By the hands of the Gods, you have been plucked from your time and from your world, dropped into the box.
Only the box is a world of its own.
We are a mass crossover based on the concept of Pandora's Box. Characters from nearly any fandom can be played here. Because of the endless character possibilities, we are canon only here at Pandora. Take a peek at our rules and plot information before starting your new life in Pandora.
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Ganyu

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February 14th
@Beidou

Warm food, check. Sweets, check. Array of liquor, check.

Everything seemed to be going in order for Ganyu, though perhaps it wasn't to be so surprising considering that she managed to run so many things perfectly at the same time back in Liyue. The only thing she couldn't bring herself to know exactly what would happen with was the star of the day, Beidou. She'd sent a message to the woman, left it with one of her crewmen late one night before she had retreated to the woods of the Vales to sleep. It had simply asked for Beidou to bring herself, alone, to a quiet spot in Cascade Bay, directions given so meticulously a blind man could have found his way there with minimal effort.

It was deep into the afternoon, the birds singing had grown fewer between with the sun beginning to make its descent in the sky, closer to the horizon it raced. The only problem with this time of day was how Ganyu, no matter what she was doing, always knew she needed to then take a nap. Now was no different. With the spread arranged on a blanket she had brought, Ganyu lay among it all, minding not to touch or ruin anything while she had settled her head down. It was meant to only be for a short time, but perhaps her running around and preparations had made her unforeseeably exhausted, causing her not to stir even as the day had begun to turn to night.

Not even the chilled breeze of the evening woke her, she was used to the cooler temperatures after all, for even now as she breathed slowly there was a soft plume of frost on her breath. With the lanterns she had surrounded the picnic area in lit for the evening, it cast a warm glow on the Qilin as well as serving as a sort of beacon for anyone who might have been looking for her. And there was only one today, the birthday girl herself - Beidou. How much Ganyu would be embarrassed when she woke, who knew, though it would seem no one would have to wait long as she had already begun to stir at the presence of someone else.


Someone familiar.
 
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Beidou

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When Beidou had gotten the message, any member of her crew would have commented on the smile that lit up her face, if not for them having been busy. The pirate had subjected them to cleaning the ship that day and every day leading up to the fourteenth. She had been keeping track of the days, not because it mattered to her, but because she didn't need reminding of her aging, and she most definitely didn't need any sort of celebration in her honor for such a thing.

Well, that was her stance, until she had read the letter.

For Ganyu, there was nothing she wouldn't do. If the woman wanted to go gliding off the highest point in Crystal Vales, she would do it. If she wanted to go sailing the seas, she would take her upon The Crux. Things may have been different back in Liyue, but Beidou had been getting used to the freedom that living in Pandora brought. Sure, she was still a little hesitant, but the pirate was much more open in her friendship with the Qiling in particular.

And so on that day, she set out to meet Ganyu at the agreed spot and time. Beidou had checked to make sure she would get there when expected, though a soft laugh left her lips as she glanced up to the sky. Based on the description of where to go, and the setting of the sun on the horizon... the woman was sure she'd be greeted by a sleeping, or at the very least sleepy, Ganyu.

Sure enough, as she approached the well-lit picnic area, she smiled upon the sight of the stirring Adeptus. She looked upon the set up, feeling her heart clench in her chest. It wasn't the first time something like this had happened, where her dear friend showed that she cared, but it still brought a wide smile to her face. If the woman hadn't toughened up over the years, perhaps her eyes would have been glassy with tears.


"Good morning, sleeping beauty." The words came sweetly from Beidou's lips as she squatted down before her friend, reaching out to gently ruffle the top of Ganyu's head. Her fingers brushed affectionately over the horns amidst her blue strands, even a soft coo leaving her lips. "You did all this for me?"
 
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Ganyu

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"Mmh..." Came the groggy sound from the adeptus, the woman lifting one of her hands and gently rubbing at her eyelids for a brief moment. No matter how much she tried to wake herself up quicker it was perhaps harder to do thanks to Beidou speaking to her so sweetly and being so tender while she was at it. Ganyu definitely felt sheepish because she knew it was definitely not morning, but she supposed she'd been sleeping so well a moment ago it may as well have been.

