[identity profile] leen-go.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] leengonanowrimo
Length: 2087 words
Prompt: in simplified terms, Kris is a duke, Lay is a courtesan who has a jaded view on life and has trust issues.
Notes: see here. Unedited/unbeta-ed.

Yifan’s hand stayed suspended in midair as his mind went blank, watching with furrowed brows as the waterfall spilled from the courtesan’s eyes.

I can do whatever I want, it’s my body.

The line echoed through Yifan’s head endlessly as he continued to stare at the way Lay pushed at the wet streaks on his face with his palms and then trying to dry them off on his dress, face down the whole time. Yifan frowned; he didn’t like that Lay was purposely avoiding his eye. “Hey,” he whispered, barely audible even to himself. He swallowed hard against the uncomfortable lump in his throat before trying again, this time finally moving his suspended hand, fingers under Lay’s chin to draw it upwards. “Hey,” he tried again with more emphasis, trying to get Lay to look at him to no avail.

“I’ve told you before,” Yifan continued before hesitating a brief moment, “I don’t think you believed me though, but it’s true. You’re beautiful, Lay.”

The corners of Lay’s lips quirked upwards in a half chuckle that chilled Yifan. “Right,” Lay whispered under his breath, trying to pull away from Yifan’s touch again only to be met with firm resistance.

“I’m serious,” Yifan argued quietly, remembering Ah Mei’s advice before she sent him off. ‘He’s important, right?’ A muscle tensed in his jaw as he contemplated the question; of course Lay was important, wasn’t that why he was here in the first place? ‘You should let him know.’ He felt his teeth grind together painfully as he watched Lay chew on his bottom lip and taking deep breaths as though trying to calm himself. “I…” he started uneasily, frowning when Lay didn’t seem to hear him, shaking his head to himself, rolling his eyes as he continued to resist making eye contact with Yifan. “I think…” the Duke hesitated, “I think… that you’re perfect exactly the way you are,” he finally managed, his thumb reaching up to trace against Lay’s soft lips.

The Duke’s gaze flickered up to find Lay finally done with avoiding his eye, but Yifan was having a hard time reading the unease there. “You. Are absolutely perfect,” Yifan reiterated firmly. “And don’t you let anyone else tell you otherwise.”

Lay managed to stare back at Yifan for a long beat before blinking away with a derisive scoff, “Are you quite done yet? If you are, you can leave now.”

Yifan’s hand dropped to his side once more and he let out a long sigh, “You still think it’s just lip service.”

The Duke almost flinched at the hard look in Lay’s eyes as the latter stepped backwards before raising his hand to point at the door. “Leave,” he repeated, voice flat and unyielding. “If you aren’t a paying customer, please remove yourself from my room.”

Yifan flinched at the curt tone even as his own patience was wearing thin, “Why is it always about money with you? Can’t we just have a normal conversation like normal people? I’m not leaving.”

Lay’s eyes narrowed to slits as he stood frozen in place, hand still pointing towards the door. It was another long beat before he drew in a slow breath as if to calm himself. “You want to stay here? Fine. Then I’ll go,” he announced before spinning on his heel and hurrying towards the door, disappearing through it before Yifan could gather his bearings to go after him.

Yixing made a mad rush for Lu Han’s room at the end of the hall, hardly bothering to turn around even as he heard the sound of his own room door opening again. He slid Lu Han’s door closed softly, pressing his ear against it, breath catching in his throat as he listened to his name repeated in the Duke’s voice.

“Lay? Where’d you go? Let’s just talk, okay?”

Yixing only let himself breathe again when the Duke’s voice started to carry away from Lu Han’s room. “Right,” he snorted derisively as he pulled away from the door. “You mean like normal people, right?” he whispered under his breath, teeth clenched as he took a seat on the cold, hard floor. Yixing scowled to himself in the dark; what did a duke know about having normal conversations anyway?

Lu Han’s soft breathing filled the otherwise silent room; the boy had barely stirred from his sleep when Yixing had barged in, pulling his blanket to his chin as he let out a soft moan before settling into steady slumber once more. Yixing let out an involuntary sigh as he watched the boy’s chest rise and fall slowly, contemplating the word normal in his head. How could the Duke use such a word between them? The Duke was far from normal, being of royalty and living a live so … not normal. And Yixing… well, Yixing could hardly classify himself as normal; Lu Han was more normal than any part of Yixing’s or the Duke’s lives could be.

The courtesan got up only long enough to make his way to where Lu Han lay asleep, kneeling beside the bed and reaching out to stroke away the mess of hair that sat in complete disarray on the boy’s head. “I’m sorry, Xiao Lu. I know I promised I’d get us a real home soon, but I just keep letting you down,” he whispered out loud, even though he knew his audience couldn’t hear him. He sighed again, folding his arms on the side of the bed before resting his head on them. “But it’s not like the Duke was ever going to be a possibility anyway, right?” he continued with a mumble to deaf ears, yawning before his eyes fluttered closed, “So, no loss there, I guess.”


Yixing woke with a start in the middle of the night, taking a moment to gather his bearings before he remembered that he wasn’t in his own room. He got to his feet with a little trouble seeing in the dark, leaning over quickly to give Lu Han a kiss on the forehead before tiptoeing out of the room with a hush apology for intruding, though the boy was still too fast asleep to hear.

The Star was deathly quiet; Yixing couldn’t recall the last time he’d been awake at this hour to enjoy the silence. He stood in the dark a moment to let his eyes adjust before he made his way back to his own room, guided by the candles still flickering from behind his own room doors.

