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In truth, Diluc probably shouldn't have come here alone. Even if he knew he could take on the enemy here, he didn't account for the fact that it would be pouring rain. Normally, he could handle the giant regivine with enough ease- his flames melting its ice. Yet, now that it was raining heavily and through the crevices, it was even harder to set flame to anything. So here he was, leaping side to side out of each spike of ice, before charging back in. He was getting a little fatigued, but he wouldn't let this thing get to him. He'd heard that the Abyss Mages were going to use it to attack a farm near Mondstadt-- why, he didn't know. However, he would rather not let them.

Prune the bud before it got any worse, right? He set flame to his claymore once more, charging in as it began to sizzle from the rain hitting it. He wasn't alone anymore, though-- and surely, Diluc would get a shock at seeing all-too-familiar chains wrapping around the vine's stem. What were they doing here? He didn't keep his delusion on him, and even if he did, he knew when it activated. The answer made itself-- or himself known quickly, with Kaeya nimbly side-stepping a falling icicle, bringing himself into view.

"It was quite a hike here! And Jean thought taking my Vision would make me do paperwork. Fat chance; not when you're facing this thing alone." When he heard his brother speak up, he let out an exasperated sigh.

"Kaeya, you know that's-" He dodged to the side, another spear of ice nearly skewering him. "Nevermind, I'll scold you when we're done." He gripped his claymore once again, going to raise it up over his shoulder. Concentrating his Vision, he swiftly sliced forward-- a giant phoenix-shaped blast of flame shooting forth and scorching the regivine, Diluc hoping to finally cut it off from its roots.

A short laugh, clear and cold as crystal, was his only answer. Kaeya wasn't fighting quite as well as Diluc would've-- he wasn’t used to the Delusion-- but he was nothing if not inventive! Holding one end of the chains, he quickly sprinted around the damn vine, winding the noose tighter and tighter as it cut into its flesh. Or, what would be flesh if it weren't some monstrous plant. The combined efforts of the two managed to literally decapitate the flower, though its last hurrah was spewing ice and snow everywhere. Diluc made sure to set it ablaze again, just in case, before shaking the snow off of himself and huffing. It was cold, the plant's remaining root was spurting out sap like a broken fountain.

This was actually really fun, Kaeya thought. It was nice to broaden his horizons, though he knew he shouldn't make a habit of this. But maybe, he could borrow others' visions for short periods of time? Maybe Amber's. Pull rank. 'Borrow' her vision for a bit. Profit! But he couldn’t plan for too long-- Diluc stomped over, ever-present scowl on his face deeper than usual.

For now, he was just upset that Kaeya was risking himself like this. Did he not know what a Delusion could do to people? "Kaeya..." He grumbled, as he stood in front of his brother. "What were you thinking? Give that back-- It's... It's dangerous."

"I was thinking you were facing a dangerous enemy in the midst of the pouring rain! What were you thinking, coming out here alone, huh?!" Pouting at his brother, Kaeya crossed his arms, not making a single move to turn over the glove. Asshole... he could at least say 'thank you,' right? With the two of them working together, they made short work of the vine! He knew Diluc had to have been struggling before he got there.

He even took a step back, adopting a defensive stance when Diluc reached out for the glove-- much more defensive than usual, and nearly shouting, causing Diluc’s brows to furrow in concern. Yeah, it was dangerous. He wasn't a fucking child, he knew what it was capable of, and was sick and tired of everyone trying to order Kaeya around. He knew the paperwork needed to be done, he knew the Delusion was dangerous, he knew Diluc would've had a much harder time without him!

But panic boiled in his brother’s stomach as he realized what was going on. Without another word, he lunged forward, trying to grab Kaeya’s hand, trying to snatch the Delusion away. Kaeya wasn’t used to resisting the temptation, the corruption of the Delusion. He needed to get it off, now! But, always the nimble one, Kaeya gasped and leapt back quickly, out of reach. Did his brother try to slap him? That was obviously a slap! Was he having a bad day, to turn to blows so quickly?

No, he’s jealous you’ve already gotten so used to his Delusion. For once, you’re better at something. He wants to destroy it. How can he be the shining older brother if you managed to climb to the top of anything? Confusion turned to rage in an instant, and Kaeya stood his ground to properly yell at Diluc, not questioning where the thoughts were coming from.

