a life in your shape

Published Jan 21, 2021
Content Rating Teen and Up
Content Warning
Word Count 5,247

Fandom Genshin Impact
Category F/M
Childe, Lumine, Albedo, Sucrose
Childe/Lumine, Implied Albedo/Sucrose
Hurt/Comfort, Fluff, Pining, Near Death Experiences

Read on AO3


Witnessing the slow, excruciating pain of Childe succumbing to a poison of her own doing fills Lumine with a dread that threatens to consume her whole.

When Lumine had asked for Childe’s help in traversing Dragonspine, she thought it was a good idea.

At first.

She wasn’t surprised when he said ‘Yes’ too eagerly, and she definitely wasn’t surprised when he started rolling around in the snow like a kid and making snow angels. It was endearing to see him like this, so innocent and childlike, the complete opposite of his bloodthirsty, violent persona.

“Come join me, Lumine!” he said.

Childe didn’t wait for an answer; he pulled her down by the arm, causing Lumine to stumble face down in the snow. He laughed, then rolled her on her back.

“This isn’t funny, Childe! It’s so damn cold in here!” she pouted, but stayed lying down beside him.

He hummed contentedly. “Reminds me of home.”

Lumine sat up and turned to him. “Snezhnaya, you mean?”

He nodded. “This mountain feels like a regular spring day over there.”

His eyes had a certain twinkle to them. It wasn’t like him to get sentimental so easily. Lumine wondered when was the last time he saw his family, and her heart ached at the memory of her own.

“I guess it’s a good thing I invited you up here—”

A snowball hit her square in the face. When she wiped it off, she saw Childe and his trademark mischievous grin.

“You...!” She clenched her fist around a ball of snow and wound her arm around before throwing it at him. It missed by an inch when he dodged to the side.

Lumine stood up and stared daggers at him. Childe put his hands up in surrender. “I yield!”

She pouted. “No fair. I didn’t get to hit you in the face.”

“Come at me,” he said, his hands gesturing a taunt.

“If you dodge again, I’ll Anemo blast an avalanche in your face,” she said, balling up snow in her fist.

He nodded. “I won’t dodge. Promise.”

That was all she needed. She aimed her hand, then threw the snowball. This time, it hit.

Childe stood up, wiping off the snow on his face. “I told you, I don’t break promises.”

Lumine scoffed. “That was an easy promise. Try promising to conquer the world.”

“Wanna bet?”

She waved a hand in dismissal. “Whatever, Childe. We still have a long way to go.”

They hiked up the mountain. Along the way, Childe guided her to snow-buried torches and taught her how to activate the mechanical ones. When there were none to be found nearby, he took off his scarf and wrapped it around her neck. Lumine wanted to refuse, but the warmth from the thick fabric quickly changed her mind.

Just being with Childe was enough to warm her up. Lumine didn’t know what it was about him, and she was certain it wasn’t his Vision doing it. He was a Hydro user, after all. She would’ve frozen already if that was the case.

Maybe it was how lively and excited he was about this mountain trip. All that energy rubbed off on her like electricity, sending jolts down her spine whenever their skin touched.

Yes, it was definitely his excitement that warmed her up. Lumine couldn’t think of anything else.

They found a large arena surrounded by mechanical torches. It was empty, save for a frozen tree, or what remains of it—dead, mangled roots sprawled on the ground with its trunk chopped a few inches from it. Sheer cold seemed to emanate from it despite its lifeless appearance. Lumine wondered what secrets waited for her in this tree.

Childe looked at her and grinned.

Lumine shook her head. “No.”


“I know what you’re thinking, Childe.”

His grin widened. “And just what am I thinking about, dear Lumine?”

She waved her hand in dismissal. “I know you think this is a perfect place for a rematch. And my answer is no.”

“Come on, Lumi! It is a perfect place for a rematch. Just look at how wide this arena is,” Childe said, gesturing at the vast space around them. “Unlike that old, stuffy Golden House.” He pouted. “The floor broke so easily there.”

Lumine huffed. “Even if we fight, this field is clearly in your favor with how cold it is here.”

“Exactly. You better not get wet, Lumi. Or you might get frozen,” he said with a wink.

“Shut up, we’re not fighting.”

“Please,” Childe said, pouting. “That sword is useless if you don’t use it for great battles, you know.”

He pointed to the sword hanging on her hip, one that Albedo gave her and one that only she could wield. It glowed purple from within the scabbard. Festering Desire, Albedo had called it.

