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Trade You the Contradictions for Just One Truth

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He hates this.

“Gods, Kaeya…” Diluc moans when Kaeya sucks on a spot just beneath the redhead’s ear.

To be clear: No, he doesn’t hate having sex with Diluc. In fact, he loves it. Craves the other man’s release as much as his own, even.

But he hates why Diluc’s here.

Every time. Every morning after, he’ll be reminded of the fact that they’re not anything special. That Diluc’s only using him. That they’re just friends with benefits. Fuck buddies.

And that he’s is too in love with Diluc to ever risk losing this thing that they have going on now. As much as it’ll hurt him later.

“Bend over and close your legs, sweetheart.”

“Close?” Diluc looks back at him between gasps with questioning eyes, but does it for Kaeya anyways. He feels a surge of exhilaration from Diluc’s raw display of trust.

Kaeya reaches down to grope Diluc’s thighs, pushing them closer together, and kisses over the fading marks on his shoulder blades. Pretends that those are his marks from their last tryst. Kaeya gently lathers the lube between those muscled thighs before slicking up his own dick. By now, Diluc has caught on to Kaeya’s intentions and clenches his legs tighter.

Kaeya grins at the sight. It’s something he doesn’t expect to get used to any time soon. Or ever, if he’s being honest. Diluc is beautiful. Bent over and pliant under his touches, panting with his face half turned to him, pressed into the sheets. Diluc impatiently twitches back to grind his ass over Kaeya’s groin, causing the latter snap back and let out a moan of his own.

“You always stare too much.” Diluc looks at him with furrowed brows as he chastises Kaeya playfully. Extending an arm out, he invites the Favonius knight for another kiss. And Kaeya is a weak, weak man. Too weak to confess his feelings towards the beauty in front of him. Too weak to stop this for his own sanity. Too weak to ever leave Diluc wanting. So, he lets himself get pulled down for another heated kiss. To forget about his unrequited feelings for a bit and to just lose himself in the present.

Diluc rolls his hips back again and Kaeya feels his dick growing harder with the way Diluc teases him. His will almost snaps. He trails a hand up to cup one of the cheeks and slides his thumb over the rim of his hole.

“I wanna fuck you here so bad,” Kaeya whispers into Diluc’s ear and he could feel shiver from the body under him.

“But, I’m sure you want to be able to stand tomorrow.” Kaeya knows, from his own intelligence network, that there will be a secret Fatui meeting somewhere tomorrow and that meant Diluc will be there. He can’t stop him and he can’t follow him due to his own limited information— not from the lack of trying of course. But, there are a few corners of an information guild that the salary of a Cavalry Captain can’t reach. The best he can do is at least hold back tonight and let Diluc protect himself tomorrow night.

“As if you could fuck me so hard that I’ll be feeling it a whole twenty-four hours later.” Diluc scoffs, feigning annoyance at his words— only for the illusion to be broken when he moans again, louder. The tip of a thumb breaches him and his body involuntarily pushes back on the finger, clenching it in farther.

“Isn’t that why you always come back, though?” Kaeya thrusts his cock between Diluc’s thighs, angling it so that their dicks slid against one another. He’s rewarded by a shuddered gasp that escapes Diluc’s lips. Hips jerk back, adding to the friction.

He guides Diluc’s hand to their two throbbing members, rubbing them against each other. Together, they wrapped their fingers around their cocks in a comfortable grip. Kaeya leads their strokes agonizing slow and Diluc almost whimpers before clasping a hand over his mouth to stop such needy sounds.

“Why are you embarrassed now? You’ve been moaning for me so sweetly since the start.” Kaeya pries the hand away from Diluc’s mouth and flicks their wrists up for a quick stroke, earning a strangled moan from the man under him.

“There’s no point in pretending anymore.” Kaeya leaves sloppy kisses over the nape of Diluc’s neck and sucking over some old marks.

“Ah—! Y-You’re not that good.”

“Oh yeah?” Kaeya moves his hips back and thrusts back into space between Diluc’s thighs. Diluc throws his head back and cries out when he feels Kaeya’s member pushing under his. He tenses his legs around the dick and rocks back, rutting on his partner’s thick cock. It feels feverishly hot between Diluc’s legs but also extremely good when he feels their dicks rubbing against each other’s whole length.

“That’ll be more believable if you weren’t crying out my name.” Kaeya grasps Diluc’s jaw and forces the other to look at him. Diluc opens his mouth, a retort ready on his tongue, but Kaeya acts first and kisses him slowly— the way Diluc likes it. When they break apart, Diluc gives him a frustrated look. Like he wants to tell Kaeya otherwise but he can’t do it without seeming hypocritical.

But then Kaeya smirks and Diluc decides that being a hypocrite is fine if he could wipe that shit grin off.

“I’ve had better,” Diluc responds stubbornly. He flicks his tongue over Kaeya’s chin and bites down lightly.

That irks Kaeya. This was not the kind of dirty talk he wanted to have. Not when he could never know for sure about the things Diluc was implying.

He lets go Diluc’s jaw and places the hand on the side of Diluc’s thighs, pushing the muscles inwards and helping Diluc squeeze his penis more.

“Then, I’ll just have to work harder,” Kaeya says. It’s the only warning Diluc gets before he’s flung into a brutal pace as Kaeya starts thrusting between his thighs hard. He’s certain that there’ll be red marks on the inside of his thighs tomorrow. Their hands are wrapped over each other as they pump their lengths together in tandem with the thrusts. Kaeya’s thumb grazes over the slit of Diluc’s dick and smears the precum over their dicks, mixing it along with the lube.

Kaeya,” he moans. Diluc’s other hand reaches out to stabilize himself from the harsh pounding and grips onto the bedsheets tightly.

“P-Please,” Diluc’s back bows and his hips jerk up when Kaeya’s hand leaves his to play with his asshole again. The balance he found just seconds ago is lost when he slips falls over on his forearm. The hand that was jerking them off falls slack when a finger enters and he gasps sharply at the intrusion.

“C’mon sweetheart. I’m working really hard for you here.” His finger curls in and finds Diluc’s prostate easily.

“Ah—No, wait—” Diluc starting to feel dizzy from all the excitement and he fears he’ll come too soon. Kaeya’s cock continues to ruthlessly grind over Diluc’s which started leaking even more. Diluc could feel each drag of Kaeya’s dick over his balls and clenches tighter when he feels a pressure on his prostate again.

“Wouldn’t you say I’m pretty good?” Kaeya slinks down and presses soft kisses to Diluc’s shoulders.

“Ah— Yes! You are!”

“The best?”

“Yes! You’re my best!”

Kaeya moans at those words. He takes his finger out and flips Diluc so that they’re facing each other again and he takes in the sight. Diluc’s chest heaves up and down as he struggles to regain his breath. His eyes are glassy and there’s a trail of drool coming from Diluc’s mouth from when they kissed. A small part of Kaeya whispers to him: you’re not the only one who’ve seen him like this. But he quashes that line of thought quickly before he can wallow in his misery and ruin the mood. The logical side telling himself that there’s no way he could possibly expect Diluc to have waited so long for him. Not when Diluc didn’t even know how he felt—feels. He’s even guilty of using others the way Diluc is using him right now.

“Good,” Kaeya manages to choke out. He hoists both of Diluc’s legs over his left shoulder, almost bending him in half, and repositions himself back between those thighs— now stained with precum and lubricant. “Don’t forget it. No one can fuck you like I do.”

They don’t exchange any coherent sentences after that. Just moans accompanying the loud creaking of the bed and the sound of skin slapping. Kaeya continues to gently pepper kisses all over Diluc’s face and neck— anywhere he can reach. The soft kisses that Kaeya showers him with, despite the brutish thrusting his lower body is receiving, sends Diluc over the edge.

“Kaeya— I…” Diluc trails off. Too blissed out to remember he was talking.

“Me too, Diluc— me too.” Kaeya answers in short, succinct sentences as he nips Diluc’s neck.

Satisfied that his partner was also close to climaxing, Diluc crosses his legs, hooking one knee over the other and presses down on Kaeya’s shoulder. The extra squeeze from Diluc’s thighs had Kaeya seeing stars as he cums over Diluc’s chest. Ropes of white enters Diluc’s vision and a few drops land on his face.

“Shit, Diluc. You li’l devil.” Kaeya hadn’t planned to come before Diluc, but the little succubus knew just what to do. He unhooks Diluc’s legs from his shoulder to more comfortably wrap a hand around Diluc’s dick and jerks his wrist up the shaft. Diluc comes too in just a few short tugs. Kaeya takes a minute to watch Diluc basking in their orgasm. His mouth parted slightly, catching his breath, and his eyes staring back at him. It’s the only time he’s positive that Diluc is only thinking about him. And when he notices Diluc’s breathing easing back into an even pace, Kaeya flops down on top of him.

“Kaeya! That’s gross,” Diluc chides. He could feel their cum and sweat being smeared between their chests. Diluc squirms underneath and smacks Kaeya’s shoulder a few times while telling him off.

“Mmm… We can clean up later,” Kaeya mutters back, wrapping his arms around Diluc and bringing the latter into a loose embrace.

He scoots up a bit to Diluc’s eye level and brushes the wild hair out of Diluc’s face. He stares into those red eyes and wishes that they could always be like this. That Diluc would always be looking at him only. Kaeya could feel the post-coital tristesse catching up to him in waves the longer Diluc keeps his gaze. He should stop doing this. He could tell Diluc how he feels, but he doesn’t want to put him on the spot either. Diluc will feel guilty. And hurting him is the last thing Kaeya ever wants to do to him ever again. Not after the last time he let his emotions go unchecked. But it’s killing him. It kills him to keep this charade up in exchange for just a moment of bliss with Diluc. He can’t let this—

Kaeya feels a hand cup the back of his neck and pull him down. Soft lips kiss him sweetly before he can register what’s happening. A tongue licks over his bottom lip and he grants access easily, lulled into the kiss.

“I can hear you thinking from here, you sap.” Diluc smirks up at him mischievously when they break apart slowly.

Kaeya froze. Did he— no. No way had he actually said anything.

A leg brushes over his sides and Kaeya groans when he feels Diluc’s dick grind over his.

“Does it have anything to do with why you’re hard again?” Diluc grinds up harder to prove his point.

Caeles, Diluc. Ita me di ament.

“Thanks, but I’m not really trying to review my Khaenri'ahn right now,” he says and pulls him down for another kiss. Kaeya eagerly meets him halfway this time. He’ll think about those things later. Right now, he’s sure of one thing.

He loves Diluc too much to let him go again.

Chapter Text

 

 


 

if our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy?

 


 

 

 

The first time their relationship took this wild turn was a few months back, just when they’d started talking and treating each other civilly again. It had been unplanned and the alcohol consumed that night was solely to blame. And sometimes, Kaeya finds himself wishing that it never happened. Not that the sex wasn’t good— Kaeya would even go as far as to say he’d never had a better time before.

But because Diluc doesn’t remember.

And really, that’s the only part that Kaeya wishes was different that night. It sucked that Diluc could go on with his days without thinking back to that night while Kaeya would be laying on his bed at night, jerking off to the drunken memories of fucking Diluc on that same bed.

So, life sucked for a week or so after that. He noticed that his grief was starting to show when he found an overdue book in his office that he’d forgotten about and Lisa didn’t even bother to nag him about it. Suddenly, the easy missions that Jean assigned him made sense.

It felt pathetic to be coddled like this. He had been in the middle of internally debating whether or not he should go confront Diluc first and pray for mercy at the redhead’s ire. Because it was obvious that the object of his affections was making it a point to be the object farthest away from him.

His drunk self really fucked up.

The event that finally pushed Kaeya to gather up his courage was the thought of Diluc moving on and burying the memory of that morning they spent together— the only part that Diluc remembers. And, therefore, only part that Diluc couldn’t deny had happened. That particular thought was triggered one afternoon when his trusty informant, Vile, had been gossiping about a seafaring individual who’d recently been spotted hanging around Diluc. She’d let this piece of information slip in hopes of prodding more information from him, but he was just as clueless as her. He was probably just an informant from the information guild that Diluc was secretly in, though.

Kaeya assigned a squire to look into this new fellow, anyways. Better to keep tabs on such hooligan wayfarers. Although, selfishly, he just wanted to find a topic he could use to lure Diluc back into speaking with him. The Stars must have been toying with him, though. Because he nearly stormed out of his duties when he heard that the assignee had to stop tailing them because they’d moved their conversations to somewhere private. And maybe he should’ve seen this coming. There’s no way Diluc wouldn’t notice a shadow.

He had received this report close to sunset; when he was still out in the fields, overseeing some hands-on combat experience with some of the Ruin Guards that were still roaming about the Thousand Winds Temple ruins that two idiots had carelessly reactivated a month ago. It was a genius idea when he proposed this activity to the Acting Grandmaster— he could train the soon-to-be knights and subsequently get rid of the stray Ruin Guards that slipped through their fingers the first time. But, thanks to that genius idea, Kaeya had no choice but to stay, lest one of his men gets severely injured, or worse, killed.

He groaned and unsheathed his sword. There won’t be much training if he wanted to wrap this up by nightfall.

 

 

Kaeya had been quite surprised to see the Darknight Hero working and roaming just outside of the border of Dragonspine at the Forsaken Rift. It seemed like the Fates were on his side, for once. Since he was hoping to chat with the redhead anyways, he was glad to walk to the winery with said man. That was, until he noticed the state Diluc was in. The Pyro user usually has no trouble with dodging any icicles thrown his way, but he could see from the sharp tears in Diluc’s clothes that it was not the case tonight.

“You’re off your game tonight. Did you get railed too hard, or something?”

Kaeya didn’t know what possessed him to say that. He didn’t really want to know if Diluc had banged that shady guy. If he hadn’t asked, then at least he’ll be content with believing that ‘no, Diluc did not disappear to have sex with one of his pirate informants.’

“Ugh.” Diluc just looked away and tsked at Kaeya’s vulgar language. “No. Now, if you don’t actually have any business with me, I’m heading back to the winery.”

Kaeya blinked at his retreating form. Wow. Diluc was in a really bad mood if he could only barely tolerate one joke from him.

