Can I please requests a scenario where Childe rebels against the Tsarista to protect the reader, so now he's cursed by being trapped in foul legacy form.
Unable to speak, barely able to recognize anything, and in constant bloodlust(or whatever else you might headcanon for a more beastial interpretation of Foul Legacy)
But thanks to the reader and Teucer, he's able to still stay himself
This is my first request, hope it's fine. Thank you!
anon i would like you to know that this buttered my toast and watered my crops i love EVERYTHING about this
that being said i might’ve gotten a little off topic but i hope you still enjoy!!
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For You, Everything
Foul Legacy Childe x Reader
Gender Neutral (no pronouns mentioned)
Warnings: Fire, death, blood, allusions to throwing up and anxiety, injuries, hyperventilating, crying, mild gore (?)
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There’s a new rumor in Liyue.
It’s whispered in the streets and alleys, in hushed, near-silent voices to avoid detection by the subjects in question. Spreading not like wildfire, but cold, unrelenting ice- a slow freeze over the news until every citizen of the Harbor had it in the back of their mind, sticking like frost on glass.
There’s a traitor in Snezhnaya.
A vague rumor, a foreign affair, something that should be brushed aside and forgotten by people living so far away. And yet, it seems every person in Liyue has only one subject for daily gossip: the supposed betrayal of one of the Tsaritsa’s most trusted warriors. The traitor was powerful, perhaps even a Harbinger, you heard when you turned in a report, and the Fatui were stiff and tense, even the calmest member becoming snappy and cold. Any snippet of news was snatched up and passed around with intense curiosity as the entirety of Liyue waited in anticipation for the event to develop further.
Or so you’ve heard. Gossip had never been particularly appealing to you, and it’s even less so now, when you’re swamped with work and responsibilities more than usual. Along with your usual reports and data to write, you had also been given the task of looking after the younger brother of your friend, the Harbinger Tartaglia, before he left for several weeks due to “work”. The young boy, named Teucer, was sweet and adventurous, and you had to constantly stop him from going out to have little journeys of his own, as well as play up the ruse that his older brother was a toymaker and not the Eleventh Harbinger.
You huff quietly as you sign another sheet of paper and set it aside. It’s a cloudy, gray, somber day, the air just on the brink of drizzling and covering your window in fine, misty drops. There’s a knock on your door as you scratch out another sentence, and you hum wordless permission to enter. Teucer cracks the door open and slips into your office, asking in the quiet, worried way of a child if any news had come from Snezhnaya. You shake your head no- Teucer was the only reason you even made an attempt to remain up-to-date with latest gossip- and let him climb onto your lap and plonk his head against your chest. He’s worried, he tells you. Worried about his family at home and his big brother, alone and wandering in the vast, intimidating world. You ruffle his hair, the exact same color as Childe’s, and set down your pen. Perhaps it was time for a break- maybe a walk around the docks to get some fresh air?
There’s a scream outside.
Your eyes widen and you rush to the window, people running past shrieking in the streets. The clouds have thickened to deep, thundering gray, lightning flashing overhead, and you swear that you can feel electricity running down your bones. A few people, Vision users and Fatui members, race in the other direction, weapons glowing in their hands. Everyone is shouting, yelling, screaming- you cover Teucer’s ears, wincing at the mad din as frantic words and phrases string together into one sentence.
A monster! A monster in the Harbor! In the one safe haven for humans in all of Liyue! With Rex Lapis dead and the Adepti detached from the Harbor’s issues, the city was sure to fall! Teucer looks up at you, his normally carefree attitude replaced by fear and shock as he tries not to shake. You give his shoulder a gentle squeeze, rushing both him and yourself downstairs, the choking, acrid scent of burning wood and bodies reaching your senses. The door is blocked by crackling wood, the fire matching the vivid purple of the lightning above, having struck houses near yours by chance, and you quickly turn and lead Teucer further away from the smoke. There’s a table there, your old desk that you shoved away in the storage room after you got a new one, and you usher Teucer under it before slotting as much as your body that can fit next to him. He clings to you, crying but desperately trying to keep quiet, and you wipe his tears, hushing and murmuring gently that everything will be okay, you’ll both get out of this, and he’ll be able to see his family and big brother again.
Secretly, you also hope to see Childe again, but you squash that hope with a harsh second-long scolding to yourself.
