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Diluc doesn’t come often to the Knights’ Headquarters, never at all to the wing that hosts their personal quarters. It’s been a couple of days since he and Kaeya had last seen each other. His body is still sore and covered with bruises. Barbara had done her best with both of them, of course, and thankfully hadn’t asked too many questions. It takes him some time to finally find the door to Kaeya’s residence. He actually hesitates for a moment before knocking.

 

“Come in!” it’s a child’s voice that answers, which does absolutely nothing to alleviate his hesitation.

 

He’s no coward, though, so he does open the door. He doesn’t really know what to make of the sight that greets him there. Kaeya is sitting on the floor in front of a cocktail table, Klee propped up on his lap. Paper and crayons are scattered all over the table’s surface, an aquamarine color held in Klee’s hand. She looks up when he enters but seems disappointed by what she sees. Diluc isn’t sure how to feel about that, either.

 

“Oh, wow!” Kaeya exclaims, drawing Diluc’s attention away from the child. “What an honor! The young master Diluc himself has come to check up on me.”

 

“Poor Kaeya,” Klee croons, scribbling something else on the paper in front of her. “I’ll make him feel all better.”

 

For the first time, Diluc notices that there’s a bright pink bandage over one of the bruises on Kaeya’s face. The entire scene is very… domestic.

 

“Uh, huh…” He’s at a loss, really.

 

Kaeya seems to take the hint. “Hey, Klee. Master Diluc and I have some adult stuff to discuss. We’ll play more later, yes?”

 

“Adult stuff?” Klee seems confused. “Well, alright. If you say so.”

 

Klee neatly places all her crayons back into the designated box, gathers up the scattered papers, and makes her way out with her arms full of her various art supplies. Diluc gets the door for her.

 

When he’s sure she’s gone, he moves over to where Kaeya is still sitting, dropping down next to him and resting his back against the sofa behind them. Kaeya is watching him the whole time with a look of slight trepidation. It’s annoying, so Diluc reaches over and grabs the bandage on Kaeya’s face, ripping it off in one smooth movement.

 

“Ow!” Kaeya grabs his face, affronted.

 

Diluc rolls up the bandage between his fingers and flicks it away. “I never got the chance to ask you… Did you see anything when you ran ahead back there?”

 

“All business, huh?” Kaeya looks away noncommittally. “… I didn’t see anything. Must have been too slow.”

 

It’s not that convincing. Kaeya is anything but slow, considering how long his legs are, and he has the most stamina between the two of them. Just this time, Diluc lets it go.

 

“No, I’m not here for business,” he says instead.

 

That draws Kaeya’s attention back to him. “… Pleasure, then?”

 

Once in a while, it would be nice if Kaeya would just keep his mouth shut. Diluc takes Kaeya’s hand to pull it away from his face, giving himself space to lean in and press their lips together. Kaeya opens up for him without any resistance whatsoever; his arm comes around Diluc’s shoulders, grabbing the fabric at Diluc’s back. They’ve done this a thousand times before. It kind of hurts how easy it is to fall back in again.

 

“You smell different,” he mutters when they finally break apart, moving to press his face into Kaeya’s neck.

 

Kaeya laughs humorlessly, probably at the absurdity of it all. Honestly, he’s more beautiful than Diluc remembers.

 

In the end, Diluc isn’t sure what any of this means. The way Kaeya says his name into his shoulder is with an aching, pained yearning that so closely resembles his own it makes him shake. For years he’d ignored it, refused warmth from anyone. When had that started to change?

 

I love him, he thinks, the ferocity of that feeling enough to strangle him.

 

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“I used to believe... if I was to stamp out evil, I would have to walk alone in darkness. However, seeing your perseverance, I know I was wrong. Friend... I owe you my thanks.”

 

Lumine sits alone on a hill, hands in her lap, staring up at the sky. Somewhere, on the other side of that horizon, her brother waits for her.

 

It’s closer than she thinks. Not so far away, Aether steps out under the same windy, Mondstadt sky.

 

“Oh, Prince…” the Cryo Mage warbles at his feet, rubbing its face with tiny hands. “I saw the stars in his eye…

 

“Another lovely Prince...”