echo through eternity;
venti x musically talented! balladeer reader
anonymous asked: Hi!🥺 can i request scenario for venti where his s/o can play some music instrument but doesnt want to play before him because she's shy?
notes: i took some creative liberties with this one anon, sorry about that!! i decided to have reader be talented in both singing and playing an instrument, since i think those go hand in hand in mondstadt with the bard culture there. i think i made this one a bit overdramatic but we roll with it- hope you enjoy. also, i had a specific song in mind while writing this! hope you enjoy listening.
So long as the roving gales carry joy and hints of the very first spring on it’s heavenly wings, then surely the echoing in the woods of murmuring leaves are the notes that Barbatos sings.
That single sentence was every single music teacher’s mantra in Mondstadt. You were ninety-nine percent sure that you’d find a doormat with those exact words etched in somewhere. After all, Mondstadt is the city of pastorals, of romance, and of course: music.
Long flowery prose has never been your strong suit. Ever. Needless to say, the endless amount of funds your parents poured into your lyre lessons, in hopes that you’d learn the divine notes that every child of Mond should know, may as well be burnt under the fireplace. At least in that scenario, it’d keep someone warm.
You weren’t bad... but you wouldn’t consider yourself the shining virtuoso that your parents wanted you to be. Perhaps that was due to the music you wanted to play that quarreled with everything else: melodies that contrasted with the droll classical pieces of Fontaine; not even the frigid arias of Snezhnaya or the jaunty tavern songs of Mondstadt could sway your voice- which made your ultimate attainment of an Anemo Vision all the more puzzling.
Your parents were ecstatic- gleefully taking it as a sign from the gods that you were blessed with a maestro’s fingers. Deftly in tune with the harmonies of gods and goddesses alike. Unbeknownst to you, a bard with wisdom far beyond his years bore witness to your musical pursuits.
Indeed- he heard of a soft, serene melody thrumming through the streets of Mondstadt, a melody so pure, why, he may have cried if he borne with a mortal heart. The winsome smile you wore in front of your audience belied a small, weeping voice in your heart that strived to sing. Even as the stony eyes of Barbatos watched over you, you couldn’t bring yourself to sing the song trapped deeply in your heart.
The scholars said that you would be most aptly matched with Cryo, given your temperament. But there was one sole reason you resonated with Anemo.
Somewhere, in that fragile heart of yours, was a soul that wished to sing, to play a song that could reach the furthest reaches of Teyvat.
Your earnest wishes, paired with your self-imposed shackles, meant that you held a fruitless dream.
Well, the god of Anemo pondered, looking over your meek form with reverence paralleling that of young lad’s first love in those gaudy Fontanian novels, He’d have to do something about that, wouldn’t he?
Venti, the smug little enigma that he is, took great pleasure in tackling you from behind.
“My fairest flower! Tell me, what has you caught with a face so dour?”
Maybe it wasn’t the brightest idea to be leaning forward on the railing overlooking Market Street and risk tumbling into the moat below, but you turned quickly enough to catch the runaway bard in your arms. His legs hovered in the air for a moment, and you wondered if they bore any weight at all.
Absentmindedly, you ran your fingers over your face, pulling and pinching at your cheeks to ease the tension. Were you really so tense? It couldn’t be helped really, you were stuck practicing for your first recital, which apparently, would take place before the audience joining the Knights of Favonius’s annual gala, so that was fun.
You took to the streets in search of inspiration, of something that would spark the greatest performance imaginable, but by the time the second clock hand hit the hour you were just about ready to chuck your composition book into the fountain. Somehow you convinced your parents that you could write musical pieces and perform them, and even more miraculously, your music teacher believed you too.
“I’m... lacking in new ideas,” you admitted.
From the moment you met, he always seemed to coax the truth from you so easily, as if the winds themselves pulled the words right out of your mouth into the open. He was a strange bard, to say the least- his musical repertoire consisted only of songs that existed eons ago. You remembered the first one you heard from him, under the careful watch of the Anemo Archon. The Boy and the Whirlwind.
