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love on the highway

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Diluc eyes the rearview mirror, eyebrows furrowing as he watched Venti practically glue his face to the back window. The guy he, begrudgingly, calls his friend had a giddy smile on his face as he pressed a hand heart on the window. Scarlet orbs shift its gaze to glance at the man seated on the passenger seat- the same one who shouted "shotgun!" as soon as the two got out of the elevator.

 "Something wrong, 'Luc?" Kaeya's smooth voice resonated in the closed space, and Diluc could only look back at the road and avoid the other's watchful eyes.

"What the fuck is that idiot doing at the back" 

"We carpool with three other idiots, be specific" Kaeya replied without missing a beat, comfortably leaning on his chair.

" Specifically  the one smooching the car's rear window with his stupid face" He huffed, as he continued to drive. Today was his turn to drive for the carpool, and having to clean whatever drool or snot the music therapy major stained the window with was not a fun thought. Having to deal with Childe's obsessive rambling and Aether's- well, Aether's alright, he supposes. But that doesn't make dealing with the other two (excluding Kaeya since he's dealt with the bastard so much he's used to it) any better.

Kaeya chuckled, gently nudging Diluc's arm. "You know how he does that thing where he draws hearts on a paper and sticks it onto the back window to 'brighten someone's day' ?" 

"Yeah, and it's annoying. I can't see shit when he does that"

"Well, it just so happens that the guy behind us is some hottie that's his type" Diluc had almost swerved the car into a barricade right there and then. Instead, his grip on the steering wheel noticeably tightened. He glances back at the mirror, and he could see Venti shamelessly squealing in his seat.

"What happened now?" He asked, louder this time so the others can hear.

"The guy he's been showing hearts at gave him a finger heart back. Like those idols you see on tv" Aether responded with a sigh and Childe cackles.

"Damn, Venti. Falling for a guy you just met? Hah!" The ginger-haired teased, a knowing smirk on his face. Venti pouts at the remark and playfully smacks the marine biology major's head. 

"Hey! It's not my fault I'm attracted to guys with teal hair and strikingly beautiful eyes-- besides, he clearly likes me too! I'm not some hopeless romantic like you,  Ajax " Childe dramatically gasps at the name used, completely ignoring the other remarks made about him.

"That name's been long dead and you know it!" 

Aether snickers beside him, "Oh, then would Tartaglia be a better name then?" 

"Oooh Tartaglia, the Eleventh Harbinger of the Fatui is upon us!" Kaeya chimed, and Diluc couldn't help but join in on the stifled laughter.

"That was middle school ago! Come on Aether, you couldn't have just kept your mouth shut for a few seconds?" Childe was fuming at this point, cheeks flushed red in embarrassment.

The blonde stayed quiet, with only his amused look to answer the ginger's remark as the car slowly comes to a stop for a traffic light. They all sit in silence for a good few seconds, before they hear Venti shuffling on his seat, and sounds of seatbelts being unbuckled.

Diluc looks back from the driver's seat, a frown on his face as he watched Venti reach over Aether and to the door handle. "What are you-" He gets cut off by a loud thud from the car door being closed, and the redhead sits there with an unreadable expression.

Though, if you asked Kaeya, he'd say the guy was so annoyed he wasn't able to register the emotion.

"Is he..?" Childe muttered, as he rolled down the car window and watched as Venti approached the motorcycle driver that he had been exchanging hearts with.

"Holy archons he is. I'll be honest, I didn't think he had it in him" Kaeya playfully hummed, a grin on his face. Diluc merely groans, looking at the time on the stoplight- fifteen seconds left.

He glances at the rearview mirror for the umpteenth time to see Venti happily chatting with the guy. Well, more like he was the one who was doing all the chatting and the other was just nodding along, speaking only when Venti had a question. He rolls down his window, sticks his head out, and it was that moment he decided to be the best friend he could be in a situation such as that.

Which was to embarrass the ever-living fuck out of dearest Venti.

"Hey idiot! Get back in the car, we still have to take you to the doctor to get your ass rash checked!" 

Needless to say, the whole car was filled with laughter when Venti came back. His face was all red, and in his hand was crumpled paper.

"How was the date, loverboy?" Kaeya smugly questioned.

"Just so you know, it went amazingly! I even got his number" The smaller retorted with an equally smug look. 

"Are you sure you didn't annoy him into giving it to you?" Aether joked, accompanied with soft laughter as his eyes watched their vehicle pull into the school parking lot. 

The car comes to a halt and they all started getting out of the vehicle, exchanging banter regarding what they now call 'Venti's highway crush'

"He's really hot okay! And Xiao gave me his number on his own, so he can't dislike me that much!" Venti continued to argue, the five friends nearing the school's main entrance. 

"Did you say Xiao?"

Childe's head whips back and he grins, almost throwing himself at the source of the voice. "Good morning Zhongli-xiansheng!" He greets the senior with a cheery, innocent voice- one he rarely uses when addressing his other friends.

"Good morning Childe" Zhongli returns the greeting with a soft smile.

"Zhongli- Oh." 


Venti knew that voice from anywhere.

"How was the trip to the doctor?"

He stiffly turns, and oh my archons he looks hotter without the helmet. 

And Venti thinks, this may just be the end for him.