It’s not until the morning after, when he looked over that sailor’s files again, that he read the rumours regarding the guy. The rookie he’d assigned to investigate him apparently didn’t think it was important and left it in the footnotes, scrawled in a messy, forgettable way. And the rookie would be right, had the target been someone unconnected with Diluc. And had his superior not been Kaeya. That guy, while handsome and charming, was notoriously bad in bed—‘allegedly’.

Upon learning the reason for Diluc’s temperament last night, Kaeya felt torn between laughing at Diluc’s situation and feeling vindictive about it. (Good. How dare Diluc try to have fun without him.) He decided to go with the former. How someone could even mess up when they’ve scored such a great catch like Diluc was beyond him.

But, he’d also seen this as a win. Maybe this was his ticket back into Diluc’s life. Sex was easier than feelings and talking, anyways. And besides, he could always leave the feelings and talking part to his future self.

 


 

Which landed him here.

Jean didn’t know what to expect this afternoon. As the Acting Grandmaster, she always had to expect the unexpected and respond accordingly to any issue that arises. But, at the moment...

“And you’d never guess it— but, he’s actually a screamer, if you just—”

“—Wait. Stopstopstop. Sir Kaeya, I need you to stop.” Jean snaps her fingers frantically in front of her to bring Kaeya’s attention back to the present. When he does, Jean sighs and massages her temple. Why did she think that she could be a therapist for him?

“I don’t want to hear any of the actual details about how a co-worker of mine and my senior are casually having sex. I just asked if there was something going on between you and Master Diluc. Leave your desires to the confessionals.”

“Alright, if you would rather your little sister’s ears be my witness...”

“Don’t you dare.” Jean glares over at the man laid out on her three seater couch. She quickly drops the glare and sighs again. Apparently, her friend really needed this talk. At first, Kaeya only glazed over the private details at the beginning of his story (thankfully), but he was gradually getting more detailed in his story. Almost as if he was getting lost in the past as he recounted it to her. Jean sighs once more.

“I feel oddly offended by all that sighing.” Kaeya is back to using his jovial tone reserved for his cynical jokes.

“I’m actually appalled at how such a respected captain like you got yourself in this mess.”

“Just so you know— I have never once pretended to be an upstanding human being.”

Jean massages her temple harder. Truer words have never been spoken by this man. And that trait was the majority of the problem. Not that he’s not a good person. But, because he always pretends to be fine with any accusations thrown his way— effectively playing the villain whenever there’s a need for one.

“Kaeya... By your account, it sounds like every time you meet up with him for a meaningful conversation, it always turns into sex.”

Kaeya shrugs. “He’s hot.”

“So then, how do you expect him to think of you as anything more than sex buddy whom he’ll occasionally see around working hours?”

“I mean— we used to live under the same roof. Shouldn’t that count for something?!”

“Not, unless you want him to see you as a brother again.” From her own conversations with Diluc, she could tell that business magnate had already begun to discard his former feelings for her co-worker/friend. He had confided in her; lamenting that his one-sided feelings of brotherhood with Kaeya couldn’t be counted as a real siblings’ relationship if he was the only one who saw it that way. Or any kind of relationship, according to him. Trust issues were sky high with that one.

Oh Gods, give her strength... Jean could write a novel with the level of irony between these two...

“When you reconnected with him, did it really not cross your mind to maybe build a better relationship with him, without sex?”

“We were drunk.”

“Sir Kaeya, I’ve seen you drinking while writing your reports before. And they’ve never lacked your usual quality.”

“...Snezhnayan vodka is pretty strong...”

“...”

Jean tries her best to not let the sympathy show too much in her voice when she speaks again.

“Kaeya, look. You need put an end to this and focus on connecting with him on an emotional level, rather than a physical one. Your work performances aside, I’m more worried about how this is affecting you as a friend. The toll that this is taking on you is obviously too much.”

It’s Kaeya’s turn to sigh at his actions, this time. He nods in response, but Jean could tell that his heart wasn’t too into it. She furrows her brows in worry, wishing that there was something she could do to help them without being too nosy. The two of them are usually very private people, so the fact that they’ve both decided to confide in her about two different things meant that things were currently very messy between those two. They weren’t even on the same page with their problems.

The loud ringing of the church and watchtower bells sound throughout the city, indicating that another hour has gone by. One, two, three, four rings.

“I’m sorry, Kaeya. There’s a meeting I have to attend at four.”

Diluc will be meeting her here in this office soon, along with a few other knights from the intelligence department. Normally, she wouldn’t purposely hide Diluc’s visits from Kaeya, but her gut is screaming at her to do so this time. Especially after the story Kaeya just shared with her. If those two idiots end up fucking here in this building, then it’ll be neither good for her psyche nor Kaeya’s.

“Of course. I’ll leave you to your prior engagements.” Kaeya doesn’t ask any questions, nor does he think anything odd. He only slips back into his mask easily and salutes Jean on his way out.

“Kaeya,” she calls out after him. “Don’t forget to take care of yourself.”

“Yeah... Thanks.” He gives Jean a small, but genuine, smile before leaving.

 


 

Kaeya, as it turns out, did not take Jean’s advice.

He did try, though.

He’d seen Diluc slipping in and out of the headquarters in the past week more often than some of the official knights looking to slack off rather than do their task of patrolling the streets of Mondstadt. And, as much as Kaeya wanted to catch him in the halls of this professional building for a less-than-professional reason, he held back. His urges were further allayed whenever Diluc would barely acknowledge him with just a nod if their eyes met, without even a pause in his step.

Whatever the ex-captain was doing was obviously more important than his personal feelings about the Order and it warranted enough discretion for Diluc to play at being polite without being passive aggressive to the other captains working with Kaeya. It did hurt a bit that Diluc bothered to exchange more words with them than him. But, he also knew it was because Diluc just didn’t feel it necessary to be fake around him. That knowledge does make him feel better.

So, he was doing pretty well at not immediately jumping Diluc’s bones.

At least, for a while. While they were both busy. The Darknight was definitely sacrificing a lot of sleep for their citizens. Kaeya almost wanted to assign a knight to guard Diluc secretly when he found himself tailing the redhead easily. Normally he’d lose sight of Diluc the moment something else grabs at his attention for even a second, despite the bright red beacon that is his hair. The fact that he was able to keep thirty paces behind the vigilante without concentrating with his full attention was... worrisome.

He wanted to reach out and show Diluc that he could rely on him; to share all his woes with him again, but—

Kaeya chickens out.

He only watches on as Diluc buys a bouquet of white Cecilia lilies and sombrely walk behind the cathedral— where there’s only one reason waiting for him. And Kaeya decides that it's best to leave the father and son pair alone.

 

 

He stops trying when he sees Diluc at the tavern one afternoon.

Kaeya had been heading back to the headquarters when Patton waved him into Angel’s Share to stop an early bar fight. He was just about to escort the troublemakers to the nearest drunk tank when he spots a head of scarlet coming in from the side door of the floor above. Instead of following through with his original plans, he hurries to find the closest knight on patrol to hand off his responsibilities to. Being a captain who knows almost everyone’s dirty secrets really comes in handy sometimes.

He rushes back and smiles when he sees that Diluc was still in the building. Kaeya makes his way up the spiral stairs with an extra skip to his step— being able to catch Diluc alone in such an early hour is quite rare.

Except he wasn’t alone for long.

Kaeya’s face falls when he sees that someone else made their way to Diluc’s table in the corner before him. He recognises the person as that new seedy pirate informant of Diluc’s from a while ago. His frown deepens and he moves to a table behind Diluc to discretely spy on them.

Their exchange is short. The informant passes a wooden box to Diluc after a few words and that seemed to be it. But, then the dickhead leans in and starts caressing Diluc’s cheek.

“Well, then. Since our business is done for now, how about some fun?”

Kaeya bites the inside of his cheek and he’s about to let his presence be known; but then, what happens next makes him feel giddy.

Diluc slaps the wandering hand away from his face and while Kaeya couldn’t see it, he bets that Diluc is looking down on his guest with that one look he knows too well— the stare that looks like he would rather commit a war crime than continue a conversation with you. It’s a judging look that makes one think that they’d just eaten dog shit in front of a crowd and liked it. (Really, he knows this stare too well from his past with this man.)

“For an informant, you’re surprisingly uninformed about your own rumours surrounding you.”

Kaeya gives this man a little credit for only flinching and staying stunned for just a few seconds.

“W-What do you mean? If it’s about leaving all my flings in tears because of my—”

“Yes. Because you suck,” Diluc cuts in sharply.

“Oh. At sex, I mean,” he adds, leaving no room for misunderstandings. “Shame about your subpar performance.”

“I’m pretty sure I had you moaning when I dicked you hard.” The man reaches out stroke the back of Diluc’s hand this time and Kaeya balls his hands into fists under his table.

“Is your brain wired correctly? A slime drying in the Sumeru deserts could prepare me better and leave me more satisfied. At least I can vent my frustrations out on it and kill it; but if I did that to your dick, I’m not sure you’ll even have a brain anymore.”

Kaeya had always known Diluc to be quite critical with his blows— whether the blows were physical or not. But this. This actually made Kaeya feel a little sorry for this guy. Just a bit. Because the rest of him was struggling not to laugh as he covers a hand over his mouth and clutches his at stomach in an effort to contain it. In the end, Kaeya must’ve been noticed anyways, because the informant gets up from his seat abruptly and leaves with a red face. Few could stay unmortified and sit still after being called lousy in front of a stranger.

“Are you going to just sit there laughing to yourself?” Diluc takes a sip of the grape juice that he had left untouched on the table since the beginning as he addresses Kaeya without even looking back.

Kaeya lets out a few more chortles before getting up and making his way to Diluc’s table, occupying the empty seat left by the poor guy. It’s the first time in a long time, since at least a week, that Kaeya has gotten to talk with the Ragnvindr face-to-face and it brings a brighter smile to his face. Diluc’s face is still as blank as ever, but he could tell by the way those red eyes were looking at him, and not just towards him, that his presence is welcomed.

“Are you sure you should be so rude to your sources?” Kaeya grins and jabs a finger at him.

Diluc shrugs back. “It doesn’t matter. I’m at a higher rank than him at the guild.”

 “And if he bites back with false info?”

“Then, he’ll be met with the proper authorities next time he sails. We have no use for petty miscreants who can’t even do their job.”

Kaeya laughs openly at the ruthlessness of Diluc’s words.

“That’s scary,” he says and whistles. Kaeya reaches his hand out and caresses the spot where the said miscreant had touched for a moment before carding his fingers through those crimson locks, tucking a few strands behind Diluc’s ear.

“Information shouldn’t be treated so lightly. Especially if it could be sold,” he murmurs back and takes another sip of the juice.

Kaeya thinks he sees a light blush dusting over Diluc’s fair skin, but he can’t be sure with the dim lighting in this corner of the tavern. But, he definitely feels Diluc lean into his touch and Kaeya marks this as a win for him. Mostly because he’d just seen Diluc slap away the previous hand and then mercilessly end a man’s pride in the same courteous tone he uses to greet crowds at manor parties.

“You’re quite high-strung today. Stressed?” He must be, seeing how the other man’s schedule brought him to the Ordo Favonius so often last week.

“Just work,” Diluc sighs and refuses to say more.

“Need any help?” Kaeya was referring to work, but given their recent affairs... In hindsight, he should have clarified what he meant.

“Hmm...” Diluc’s gaze is piercing as he smiles coquettishly back at Kaeya. “You are my favourite stress reliever.”

There’s something that tugs at his heartstrings when he hears that. It tugs him both ways, rendering his heart into twisted knots.

‘Favourite’ meaning first choice.

‘Favourite’ meaning more than one.

Kaeya forces down the all too familiar bitter taste of envy in his mouth and locks the little green monster away in his heart.

“Wow, I’m honoured to be considered.” Kaeya masks his face with an easy smile and distracts the darling devil from noticing the slight change in his expression and voice by trailing his hand down to the base of Diluc’s neck and massaging the knots of taut muscle he finds there.

“Mmn—” Diluc almost lets out a moan in broad daylight, so he quickly bites down on his bottom lip before it gets loud enough for anyone below to notice— much to Kaeya’s disappointment. Shame. He would much rather let everyone know about what they do under the sheets. But the sounds of Diluc holding back is good too, so he presses down in the same motion again.

Kaeya had been so fixated on the little satisfied noises that Diluc was trying to supress that he almost jumps out of his seat when he feels something soft and warm press up against his crotch. Looking down, he sees that Diluc has slipped one of his feet out of his boots to rub the insides of his thighs.

Fuck,” Kaeya curses under his breath and stops with his massage. Even if he didn’t plan on bedding Diluc when he walked up these stairs, he sure as fuck does now.

He fights down the urge to just bend him over the table right here and now. Instead, he grabs Diluc’s foot by the ankle to keep him near the growing tent in his pants. He keeps eye contact with Diluc as he tenderly rubs his thumb over ball of the joint, waiting for Diluc’s next move.

Diluc smirks and flexes his clothed toes over Kaeya’s member, running them over the outline of his dick. Kaeya groans and presses the foot closer to him. Just as he begins to relax and sit back for the uncharacteristically charitable footjob from Diluc, the smirk on the latter’s face widens and takes another small sip from his flute before tipping the stem towards Kaeya.

Diluc holds it parallel to the table and Kaeya could only watch as the red liquid flows out of the glass. It trickles out smoothly, as expected from a product of Dawn Winery. There’s a puddle of Diluc’s favourite grape juice on the table now, and it drips down from the surface and onto his pants.

“Oh no,” he says flatly, but there’s a playful twinkle in those red eyes when he looks back up. “Allow me to offer you access to a private room upstairs so you can get cleaned up.”

Fuck. Yes. He will take that offer.

 “Ye—” His voice cracks like a pre-teen through puberty and he feels his cheeks burning from the shame. Kaeya takes a second to clear his throat and take his hand off Diluc’s leg. He fakes a cough so he wouldn’t appear too eager, but his voice already betrayed him, anyways.

Diluc looks back with pursed lips. The smirk that was on him moments ago quickly morphs into one that’s holding back his laughter.

“Yes...” Kaeya hangs his head a little lower when he replies. It’s too embarrassing to meet Diluc’s eyes right now.