Venti seemed to follow you around curiously, always wanting to entangle himself in your antics. Your friends and family seemed nonchalant about the idea, after all: why wouldn’t the two best musical prodigies in Mondstadt pair themselves together? You remembered how you groaned at the thought, but also how you didn’t entirely mind his company. Is there really anything wrong with wanting to thread your fingers through those two-toned braids of his, or with wanting to hold his hand for hours on end, which was surprisingly soft despite his years of playing the lyre, or with wanting to lay with him at the Windrise tree just to listen to his voice?
Nope, certainly not, you lied to yourself. If only you weren’t so enamored with this mischievous bard.
Venti purses his lips, resting his chin upon his dainty fingers.
“Your songs are lovely, I can’t see any reason for why’d you be so somber. Is it something else?”
You grimaced internally. Well, you did have a song, but...
“I’m... not so sure how I’d do in front of a crowd. I’ve only performed in front of my music teacher and some others... so to have my first recital be something as important as this...”
Your hands shivered, and your vision dimmed. Venti frowned. A dimming vision wasn’t uncommon: mostly seen in allogenes who doubted themselves and went against the ideal they were rewarded for upholding. Most of the time, said allogene would spring back up, and their vision would glow even brighter than before, but your vision was barely as bright as a candle’s light. Far too dim for his liking.
“Aw, I’m sure they’ll love whatever song you’ll sing! I certainly do.”
You gave him one of your signature half-smiles, the ones that made his heart do somersaults three times over before landing on the ground. The same ones that he wrote sonnets of, speaking wistfully into the night whilst you slept in your bed soundly.
“Thank you, Venti.”
If only you knew how smitten he was, long before you two even met.
“Well,” he begins, looking over the horizon where a symphony of oranges and purples melded together on Mondstadt’s hills of green. “Why don’t we get out of the city? A change of pace is sure to put a smile on your face.”
You tilted your head playfully, already extending a hand to him.
“Is this a date?”
“Maybe?” A wink graces his features. You shake your head, muttering his name fondly under your breath.
“So,” you begin. “Where do we go?”
“I know just the place!”
To your surprise, he didn’t drag you to the tree at Windrise to rest your weary head upon its gargantuan roots, and he didn’t take you to Starsnatch Cliff to prance amongst the cecilias, rather- he brought you to a ruin long abandoned, with nothing but the echoes of eternity hollowly resonating between walls of stone and storm.
“Venti...” You murmured, grasping onto his hand a bit tighter.
His shoulders drooped for a moment, but the speed at which he turned to meet your eyes made it seem like a fleeting phantasm.
“I sometimes come to this place when I’m lacking in stories to tell,” he begins, gesturing to the large stone bridge sprawling across Old Mondstadt. “A shocking revelation, I know.”
“O-oh, I didn’t mean-”
“Regardless, my songbird, I’m more curious about the song that’s been tucked away long in your heart, that distant melody you’ve kept tucked away for as long as you can remember.”
Your heart dropped.
... That song?
First of all: how? And second of all: why? You contemplated spending the rest of your days peering at your shoes and the intricate stone patterns below you, but a hopeful glance made your breath catch in your throat. Aquamarine hues that felt so familiar now felt... completely and utterly ethereal, in a way that was completely unreachable. Forever and only above, like the isles of Celestia.
You knew he was always different somehow, but this... the feeling of your vision pulsing atop your sternum, it almost seemed like you were in front of Barbatos himself.
Venti, noticing the way you held your tail between your legs, stepped forward and lifted the palm of your hand upwards, like old dancing partners. The coolness of his palm soothed yours, as blood rushed to the spots you bore your nails ferociously into as half-moons were left in their wake.
“I’m sorry for making you come all this way. I just wanted to give you a chance to sing freely, from the heart. I’ve heard of your songs before, but they’ve always sounded so... sad.”
“Oh, Venti... I... ” Can’t.
Your throat croaked shut like the rusty door of a dilapidated bird cage. Chained and bound- with a song more bitter than sweet tumbling from your lips.
“I’m sorry, but I-”
“But you can.”
He rests a hand on your vision. It feels strangely intimate, more than you can comprehend. Venti seems so sure of himself, and you can’t fathom why. You find nothing but admiration in his eyes, and it scares you.
“I know you can.”
And right then, as if the moment shattered into a million pieces, he steps away, procuring a lyre- the one he deemed Der Frühling.