“This sword,” she said, brandishing it, “is cursed and shouldn’t be used for pointless rematches. We both know who’s going to win, anyway.”

“Oh, really?” Childe summoned his Hydro blades with a flourish. “Why don’t you prove your worth?”

His stupidly wide smile annoyed her, but somehow it had a charm to it. The thrill of battle excited him like no other; it’s only times like these when he would smile like a hungry wolf and his eyes would twinkle with childlike wonder. Two contradicting concepts, and yet, Lumine found it charming.

Cute, even, she dared to think but hastily dismissed the thought.

His smile was annoying, yes, but it gave her a rush when he followed it with a taunt. No one else challenged her like he did, not even Aether who always insisted on protecting her, even when they were twins. Being born a minute earlier did not make him her older brother. With Childe, he treated her like his equal, and not even, because every time, he would always find himself beaten down on the ground with a grin, almost as if he liked losing to her.

And maybe she liked that, too.

Lumine returned a crooked sneer and lunged at him with her new sword. As their blades clashed, Festering Desire radiated purple, lighting up every time they hacked and slashed at each other. They ended up in their own rhythm, one made only for their battles, one only they understood.

Power surged through her as she used the cursed sword. It felt addicting, and if kept unchecked, she might go mad with power over it. She shook off the overwhelming sensation, taking quite a bit of her willpower to stay focused on the battle.

With one decisive slash, Lumine sent Childe flying away, hitting the ground with a thud. She waited for him to get back up, ready for more.

“Come on, Childe,” Lumine said, walking towards him. “The fight isn’t over yet.”

Instead, she found him writhing in pain, holding on to his torso tightly.

“That dramatic act might’ve worked the first time we fought, but you’re not fooling me again. Get up, Childe.”

Get up, she thought, as if thinking it would will him to stand up. He stayed down, lying on the snow, face contorting in pain. They’d been through many battles, and every time he would always shrug off his bruises and wounds. But this is different. He bit his lip, enough to draw blood, and she suspected he was doing all he could not to scream in pain.

She sheathed her sword and knelt down beside him. Her heartbeat rang loud in her ears.

“What’s wrong?” she said. Lumine hated the way her voice broke with concern.

Childe dragged his hands away from his stomach, revealing a bloody gash. A purple glow illuminated the wound.

Lumine cursed under her breath. “The sword... it’s infected you with Durin’s blood.”


“The dragon that died on this mountain.”

Her hands trembled as she helped apply pressure on the wound. “Hold it like this. I have to get you to Albedo.”


She ignored him, pulling him back up and slinging his arm over her shoulders. He was taller and heavier than her, but it didn’t matter. Her blood was pumping power in her veins and it was all she needed to carry him down the mountain.

The trek was long and arduous. Halfway through, Childe’s legs gave way, and she had to carry him on her back. The sheer cold didn’t make it easy for Lumine, but she simply didn’t want to think about it. If she started thinking, she would think about how Childe was probably dying, and how it was all her fault, and how cruel and cold this mountain was for letting this happen.

Instead, she focused on getting to Albedo’s campsite, avoiding hilichurls and the Fatui, especially. She was in enough trouble as it is. No need to get them involved.

When she arrived, Sucrose was there to meet them.

“Hello, Traveler—”

“Sucrose, I need your help.”

Sucrose quickly registered the situation and helped Lumine set Childe down on a cot. He was soaked in sweat, as if he was the one doing all the carrying and walking. His face looked pale, like all the blood had drained from it.

Lumine unbuttoned his shirt to have a better look at his wound. His chest was covered in scars; she could recognize a few of them from their own battles. The wound was a sickly purple now, similar to Dvalin’s once infected horns.

Albedo walked over, observing them. Lumine saw him squint at Childe’s Fatui mask but said nothing. Sucrose, on the other hand, was already back at their crafting table, mixing different liquids and occasionally causing a minor explosion.

Albedo knelt down beside Childe’s cot and brought a hand to his forehead. “He has an unnaturally high fever. What happened to him?”

Lumine bit her lip and looked over at Festering Desire hanging on her hip. “I got careless.”

It looked like Albedo wanted to say something, but he sighed instead. “What we can do right now is to give him a sedative while Sucrose and I concoct an antidote. Sit tight, Traveler.”

He went back to the crafting table, calm and poised, as if a man wasn’t on the verge of death. Lumine gritted her teeth at his sense of urgency, or lack thereof, but she knew better than to berate him.

Lumine turned to face Childe and wiped the sweat off his forehead, brushing away his matted bangs. “I won’t let you die, you hear me? Not like this.”

