the breath inside the breath, taoris, K16, EN

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the breath inside the breath, taoris, K16, EN

ViestiKirjoittaja skylinepainter » Ma Loka 14, 2013 4:50 pm

author / skylinepainter
rating / 16
genre / religious!buddhist, au, romance

fandom / exo-m
characters / wu yi fan, huang zi tao, zhang yixing, lu han
pairing / yi fan x zi tao

warning / mild sexual content

an / i got an unexpected inspiration just a couple of days ago so i decided to give it a go. originally posted here along my other taoris fiction. also small letters for artistic reasons don't judge me.

the breath inside the breath

there is something pacific and pleasant about autumn that causes flares of warmth to flick in zi tao’s heart when he wakes up to mornings varnished in deep sunset oranges and flaming red of maple, brewed brown oak leaves and it all is overwhelmingly tranquil, even though it is only a brief moment of the season. zi tao embraces it, loves it and enjoys it. he finds himself fond of gaudy embroidered scarfs and shawls and the immense tea cup that he got as gift from yixing just a few days ago as an apology for living by another year of crashing into zi tao’s flat as an unofficial tenant who never pays rent. zi tao doesn’t mind much and yixing is a wastrel. a wastrel with a vague antique bookstore downstairs.

the wind briskly blows in through the cracked open window with a gentle howl, raising goosebumps on zi tao’s bare shoulders because he’s not fast enough to tuck them under the covers. his eyes stir for a few slow minutes before he peers from under the sheets. it is still somber, the glass of the window overlaid with mist and fog seems to have covered every last tiny bit of hope that the sun would peek out behind the overcasting clouds that zi tao just knows are covering the sky. a lengthy yawn springs from his throat with a cat-like squeak at the end as he stretches his limbs under the sweet lulled peace of blankets and the fragile gauze of sleep and dreams he already forgot. but he remembers the placid feeling and how easy it was, just being, just dreaming. he doesn’t remember the sound of his alarm nor the cold that hit him when he shifted from his slumber. he doesn’t remember the thoughts that he might have had. thoughts are only clouds. you must let them flee by.

he turns to his side, facing the window and looks at the man on the other side of the alley, who is drinking his first cup of coffee, leaning against the railing of the narrow balcony and he has a cigarette between his plump, reddish lips that the creeping frost has chapped. his ash blonde hair is ruffled and the breeze finds its way in those thick locks but he doesn’t seem bothered as whirls of smoke wash into thin air from his lungs and he takes a sip from his coffee that zi tao knows is always black. just plain black. sometimes he stops to think what a person’s coffee might tell about them, but in the end he reasons that the man is just simple. simple in ways he sometimes stops to think of. like how the sun just is and the stars just are.

lying in his bed alone, sheets crumpled and pillows spread, he stays silent. the heat is slowly fading, pulling him away from the serene first blinks of a new day but he stays for a while longer, tangles his legs and the man is shivering in his long pajama pants without a shirt, mist moistening his skin. he looks at the sky, the street seven floors below his feet and he looks at zi tao with a smooth, rarefied smile on his face that doesn’t say anything. it just notices. neither of them move for a while, but when a leisure simper, somewhat similar to the other climbs on zi tao’s pale lips, dumps the man his tobacco into the ash heap placed on top of the railing and turns, toes sticking to the damp tile flooring and zi tao is finally awake. the bits of his sleep drifted away.

as the clock on the wall points to six, zi tao makes his way over to the kitchen to fill a small ceramic bowl with fresh water before moving to the living room and kneeling onto the wooden floor. placing the water on the altar next to a small statue of buddha, he takes an incense stick and lights it, letting it blaze for a while before he blows out the fire. he closes his eyes and places his palms together. he smells the smoke and he feels lightheaded and he just is. just exists in a dim morning once in september. like the mist and pearls of dew.

yixing bursts in for breakfast right after half seven with a carton of milk, because he drank the last one and he owes it for zi tao. not that he cares, he just wants to be nice and happens to be in a good mood. then he sits down, about to scoop soft, steaming rice in his rice bowl but makes a defeated noise when zi tao gives him a look that doesn’t say much anything. yixing mumbles, quiet enough for the younger to not quite catch what he says, as he kicks his feet towards the altar. zi tao says it is a virtue to pray before breakfast, before doing anything. to ask for a blessing. yixing says it is bothersome. yixing’s mother, on the other hand, says that yixing could use a blessing. so yixing kneels down, bows his head slightly, only so his chin touches his neck and puts his palms tightly together, hoping his prayer counts even though he forgot to light an incense. zi tao says it is fine. then yixing just is for a few minutes, just like the wind and the rain. just like that.