“Just one song, please? One song, and I promise I won’t pester you about it any longer. I haven’t heard you sing in ages! And to bear witness to the talent of one of Mondstadt’s most aspiring balladeers, why, that’s a tale worth telling, don’t you think?”
You flushed, knowing that he was laying on the compliments thickly to cajole you out of your shell. And frustratingly enough, it was working. Still, that song was an old, unrefined thing. Barely long enough to entertain a tavern crowd, and written in a language that was unrecognizable in standard Teyvatian scrawl. It was drawn from a distant memory in your childhood, when your family moved away from your home for a new beginning.
But the fact that Venti seemed to know about this, and the fact he saw worth in this small memory of yours... You tucked the lyre into your chest, resting the wooden base upon your right wrist and let your fingers pluck the strings -perfectly tuned, as always- while you stared into the skies above. Two birds flew above you in that moment, free as could be.
In a moment of eternities, you began to sing.
Venti’s born witness to millions upon millions of ballads: from the past, present, and future. Heck, he’s even heard of the song you’re singing, the notes and words resembling the barcarolles of Fontaine. But this was so much more.
This wayward melody, one he heard in passing from an open window all that time ago, the one that captivated him so and urged him to find the source of that voice, was so much more than he imagined.
The words came easily, rolling from the tongue as if your heart was elated to finally sing its song again. Plucking the lyre’s strings in different chords was simply second nature, drilled into you by various lessons from your numerous critical instructors. Still, it felt lighter to do it here, where the only audience is naught but the spirits of old merged with the thousand winds.
The song left as quickly as it came, and you were reluctant to say goodbye. But you felt lighter, and your vision was most certainly brighter, if that blinding teal glint had anything to say about it.
You looked upon the lyre fondly, turning to Venti only to be met with two bright aqua hues, wide and positively starry-eyed, just centimeters away from your own. He looked completely and utterly starstruck, with his mouth hanging open as an expressive cherry on top.
Jovial laughter and squeals filled the air as he spun you around, using his powers over Anemo to lift you into the air. Lighthearted cries of “put me down’s” and “not a chance” melded gleefully within sounds of joy.
“What a song indeed- The Knights would surely sing praises of your voice, that’s for certain!”
Slowly but surely, with him by your side, you felt like you could soar.
“That’s some high praise coming from Mondstadt’s self-proclaimed number one bard.”
“Self-proclaimed? I’ve won the title three years and counting! But... I might be willing to go easy on the competition if they’re all as cute as you. I highly doubt it, though.”
“Venti!” You chided, feeling the familiar heat creeping up in your ears again. He merely laughs in reply, and you feel yourself acquiesce to his carefree nature.
“Still,” he begins, and you immediately perk up. “It’s been so long since I’ve seen you look so carefree.”
You make an ambiguous noise, curious as to what he meant. From his perspective, though, with your wind-tussled hair coupled with your wide, innocent eyes, to the way your clothes ripple in the breeze and how Anemo pulses faintly from your vision, you couldn’t be any more beautiful.
He smiles at you fondly, and you accentuate your confusion with a cock of your head.
“Come now! The sun’s sure to set, and I’ve got a concert in Angel’s Share tonight. Care to attend?”
You quirk your eyebrow teasingly, interlacing your fingers with his.
“So you can ask me to buy bottles of the Applebloom Cider you like so much?”
“Hehe! Seems like you know me best after all. Now come! Live and be free: that’s the way of Mondstadt!”
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Soooo this is a vent fic, wrote this just to get how I'm feeling out in hopes of it helping. It didn't, but I'm pretty happy with it so I'm positing it. For context, this is part of an au of mine (au in quotes idk if it counts man but I'm calling it one)
I also cannot do the read more cut thing as I'm on mobile, I'm sorry about that
CW: this fic deals with intrusive and depressive thoughts, as well as a mention of s//f h//m at one point. Please read this with caution !!! If you feel this way, please talk to someone and seek help. I am going to therapy and am ok, I just deal with thoughts like these when I am badly stressed.