He gave a tender smile. “If I die by your hand, then it’s all worth it.”

“Are you insane? I can’t let you die from a stupid mistake I did! You’re not going to die. You can’t—” She choked as the tears started falling.

Losing Aether was mostly a muted horror, a subdued rage. After he disappeared in the void, it engulfed her right away, leaving her alone many years later. She had no time to process it as it was happening, only the aftermath. It left a void in her heart, insistent on feeding on her newfound loneliness.

But this... this was different. Witnessing the slow, excruciating pain of Childe succumbing to a poison of her own doing filled Lumine with a dread that threatened to consume her whole. Her stomach turned at the thought of him dying in her arms.

“Damn it, I can’t lose anyone else! I can’t lose you, too...” The words left her mouth before she realized what she said. A hand flew to her mouth, hoping that Childe, with his hazy, half-lidded eyes, heard nothing.

Albedo cleared his throat to call her attention. “Lumine, perhaps it is a good idea to take a walk and cool down.”

She was about to protest, but he’s already pushing her out of the campsite. “Don’t wander too far, Traveler.”

Lumine faced him one last time, her eyes pleading. Albedo held her firmly by the shoulders and turned her around. “Don’t worry, we’ll take good care of him.”

Lumine sighed and walked near the broken bridge, standing over the cliff side. The giant dragon’s ribs curved over the valley, earning its name: Wyrmrest Valley. The icy breeze and the sight before her gave her something to focus on. She took deep breaths, watching the way clouds formed from her mouth with every exhale. Her hands were still trembling as she struggled to wipe off her tears.

It was a stupid idea to take him here, she realized. He helped her manage the sheer cold expertly, but at what cost? Their encounters seemed to have a pattern: harmless beginnings gradually turning into a twisted amalgam of chaos. Was it their fate to always hurt each other?

Lumine hadn’t known Childe for long, not even a year, and yet it felt like she’s known him her whole life. Childe had his way of being secretive, but to her, he was an open book. She noticed the way he would plaster on a smile when he’s working and when his grin would widen when he’s with her. She noticed the way his eyes would actually light up when he saw her, like when she’d invited him for a trip to the mountain earlier today. His blue eyes—so dull, so contrasting with his lively personality—and yet, his eyes told her it’s all superficial. A facade. A mask he hid behind.

But when his eyes lit up, when his smile actually reached his eyes, when he laughed so earnestly it reverberated in her ribcage, ringing in her ears so pleasantly... Lumine would feel the warmth of it all blossoming in her chest, extending towards her limbs, like a glaze lily in bloom.

The thought of losing all that warmth, of losing him, pained her. She didn’t want to dishonor Aether’s memory (not that he was dead, no way he was), but somehow, for some gods-forsaken reason, this felt so much worse.

What in the world could be more painful than losing her brother, her twin, her only family?


No. She didn’t want to admit that anyone, much less Childe, a damn Fatui Harbinger, an almost-constant thorn in her side, was more important than her brother.

But the heart hammering in her chest, the nauseating pain in her stomach, and the lightheadedness in her temples all begged to differ otherwise.


The realization hit her like the Snowboar King’s deadly charge. She’s in love.

Is this what love is?

She held his scarf close to her. The winds now felt cruel and unforgiving with how cold it was. Even the scarf couldn't keep her warm. Her chest tightened, heart threatening to burst from her ribs. Her throat closed as her breaths became short and shallow. The valley before her turned into a hazy blanket of white and grey. The cold spread from the tips of her fingers and toes down to her arms and legs. Freezing. Unmoving.

The last thought she remembered having was, Oh, shit, the sheer cold! before everything turned to black.

Lumine woke up next to Childe. She gasped for air, propping herself up on her elbow. “What happened?”

Sucrose knelt down on the cot beside her. Behind Sucrose was Albedo, still working at the crafting table.

“Um, I was looking for you and found you’d fainted from the sheer cold,” Sucrose said with a sheepish smile.

Archons, all that introspection really made her forget how dangerous it was to wander without a heat source.

“I’m sorry for the trouble,” Lumine said. “How is he?”

“He’s doing better, but he still has a fever.”

She touched his hand, and it was burning compared to how cold hers was. “Is there anything I can do?”

Albedo turned to them, shaking his head. “The most you can do is not to cause any more trouble and stay put.”

Now her ears were burning. “I said I’m sorry.”

“Never mind that now,” he said, waving his hand in dismissal. “Get some rest while Sucrose and I work on curing your friend.”