they eat in silence. zi tao prefers quiet mornings, the kinds when he can tug his knees to his chest, flip the pages of the book he’s currently reading, drink tea from the vast cup and pick rice from his bowl without having to care if some of it fails to make it to his mouth. he likes to lean his elbow on the table and rest his head on his palm, look out of the window and not hide. he doesn’t like hiding. it is purposeless. in the end everything is the same, small flakes of the universe, all equally euphoric or blue. everything has its place and no place at all because nothing belongs to nowhere. it is all just a feeble veil of stardust.

so he dares to look out and into those eyes of raw umber that fix their wandering gaze back to the thick book that he has in his hand but zi tao knows how he held his stare because he forgets to wipe off the smile on his face that is still there. zi tao wants to laugh because for a split second he fancies that maybe the man doesn’t mind much at all. that maybe he just is too. like everybody else is. exists. and that maybe there is a chance. zi tao knows his name of course, but he doesn’t catch the bypassing thoughts of him too often. they’re just clouds, after all, and we are not our thoughts nor emotions. only stardust. yixing says it doesn’t make sense at all and maybe to yixing it doesn’t. yixing is a body with a soul while zi tao is a soul with a body. there is a minor difference between them but without zi tao having to ask, yixing smiles and says: he is a soul too.

they both know the man living on the same seventh floor just across zi tao’s apartment, the man who only smokes a cigarette per day in the morning whilst having his coffee, the man with ash blonde hair and tender eyes that always have a wondering gleam in them. like he is always thinking, catching clouds. yixing sees his perfect teeth, conspicuous cheekbones and his strong yet delicate features when zi tao sees smoke, gleams and sparks. he sees his spirit, the way he is and yixing sees the way he moves. they both know the man, but only one of them wants him.

when yixing finishes his breakfast he thanks and bids a muttered see you as he goes out of the door, hurried footsteps echoing in the staircase because he’s late again. once zi tao mentioned that it is an antique bookstore that he keeps, not a cafe or a clothing boutique, and that he is his own boss, therefore it shouldn’t matter when he goes to work. yixing mumbled that zi tao missed the point and he got the younger thinking again, if schedules and plans and hours really mattered or made a difference at all. if yixing had to go to work at eight only so he could be late and if it made sense.

zi tao takes a shower and tries not to rush despite the time running past him and he knows he should be sitting in a bus, on his way to the university but he’s still here, under the hot water that purifies the bits of the lethargic state he still might be in. as the water beads down his body and the shampoo he likes smells of mangos and papayas, he wonders how many people are souls, how many of us are bodies and how do we show it. if we represent our inner cores or know how to express our spirits the way they are justified. if we look like our souls at all. he thinks of yixing and why yixing doesn’t care to pray for a blessing each rising aurora. he thinks of the man with the ash blonde hair, if he serves his soul with honor. if he’s true to himself. and then zi tao thinks thinking won’t get him anywhere nearer the man.

he trails his way to the bedroom, giving a ruffle to his wheat blonde hair and let’s the air roam his naked skin as he moves, feet light and a crooked simper plastered on his thin lips because he feels eyes burning yearning voids through his flesh right past strong muscles and the bones of the temple of his heart, that picks up its beat with a giddy thud as it tries to break free but zi tao won’t let it just yet. he’s not hiding. he’s sincere and honest and the integrity of his very being is what he trusts on because he believes that the man would look away if he couldn’t see him through what he had been made into in birth. an earthly being. but he sees and he watches and there is no shame in anything. no confusion, just mere understanding of simple things, simple beings, simple moves.

tilting his head, the man on the other side of the street blinks now and then, almost in slow-motion, as if he’s taking in open with no ignominy in his deeds and zi tao dresses, doesn’t make his bed and doesn’t look at the man he aches for because he thinks he already knows. he doesn’t have to look to be sure.

the air is moist, tastes of earth and smells of dirt and soil. the fog is heavy, grasping onto every corner and blinding zi tao’s vision as he walks to the bus stop, thick scarf around his neck and hands in the pockets of an olive shaded anorak with a furry hood. he doesn’t plug in his earphones, just listens to the cars, the hectic noises of the city while it becomes alive again after the night. he sways on the balls of his feet as he waits for the bus to arrive and he has an urge to smile so he does, greets the old lady waddling her way next to him and then they’re just quiet with each other because there is nothing necessary to say. we feel unsure in silence with the people we don’t know even when there is nothing to be unsure about. we are only people and she is like me just the way i am like her, beings of the universe. and we shouldn’t say anything, if there is nothing to say. sometimes it’s enough.