“What the fuck? Why?! I know what I’m doing, Diluc! Stop treating me like I’m some fragile, spoiled brat!” The rage was the Delusion, but the words were not-- spoken from the heart, things he thought he left dead and buried coming to the surface.

Stepping back at the sudden shouting, Diluc grit his teeth. “I’m not treating you like a spoiled brat. I’m trying to save you from--”

The words may not be from the Delusion, but the chains definitely were. Cutting him off, one erupted from the glove, wrapping tight around the older man’s waist, knocking the air from his lungs. It burned, even through his clothes, and try as he might, he couldn’t yank it off. His own Vision wouldn’t work, either-- fire against fire would only ensure they both got burned to a crisp! 

"I don't need saving. I don't need you to be my fucking knight in shining armor!" He was seeing red. He wasn't helpless, he wasn't stupid, and he was sick and tired of Diluc always brushing him aside except when he needed something, whether it be affection or a favor. Memories came unbidden-- Diluc was the first to get his Vision. He was always the golden child, the one everyone praised, while Kaeya sat in the shadows. No matter how much he trained, no matter how much he smiled, nobody would pay attention to a poor, visionless shadow. He wanted to hurt Diluc, make his brother feel like the helpless, unwanted one-- and he had a wonderful, terrible idea of just how to do that.

"Kaeya, listen to me! You need to think, stop letting--!" He gasped as more chains shot out, this time capturing his wrists together. He yanked against the burning chains, feeling his skin heat up even through his gloves. Gritting his teeth together, he called out again,"Stop! I'm not trying to be your knight, I just want you back to your senses!"

He felt the chain around his waist retreat, which was good and dandy if it didn't leave him still winded and burnt. He tried to think of what to do- he couldn't summon nor use his sword with his wrists bound. Panicking, he stepped forward, swinging a leg out. If he could knock Kaeya back, maybe he could stun him out of the hold the Delusion had on him. The kick landed, right on Kaeya's chest-- bad move. He stumbled back, chains loosening just a touch before tightening again, worse this time as Kaeya's eyes flashed in rage, leaving Diluc to groan in pain. He was only getting angrier, and with a kick of his own, he shoved his brother down onto the hard stone ground. Landing with a grunt of pain, Diluc tried to roll onto his side, fearing more blows were to come.

"You fucking BITCH-- can't handle I've already gotten the hang of this thing, huh? Can't handle that your brother might actually be better at something? One of the Knights you hate so much, actually surpassing you?!" Breathing heavily, his eyes were filled with nothing but hatred for his brother, chest heaving as he looked down on him, Diluc looking up with fear in his eyes. It felt good-- far too good, and he basked in the feeling. His brother, fearing him? That meant he respected him, and did it take this to get that from him?!

"That's-- Kaeya no, that's not it! You know I never thought of myself as better than you in anything, we're equals. I'm-- just please, try to think rationally!" He sputtered, trying to stall for time as he struggled to get to his feet, to no avail. It was just too difficult to do, what with his wrists bound and panic surging through his system. Like demented snakes, the chains forced his arms above his head, pinning them firmly to the ground, and there went any chance of escaping.

Kaeya's eyes narrowed as he looked at him-- face splitting into a wide smile. "Oh Diluc," he crooned, voice now velvet, "we both know that's not true... You've always looked down on me. The poor little orphan boy, ripped from his homeland, only brought in out of pity." A demented smile that shouldn’t belong on his face-- Diluc’s breath hitched, terrified as he struggled. Like a predator, he circled Diluc, deciding how he was going to do this. His boot stepped in one of the sap puddles-- interesting. Such a pretty color… and it’d do nicely. He bent over to coat his ungloved fingers in it. Ice cold, even after the thing’s death.

"No! You were always my brother, I always loved your company. Kaeya, please." He had a feeling begging wouldn’t help, but with Kaeya so far, the chains weakened…

This was his chance, maybe his only chance, and with a burst of strength, he freed himself, scrambling to his feet and running despite the burns. Kaeya was delighted by the feeling the chains had; it was like they were a part of him, and he could feel the escape. How dare he try to get out of his punishment! Obviously, he wasn't being cruel enough. He wanted his brother begging for mercy under him, crying and-- goddammit, he wanted him to understand how he felt, at long last, after so many years.