Finally the elder opened her eyes and those purple hues caught the warmth of the lantern lights, reflecting like the prettiest of gems for Beidou, or even akin to the gorgeous vision the other woman kept on her person at all times. She'd been about to speak, really, she had, but with Beidou's hand passing over her horns the adeptus couldn't help but to clam up, her eyes gaining a dreamy quality to them.

Sinking into the touch with such frightening ease, Ganyu could only hum in answer for now, her face beginning to flush as it so often did when she was around Beidou. A gentle sigh danced on her lips before finally she was awake enough to regain some composure, quickly lifting her hands and steepling her fingers over the top of her head while she tried to recoil and hide.
"Of course I did, i-it's your birthday." If anyone was aware of how fleeting life was for humans it was Ganyu, especially when she'd seen and lived through literal generations in Liyue.

That made today a very important day.

Grabbing a box she had had tucked near her stomach when sleeping, as if to protect it, Ganyu picked the gilded item up and settled it on her lap for a moment.
"Speaking of which, I got you a
gift." She didn't need to say that she hoped for Beidou to like it, her expression and timid tone said as much. After a moment more of hesitation, the adeptus held out the box and bowed her head a little, shyly adding on in a small voice.

"Happy birthday, Beidou."
 
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Beidou

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It was a familiar sight, watching Ganyu wake up. There was a sense of nostalgia that came with it, but it wasn't bad, not at all. In fact, the smile that was on her lips spoke of feelings much more positive than almost any other day she had spent in Pandora. Perhaps, her happiness only rivaled with the moment she had seen Ganyu in their new home.

"Sleepyhead..." The pirate murmured with affection, waiting patiently for the adeptus to wake up. She figured she wasn't helping, but did it stop her? Of course not. It was easy, having a sense of familiarity with someone else, specifically with Ganyu. Her free arm came out, hand gently resting against the older woman to keep her upright even as she leaned forward into the touch. Only when Ganyu moved to shy away did she take her hand back.

Beidou scoffed, coming to sit properly before the lady she adored, the smile on her lips never once wavering. The mention of her birthday had her shaking her head just a little, lifting a hand to wave it off dismissively.
"It is my birthday. It's really just another day, and I'll have more. Besides, don't you think I'll start looking older than you here pretty soon?"

A smirk on her lips, the woman sat back a little while Ganyu reached for the box, her gaze following the movements of her pretty hands. Reaching out, she took it very carefully from the adeptus, a little spark crackling between them even despite the chill that came from their fingers brushing against one another. She stayed silent, carefully opening the box with gentle hands, and upon the sight her smile widened. It was a beautiful accessory piece, one that very nearly stole her breath away.

The pirate was not known for crying. She was stronger than that. But every once in a while, she would be moved to tears, and as she carefully set the box aside and reached out to wrap her arms around Ganyu to pull her into a hug, it was clear that now was one of those times.

"Thank you, Ganyu. It's beautiful." Beidou whispered, and though never once did the tears fall, her eyes were glassy and she even sniffled once. However, she leaned back after affectionately patting the back of the Qiling's head, giving the woman a small, playful nudge. "You really didn't need to go out of your way for all of this. But maybe you can help me put it in my hair."
 
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Ganyu

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"Your birthdays, all your birthdays are important to me. Life is fleeting and as someone who has lived through whole generations of family, I know that better than maybe anyone else." Ganyu reminded Beidou of her own longevity, life, to exist - these were important things to the adeptus, precious, irreplaceable things. Just as Beidou was to her.
"Besides, you technically don't age here in Pandora. You're stuck on the age you arrived." The woman added on, appearing proud of herself for saying as much too. How could the pirate argue with her now?

