Amber let out a hearty yawn, the only warning poor Baron Bunny got before she collapsed face-first into bed. Vision or no, there wasn't a whole lot you could get done without a good night's rest, and her week had been packed. Between the hilichurls encroaching too close to the city, and the Abyss Order forces they were still mopping up in Stormterror's Lair, she'd been up to her ears in knightly responsibilities (and then some!)
"Well, Baron Bunny," she murmured, turning over and wiggling her way under the covers. "There's no use moping about it, right? As Mondstadt's one and only Outrider Knight, it's my duty to rise to the challenge!"
One of Baron Bunny's ears fell forward with a solemn flop.
"Right?" she giggled, nuzzling her face into the plushie's forehead. "You get me."
She paused, half-sitting up in bed. She'd used to say the same thing to Lumine pretty often, hadn't she?
But Lumine was in Liyue now, looking for Rex Lapis—and after that, the rest of the Seven. Amber, on the other hand, was a Knight of Favonius, sworn to the protection of Mondstadt.
She sighed. They both had their duties to attend to, right? No use moping about it—
Tap. Tap tap tap.
Carefully, and very gently, Amber rolled out of bed into a crouch on the floor of her room. With one hand she swiped her Vision from her nightstand, and in a second fluid motion she gripped her bow in the other.
The noise came from behind her curtains once more. Tap.
Maybe it's a bird? Amber reasoned. Birds tapped on windows, right? Yes, that was a reasonable explanation. She'd go shoo it off and go right back to sleep, and there wouldn't be a single bat, beast, or winged vengeance-seeking hilichurl to be seen.
With stalwart resolve and a racing heart, Amber crept across the room to the window—one step, then two...
Bow gripped tightly, back against the wall, Amber swiveled forward, flinging open the curtains to unveil—
Amber rubbed her eyes. "Lumine?"
Lumine grinned in response, pulling her hand back from the glass. "Hi, Amber."
An Outrider Knight had to be quick on her feet, and Amber only stood there dazed a few seconds more before springing to action. "It, uh, it opens out—you're gonna have to move a bit."
Lumine gave a nod of acknowledgement, shimmying down to just below the windowsill. As she undid the latch, Amber was greeted with a gust of crisp night wind—and of course, Lumine's hazel eyes.
"I thought you were supposed to be in Liyue!"
"I was," she explained. "But it doesn't look like I'll be able to get to Inazuma for awhile, so I came back."
Amber nodded slowly, still not entirely sure she was awake. "This is a third-story window, how—" she paused, taking in the device strapped to Lumine's back. "Did you glide to my bedroom window in the dead of night?"
Lumine shrugged apologetically. "My key didn't work."
"Uh, yeah," Amber said. "We change them out every few weeks for, um, safety reasons— do you wanna come in?"
"Yes please, I think I'm slipping—"
That was about all the warning she got before Lumine lunged forward, toppling her way into the bedroom. The wind glider didn't quite fit, but Amber was quick enough to snag it before it fell to the ground.
"Thanks," Lumine breathed, quickly reaching over her to help ease the wind glider into the room the long way.
"It's nothing, really," Amber reassured, sliding the window shut. She paused, taking another glance out the window. "Hey, wait a minute—where's Paimon?"
"Looking for an early breakfast, I think," Lumine chuckled. "I'm sure she'll catch up."
When Lumine laughed, her entire face lit up. Amber had no idea how she'd never noticed it before—it was beautiful. Like she was smiling with her entire soul.
...Amber also noticed she was staring, and quickly jerked her gaze away. Thankfully, Lumine's full-body yawn a few moments later seemed to indicate she hadn't been caught. Honestly, Lumine looked even more tired than her, and that had to be quite the feat.
"You look exhausted," she said, taking a seat at the end of her bed. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you ran all the way from Liyue!"
It was a lame joke—even by her standards, but apparently Tired Amber had a shockingly low bar.
Lumine nearly collapsed into a sitting position beside her, nodding groggily in response. "Not all in one day, don't worry."
"I-I was joking!" she sputtered. "And there's an ocean!"
Lumine shrugged, leaning her head on Amber's shoulder. "I had help. Qiqi help."
Amber resolved to inquire on this matter further another day.