With a snarl, he turned on his heel, rushing after Diluc and managing to get a chain around his ankle to bring him crashing down, dragging him back across the stone. He’d been almost out of the cavern, just climbing the incline before he tripped, a searing burn making it even through his boot. Letting out a gasp, he tried to claw away, grabbing at anything and everything he could use to stop this, to try and hold on if only for a few moments, but it was no use.

“Kaeya, you don’t want to do this! Think of what-- of what it’ll do to us!” Tears came hot and heavy to his eyes as he begged, terrified eyes looking up at the thing that’d taken the shape of his brother.

"It'll put you where you belong," was his easy reply, horrifying smile making its return. "Beneath me. Worshiping me." Once he was close enough, Diluc's hands were chained above his head once more as Kaeya kicked apart his legs, kneeling between them. Lifting his brother's shirt a bit, he experimentally smeared the sap across his stomach, other hand getting busy with the tie of Diluc's pants.

It was cold, he knew it-- but Kaeya had never been so warm before. It had already spread throughout his body, a wildfire making itself at home. Just how cold was the sap, actually? Diluc would be able to feel it-- and he did! With a shout of surprise, he shivered at the feeling, twisting his body best he could, shaking his head frantically. “N-NO, we don’t-- Kaeya, please!” He was outright begging now, terrified for what was going through his brother’s mind, gasping with how the cold messed with his senses.

"Shhhhhh... You just need to be punished a bit. Then, you'll see my point! Besides," and with the ties free, he pulls down his pants in one go, "you'd likely enjoy it anyway. You always do. Why is now so different? Are you that jealous?"

As much of the sap as he can pick back up is gathered again on his fingers, as Kaeya uses his own legs to fully kick off Diluc's pants. Hmmm... how would a frostbitten ass feel? Horrible, he imagined, and with a smile, he quickly shoved a finger inside.

"Kaeya please, please you don't want to do this. I love you, but this isn't you thinking it, it's- Ha-ah!" He let out a gasp as, suddenly, he had a VERY cold finger up his ass. Keening quietly, he squeezed his eyes shut, murmuring quiet pleads to let him go.

His entire body was shivering, now. Something so cold was inside of him and it was hurting him, perhaps not literally, but it was so cold, he wasn't used to it; it made him feel wrong, coupled with what was happening now... It was awful. Maybe, if he tried hard enough, he’d wake up? But this was no nightmare, Kaeya’s chuckling very real. It was lovely to see his brother in such pain, wasn't it? To finally be the one making him suffer? And actually, why was he even bothering to stretch him, or lube him up? After running a finger over his prostate a few times, pulling delicious shivers and whimpers from his brother, he pulled out to work on his own pants.

"You've always been beautiful when you cry. I think it'd be better if it's me making you cry, though. Won't it?"

"No.. I'm not going to cry for you! I'm not feeding this- sick twisted version of you, Kaeya. Please wake up!" He tried, once more, to reach out. If he could just get through to him before he did something he’d regret--

"This isn't a 'version' of me, Diluc. It's how I've always felt. I just feel like I finally have the power to force you not to brush me off, like you always do." Finally free (and fully hard already), Kaeya didn't waste any time, positioning himself and putting Diluc's legs over his shoulders. Almost no lube or stretching... hah, he'd be fine.

"Kaeya this isn't you--" He struggled more as his legs were raised up, trying his best to prevent the inevitable. Squeezing his eyes shut, he begged one last time,"Kaeya, please, you can turn ba--"

With a final mocking grin, Kaeya thrusted in, to the hilt all at once. His scream was louder than he expected. His eyes opened wide, and his back arched. It hurt. He didn't normally mind taking it, but with almost no lube, or stretching, it was agony. Tears began to prick at the edge of his eyes. Twisting his head to the side, he breathed in a gasp, trying to catch his breath and calm down. It was almost impossible to, though-- how could he? How could he calm down with what was going on?