when the bus finally arrives, zi tao let’s the lady get on first before following and bidding the driver a bright good morning, just for the pleasant emotion of making someone feel noticed and important, equal to everyone and everyone should get a warm, honest greeting. it might make someone’s day, and how simple is that? zi tao waits for the lady to take a seat in the front part of the bus and then walks to the very back where he leans against the blurred window’s glass.

just as the bus is about to take its leave, the door opens again and the man zi tao knows all too well steps in, murmuring a calm good morning in his deep, raspy yet smooth voice and zi tao hears it all the way to the back. turning his head he follows the man as he approaches, for a moment fearing he’ll stay in the middle of the bus and hoping he’ll sit next to him, which he does and smiles his delicate smile that doesn’t hold back any emotions inside but let’s it all out so zi tao can take it in. there are plenty of seats available in the almost empty bus but they sit right next to each other, strangers in some way but they’ve known for millenniums, in india, in italy, in morocco. they’ve seen each other’s flaws and shortfalls, honesty, purity and innocence. there is nothing to hide.

it feels merely natural to look into his eyes, those soft flicking umber eyes that drink him in with every bat of dark lashes and zi tao can sense his breath hitching because he’s close by his side, the blonde man he sees the last when he goes to bed in the evening, in his dreams and the first in the morning, when he smokes his cigarette on the balcony and studies zi tao’s naked figure, inhaling the fumes of his cancer wrap.

“i see you”, mouths the man in what is just a whisper and his fingers caress a trail along the line of zi tao’s jaw. the touch is soft, leisured and zi tao catches his name from the clouds, the name he knows him by in this life. he’s known his past lives’s names as well, all of them, every single one and he still does but they’re not important because he’s by his side in the present, in the moment and not in the deja vu’s of their reincarnations. he has always been real and he still is, when he bites back his lips and leans against the frayed seat, his hand falling onto his lap and they sit there like strangers again, but he knows zi tao and zi tao knows him. bypassing minutes create knots in the younger’s stomach even though he’s trying his best not to let the feeling have its power of making him melt right where he is sitting, because he would.

the scenery changes, buildings pass and as the sun peeks out through the fog, the man with the ash blonde hair looks at zi tao again but zi tao doesn’t look back since he has fixed his gaze on the window, his eyes moving as he follows the street, the people and the reflections on the glass. the man gives a hum, says that this is his stop when the bus slows down and he gets up but when zi tao doesn’t turn to him, he smiles and walks out. what he doesn’t know, is that all the while he was looking at zi tao, zi tao was watching all the emotions his face reflected from the window’s glass.

the day stays covered in the moist air and as zi tao walks through the garden to the university, he bumps into luhan, who doesn’t bother to greet him but goes straight into waffling on about his father’s business crisis, his girlfriend whom he doesn’t want to marry and the korean boy who fulfills his every dream of a perfect being, the boy whom he sees himself with when everything is alright again. what zi tao doesn’t know is when everything will be alright. luhan seems to be giving defensive solutions and reasons to his own questions, leaving zi tao no space to response in any way. it is very typical of luhan, answering his own inquiries. he’ll only take his own advice. in some way, he is very much like yixing, zi tao has noticed, but still completely the opposite, because whilst luhan still keeps his girlfriend in order to please his parents, yixing gave up on majoring in economics to improve in dancing. it’s his dream, to become a professional dancer, and zi tao believes you should follow your dream, no matter what you’ll have to abandon for it. at the end of the day, dreams are what keep us going.

so when luhan pauses for a short half a minute to take a breath, zi tao suggests him to tell the truth to whoever he has to and chase a dream, no matter how far it seems to be. but because luhan is different from yixing, he laughs it off and says he has to keep up the walls of his set so his parents won’t be disappointed in him, to what zi tao claims that his parents will love him despite his choices. he gets laughed at again and luhan waves his way upstairs to the finance class. he’s wasting his life and he knows it. he just can’t let the walls come down, so he kisses his girlfriend on the corner of her lips when he sees her. that is when zi tao realizes that luhan is a body too. he has a hidden greed for earthly prizes.

it is not important in what zi tao is majoring, because he knows it will all pass and this is just a life in his archive of ones, this life in which he lives away from his parents studying communication and visual arts, not knowing where any of this is going to get him, pays his rent with the money he gets from working for a foster care center and spends his mornings following the lines of his fated one, who knows just exactly who he is, what he’s done and what they are, because he knows of the red string, stardust and pasts. he remembers. and this life in which the man with the ash blonde hair lives across the street, has come for china from another country, owns an indie art gallery downtown and reads every night in candle light, he is still in love, has always been.

