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Star Stories

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Diluc steps through the doors of the Dawn Winery late. A bit tired, a bit weary but filled with contentment knowing Kaeya was in the mansion somewhere, a glass of wine in one hand, a children's book, written in the ancient glyphs of Khaenri'ahn in the other.

Diluc had encouraged him to try and remember, to reclaim and relearn the language and written word of the lost nation. It had been Kaeya that acquired the book, through means Diluc still could not phantom, but had left it closed and ignored on his desk for weeks, weary eye and tight lips.
Diluc had grown tired of the tension and decided to try and go against it. One evening, he had picked it up and went to join Kaeya on one of the padded armchairs infront of the unlit fireplace.
Two grown men and not small by any means, they still managed to arrange themselves onto the plush space by tangling legs and a lot of body contact but neither found it in them to complain.

"Would you please read me a story?"

Kaeya had been silent for a moment, scrutinizing Diluc's calm face. A small sigh escaped him when he reached for the bound pages. Hands shifting reverently over the cover. It showed a rich, intricate illustration of a big castle, or what Diluc assumed to be a castle, but the time had bleached the colors, making it look soft and worn.

"I used to own the....the first volume of this. It's a collection of short stories and children's tales."

"Did you like it?"

Diluc tried to keep his voice level. There was a burning curiosity in his chest, to learn more of Kaeya's past, his life before Mondstadt. It was blazing and bright, much like his Pyro Vision at his hip. He would not skip out of these opportunities ever again.

Kaeya's hands had stilled on the book. It looked small in his bare hands. Diluc tried to remember them how they used to be when Kaeya had just joined him and his father. They'd been scarred even then. Not much. But much like they were now. Small, thin lines, paler than the rest of his skin. Inevitable when handling blades and later on ice shards. Some light scare tissue on his knuckles, a dark burn mark from a hot pan.

"Did I like it?", he mumbled now, "... I don't remember."

They both winced after the words left Kaeya's mouth but then Kaeya smiled at him, soft and gentle.
"A chance to remember then."

Diluc snuggled further into him, pressed his nose into the crook of Kaeya's neck and shoulder, feeling the soft linen of his shirt.

"I can barely remember enough to read it out loud, translating it simultaneously is nearly impossible", Kaeya said to him.
He pecked Diluc on the crown, one time, two times before he smiled again.

"You know they study hard for that profession, Lisa told me about it. You must think me mighty smart, Master Diluc."

The teasing in his voice made Diluc want to roll his eyes, he slapped him lightly on the chest, let his hand linger there.

"Read me a story already, Sir Knight."

"You won't understand anything."

"It does not matter", Diluc answered, "I enjoy your voice."

Diluc fell asleep that night to the halting cadence of Khaenri'ahn stories.

He shakes himself from his reverie now. Perhaps he can convince Kaeya to read to him once more.

Diluc huffs at himself, he's hopeless for that man. He's sure Kaeya could read him a cook book by now and he'd enjoy it. Or they would argue whether you could add wine to that or not. It was not always clear.

But when he sets out to find his lover he does not find him in the library and not in the study and not in their bedroom and a quick look from the balcony assures him he's not hidden between the vines either. Kaeya is in the house somewhere though, Diluc can feel it. He huffs again, how hopeless. He'd find Kaeya blindfolded and deaf and sometimes that thought scares him.

He finds him, eventually, in the big bathroom, at the very end of their hallway.

Diluc lingers in the open door frame for a bit, steps soft.

His lover is reclined in the copper bathtub, steam rising softly. His blue hair curls with it a little, just the short strands along his face, the long ones too heavy with their own weight to do the same. Kaeya's eyes are closed and Diluc creeps closer, reluctant to break the quiet.

Eyes open slowly.

"Hello, my love."

The milky white of the blind eye blinks at Diluc lazily. He reaches out before he can think. Stops and gently pushes back the long bangs, traps the strands behind an ear. White and blue beckon him to lean in and kiss Kaeya gently.

When no further words leave Kaeya's lips, Diluc feels weariness settle in his throat.

"What is it?"

When no teasing, no splash comes, Diluc readies himself for a somber night.

"Why would anything be?", Kaeya asks him lightly.

Diluc rolls his eyes and scoffs but the soft hand he puts to Kaeya's cheek belies his affection.

"It is calm and serene without your mischief to disturb me but it pains me. Because it means you're not bored and that means something big and bad is about to loom over us."

"I would not let it shadow you."

"And I would join you anyways.", Diluc says with no hesitation.

Silence passes and Diluc hopes for silence, for silence with Kaeya often means agreement. How stupid it would seem to strangers, to hear that allowing each other to support the other, even when it meant danger, was one of the hardest battles of their reconciliation.

The white eye blinks at him again, the blue starts creasing when Kaeya's lips stretch into an easy smile. Diluc feels himself breathe easy now, too. Kaeya had decided that they would face the threat together. Good.

"How about you join me right now, Master Diluc?"

The mischievous edge that rides Kaeya's baritone more often than not is back and Diluc allows himself a smile of his own. His hands start to loosen his own clothing, the vest falling first.

"Ah", Diluc intones with false annoyance, "already trying to get me out of my clothes. I was worried for nothing then. The trouble cannot be that bad."

White and blue watch him attentively, lingering on the pale skin of his throat.

"How foolish of you. All the stars of Teyvat and the Abyss couldn't keep me from your naked skin."

Diluc pretends the words don't make him shiver and makes sure to splash him when joining the bath.

"Perhaps you could make up for you insolence by reading me another story."