Well... he couldn't turn back now, could he? This was the point of no return, buried deep in his brother as he screamed his pain to the uncaring stone. A very delicious point, and he couldn't help but shiver and moan, though it was drowned out. He was wonderfully tight and warm, and the ice of the sap (which he could barely feel) only added to the sensations. Diluc, however, could feel every inch, every drop, every single tiny agony. Begging, pleading, though unable to say much more than ‘please’ and ‘stop,’ he squeezed his eyes shut once more as Kaeya started a bruising pace, tears slipping out once more. Kaeya couldn’t help it-- he loved the way the slap of his hips echoed throughout the cavern, and the way his brother sobbed for him so beautifully.

“Told you I’d make you cry,” and he leaned over, grabbing his brother’s hair to pull his head up and lick up the tears. Such a precious sight, and wouldn’t it be wonderful if he kept him here? Chained up, coming back once a day or so, fucking him until he was broken in? The perfect brother, the perfect slut, all for him. Demand he never look at another person, just him… all to himself. He laughed, and the sound was unhinged as he imagined the sight of Diluc, the once-proud captain, broken.

And, all Diluc could think about as his back ached against the stone, was that he’d lost his brother. Lost him to the Delusion, the useless treasure he couldn’t bear to part with, that he’d left so carelessly out for Kaeya to find. If he’d been more careful, this wouldn’t be happening-- he wouldn’t be watching as his brother drowned in it. Wouldn’t be helpless under him, feeling new bruises with every thrust and touch, crying out as he licked up the tears. Eyes peering up once more, he grit his teeth and hiccuped, trying to stop the sobs. Quieting down, but the tears wouldn’t stop, and he was disappointed in himself for giving in so easily. He wasn’t even angry at his brother; this was his own damn fault. If he’d just hidden the Delusion better, or gotten rid of it altogether, this wouldn’t be happening!

A stray thought, and two more chains appeared, this time wrapping around Diluc’s thighs, holding them open and up. A delighted laugh escaped Kaeya’s lips-- he hadn’t thought he summoned them, and yet here they were, reacting to his wishes! No wonder Diluc kept it around; the Delusion was powerful, and perhaps he could keep it? He’d always been one with his ice, but the thought of so much power at his fingertips was too tempting to give up. Besides, if he could use it like this again, not only on his brother… finally, he’d be free of his duties, and finally, he’d be able to toy with the people like he’d always wanted. Truly free, nothing like what Barbatos preached; free to do whatever he damn well pleased. A lovely thought, but he wanted this to be over already.

“F-Fight it, please!” He couldn’t lose his brother to this, to some tainted artifact. Struggling anew, he tried to escape-- to do what, exactly? He didn’t know yet, but he could see the light leaving Kaeya’s eyes, could see as the Delusion was likely twisting itself around his brother’s thoughts like a serpent. He wasn’t aroused in the slightest, but Kaeya’s smile twisted, and he reached one hand down to start roughly stroking.

“No.” A simple answer, spoken between gasps for air as he could feel himself approaching the edge. He didn’t want to come alone though, oh no. He wanted to make Diluc completely and utterly his. His own. Nobody else’s. And how romantic was that? A pretty little plaything just for him… “I’ll make you mine. All mine… Just how it’s supposed to be. You’re mine, Diluc. Never forget that.”

Letting out a whine at the stimulation, Diluc shook his head, hating the coil of heat that started building in his stomach at the rough handjob. “I-I’ve always been yours, Kaeya… you don’t have to do this. Please, before it’s too late, please--” They belonged to each other. Promised it, when they finally confessed their feelings. Why did he feel the need to do this?

“You don’t have to do this.”

“And what was I supposed to do? Talk to you about these things? Give you a chance,” and he punctuated the hateful word with an especially hard thrust right to Diluc’s prostate, “to brush me off again?” He laughed, like the very idea was ridiculous, as the erratic movements freed some of his hair from its tie to fall in front of his face. The stroking grew almost frantic; he was desperate to make his brother come with him. It was a ritual he needed to complete, a catharsis he needed to feel whole, the Delusion pushing him further and further with every passing moment.

