Usually, one would spend their birthday with family friends. And Diluc was doing just that as he turned 26. He stood by his father's grave, bouquet of cecilias in hand. Usually, it's the birthday person who is the recipient of all these gifts but of course today, there were special circumstances. This dark cloudless night marked as Crepus Ragvindr's death anniversary, the day of Diluc Ragvindr's birthday. Every year, the same day would roll around, a constant reminder that Crepus will never come back.
To the right of Diluc stood Kaeya Ragvindr - oh, my apologies, Kaeya ALBERICH. The tall handsome figure had his hands in a prayer as his dark blue locks swayed gently with the wind - may the Anemo Archon allow Mr Ragvindr to rest in peace. The two men remained in silence, mourning their father, what a kind and caring soul he was indeed. Nothing could be heard except for the distant chatter in Mondstadt beyond the back of the church and the hushed words escaping Kaeya's lips. Eventually, Kaeya came to a stop, made a cross motion with his right hand and slowly lifted his head to face Diluc whose face was always quite incomprehensible.
Every April 30th was the same routinely silence by Crepus' grave. The boys would hold a large gathering at the Angel's Share tavern, share in their grief in the graveyard before going about their separate ways. And soon, it was nearing the time to retreat to their abodes when Kaeya spoke up, his voice coarse.
"That's my grave," he said, his finger pointing in a large patch of grass between two graves.
Confused, Diluc responded, "What are you talking about, Kaeya? You're not dead, yet." His reply came out harsher than he wanted.
This earned Diluc a half-hearted laugh from Kaeya, one with stresses and wheezes, as if he was forcing himself to do so.
"Alright, then. Goodnight, brother," Kaeya turned around with a tight smile plastered on his face and he ambled away with ease.
"I'm not your brother," Diluc returned with a huff. Something in him was telling him to stop Kaeya from walking away, telling him to grab his arm and ask if he's okay. His farewell had sounded too...off. He couldn't quite pinpoint what it was but Kaeya's words had certainly carved itself into his brain. His laugh had sounded the same as it always did, but one had to know him well enough to know that this wasn't the same confident and flirtatious laugh the captain tended to pull off. It sounded strenuous, hurt by thousands upon thousands of lies being carried on his shoulders alone - a heavy burden he was forced to face alone without his brother beside him. But that role which had been neatly reserved for Diluc had been far long gone. He couldn't just saunter back into Kaeya's life as if he never hurt him. So Diluc decided to leave it, hoping Kaeya could work things out with whatever was bothering him. And to be fairly honest Diluc wasn't wrong - Kaeya had a permanent solution to his temporary problem.
The next morning, Diluc had some news arrive - news which set a deep pit aching in his stomach. Every inch of his body was willing him to bolt forward to head to Kaeya's house - to speak to his brother again. Brother, oh what a sweet word it was, how it always used to lay on the tip of his tongue but never spilled out. Oh, how he missed calling Kaeya his brother. His voice broke out into muffled sobs under his hands as he fell on his knees to the floor, a tea stained slip of paper crinkling at the contact when Diluc's face and hands met. The letter was signed by Marvin *****.
"Brother, I'm sorry."
Kaeya hung around behind Diluc's shadow, as he always did, whispering prayer after prayer by his adoptive father's grave. These prayers were not all for dear Crepus however. Each prayer was for every person Kaeya, knew, loved and cherished. Each prayer wished them well in their life journey with the blessings of the Anemo Archon, Barbatos.
Last but not least came the prayer for Diluc. Kaeya hesitated for a few moments before beginning:
"Oh Lord Barbatos,
Please allow a smooth-sailing life for my dear brother, Diluc. Allow him to find happiness and joy in his life without me. Allow him to never have to bear the burden of carrying a traitor in his family. May Diluc be prosperous and make himself a happy family. May Diluc learn from his father's mistake and never bring in the unwanted. I pray that by the time I'm gone, Diluc will feel a sense of relief from his burdens. I pray that he may never be acquainted with those of my kind in the future and instead follows the path of freedom and hope just as he did in his youth. Finally, make sure Diluc knows that I'm sorry for everything. Make sure he knows that he doesn't deserve any of this. Please tell him Happy Birthday from me, tell him this is his birthday present. Amen."