Lumine laid back down, turning over to face Childe. His chest rose and fell in a slow, steady rhythm. She examined the wound again, now covered with herbal bandages, but she could still see Durin’s purple blood leaking through it. With all the battles they fought, all the wounds they inflicted on each other, a poisoned sword was all that will take him?

She sighed, clasping Childe’s warm hand again. This was the only time she’s seen him so peaceful, so quiet, so unlike him, and it terrified her. She’d rather have her overzealous, rowdy, annoying Childe than this tranquil man lying beside her.

And yet, this was the only time she could whisper, “I love you, and I’m sorry it took you dying—almost dying—for me to realize that I do, so ardently, and I don’t know if you can even hear me, and part of me wishes that you can’t, but... I love you. I love you, Childe. Please don’t leave me.”

Her grasp on Childe’s hand tightened, then she let go and turned to lie on her back. From the corner of her eye, she saw Sucrose watching them, sighing, then turning to Albedo to continue working.

What a mess, she thought. If declarations of love were as simple as that, then maybe life would be easier for everyone, her and Sucrose alike. But if Childe found out, it would be the end. It wasn’t a matter of reciprocation, but a matter of them being on opposite sides of a brewing war. In fact, reciprocation was the last thing she wanted. It would only mean a disastrous end for both of them.

No, suppressing her feelings for him was the answer. She could live that way. Better than losing him from her own foolishness again. She could love him from afar, and this way, she could protect him, too. And maybe this time, she wouldn’t fail in protecting him, just as she’d failed in protecting Aether. Maybe, this time, she could have a happy ending. Bittersweet, yes, but happy, nevertheless.

The next few hours went by in a blur. She slipped in and out of consciousness, checking in on Childe and occasionally taking sweet hot tea from Sucrose. When she woke up again, it’s dark, with torches lighting up their campsite. She turned to Childe, still unconscious, and saw the bandages have been replaced. The sweet hot tea had warmed her up for good, no longer freezing in the sheer cold.

“Oh, you’re awake,” Sucrose said, her ears perking up. “Mr. Albedo and I have some... news.”

She stood up cautiously. “What is it?”

“I have a proposal,” Albedo said. He cleared his throat before continuing, “I have an idea for a cure, but I will need a sample of your saliva.”


“Your spit,” Sucrose said.

“I know what saliva is,” Lumine said curtly, and she immediately regretted taking that tone with Sucrose when her ears flopped.

“This cure you’re talking about,” Lumine said, turning to Albedo, “Are you sure it will work?”

Albedo shook his head. “As with all our alchemical experiments, the answer is uncertain, but it is still a lead.”

Lumine walked towards the crafting table, took an empty petri dish, and spat on it. “Do whatever it takes. If you need my heart, my lungs, I’ll give it.”

“There’s no need for such drastic measures, Traveler,” said Albedo. He took the petri dish and handed it to Sucrose. “This will do.”

She watched them work with their alchemy. Her knowledge of the arcane science ended with crafting basic objects, and seeing them work together wordlessly, as if two parts of a whole, seemed almost mystical to her. It reminded her of Aether, and the way a single look was enough to tell the other what they wanted to say. It reminded her of Childe, too, and the way their blades would clash against each other gracefully. No words exchanged. Only a dance of swords and spears, going back and forth like the tides’ ebb and flow.

Lumine busied herself with cooking dinner for the team. She decided on four servings of Sunshine Sprat, a new recipe Albedo had taught her. Cooking was Lumine’s own form of alchemy: crafting something entirely new from a fusion of different ingredients. It was a science, but it was also an art form when serving food. Xiangling always made it a point to serve dishes with love and gratitude, and from then on, Lumine made sure she did the same.

She finished cooking at the same time Albedo and Sucrose finished their alchemical experiment. Albedo presented Lumine with a flask filled with a glowing golden liquid. “The resulting extract seems promising, Lumine.”

The idea of an antidote was enough to give her hope, no matter how small and uncertain it was. She had to believe this will work. It had to. There’s nothing else.

He knelt down beside Childe’s cot and slowly administered the liquid in his mouth. It glided down his throat, leaving a golden trail glowing from beneath his skin. Then, it slid down his stomach, swirling, and then fading into nothing.

Lumine turned to Albedo. “What happened?”

“It might take a while for the antidote to circulate in his blood. Be patient.”

She was awfully tired of being told to be patient, but she bit back her tongue. “Why don’t you two have dinner? I prepared some Sunshine Sprat for you as thanks.”