“Yes! Yes, you could’ve talked to me and I--” He let out a loud moan at the increased stimulation, a shiver going up his sore back. Despite it all, he could feel himself getting close, skin flushed as if with fever. “I-I wouldn’t brush you off, Kaeya, those days are over--” Had he been carrying this hurt for so long? Did it really run that deep? Deep enough that his brother would want so badly to hurt him? He knew, the Delusion didn’t create new desires, it only twisted and amplified them. Did he really want to hurt him…? Against his will, out slid another sob, interrupted by a moan as Kaeya rubbed a thumb over his tip.

Ah, but that didn’t shut him up, did it? Frustrated an annoyed, Kaeya leaned over to bite hard on his shoulder, drawing blood as the redhead screamed in pain. Much better… he was so beautiful like this, wasn’t he? Crying and bleeding and just about gushing pre, a precursor for what was to come. If only he could save this moment forever, savor it-- no matter, he could just do it again and again, break in his new plaything.

But no… All he wanted was to get back at his brother for all the times he'd been hurt, all the times he laid in his room in the inn, wide awake and wondering if his brother had ever really enjoyed his company. Obsessing over him, crying over him, considering breaking down his door and begging for even five minutes of his undivided attention... it hurt. All he'd wanted was to spend time with him, like they used to. It hurt, how much he’d ached for him, and now he was just transferring that hurt to the one that caused it. A whine brought him out of his musings, though-- Diluc was getting close, he noted with a cruel smile.

He didn’t let up. In fact, he started going harder, leaving a few more bites, nails raking down his side, leaving cruel red lines in their wake. Harder, faster, the chains wrapping tighter around his limbs, no doubt leaving burns in their wake. He wanted them to come together-- such a romantic idea, wasn't it? And then, when this was over, he'd mold Diluc into the perfect obedient brother... he'd never hurt Kaeya again. He wouldn't dare. A few moans slipped from his lips, and he let his eyes close. He was close, so close... but he wanted them to come together.

Diluc's mind was beginning to haze. The pain mixed with pleasure was making him incoherent. Gasps and wordless moans tumbling from his lips, he felt his back begin to arch. The chains burning even more into his skin, his brother toying with him even further.

He let out a cry, gripping Kaeya tightly against his will, as he came to his climax. At last. Finally, the end... the additional tightness brought Kaeya to release, and he came inside his brother with a much louder moan, fingers digging into his shoulder. The first of many to come, as he broke him, made him into the perfect little--

The-- the perfect--

He froze, swallowing hard as he pulled out instinctively, every muscle tense. The sudden withdrawal of his brother's cock made Diluc cry out once more. He was shivering, the post-climax feeling even worse than when he was being forced to enjoy himself. Eyes still watering, he stared up at Kaeya, wondering why he was suddenly pulling out. Did he want to do something else to him? Diluc watched him with fear in his eyes, no longer trying to resist.

Chapter Text

Eyes unfocused, Kaeya stared off into the distance, every muscle tensed as Diluc watched from below, fearful. Was he going to hurt him more? What was the Delusion doing to his brother now? He didn’t know what was happening, and that made it even more terrifying. Even as the chains slowly loosened before disappearing, he didn’t dare move a muscle. Not a single muscle, because what if he caught his brother’s attention again? What if that was all he needed to return to that horrible, twisted version of himself, and finish what he started? What if--


With a cry, Kaeya ripped off the glove, flinging it as far as he could. It was still in his head, and he scrambled back on all fours, tears coming to his eye. It was still in his head, and didn’t Kaeya want to finish what he’d started? What about all the plans to make his brother pay? Shaking his head, clutching his hair, Kaeya brought his knees to his chest as he sobbed out apology after apology, as if it could take back what you’ve done to him. You’ve gotten this far, why not keep going?


“I’m sorry-- I-I’m sorry-- I’m sorry, I’m sorry--” Great, heaving sobs that shook his shoulders, hiccups that ached in his chest, and a deep-seated all-encompassing guilt that threatened to swallow himself whole with the Delusion. With the chains gone (leaving behind deep angry burns) Diluc swallowed anxiously, sitting up and looking over to his brother. Was it over…? Looked like it was.


“A-Are you back…?” Cautiously, still tense, voice raspy from his screams. Ah, but he couldn’t stay up for too long… flopping back onto the stone, he turned to look again at his brother, barely able to keep his eyes open. It looked like he was back. It was safe, right? Was this hellish nightmare finally over? He didn’t dare try to come closer though, fear stopping him still.


