"What are you doing."
"Eating breakfast." Wen Kexing blinks at him like butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. "What does it look like I'm doing?"
What it looks like he's doing, Zhou Zishu thinks, digging his own fingernails into his knees to keep himself from yelling, or possibly doing something even more unseemly—what it looks like is Wen Kexing trying to send him to an early grave. Earlier, even.
He'd thought nothing of it, when Wen Kexing suggested they stop for breakfast since they'd come down the mountain anyway to buy some supplies. Since Chengling hadn't come with them, Zhou Zishu let Wen Kexing pick what to eat.
At the time, he'd been rather bemused to find himself dragged over to a little stand serving fresh youtiao and soy milk. Now, all he feels is rising blood pressure.
"Aren't you going to eat, A-Xu?"
"Oh? You're really just going to sit there and watch me?"
The art of seduction comes in myriad forms, sure, and sex naturally goes with certain foods, like wine with seasons and scenery. Who hasn't seen a courtesan offer up some delicate sweet with a calculated flick of exposed wrist, or stain willing lips with tart pitted fruit? Zhou Zishu has been around long enough to know the tricks of this particular trade.
He's just never seen anyone attempt this craft with—of all things—freshly fried youtiao.
In total disregard for logic and public decency, Wen Kexing picks up a whole stick of youtiao and dips one end into the soy milk. The normal thing to do—the obvious and reasonable thing to do—is rip off a bite-sized piece, soak it to personal taste, and eat with minimal fuss. But of course, this is Wen Kexing. Who's still looking at him, that glint in his eyes telegraphing to the whole world that he's up to absolutely no good.
The crisp end of the youtiao barely soaks up any of the liquid. So when Wen Kexing lifts it to his mouth, the soy milk drips off the end in a totally inconvenient manner. He's either never eaten this in his life, or he's doing it on purpose.
Without breaking eye contact with Zhou Zishu, Wen Kexing licks the dripping youtiao and—yeah, no, he's definitely doing this on purpose.
"You got me quite a big piece, didn't you, A-Xu?" the insufferable nuisance says, like he can't even hear Zhou Zishu. Wen Kexing examines the youtiao—which he has somehow still managed to eat not even one single bite of—and then he adds, "I wonder if I can even get my mouth around it."
Later, he will reflect on this series of events and conclude that the most infuriating part isn't even how Wen Kexing tried to seduce him with fried dough—it's how he, Zhou Zishu, actually fell for it.
But that's later, after he abruptly pulls Wen Kexing out of his seat, nearly knocking over the table in the process. After Wen Kexing makes a token protest, which he lets go of when he sees the look in Zhou Zishu's eyes, and by unspoken agreement they abandon a half-eaten breakfast to head back up the mountain for the privacy of home.
They make it most of the way before Wen Kexing shoves him against a tree and kisses him hard enough to echo the bruising ache that's long since settled deep into his bones.
"A-Xu," Wen Kexing breathes into his ear, "I think you should take off your clothes,"
Zhou Zishu tightens his grip on his hair. "I think you should get on your knees."
He actually feels Wen Kexing shiver under his hands, and that's—something all on its own. Something even worse than the way Wen Kexing's eyes go huge and dark, the ease with which he folds down at the barest pressure from Zhou Zishu's hands.
He's grateful, just then, for the tree bark behind his shoulder blades. Something solid, like the weight of Wen Kexing's hair tangled around his fingers.
Somehow they undo the ties on his robes. Blush white petals dust the ground, cling to the curl of Wen Kexing's eyelashes when he looks up at Zhou Zishu. His fingers run gently up and down his thighs, the back of his knees. Not with intent, he realizes—Wen Kexing is warming himself up to avoid touching sensitive skin with cold hands.
It's a thoughtful gesture, and Zishu doesn't know how to tell him that it doesn't matter: he can't feel these minute changes in temperature anymore, just as he can no longer tell the difference between sweet wine and vinegar.
He tastes copper when Wen Kexing takes him in his mouth. Whatever coquettish comments he'd made earlier were obviously a lie: Wen Kexing manages nearly the whole length in one go. A breathless choked sound in the back of his throat. Zhou Zishu pulls him back off.
"Easy. You don't have to—"
"No, but I want to," is all Wen Kexing says before swallowing him down again.
Zhou Zishu grips the nape of his neck and hangs on as every last nerve ending in his body catches fire. Dimly, he's aware of rough bark scraping against his shoulders. Somewhere in the back of his mind a voice is saying gently, gently, take care of him—even as Wen Kexing's fingers dig into the back of his thighs, plainly urging him to be anything but.
Wen Kexing wins this particular fight when he moans around Zhou Zishu's cock. He does it again when Zhou Zishu pushes instinctively into the slick heat of his mouth. Wen Kexing looks up through his lashes with a plea as clear as day: please, more.
It would take a far better man than he to say no to that. He's never going to be a better man, Zhou Zishu knows as he gives in and fucks Wen Kexing's mouth the way he wants. Never was, never will be; right now it feels not unlike a blessing.
He retains enough presence of mind to notice when the tell-tale tremor becomes too much.
"Lao-Wen, that's enough—"
Instead of backing off, Wen Kexing just makes an annoyed sound and redoubles his efforts. Zhou Zishu grits his teeth. He tugs hard, once, on Wen Kexing's hair, forcing him to look up with a gasp.
"That's enough, please, I'm—"
"I know, so come on, just—"
"I want to," Wen Kexing says, voice hoarse and pupils blown and still unwavering, "I want you to come on my face, shixiong."
It hits him like a punch in the solar plexus, pleasure/pain singing down his spine as climax is all but forcibly yanked out of him. For one endless moment, he loses the remainder of his senses to the intensity of that feeling.
Slowly, he returns to himself. He becomes aware of his own harsh breathing. His fists, tangled in long locks of hair.
Wen Kexing is still on his knees, looking up at him. Zishu touches his face, finds it wet with come and something else. He runs his thumb over those red bruised lips.
The tree has done an admirable job keeping him upright for this long, Zhou Zishu thinks. He lets himself sink down to the ground with something like relief, something approaching need. He does need to clean Wen Kexing's face, he reasons. With the soft sleeve of his inner robe, he dabs away the wetness on his cheeks.
Wen Kexing doesn't make a sound when Zhou Zishu gathers him up in his arms. Kisses him carefully, thoroughly, the way he wants. It seems only fair, after all. Even if everyone can't have what they want, at least they can both get what they need right now.
"So," Wen Kexing says later, after he's straightened his robes, refastened everything he'd undone. "Don't think I didn't notice you still haven't eaten today."
Zhou Zishu can't help but snort at that. "If you expect me to ever even look at youtiao again, after your display today—"
"Nonsense. There's plenty of food I haven't ruined for you. Like steamed buns, or jianbing, or clear soup, or—"
"Planning on getting through them one by one, are you?"
"Mm, well, only if you insist, A-Xu."
Zhou Zishu rolls his eyes, and Wen Kexing laughs, the way he always does. The look in his eyes is too fond to be anything but sincere.
"I'll eat when we get home," Zishu promises despite himself.
Wen Kexing smiles. "Good."
He hops up to his feet, dusting absently at the grass and petals leaving a trail of evidence along his body. The same breeze that endlessly stirs the blooming trees catches a lock of his hair, unfurls it like the first brushstroke of some nameless word.
Zishu reaches for him. "Help me up first."
Wen Kexing catches his hand before he's even finished speaking.