This was the longest prayer Kaeya had made for a person yet it was the most sincere. Finally, Kaeya made an air-cross connecting with his forehead and shoulders before turning to look at his brother's familiar yet foreign face. The years of distance between them had made things a tad bit awkward for the two but they could still read each other like a book just like brothers.
Diluc's face on the outside seemed imperceptible like a tough nutshell, but Kaeya could see right through to the pain Diluc was experiencing right now, his eyes revealing it all. Diluc loved his father dearly - Kaeya did, too, but he did not share in the final moments between father and sons. That damned ancient plot had instead plagued his mind, stirring guilt in his belly. A small confession was all it was to tip over a perfectly good sibling relationship. It was clear that both most missed each other dearly, but neither were too humble enough to admit it. So instead the two settled in their own ways, one going one way and vice versa. Of course this is what caused the rift between the two.
And all because of who I was born to be, Kaeya thought to himself.
To distract himself from these unnerving thoughts, he instead let his eyes drift towards a large gap between two graves.
That place is almost surely made for me, Kaeya mused.
"That's my grave," he exclaimed, immediately regretting having mentioned anything to do with death right now.
"What are you talking about, Kaeya? You're not dead, yet." Diluc responded harshly with a hint of confusion.
Kaeya, not knowing how to respond, instead decided to escape the awkward situation by walking away from it directly. Nobody was going to stop him and he knew Diluc didn't have it in him to stop him, not just yet.
"Alright, then. Goodnight, brother," Kaeya chuckled before turning away to fulfil his long-awaited task. With much effort, Kaeya strode away just about hearing Diluc's last words for him.
"I'm not your brother."
"I'm not your brother?" Kaeya whispered to himself a very hushed tone.
The words "not your brother" reverberated in his head, pushing him further and further away from the one who no longer recognised him as "brother".
Well, if I am no longer family, the news may not be so hard on you, Kaeya pondered as he headed towards Starsnatch Cliff.
Precariously he stood at the edge as he bent his body forward to take in the sight of what he was about to get himself into. Below him was a huge blanket of blue, beckoning him in, welcoming him. "Home, Sweet home," he sighed with a genuine smile. The smile was so unprovoked that it almost hurt his cheeks. He hadnt had these kinds of emotions in ages and to feel them again felt like a blessing. With one last sigh, Kaeya engulfed the scenery before him, enjoying every last bit of it until he heard two voices, one male and one female.
"Oh, Barbatos," Kaeya cursed under his breath.
It was Marla and Marvin, the two lovebirds of Mond making their way to their designated date spot, right here on Starsnatch Cliff. For too long, Kaeya had contemplated on what to do before he was snapped back to reality by that familiar male voice.
"Mr Alberich, sir! What are you doing here at Starsnatch Cliff?" Marvin spoke.
Of course, Kaeya knew Marvin had no ill intent but having being caught in doing something so...harful by a citizen of Mondstadt was something Kaeya could not deal with and qord qould sure spread quickly of it - Marvin's playfully innocent tone made Kaeya shiver.
Masked in an equally mischievous tone, Kaeya replied, "I'm only enjoying the view here, please don't mind me."
"Oh, how wonderful," Marla added, "It's a shame you don't have anyone to enjoy it with you, Captain Kaeya.
This struck a chord in Kaeya.
"It's a shame you don't have anyone to enjoy it with you."
"It's a shame."
"It's a shame."
"It's a shame."
Those three words echoed in his mind, filling his headspace.
"It really is, isn't it?" Kaeya nearly spat the words out. He wasn't in the mood for talking to anyone right now.
"Well then, Captain, we'll be off then. Have a wonderful night, sir." Marvin bid farewell.
Kaeya nodded in return before resuming with his ill-fated wish. In a scramble, Kaeya leaped off before anybody could stop him. It was all a haze. A clear thought couldn't be formed. It was so fast.
"Captain Kaeya!" a male voice screamed behind him.
"Brother, I'm sorry."
It is now Diluc's 28th birthday, he had not expected to be visiting two graves at this age on his birthday and Kaeya's grave lays exactly where he pointed at two years ago - Here Lies Kaeya Ragvindr, Son of Crepus Ragvindr, Brother of Diluc Ragvindr, Died Age 25.
"Brother, I'm sorry," he repeats every year, every 30th of April.