciple at times. He absently notes the fact that he’s been feeling less and less of the reluctance nowadays, growing more amiable and willing in the demon lord’s presence.
Binghe’s eyelashes are sprawled beautifully on top of his rosy cheeks, his pointed nose pretty under the morning light, lips almost red as they part a little to let out soft puffs of air. Shen Yuan reaches out to tuck a stray strand of hair behind his husband’s ear, feeling himself flush happily when Binghe lets out a small sound and draws him closer at the touch. He sighs contentedly, burrowing deeper into Binghe’s embrace, placing a hand on his husband’s bare chest, feeling the calming heart beat there that matches his own, a reminder that they’re together and okay. He traces that hand along the broad chest, going further until his arm is draped across Binghe’s waist, hugging him back.
His husband is so warm, so alive under his touch, and Shen Yuan couldn’t have asked for more. He buries his nose on the crook of Binghe’s neck, breathing in his sweet, earthy scent, familiar and comforting against Shen Yuan’s own. He feels himself melting even more at the warm touch of Binghe’s body against his skin, wondering how lucky he’d gotten to have captured the heart of this loyal, wonderful disciple of his. He plants a soft kiss on Binghe’s neck, smiling at the minuscule fidget of muscle he felt in response, proceeding to plant more kisses along the expanse of skin presented right in front of him.
“Mhmm, shizun,” Binghe’s raspy voice thick with the remnants of sleep resounds in the quiet of their bamboo house a few kisses later, Shen Yuan humming in response. Binghe’s hands palming the small of his waist stir from their position, trailing up and down his spine and drawing goosebumps along the way. Shen Yuan moves his kisses higher until he’s kissing Binghe’s chin, stopping there to meet his husband’s gentle eyes, unable to stop the curve of his mouth at the sight. Binghe lets out a breath, dipping his head to kiss Shen Yuan on the tip of his nose, then his lips.
Shen Yuan responds, sighing in his lover’s mouth. Binghe’s large hands leisurely roam along the smooth of Shen Yuan’s skin, turning him to putty in his arms. The demon lord tightens his hug around the peak lord’s waist, shifting their position gently so he’s on his back and Shen Yuan’s on top of him, bearing his weight with no difficulties at all. It makes Shen Yuan laugh softly in their kiss, nipping playfully at Binghe’s lower lip before pulling away just enough to look at his husband without getting cross-eyed. Binghe’s eyes are still tinged with sleep but they’re bright and loving as they gaze up at Shen Yuan, lips curled up into the prettiest of smiles, all for Shen Yuan to admire.
“Hi,” he whispers, cupping the demon lord’s face with his hand, brushing his thumb over well-defined cheekbones, puffing out a laugh when Binghe leans in and brushes the tips of their noses together, “Good morning, Binghe.”
“Good morning, shizun,” Binghe answers sweetly, playing with the long strands of Shen Yuan’s hair. The latter hums, pecking Binghe on the lips again before simply laying his head on the chest that sported the years-old wound inflicted by Shen Yuan himself. He traces the said wound with a finger, eyes melancholic. Noticing his disposition, Binghe rubs soothing circles on the side of his waist with one hand, the other palming the back of his head gently. “Shizun, it’s all over now.”
“Mhm, Binghe, this master knows,” he breathes against the scarred skin underneath his lips, not resisting the urge to give the scar a kiss as well, speaking on it with a slightly muffled voice, “Still, thank you.”
Binghe doesn’t say anything, his sentiments clear with the way his hold on Shen Yuan’s waist grows firmer and surer, with the way he ducks his nose into the crown of Shen Yuan’s head with sweet affection. The peak lord sags under the attention, letting out a sound of contentment.
They stay in that position for a little while, their breaths even and heartbeats one, eyes closed in quiet bliss even as they remain awake. They rarely stay in bed after they wake up, both of them needing to attend to duties they can’t run from, their respective regions in need of their assistance so as to not fall into ruins. Their quiet times are really only spent inside the bamboo house or Binghe’s quarters in the abyss, when the sun is down and no one is there to interrupt their contented silence, no eyes to watch and judge their loving touches. Now, as they’re both free and can slack off however they want, Shen Yuan covets the moment as much as he can. They made sure to keep themselves extra busy the week before, so that all matters could be taken care of, even just for the meantime, and they could take a one week break for themselves once and for all.