The foot slips away as easily as it had snuck there. He watches as Diluc blindly feels around for his abandoned shoe and stomps back into it lightly. A gloved hand tilts his chin so that he’s forced back to looking ahead instead of the ground.

When he looks back at Diluc, he sees a small, but brilliant smile, grace his lips. The sight makes Kaeya smile back, despite himself. If laughing at his dismay brings the other joy, then so be it. He’ll embarrass himself in front of Diluc any time if it meant he could lift the burdens off those shoulders for even just a while.

“Then, let’s go,” Diluc says after short minute of them just staring at each other. Inwardly, Kaeya wants to think that in that short moment, they were exchanging looks akin to what lovers do; but realistically, he knows that Diluc was just staring for a lack of better scenery while he settles back into his boot better— he could hear Diluc shuffling his feet under the table as he held Kaeya’s gaze.

Diluc gets up, sets the glass back on the table by its base and tucks the wooden box under his arm as he fishes a set of keys from his pockets. It’s only when the afternoon light hits Diluc’s face does Kaeya realise that his earlier hunch was right. Diluc was blushing. Is blushing, his mind helpfully corrects. Albeit just slightly. Kaeya doesn’t know what to think of their relationship anymore, so he doesn’t. The last thing he wants to be is a victim of his own expectations.

“Are you coming, or not?” Diluc stands by the stairwell door, waiting. There aren’t as many customers in the afternoon and the ones that are here are currently downstairs, which made Diluc comfortable enough to call out to Kaeya.

No one is here to witness the two of them sneaking away to a private room together.

Sex is easier than feelings, he reminds himself. But then, Kaeya notices Diluc’s right hand. He scratches the nail of his thumb with his forefinger, despite wearing gloves that covered his whole hand. It’s a nervous tick from Diluc’s childhood— and his mind is getting frazzled by hopeful prospects again.

“Sure am, sweetheart.” Kaeya swiftly makes his way over to Diluc and cups his warm face in his chillier hands. “Think your rooms are soundproof?”

“I’ve renovated them to get away with murder.”

Kaeya laughs at Diluc’s macabre humour. Diluc quirks a brow mischievously and snickers.

“I’m not kidding, you know. Still want to come up?”

“Well then, it’s my civic duty to inspect them, now.”

“You mean your knightly duty?” Diluc takes his hands into his own and leads them up the stairs. He steps backwards onto the steps, slowly climbing up while keeping eye contact with Kaeya.

“You would never let a knight up there.”

“I can make one exception.” He lets go of Kaeya’s hands for a moment to juggle the box he kept under his arm into one hand. It was just for a second, but Kaeya already misses the heat from those fingers. When Diluc brings his hand back, Kaeya grasps it tightly into his own and smiles. There’s a perplexing look across Diluc’s features before the redhead smiles back politely. He turns around to continue leading them up and Kaeya couldn’t help his smile from turning into something more bitter as he looks at Diluc’s turned back.

They arrive at the same guest bedroom that they’d used as kids from his memories. The furniture is all changed, but the items are all in their respective places. A bed in the middle. A nightstand to the left. A wardrobe in the back. A Persian carpet on the floor. He wonders if Diluc still keeps turtle food in the drawers out of habit.

Diluc wastes no time in pulling Kaeya in for a kiss, so it was up to Kaeya to close and lock the door behind him while he let the other run his hand and tongue where he wanted. Diluc unclasps the chain on his capelet and shoves it off onto the floor. Kaeya’s own hands undress Diluc, starting with his heavy overcoat. It falls to the floor along with the box in Diluc’s hands. A bundle of papers fly out, but they barely pay it any mind. He hears Diluc mutter a curse under his breath when he accidentally steps on a roll, but he just quickly kicks it aside.

Happy that Diluc would rather pay more attention to him than worry about the mess, Kaeya buries himself in the crook of Diluc’s neck and presses soft kisses down his ear and to his neck while their hands work together on unbuttoning Diluc’s complicated waistcoat. When he starts using his teeth, he feels a warm hand push back against his chest to stop him.

“Not above the collar.”

Kaeya nods. “Alright. Then, let’s get this off you.” He smirks and tugs harshly at the cords of the waistcoat, popping the fancy buttons and lacing hooks right off and onto the floor with the rest of their discarded clothes.

“Seriously?” Diluc furrows his brows and clicks his tongue at him, but doesn’t say anything more. He lets Diluc step away and finish taking off the vest on his own. He gets rid of any accessories as well, before those get ruined, too.

Kaeya walks over to the bed and sits back on the wooden frame while he waits. It’s a good thing Diluc changed the furniture— he’s not sure the old bed would be able to fit the two of them, now.

“Come here,” he beckons. Kaeya pats at the space between his legs. Diluc still looks a little pissed, but hopefully, he won’t be once he gets started.

“Shoes.”

Kaeya spares a glance at his feet. Right. His boots are a little muddy from the morning rain. He kicks them off and they tumble somewhere under the bed.

“Don’t be so upset, sweetheart,” he grins cheekily and waves Diluc over again. “I’ll make it up to you.”

Diluc’s frown lessens to just a small scowl and toes off his own shoes before making his way over to Kaeya. He lets Kaeya pull him down for an apology kiss that is reciprocated, making the captain smile through the kiss. He must not be too mad, then.

“Turn around.” Kaeya ends the kiss with a peck on Diluc’s cheek which had the latter leaning in closer.

Diluc wordlessly does so and presses back into Kaeya’s chest. He could feel the softness of Diluc’s hair that never quite falls flat as the man nestles his head comfortably into the spot between his neck and shoulder. Kaeya settles back onto the headboard to make more room for Diluc to sit between his legs.

He runs his hands up Diluc’s arms and rests them at the base of his neck. He applies just enough pressure into his fingers so it doesn’t hurt and kneads the tense muscle in his grip. Diluc’s shoulders jerk up slightly in surprise at the touch, but then quickly calms down when he registers what Kaeya is doing. He relaxes his nerves and lets out a contented sigh, lolling his head further back.

Kaeya kisses the top of Diluc’s head and lingers there as he continues his ministrations. He could feel Diluc slowly loosening up as time passed. His appreciative moans and sighs grew louder as Kaeya’s hands pressed down harder on his pressure points.

“Good?” Kaeya presses another kiss to Diluc’s temple.

“Yes...” Diluc replies in a breathy sigh as he lets his walls down around Kaeya.

“Good.”

His gaze drifts down to Diluc’s slackened expression; pure delight permeates from every part of him. When his lips parts to let those delicious moans escape, Kaeya presses down harder on the spot that unfurled him. He keeps his eyes closed. The way his red lashes contrasts with his ivory skin like it’s a canvas with unfinished strokes makes Kaeya want to arch down and finish it himself. He settles on leaving a feather-light kiss on an eyelid and he feels them flutter lazily against his lips a few times before closing again.

Kaeya keeps it up until Diluc’s whole body is bonelessly resting and mewling against him. Deeming that Diluc was healthily less stressed than when they came in, he switches his hold on the other; firm hands sliding down Diluc’s back, to his chest, and finally encircling his waist. Diluc relaxes into the embrace and tilts his head back to kiss Kaeya softly on the lips.

“Thank you,” Diluc says. There’s a shy smile and a cute blush fanned across his cheeks from expressing his genuine gratitude; and Kaeya thinks he’d just fallen in love all over again.

“Anytime,” Kaeya stammers out when he realises that he’d been staring for too long.

Diluc’s smile grows a minuscule larger and twists back around in Kaeya’s arms so that they’re facing one another again. He wraps his arms around Kaeya’s neck and dives in to kiss him again. It’s more passionate this time. Diluc sucks on Kaeya’s bottom lip and flicks his tongue over Kaeya’s teeth, teasing him.

“Shall we fix your problem now?” Diluc palms at his erection through his pants and he moans at the touch. It had only gotten harder while listening to the noises that Diluc had let out during the massage. Honestly, he wasn’t sure if Diluc was still interested in having sex after he had already helped him destress. He was prepared to go back to work after getting blue balled. So, he immediately jumps at this opportunity.

“Definitely.” Kaeya flips them so he could take his time to look at Diluc better— study everything about this man. From the way his lips part at his name, to the way his nose scrunches up at his choice of words sometimes.

“Are you still on duty?”

“Lunch break,” he lies easily. Well, technically he’s not lying. He hasn’t taken one, yet; so, he could always just doctor the numbers on his time card later.

“How terrible...” Diluc runs a hand through Kaeya’s hair, loosening its tie and sliding it off. “For a knight to be sneaking out to have sex, instead eating lunch.”

“I’ll just buy a sandwich from your kitchen, after.” Kaeya kisses down the middle of Diluc’s chest as he slowly unbuttons the black dress shirt along the way. Diluc doesn’t voice it directly, but Kaeya has learned how to decipher that roundabout speech throughout the years. He’s concerned about his eating habits and Kaeya feels a surge of warmth in his stomach when he decodes those words. He sucks over the fading marks he left on Diluc from the last time, renewing them.

Diluc moans freely and tugs at the waistband of Kaeya’s pants.

“There isn’t much time left, then.”

They quickly undo their pants and assist each other in shaking the material off. Diluc loops his arms around Kaeya’s neck again to pull him into a kiss which is met eagerly. Diluc’s body burns like a furnace under his touches and he’s never been so willing to get scorched. Kaeya reaches over to the first drawer of the nightstand and rummages around for something that feels like it could be a bottle of lube. Diluc doesn’t bother asking how he knows to search the first drawer. Kaeya knows he likes to keep essential items in the first slot and the reason why he was brought to this room had to be because there’s lube somewhere.

Kaeya feels a familiar tin container and looks up in mild amusement at what he finds.

“Turtle food?” It seems that Diluc does indeed still have his same habits.

Diluc blushes and lightly smacks at his chest.

“Hands off it. Tortoises don’t like cold food.”

Kaeya laughs at the embarrassed flush on Diluc’s face. When he’s slapped again, Kaeya puts the tin back down and grabs the lube to appease the capricious nature of this pyro user. He may be willing to get metaphorically burned in this relationship, but he’s not looking to get first-degree burns.

“You don’t even own one anymore.” Kaeya teases him one last time before moving on to something hopefully less turtle-paced.

“Or maybe I do. How would you know?” Diluc spreads his legs wider for Kaeya when he hears the bottle’s cap being twisted off.

“Because I’ve been keeping tabs on our Darknight Hero.”

Diluc rolls his eyes at the awful nickname. “Okay, stalker.”

They’re short on time, so Diluc takes the bottle from Kaeya to warm it up quicker before passing it back to him. Kaeya uses a generous amount and carefully coats his fingers with the lubricant— Diluc’s succinct diatribe is still fresh in his mind. No matter what, he did not want to stoop to that level in Diluc’s standards.

He pushes a finger in and curses out loud.

“Shit, you’re really tight.”

Diluc moans, but doesn’t say anything in reply. The tightness of his hole pleases him, but it also makes things a little harder for a quickie. He wriggles his finger in deeper and Diluc’s breath hitches. A pale hand joins his, breaching another finger in to make the process faster.

Kaeya jerks his head back to look at Diluc. His face is beautifully flushed and his eyes are glazed as he looks back at Kaeya. He could see that Diluc his own spit as lubricant from the string of saliva that trails down his chin.

“I’ll help, so just hurry up,” Diluc pants.

“Wow, maybe I should give you a massage more often.” Kaeya leans in to coax another kiss. Diluc meets his lips with an open mouth and Kaeya swallows the redhead’s moans and whimpers as their fingers work in tandem in stretching his hole. Kaeya sticks in another finger, as per Diluc’s request to hurry. It’s predictably too soon and it causes one of Diluc’s legs to jolt up.

“Easy there, sweetheart.” He drops down to Diluc’s neck and peppers kisses under his jaw in an attempt to soothe him. It helps. And soon, Diluc’s fluctuating gasps ebb away into a more controlled pace.

“I’m fine. It’s nothing we haven’t done before.” He’s still taking larger breaths than usual, despite his words.

It’s a small thing. But, Diluc’s acknowledgement of ‘we’ meant more than the world to him. Kaeya shows a wide grin, teeth and all, before plunging back down to suck new hickeys near Diluc’s collarbone.

“Still, it’s been a while for you, right? Let me know if it hurts.”

“Worry about yourself.” Diluc grumbles defiantly and moves his finger inside him, stirring Kaeya’s to start moving too. He curls his fingers into the spot where he knows Diluc will moan for him.

“—Ah!”

And he does. Kaeya rubs that same spot again and Diluc’s moans get louder— his half-hard erection finally standing a little straighter. Kaeya licks over pert nipples before taking one into his mouth and the other pinched between his fingers. He sucks tenderly while grazing just the slightest of teeth over Diluc’s sensitive spots. Kaeya thrusts his fingers into Diluc’s prostate again a few more times, guiding Diluc’s finger to do the same before Diluc takes his own finger out to catch Kaeya’s wrist.

“Stop,” he says. And Kaeya unlatches himself from Diluc’s chest to look back in confusion.

“I don’t— I don’t need to cum,” he says between laboured breaths. “The massage was enough.”

Like this, Kaeya is yanked out of his euphoric high when he hears those words coming out of Diluc’s mouth. He’s reminded again that this is a give-and-take relationship and not the kind of romantic one he wants from Diluc.

He knows.

He just refuses to accept this reality.

So, he sidles up and kisses the moans falling out of those lips as he thrusts three fingers onto Diluc’s prostate to make up for Diluc’s missing finger, which is still curled over his wrist— making no move to stop him.

“Kaeya—”

The way he calls out his name always ends with such a mellifluous note that it makes him forget about their boundaries. Instead of conceding to it, he likes to walk along that line. Chipping at Diluc’s walls where he can. But, there are some days where he feels like the wall between them is higher than the ancient walls that separated Decarabian’s tower and his city.

“Cum for me, please?” Kaeya bends down to speak softly into Diluc’s ear. “Your face when you do really turns me on.”

Diluc stifles a gasp and turns his head to look at Kaeya. His eyes bore into his own opal one, searching for something— something he can’t seem to find.

“Just hurry up, pervert,” Diluc murmurs and thrusts Kaeya’s fingers back in by his wrist.

Kaeya chuckles at Diluc actions. “If you insist.”