Even if you don't read this (which I get) thank u for stopping by anyway, and without anything else to say here you are
It was interesting, how the fire changed colors the more intense his emotions. It could give him away in a heart beat, outing his pain to anyone who noticed. Even still, it was interesting. Seeing the blue fire dance across his fingers and hand, singeing the already black and burnt skin even more so. The flames licked up his fingers, blue fading into a fuzzy white at the tips of each cascading flare. It didn't hurt, his flames never did hurt himself, but they left some kind of mark.. and that's all he needed right now.
Thoughts were his downfall, swirling in his mind all to often. Sometimes he wishes he'd been a harder worked agent, maybe then he'd never had let his mind wander this far. He knows that's not true, he can't control how he feels and how his mind dulls his sense and emotions.. but he wish he could. His best bet was what he always did to draw his attention away from the scratching dark thoughts, smoking.
He'd been doing so good, he'd been slowly working on stopping with the help and encouragement of Sheriff. He knew the older man wouldn't be upset if he found him out here, leaning over the wall encapsulating Nexus City smoking away his tears, but his mind mumbled he'd be disappointed. Tears peaked at his eyes, clawed hands digging into the ledge as he quickly took another drag of his cigarette.
It hurt, to feel this way. To want to harm yourself, to wish you would get killed so you didn't have to wake up each and every next day. It burned at your insides, ripped and tore and screamed like a wild animal. Begging you to give in, to finally just let it lose and end it. But he never could, and he never would. He knew his worth, he knew he was loved, and he knew he could make it through this. That didn't dull the pain from it all of course, but it kept him going. That hushed reassuring voice, letting him know it's going to be ok.
His mind felt fuzzy, smoke rolling from his mouth as he stared out into the dull red sky. It was supposedly night, as shown by the moon hovering in the sky, but the sky remained the day time red like always. Things hurt, past arguments and friends he left behind swirling in the mixed pool of negative thought. He huffed, snuffing out his cigarette and tossing it over the side.
He kept his eyes on the moon, mind drifting as he tried to focus on other things. Soft blue flames licked back up his hand as he fiddled with his fingers, curling and swirling upwards to the unforgiving red sky. He didn't turn his head as the sound of the stairway door creaking open, the heavy footfalls keying him in to exactly who it was anyway. Large arms settled on the ledge beside his, scars lined them up and across their whole body.
Deimos titled his head to glance up at them, gas mask staring back at him. Deimos knew why they kept it on, he's seen their face and he felt that familiar pang of hatred against what the agency had done to them. The larger clone tilted their head,
"Hey, big guy." They spoke in as soft a voice as they could manage, Deimos could tell by the tone of their voice they had that sad smile on them. Deimos returned it with his own,
"Hey." He mumbled, reaching a pawed hand up to rub the tears away from his eyes. Church reached down and brushed some off his cheek, Deimos leaned into the touch and sighed. Church gave him a soft look from behind their mask,
"Wanna come back with me, we can watch your favorite pirated movie?" They hummed, hand moving to rest on his shoulder. Deimos have a wet chuckle, but nodded,
"Yea, I'd like that."
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i have.... low hopes for me ever finishing what this was supposed to be, so here’s a scene from the middle of an asanoya fic in which asahi takes a gap year before moving to tokyo and noya comes and visits him every week to, like, plan meals and go grocery shopping lmao
Wait, fuck—it was Monday.
Yuu shot up right before he passed out and frantically slapped around for his phone. Vaguely, he registered Chikara’s soft “Holy shit,” and Ryuu’s “You good, dude?”, but he was too focused on flicking open his phone and dialling Asahi to respond.
One ring. He pushed himself up off the futon.
Two rings. He started walking toward the door.
Click. “Nishinoya? I thought you’d be asleep by—”
“Did you eat?”
Asahi went silent for a second before definitively not answering his question. “Huh?”
“Did you eat dinner, Asahi-san,” he sighed. He turned to close the door and caught a glimpse of Ryuu giving him some kind of look—it definitely meant something, but he couldn't be bothered to figure out what because he was already walking down the steps, and Asahi had started talking again.
“Yes? I had some of the leftovers from Saturday.”
“Oh, okay. That’s good.” He paused, taking a moment to slip on some shoes and walk outside. “I just—I realized it was Monday, and usually I’d be eating with you to make sure, so—”
Asahi laughed, and even through the tinny distortion of the speaker, it rang deep and comforting. “Right. It’s okay, I’m a big boy. I can make meals myself.”
