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Midday Nap

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Childe was shocked when Zhongli had sleepily toddled to their bedroom after their hearty Liyuean lunch, eyes barely managing to fight the clutch of sleep. When questioned on the matter, Zhongli simply replied:

"A nap, Childe. Is that what you mortals call it?"

"Well yes, but..." Childe begun, stumbling behind the other as the rays of the sun hit his face, illuminating his pale skin while passing by a window in the corridor. "For someone over 6000 years old, I thought a nap would last... a year or two maybe?" He chuckled, attempting to reach out for his partner's hand to no avail. Zhongli had reached the door to their bedroom and barely managed to slide it open, body swaying from left to right as he continued to drift between the two realms of consciousness.

Zhongli let out a breath of laughter at the remark, too close to falling asleep to form a proper sentence, let alone a single word. He carefully made his way to the bed to plop down onto it; the mattress dipping down to accommodate his weight. 

"You're not going to change into something else to sleep?" Childe asked, heading to their wardrobe in advance and turning the handle. Zhongli hummed softly, rolling over to face the open window on the opposite side of the room. Childe took his light-headed attempt at speaking as a 'please, get me something to wear', so he scanned the contents of the wardrobe and settled on a thin brown robe with golden trimmings that glistened just as bright as the eyes of the man that was about to wear it. "You're going to have to undress yourself, you know?" Childe said softly as he placed the robe under his arm and approached the bed.

Zhongli gathered all his remaining energy and used it to sit up and crawl to the edge of the bed. "Help me?" He asked, head subtly tilting towards one side as he raised his arms. Childe lightly placed the robe down beside his lover, smiling brightly before he reached for the bottom of Zhongli's shirt, bunching up the fabric and pulling it upwards, and over his head to remove it. Childe watched as the pleasant breeze trickling in from outside weaved through Zhongli's sepia brown hair. He placed the shirt beside the robe, while Zhongli pushed himself off of the bed to stand up. He undid the zipper himself, arms returning to his side as he waited for Childe to remove the article of clothing for him. Childe hovered his hand over Zhongli's waistband, his mind racing with indecent thoughts soon washed away by a particularly large yawn from above him. He pulled downwards, loosening his grip on the fabric to allow Zhongli to step through and remove the piece of clothing entirely. 

Childe exchanged the trousers for the robe, watching Zhongli spread out his arms. He took a moment to admire his partner's almost bare form, the way the sun glistened against his skin. Befitting of a god, or at least a former one. Childe couldn't help but worship the beauty in front of him, from his perfectly toned muscles to his omnipotent gaze. Childe chuckles to himself; maybe not so omnipotent when he shows his most vulnerable, needy side. He takes the robe in both hands, flapping it out to spread out the fabric. Zhongli tried his best to stay awake in the moment by watching Childe as he wrapped the robe around his shoulders from behind, waiting for him to slip his arms through. He did so, the cool silk of the fabric calming his body. His hands moved to trace Childe's neck, slipping down under his shirt to feel the firm muscles in his shoulders. He leaned in after Childe finished tying the robe closed, resting his head on his lover's chest and listening to his heart thump. Childe dipped his head down, resting it against his partner's. He skirted his hands around Zhongli's waist before he placed a soft kiss on his forehead.

Zhongli hummed in approval, splitting himself apart from Childe and shuffling back into bed. He stared into nowhere for a moment, sensing the temperature and pondering whether to slither under the blanket or not. He decided not to, and slowly laid down against his pillow, head resting against lazily made fists. He fluttered his eyes closed, prepared to surrender to sleep as a sudden dip in the mattress caused him to jolt awake. Childe sat beside him, his hand tucking a flyaway hair behind Zhongli's ear. The pair smiled at each other, basking in the calming atmosphere.

Childe leaned in to place a chaste kiss against Zhongli's cheek. His hand trailed across Zhongli's face, moving to lightly rub the crown of his partner's head before he pulled away. 

"Sleep well, Xiansheng."

"Mm, thank you."



Now, Childe's eyes wander between the sleeping beauty to his right and the window on his left. He thinks he understands why Zhongli felt the need to rest, being surrounded by such a peaceful environment. The harmonious sing-song of the birds, the sound of someone cutting the grass; 'Truly an inconceivable device. I would have never imagined mortals could develop technology so complex' - is what he imagines Zhongli would say. He silently laughs to himself, the stark contrast between the peaceful sleeping Zhongli and the all-knowing man of Liyue fuelling his amusement. Watching his body rise and fall with such a relaxed expression makes Childe waver in and out of consciousness, lying down to embrace his partner before surrendering to the same inescapable feeling of tiredness.