More than a week had passed since he'd married the love of his life, and Wanyan Xu was still swept up in the excitement and disorder of the wedding. His ministers, always quick to pick up on his mood, were obliged to congratulate him each morning when he arrived, grinning, at court; if they were annoyed by his unabating lovesickness, they didn't show it. Well-wishes and red envelopes poured in from the people of Dou Yan, as well, who were almost as happy as Wanyan Xu about the marriage.
(Almost, but not quite.)
Shuo'er was being a surprisingly good sport about the new addition to their little family. Far from pulling his usual pranks, his son had latched onto Su Yi, and was even throwing himself into his studies with enthusiasm. Su Yi pretended otherwise, but he had a soft spot for the young prince as well. Even his own mother, the Dowager Empress, was pleased with his choice; although they had only met for a short time, and only because it was customary for the bride to greet the in-laws after the marriage, Su Yi's noble bearing had impressed her.
(His darling could impress anyone.)
Currently, Wanyan Xu and his beloved were standing in their chambers, looking at each other over a pile of wedding gifts.
"No." The unimpressed Empress wouldn't budge. "We are not keeping it all."
"But, Su Su, dearest, why not? It's all for us to use as we please- it would be rude not to appreciate these gifts properly!"
In the corner, Zi Nong rolled her eyes and cleared her throat loudly, drawing the attention of the two royals. "Pardon your humble servant, your Imperial Majesty, but I believe Zi Liu may need my help with something-"
"Yes, go ahead," Wanyan Xu waved her away, but couldn't hold back a sigh as she scampered eagerly from the room. He could understand her desire to leave; he and Su Yi had been arguing for the past, hour, and they hadn't gotten any closer to an agreement.
"Listen, I appreciate the gifts. Really. But I don't see why we can't just . . . move them somewhere else. At this point they're just clutter." Su Yi gestured to the piles of gifts between them, wearing a look of exasperation and bewilderment. Even before going to war, he had preferred a utilitarian lifestyle. His husband's unshakable attachment to the various odds and ends they'd received for the wedding was, to put it mildly, confusing.
Wanyan Xu didn't respond for a moment, looking over the wedding paraphernalia and considering his beloved's argument. Truthfully, he didn't expect Su Su to actually use the dozens of hairpins, combs, and ornaments that were scattered across the table- at least, not on a regular basis. The other items, as well, had little chance of catching his Empress's eye. He had, after all, arranged for their procurement without knowing what Su Su would be interested in. But they were all for him, for them; wasn't that enough?
Su Yi, unaware of the Emperor's racing thoughts, sighed heavily. Although it frustrated him that he couldn't just hide it all away and be done with it, this was a decision the two of them had to make together. They were, all things considered, a married couple. The thought gave him an uncomfortably warm feeling, and he coughed slightly before speaking. "We can keep one thing."
Wanyan Xu looked up sharply. "Ten things."
"Three things, and I get to choose which three." Without waiting for a reply, he picked up a porcelain vase, decorated elegantly with blue glaze. "This is going."
Su Yi set the vase aside, and Wanyan Xu watched speechlessly as his beloved deftly selected several other porcelain objects to be placed elsewhere. "Wha- why those, Su Su? Do you dislike pottery?"
"It's not that I dislike it," Su Yi paused in his rummaging to glance at the Emperor. "But I certainly wasn't planning on using any of them for any practical reasons. I mean," he pointed at the vase, "When are we ever going to put flowers in that?"
"You don't like flowers, either?" Wanyan Xu deflated. They lived in a garden. They were surrounded by flowers on all sides. He had put so much thought into choosing a residence for Su Su out of the dozens left behind by the previous Emperor, and the incomparably luxurious Garden of Merriment wasn't to his taste? Regardless, he consoled himself, this is the only palace suitable for my Empress.
Su Yi frowned and set down the incense burner he'd been examining. "It doesn't matter if I like something or not; if it isn't useful, why should we bother keeping it?"
"But do you?" Wanyan Xu stepped around the table to stand beside Su Yi. "These things you want to get rid of, do you like them?"
Su Yi looked over the gifts again. "No, not really." He picked up the incense burner again and set it amongst the other rejects. Wanyan stared at the elaborate-looking thing, trying to decipher what exactly Su Yi found displeasing about it. Admittedly, it was a little ostentatious.
". . . Is it because they're so flashy, dearest?" Wanyan Xu took a chance and stood a little closer to his husband, peering over his shoulder. "I know all this may seem impractical, but I'm sure there's more than enough useful things here to satisfy you."
"If you're trying to get me to keep more stuff, it won't work."
"How about this one?" He ignored Su Yi's remark, picking up a jade box with a striking phoenix carved on the lid. Opening it, he could see that it was lined with red silk. "A box is useful, isn't it?"
"Not if there's nothing for it to hold." Su Yi took the box and placed it aside. The pile before them was growing steadily smaller under Su Yi's ruthlessly efficient inspection. Wanyan Xu watched carefully as he gathered up the numerous combs and set them aside as well. Several hairpins- the more extravagant ones- went with them, followed by another porcelain bowl.
And yet, among the mess, there were certain items left behind. Scrolls and books were left untouched, as were the tea-related items- even the silly little tea pets that, as far as Wanyan Xu knew, were completely useless. All but one of the tea brushes, however, were relegated to the reject pile. Frustratingly, Wanyan Xu remained completely unaware of whatever Su Yi's unspoken rules for disposal were.
Finally, he decided that his husband had confused him enough and wrapped his arms around him, stopping his movements.
"What?" Su Yi jerked forward, surprised.