Next week, they’ll have to go back to the world, and as much as that sucks, right now it’s all them—and that’s all that matters.
Shen Yuan opens his eyes many minutes later when he feels the sun shining brighter against his skin. He takes a deep breath before propping his chin up on Binghe’s chest to look up at him, grinning when he meets already-attentive burgundy eyes, treading between amber and ruby gems under the morning glow of the day. “Let’s take a bath?”
Binghe’s eyes shine brighter at the invitation, nodding in excitement that’s so signature Binghe it makes Shen Yuan chuckle. He sits up on Binghe’s torso, stretching his limbs above his head, yawning in the process. He ducks his head to kiss the top of Binghe’s demon mark before lazily climbing off him, grabbing the white outer robe hanging quietly on the chair beside their bed, probably there due to Binghe’s consideration amidst their heated haze last night. Their clothes are all neatly hung up on the chair, which makes Shen Yuan snort in quiet laughter. He grabs a sash, carelessly tying it around his waist to hold his robe closed even though it doesn’t cover much, anyways, considering how sheer the robe he picked up is, and grabs Binghe’s black outer robe before walking back towards him.
Binghe welcomes him, as always, with a smile, crawling to sit on the edge of the bed, letting Shen Yuan drape the robe across his shoulders. He’s pliant as he gets coaxed inside the robe, only standing up when Shen Yuan tugs at him to tie a sash around his waist as well. With a quick kiss to Shen Yuan’s forehead, Binghe makes his way to the back of the bamboo house where they built their own equivalent of an onsen, exclusive to the two of them only. Shen Yuan watches as Binghe crouches down beside the water to check if it’s hot enough, smiling before he skitters about the bamboo house to gather a bucket, placing the necessities inside, double-checking to make sure he especially didn’t forget that thing, before striding after Binghe.
Yawning and hugging the bucket to himself, he proceeds to the mini shower beside the onsen, turning it on to make sure it’s warm enough. Satisfied, he beckons Binghe over, smiling merrily at his confused look. “Come,” he says, pushing his husband gently onto the stool after removing his outer robe, brushing his hair with precise fingers before opening the shower in the lowest setting so as to not shock him. “Let this master help you.”
He’s already massaging Binghe’s shoulder blades with soap when Binghe snaps out of his shock, flushing to the tips of his ears as he tries to turn his body to face Shen Yuan, only to be stopped by a well-aimed push into a part of his shoulder that made him melt into the hold, letting out a little blissed groan. Shen Yuan smirks successfully, nuzzling the reddened tip of Binghe’s ear with his nose before continuing with the massage, making sure to not leave any part unattended. “Sh-shizun... this disciple should be the one attending t-to... hmm—to you—“
“What is Binghe saying,” Shen Yuan says softly, his voice containing just a slight hint of scolding. He grabs the scrub and starts to run it along the wide plane of Binghe’s back, “This... husband...” he clears his throat, feeling warmth creep to his cheeks, “This husband wants to tend to his husband, too.”
Shen Yuan’s pretty sure Binghe would start crying if they continue with this conversation, so he kneels away from his previous sitting position on the floor instead, combing through Binghe’s soft curls and running them along the warm water before applying soap on them and tenderly working along his husband’s scalp, feeling proud at the small pleasured sounds his husband is letting out. Shen Yuan idly wonders if, maybe, he uses extra charm on Yue Qingyuan—would the sect leader let him get away with spending more than one free week with this cute husband of his? If he plays his cards right, would he be able to rope the cultivation world into letting them live peacefully with each other without needing to attend to stressful matters? Because, really, if it meant a promise of mornings like this every single day, Shen Yuan is ready to do just about anything to ensure it.
As expected, Binghe made sure to tend to Shen Yuan’s back and hair in return after Shen Yuan had washed him free of soap, his hands working magic along the peak lord’s skin, instantly turning him into a blissed puddle.
Shen Yuan takes note to think more about that thing about tricking Yue Qingyuan into letting him shirk his duties without any serious punishments later.
The onsen is warm—much warmer than the shower water, though not too warm that it’s uncomfortable to sit in—on his skin when he steps in it after Binghe, throwing all caution to the wind and sitting right in front of his husband, practically on his lap, sighing in satisfaction as he rests his back on Binghe’s stiff chest. He laughs lowly at the quivering breath the demon lord puffed right on the crown of his head, turning his face slightly to the side to beam up at him, mirth dancing in his eyes, “What?” He asks, feigning innocence, “Is this master not welcome in your personal space anymore, Binghe?”
