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It was a peaceful evening, dusk slowly approaching and tinting the horizon with swirls of violet and rosé. Fluffy clouds were adding to the whimsical sight, making the surroundings seem like they were woven out of Mondstadt’s old fairy tales. A picture painted by the most beautiful words. It was moments like these where Diluc felt most at ease - the fresh breeze ruffling his hair while the world around him seemed so dreamy, somewhat blurry around the edges. The passage of time becoming a foreign concept as he just let himself be, listening to the bird songs growing quieter and the sky taking on more bluish tones. It was peaceful - and a perfect conclusion to his otherwise rather hectic birthday. Gratefulness aside, it was nice to get a lone moment; letting thoughts drift by while simply enjoying the eternal beauty nature had to offer. 

He was perched on an old swing, hanging from a blooming cherry tree - its white flowers reminiscent of those delicate snowflakes drifting throughout Dragonspine. Most of his childhood was spent here, the close distance to the winery making it a perfect getaway. If not picking grapes or catching crystalflies, he and Kaeya used to sit in this clearing, weaving flower crowns out of lamp grasses and calla lilies, reading dusty fables or simply playing around. Once they were tired, they’d lay down in the middle of their tiny realm - where the mighty treetops didn’t cover the horizon - and build castles in the sky. A bout of nostalgia overcame Diluc and he couldn’t help but look at the fuzzy clouds drifting by. Luc, this one looks like a bunny! Look! Unconsciously, a soft smile formed on his face. You have to hold onto your most precious memories - the smiling ‘you’ in them as well as the people who made you smile. No matter what happens, no one can take these happy moments away from you.

There’s a time to be angry, a time to be sad, a time to get revenge and a time to get closure. Most of all, there’s a time to cut yourself free from all these old burdens weighing you down, daring you to carry them until you break, until you want to scream and cry, until the great beyond finally reaches you. Emotions can be overwhelming, but they don’t define who you are. Sometimes, it’s okay to just take a step back and be . Eyelids fluttering shut, Diluc adjusted his grip on the swing - the weathered wood creaking underneath his weight as he gently swayed back and forth. Without meaning to, an old melody spilled from soft lips - he used to sing a lot when he was young; those were the days. His father on the piano, with Kaeya and him reciting everything from ballads to sea shanties. Diluc broke the tone in favour of a soft sigh. Melancholy and nostalgia were a rather unfortunate mixture of emotions. 

The leaves behind him rustled in a barely noticeable fashion, and if Diluc wasn’t as caught up in his memories as he was right now, he might’ve just attributed it to the light breeze. Alas, he couldn’t help but get his hopes up that, maybe, Kaeya decided to give their special place a visit too. Maybe they really were soulmates. It took only one soft inhale, almost seeming hesitant, for Diluc to realize that the cryo-user was indeed standing behind him. So he twisted the swing around, eyes blinking open. “Hi”, he breathed out, surprising the other by speaking up first. Perhaps it was the softness to his tone, or maybe the vulnerability in his usually so fierce eyes. Diluc wasn’t trying to pick a fight this time nor in the future to come. He had decided some time ago that certain things are worth more than the sting of old wounds. And Kaeya was worth the world to him. 

Navy hair and smooth brown skin, illuminated by the moonlight, a beautiful face and flashy clothes. An alluring appearance fit for his own fairy tale. Despite it all, Kaeya looked visibly insecure, far from his usual self - or maybe he just didn’t feel like hiding his emotions any longer. Why would there be a need for them to pretend anyway? They’ve seen each other at their worst, shared most of their memories together, were matching halves for longer than they can remember. Four years apart wasn’t that long of a timespan in comparison. “I heard you sing.” A beat of silence. Life can seem tumultuous, choices can seem pre-determined. But sometimes, all it takes is one different approach - and you can feel the world around you shift into place. “Did you like it?” Butterfly effect. Kaeya’s eye widened for a second, fondness taking over his features in a blink. “I did. It was like back then, when..” “..yeah.” They smiled at each other gently, emotions raw beneath the surface. Kaeya broke first. “Listen Luc, Diluc , I-” The redhead stood up from the swing, and met the desperate gaze with a placating one. “Kaeya-”, he shook his head, “ Kae , I had a lot of time to think. If you have something you want to get off your chest, I’ll listen, I promise. But right now..”

It was hard to be honest, even harder to say what he wanted, needed, to say; but Kaeya seemed to understand him nonetheless. “Happy Birthday.” A warm smile and only a hint of hesitance left in his periwinkle eye as a single lamp grass was extended towards Diluc. It glowed softly in the night, almost comfortingly so. His favourite flower - a small piece of joy, connected to so many precious childhood memories. Pale hands shook slightly as Diluc took the gift, cradling it almost protectively afterwards. “Thank you.” The silence between them stretched on for a bit, both of them scared to break something fragile. It was a rather irrational fear; all they ever had and needed was each other. Diluc took it upon himself to be brave. “Want to watch the night sky with me? You used to love stargazing almost as much as looking at clouds.” Kaeya met his eyes for a moment, emotion swirling in his dark blue one, before he simply nodded with a smile. They moved to the midst of the clearing, letting themselves fall into the familiar, soft grass, gaze moving to the shimmering lights above them. 

It was nice - like the final act of a fairy tale, where everything shifts back into place - ready for a happy ending. “I don’t know if I’m speaking too soon, but...I’m glad to have you back, Luc.” Diluc lifted the small lamp grass above his head, regarding it with a gentle smile. “We were sworn to each other, weren’t we? Let’s keep our promise from now on.”