"Su Su, dearest, let's stop for now. If you get rid of everything all at once, you won't know if they would have been useful!" He pressed his lips against Su Yi's neck, hugging him closer. "Don't be so quick to make things hard on yourself. A little luxury isn't so bad, is it?"
"Don't make such a big deal out of this," Su Yi groused, standing stiffly with his back pressed against Wanyan Xu's chest. He could feel his husband sigh against him, and again felt himself grow uncomfortably warm. He shifted in the Emperor's hold, not quite ready to break free but too nervous to stay still. "I'm just trying to keep your room organised."
"Our room, Su Su." Wanyan Xu slid his hands apart just enough to fiddle with Su Yi's belt. His husband smelled like sandalwood, the scent lingering from their wedding night, when the servants had lit so much sandalwood incense that they were still finding long-cold burners hidden throughout their room. Remembering how irresistible Su Yi had been on their wedding night, Wanyan Xu groaned quietly and tugged harder at the belt, letting it fall to the floor. He trailed kisses down Su Yi's neck, mouthing at his shoulder where his robes fell open to reveal alluring porcelain skin.
Cautiously, Su Yi tilted his head to the side, allowing Wanyan Xu's lips to brush along his throat. He still wasn't finished, but Wanyan Xu was making it difficult to disagree. Su Yi's breathing became ragged as his husband pulled his outer robes off to fall beside his belt, heart pounding out of his chest. Every kiss burned against his skin, the heat inside him blazing brighter as Wanyan Xu backed away from the table and collapsed onto a nearby couch, pulling Su Yi with him.
"Su Su, look at me," the Emperor's deep voice whispered into his ear, breath hot on his cheek. Su Yi felt the hands on his hips lift upwards and moved with them, allowing Wanyan Xu to arrange him on his lap. The Emperor's hair spilled over the throw pillows like silk, and a blush painted Su Yi's cheeks when he met his husband's lustful gaze. Warm hands pressed down on his thighs, keeping him in place. Everything was moving so fast- too fast- but the heat was becoming unbearable and Su Yi couldn't help but moan in frustration.
Wanyan Xu shuddered at the sound. Su Yi was always so careful, so quiet, and to be rewarded by his beautiful voice so easily made the Emperor feel like the luckiest man in the world.
"Su Su, darling, do that again," he murmured. "I want to hear you."
Su Yi blushed even harder at his husband's words. What a naughty thing to say! Even as hot as he was, Wanyan Xu's hands felt like fire against him, and he tried not to focus the sensation. Despite his best efforts, however, he shivered as he felt his husband drag his hands up to grip his waist, pulling him down to smash their lips together in a fierce kiss.
"You- ah!" Su Yi gasped into the kiss, flustered. He gripped the Emperor's robes tightly, wanting to push him away but unable resist his own desperate passion. Wanyan Xu's hands wandered down his back, once again finding their way to Su Yi's rear end, squeezing their prize teasingly. "Stop that!"
"Of course," the Emperor smiled, pressing a kiss to Su Yi's cheek before reclaiming his lips. He trailed his hands further down, lifting the hem of Su Yi's inner robe and sliding his pants down, exposing his upper thighs. Wanyan Xu's fingertips danced lightly upwards, tracing invisible figures onto Su Yi's skin. The Empress squirmed at the feeling, pressing downwards to avoid it and grinding against Wanyan Xu in the process. "Anything for you," he groaned, overwhelmed by pleasure; Su Yi fit on his lap like he was made to sit there, molded against his body perfectly. His sweet, sweet Su Su, painfully unaware of the effect he had on the Emperor, thrust his hips forward with a grunt.
"Stop that, too!" It was ticklish, not to mention embarrassing.
Wanyan Xu reluctantly complied, gripping Si Yi's hips with renewed energy and attacking his lips fervently to make up for the loss. Su Yi hadn't moved since his last attempt to struggle, and the Emperor could feel his beloved rub against him through the fabric of his robes, practically begging him to take Su Yi here and now. He shared an open-mouthed kiss with Su Yi, teeth and tongues clashing, and just as he was about to reach down and rip open his own robes so he could finally bury himself between his beloved's thighs, there was a sharp knock on the door.
The couple broke apart, panting, as Shou'er cheerfully declared, "Mother Empress! I finished my report, and my tutor said I did well. Could you come look at it, please?"
The interruption brought Su Yi back to his senses, and he flushed bright red when he realized the state he was in; disheveled clothes just barely hiding his humiliating reaction to their kiss, sitting on Wanyan Xu's lap like some wanton concubine. He yanked his pants back up and scrambled off the couch, trying to put his clothes back to some semblance of order as he called back;
"O-of course, Shuo'er! Just, uh, hold on, I'll be out in a moment!" He turned around and hissed at Wanyan Xu, face red with mortification, "Don't mess with anything while I'm gone, you- you beast!"
"I wouldn't dream of it, darling," Wanyan Xu sighed heavily, looking disconsolate. He'd been so close- so close!- only to be interrupted by his own flesh and blood. Oh, well, he comforted himself as Su Yi rushed out of the room, at least I got to see more of Su Su's cute side. He brightened when he remembered the moans and kisses his beloved had so freely offered, and the delicious feeling of their hips grinding together. Wanyan Xu licked his lips, excitement stirring him up again, and he settled onto the couch to await Su Yi's return.
Maybe he could convince his beloved to pick up where they left off once he got back. Maybe Su Yi would even be just as eager to continue. Maybe they could finally have that wild night he'd been dreaming of.
(He couldn't wait!)
Happy Valentine's Day! I absolutely love War Prisoner, by Li Hua Yan Yu, so I managed to write a one-short for Su Yi and Wanyan Xu just in time for the most romantic holiday of the year! Thanks for reading!