“Th-that’s not it, shizun!” Binghe exclaims, snapping out of his daze and winding secure arms around Shen Yuan’s waist to keep him in place, “In fact, shizun is welcome to do this every day! Every single day! This disciple welcomes shizun anytime he wants!”
Shen Yuan laughs at his husband’s panic, placing his hands on the arms situated around his waist and giving them a slight squeeze, “Mhm, this master will make sure to remember that, then.”
A laugh rumbles in Binghe’s chest, vibrating on Shen Yuan’s back and making him feel extra warm, slackening more into Binghe’s embrace. Head resting leisurely on his husband’s shoulder, Shen Yuan gazes up at the bright sunlight almost fully covered by the many bamboo trees surrounding the place. He is covered with the comforting scent of the greeneries native to Qing Jing Peak coupled with Binghe’s distinctly sweet one, the air cool on their exposed collarbones whilst the water is warm along the underside of their bodies, and Shen Yuan can feel what little remained of his tension as a peak lord slipping away. He runs his fingers along Binghe’s arm absentmindedly for a while before stopping to hold his husband’s hand in his own smaller one, intertwining their fingers together, heart melting at the sight of them fitting perfectly against each other.
Shen Yuan brings that hand up to his mouth, pressing a lingering kiss onto the large palm before peppering tiny chaste ones on each finger. Behind him, Binghe leans his chin onto his shoulder, watching his every move. Shen Yuan’s eyes crinkle as he smiles tranquilly, eyes focused on Binghe’s ring finger, his own index finger stroking along the side of it. Binghe hums in question, leaning his head slightly to the side so that it’s against Shen Yuan’s.
“Binghe,” he says quietly, feeling his heart rate pick up, even though he remains unperturbed on the outside. Binghe nuzzles his ear in response. “Remember when this master talked to you about his... previous world?”
“Mhm-hm. The world shizun came from,” Is the gentle reply he receives, a smile creeping onto his lips despite the nerves raging on inside him. He focuses on Binghe’s steady heartbeat against his back to ground himself.
“Back there, a modern way of marriage has been established, and while the traditional marriage—the one we practice here—is still practiced, the modern way started to become popular among the people as well.” He lets out a soft breath, “That modern way is the reason why people started validating their marriage using... rings.”
“Rings?” Binghe asks, confused.
“Rings.” Shen Yuan answers, “When they get married, they each get a ring. They would then wear that ring everyday to signify that they are married.” He explains slowly, forcing the calm exterior he’s refined all these years to maintain its... well, its calm as he hears Binghe’s awed hum. He swallows and stands up, thankful that he didn’t stumble, reaching out swiftly to the bucket he conveniently placed on the ground beside them and taking the small square wooden box he procured a week ago after attending to one of the many matters in the city. He opens the box and carefully grabs the gold ring he got separately.
It’s a simple gold band bedazzled with a tiny diamond in the middle, the diamond buried in the band so that the surface remained flat and elegant. Shen Yuan requested it be made by a famous jeweler he braved to ask Qi Qingqi for, expertly dodging her prying questions as to why he’s looking for a jeweler all of a sudden. The design is very modern, very direct, but when Shen Yuan imagined Binghe wearing it, he thought the ring would be no less than perfect.
He returns the box to the bucket while clutching the ring tightly in one hand, laughing a little shakily at his husband’s confused eyes when he turns back towards him. He flops on his lap again, but this time they’re face to face, Shen Yuan shamelessly straddling the surprised (and pleased) Binghe, wrapping firm legs around lean waist, smiling. Binghe automatically places his calloused palms on either side of Shen Yuan’s waist, smiling back, albeit crookedly because of shock still, eyes full of adoration. Shen Yuan takes a deep breath, pursing his lips and mentally cheering himself on before grabbing one of Binghe’s hands again, clutching it close to his chest.
“Binghe, what do you think of...” He tightens his already tight hold around the ring, forcing the words out with great difficulty, heart beating erratically against his chest, “What do you think of m-marrying this master again?”
Binghe’s eyes widen comically, whole body going stock-still, and Shen Yuan would have laughed if he wasn’t so nervous. He fumbles around Binghe’s hand in his clutch, raising his other hand and finally revealing the ring in his palm, feeling his cheeks heat up.