As much as he would like to drag this out, Diluc’s right. He’d probably stayed for too long. It had already been at least thirty minutes since he was spotted entering from the main gate and maybe fifteen since they’d climbed up these stairs. Another ten minutes, and Jean will probably dock his pay.

He scissors Diluc open a bit more and hopes for the best. It’ll be a tight fit, but hopefully, it won’t hurt Diluc too much. He takes his fingers out and lines his dick at Diluc’s entrance. Throbbing, pink, and pretty.

“Ready?”

Diluc doesn’t answer, he just pushes back at the head of his penis. It elicits a guttural sound from Kaeya’s throat and he pushes in all the way. Diluc gasps and cries out loud. A few tears wet his cheeks and Kaeya kisses them away. It’s unbearably hot and tight in Diluc; and it’s also amazingly hot and tight in Diluc.

“Fuck. You feel so good. Gods.”

Kaeya thrusts shallowly at Diluc’s prostate and the latter moans. Half out of pleasure, and half out of pain. It’s a little too late for either of them to regret not taking more time to prepare, so Kaeya keeps going. He leaves bruising bites on Diluc’s chest as he holds his hips firmly in his hands and starts slamming in at a harsher pace.

Diluc’s hands are fisted into the pillow behind his head, trying to find some sort of stable foundation to avoid suffering from a concussion. Kaeya wraps a hand over Diluc’s member and tugs on it roughly, speeding things along. Diluc cries out louder—

Kaeya!”

—And he lets himself get lost in the pleasure and sensations that Diluc offers him in return. Kaeya takes his hand off Diluc’s hips to gently pry those elegant fingers out of the pillowcase and into his own. He guides Diluc’s palm up to his cheek and keeps them there, his own hand overlapping Diluc’s as he surrenders to the heat emanating from the psychedelic marvel in his arms, falling into the heat enveloping him.

Diluc looks back up at him. His hand caresses the side of Kaeya’s face, up to the roots of his hair and tugs lightly, tempting Kaeya into a kiss. He jerks his hips up, meeting with Kaeya’s thrusts and the muffled noises from Diluc’s throat stirs him into pumping his cock with more vigour. Chasing after Diluc’s release, rather than his own.

Kaeya gets what he wants. Diluc moans out Kaeya’s name as he cums and his walls squeeze harder, sucking in more of Kaeya’s cock into him. And fuck. That has Kaeya seeing stars as he pounds into Diluc one more time before pulling out and cumming on Diluc’s stomach, mixing Diluc fluids with his own.

Kaeya’s glad that even through his lust addled brain, he remembered to pull out. He’s almost positive that Diluc wouldn’t appreciate having to walk around with cum in his ass for the rest of the day until he gets home to bathe. Although, the thought of it is hot.

He grabs at the bed sheet, pulling it off its fittings and using it as a makeshift towel to wipe off the mess on Diluc’s stomach. Diluc shoots him a dirty look, but opts to stay silent. It was going to be either the sheets or him, after all.

Kaeya hugs him closer, threading his fingers through Diluc’s sweat laden locks. They’re allowed a brief moment of respite to come down from the high of sex before they have to go their separate ways. Kaeya kisses him leisurely. Their mouths move against each other slowly, tongues ghosting over teeth before finding warmth in the others mouth. He tastes like sugar, grapes, and another taste that is uniquely Diluc. He tastes like sunshine after a misty day. He tastes like home.

Diluc is the one to break the spell, first.

“Are you sure you have time to be doing this?”

“Kicking me out?” Kaeya laughs lightly as he leaves wet kisses over the side of Diluc’s neck, right above the collar line.

“Yes.” Diluc unloops his arms around Kaeya and nudges him off.

Kaeya lets out a downcast sigh, but peels off anyways. He’s left to his own devices as he collects his clothes by himself. Diluc is still on the bed, too sore to get up right away.

Instead of redressing himself, he focuses more on making his hair more presentable, undoing its tie and weaving his fingers through the knots that had formed.

“By the way, Diluc.” Kaeya tugs on his pants and waits for Diluc’s attention. The redhead in bed rolls to his side lazily, taking care not to disturb the mess they left on the bed.

“What,” he asks.

“You’re not...” What was the word? Annoyed? Upset? Unsatisfied? “Angry? That I was too rough?”

Diluc stares at him incredulously.

“So you do have a guilty conscience.” He props himself up by his forearms as he struggles to keep a straight face from the honest question. “But, that couldn’t be called rough. I’ll be fine in a few minutes.”

It usually wouldn’t be called that. But, Kaeya also didn’t know at which point Diluc would consider things to be rough. Every time they did this, he’d always been more concerned about Diluc getting his fix to unwind. They couldn’t explore these things the way normal couples can and he hates it.

Diluc combs through his hair indifferently, twirling a finger in his side fringes as he looks away. His eyes sweep over the mess on the floor and a small frown forms when he sees the buttons Kaeya ripped off earlier on the ground with the rest of the mess.

“You owe me a new wais— Actually, no. Never mind. Your tastes suck.”

Kaeya laughs at those blunt words. He walks back over to the bed and sits beside Diluc as he grabs at his boots under the bedframe.

“I’m sure I can find something suitable for the young master.”

“No, thank you,” he glares. And when Kaeya laughs again, he doubles down on the glare and adds an extra hiss to his next words. “Seriously, don’t.”

“Okay, okay.” Kaeya resigns to Diluc’s temper and refastens the buckles on his boots. Once he’s fully dressed, Kaeya leans over and plants a kiss right between Diluc’s furrowed brows.

“Want me to wait here ‘til you can walk again?”

“No.”

Kaeya would be lying if he said he wasn’t disheartened by that single word.

“Oh, right.” Diluc flicks his eyes back up at Kaeya as if he just remembered something. “You can ask the kitchen staff to make you whatever you want for lunch. Just tell Charles I’m offering it on the house.”

“You know, if you’re going to pay me for sex, you could at least pay me with your wine.”

“Hahah. You want to drink on an empty stomach?” Diluc laughs softly at the joke and Kaeya drinks in every sound. “Although, I suppose one bottle is okay. Call it thanks.”

Right. Because they could never just have sex just to have it.

“Then, I’ll take you up on that rare offer. You don’t say that to just anyone.”

Diluc’s cheeks turn a pink hue and Kaeya has an irresistible urge to kiss him again. So, he leans down, intent on stealing another kiss from those lips. But, just before he could, a hand shoves him away.

“Just go.”

And Kaeya is obliged to listen. If not for Diluc’s wishes, then for his broken heart.

 

 

 

When Diluc walks down with a slight limp to his gait, he’s surprised to see Kaeya still in his bar. He’s even more surprised when he finds his staff cooking up a feast for Kaeya’s order.

Kaeya lies, saying that it’s going to be his excuse for returning so late. The knights on duty will hardly complain if the food is shared between them.

Truthfully, though, he just wanted an excuse to wait for Diluc— even if it just costed his chance of ever receiving anything on the house ever again.

Diluc doesn’t wait for him in return, though. He leaves first after giving his staff the okay to waive the bill just this one time. And the same bitter smile finds its way back onto Kaeya’s face as he watches Diluc leaving. This time, without a hand on his to give him some solace.

 


 

When Jean recognises the food offerings in hand to be from Angel’s Share, she stares at Kaeya with all the judging qualities of a disappointed mother. The subtle words of ‘I know what you were doing and I disapprove’ hangs in the air between them. And he could only be grateful that Lisa was here, too, so he could be spared the lecture.

He doesn’t know how much Lisa knows, but he’ll much rather have his private problems with Diluc be kept as vague as possible. While he doesn’t care about slipping and accidentally tipping off others about who he’s intimate with, relationship issues are different. At best, it can be used against him by an enemy of the Order; at worst, this shit will blow up with everyone trying to give their own two mora on the matter and Diluc will never speak to him again, for real this time.

And, more importantly, Kaeya knows that Diluc doesn’t like the public attention.

“Oh my, what’s this? Weren’t you just on a simple reconnaissance mission near Springfield? These certainly don’t look like the containers from there.”

“As expected of our librarian! Well versed in both the worlds found in books and outside of them.”

“Not at all. But we were wondering where you’d gone off to after receiving a report that you’ve arrived back in the city.”

“Well, as you can see: I took my lunch break a little earlier today.”

Jean watches on with a pained expression as the two of them dance around each other’s words. Neither of them willing to yield to the other’s intentions. The obvious thought of: ‘Did they have to do this in her office’ is evident across her face.

“A good meal after working hard does taste the best. It must’ve been a good one for you to have been gone so long.”

“It was! I brought back some take out for everyone and these are your shares.”

“What a coincidence, I was just about to convince Jean to take a break.”

And while Jean was willing to sit here and let them wear each other out while she reads through her reports; when they dragged her into it, she decided it was time to stop them.

“It’s okay, Kaeya. She knows,” Jean tells him.

Kaeya crosses his arms and looks at Jean. She isn’t the type to gossip about other people’s problems, but the way she worded it almost made him think that she did.

“I didn’t tell her,” she clarifies. “Why do you think I was able to sit so calmly through your story?”

“Because you’re professional?”

“I’m a knight, not a therapist,” she deadpans.

“Sorry~! I told her.” Lisa waves her hand up in admittance.

Kaeya sighs and drags a chair out to sit with them. He’d planned on just popping in to give Jean a share before leaving the rest in the communal lounge for any hungry knights passing by to help themselves. But, it sounds like Lisa wanted to talk.

“Okay, I’ll bite. How did you figure it out?” He’d always had a small inkling that the librarian already knew ever since his dalliances with Diluc began, anyways.

“Well...” Lisa trails off in the way one does after being caught by a child asking for an explanation for why they did something bad. She picks at the salad dish from Angel’s Share and chews slowly.

“I was worried because it seemed like something was really bothering you again. And when you wouldn't come to Jean or me about it, I asked Mona for a divination to see how I should go about cheering you up.”

He didn’t like where this was going. From the way she spoke, it sounded like three people knew about his affairs now.

“I didn’t tell her it was about you, but she figured it out anyways when she was reading my stars and...”

“—So, she scried me.”

“She promised it was just a peek,” Lisa reassures.

Diluc had once said that there were no need for astrologers in Mondstadt, and now, Kaeya agrees wholeheartedly.

“Anyways,” Jean swoops in, hoping to save Lisa from being dealt the majority of the blame. “She came to me because the three of us used to be in the same squadron.”

“Yes, so, I figured Jean would be the best person to help.”

“Well, it did make me feel better. Talking about it.” Kaeya relents. If these two women were just adamantly trying to help, he couldn’t fault them for too long. Maybe he could just bribe Mona to not look into his constellation anymore. There are some secrets he wishes to only share with Diluc.

“I’m glad... Though, to be honest, I was so shocked that I went to confront you about it the same day Lisa told me. I should have thought more about the advice I should give.”

“Nah,” he sighs. “What you said was right.”

What she said that day was something he needed to hear. It was already something he’d known in the recesses of his mind, but hearing it said out loud by their mutual friend had a different weight to it.

“So, what made you bring it up?” He asks Lisa, who smiles back gently.

“Mona told me that luck could be in your favour, next week.”

So the water witch had already scried him again.

“Thank you?” Kaeya laughs. “Am I getting a raise, Jean?”

“It’s not time for the quarterly performance reviews, yet. We’ll see then, if you deserve a raise and if we have the budget. But, considering what you were doing during work hours...”

Lisa giggles and Kaeya laughs nervously.

“I think Diluc taught you a little too well,” he jokes.

Jean blushes at being compared to someone she respected and clears her throat.

“Thank you,” she says proudly.

“My, that wasn’t a compliment, darling,” Lisa informs Jean before turning back to Kaeya. “I may not be a Hexenzirkel enthusiast, but I do trust their scries. I believe good things are to come if you wait a little longer.”

Kaeya wants to tell Lisa that Mona is just feeding her B.S. that any carnival gypsy can claim, but he holds his tongue on that comment. She’s just trying to lift his spirits. (Like, what? Is he supposed to give a gypsy’s vague fortune credit for bringing an umbrella during a sunshower, or thank his own wits for borrowing one from his unsuspecting co-workers?)

“Alright, if you say so.”

“By the way, Kaeya,” Jean decides to veer the conversation into one without the mention of Diluc when she senses Kaeya’s mood turning a little twisted.

“Do you think the new recruits can train on their own for the next week? Or have another knight assigned to their growth?”

“Hmm,” Kaeya appreciates the topic change. “They could probably do some self-study on our rigid rules for the written exams. Why? What’s up?”

Jean just points to Lisa as her attention goes to another report in her hands, despite the food that Lisa pushes to her.

“Wonderful,” Lisa smiles. “You’ll have a lot more time on your hands, then.”

If only Kaeya knew that Lisa was addressing Jean, and not him, in that statement.

 


 

Lisa is gullible. Mona is a liar. And Jean is the one who made her a liar.

The week after isn’t fortuitous at all.

Compared to his fellow captains, he got the shorter end of the stick when Jean delegated more of the workload to him than his peers. She says it’s because she trusts his skills, but he has a conspiracy theory that Jean’s assigning him more tasks because she thinks it’ll keep him from relapsing back to Diluc.

Hah.

As if that’s even an issue. Not when the Ragnvindr is on a business trip, anyways.

So, maybe it was moreso to distract him from the very obvious fact that Jean is working with Diluc behind the scenes again. But, the core of it all remains the same— she’s just trying to divert his attention. And it works.

He has never seen his stack of paperwork higher than even one tenth of her stack, yet here he was at his desk. With approximately a fifth of Jean’s stack on a bad day. And good Gods, does he respect the younger woman more than ever now.

Perhaps she really meant it when she said that she trusted his skills. Because he could never imagine the other captains sorting these issues out to the right knights. Noise and neighbour complaints should never go to the knights in the eighth company. While cases that might need a court hearing should go to the second company. And fuck, were there a lot to sort out. This really shouldn’t be their job, but Noelle is probably the only squire capable of helping in these matters since it requires knowing the knights being sent out well enough. One wrong word or offensive gesture and he’ll have a new stack of work on his desk. Truly, not all the captains know people well enough to do this correctly.

But, he still thinks there’s some truth to his first theory.

So, when Lisa comes by his office to collect the sorted paperwork from Kaeya, he doesn’t greet the young lady as amicably as he usually does. Because when it all comes down to the wire, isn’t all this paperwork the result of her being a nosy, older sister?

