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oh, how my heart feels around you (and so does the wind)

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“humans are fascinating, don’t you know?”

when venti presented xiao this inquiry, the latter didn’t really know what to say at first. sure, he watched over humans consistently— when he wasn’t in that immortal mindset of killing killing killing and slaying slaying slaying the demons that plagued their nights and days, he let his mind wander to the simplistic characteristics of humans.

they knew so little yet wondered so much, allowed their own greed and selfishness to be swayed with curiosity and innocent ego. how they functioned in the world was based entirely on social constructs they created themselves, because that was how they wanted to interact with one another, through trade of goods and the sharing of innovation.

laws, governors, customs.. they were bound by previous tradition— routine, even. and xiao could heavily relate to the strange comfort in the usual. in what was normal. his normal.

so xiao hummed, vaguely agreeing. “sure. but they are dumb. there’s nothing extraordinary about the species.”

and venti giggled. venti giggled. “no doubt about it. but they are precious little things..” he trailed off softly. “intricate and unique.” he strummed his fingers gently through the silk strings of his lyre, so focused and entranced by the instrument he stared at it, continuing to conjure a soft tune to encompass the faint breeze dancing around them.

they were sitting on top of just one of the great mountains in jueyun karst, side by side with their legs dangling off into the great abyss of dark, cloudy nothingness, admiring the midnight stars circling them. why the anemo archon was here, spending his night with an adepti that lived hundreds of miles away from him, xiao didn’t know, but it made his heart throb nevertheless, and his cheeks burn.

a cold, gush of air rushed past xiao’s shoulders, sending a chill down his spine. was it always so cold up here in the middle of the night? or perhaps the wind was now adventurous and bold with its desire to be known because its god had finally visited them in liyue?

the adepti understood, of course. venti had a magical affect on his heart. made him want to do so many things to impress and sway the god, just like the wind would wish to remind those of its presence.

whispers of air swirled around the two immortals. venti paused in fiddling with his new tune, turning to look at xiao.

xiao looked back, quiet.

“humans..” venti started, unsure, but the sparkling glow in his eyes was still present, and the soft lighting of the night did wonders to accent that gorgeous pale skin, those luscious lips. beautiful. “though i’m distant from my people most of the time, i’ve grown to admire them. i am accustomed to their way of life even if i don’t interact with them. as i give them the freedom they deserve, i see what they do with the time and liberties they’re gifted, and.. i adore them. i adore humans. mortals.”

venti moved his face closer to xiao’s, and xiao remained in his place, intrigued by the philosophies of the anemo archon. but xiao’s heart clenched and his golden eyes went soft. the sudden temptation to dive in and taste what he wanted most in the world toyed at his inner morals.

only this moment, this quality time he was graciously spending with an archon he rarely saw nowadays, could xiao truly cherish him.

“what do you like most about them?” xiao breathed. he couldn’t help but ask more, wonder more about what was going on inside venti’s head.

venti smiled, bright and lovely in the dark shimmer of their scenery. “‘m glad you asked. see”—he moved his lyre behind him, his hands now free—“my people, despite how much they appreciate my freedom, have love in their hearts first. the care and consideration for the friends and family they have thrive under the existence of passion allowed, the given possibility to be allowed to do whatever they wish.”

the adepti nearly cursed, but instead muttered, eyes lidded, “that’s beautiful.”

“it is, isn’t it?” venti laughed, his braids swinging slowly from his shoulders. “i think it’s beautiful, too.”

xiao shrugged his shoulders a bit. he didn’t mean it. he didn’t care that much about humans, or had interest in their everyday doings. his sworn duty was to protect them from demonic evil under liyue’s jurisdiction, but if you asked him if he took the time to notice their individual quirks like venti did, he would simply answer ‘no’.

but the fact venti was so fascinated by mortals.. it was endearing. endearing to listen to, and xiao would ask him a million times more.

“tell me more about them,” xiao requested, this time allowing a hand to brush against venti’s on the grass. his skin went warm. “i would like to know.”

venti didn’t need to look down to know their fingertips were touching, and maybe, just maybe, their bare contact led venti to his next point.

“well..” venti scrunched his nose, pondering just for a second. “like i said before, the people of mondstadt acknowledge each other deeply, to the point where they’ve developed ways of conveying that to one another. be it giving flowers, throwing parties, having festivals.. and.. they have one specific way of showing affection—..”

xiao’s eyes widened when venti had finished his sentence.

“ lip contact.”

it happened slow, but still felt all too fast for xiao. venti twisted his torso to be fully facing xiao, his hands now caressing the adepti’s cold cheeks and bringing their faces closer. his hands were so warm, so soft, and as the anemo archon’s lips met his, that was when xiao thoroughly comprehended the situation they were in.

they were kissing.

they were kissing, slow, steady— so soft.

xiao was frozen in place, shoulders bunched up and unmoving as venti’s thumbs massaged his cheeks in smooth strokes, and the older was the only one really taking charge in the kiss. xiao— xiao didn’t know what he was doing, didn’t understand. he had never been kissed before, this was his first one, and his heart..

his heart was so full, shit.

was this what humans felt like? so enamored by those they loved they found closeness in such emotional physical contact?

as the kiss progressed, xiao subdued to the cozy feeling of security, opening his mouth just a bit more to fully taste venti. he had his eyes closed now, breath still hitched and body shivering, but he felt a burst of excitement rush through him.

and the wind danced, the trees’ leaves sang, the night swooning as the two immortals kissed and kissed, giving and receiving small pecks in between.

and as quickly as the affection arrived, it disappeared. venti shifted back and broke their warm engagement.

xiao missed the hands on his face.

“w-weird, right? how humans connect with one another?” the once confident god was nervous now, immediately stumbling over his words as he explained himself. venti blushed.

venti’s blush, as adorable and perfect it was, made his nose a rosy pink, and xiao’s heart fluttered. they were still so close.

and venti was so damn pretty.

venti continued on, adding, “i mean, who— who even comes up with this s-stuff, right? aha..”

it looked like he was moving away, his torso now turning more to grab his lyre and finish off the night with a calming tune to distract himself of this moment, of their kiss, and xiao just couldn’t permit that.

his hand shot out to grab the anemo archon’s wrist in a gentle but firm grip, gaining his attention with his intense piercing stare. venti’s flush bloomed like a cecilia, striking blue eyes enlarging innocently.

“can you..” xiao’s voice was husk, whispering heavenly into the air of little space between them and keeping their eye contact steady with the quaking moment. he was damn nervous and unsure of how truly to kiss, but he needed this. the intoxication of the kiss urged him for more. “ it again?”

“yeah,” venti mumbled, eyes drooping to prepare for their next delicate round of love. his voice lowered into a soft, soothing tone, and they leaned into each other again with their hands intertwined in the grass not a moment later and xiao’s other cupping venti’s chin.

the heat of their embrace traveled through their bodies and into the flow of the night, soon engulfing the curving and bouncing wind with the delicate intensity of their passion.

that night, they held each other close, and kissed and cuddled and adored each other for as long as they could before they fell asleep in pure contentment.

and the humans they bonded over so deeply, too, had a peaceful night’s rest.