“O-our ceremony had been private,” Shen Yuan says, voice low and nervous as he absently fiddles with Binghe’s hand, “What do you think of holding it in front of... in front of everyone else? I think it will be nice to celebrate with everybody. B-but!” He exclaims, “But if you don’t feel comfortable with that, it’s fine! Binghe doesn’t have to force himself—this master is already happy that we married in private. I just find the idea of doing the ceremony with more witnesses... appealing. Marrying in front of our colleagues...” He manages a shaky smile, “It sounds nice.”
He looks down, the fast beating of his heart loud in his ears, hands lightly trembling as one holds his husband’s strong one, the other holding the gold ring. He has been thinking about this matter for a while now. Their private marriage was magical—it was in all ways perfect, what with Binghe alive and well and devoted to him, their relationship free of misunderstandings at last. But Shen Yuan had always wanted to share his joy to the people that became his family—the people that took care of him since he came to Proud Immortal Demon Way’s world, unknowing of what to do. The pleasure of getting his fellow peak lords’ blessings and presence in his marriage with his disciple—no matter how averse to the idea he might have been were this to be suggested early in their relationship when he’s still too embarrassed and inexperienced and caught up in the plot to really take into consideration his real feelings—it’s... wonderful.
Also, Binghe is one heck of a handsome man, and maybe, just maybe, Shen Yuan really just wants to show the world that he’s taken and loyal to One (1) Person Only, and that is none other than Shen Yuan himself.
He risks a look up at Binghe amidst his nervousness and widens his eyes at the sight of his husband tearing up, staring at him with a hazy gaze. Shen Yuan immediately scrambles to take his face in his hands, wiping the continuous flow of tears in alarm, “B-Binghe? Don’t cry—this master didn’t mean to pressure you! I—“ He looks around and makes a move to grab the bucket to discard the ring for a moment, but his hand immediately gets caught by Binghe’s own, halting his actions. He blinks at him in surprise, “Binghe...?”
“Th-this disciple—“ Binghe chokes, sniffing, and Shen Yuan watches in horror as more tears flow from his eyes, “Shizun, th-this disciple will marry you as many times as h-he can! This disciple...”
Binghe is sobbing, but Shen Yuan now notices the pure happiness in his teary eyes, the gleeful flush on his cheeks and ears, the trembling smile disrupted by his unending tears. Shen Yuan finds himself breathing out a sigh of relief, and he relaxes despite the way his heart starts to hurt by how fast it’s beating, by the sheer joy he’s feeling. He kind of wants to cry with Binghe as well, but he swallows down his tears, taking hold of Binghe’s hand again, this time with a sure purpose. He slips the gold band onto Binghe’s ring finger, smile widening at the look of it.
Just as I thought, it looks perfect on him.
He looks back at Binghe, finding the latter staring at the ring on his finger, eyes sparkling with both liquid and awe. Shen Yuan thinks this look is good on him—unbridled joy and excitement, his beautiful face flushed under the day, all because of Shen Yuan. The latter stares at him, committing the image to his memory, coveting every second that passed with greed, unwilling to look away. This demon lord has suffered so much in his life, kind heart trampled by jealous ones, the treatment he got from the universe utterly undeserved. Still, a single affectionate gesture from Shen Yuan and this Luo Binghe is already contented, already sated and happy and thankful. This Luo Binghe that knew very little love but has developed a tolerance for excessive abuse since childhood—this demon lord only needs such simple actions to be happy, and—. And.
Shen Yuan lets out a quivering breath, pinching himself to hold his tears back with much more difficulty this time.
He’s here now.
Binghe won’t suffer anymore. He won’t let anything hurt him ever again.
Shen Yuan beams at Binghe when the other finally looked at him again. “I knew it’d suit you,” He comments, wrapping his arms around Binghe’s neck and playing with his hair, “It’s simple, but it looks good on you.” He wiggles even closer to his husband until they’re chest to chest, feeling his husband hug him in response. He nuzzles Binghe’s jaw with his nose, chuckling in joy, “Do you like it, Binghe?”