Once inside his own room again, Yixing’s first instinct was to head straight for his bed; he was still yawning and he could barely keep his eyes open. Still half asleep from Lu Han’s room, he made his usual rounds to blow out the candles, keeping a single one in a handheld tray to light his way to his bed.

Yixing nearly dropped the candle in alarm at the figure lying across his bed and he had to bite his bottom lip from screaming out loud as melted wax splattered at his feet. Eyebrows stitched together, the courtesan leaned over the edge of his bed in investigate, jaw clenching when he recognized the Duke passed out in that uncomfortable position. His legs, bent at the knee, still hung over the edge of the bed and torso halfway between being on his side and on his back. One arm lay at an awkward angle beside him and the other across his chest.

Did he fall asleep waiting for me to come back?

Yixing shook the impossible idea from his head, ignoring the tiny warmth creeping into his chest and forcing the corners of his mouth back down; the Duke was probably just tired from a long day of whatever it was that duke’s needed to do.

Tired to entertaining guests at his engagement party, maybe? Or were you perhaps hoping that he was trying to get away from his engagement party because he wanted to come see you instead of his own fiancé?

“Shut up!” he groaned out loud to himself, almost slamming down the candle tray on the bedside table, a clatter ringing through the room.

The Duke stirred from the ruckus, rolling onto his back fully and letting out a soft sigh as his head rolled over to the other side, now facing the owner of the bed he was laying in. Yixing swallowed over the uncomfortable lump that had suddenly made itself home in his throat, watching the flame of the candle next to him cast flickering shadows over the Duke’s eyelids, the tip of his nose, his rosy cheeks, his half parted lips.

The Duke might be cold; maybe Yixing should get a blanket.

As if on cue, a shiver ran through the Duke’s body, sending Yixing towards his dresser. The courtesan stopped just as his fingertips touched the cold metal handle; if the Duke woke up to find that someone had covered him up in the middle of the night, he’d know it was Yixing. He’d think Yixing cared about whether he was cold at night.

But Yixing didn’t care.

But it’s rude to leave a patron uncomfortable like this.

The muscles in his jaw clenched tightly as his teeth ground together. He’ll know it was you, though.

Yixing scowled and dropped his hand to his side, fingers curled into a painful fist. Whatever. Who cares. He’s the one who decided to fall asleep like that in the first place. He can freeze to death for all I care. He turned sharply on his heel and headed for the door once more, not bothering to keep his footsteps quiet or to close the door quietly behind him, letting it fall closed with a bang.

Using his hands to confirm his location most of the way, Yixing headed downstairs to the main floor, making a bee line straight to where The Star kept its wine stores; the alcohol would shut up the annoying voices in his head. He grabbed the nearest bottle off its shelf before wandering out the back door and taking a seat at the marble table in the center.

Yixing squinted at one of the quartet of ceramic cups sitting in the middle of the table, wondering when they were last washed but ended up shrugging and using his sleeve to give it a quick wipe down before he popped the wine bottle open and poured himself a cup. He stared at the quivering surface of the fiery liquid reflecting the full moon in the clear sky above before scowling at the reminder that he had yet to get back into Lady Pearl’s good graces. A muscle clenched uncomfortably in his jaw and he slammed the cup back down onto the table the, impact harder than Yixing had expected and shattering the ceramic. The courtesan cursed out loud as the alcohol burned into the cut on his palm, and he had to bite his lip to keep from crying out louder as he reached for the handkerchief in his belt to wrap the wound.

The knot in his stomach and the annoying pinching in his chest seemed to subside a little at his outburst and Yixing took a deep breath to calm himself before reaching out his good hand to fill another of the cups. The fiery liquid made it to his lips this time and Yixing’s face contorted unwillingly at the burn in his throat, though welcoming it over the throbbing in his hand.

“Damn you, Duke,” Yixing muttered to himself, spitting out the last word like it was poison as he poured another serving, throwing it back with just as much ease as the first.

“I told you to leave me alone.” A third shot.

“Life would’ve been so much easier if I’d never met you.” A fourth.

“And maybe I’d have found someone nice enough to take me in by now.” A fifth.

“And you would go on about your own stupid life and marry that wonderful girl.” A sixth.

Yixing sighed as he sank his head to the table, cheek resting against the cold marble as he stared blankly at the handkerchief tied around his hand, a deep crimson colouring the linen.

 “And I could’ve just been happier without knowing you.” Lead slipped into his eyelids as they drew closed slowly.

“Yeah, happier,” he slurred before sleep finally took over once more, handing sliding from the table and the cup in his fingers falling to the ground and rolling away.

A/N: Not sure who's more confused now, me or yixing. Seriously, boy. Please learn to trust Yifan soon D; Anyway, sorry for such a delayed update. I meant to get this up earlier but I'm so good at procrastinating, it's actually quite terrifying... Here's to hoping (as usual) that the next chapter gets posted sooner rather than later ^^ (oh, I checked. I forgot this fic started much later than November of last year. Actually started this is January OTL)
Anonymous( )Anonymous This account has disabled anonymous posting.
OpenID( )OpenID You can comment on this post while signed in with an account from many other sites, once you have confirmed your email address. Sign in using OpenID.
Account name:
If you don't have an account you can create one now.
HTML doesn't work in the subject.


Notice: This account is set to log the IP addresses of everyone who comments.
Links will be displayed as unclickable URLs to help prevent spam.


leengonanowrimo: (Default)

August 2016

212223 24252627

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 20th, 2017 12:19 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios