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a blue rose waits

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When Jean had informed Lisa that she will have to leave soon with Klee, Barbara and the Traveler to unknown islands, inevitable worry plagued her mind. None of it made sense to her, but rather than fight the decision, she had supported Jean, knowing that she was fully capable of protecting herself and the others. The initial nervousness Lisa had experienced eventually dissipated, paving the way for clearer judgment and reasoning. Life is fraught with danger, Lisa knows this well. She knew Jean would be able to handle it.

Lisa later had realized that the opportunity to go elsewhere would be genuinely beneficial for Jean. Days and days of incessant work and being inundated by responsibilities took their toll on Jean, no matter how much she would deny it. Sometimes, Lisa would catch her yawning at her desk with her eyes drooping, breathing slower and slower. If she spotted Lisa, Jean would quickly straighten up in her seat, pretending not to be affected by the perpetual drowsiness that followed her daily. To be the Acting Grand Master of the Knights of Favonius requires the utmost attention and dedication, and Jean constantly told Lisa that she’s fine.

Lisa never believed it. It was hard to ignore the way Jean would exhaust herself. Work was becoming detrimental to her health, but no matter what, Lisa couldn’t get her to take a break. Some part of Lisa feels as if Jean toils constantly to prove herself, to ensure that she can defend everyone from everything. Lisa understands her, but she never liked the idea of Jean sacrificing herself without the slightest bit of reluctance. Selflessness is a good trait, but it makes Lisa uncomfortable with the thought of Jean diving into unimaginable trouble.

The chance to take a vacation was definitely what Jean needed. Unanimously, the Knights of Favonius agreed that Jean was in dire need of a break. Kaeya had been more than willing to take care of all the affairs while Jean accompanied the others to the islands.

Since it was the summertime, Lisa chose to give a small surprise to Jean. A gift. Something to let her know that she cared for her.

Lisa had crafted Jean a summertime outfit, carefully placing little details that complemented its entire appearance. Delicately, Lisa would run her fingers through the ocean blue fabric, ensuring that nothing was out of place. Blue rose accessories accompanied the outfit. Embroidered and woven into the fabric was Lisa’s unspoken feelings, words that died on the tip of her tongue. These emotions desperately claw at Lisa’s mind, craving to be conveyed. It was rare for Lisa to be nervous of anything at all, but whenever it concerned Jean, her heart would thrum in her chest and her stomach would flutter.

Maybe it was best to be this way, Lisa would reason with herself. To prevent anything from being strained between them was the most important. Lisa didn’t want to ruin their relationship or their closeness. 

Lisa had handed the pouch containing her summer wear to Jean, telling her to only open it in the most dire circumstances. In a typically serious manner, Jean responds with a nod and says her thanks. Her eyes revealed her utter gratitude, and Lisa couldn’t help but adore Jean’s curt nod and genuine appreciation. While Jean has a tougher exterior and a dependable aura radiating around her, Lisa had the privilege of being privy to her unguarded sides. Lisa took pride in being the only person knowing this other aspect of Jean.

As time had passed without Jean by her side, Lisa began to miss her more and more. 

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. 

Lisa never thought that the phrase would apply to her so well, but life never ceased to surprise her.


 

Once Jean returns to Mondstadt, she is dressed in her usual work outfit, seemingly glad to be back from her vacation.

Kaeya greets Jean at the hall, grinning as she walks towards him.

“Look who came back,” Kaeya says playfully, “and here I was thinking that you’d stay on vacation for just a bit longer.”

Jean shakes her head lightly, and a smile tugs at the corner of her lips. “While it was enjoyable, it was also a necessary trip. Even though it was a break, I couldn’t help but think about how everything was going here.”

“Well no need to worry Jean.” Kaeya raises his arms in a complacent shrug. “I’ve been doing quite well, but I’ve got to admit, being in charge of everything can be so draining. To think that you do it everyday, taking care of both the most minor and most important problems...” Kaeya exaggeratedly grimaces, dramatically displaying his dismay and disbelief. “You really are crazy.”

Jean scoffs a bit. “I’ll take that as a compliment then. Thank you for your efforts Kaeya. I truly appreciate it.”

“No problem, no problem.” Kaeya nonchalantly waves a hand side to side. A sudden mirthful look crosses his features, taking Jean aback. “By the way...” 

“Yes?”

“Someone seemed pretty lonely while you were gone.” Jean’s eyes widen in surprise, much to Kaeya’s amusement. “I won’t say any names, but I think you can figure who it is, no?”

Jean feels her heart beat faster as she stands in front of Kaeya. Though she would never admit it to him or anyone else, Jean’s mind would still drift back to Lisa. Even in the most perilous situations she faced on the island, her mind would replay memories of her time with Lisa. It is a strange feeling that Jean had tried to figure out during her time at the islands, however each attempt at trying to understand her emotions was a failure. The prospect of seeing Lisa after weeks of being gone causes nervousness to settle at the pit of her stomach. Anticipation bubbles within her, but Jean could never pinpoint what she was yearning for.

“...Jean,” Kaeya calls out suddenly, “Jean, you’re spacing out.”

“Huh?” Jean blinks, unaware of the daze she was in. Kaeya offers a knowing glance, narrowing his eyes. 

He laughs heartily. “You seem a bit distracted, but that’s fine. You must be thinking about a lot.” Kaeya crosses his arms, clearly relishing in poking fun at Jean. “So as I was saying, she’s waiting for you in your office. Have fun.”

Kaeya walks away, leaving Jean flustered in his wake. Kaeya always takes the opportunity to make impish remarks at Jean’s expense. He has a penchant for making suggestive jokes about Jean and Lisa. Jean finds that maneuvering through emotions is much more difficult than she thought. Jean herself does not know what kind of relationship she has with her, but there’s not a single doubt in her mind that Lisa is the person she trusts the most. 

Jean gulps as she heads to the door of her office. She inhales deeply, wrapping her hand around the knob of the door and turning it.


 

At the sound of the door opening, Lisa turns around to meet Jean face to face. Her eyebrows raise and it takes a moment for a genuinely happy smile to grace her lips. 

“Hello Jean,” Lisa speaks too cheerfully despite her attempts to stifle the overwhelming glee that floods through her. “How was your trip?”

“It was stressful.” A look of concern appears on Lisa’s face, causing Jean to hurriedly dismiss it. “But it was great, thank you for asking.”

Lisa nods, biting the inside of her cheek to prevent an even more embarrassing smile to twist her lips. She had been waiting for far too long, which in reality, was just a short while. It had only been a few weeks, but Lisa couldn’t stop glancing at the door every few seconds in hopes of seeing Jean again. Books could not hold her attention; they were a temporary and ineffective distraction.

“I’m glad,” Lisa responds, and the two words carry the weight of a tangible and bittersweet emotion. Elation clouds Lisa’s judgment when Jean is near. However, the distance that separates them is what grounds her back to a lonesome reality. Every moment spent together is an unwanted reminder that Lisa’s feelings may never be reciprocated.

Lisa is inevitably destined to harbor these unrequited feelings. Settling down as a librarian at Jean’s side is almost perfect, but she is tethered to the despondency that lurks in the corners of her mind. Lisa believes that the idea of being with Jean is an incredulous fantasy, yet in the latest nights, she clings onto it, letting herself drift to sleep with pleasant dreams of something  unattainable.

“Sorry by the way.” Jean sheepishly lowers her head.

“For what?” Lisa asks confusedly. She tilts her head, trying to think of why Jean would be apologizing.

“For pushing all of the work onto you while I was gone,” Jean explains, “I know that you’re very reliable and can deal with many things at once, but part of me still feels guilty for making you manage it all.” 

Lisa once again has to restrict herself from showing too much of a reaction. It is hard for Lisa to hold back whenever Jean unknowingly acts cute. Jean’s earnest and hardworking personality along with her kindness is a dangerous mix that causes Lisa’s feelings to burgeon. 

The fact that Jean does it all without ever having any ill intentions is what thoroughly pierces Lisa’s heart. 

“No, you don’t have to say sorry for something like that Jean.” Lisa laughs softly. “You deserved to take a break, and I’m really thankful that you entrusted me with everything. You don’t have to feel bad for anything.”

“Oh, okay.” Jean replies, relief washing over her features.

Just then, a thought runs through Lisa’s mind. Mulling it over, Lisa debates asking Jean for a simple favor. One part of her is hesitant, thinking that it would be too strange of a request. The other part of her is screaming to just ask, even if the answer would most likely be no. Strengthening her resolve, Lisa asks a simple question.

“Can I see you in the swimwear that I made?”

Lisa sees a myriad of emotions flickering in Jean’s countenance. Dumbfounded and showing hints of embarrassment, Jean queries meekly. 

“Why?”

At least Jean isn’t shooting down the suggestion immediately , Lisa thinks to herself. 

“I just want to see it in person, since I never had the chance,” Lisa replies, “everyone else got to see it besides me.” Lisa pouts, feigning sadness. In truth, she was dying to see Jean in something so casual. Everyday, Jean was in her usual work uniform, so it would be a rare sight to see her in a different type of clothing. “Didn’t the others like it? What did they say?”

“I...” Jean trails off, before forcing herself to continue, “they said that they thought I looked... good in it.”

“Of course you would.” The compliment comes out with ease and Lisa is almost taken aback by how naturally she says the comment. Jean’s mouth opens, then closes, as if all the words she was going to say were stolen from her in one swift second. “Besides, it would make me feel better from all that work you left me,” Lisa teases. She now understands why Kaeya likes to pick on Jean from time to time. Jean’s reactions are priceless.

Jean’s brows furrow and she frowns slightly. “You really tease me too much Lisa.”

“I try to stop myself,” Lisa tells her honestly, but her confession just sounds like another witty remark. “Anyway, will you let me see it? I’m sure you look amazing, and I’d love to see you in it.”

Jean looks down at the floor. She brings her hands together, clearly contemplating what she should do next. With a shallow exhale, Jean gulps, nodding slowly.

“Fine, I’ll get changed,” Jean says meekly, “I’ll just go out and—“

“You can get changed here,” Lisa blurts out before she can stop herself. Jean is petrified, frozen in place. Her cheeks flush with shades of pink and red.

“I-I don’t know... maybe I should change elsewhere? I might.... I don’t...” Jean’s rambling is endearing, and she is frantically trying to get sentences out before she can process them. It is a rare sight to see the Acting Grand Master so tongue-tied, fumbling over her sentences, mincing her words each second. Lisa senses a hint of guilt residing in the back of her mind. She is relishing this moment far too much, too absorbed in the way that Jean uncharacteristically becomes timid around her. Lisa vows to apologize to Jean later, but for now, she continues with her request.

“If you would like to go somewhere else to change, I don’t mind,” Lisa tells her, “but I’m not sure if you’d like anyone else to see you in that outfit.”

“You’re right,” Jean concedes, pushing out the idea of other people in the Knights of Favonius seeing her. It’s not like it would be the worst thing to happen, but it was already difficult for her to wear the outfit on the islands in front of people she was more comfortable with. With Lisa, Jean inexplicably feels more self-conscious and aware. Yet, Lisa is Jean’s trusted confidant. Jean realizes that no matter what, Lisa would be at her side, regardless of what she does. “Is it fine if you turn around while I change?” Jean inquires hurriedly, embarrassed.

Lisa smiles softly and obliges. She closes the curtains on each of the windows, making sure to lock the door afterwards. Facing away from Jean, she can hear the rustling of fabric. She sees the empty pouch that was used to carry the clothing beside her feet. Lisa’s imagination tries its best to conjure millions of images of Jean changing behind her. Torturous minutes of waiting pass, and Lisa struggles to keep her gaze ahead.

Finally, the shuffling noise ceases. Jean clears her throat. “You can look now.”

Turning around, Lisa’s stare becomes transfixed at the sight before her. What she visualized before paled in comparison to now.

“You look...” For once, Lisa has trouble finding her words. Reading hundreds of books sharpened her vocabulary over the years, but she could not think of any single word that could capture the way Jean looked. “Beautiful.” She settles on this word despite it being inadequate.

The clothing that adorns Jean fit her perfectly. Lisa’s craftsmanship is displayed in the blue roses, meticulously picked and preserved for Jean to wear.

Jean laughs under her breath bashfully. Her eyes glow with gratitude and giddiness. 

“Really?” Jean asks, showing bits of disbelief. “Both Barbara and the Traveler did say it looked nice on me, but it was hard for me to actually believe.” Jean’s fingers wrap around each other once more in a nervous, but happy gesture. 

Lisa steps closer to Jean, letting her fingers graze along the skin of her arm. “Of course, I wouldn’t just lie to you like that.”