Albedo smiled. “Will you join us?”

“No,” Lumine said, “I’ll wait until he wakes up.”

He nods and guides Sucrose to the cooking pot, giving her a serving, which she timidly accepted.

Lumine sat back down on the cot beside Childe. She took his hand in hers; his temperature was back to normal now. Her own hand trembled at his gentle warmth. She felt a momentary pang of guilt from touching him so affectionately only when he’s unconscious like this. Awake, they barely touched, save for their blades, leaving scars on the other’s skin. It was messed up, but it was theirs.

“I love you,” Lumine whispered on his knuckles before planting a soft kiss. “I love you, and I’ll keep saying it while you’re out, because when you wake up, I can’t say it again. I love you.”

She squeezed his hand, and her breath hitched when he squeezed back. “Childe?”

A groan rumbled in his throat. Lumine looked down at his bandage-covered wound, now glowing golden.

“Lumine?” Childe’s voice was weak, but hearing it again, and hearing him say her name made Lumine’s heart race.

“Thank the Archons you’re awake,” she said, her voice almost breaking.

He laughed, or at least he tried, but it looked more like a wince in pain. “I’m pretty sure the Archons have nothing to do with this.”

Lumine heard Sucrose loudly whisper, “He’s awake!” and Albedo stopped her before she could rush to them with excitement.

Childe tried to sit up, but Lumine gently pushed him back down. “Lay back down, Childe. You still need rest.”

“I knew you’d save me,” he said.

She rolled her eyes. “Oh, shut up. You were so ready to die a few hours ago.”

“Yes, but,” he said, taking both of her hands in his, “I knew you wouldn’t let me die.”

The sensation of his warm hands in hers didn’t help her heart calm down. “What do you mean?”

Lumine didn’t miss when Childe’s lips would curl up so mischievously. It usually meant a prank would follow. Only this time, it wasn’t the case.

He sat up, groaning in pain, and then whispered in her ear, “I heard everything.”

She froze, his voice sending shivers down her spine. Everything? she tried to say, but her voice died in her throat.

As if he heard her, he said, “Well, not everything, but I heard enough.”

Lumine pulled her hands away and wrapped them around herself. It suddenly felt cold down at their campsite. She wanted to speak, to say that she didn’t mean it, that it was all a mistake.

But was it really?

“Why can’t you say it while I’m awake?” he said, tilting his head to the side.

Maybe if she denied it, he would forget what he heard.

“Say what?”

His face was annoyingly smug. She stifled the urge to punch him in the face and knock him out unconscious.

“You know what you said,” he said.

Two could play this game.

“What? What did I say?” she said, feigning innocence.

Childe bit his lip, then laughed, and this time it was a genuine laugh, reverberating pleasantly beneath her ribs. He took Lumine in his arms and held her tight.

“I love you,” he said.

Everything was too loud in her ears. She heard the campfire crackle. She heard Albedo and Sucrose finishing up their meals. But she wasn’t sure she heard Childe right.

“W-what did you say?”

“I said, I love you.”

Her voice failed her. She scoured her vocabulary of words she could say but came up empty.

“Why can’t you say it while I’m awake?” Childe asked, repeating the question.

No point in denying it now, she thought. Lumine pulled away from his embrace. Now that he’s awake, staring at her expectantly for answers, it became more difficult to find the words to say.

“When you were dying, I realized... I had feelings for you,” Lumine said, sighing to pause. “I realized I...”

I realized I couldn’t live without you. Her thought finished her sentence. Was that the right thing to say to someone who she might need to kill someday?

“I didn’t want to tell you because technically, we’re enemies,” she said. “Not a smart thing to say to your opponent, wouldn’t you agree?”

“I agree.”

“But... I love you,” she said hesitantly. “It’s just that, we can’t.”

Childe shifted closer to her, his lips a ghost of a touch on hers. “Who cares?” he said before kissing her.

His lips were the warmth she needed in this cold, cruel mountain. To her surprise, her heartbeat actually slowed down to a normal pace. She deepened the kiss before she could regret it, sighing contentedly into his lips.

This, she thought, is what love is.

Childe pulled away, tracing a thumb over the curve of her cheek. “We’re two of the strongest, most powerful people in Teyvat, Lumine. If anyone wants to get between this, between us, they’ll have to kill me first.”

Lumine smiled. “It’s not that impressive considering you almost died today,” she said, and when Childe scowled, she continued, “But I appreciate what you said.”

