⠀ ⠀xiao ⠀[him]

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There may be pain. Return here for some bandaids later on if needed :)

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You could never forget the day you had met him - the individual with turquoise hair that seemed to glow within the moonlight, and those golden eyes that outshone the sun by a billion. You could never forget the way they sparkled when you handed him a plate of almond tofu for the first time, a look that you could only describe as enchantment. You remembered the shock you had felt when he first spoke your name, despite only referring to others as "you mortals" or "those mortals". And you remembered how he had asked you to call his name in return - a contract that bound your souls together without the knowledge of either of you. His name was:

"Xiao," you whispered, unaware that you had verbalised the thought. You blinked in confusion, snapping out of the trance that you were in. You sat up straight, legs swinging back and forth slowly below as you fixed your posture (posture check readers <3). A brief whistle of wind moved by, rustling the yellow maple tree towering above. You couldn't help but think of how the colour reminded you of a certain someone.

You stretched out your arms in front of you, forming your fingers into a rectangle. You scanned the area through the frame you had created, admiring the deep blues of the sky, distant mountains and weaving rivers. From such a vantage point, you could spot the rich yellow leaves of the Wangshu Inn, just behind small hills of lush green forestry. You wondered if Xiao was there, resting on the rooftop, listening to the mutters of birds, the whispers of the trees and the gentle mumbling of those at the inn. Your arms remained outwards, focused on the inn. You were sure if you looked close enough, somehow you would spot that hint of turquoise. To your surprise, a hue of turquoise covered your view of the landscape.

"You called?" a soft voice spoke, the close clarity of it enough to let you know the proximity of the person.

Your hands fell down, and you looked up, meeting a golden gaze. Suddenly, the winds stopped all together, and the rivers stopped flowing. Butterflies hovered aimlessly, and the noises of wildlife stilled. He stared down at you expectantly, expression as passive as ever, but you spotted the hint of a smile at the edges of his lips, and the playful gleam in his eyes.

"I didn't hear you at all," you said, averting your eyes in fear that your face would start heating up.

"Did I scare you?" he questioned. You looked back to his eyes, surprised to see a glimmer of concern, before bursting out into laughter. He waited patiently for you to calm down, an eyebrow raised.

"You? Scary?" you asked teasingly, after your fit had gone away, "You're anything but scary Xiao."

You swore that if he had feline ears, they would have twitched, as pink dust suddenly blossomed across his cheeks. He retorted, "I know. I was just joking."

You froze. Your eyes darted between the Wangshu Inn in the distance to him, back and forth multiple times. "Are you sure you're the real Xiao?"

"Yes," he muttered. He vanished suddenly, and if it wasn't for the slight rush of wind, you wouldn't have realised that he had moved to sit beside you. The issue was that he had chosen to sit at a distance. He seemed to have started to wander into his own thoughts. It was a bit disheartening. You thought perhaps he was irritated by you.

As your thoughts also wandered away, you felt a small poke on your shoulder. You turned to see a sheepish Xiao with his hand aimlessly hanging in the air. He coughed, and turned away before saying, "Rest your head on my lap. You're tired."

You sat stunned. He was right that you were completely exhausted. Sleep had not come to you the previous night at all, and you had been fretting over all things the entire day. In your mind, you conjured up a response, but you could not verbalise it. You were sure your face was a bright luscious red enough to shame the famed crimson witch in history books. Xiao, seemingly impatient, shuffled closer to you and essentially pulled you towards him. You found yourself lying down, head resting in his lap as he avoided all and any eye contact.

"So, was that a command or question?" you managed to mutter amongst the trainwreck of your thoughts.

He didn't answer your question, but instead responded with a new string of phrases. "I heard your birthday is today. I didn't know what to get you. So-"

His eyes finally met with yours, and the fluster on his cheek took away any embarrassment you held. A gentle smile cascaded upon his face unexpectedly. You were unable to look away, completely wrapped in the sparkle within. It didn't seem that way. The only time he had ever held such a look was in response to almond tofu. You held in your chuckle as you thought of the blocks of tofu. There was not a single similarity between the two of you.

Instead, you focused on the instrument which appeared in his hands. He tested the waters with a singular note. The purity of the sound brushed past you, and its clarity restarted the sounds of the surrounding landscape. A song began to dance around the two of you, like drops of water falling into small pools, before being lured into a river of delight. 'Lover's Oath', you recalled. Your eyes closed instinctively, as if your mind had suddenly been overwhelmed, in a delicate and comforting manner. The music began to fade, and the warmth of a hand replaced it, gentle and reassuring.

"Rest well, Y/N."

Below the yellow maple trees, above the endless landscapes tethering into smooth blue layers, and wisps of smoke, a bond developed - that could not be bruised; that could not be frayed.

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You were drenched in rain. He was drenched in rain. The difference between the two of you, was the tears falling down your face, as he, engrossed by the moonlight, began to fade into nothing.

You stumbled forwards. One step. Two steps. Three steps. His name left your mouth in a fury of screams, your sobs uncontrollable.

You fell onto his back, wrapping your arms around his torso. There was not a bit a warmth. It felt like a million needles had simultaneously spliced your heart in two. 

He turned around. Your felt another pang in your heart. He smiled. You felt your heart fall apart further. He reached a hand out.

And the sweet feelings of nothingness touched your cheek - nothing but an illusion of light, a softness so cruel it was as if you had swallowed knives.

You fell to your knees, gravel grazing your skin, rain stinging your knees, and a heart that was left hollow.

Under the silhouette of leafless branches, under the deep blue sky, was one individual, tears glimmering in the moonlight, as if another star twinkling in the night.

There was a bruise that could not be healed. There was a bond that had been left frayed.

His name was Xiao.

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