The feeling of nails and soft fingertips trailing along her arm makes Jean a bit dizzy. 

“If I’m being honest, it makes me feel good to hear that,” Jean confesses, “because I really am not used to wearing something like this. I’m not sure if I am really suited for it.”

Lisa’s heart aches. Although Jean always seems so confident and diligent, there were times where she needed reassurance. Lisa would not trade seeing her vulnerable side for anything else. 

Tucking a stray strand of hair behind Jean’s ear, Lisa whispers. “You look great in this Jean. You look amazing in anything you wear and nobody can ever say otherwise.” Lisa raises both of her hands, intending to hold Jean’s face in her hands. She halts for a split second, thinking she has been overstepping numerous boundaries already.

Jean rests her hands over Lisa’s, guiding them to her cheeks. Lisa feels like she is dreaming. If so, she hopes to never wake up.

Jean’s face hovers close to Lisa’s. Lisa’s eyes never leave Jean’s, both of them firmly transfixed.

“I don’t want to make assumptions,” Lisa clarifies. Despite the close proximity and despite the warm breath fanning over her lips, Lisa does not want to jump to conclusions. The last thing she wants is to tear their rapport asunder. 

“It’s not an assumption if it’s right.”

The moment Jean presses her lips to Lisa’s is a memory that forever engraves itself in Lisa’s mind. Years of pining finally came to fruition, days of anguish became a distant recollection. 

The kiss deepens as Lisa slips her tongue into Jean’s mouth. Soft lips keep applying their pressure, tongues tracing along, mapping every surface. Lisa opens an eye slightly, just to catch a little glimpse at Jean’s expression. Her eyes are screwed shut, and her blush from before has become more prominent. The tips of her ears are pink, and Lisa can’t help but grin into the kiss.

Parting from Jean’s lips is a tough task, with Jean biting down on her bottom lip, almost imploring Lisa to stay. Lisa presses her forehead to Jean’s, wrapping her arm around her waist. A weight is lifted from Lisa’s chest, and for the first time in a while, she feels like she can breathe freely. 

“My beloved Grand Master,” Lisa says in a sweet, hushed tone, “bolder and braver than the rest.”

Jean’s bravado is what urged her to close the distance. However, all of it slips through her fingers once Lisa pulls back, leaving Jean in a flustered, bumbling mess. The voice in her ear is taunting her, but also showering her with the admiration she desires. It is intoxicatingly saccharine, irrefutably tempting.

“Is there something you would like to do?” Lisa questions her, dragging the tips of her nails along exposed skin. It is an obvious question meant to coax Jean’s innermost desires. Jean is aware of this, but she can’t resist. “I won’t do anything further unless you tell me.”

“Lisa, you already know,” Jean mumbles, “I don’t have to say it.”

“You do,” Lisa croons, “tell me everything.”

Goosebumps appear along Jean’s skin, and she shivers from the lips placed against the shell of her ear. Jean relents, giving in to the side of her that is vying for more.

“Y-you are too unfair,” Jean complains. Lisa laughs, clearly pleased with the effect that she has. “Let’s continue this there.”

Jean’s eyes travel to the couch at the side of her office. Lisa nods, taking Jean’s hand gently, intertwining their fingers as they walk to the couch. Lisa kisses her once more, and Jean is too distracted to notice that she is laying on her back on the soft cushions.

“T-touch me...” Jean tries to suppress the whiny tone that taints her voice, but she helplessly struggles. “I want you so badly...”  

Lisa’s eyes are hazy with the promise of pleasure. She lowers her head into the crook of Jean’s neck, licking and nipping at the patches of skin. Jean sighs, moving her head to the side, allowing Lisa more access. Lisa trails down, letting her tongue glide and draw circles at exposed areas.

“It’s hot,” Jean comments hastily, “take it all off.” The minute Jean’s chest is exposed to the cool air in the room, her breath hitches. 

“You look so good underneath me,” Lisa remarks as she grasps at Jean’s chest. “My caring and kind Jean.”

The praise seeps into Jean’s veins, rushing heat to the rest of her body. She squirms as Lisa continues, ensuring that she can’t pay attention to anything else around her. Lisa’s mouth latches onto her nipple, tongue swiping over, lips sucking.