He shrugged. “Well, when I die, I’m pretty sure you’ll be the one to kill me. It’s your fault I almost died today, after all.” After a brief pause, he said, “I gotta admit though, it’s kinda romantic.”

“Messed up, but yes, it is pretty romantic.” she said, letting out a chuckle.

He nodded. “How fitting,” he said, and then he kissed her again.

“I don’t want this sword anymore,” Lumine said, placing Festering Desire on the table. The scabbard sheathed the sword, but beams of purple light still glowed from within.

Albedo tilted his head sideways, his eyes searching hers for answers.

“It caused me too much pain. Sure, I’m the only one who can wield it, but I don’t think I want to. Not after what happened.”

He nodded. “I understand. Although...”


Albedo unsheathed the sword. “If you purified that man’s wound—”

“His name is Childe.”

“Yes,” he said absently. “If my logic is sound, then you can also purify the sword itself.”

Lumine remembered Venti’s harp. “You might be right.”

She took the sword in her hands, and immediately she felt that same surge of power in her. Closing her eyes, she visualized Venti’s harp and Dvalin’s tears, the sensation of freeing them from the curse. She imagined Dvalin himself, finally liberated from the everlasting torment he endured.

Festering Desire felt warm in her hands. Once again, the same feeling rushed through her. That power-hungry sensation faded, replaced by a silent, calm feeling. When she opened her eyes, the sword no longer glowed purple. It looked more like an ordinary sword now.

Lumine handed the sword back to Albedo. “It’s yours. Consider it a gift.”

Albedo gave a wan smile and took the sword. “Thank you, Traveler.”

“Thank you, as well,” she said, bowing.

“Take care,” he said. “I do not know who Childe is, or if he is of good heart, but I trust you are an excellent judge of character. Else, you would not have saved him.”

She nodded. “You have good judgment too, Albedo. You wouldn’t have helped if you thought otherwise.”

“I admit I hesitated. But seeing your care and concern for him...” He drifted off, lost in thought.

Lumine smiled. “It does seem a little foolish. Naive, even. But that’s just what feelings are. It’s what you do about those feelings that matters.”

“I have seen that same look of concern before,” he said, turning to look at Sucrose, sleeping soundly on the cot. “And I think I understand what you are saying.”

“You got this, Albedo,” Lumine said, patting him on the shoulder. “I gotta go. Good luck!”

He nodded and waved as she left their campsite.

Outside, Childe waited, leaning on a decrepit ruin wall.

“Hey there, pretty girl,” he said, smiling.

Lumine rolled her eyes. “Shut up, Childe.”

They walked around the mountain with no particular destination in mind.

“Would you like me to call you darling, instead?” he said.

Heat flooded to her cheeks. She pinched his arm on instinct. “Shush! Someone might hear!”

“Oh, come on, Lumi. It’s not like those two didn’t see us making out earlier.”

“That’s different.”


Lumine gritted her teeth. “Just... shh! We’re on thin ice with what we’re doing.”

Childe turned to her, taking her by the shoulders. “So what if everyone knows? Would that be such a bad thing?”

“Yes. You’re Fatui, for Archons’ sake.”


“And! Do I have to explain every little thing to you?”

Childe fell silent.

“I’m sorry,” Lumine said. “I’m just scared.”

His expression softened. “I know.” He took her in his arms for a hug. “I’ll be by your side, always. Even if I’m working somewhere else. If you need me, I’ll be there.”

Lumine waited for the magic words: I promise, just as he’d promised Teucer, and all the lengths he went through to keep his promise. But she heard nothing.

And maybe that was for the best. She didn’t need his protection, and if the time came for them to fight each other in a war—and she hoped it wouldn’t come to that, but if it did—they both knew their families came first. And as terrifying as the thought of her killing him was, it was still fair. He would do the same for his family, after all. Lumine found comfort in that.

She pulled away from the embrace. “I swear, Childe, Tartaglia, whatever, if you—”



“That’s my actual name. Ajax.”

“You have another name?” She stared at him in disbelief.

He laughed. “Yes, but only my family calls me that.”

A beat passed, and when Lumine realized the implications, it took a monumental effort for her not to smile, but she still failed, a giddy smile now plastered on her face. “You... You’re ridiculous, Childe. I mean, Ajax. Gods, this is gonna take some getting used to.”

He slung an arm over her shoulders, bringing her close as they started walking again. “No worries, pretty girl. We’ve got all the time in the world.”

If you liked this work, consider leaving kudos or a comment on AO3!

Back to top