"Well, let me help you back to your room," Amber resolved, her face not heating up in the slightest. "It might be a little dusty, but I'll look for some fresh sheets and—"
"Um," Lumine interrupted. "I could spend the night here. If that's okay with you, I mean," she quickly concluded in a much more sheepish tone.
Mmm, on second thought that did make more sense. Lumine looked about ready to pass out on the floor, and they certainly couldn't have that. Besides, it wasn't much different than camping out in the wilds like they used to on commissions, right?
"Of course it's okay with me!" Amber grinned with renewed vigor. "It'll be like a sleepover!"
Lumine smiled as she nodded. "A sleepover." Suddenly her eyes widened, seeming to gaze at something Amber couldn't see. Wait, was she blushing?
"Uh," Lumine sheepishly murmured for the second time that night. "I, uh, don't have any pajamas."
"Oh!" Amber exclaimed. "Well that's fine, you can just borrow some of mine!" Crossing the room, she rifled through her dresser for several moments before her prize revealed itself—a set of crimson PJs stitched with depictions
of little bunny rabbits.
Lumine accepted them gratefully as she started to slip her usual clothes into her backpack—Amber quickly turned away. Jeez, it is kinda stuffy in here—maybe I should've left that window open.
"You can look now," Lumine said. Turning back, Amber nodded approvingly. It wasn't a bad fit at all, they suited her! Though on that note, seeing Lumine in her own clothing was a little—
"Well, I'm tired, how about you?" Amber exclaimed with all due haste, hopping back under her covers. "Good night, Lumine!"
Light, tinkling laughter echoed from behind her, and she felt the weight of the bed shift as Lumine slid in gently. "Good night, Amber."
Amber rolled her shoulders, pulling the blankets up a bit.
Lumine twisted on the other side of the bed, then cleared her throat.
"Can't sleep?" they said in unison, turning to look each other in the eyes.
"I've been half-asleep for the last hour, but after all that excitement..." Lumine trailed off.
"Yeah, same here. I uh, don't suppose you know any lullabies?" Amber proposed half-jokingly.
Lumine was quiet for a long moment.
Amber was about to apologize for bring it up altogether, she was probably already breaching the other girl's comfort zone and she should just go tidy up a spare room so they could both get some sleep and Lumine probably didn't even like her that much— her cheeks were definitely burning up, and she cut off that train of thought.
"Whenever my brother and I couldn't sleep," Lumine began, in a noticeably subdued tone. "Our parents used to sing us a lullaby." She looked to Amber, golden gaze intent—expression near-unreadable. "I could sing it for you."
"Oh, Lumine, you don't have to do that!" Amber hastily protested. "That song's probably really special to you, and—"
"Do you want me to sing it to you?" she rephrased.
A deep yawn cut through the silence.
"...Yeah," Amber admitted, holding a hand to her mouth. "That... that sounds really nice."
Lumine sat up a bit, closing her eyes. She took a deep breath, and...
"We will be reunited,"
"At this journey's end,"
"Once the dust has settled,"
"And the stars—"
Lumine's song broke off into a yawn, her arms tightening around the nearest solid object—Amber's waist—as she sank deeper under the covers.
"And the stars go to bed..."
Amber, for her part, only squeaked a tiny bit.
"That's..." she yawned, "...some lullaby, huh?"
Lumine nodded into her pillow. "It's... probably magic."
With anyone else, she'd assume it was a joke, but with Lumine...
Well, the mystique was pretty cute.
This time, she was much too tired to get embarrassed.
"Amber?" Lumine murmured a bit later, a pleasant ripple sliding through that near-sleep haze.
"Hm?" she said, turning her head to look at her.
"Thank you for letting me in."
"Well!" Amber exclaimed with a little more vigor. "I wasn't going to just leave you out there—"
"Not just now," Lumine corrected. "When I first came to Teyvat. When I was just an outlander."
Amber was pretty sure she meant when I first came to Mondstadt, but whatever, they had both proven to be exceedingly exhausted.
Lumine didn't wait for a response before continuing.
"You're the closest..." she trailed off, voice taking on a strange tone.
"The closest thing I've had to home in... a long time."
A snore was her only answer.
She probably meant Mondstadt again.
But whatever, Amber thought, nuzzling her face into something soft—Baron Bunny, probably. She could pretend until morning.
She fell asleep with a smile, to the rhythm of the warm fluttering in her chest.