Something pulled at Yuu’s chest, then, a tug that held fast all the way to his throat. “Yeah, I guess,” he replied, and his voice sounded weak even to his own ears. “Did you go shopping?”
“No, I’m going tomorrow. I planned meals for the week, too.”
“Real, cooked meals?”
“Real, cooked meals,” he confirmed with a laugh. Yuu could practically see the little smile on his face, teasing but laced with a nervous sincerity, as he asked, “Are you proud of me?”
The tug morphed into an ache, filling his lungs and traveling into his head, a tingling warmth. Yeah, I am. I really, really am, he wanted to say. Wanted to scream it, maybe, just to clear the fog that was starting to sear his chest.
“Only if you’re making something new, too,” he said instead.
“Aughhh, but I don’t know how to find new recipes. Besides,” he let his voice drop into something softer, “I like the ones you bring. You’re better at figuring that stuff out, I think.”
The tingling spread to his limbs, and he shook his free arm in an effort to dispel it. Tried to focus on light banter instead of whatever feeling was creeping through his bloodstream. “Wow, Asahi-san, I can’t believe I’m just a recipe book to you!”
Asahi laughed again, and Yuu went lightheaded. “Yeah, once I figure out how to navigate recipe blogs, it’s over for you.”
He was joking. He was joking, playing off of what Yuu had set up, and on any other day he would laugh; would even be proud that Asahi was so comfortable now, to tease like this.
But his head was just about to burst with the pressure built up from this fog, the searing hot ache in his chest and his throat and behind his eyes. He might’ve heard Asahi call his name through the receiver. But something was wrong, wrong, wrong, and he needed to get out of this haze, needed to say something—
“I miss you.”
Then he felt another yank in his chest, and he had to keep going.
“I—I know I just saw you yesterday, but it’s different. It’s different ‘cause I feel like I’m supposed to be with you now, and when I come over next week it’s gonna be a whole week—no, a day more than a week since I saw you, when usually it’s only a day less than a week ‘til I see you again, and…”
“Noya,” Asahi’s voice was soft again, all of the teasing gone. Yuu half expected it to break with exasperation on the next word, for Asahi to chide him and tell him it wasn’t that different and that he’d see him soon enough. But he continued, “I miss you too,” and the pressure building in his head dissipated.
He licked his lips. Shivered. It wasn’t exactly cold out, but without the searing warmth that had been flooding his veins before, he felt cooler, lighter.
“You should come over Sunday.” Distantly, Yuu was proud of how definitively Asahi had said it, until he backtracked into his usual fretting. “Uh, that is. Unless you’re too tired, I know training camp can be lethal—”
“I will. Come over, I mean. I won’t be tired.” Before he could filter himself, he breathed out, “Could never be too tired to see you.”
“Ah…” Asahi was embarrassed. Yuu didn’t even need to see him to know it. “Ah. Well. Yeah. I’ll see you then, okay?”
“And you know, you should really go to bed. It’s getting kind of late, and I’m sure you have a long day tomorrow.”
“You should go to bed too. You never get enough sleep.”
“I can sleep in tomorrow, though.”
“Still. You gotta sleep. Promise me you’ll go to bed as soon as I hang up.”
“I have to take a bath first.”
“Fine, but still. You have to promise you’ll sleep.”
“Only if you do,” and something about the familiar lilt of his voice made Yuu stupid.
“Okay. Pinky promise.”
Asahi laughed, and this time, the smile that grew on Yuu’s face hurt his cheeks. “What? You can’t—over the phone?”
He was grinning like a madman now, and he knew it. But his brain was all Asahi, Asahi, Asahi, deep, loud laughter, a flushed face—
“Yeah, stick out your pinky!” He held his own pinky straight out as he said it.
“This is ridiculous,” but he still giggled, breathy and wonderful, and Yuu knew he would play along.
“Are you doing it?”
“You better be, Asahi-san. It’s not ridiculous if we both do it.” He curled his finger, pretending as hard as he could that Asahi was standing in front of him, close, linking his large, sturdy hand with Yuu’s small one by the tiniest contact. “Promise?”
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