zi tao doesn’t run into luhan again that day when he waits for a bus by the side of the street nor does he run into anyone he happens to know by name. he has his books pressed tight to his chest as he steps in, face buried in the depths of his snug scarf and he walks to the middle of the bus and grips a pole because there are no vacant seats. the hallway is crowded and he feels himself get hit by someone’s elbow and another one steps on his feet. he assures that he doesn’t mind but he knows that he can’t stand crowds, not when people won’t let him have his space, not when he can’t breathe. he wants to get off the bus and walk his way home but he’s too drowned in the mass of annoyed, drained people that he decides against himself and closes his eyes, wondering if all these men and women are proud of their lives and accomplishments, their families and if they are all looking for something more.

a firm, strong hand wraps around his waist and he lets out a breath he didn’t know he was holding in. souls are vulnerable, liable and susceptible in the midst of people, in crowds where they can be pushed and crushed, in societies and corrupted cement cities where their nature doesn’t fit quite right. zi tao looks up and he’s there, eyes husky and lips dusty and he pulls him bound to his chest, resting his chin in his hair when zi tao exhales, nose burying in the crook of the man’s clavicle where his skin is slightly cold. zi tao pleads for him to wear a scarf but he only holds him tighter.

when it is time for them to get off the bus, the older kindly asks for the people to move and some of them do, some don’t and they push their way through, zi tao still tugged close to the man’s side and he likes being held because it is safe, because he knows this man and he wants him like he’s wanted him in every life. the streetlights are smeared in fog and the alley is dark. he asks for zi tao not to walk home alone.

and it is all just a feeling that zi tao has, a very secure feeling that he is trustworthy and sensitive like him, that he is his and even if he doesn’t want zi tao to claim, he’ll still be for him because he has and will be in all their lives until their souls have been purified from greed. but zi tao’s core is filled with love, lust and need and he wants to be born over and over again as long as he’ll have this man by his side because he believes, after all these lives that he’ll find him, he always has, and that he will stay, because he’s never left except for once, when he died before he was supposed to. zi tao knows he hasn’t forgotten for he turns to look at him with eyes full of grief and apologies, when he shouldn’t be asking for his forgiveness. zi tao tells him that it is only the natural order of the universe. being born, suffering in living and dying. it is the circle of life.

they step into his apartment, cozy and zi tao notices how he hasn’t changed at all; there are bits of memories from the deja vu’s he sees of his past, when he was a gypsy in england, a beggar in sweden and a monk in nepal. zi tao sees it all clear in the back of his mind, remembers all they’ve been through and how many times they’ve loved and how true it was.
“yi fan”, is just a whisper when zi tao asks for the man to turn to him, steps closer and smiles like yi fan has seen him smile so many times before because he’s found him, because that’s all that matters. he doesn’t know how it always happens, doesn’t know if it is just a coincidence or if they are really meant to be but he believes in zi tao when he drops his books on the floor and wraps his arms behind his neck when they kiss and it’s the same as before but still new and fresh and exciting. they stumble through the apartment, past the small kitchen and the hall to the bed, yi fan’s back hitting the mattress first and zi tao climbs in his lap while they breathe in each others wet mouths. as if he knows, and he does, yi fan flicks a finger behind the younger’s ear where he knows he’s weak when he touches him and presses their foreheads together, undressing zi tao while he unbuttons his shirt.

neither of them bothers to speak. yi fan has understood, long ago, that zi tao doesn’t find beauty in words because words are humane and breakable. he believes in knowing, mere spiritual connection and it is enough for him, to know and have a feeling that something is right, that something like this is unbreakable and everlasting. so when zi tao lies naked under yi fan’s heaving body, chest rising and falling, yi fan doesn’t say how beautiful he is. zi tao wouldn’t want him to say so because what he looks like isn’t something he can do much to change, and yi fan knows but despite that he thinks, quietly in his mind, that zi tao is gorgeous and charming, that he has something left in his features from every life he’s lived. what he does, is an open kiss on glossy lips when he pulls the younger in his arms and zi tao moans. it is a shameless, needy moan and yi fan almost laughs, because he remembers. he remembers the shifts of hips, nails digging in his shoulder blades, heated kisses full of what zi tao wanted to say but never did and the heartbeats that he was never supposed to get so attached to but he had and he loved that beat. zi tao had once said he shouldn’t listen to it, but in return, yi fan had said that zi tao should sometime; it was the sound of being alive, being able to be here and live again, to love and not hide, the sound of the one he cherishes the most.

