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Just from A Cup of Dandelion Wine

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"What are you doing here?"

 

Eula shot a question when Jean took a seat across from her carrying a mug of dandelion wine.

 

"I had a rough day"

 

"I thought your idea of relaxation was drowning yourself in paperwork."

 

"They're all done."

 

Eula smirked. "Maybe you should have rough days more often so you can finish your work faster and have some spare time to relax. Though, Lisa wouldn't like that, would she?"

 

Jean stayed silent. Her brows scrunched into a frown. Eula perked up with curiosity.

 

"You two had a fight?"

 

"I don't want to talk about it."

 

"Heh. Didn't know you two could do that."

 

"Eula, please."

 

"Fine, fine. Though, you'll pay for forcing me to abandon my amusement, Gunnhildr." Eula declared in response to Jean's plea.

 

"So, uh.. What about you? Why are you here?" Jean shot a question back in an obvious attempt to divert the topic. She's well aware of Eula's drinking habits.

 

Eula clicked her tongue and let out a sigh as irritation seeped into her eyes.

 

"I didn't like what they were talking about at Cat's Tail."

 

"Ah." Jean got the message. "I'm sorry."

 

"It's fine. Amber will be back from Liyue tomorrow morning. She makes me look less.. foul in their eyes."

 

Jean didn't even know how to respond to that statement. Were the citizens really that mean to Eula? Maybe there's still a lot of work to be done. But Eula seemed to brighten up as she said that, so maybe things were getting better? Perhaps she should try accompanying her in public too to show people that Eula was trustworthy, that would be a good way to use her reputation. Though, that would probably make Lisa a little grumpy.

 

Jean's mind halted. Her train of thoughts led her back to the reason she went here in the first place.

 

"Must be nice having everyone love you." Eula absentmindedly muttered, breaking Jean out of her own thoughts.

 

"Not always." Jean denied.

 

"Oh? Tell me about it, then. If I deem that you're just being ungrateful, I'll make you pay, Gunnhildr."

 

"Well.." Jean chugged a few gulps from her drink. "Where should I start?"

 

***

 

"..and when I argued that my confession to you was five years ago, she told me that I'm actually still not over you, and that made me hurt, so I pointed out how she's always flirty with everyone and then she just.. stormed out." Jean rambled.

 

"..Gunnhildr, you absolute fool." Eula groaned when Jean finished her story. She couldn't believe that she was a factor, or rather, that she's still a factor.

 

"Eula.. Why did you reject me?" Jean whined, tears started swelling at the corners of her eyes.

 

"You're holding to old grudges like a Lawrence. It's been half a decade! And I'm right! Now you're practically The Grandmaster and I'm a Captain."

 

This was for the best. Eula thought. It didn't matter that she had a crush ever since the first time Jean beat her during their sparring session. It didn't matter how sad and miserable Jean looked after the rejection. Eventually, their duties will get in the way and the strife between families if they found out about the relationship will put a lot of thorns in their journey with the Knights of Favonius.

 

"But that's my first confession.." Jean's attempt at holding back her tears had proven useless as the sobs started coming out. "The books lied to meee…"

 

"Oh for Archons' sake." Eula cursed in frustration. "Get a hold of yourself, Gunnhildr. This state is unbecoming even for a rookie knight, let alone the Acting Grandmaster."

 

"I don't care." Jean whimpered in between her sobs. "I.. I just want to feel like a normal teenage girl for once.."

 

"You and I were both beyond a teenager. We both knew about our responsibilities, as a knight and a family heir. We both knew this wouldn't work!"

 

Jean didn't even answer. She just sat there, drunk after one glass of dandelion wine, cupping her face, holding back whimpers.

 

Seeing the sorry state of her friend, Eula felt remorse swelling inside. She might have been too harsh with her words.

 

She could probably count the times she poured out her feelings like this with one hand. Eula tried to rationalize Jean's outburst. This is just the result of the amount of baggage. 

 

"Jean," Eula got up from her seat and extended a hand. "I'm sorry. Let's get you out of here."

 

Jean's eyes lit up at the mention of her given name. She stared at Eula with a slight blush on her cheeks.

 

"Did you ever love me back?" Jean blurted out, prompting a deep blush on Eula's cheeks.

 

"You already knew the answer to that." Eula answered while refusing to meet Jean's expectant gaze.

 

Jean beamed a smile at Eula's response and took her hand.

 

***

 

Eula could have sworn that she was going to Jean's home to drop her there before going home.

 

Maybe she got lost halfway there.

 

Maybe she forgot that she was with Jean- no, that's definitely not it.

 

Maybe Jean's sweet words hypnotized her somehow.

 

Yeah, that must be it. The fiend. She must take revenge for it one day.

 

One day, not now.

 

Because now she's in an absolutely sorry state of squirming and whimpering in pleasure, naked, with the Gunnhildr herself on top of her.

 

This felt so wrong.

 

"Eula. Eula. Eula. I love you so much."

 

"Don't- don't say- hyah!"

 

This IS very wrong.

 

But her mind was way too exhausted to care.

 

"I love you too." Eula confessed as her arms pulled on Jean's neck. "Jean.. Jean.. Jean.." She repeated before her mouth started nibbling.

 

***

 

The knocks on the door woke Jean up feeling like she just got hit by a spinning ruin guard on the head.

 

Grumpily, she took the closest clothes she could reach and put them on. In any other occasion she would've dressed up, but with her head feeling like it's splitting open she couldn't care less. She started walking towards the front door, stumbling in a daze a few times throughout. When she opened it, she found a fidgeting Amber holding a bouquet of flowers, a basket full of Liyue sweets and a bottle of Berry & Mint Punch.

 

"Amber? What's the occasion?"

 

Jean rubbed her eyes, trying to remember any plan she made with the outrider. Maybe she was just being nice. It's Amber. This bundle of sunshine never needed a reason for a little random act of kindness.

 

"..Master Jean?"

 

Amber's words snapped her back from her thoughts. The sight before her betrayed her assumptions. Amber was not smiling. She seemed surprised. Her eyes wide in disbelief, her mouth quivering.

 

"Amber, is there something wrong?"

 

"Why are you at Eula's House?"

 

Realization struck Jean like a thunder through her whole body. She's at Eula's House, barely dressed, and- 

 

Oh no. she haphazardly brushed her fingers through her hair trying to arrange them in a way that covered her neck as a pink tint painted her cheeks.

 

"I- I'm sorry. I- I didn't know.. you.. and Eula.. were.." Amber's voice trembled as her words trailed off.

 

Jean felt her heart sunk seeing the usually bubbly Outrider being reduced to a miserable mess.

 

"Amber, I-"

 

Jean's words were cut short by Amber shoving everything she carried to Jean.

 

"Give these to Eula, okay? I, uh.. I gotta be somewhere." Amber excused herself with a shaky smile and swiftly escaped the place.

 

Jean could hear faint sounds of sobbing as Amber ran away. She slumped down to the floor, drowning in guilt and panic.

 

As her mind started imagining every worst case scenario, she thought back to Eula's words five years ago.

 

Maybe she was right after all.