Curled up best he could, gripping his hair like he meant to pull it out, sobbing in pure despair... It was in his head, was it still in there? He could still feel it, trying to take hold of him, like a poison in his mind, telling him to keep hurting his brother, he had plans, won't he follow through? A single sapphire eye glanced up at Diluc-- wide in fear.


I-I can feel it-- I c-can still feel it, make it stop, p-please make it stop--”


Diluc knew his brother was still feeling the after-effects; the shock, the horror on his face made it obvious. It hurt, everything ached after all that’d happened, but he still pulled his way across the floor, closer to Kaeya. “Focus… just focus on my voice.” He was too tired for a proper hug. That was fine, he leaned against him instead, letting his eyes close. “Focus on it… it’ll be alright. I love you.” His throat was sore, but that didn’t matter. All that mattered was comforting Kaeya.


The contact shocked Kaeya out of his fear-induced trance, at least for the moment... longer, hopefully. A single blue eye , wide with fear, stared deep into Diluc's, desperate for something to keep him grounded. He... loved him? Even after everything he did? He could remember it all clearly, though it was tinged with black, like a nightmare. Violent shivers wracked his body, even as he scooted a bit closer to his brother, desperately.

"I'm sorry-- I-I'm sorry, I'm sorry," was his mantra now as he sought forgiveness in his brother’s eyes. And Diluc? Diluc smiled weakly, despite the exhaustion and the fear still hidden there. He was scared Kaeya would just go back to hating him, to wanting to own him, but he needed to shove that part away. As Kaeya moved closer to him, Diluc wrapped his arms loosely around his brother, best he could.

"... It's oka
y, " h e murmured, trying to be as reassuring as possible. His voice was raw, so it wasn't that reassuring, but he was trying. With a gasp, Kaeya caught him, holding him close-- he was hurt. He was injured, he was likely suffering, and here Kaeya was, making it all about himself? Pulling up his own pants, he told Diluc to wait a bit as he went to grab his brother's underwear. Pants? No... he'd leave them here. Better not to aggravate his wounds.

"I-I'm going to take you home
, I'll take you home." He couldn't take back what he'd done, but he could try to make it up to him. R ight? Diluc let out a groan from the movement . It looked like he was trying so hard to stay awake and lucid, but the truth of the matter was that he was exhausted. Nodding his head, nonetheless, he put on a weary smile. He needed to reassure his brother. Everything was going to be fine, right? Kaeya needed help. Needed him to be strong, despite him wanting to be anything but just now. More than anything, he wanted to collapse, let his brother take care of him, but that’d be irresponsible.

"Okay... Let's- Let's go home."
He h ope d the Delusion would be utterly destroyed by the r egisvine when it regrew . Kaeya didn't want to touch the Delusion again. He didn't want to look at it. He didn't even want to think about it. Diluc could come back and get it again if he wanted, but Kaeya didn't want to have a single thing to do with it ever again.

"I'll get you home, and we'll get you patched up, and a nice, cold bath for those burns--" The burns he caused. The reminder that he needed to be strong for his brother was all that kept him from crying.

Making sure he had a firm grip on his brother, he started towards the winery as quickly as he could.
Diluc seemed content, not at the situation, but at being held. Kaeya wouldn’t drop him… he wished for his pants, worrying a bit at how Kaeya would explain this to the winery workers, but his brother was right; he needed to get home. They both needed to rest, and recover. Despite the burns around his wrists and thighs, he let his eyes close, resting on the way back. The steady rhythm of his brother’s steps… it lulled him into a trance as he kept smiling, trying to reassure him even as he more or less dozed. He was in agony from his injuries, and no good at smiling, but he had to try. A coping mechanism-- focus on Kaeya. Focus on Kaeya’s pain, and the reverse was true for his brother. Both of them, pushing down their own pain to focus on the other’s. It was just easier that way.