“Oh dear, don’t be such a sour puss.”

“I’m not.” He’s not.

Lisa giggles as she flips through the stack, making sure everything is signed off and ready to be issued. Seeing as Lisa didn’t have another folder in hand for him, Kaeya allows himself a moment of peace as he sits back and stretches his arms up. He can hear his bones crack from the sudden movement and laments that he must be getting old.

“Don’t be silly,” Lisa soothes. “If sitting in a comfortable office while signing papers means you’re getting old, then Jean would be devastated to learn that.”

Can’t disagree with that. Even though Jean has finally delegated more of her tasks between the captains, she’s still as busy as ever. Slipping between meetings with a coffee in one hand and a packed schedule in the other.

“How is she, by the way? Not having too much fun during her five minute breaks, I hope?”

“It’s as you’ve guessed,” she sighs regrettably. “I’ve tried distracting her by recommending her some good reads... But she always keeps an alarm clock next to her before she starts her break, so she can never really get too immersed for an actual break.”

“Well, if she can’t get distracted from her own work, then I guess she wouldn’t have used that same method on me.”

“Goodness, are you still mad?”

Not mad. Just dead.

Lisa titters a laugh when she sees his expression. “How about this? I’ll tell you something good.”

Kaeya waits for her to finish her sentence, but she never does. He cocks his head to the side in confusion.

“And that is...?”

“That was it. That’s the hint,” she smiles.

“Ah. I see. There is no good news this week and Mona lied to you.”

Lisa tuts and wags her finger at him. “Normally you would understand with only this much for a clue,” she pouts.

“Alright, then. How about this, instead? The clue is what you haven’t seen all week. It’s something Jean had specifically filtered out of your paperwork, after all.”

Something he hadn’t seen all week...

“Diluc?” He asks with such confidence and optimism that Lisa is silent for a bit.

But then, Lisa sighs. And his face falls.

“Maybe? I suppose that could be a result of the actual thing I’m referring to,” She mutters as she looks back at him, feeding him pitiable scraps of hope. It’s kind of irritating, and he lets it show on his face.

“I don’t really have time for riddles right now.” Kaeya sighs and shakes his head, letting his aggravation dispel. This is why he doesn’t normally share the more personal stories with people. It’s those pitying looks. And the last time he did share something personal to the only person who wouldn’t give him those looks, he ran away for three years; which gave him ample time to consider where he went wrong. Which was, admittedly, a lot.

“That’s a shame. I can’t really say anything more”

“Alright, alright. You’ve given me more than enough clues already. I wouldn’t want you to go against protocol.”

“Don’t think too hard on it,” she offers another easy-going smile. “Well then, everything looks to be in order. I’ll take my leave, now.”

Kaeya waves his own goodbye and when the door clicks shut, he’s left alone with work again. While the idea of working didn’t really appeal to him before, it definitely didn’t appeal to him now. Not when he’d already stopped to take a break.

Maybe he should go for a stroll and visit the late Master Crepus.

 

 

There’s a lot he wants to tell the ghost while Diluc isn’t here.

 


 

It’s a Friday night when Kaeya sees Diluc again. He hadn’t even notice the man slip back into the city, but apparently he made it back in time to attend a fundraiser event for the Church of Favonius.

“When did you get back?”

Kaeya finds him easily, even between the vibrant lights and sea of people. Even through the resounding orchestra playing over the gaggle of people conversing with each other in tight packs and plate pilers with their clinking utensils, Kaeya recognises his voice easily. It’s a soft, sonorous lilt that commands his attention better than the rhythmic cacophony of stringed instruments in the background.

“Sir Kaeya.” Diluc turns around at his voice. Only then, does he notice his two companions.

“Oh? You two are back as well. What winds blew you here?” He greets the travelling honorary knight and Paimon who both look starstruck at the festivities happening in the church’s courtyard.

“Kaeya! Hello!” Paimon greets him enthusiastically compared to Aether who greets him quietly with a nod.

“Master Diluc was just showing us around! We were following Barbara around, but then she had to leave...”

Kaeya raises a brow. It’s unlike the idol to just leave her guests mid-tour with someone else.

“She went to do some last minute preparations with the stagehands,” Diluc supplies.

“And she left you guys with him?” Are they short on staff? Outdoor parties are already hectic as they are, so he really hopes they’ll be fine. Any odd complaints from foreign dignitaries will end up right back at his desk, after all.

His comment makes Diluc scowl at him, but instead of retorting, he just grabs a drink from a passing waiter and sips from it. Pretending not to hear him.

“Anyways,” he turns back to Aether and Paimon. “Although this event is invitation based, it’s mostly just a formality. Anyone can attend if they so wished. But, since you came here with the deaconess, I’m assuming she gave you one?”

Aether nods and pulls out a card. “She said you’ll know about it...”

“Show that to the guards outside the church and they’ll let you in for— Get off.”

Kaeya uses Diluc’s shoulder as support, perching his elbow on him while he waits for the cold-blooded Pyro-user to stop ignoring him.

“Don’t worry about it. I’m just the wind,” Kaeya says sarcastically.

Diluc sighs but doesn’t push him away. Because at least one of them should be acting like an adult in front of these kids.

“You can use it to watch the light shows inside, later. Since this is a mostly public event, only those with invitations are allowed inside the church to alleviate the security needed in the church and position more guards out here.”

“So there are no guards inside?!” Paimon shrieks. Aether also looks concerned.

“What about all the priceless artifacts there?” Aether asks and Paimon’s eyes start shining.

“There are. Just fewer. I wouldn’t suggest playing around with the Holy Lyre again, though. If that’s what you guys were thinking,” Kaeya tells them.

“Inept.”

“Ouch. Hurts to hear you regard us like that. Especially me.”

Diluc’s lips are pressed together tightly in a straight line, holding back his biting remarks regarding the secret message Kaeya hid in those words for him.

“If you two decide to loot the crypt again, let me know. I’ll come along.”

Kaeya’s single eye darts over to Diluc’s face, studying it. He’s half joking, but it’s the ‘half’ part that worries him. It means he’s also half serious.

Please, don’t make my life harder.”

“We can call it an impromptu performance review from their ex-captain.”

“You’ll make my men cry...”

“Hehee!”

The two adults look back at Paimon who’s giggling at their conversation.

“Paimon’s so glad! The two of you are so much nicer to each other now!”

They fall silent for a second and Kaeya watches the gears turn in Diluc’s head. He’s curious about how Diluc would respond— what are his thoughts?

“...That’s true, I suppose.” Diluc offers him a small smile and his heart skips a beat at the sight.

“Yeah,” Kaeya offers his own smile in agreement. Allowing just a shimmer of hope into his heart.

And because Aether is a good kid, the young traveller does Kaeya the favour of leaving the two of them to themselves.

“Oh!” Aether startles the two of them with his loud proclamation. “I see Bennett and Fischl!”

“Oh no! Paimon remembers, now! Barbara asked us to look after them so they don’t make any trouble!” Paimon panics as she looks over to the two adventurers who are currently being scolded by a knight.

“Too late?” Kaeya mutters as Paimon quickly flies over to assess the situation with her friends.

Diluc nudges Kaeya lightly with the shoulder being weighed down by his elbow.

“Shouldn’t you help?”

“Not on duty.”

Diluc sighs and looks back at the traveller. “Alright, then. Shall I? Jean’s sister only asked me to guide you two, but I don’t mind if two more tags along.”

“No, no... It’s okay, Master Diluc!” Aether’s eyes meet Kaeya’s and grins cheekily. “We don’t want to bother you all evening.”

“It would be more of a bother if you cause any trouble.”

“We— uhh,” Aether hastily takes out the invitations again. “We’ll stay put in the church and meet up with Sister Rosaria there!”

Diluc regards him calmly.

Sister Rosaria is... an interesting choice. But she could definitely keep them on a leash.

“Alright. Remember to stay out of trouble.”

Don’t let Paimon touch anything important,” Kaeya adds.

The blonde chuckles sheepishly and promises to try. It’s good enough for Kaeya and they send him off to diffuse whatever situation is cooked up over there.

“Get off,” Diluc repeats and rolls his shoulder harsher. It knocks Kaeya off, making him stumble a little before he finds his footing again.

“Should the cavalry captain really be taking time off while his squadron is working so hard?”

“It’s fine, it’s fine. I won this break fair and square.” He didn’t— he might have cheated a little at the straw game. “The other captains will pick up my slack.”

“Oh, really? No tricks?” Diluc gives the faintest of smiles as though he already knows what Kaeya meant by ‘fair.’ He takes another sip at the random champagne glass he’d snatched from the waiter earlier. Diluc’s face scrunches up cutely at the bitter taste and glares at the glass in hand, as if he’d forgotten what he was drinking.

“That’s not grape juice, Diluc.” Kaeya laughs and takes the flute from Diluc. He downs the rest of the contents in it in one go before the lightweight’s lips get any looser from the alcohol. While two sips isn’t a lot, even by Diluc’s standards, he’ll still rather not take any chances.

“Thanks.”

Kaeya blinks in surprise at the casual tone of the thanks thrown his way.

“You’re in an awfully good mood, tonight.”

“We kicked out all of the Fatui envoys that supports Il Dottore, this morning.”

Wow, that is... news. It was probably the news that Lisa was hinting at, actually. He mentally berates himself for not catching onto her hints sooner. There were pointedly no mentions of the Fatui in his reports. Probably because they were scouring through those for any more leverage they could use before officially kicking them out.

“Good,” he replies. “We’ve already shown him enough of a hero’s welcome, anyways.”

Never sat right with him that the bastard boasted himself as the late Master Crepus’ avenger when he was probably the murderer.

“So you’re free, then?”

“Yeah.” Unless something as big as a bomb drops on them, or something. But, Alice isn’t in Mondstadt and Klee is with Albedo.

“Good. Walk with me.”

 


 

As they say, addiction comes with taste... And Kaeya... He’s already had too many samples.

 

They’re wound in a lover’s embrace again that night. Diluc had suggested going back to Kaeya’s after they were almost caught making out in the shadows of the grand stairway leading to the courtyard. And Kaeya had been all too happy to comply.

“I was wrong earlier. You’re exceedingly happy, tonight.” It’s a nice change from the mood that Diluc usually comes into these stolen moments with him. He’s aware that he’s playing with something more dangerous than fire.

“Yeah?” Diluc pulls him back down by the aiguillettes under the wolf’s fur of his cape. “What makes you think that?”

There are a number of reasons. Kaeya hadn’t watched over Diluc during the majority of their childhood together without picking up at least a few of the subtle traits surrounding his various moods. Like how he didn’t chide Kaeya for leaving so many lights on in his house even though no one was home. Or how he lets him push them into bed with their shoes on.

Or how he lets Kaeya suck marks above the collar. Or how Diluc didn’t automatically start at discarding their clothes. Or how he had said ‘yeah’ casually instead of something like ‘is that so.’ Or the way Diluc sucks on his lips but then slyly pulls back when Kaeya opens his mouth for him, teasing him and making him chase after the redhead despite being the one who pulled him down for the kiss.

But instead of listing any amount of those reasons, Kaeya settles for something simpler.

“Just a feeling.” Kaeya succeeds in catching those coy lips and parts them with a light bite on his bottom lip. “You usually only come to me when you need someone to fuck your brains out ‘cause of the stress.”

Diluc huffs, taking offense from the remark. “I can want sex for fun, too.”

And that was more than fine with him, too.

 “Only you can talk about sex like a chore,” he laughs gently. “It’s a good thing you’ve always been good at any tasks thrown your way.”

“Hn... I could say the same about you. You’re not quite as inept as the other knights.” Diluc hugs him closer and slips a hand under his open collar, running it over his pecs. “Especially in bed.”

Kaeya’s eyebrows shoot up as a blush forms on his face.

“Is that you talking or the alcohol?”

“Not even I can get drunk with only two sips, dumbass.”

Alright, then. Tipsy.

“Do you need some water?” Kaeya starts unknotting Diluc’s necktie and unclips the jewelled brooch fastening it in place.

“I’ll be alright.”

He could feel the brush of Diluc’s warm hands as he helps Kaeya with unbuttoning his dress shirt. At three buttons undone, Kaeya could see the fading marks he left on that stretch of skin from the week prior. He smiles at the sight, gently running his thumb over them, connecting the receding bruises like constellations in the night sky. His finger draws the next line under the obsidian silk fabric, where he knows where his next mark was left, slowly unveiling more of the skin that Diluc always hides away— unusual for a person of Mond, but probably a habit picked up from his travels.

But, what Kaeya sees under that cloth makes him stop.

The fresh, black and blue marks taunt him under the amber glow of the oil lamp fixed atop the headboard of his bed. He grinds his molars at the sight. They’re too fresh to be his.

Worse than being envious, he feels resentful.

Why?

Why can’t he be enough for Diluc?

No. He knows why.

He never should have chosen that day to complete the papers regarding his damn name change. Just a few more hours and he would have heard the news regarding Master Crepus. And he would’ve discarded the piece of paper. Instead, he forgot about it in the wake of the tragedy— until he saw Diluc standing over his escritoire, papers in hand. It was just unlucky that Diluc had stumbled upon them in his room while looking for some comfort from his brother.

What happened after that was a screaming match and a list of reasons why Diluc would have to be Vayuda reincarnated to settle for him. But Diluc is not. And he knows better than to expect a miracle from Celestia. So, he settles for a divination a little closer to the ground.

He takes Jean’s advice.

“I’m sorry. I can’t keep doing this with you,” Kaeya sighs. “Not when I obviously love you a lot more,” he adds bitterly.

Kaeya pushes himself off Diluc sluggishly, trying to memorize everything about man in front of him. The way his hair falls when he’s laid on his bed, the shape of his brows, the curve of his nose, the colour of his kiss swollen lips... He wishes he could take it back. Tell him he was just teasing. But, Kaeya knows that this was bound to happen and he had to do this sooner or later. It was time for this dream to end.

Diluc looks back up, questions swirling in his eyes— Kaeya’s face must look all sorts of screwed up to him. But instead of voicing his thoughts, he only continues to observe the knight. Diluc parts his mouth a few times, as if he was about to say something, but changes his mind at the last second. When those ruby eyes finally look away— clouded with his own unsettled visage, Kaeya takes it as a sign that it was really over.

“I love you,” Kaeya says again. He won’t be allowed to express this again after Diluc leaves. Not in the same sense that he means now. “That’s why, I can’t do this knowing you’re not mine.”

Kaeya gets up completely and turns around, heading for the door. He’s not going to kick Diluc out, but he can’t be here either. There’s a tug on his wrist and he looks back to see Diluc sitting up as he grabs Kaeya’s wrist in a hurry. There’s a flash of panic in those eyes before it’s replaced with melancholic tone.

Kaeya knows what those emotions flitting through Diluc’s eyes are, even if the redhead doesn’t voice them.

“Don’t worry. I’ll be your brother properly, this time.” He’ll try. It might take some time, but if that’s what’ll make Diluc smile at him again. If that’s what it takes to convince Diluc that he’s not planning to leave. Then, he’ll do it properly.

After all, wasn’t it his own careless handle on the situation years ago that made Diluc run away? So that the ex-knight felt that he had to run away first before Kaeya left him? It was a silly notion that Kaeya had mistakenly instilled into Diluc’s younger self. Kaeya would never leave Diluc, even if the latter wished for it. But, they were both too young— too callow— to express their feelings properly at the time.

He expects Diluc to let him go now that he’s given him his reassurances, but the grip on his wrist grows stronger.

“And what if I think I feel the same?” Diluc finally speaks his mind and Kaeya could hardly believe the words that just came out.

“What?” The question flew out of Kaeya’s mouth before he could stop it. They say don’t question good things, and here he was, doing just that.

“I don’t mind trying.” Diluc’s grip loosens and the man looks away, a light blush dusting his ears. “If it’s with you, being exclusive doesn’t seem so bad.”

Kaeya blinks slowly, trying to take everything in.

“I think...” Diluc continues. “You’re the only one who I hope to be in my future for certain.”

“I’ll still be in your future. I’ll always be watching over you.”

“The future where you’ll keep a brotherly distance from me?”

“...Yes.” Kaeya forces a smile to put him at ease.

“That’s not possible.”

Kaeya winces at the way Diluc immediately shoots down his proposition. Sure, he had it bad for Diluc— been like that for a long time now— but he could put up a convincing act if he tried.

Diluc wasn’t done talking, though.

“I like having sex with you.”

Kaeya’s brain almost short circuits once he registers those words.

“W-what?” His hands are twitching to his Cryo vision on instinct to stop the blood from rushing to his head. He only notices his own nerves when Diluc’s hold on his wrist switches to his hand to steady him.

“Are you half-deaf, too, now? I’m not going to repeat myself.” His words were harsh, but the tone was playful. It contained all the Diluc-like qualities of the light bantering that Kaeya has grown to love conversing with. And suddenly, letting go is harder than ever.

Especially when it’s Diluc’s hand on his.

“I... I’m not a good person. I don’t always follow the chivalric code and I like to use others for my own gain.”

“Yes, I know. We grew up together, remember?” Diluc smiles wryly, but then that smile morphs into something gentler. “And, you’re not as bad as you think you are.”

Kaeya swallows. If Diluc really does choose him, but then decide later that they were better off as brothers, he’d never be able to let go.

“I’m not above murder.”

“Did you forget that I was a knight, too?”

That’s true. As much as the knight’s code stuck to chivalry and all those fairy tale terms, in the end, Ordo Favonius was still a military group.  ‘Training to protect and serve’ is the same as learning how to kill. It all depends on the politics of word choice embellishment and semantics— something he can never seem to get right with Diluc. Even now, when they’re older and more emotionally experienced.

“I... I’m a traitor... To the people of Khaenri'ah... To the people of Mondstadt...”

A frown slowly makes its way onto Diluc’s face and Kaeya once again finds the guilt gnawing closer to his heart.

“...To Master Crepus... Your father...”

“... Kaeya.”

“To you.”

“—Kaeya!”

Kaeya’s icy cold eye is forced to meet flaming bright ones as Diluc sandwiches his head between his warm hands to effectively stop Kaeya from speaking. Kaeya expects a slap, maybe a punch or a knee to his gut. Or if he’s lucky, Diluc intends to kiss him; just so they didn’t have to talk about this. And then, Kaeya would have obliged. Fucked him. And then end up in the same vicious cycle of self-torture that he was just trying to stop.

But, he didn’t expect Diluc’s tears. They haven’t fallen yet and Kaeya could tell that the redhead is desperately trying to keep them at bay. Those eyes take him back to when they were eighteen. When they fought neck to neck out of anger and grief... When the Gods decided to bestow a Cryo Vision upon him. It had felt so unnecessarily insulting that Kaeya had thrown his newly attained vision on the jagged stone ground after Diluc left him in the rain. But, it’s no secret that the Cryo Archon had a penchant for favouring the contrary. The humans who defied what destiny planned for them.

“Kaeya.” The warmth in the sound of that voice and the hands caressing his face brings him back.

“I’ve already forgiven you. But, when will you forgive yourself?”

Kaeya’s eye widens marginally. He doesn’t know how to respond to Diluc’s heartfelt plea.

“Wai— Diluc, don’t cry—”

“Who’s going to cry, you blind asshole!?”

“I’m only half-bli—” Before Kaeya could fall back into his facetious habits, Diluc shoves Kaeya roughly back down onto the bed and pins him down by his shoulders. Diluc straddles him, brows knitted and an angry frown on his face. His eyes are watery and a pink tinge outlines the red of his eyes. Even now, Diluc is still doing his best not to cry. Kaeya braces himself and waits with a bated breath for harsh words that never come.

“Is that how you really think of yourself, or do you think I’m stupid? If you were still planning to betray Mondstadt, you wouldn’t have told me. You wouldn’t have become a captain in my stead. You wouldn’t be wearing such flashy clothes to broadcast your presence.”

Diluc gently caresses the sides of his face, brushing his fringes aside and tucking them behind his ear so that his whole face, save for his right eye, is visible for Diluc.

“Do you think those are typical things that a spy would do?”

Diluc bends down, resting all of his weight onto Kaeya, sinking them further into the mattress. As if he’s not sure when Kaeya will leave. There’s a wetness pressed to the collar of his shirt and something twists in him to know that it’s Diluc’s tears. He brings his own hand up to the back of Diluc’s head, running over it in a soothing gesture.

“I know... You still think about Khaenri'ah a lot. That’s why you’re always going after treasure hoarders. Just in case they touch something of your heritage.”

Kaeya is surprised he knew that. He’d always assumed that Diluc would be too busy to care which missions he chooses to handle personally. And even if Diluc knew, he figured that Diluc wouldn’t think much of it.

“You’re not a traitor to anyone, Kaeya. Not to Khaenri'ah. Not to Mondstadt. Not to my father.”

Diluc smooths his hand over sun-kissed skin until it reaches right above the heart. His heartbeat under Diluc’s touch isn’t fast, but it isn’t slow enough to be called normal, either. As always, Kaeya‘s words and thoughts are disarrayed without a proper sequence to string them all together with. He knows that if he spoke, his words wouldn’t be able to convey what he truly wants to say.

“Not to me.” Diluc lifts his head back to face Kaeya and kisses him softly. Hoping that if his words won’t help disabuse Kaeya of his penitence, at least his actions will.

“You should just live how you want.”

“You wouldn’t like it. I don’t want you to hate me.”

Even Diluc wouldn’t be disillusioned enough to stay with him for the sake of their old brotherhood. Like the will of Barbatos, he is freer than any bird in the sky— shackled only by his own goals that he can achieve on his own.

“I promise I won’t run away again, if you promise to tell the truth. We were just stupid kids back then. We can figure things out together, this time.”

We.

Kaeya dares to bring a hand to Diluc’s face. Caressing him and swiping his thumb under those bright eyes to catch any residual tears. His lashes, painted in a darker shade than usual by the dampness of his tears, stand out in the low light. And he realises just how large his presence is to Diluc, just as it is the same vice versa. So, he dares.

Dares to dream.

“I hated being ‘Kaeya Ragnvindr’. That was true.”

Diluc frowns, but stays silent to let Kaeya continue.

“But, I lied when I said I hated everyone in the manor. I loved you and Master Crepus.”

The corners of Diluc’s mouth lifts slightly at that.

“I didn’t mean to tell you about my father’s mission for me, that day.”

It was stupid. And probably the catalyst that led to Diluc’s self-exile. He must have felt that he could no longer trust anything in his homeland.

“Then, why did you do it?”

“I was scared.”

That day, he’d seen something shatter in Diluc and he selfishly wanted to be the one to help put it back together. But in doing so, he had carelessly cut himself with the pieces— his own blood tainting the surface of what was left.

“You trusted the Knights of Favonius so much before their betrayal and I got scared thinking that it could be me. You said you hated those liars, so I made the decision to tell you right then and there.”

The papers he wanted to hide from Diluc. The confession. The fight. The unexpected use of a vision. It all painted a much different picture than Kaeya would have liked.

“I do,” Diluc reaffirms. “I do hate liars.”

Kaeya smiles solemnly and looks away. He wasn’t optimistic enough to expect Diluc to look pass his past faults. He may forgive, but he won’t forget. And maybe that was a good thing. It’s a fact that he’ll have to own and live up to.

“But, when I learned that you stayed in Mondstadt even after I left, it didn’t matter to me anymore. You were never planning to betray Mondstadt like your father wanted you to.”

Perhaps not.

“When did you get so good at reading people?”

“It came with the job.”

From the guild, or from taking over his father’s business?  Both had probably honed his skills, which was why he was so accurate with his assessment of him. Although, if his past ever catches up to him, and he’d have to choose between Diluc or Mondstadt...

They’re silent again as they both take a moment to contemplate each other’s words.  From the way Diluc words it... It almost sounded like there was nothing to forgive him for anyways, and he’s ready to recognise their shared history— both good and bad, and move forward with him. Like he’d already made up his mind to accept anything that Kaeya wants to say.

“Anything else that you think would be a bother to me?”

“I’m too selfish to let this be an open relationship. And I might accidentally abuse my power in office if you disagree.” He’s half joking and Diluc cracks half a smile at it.

“I believe I’ve already said that I could handle that. Is that all?”

“I want you to stay tonight. And every night when we do this.”

“So, I guess you can still keep doing this.”

“But, of course! I can always get it up for you. You’ll forgive me for that lie, right?”

Diluc smiles, seeing Kaeya’s mood lift. Kaeya could only admire it for a second before his nose is harshly pinched between Diluc’s thumb and index finger.

“Hey! If you want me to stop breathing, just say so...” Kaeya’s voice comes out a little nasally, but Diluc understands it.

“Breathe through your mouth, stupid.”

He lets go and dips down to kiss Kaeya fully. Their lips fit perfectly against each other and Kaeya would never trade this feeling away for anything.

“I can’t breathe through my mouth if you’re kissing me. Unless,” Kaeya grins cheekily and runs the pad of his thumb over Diluc’s lips before licking the bit of drool off that chin. “You wanted to do a little roleplay and give me CPR? You are what breathes life into me.”

“Ugh. You’re so cheesy. Just what goes on in that brain of yours?”

“Right now? Just you.”

“Never mind. You’re just embarrassing.” Diluc swats his hand away as if he’s had enough, but the blush on his cheeks tell a different story.

“Aww, you say that, but isn’t your face all red, sweetheart?”

“It’s second-hand embarrassment for you.”

“For me? Then, I’ll gladly accept it.”

Diluc falls silent for a moment and Kaeya wonders if he went overboard with his teasing. He knows Diluc isn’t angry, at least. Because the latter is currently playing with his hair, twirling the midnight locks around his finger the same way he’d always have Kaeya wrapped around his finger.

“You do have a point,” the redhead says finally. “You’re always taking care of me and doing things for me. Even when I don’t ask.”

“You never tell me anything, so I have to get creative with my sources.” It’s actually even harder than that since Diluc doesn’t even say what he really thinks half the time.

“That’s called an invasion of privacy.”

“Really? It’s called monitoring a person of interest in my line of work.”

“Hmph.” Diluc throws a quick scowl at him. “Anyways, let me take care of you, this time.”

The red colouring his face is gorgeous. Diluc fidgets with his fingers in Kaeya’s hair while his other hand drags across the expanse of his skin, down to his belt.

Those quid pro quo words from Diluc reminds him of the unspoken rule in their deal of exchange from when they were just fuck buddies, but Kaeya supposes it’s not bad when it’s said in this light.

“Sure,” Kaeya smiles back up gently. “It feels great to be rewarded for my efforts.” But truthfully, he would have been down with anything Diluc wanted to do. This night was already more than what he could have asked for.

Diluc undoes the clasp on Kaeya’s belt and pushes it onto the floor. His nimble fingers then travel back up, letting Kaeya feel the scrape of his nails over his skin as he does so and deftly unlatches his cape. He eases the fripperies off slowly and shoves them off to the floor, too, with all the grace of a lion toying with a ball of yarn.

“You love me?”

Diluc smirks down at Kaeya as he asks to reconfirm what he— they— now know. He palms Kaeya’s bulge through the fabric of his pants, drawing out a low moan from the latter. The touch on Kaeya is hot, thermonuclear, even. Like he could explode at any second under the careful, yet deliberate strokes and tickles to his balls.

“Since the beginning,” he answers, voice uneven. It feels good to finally tell Diluc without the conjoined feelings of worry and trepidation looming over him.

There’s a brief look of surprise in Diluc’s features when he registers the honesty of those words. He recovers quickly, but not without a blush dusting the tip of his ears.

“Then, I should be allowed to do this.” Diluc sinks down, leaving butterfly kisses down his neck and stops right below his clavicle. Kaeya lets out a muted gasp as his breath hitches when he feels Diluc sucking on the spot. There’s a slight bite to it, but it’s overall gentle as he leaves the mark on Kaeya’s skin. The first one he’s ever made while sober.