yi fan’s skin is hot against zi tao’s and he runs his hands over to his shoulders, down the arms all the way to the sides, past the waist to the body hips. sheets rumple and stick to zi tao’s back, a breeze from an open window rushing through his veins and he’s shivering under yi fan’s touch because he can never get enough of him, because he’s never the same but there’s nothing else in any existence he wants more than this.

they look in each other’s eyes, never lost in the midst of their heat and neither of them is insecure because although this is new to them every time, there is something familiar, ingenuous and simple in whatever this is. simple rushes, simple touches, simple clutches. zi tao has him in his hand and his palm is warm, his gaze hazy as he explores the temple of the soul he’s been bound to since his first birth. without saying anything out loud, he adores the sharp yet perfect, strong lines and the sculpted muscles and he thinks he knows what yi fan meant when he told him to listen to the heart.

the glass of the window is smudged from the inside and no one is there except for just the two of them like it is supposed to be when the walls are stretched and zi tao cries out in honest pain and pleasure, legs gathering every inch of yi fan and burying him between his thighs where he presses light, shaky kisses on. he tears the younger open once again for the first time, gentle yet bringing him hurt but it is what this is supposed to be like and zi tao knows it, so he let’s yi fan render him breathless until he’s not in his right mind anymore but pleading, begging like he always does because he needs too much and he senses that yi fan will give in.

being one in two separate forms kills but being one like this, when zi tao thaws in his embrace and clings to him, kisses and bites and inhales his scent and there is nothing more he could ask for than this, having him in ways no one else can, is enough and he feels at peace. then he almost laughs, listening to zi tao prompt small i love yous because zi tao doesn’t believe in words but he still says them aloud so he’s sure that yi fan knows, that he stays and yi fan will, even if he doesn’t say anything. their hips hit each other with each thrust and yi fan’s hands are lost again on the maps of zi tao’s bronze skin that glows in sweat with the lights fading in from outside the window. zi tao hears his own whimpers and he thinks he hears yi fan cry in the crook of his neck when he holds him while they make love and it’s all okay, he knows it is. he doesn’t bother to think if they’ll last like this forever or if they’ll meet again, he never does. it is not important at the moment.

there is a well in the bottom of zi tao’s stomach and his back arches but only a little and yi fan bites his way from his ear to his chest and nuzzles his nose under his chin where he can feel the beat. they’re tangled and zi tao wants to see yi fan when he comes, so he travels fingertips on his jawline and strokes his cheeks so he’ll look up to his eyes, so he won’t have to say anything. he watches the dark, blown orbs as they search for his and he finds him, saves him and they kiss, chests pressed and zi tao’s thighs keeping yi fan close when their high finally meets its limit and it’s sticky and hot but it doesn’t matter. zi tao’s hands are in yi fan’s hair and he doesn’t let go because like all the times before he’s finally scared of the world and what it will do to them, if it’ll ruin them or do them apart but when yi fan doesn’t try to move away but stays, still filling him with his warmth, zi tao swallows and he’s breathing again.

when they lie on the shriveled sheets and zi tao is small in yi fan’s arms, he listens to the beat of his lover’s heart and it is a simple, thudding sound of blood rushing through his body but suddenly it feels so much more than just a sound, suddenly it is so much more important and zi tao lays his head on yi fan’s chest to listen. the older blinks once, twice and smiles, runs long fingers through zi tao’s hair and let’s him wrap around him like he’s supposed to because he’s aware of the world. aware of the people, of the most simple things, of breathing and beating of the hearts. he’s aware of how small he is, how anything could happen and how nothing is permanent. he’s aware of yi fan and himself. of the natural order of things. of the universe.

and as the fog fades away into the night, zi tao sighs a prayer into yi fan’s heart; he prays for him to stay, for him to love and live long, to enjoy youth and forgive, to not hide and not care about things that don’t matter. he asks for him to sleep soundly, for him to wake up the next morning and all the mornings to come until death will do them apart and they’ll reunite again sometime, somewhere. he hopes for health, kindness and understanding. he whispers, quiet but just enough for yi fan to hear, that he’ll love him till the end of time.

but to his soul, the one he grasps onto, he tells never to seek enlightenment.
for i am a soul with a body, not a body with a soul

    2 tykkää.
Viestit: 7
Liittynyt: Pe Tammi 13, 2012 8:14 pm

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