Jean fails to stave off the pant that escapes into the air once Lisa does the same to her other breast. She remains pliant underneath her, mind too muddled for coherence. The only circling thought that envelops her is Lisa’s touch and attention.

A hand tantalizingly creeps downwards to her navel. Splayed, the tips of Lisa’s fingers tease near the top of her shorts.

“I don’t think I could ever get sick of looking at you like this,” Lisa speaks softly. Her calm and clear voice is a shining beacon in the midst of a thick haze of ecstasy. “This part of you. The other sides of you. I want it all.”

Jean feels her embarrassment rise exponentially when Lisa removes her shorts and underwear quickly. Lisa places her hand underneath the crook of Jean’s leg, pushing it upwards to get a better view.

Jean uses the back of her hand to muffle her cries once Lisa’s fingers prod at the center of her legs. Lisa’s eyes are enraptured by swollen lower lips that glisten with clear strands. The wetness coats her fingers as she circles around an aching clit.

The needy swivel of Jean’s hips towards Lisa’s hand makes Lisa laugh lower than usual. Jean’s chest stutters as obscene noises are wrung out of her throat.

“Do you want me inside?” Lisa asks, and Jean doesn’t waste a moment to nod. Jean’s back arches as she feels a finger sink into her without much resistance. Another finger pushes into her, and she clenches around them, feeling the slight burn from the stretch.

The faint pain mingles with the overwhelming sense of pleasure until a potent concoction is made, drawing Jean further to the edge. Lisa thrusts into Jean at a consistent pace, and more noises that Jean could never imagine herself making pervade the air.

Being so open in this way is unfamiliar and mortifying, but Jean can’t help chase the thrill. She knows that she will not find anyone else that can give her this sense of excitement. She never wants to.

“You’re close aren’t you?” Lisa curls her fingers at the spot that makes Jean whine. “It’s okay,” Lisa says as she uses her thumb to draw tight circles onto her clit, “come for me.”

Jean’s hand scrambles to clutch at Lisa’s clothes as her whole body trembles. Jean’s wanton sighs reverberate in her own ears. Her hips rock upwards in an erratic motion and her thighs part wider as Lisa prolongs her high. She weakly grabs at Lisa’s wrist to stop her thrusts, too sensitive to keep going. 

Lisa slowly withdraws her hand, taking her fingers into her own mouth, licking away the wetness that covered them. Jean averts her gaze, unable to handle the way Lisa smirks at her.

Lisa lowers her head onto Jean’s chest to rest. She can hear a thundering heartbeat eventually slow down to a steadier rhythm. 

Both of them don’t speak for a few minutes, basking in the aftermath. After enough time, Jean decides to speak once her rationale returns.

“What about you?” 

“Next time.” Lisa’s short reply makes Jean think about future implications, which she rapidly pushes away lest her face gets too flushed again. Jean absentmindedly combs her fingers through Lisa’s hair. 

“Thank you.” Lisa’s unexpected statement puzzles Jean.

“For what?” 

“For being with me,” Lisa responds, allowing herself to be cradled in Jean’s arms. “I just never thought a day like this would come.”

“You are the only person I would do this with,” Jean says without a single falter, “and you are the only person I would feel this way for.”

A comforting warmth emerges in Lisa’s chest. 

“I spent so much time believing I wasn’t enough.” Lisa remembers all the times she held Jean at arm’s length. The memories are distinctly poignant.

Jean cusps Lisa’s face in her hands. “You’ve always been enough. Every single day you’ve been there for me, even in my darkest moments. I’m sorry I made you feel that way.” Jean’s expression is contrite, mixed with the sadness of realizing the inadvertent harm she inflicted.

“No, it’s not your fault.” Lisa can’t bear the idea of Jean blaming herself. “It was mine. My mind was conspiring against me and I couldn’t help it.”

Jean allows her thumbs to run across Lisa’s cheeks. “Please, just tell me whenever you need help,” Jean implores, “I want to be there as much as you are there for me.”

Lisa nods. “Yes of course. Thank you again, really.”

Jean shows her a gentle smile. Her eyes are gleaming with undeniable fondness. Lisa reminisces the time she first fell for Jean’s kindness. 

“You’re welcome.”

Solace drapes over her and Jean. Lisa’s feelings, which had wilted and withered as time progressed, are now blooming freely without consequence.