Kaeya always thought that it was oddly gentlemanly of Diluc to never leave too many marks on him, even while he let Kaeya (and others, he thinks with great displeasure) leave whatever marks they wanted on his body. At first he thought: maybe Diluc just wasn’t into that. And when he saw the marks that weren’t his, he had to stomach the fact that maybe Diluc just didn’t want that kind of intimacy with him specifically. But now, he thinks that maybe it’s because he wasn’t very attached to his one night stands, or didn’t want to be. Not enough to leave his mark on anyone the way he’s leaving them on Kaeya, right now. The thought of that makes his pants feel tighter, so he grinds on Diluc’s hand to help relieve some of the tension.

“Fuck, Diluc,” Kaeya moans and cups Diluc’s face, tilting it up so that their eyes can meet. “Are we still in the middle of talking about what else might bother you?”

Diluc raises an eyebrow at the sudden break in the mood.

“What else did you want to say?”

“Don’t hold back on any marks you want to leave. Hickeys, nails, teeth.” Kaeya runs a hand through Diluc’s hair and shakes loose the rest of his hair from its confines.

“I want it all,” he says as he smooths his fingers down to the tips of his tresses and presses a lingering kiss to it. He looks back up for Diluc’s response.

“You read too many romance novels.” Diluc’s lips form a scowl and his eyebrows are twitching downward, but the blush on his face negates the more menacing look he was going for.

“Haha, but aren’t you the one who owns the whole set of that Dandelion Sea series?” Kaeya laughs joyously at Diluc’s reaction.

“Shut up. That was a gift, and you know it,” Diluc grumbles.

“Besides, it’s not even a romance. The whole series is just a metaphor comparing a man’s fleeting mental stability to that of a dandelion in the wind.”

“Uh, no. I’m pretty sure it was written with fantastical elements so that it could be enjoyed by both adults and kids alik— Can we not talk about this now?”

Kaeya was not about to let Diluc start lecturing him about literature in bed.

“Hmph.” Diluc turns his nose up at him. “You’re the one who wanted to talk.”

“Okay, alright. No more talking.” Kaeya smiles and tugs at Diluc’s heavy jacket. He takes it off him wordlessly, throwing it off to the side to join his own clothes on the floor. The waistcoat Diluc wears tonight is much simpler than the one he ruined last week. It comes off with just two buttons and he lets Diluc fold it up messily before dropping it somewhere.

“That’ll still wrinkle, Master Diluc.” His voice is laced with mirth when he sees how much Diluc cared about not caring for the piece of fabric.

Diluc shrugs. It was just habit to feign some degree of propriety for him at this point.

“And you promised to stop talking.” Diluc plays with a button on his dress shirt, rolling it between his fingers, before leaning back down to kiss Kaeya. He grabs at the toned chest under him and thumbs down on a hardened nipple, rubbing circles on it.

Kaeya moans into the kiss and holds the back of Diluc’s head in a solid grip. He breaks the kiss and travels down to suck a mark right under Diluc’s jaw. He preens when Diluc lets him, angling his head up more for Kaeya to do what he wanted. The soundless gasps and quiet moans goad him on; leaving more the further down he goes, littering his usually pristine neck with evidence of their coupling.

When he starts unbuttoning the rest of Diluc’s shirt, he’s stopped by a warm hand. He gives the new mark that he was sucking on another lick and tries to loop the button out of its stitch again, but Diluc stops him for the second time.

Before Kaeya could say anything, Diluc slips a hand down his pants; the warmth of his hand adds to the heat tenting in Kaeya’s pants, making him buck up towards the source.

Fuck,” Kaeya moans and bites down harder on a new hickey he plans to leave on Diluc.

“It’ll be better to keep this on, tonight.” Diluc closes his eyes and kisses under Kaeya’s eye. He pulls at the waistband of the polyester while Kaeya roughly kicks off his boots. There are light thuds when they hit the wooden floorboards and only then does Diluc choose to kick his own shoes off.

“Something you don’t want me to see?”

“Yes, you hate it. You’ve already made that clear.”

Kaeya’s heart swells at the considerate attention Diluc is showering him in with every action. Yes, he dislikes the disregard that this man heeds his own body with— whether if it’s scars from violent fights, or from violent sex; but the fact that Diluc is taking special care to be aware of his body for Kaeya’s sake... that brings a smirk and a possessive glint to his eye.

“Alright, sweetheart. Keep it on for me.” He’ll remove those eyesores with his own later. Kaeya rather likes this self-conscious side that Diluc is showing him right now. Instead of the buttons on Diluc’s shirt, he goes for the button on his trousers, unbuckling the belt along the way. He pulls everything down in one go, earning a moan from Diluc for the much needed release.

“Kaeya...”

Diluc sucks another mark onto olive skin and strokes Kaeya’s cock, still within the confines of his underwear. The stretch of the material keeps Diluc’s hand steady on his dick as he grinds along with the strokes. Before he could start undulating his hips at a set pace, Diluc’s hand rips away from him— snapping the elastic waistband of his briefs back onto him, and thankfully missing his dick. An angry red line now marred the skin right below his stomach and Diluc uses his nail to trace under the elastic, folding it down just enough to see a difference in the colour pigmentation on his skin.

“Fuck,” Kaeya lets out a strained moan. “You’re such a tease”

Diluc only smirks and bends down, finally rolling the fabric off his crotch and presses an insincere apologetic kiss to the head of his cock. He licks over the slit, cleaning the precum off and tugs the under garment completely off. Diluc licks down the shaft, and Kaeya feels pleasurable trembles down his spine as he feels the light scrape of Diluc’s incisors skimming along with his tongue.

He mouths over his balls, sucking on them gently. The wet cavern of his mouth blows hot breaths on him as Diluc’s breathing also grows ragged. Kaeya’s hands fly to the hair at the base of Diluc’s neck, holding them in a death grip. A tongue laps across his scrotum. The wet muscle prods his sack with a force that’s neither too harsh nor too gentle and it sends Kaeya to throw his head back onto his pillow— ripping a loud moan out of his throat. The thought of pulling Diluc off and cumming to his face tantalises him; and he almost does, if it wasn’t for the fact that they barely even started. Cumming now would be too fast when they had the whole night, now.

“Shit, ‘Luc. You could start a war with that mouth of yours.” Kaeya thinks about it for a second and decides to add to that statement.

“Literally.” And honestly, it’s kind of hot that such an important tongue was servicing him right now.

Diluc’s fingers on his hips twitch at his comment and stills his mouth before replying.

“Just be a dead fish and stay still.”

Kaeya could almost hear the blush in Diluc’s voice when his words waver in the response.

“Fuck.” Kaeya moans again when Diluc bites the inside of his thigh. “Easier to just give you the stars.”

“Don’t need them.”

Diluc spreads Kaeya’s legs wider, hooking a leg over his shoulder as he trails further down. A thumb rubs over his asshole, followed by a tongue. Holy fuck. Was Diluc going to eat him out?

Gods.” That possibility more than excites Kaeya. He anchors his hold on the back of Diluc’s head to be firmer and nudges the redhead closer to his ass. He feels lips kiss his rim and part slowly for his tongue to flick over his hole again. The hands on his hips move down to grope his ass, parting his cheeks just a little more to give Diluc more room. The tip of Diluc’s tongue presses in and Kaeya has to make sure he’s not pulling out too many hairs, lest this lovely spitfire gets too angry and stops. (Because Kaeya has no doubt that he would.)

Diluc releases his hold on one of his asscheeks to play with his dick again. He wraps his hand around his leaking appendage and uses his thumb to rub his head in a circular motion, smearing the precum all over— all the while using his tongue to make out with his lower orifice.

“Fucking whore. How are you so good at this?”

Moans and colourful words tumble out of Kaeya as Diluc works at loosening him up with his mouth. He yanks at Diluc’s hair, shoving the pretty face further up his ass. Diluc’s fingers on his ass digs in scars while the hand on his dick tightens its grip on him when Kaeya pulls harshly at his scalp.

“Heavens, fuck,” Kaeya pants and loosens his grip slightly. “Keep this up and I’m not sure I can see your mouth for anything else other than hot sex anymore.”

Kaeya wasn’t prepared when Diluc throws a pair of pants square in his face. It’s not the most conventional way that Kaeya has ever experienced anyone using to shut him up; but, it does the job of gagging him momentarily. Just until he reluctantly takes a hand out of Diluc’s hair to remove the article.

In turn, Diluc takes this moment to shake his head free of Kaeya’s other hand, unfortunately. The mattress shifts as Diluc sits back up. And when Kaeya discards the slacks obscuring his view, he is all around unprepared again by the sight of Diluc looking like a hot mess. If he had to describe it in one word, it would just be ‘red.’ Red, flushed cheeks complimenting cherry, glossed lips. Wine-red hair, chaotically framing passionate, vermillion red eyes.

So red. Because of him.

“Lube?” Diluc grabs the blanket they’d pushed to the side and uses it like a napkin to wipe at the mess of saliva sticking to the lower half of his face. He does it all polite-like without a wasted movement. Like he didn’t just suck on his balls and eat him out like the dirty, filthy slut that he is for him.

“Last drawer, somewhere. Or under the bed. Actually, I don’t know. Just open a new one.”

Diluc raises an amused eyebrow.

“Say it slower and maybe I’ll understand.” Diluc lets out a soft laugh at the unwitting air around Kaeya. And Kaeya takes in every second of it.

Diluc wraps his fingers around the back of his neck, pulling him up halfway to kiss him. It’s a simple one that Diluc ends with a nip at his chin.

“I can only understand half of your Khaenri'ahn.”

Oh. Kaeya blinks and Diluc represses another laugh.

Whoops. How long has that been going on?

Speaking in his native tongue still feels more natural to him, even after spending half his life in Mondstadt. But, he supposes it’s because being with Diluc also feels so natural to him that he always finds himself surrendering to the feeling.

“Ah, my bad. Should I translate everything for you?” He’s partially kidding. While it’ll be annoying to find the words, he wouldn’t mind doing it for Diluc’s inquisitive nature.

“No,” Diluc says curtly, but Kaeya could tell that he’s still curious. “Maybe another time.”

Diluc kisses under his jaw as he asks again. “Where did you say it was? The dresser?”

“I’ll get it,” Kaeya offers.

Despite Diluc’s nonuse of the of his homeland’s language for quite some time now, Diluc still got it mostly right. That brings a smile to Kaeya’s face as he remembers how Diluc used to study Khaenri'ahn, practically a dead language on this side of the world, in their younger years— all just to make one abandoned boy just a little less lonely. Although, he had to pretend to be unfazed by it for the mission, he really did appreciate the effort.

Perhaps that was when he first fell in love with this kaleidoscopic angel.

They end up opening a new bottle to save the time that would be spent looking for the old one. Kaeya looks at the bottle for a second before laughing at the situation. Diluc casts a concerned look at Kaeya, but accepts the lube from Kaeya.

“No, it’s just,” Kaeya decides to tell Diluc which ironic joke he found so funny before the man thinks he’d just lost his marbles. “Normally people would be breaking out a new bottle of champagne or something instead of lube.”

That does get a small, suppressed grin out of Diluc as well as a short-lived snicker that accompanied it.

“I’d rather this than champagne, anyways.”

Kaeya brushes the back of his hand over Diluc’s cheek gently. He hopes that Diluc will always smile for him.

“A bottle of grape juice for you then,” Kaeya sighs dramatically. “I’d already planned to bribe you with a bottle of your finest, some roses, and a recommendation letter from Jean for a date.”

He tugs Diluc back down by his shirt for another quick kiss. He tastes like dick and his own dick finds that to be a major turn on as he plunges his tongue into Diluc’s mouth.

“—and maybe the head of a harbinger,” Kaeya adds as an afterthought once he releases Diluc.

“You still can, tomorrow. Maybe I’ll say yes.”

“Just maybe?”

“Maybe,” Diluc says, casting a light Pyro heat to the bottle.

“Any advice for getting a sure ‘yes’, then?”

“Hm...” Diluc mulls on it for half a second just to humour him while he busies himself with coating his fingers with the liquid. “No roses. The last time a client sent some to the manor, there was a dormant Flaming Flower mistakenly mixed in and the maids—”

Diluc pauses and looks at Kaeya, whose shoulders were shaking as his hands cover his face in muffled laughter.

“Why are you laughing like that?”

“No reason. Just happy.” Kaeya is aware that he stills himself too quickly to not cast suspicion on himself, but luckily Diluc doesn’t seem to care too much.

“Whatever. I got to get rid of two eyesores that day.”

“Two?”

“Yes.” The smirk on Diluc is criminal with one corner of his mouth lifted up to a lopsided smile while his pearly whites peek out just slightly to bite down on his lower lip. “An ugly vase and unnecessary flowers.”

“You’re lying.”

“Am I? Check for yourself, next time.”

“Are you inviting me over?”

Diluc doesn’t reply. Instead, Kaeya feels two fingers entering him— already a little loose from Diluc’s tongue earlier.

“Fuck,” Kaeya moans and rocks back on those fingers. He pulls Diluc to him by the back of his head and crashes their lips together. His teeth accidentally cuts into Diluc’s upper lip from the sudden force; he could taste blood when he slips his tongue past the inaudible gasp that parts Diluc’s lips.

Diluc starts thrusting his fingers slowly in a scissoring motion. His fingers curl in a little deeper and Kaeya moans loudly into the kiss, tightening his hold on Diluc.

“Here, then?” Diluc breaks the kiss and swipes his tongue at the beads of blood from the cut that now marred his lips.

“Gods. Yeah, there, sweetheart.” Kaeya sucks another mark on Diluc’s neck. No matter how many stigmas he leaves on Diluc tonight, he fears that he’ll still wake up alone tomorrow.

“Mmn...” Diluc tilts his head for Kaeya, letting him do as he pleases. He draws shapeless figures onto Kaeya’s chest, fingertips periodically sweeping over his nipples. Diluc takes his teasing a step further by curling his fingers just enough so that it misses his sweet spot, loving the flagrant throaty moans that Kaeya would give him in response to his actions. The soft vibrations from his groans are felt in his neck where Kaeya clings to.

Diluc graces him with an unexpected press to his prostate, finally, before deviously taking his fingers out when Kaeya moans loudly, denying him of his touch again. Diluc cups Kaeya’s face and smiles as they lock eyes, fully aware of the state of inner turmoil that Kaeya’s nerves are in thanks to him.

“Do you want me to beg?” Because he will. For Diluc.

“That’s too easy,” his smirk grows wider.