Kaeya wasn’t about to speak to the workers, though. When they finally reached the winery, he transferred his brother to his back, told him to hold on, and scaled the side of the building. Something he’d done many times before, though not without such weight on his back-- but he managed. Knocking on the frame of the window, he managed to shimmy it open despite the lock. “ Nothing to it. Also, you might want to get better locks ,” he said, trying to crack a joke. Tone fell flat, but hey, he was trying. They both were, best they could. Because if they couldn’t pretend everything was alright, how would they function?


I’ll look into it,” Diluc croaked back, letting out an airy laugh that sounded wrong somehow. Out of place. But he m anag ed to get out of Kaeya’s hold enough to hobble over and fall onto the bed, a nd there he laid, eyes closed, exhausted. No ceremony, no elegance; he just wanted to rest and maybe wake up and pretend this never happened. But, Kaeya was starting to fret over him-- he worked off his coat and boots (with hasty promises that he wouldn’t take off more) before tucking him in. Diluc took his words to heart; he didn’t care about his brother touching him now. He was too tired, too bone-deep exhausted by everything, though he looked over his brother for a bit, trying to determine if he needed more reassurance. He knew damn well how bad Delusions could be.


A bath? No, he looked too tired… too exhausted, and he didn’t blame him. Why would he blame Diluc? It was his own damn fault his brother was like this! “ I’ll get some mist flowers. You just-- you rest.” Though it looked like his brother was going to do that regardless, Kaeya still made sure to be stern before climbing back out the window. Not dramatic, just wary of encountering others. He didn’t have the time or patience to deal with other people, for once in his social-butterfly life. He did come back in through the front door though, grabbing a bottle of grape juice from the kitchen as he headed upstairs. It was the very least he could do after what he put Diluc through, right?


A knock on the door before he poked his head in, holding the juice and flowers up like offerings. “Brought you some grape juice, too… I-I figured, maybe you’d want some.” A little something to help him cheer up, maybe, and he brought the items over to the bed, shredding the flowers so they could be spread out over the poor man’s burns. And Diluc, Diluc kept smiling, and it worried Kaeya, but neither of them wanted to break the illusion. It was just… an injury. Just an injury, and nothing happened.


"Thanks," Diluc croaked out, "I can probably put them on myself ." He held his hands out towards his brother's own, before recoiling slightly. Was he scared to touch Kaeya at all, perhaps? He stared at his hands, before cautiously holding them out again to receive the items. It wasn’t like Kaeya didn’t expect it, but the reaction still left him swallowing back tears.


"It's alright," he said quietly, almost timidly. "I can still feel it, but it's growing weaker by the minute... I can resist it just fine. I won't hurt you again." It almost sounded like he wanted to cry-- but he couldn't. He needed to be there for his brother. Crying would force Diluc to comfort him, and it was Diluc that needed the comforting! Not himself! Kaeya could do just fine without . Because i t was obvious that Diluc wasn't doing so hot, mentally. Even as he forced himself to stay comfortable around his brother, there was still this underlying fear- that he would be taken over by the deep thoughts in his head. He knew how Delusions worked- how they picked up on even the most subtle of negative thoughts, took them and twisted them.

Somewhere in there, Kaeya was
angry at him, he was upset that Diluc had pushed him away for so long. That made him uneasy.

Looking back up, hearing his brother sound close to tears, he tried to put the haunted expression aside, once again grinning. "Oh, thank you. I'll be careful- really, it's not as bad as when I first started using my Vision." That was a lie, they both knew it. Diluc's vision burnt him, sure, but never this severe
ly . Or intimate ly . Kaeya focused on shredding the flowers, facing away from his brother so he could blink back the tears. Once done, he managed to put on a mask long enough to hand them off to him, before making the excuse of 'washing up' to head into the bathroom. Diluc watched him silently, a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. Even as he moved to soothe his burns with the shredded flower petals, he couldn’t help but worry.


And not for no reason; o nce the lock clicked into place, Kaeya couldn't hold it in any longer-- the sobs came, heavy and fast, though he kept them silent best he could . He could not let Diluc hear them, despite how they soon left his throat sore. He could n’t let Diluc worry, despite how badly Kaeya was aching for some sort of comfort. Fading, yes; but Kaeya could still feel the Delusion in his head, worming its way through his memories, bringing up the worst of them and asking, doesn't this make you mad? Doesn't this make you want to hurt someone?

It wasn't wrong. And that made it worse.