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Mine, Not Hers

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It's a warm night at the Angel's Share; tables filled to the brim with patrons drinking merrily. Many come to the bar for the warm, rustic atmosphere; and others for its discreet location. The bar is in the heart of the city, tucked deep within the twists and turns of hidden alleyways. Diluc loves the secluded placement, making his work feel much more intimate as he knows each of his customers like the back of his hand. Many of his regulars enjoy being able to converse with the red-haired bartender due to his level-headed (albeit slightly too frank) attitude, finding comfort in his words when they drunkenly share their troubles with him.

On nights like these, however, the bar is much rowdier than usual. Diluc hates the noise, preferring to quietly reflect during his shifts. Tonight, the stern bartender is doing just that: standing lost in thought, mind wavering in the past. With his hands in autopilot, he continues serving drinks. Sometimes, Diluc can’t help but recall just how on Teyvat his life ended up this way.

In his childhood, Diluc lived with his father Crepus in the Ragnvindr estate. His father was the owner of a renowned wine tycoon, adored by the public. They were extremely close; Crepus teaching his son his trade so that if he wished to continue on their family legacy, he was more than able to do so.

One day, a young boy with bright azure hair knocked on the door of their home. He was soaked, heavy rain having seeped into the thin fabric of his clothes. The boy was named Kaeya, and had supposedly been abandoned by his family. Crepus took in Kaeya as his own, sympathetic for his situation. He was the same age as Diluc, but nowhere near as cheerful. Through the years the two spent together, they became inseparably close. One would have thought the two were blood-related if they hadn’t known better.

And so, the family lived happily, the years quickly passing by. Two young boys soon became teens, then adults. Tragically, while the family were returning from the celebration of Diluc’s eighteenth birthday, they had gotten into a fatal car accident taking the life of their father. The two sworn brothers fell into turmoil, further fuelled by the sapphire-eyed youth revealing his affiliation with the corrupt politics of his father’s country. Turns out, the so-called ‘accident’ was one planned by his father to aggravate his political rivals.

Trauma deeply onset into the minds of the two. Diluc and Kaeya parted ways. Diluc sold everything he had inherited in order to purchase a bar of his own, continuing the legacy of his father out of respect. On the other hand, Kaeya went to college with aspirations of becoming a police officer. He hoped his dedication to the law would help seal the rift between him and his childhood friend.

Kaeya was haunted with the guilt of Crepus’ death and Diluc’s trauma. He blamed himself for the whole odreal, and longed to at least apologise to Diluc if that was the last thing he did. Like magic, while wandering the alleys of Mondstadt one evening he found himself downing glass after glass of Death After Noon right in front of said man. Kaeya was unable to hold back and spilled out his pent-up emotions.

Eventually the two found common ground again after many hours of conversation. Diluc came to accept the past and move on, knowing that Kaeya had no malintent and only wished to reconcile. Much to Diluc’s dismay, Kaeya ultimately changed his degree to pursue a career in acting and modelling after being scouted by one of his regulars.

Kaeya soon became one of those regulars too, enjoying the nostalgic feeling of the bar and being able to partake in conversation with the one he cared about the most. Not long after Kaeya graduated, the two had even rekindled their once distant emotions and became a couple.

How crazy… Diluc thinks, reminiscing on their fondest moments over the past year together. His mind is jostled out of that euphoric state when the jingle of a bell and a plop in the seat in front of him signify the arrival of none other than Kaeya himself. He smirks, one elbow on the counter cupping his cheek as he focuses on Diluc’s graceful movements. Diluc doesn’t need to ask to know Kaeya’s order, and prepares it with ease. Not long later, one glass of Death After Noon is slid across the counter towards his partner.

“Not even a hello?” Kaeya teases smugly, fingernails tapping the rim of the glass.

Diluc sighs, turning to make himself look busy by polishing an already spotless wine glass. Kaeya chuckles. He almost downs the entire drink in one go, but slams it back down on the counter when he remembers why he came here tonight.

“That wood is expensi-“

“Diluc, I have a favour to ask of you.”

Another sigh. Diluc knows Kaeya is trouble; he always has been ever since he gained his trust when they were young. Kaeya takes the silent eye contact as a cue to continue, and raises a hand to scratch the back of his head as he speaks.

“Well, the director of this film was looking for a bar to shoot in and I might have recommended this lovely establishment…”

More silence, of course. Kaeya closes his eyes in acceptance, bracing for possible impact. Fortunately, Diluc isn’t feeling violence today, and simply rolls his eyes.

“No.”