⠀ ⠀diluc⠀[to find the perfect blend]

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The title isn't really related but that makes sense since this oneshot is kinda all over the place lmao

You stepped outside Angel's Share tavern, pulling your coat tighter around you as you were hit with the sharp cold of Mondstadt in winter. It didn't snow here, which had its benefits. However winter was a shitstorm of rain, thunder and freezing temperatures - at least to someone who lived in Mondstadt. All other three seasons were warm and lush so the contrast of winter felt like hell to everyone.

The wooden door of the tavern opened with a low creak, causing you to turn around. Warm light that had emitted from the windows turned pitch black. Diluc had his back to you as he locked the door and gave it a few testing nudges. He turned to you and motioned to the right with his head.

"Ready to go?" he asked in his usual monotone voice. "Lucky it's not raining right now."

You nodded, feeling too numbed by the cold to speak. You walked beside him, boots thudding lightly against the wet cobble. The two of you had returned from a domain filled with cryo abyss mages. As you were leaving Mondstadt you had run into him and he decided to tag along. You weren't sure exactly why, since he always insisted that he preferred doing things alone.

The last time you had worked with Diluc was when you found out about the Dark Knight Hero alibi, that had almost turned into a fiasco with Kaeya watching. You had always felt uncertain if he actually appreciated your help because of his emotionless tone. Sometimes he would break character and throw a joke or smile, but you could never be sure because it was always over so soon.

Thinking back to the abyss mages, you couldn't complain about his presence. As an anemo user, it would take too long to break through the cryo shields and with his flames to form a burning swirl with, they were wiped out almost instantly. Following your excitement over how easily the domain was cleared, you decided to treat him to a drink at his own bar. The decision was made in a state of panic, where you rushed to find compensation for his help. The embarrassment of that memory made you wish you were encased by the ice of an abyss mage for eternity.

Shaking your head to clear your thoughts, you drew your eyes to Diluc's figure. He was a little further than you, walking with longer strides. He seemed to notice when he looked back to you.

"A bit slow today huh?" he teased, standing still to let you catch up. He ruffled your hair. "Must be because you're a little short."

You stared at him in surprise before blurting out, "I think you've been around Kaeya too much recently-"

"Kaeya?" he questioned, raising an eyebrow. "The cryo abyss mage in human form?"

You bit back a smile and began to speak, but was cut short by Diluc stepping closer to you. His hand remained on your head and you were surprised by how warm you suddenly felt just by his near presence. Your mind told you it was your heart pulling strings but you brushed that aside, thinking it was his pyro vision. It was in fact his vision but you felt overloaded by his aura too.

It was ridiculous, to have these emotions for someone of high status. You had heard all about how important it was to him and it explained many things to you. You were just a traveller, one of the thousands out there. He was a man of sophistication and organisation. He had his life in order and you were scrambling off the few commissions you got.

Your growing frustration was dropped by Diluc speaking. His voice was your muse - low, eloquent and calm. The voice you yearned to hear and the voice that belonged to someone far away.

He stared down at you expressionless as he stated quietly, "Your cheeks are pink, Y/N,"

You coughed awkwardly and mumbled to yourself, "It's the weather, I swear. You know anemo gets triggered by literally everything."

His gaze softened and there was the ghost of a smile on his face. "Are you cold?"

When you shook your head, he returned his hand to his side, apparently satisfied with your response. He motioned to continue walking and the distance grew again. The returning chill brought you back to reality. That realisation of how short that moment had been made you feel even colder, as a wave of longing washed over. You quickly caught up to Diluc, who asked you about what you had planned doing tomorrow.

As you rambled to him, the surroundings faded to just the two of you and before long, you had reached your unit complex. You pulled your keys out of your coat pocket, eager to get away from the biting temperature outside. Your frozen hands fumbled as you tried to insert the key, failing miserably. Diluc chuckled and took the key from your hands to open the door for you. You felt his aura of warmth encase you as he stood behind and reached forward.

"Eager to get away from me are we?" he said, breath above your ear. He chuckled lightly.

His breath on your skin caused you to jolt. Diluc stopped turning the key, as he mistook you shiver as a sign that you were cold. He flipped you around, clasping your hands in between his gloved ones. His red eyes burned into yours, searching for some sort of answer.

You averted your gaze to his boots when you realised you were staring. You mumbled "sorry" though there wasn't a reason to.

"Why are you apologising?" Diluc asked softly, an undertone of concern laced between his words. When you struggled to find a response, he added quietly, "You're pale, you should have told me you weren't feeling well."

"It's just the weather I'm not sick or-"

Your words were cut off by the heavy drop of thunder that echoed around. A bright flash bruised the sky, welcoming a downfall of rain. You jumped slightly in surprise and gulped. Eyes wide, you stepped away from Diluc and quickly turned the lock, pushing your way into the building.

Diluc didn't say anything, but he followed you inside, standing by the now closed door as you hurriedly turned on the lights. Another wave of thunder immersed your surroundings and you froze for the fraction of a second, eyes widening.

Swallowing away your fear, you said to Diluc, "Sorry, uh, you can stay here until the rain passes. Do you want anything hot to drink?"

Diluc shook his head and his eyes locked on you, as you nervously looked around. Without warning, you were tugged to the side. You let out a yelp as you landed into something soft, or rather someone. Arms wrapped around your torso and a chin rested on your head, surrounding you with heat and comfort.

"Diluc?" you questioned, voice slightly muffled by his jacket.

He didn't reply and simply tightened his arms around you. You tried to pull away but ended up slumped in his arms in defeat. The rain was still pouring as flashes of light from the window lit up the dim room again and again. But your rapid heart was louder than any thunder and any rain.

After a moment of silence, he muttered, "I hate seeing you upset."

"I hate when you act like you don't care," you retorted weakly, internally slapping yourself for insulting him.

"I know," he said with a sigh, "I hate myself for that."

You shuffled back so you could look at him. When you saw his expression, your heart was torn into pieces. His fiery eyes had become lackluster, layered with the hopeless and lonely. You knew that feeling perfectly. Adrenaline rushed over you and in an attempt to comfort the one who was comforting you, you leaned up onto your toes. Eyes closed as the distance between the two of you did - at least that was the plan. Instead, you knocked into his chin when you heard an unexpectedly loud crackle of thunder.

The two of you withdrew into a fit of laughter and pain. His laugh blended with yours and you couldn't help but think how well they fit together. Like a perfect blend of dandelion wine with both the sweet and tangy.

"Next time I'll get that right," you managed to say, as your laughs died down.

You straighted yourself to look at him and was met with his smile. Diluc took your hand and pulled you back to him.

"Now seems like a good time."

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