And, yeah. Kaeya would absolutely give him whatever he wanted, if Diluc would so much as just hint at it. It’s such a shame that Diluc is already so self-sufficient with everything from his mora to his missions.

“I already told you what I wanted earlier.”

“Tell me again?” Kaeya grins frivolously. They said a lot of things earlier.

“No. Too bad.” Diluc blushes lightly and looks away before Kaeya could fool him with one of his fake looks of disappointment. He knows it’s fake, but he falls for it anyways when he casts his eyes back down at Kaeya’s silent form.

“Let me help you take the edge off this time,” he sighs, giving in.

And, well. Fuck. Diluc really had no right to be so endearing. It makes Kaeya want to bully him for it. So, he does— against all better judgement.

“If you just wanna stick it in me, go ahead, sweetheart.”

“Ugh,” Diluc frowns, but the blush on him deepens into something more visible. As a bit of revenge, Diluc pinches the soft cartilage in his ear, pulling at it harshly. “Who raised you?”

Kaeya winces, but laughs heartily. It’s a question that neither of them bothers answering. With how close they were as kids, one could argue that they raised each other with the help of the adults around them, rather than the other way around.

Diluc looks back at him with his own version of a smile on his face and leans back down for another kiss. There’s a press of something hard at his entrance and Kaeya quickly spreads his legs wider for Diluc, wrapping one around the latter’s waist.

Kaeya moans when Diluc pushes in with one go, fingers digging into the lean muscles on Diluc’s shoulder blades. Diluc takes a sharp breath when he feels Kaeya’s walls clench in around his dick like a vice. Like Diluc had kept him waiting for too long.

“Loosen up, you stupid lug.” Diluc’s breath ghosts his lips and it lures Kaeya into taking those lips again.

“Fuck me loose, sweetheart.”

“You’re always so vulgar,” Diluc huffs against him. He nips at the of middle Kaeya’s chest before sitting up on the balls of his feet. Diluc pulls out slowly with a groan and lifts Kaeya’s hips up sideways by the back of his thighs, slamming back in. The new angle forces Kaeya into frenzy as it hits his prostate every time, making up for all those times when Diluc only brushed pass it like a tease.

“Shit! Yes, keep it up.” Kaeya’s untethered sounds pervade Diluc’s calm as he speeds the pace of his thrusts for Kaeya. They both let instinct take over, fanned by the flames of passion. And Gods. Kaeya lets himself get lost in the lusts of hypnotic euphoria that Diluc can always manage to bring him into. At this moment, he doesn’t think about any of the future problems in their relationship. There’s only his manic obsession and desire born from primal needs. There’s only Diluc, the man he’d follow forever. The man he’d wait an eternity for.

“I love you, Diluc.”

“I...—”

Kaeya pulls him in for another bruising kiss before Diluc finishes whatever he was about to say. He doesn’t need a response now, when Diluc is still figuring out his feelings. He doesn’t want to confuse Diluc by tactlessly leading him to accept his form of love as the only way to love. Kaeya knows that Diluc has his own version. For now, it’s enough to know that Diluc loves him enough to choose him.

Diluc appreciates the tacit meaning behind the kiss and takes the out that Kaeya gives him. Tongues caress one another in the most affectionate ways. Diluc gently traces the scars left over from years of swordplay across his skin, making sure to be extra careful with the uneven scars, pink with granulating tissue. The touches go from his chest, to his abdomen, and leading down to his most intimate area.

Diluc,” Kaeya moans when his dick gets stroked. He grunts out more curses as the strokes get rougher and he meets Diluc’s hips, thrust for thrust.

“Fuck— I’m going to- Mmn—” Kaeya cuts himself off with a loud moan when Diluc slams in extra hard at his prostate.

Diluc kisses the corner of his eye and licks a stripe down to his ear.

“Sure,” he whispers and bites down on his earlobe.

“Fuck, Diluc—”

The sound of Diluc’s voice rings sensually in his ear. The linguist only needs one word to have Kaeya fall apart for him. He cums into Diluc’s hand in sporadic ropes and it pools onto his chest. Diluc doesn’t let up in his thrusts as he pounds into him through Kaeya’s orgasm.

“Kaeya—” Diluc gasps out his name just as he pulls out to cum— his own semen splattered onto the bedsheets. They lock eyes with each other as they both try to gather themselves from the rapturous high that’s slowly coming down with each audible breath they take.

Diluc inches down to kiss Kaeya between their recovery. Limbs tangling as they wrap themselves with one another. The excitement of sex fades out and a different feeling settles in to fill the gap. It’s an ardour that’s just as intoxicating, if not more. More permanently ingrained than a temporary infatuation. More viscerally gratifying than their surreptitious trysts.

“I wouldn’t have minded if you came inside, you know,” Kaeya says once they’ve caught their breath. “This is my place. I own a full bathroom.”

“No. I’m tired. I haven’t had a break since I got back.”

“Oh? So you’d help if you weren’t?”

“Hmph. I owe it to Jean to not have you calling in sick tomorrow for an upset stomach.”

Kaeya laughs and his hands drift down Diluc’s hips, skidding them under his shirt and feeling up his sides.

“When else would I use my sick days, then?”

“You won’t have to. I already told you... I’ll take care of you, too, now.” Diluc looks away, finding Kaeya’s hair suddenly very interesting as he picks at the highlights of his hair.

And—

Oh.

By the holy winds of Barbatos...

Kaeya holds him tight in his embrace.

So that Diluc could never run away again.

But, even if he does, this time, there’s no way he could wait another three years for him to come back. He’d definitely follow close enough to keep lingering traces in Diluc’s memories.

So that Diluc could ever escape him, either.

He’s never letting go.

 

He can’t.

 


 

When Kaeya wakes up the next morning, he has to fight down the disappointment of waking up alone in bed again.

—Until he sees that Diluc’s clothes are still strewn across the floor, suggesting that the unpredictable pulchritude of a man is still somewhere nearby.

Kaeya ties his eyepatch back on for the day and tugs his pants on quickly to shield himself from the morning chill before heading down the hall to find Diluc. He doesn’t have to walk far; he finds his target in the bathroom adjacent to his room. Kaeya leans against the doorjamb as he watches the beauty that he’d slept with last night spoil his good looks with a frown.

Unfortunately, Diluc’s too busy examining his neck full of bites and bruises in the mirror to care about Kaeya’s gaze on him. He lifts his hair in different directions, trying to figure out the best way to wear his hair today so that the marks aren’t too obvious. It’s in vain, however, and the click from his tongue reverberates loud enough within his bathroom walls that it makes the redhead sound more displeased than he actually is. Or, at least, Kaeya hopes so.

He unbuttons his wrinkled shirt, next— giving up on his neck. The expensive silk isn’t in much of a better state either, though. It’s beyond presentable after their activities and a night of being slept in. Kaeya watches on as Diluc undoes more of the buttons, revealing more and more of the territory that he was denied of last night. It’s mostly unmarked, save for a few ugly hickeys scattered here and there. Diluc appears to be pondering over something as he inspects them in the mirror.

“Are those the ones you wanted to hide?” Kaeya makes his presence known halfway through Diluc’s ministrations.

Diluc steadily turns his head to the direction of Kaeya’s voice before greeting him. He probably already knew that Kaeya had been staring, but deliberately chose not to say anything in favour of a more quiet morning. Or maybe it’s because staying over after sex is still new to Diluc and he’s just unsure how to act.

Kaeya would like it if it’s the latter.

“...Good morning,” he says hesitantly, obviously unaccustomed to interacting with his partners in the morning. “I... used one of the spare toothbrushes in your cabinet.”

Looking over, Kaeya notices that there is an extra toothbrush in his cup. The fact that it’s in the cup and not thrown away implies that Diluc plans to stay over again in the future. And now, he can stare at that extra toothbrush every morning as a reminder, even when Diluc doesn’t stay the night in the city.

Kaeya couldn’t stop the stupid grin that blooms across his face as he makes his way over to his beloved.

“That’s fine with me.” Kaeya pushes Diluc’s hair back, behind his ears so that his lovebites are more visible again. “Good morning.”

Diluc shifts uncomfortably. Fidgeting his fingers on the sink counter that he’s leaning on while doing his best to keep an impassive mask on by keeping eye contact with Kaeya.

Kaeya could help Diluc adjust to this new development, but it’s honestly so much more fun watching his love struggling at something so simple for him.

“...Last night was... good...?”

Kaeya almost laughs at his attempt at a morning conversation. He doesn’t, though. It’s cute to see him trying his best— not discouraged from trying.

“Yeah, same. I liked it very much,” Kaeya smiles while playing with Diluc’s hair. “So much, that it almost gave me a fright when I woke up alone. I thought I’d dreamt it all.”

“I didn’t want to wake you.”

Diluc shuffles his feet again at the silence that falls over them and Kaeya couldn’t help but ogle openly at the sight of Diluc’s bare legs. Sadly, he doesn’t get to stare long. His toothbrush is unceremoniously shoved into his face; the back of the brush taps hard on his nose, breaking him from his lustful thoughts.

“You came here for this, right?” Diluc offers him the toothbrush and straightens his posture so that he’s no longer leaning on the sink.

“Came in ‘coz of you, actually.” Kaeya accepts the proverbial olive branch extended to him and slings an arm over Diluc’s shoulder. He traps Diluc in his arms as he does his morning routine over his captive’s other shoulder.

“This is uncomfortable,” Diluc complains while fixing his red locks over his shoulder and away from the toothpaste frothing in Kaeya’s mouth. He helps comb Kaeya’s hair back next, pushing the strands to the side.

“’m cold,” Kaeya mumbles out between brushes.

“Put on a shirt next time, stupid.” Diluc’s voice is cold and reproachful, but Kaeya feels a cosy warmth emanating from the Pryo wielder. Kaeya smiles and hugs Diluc closer, melting into the pleasant heat.

Eventually, he spends more time than usual in brushing his teeth; his gums are starting to feel numb. He begrudgingly gets off Diluc in order to rinse out his mouth. And when Diluc uses this moment to leave, Kaeya kicks out one of his feet to trip up the former. He catches Diluc just before he falls, grabbing him by his wrist and using the momentum to swing the redhead back into his arms to combat the inertia that would have hurt Diluc’s wrist otherwise.

“Falling for me so early in the morning, sweetheart? I’m so flattered.” Kaeya puts his toothbrush away in favour of caging in his beloved with both his arms.

Diluc purses his lips into a flat line at the awful pun.

“I hope you’re not expecting a ‘thank you’ for something that you orchestrated.”

“I’ll settle for a morning kiss, then.”

“I don’t believe you.”

And he’s right. With the way his hands meander to Diluc’s waist, just above his hips, Kaeya is hoping for a little more than a morning kiss.

“If you don’t believe me, you can kiss me and see for yourself.” Kaeya closes in and waits for Diluc to initiate it. He does indulge Kaeya, but not without first, staring at him like he’d just witnessed a new low in the evolution of human language upon hearing those flirtatious lines said out loud.

They share a short, sweet one that has them both chasing for another kiss from each other. Their second kiss of the day is a little more heated. Diluc splays a hand over the muscles of Kaeya’s bare abdomen while Kaeya pulls at the hems of Diluc’s half-opened shirt. A collar slips off Diluc’s shoulder and Kaeya is reminded of what he meant to do when he walked into this room in the first place, before he got side-tracked.

“I didn’t get to ask before, but where did you get these?” Kaeya brushes the red hair back and glares blatantly at the marks that had caused him so much anguish last night.

“Ah... those,” Diluc frowns as he looks down to where Kaeya’s finger is tracing. “That guy from the other day wanted to prove me wrong. But, I got tired of him gnawing on my skin pretty quickly, so nothing happened.”

“So, you just let him practice on you?” Kaeya bites the inside of his cheek to stop himself from snapping at Diluc.

“I just wanted to humiliate him.”

“Well, you’re not allowed to let those things happen again.”

Diluc’s eyes widen marginally at the sudden aggression in Kaeya’s mood.

“Of course not,” Diluc smiles, but Kaeya could tell that it’s fake— too stiff, and leans in to give him a chaste kiss on the lips to placate him. When Kaeya doesn’t kiss him back immediately, Diluc pulls back tentatively. “Are you still mad?”

“Anyone would. That’s what it’s like in a relationship, Diluc.”

“...You’re right. I’m sorry.”

Kaeya blinks, a little taken back by Diluc’s sincerity. He thought that he’d get scoffed at for getting angry at something that happened before they made this thing between them official. Because Kaeya could admit that he is being a little childish with his accusatory tone in his questions and demands. A part of him just wishes that it was him that Diluc went to.

Two warm hands cup his face and they guide his attention back from his ruminations.

“Do you want to know something about the others?” There’s a hint of a challenge in his scarlet eyes along with an uncertain vacillation about whatever he wants to say. He’s leaving the gamble up to Kaeya and letting him decide if he wants to hear something that could either quell him or hurt him.

“Sure?” Kaeya is too curious, now.

Diluc switches his hold to wrap his arms around Kaeya’s shoulders. He hugs Kaeya closer, whispering in his ear.

“...I might have accidentally said your name. Once... Or twice. In bed.”

“No way. Really?” Kaeya laughs and returns the hug tenfold, snaking his hands pass Diluc’s hips and interlocking them around his waist. He buries his face into the crook of Diluc’s neck. There’s nothing he could do about the past, but learning that Diluc had him in the forefront of his mind during it all... Kaeya grins widely at this new information.

“Yeah,” he answers and Kaeya knows he must be telling the truth— from the way he blushes lightly, to the softness in his hesitant voice, and to the way he replies so informally.

“Can I hear? How you called out my name?”

“I don’t know.” Diluc relaxes in his arms when he sees that Kaeya is no longer as upset as before. “It might be a bit hard to recreate.”

Kaeya arches down, pressing kisses down Diluc’s chest until he reaches the first tainted blemish that Kaeya plans to fix. He bites down hard before relentlessly sucking his own marks over it. There’s a sharp inhale from Diluc as his hands fly to the back of Kaeya’s head, tangling in his hair.

“I have time.” He’ll make time. “Do you have anywhere to be, today?”

“No,” Diluc pauses and gently smiles at him. “It’s a Saturday.”

 

 

 


 

if our love is insanity, why are you my clarity?