Fire burns bright outside, the storm sizzling against it as you hold Teucer close to you. The smoke thickens and he begins coughing, so you give him your jacket to breathe through in an attempt to filter the ash. You hear flashes of windows shattering and embers sparking as your home snaps and crackles into destruction, occasional screams of horror seeping into your brain and staining your memories deep red. And you hope and hope and hope that you both will survive, because there’s nothing left to do but hope and bitterly wish that Childe was here, with his Hydro Vision, to extinguish the flames. The smoke clouds your head, and you blink rapidly in an effort to stay awake despite the burning in your lungs.
A drop of water falls on your nose. Vaguely you feel Teucer shifting in your grip, then shaking your shoulder, and you slowly bring your head up and open your eyes, bones feeling stiff and brittle. The fire has died to glowing embers, beat back into submission by the heavy rain that now drips over your skin. You shakily stand, Teucer clasped in your arms, and nearly fall from how weak and dizzy you feel. The storm washes grit from your eyes, but you wish it hadn’t, as Liyue Harbor lays in ruins.
The houses and buildings, once standing strong and grand, are collapsed under the searing fire and weight of water. The sky is thick with plumes of ash and soot, vendors turned over and smashed and the canal water now a rough gray. The cobblestones of the streets are cracked and gritty, and covered in splatters of dark red blood that turns the rainwater pink, and you almost throw up before catching yourself and letting out dry heaves instead. Teucer tries looking up, but you gently push his head back onto your shoulder with a hush, gulping down your nausea and forcing yourself to take a step.
Step, step, step. It feels like a fever dream.
Step, step, step. You don’t feel alive right now.
Step, step, step.
What could’ve done this.
Your thoughts drift to your friends- your friends! Zhongli and Baizhu and Hu Tao! And the younger generation, Xingqiu and Xiangling and Chongyun and Xinyan! And everyone else in between that your fuzzy mind refuses to focus on- were they…?
Please, no… Don’t let them be dead…
There are claw marks in the blood splatters now- apparently they were telling the truth about there being a monster- and you shudder at the size of its talons. Your breath comes out in short puffs as you hold Teucer tight, not only to keep him in your arms, but also not to lose your grip on reality and return to that dark space where no one can find you.
There’s a growl behind you, and your blood freezes like ice. Your turn is slow, unable to bring your legs out of their leaden position as you force yourself to face the threat, if not for yourself, then for Teucer.
An enormous beast, unlike one you’ve ever seen before, looms over you, and you stumble and fall backwards, feeling a sharp twinge of pain from your tailbone. Teucer yelps in surprise and asks if you’re alright, but you tell him that you’re fine, only you might need him to run as fast as his legs can carry him very, very soon. You spot blood on the monster’s claws, and scream at yourself to run, but your body refuses to do nothing but sit there and be useless. You squeeze your eyes shut, too exhausted to do anything more.
…When did you start crying?
There’s a soft pressing sensation on your cheek, and you open your eyes to find the monster carefully wiping away your tears with a claw, letting out gentle coos as if to soothe you.
And it’s a sweet sound, those coos and clicks and trills the creature makes, almost like it can take away your suffering and fill it instead with warmth and soft sensations.
Teucer also looks up at the beast, and it makes a rumbling sound of happiness as it reaches out to ruffle his hair. The young boy blinks, and a name slips from his mouth- “Ajax”, he says, a question and an answer.
Ajax… Childe’s birth name…
When Teucer calls him big brother you break, sobs coming out jerky and rough from pain and fear and horrid realization. Childe trills in concern and licks your cheek but you push him away, yelling out what about Zhongli? What about Beidou? And Baizhu? And Ningguang? And the rest of your beloved family in Liyue? But there’s not even a glint of recognition in Childe’s eye, only deep worry for you and your state of being, and behind it, a feral desire to kill and maim. You begin to shake again, and Childe silently curls around you and Teucer, lifting you in his arms and letting out reassuring purrs as he begins to walk away from the Harbor. His brother falls asleep quickly, the steady movement of Childe’s pace lulling him into dreams or nightmares. But you stay awake, hands balled into fists and holding handfuls of Childe’s fluff as your thoughts wander to small, innocent things to block out the singular day of today. There was a book series in Liyue about romance, and it carried an extremely popular quote which young couples liked to use to measure their compatibility. “What would you sacrifice for love?” And as if he’s reading your mind, Childe raises a hand to caress your cheek, staring down at you in crystalline blue, and for a brief, fleeting, final moment, there’s a flash of humanity in his eye.
For you, everything.