“I love it, Shizun. It’s the best ring I’ve ever seen in my whole life.” Is the answer that comes as soon as he finished asking, making him laugh louder because of course it’s not the best ring. It’s simple compared to the jewels most people gift their lovers, very much lacking if exquisiteness is the topic at hand. But Binghe takes hold of Shen Yuan’s chin gently, pulling him away to be able to look at him in the eyes, expression full of adoration and enchantment, and Shen Yuan thinks, of course, it’s the best ring for Binghe, because everything that came from Shen Yuan, he would treasure deeply. Hadn’t he been like that from the start? Binghe rubs the peak lord’s cheekbone with his thumb lovingly, the water in his eyes highlighting the breath-taking look in those orbs, “Shizun...” He says, a soft caress against Shen Yuan’s ear, “A-Yuan, I love you so much.”
Shen Yuan’s breath hitches as he levels Binghe a stare that he’s sure rivals the expression of utter love on the demon lord’s face, face warming whilst a gentle, fond smile grazes it. He tilts his head up silently, planting a chaste kiss on Binghe’s mouth, pulling away just a bit to rest his forehead on his husband’s marked one, closing his eyes with eyelashes that tremble slightly from where they bump against Binghe’s own, their noses brushing against each other in a soft manner, breaths intermingling. “I love you, too, Binghe.” He says—an admission, confession, reminder—, and because he feels unsure if Binghe really understood, repeats— “I love you.”
He only hears and feels a breathy sigh come from Binghe before his lips are being claimed again, the kiss more firm this time. Shen Yuan makes a contented sound in his throat as he kisses back passionately, fervently enjoying the distinct taste that is Binghe, taking what his husband is willing to give, giving back his all in return. He plays with the baby hair on his husband’s neck as he kisses back, letting out a little moan when a hot tongue enters his mouth, the gland intertwining against his own in a heated exchange. His embrace on Binghe tightens just as Binghe’s hands start to roam across the small of his back, palming wherever he could, as if he can’t get enough. Shen Yuan lets him, his body responding to the caresses with goosebumps and shivers, perfectly pliant under the touch.
Shen Yuan whimpers lightly when Binghe bites his lower lip and sucks on it just right, hard enough to sting but not bruise. He pushes himself closer against Binghe’s body in response, arms unwinding from the demon lord’s neck to rest on his chest, skin hot against his palm. Underneath it all is an erratic heart beat, not much different from Shen Yuan’s own, and it makes the peak lord smile in the kiss, sucking on Binghe’s tongue playfully.
Then he feels something poking his ass, hard and scalding and pulsating, making Shen Yuan pull away from the kiss with a laugh, resting his forehead on Binghe’s shoulder. Panting, he roams his hands on the plane of Binghe’s chest and abs, speaking in a slightly hoarse voice, “Binghe, we just took a bath.”
He thinks his half-hearted reminder doesn’t really come across as plausible, though, because Binghe only moans in need, moving his hands to cup Shen Yuan’s ass, kneading and squeezing them deliciously, drawing out another throaty sound from the peak lord that will make the original Shen Qingqiu blanch in horror. Binghe licks his earlobe and breathes sultrily in his ear, whispering with a raspy voice just a tilt away from a whine, “It’s shizun’s fault.”
Shen Yuan’s own unmistakeable hard-on twitches at that, making him laugh again—this time because of his and Binghe’s hypocrisy both. He licks a long stripe on the side of Binghe’s neck as a reply, discarding the more careful part of him as he sucks a red mark on his husband’s collarbone, reveling in the guttural groan Binghe let out. “Is that so?” Shen Yuan whispers huskily, withdrawing minimally to stare up at Binghe with half-lidded eyes. The side of his mouth quirks up at the utterly debauched look that greets him, Binghe’s face completely flushed, brows drawn together as his eyes—teary for an entirely different reason now—focuses on his shizun amidst his haze, lips beautifully swollen from their heated lip-locking.
And Shen Yuan—usually thin-faced Shen Yuan—is feeling particularly sticky today, so he pushes his ass back to grind against Binghe’s rock-hard erection, chuckling unstably at his husband’s answering groan. He places a hand on Binghe’s shoulder, reaching out behind him using his other, taking Binghe in his grasp. The demon lord purses his lips with a quivering breath, and Shen Yuan pushes himself up, situating Binghe right against his opening—just a little pliant still because of their activities the night before—, grinning lustfully at the way Binghe’s hands squeezed his ass just a tad tighter.
Ah, this protagonist of his.
Perhaps he should stop cursing Airplane Shooting Towards the Sky’s existence, after all, for it is practically because of him that Shen Yuan had met the one person he’d loved and married.
“This master would have to take responsibility, then.”