Folding her gloved hands over her lap while Beidou opened her gift, the adeptus worried slightly in case her friend wouldn't like it. She felt she would but... there were always unforeseen outcomes. Beidou proved she needn't worry though, her face lighting up at the thoughtful gift before she was suddenly hugging the elder woman, making her blinking as her hands hovered in the air, not knowing what to do for a stunned moment.

Quickly wrapping her arms around Beidou she hugged the pirate back, smiling to herself as she heard her friend sniffle but once. Laughing quietly under her breath she rubbed her hand up and down Beidou's back, squeezing her once more before she too pulled back, staring for a moment before nodding once more.
"I thought you could use something new was all. I'm glad you like it." Bowing her head a bit, the Qiling brushed her fingers over her own hair, tucking some of the blueish strands back before she pushed herself up to her feet and moved around Beidou.

Kneeling down the adeptus carefully took out the pin from the woman's hair, swapping it for the gift she had given her but a moment before. Sweeping Beidou's pretty hair up carefully and as best she could, the adeptus slid the new pin into place, letting her hands lightly brush over the rest of the strands before she pulled away.
"There we are." Shuffling around on her knees, Ganyu came to sit beside her friend, making sure not to touch but close enough Beidou could likely feel the frosty temperature the elder always seemed to be.

"Please eat, drink too. I tried to get something close to your favourites and everything is warm, I know... you dislike the cold." Ganyu's smile faltered a little as she remembered how cold she could be herself. Trying to be as subtle as she could, the Qilin shuffled away a little more, sitting on the other side of the blanket before she brushed her hands off on her thighs. Distracting herself the adeptus began to pour some of the alcohol for Beidou, filling a glass before she held it out with a warm smile.

"Happy birthday again, Beidou."
 
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Beidou

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In all fairness, Ganyu wasn't wrong, and the pirate knew that. It was the reason why she often lived like it was her last day out on the seas, with her friends, with the people who had become her family. So frankly, Beidou couldn't argue with her over the fleetingness of life and the issues it posed for nearly immortal beings and humans alike. But she could, and very well did, make a face at the mention of age and how it didn't change here in Pandora.

"But you know, that just means you're the same. All that never aging stuff." It had already been true before, sure, but now there wasn't the implied separation of adepti and human. Perhaps, they could live as friends without that worry. Beidou figured she would have to remind the adeptus of this very conversation one day, regardless of their agreement.

Falling quiet, the woman let her eyes fall shut when she felt Ganyu's fingers at her hair. It earned a small smile while she sat and let the elder fix her hair, swapping one pin for another. It was a nice difference, and she reflected on it while fiddling with her old pin, passing it from one hand to another and turning the piece over in her fingers. The coolness of Ganyu's touch was welcome, even despite her own aversion to the cold.
"You know, it's like a fresh start. Life before, starting new here... A new pin from you, and it all comes full circle. So thank you for this, not just the new pin — but your friendship, too."

Beidou watched the way her friend seemed to clam up in the moment, only a brief narrowing of her eyes telling that she knew what was going on. She said nothing at first, just reached out to take the cup and take a large sip. Except, in the process, she herself scooted closer to Ganyu and she wrapped her free arm around the smaller woman's figure, drawing her close without a care in the world. After setting the drink aside, she started picking at some of the food, eager to eat but not without the Qilin close by. The pirate spoke not of Ganyu's initial pulling away.
"You really did outdo yourself, my friend. Everything looks so good."
 
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Ganyu

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"I didn't think aging was every really important for me. Being born, living, that's the most important thing, right? And remembering those who have departed from us, maybe finding a home..." The Qilin trailed off with that thought, chiding herself quietly for even bringing up something that seemed so far away for the both of them. Pandora was not their home, Liyue harbour was, the Crux and its crew, who was going to feed all the stray dogs if Ganyu wasn't there? Oh right, she was there, she was just... a carbon copy of herself living another life?

Ugh.

Shaking her head in obvious annoyance, the Qilin brushed the thoughts off before they could become anymore intrusive. They would not ruin their special day.
"Oh, you suddenly gave my present so much more meaning." Ganyu flushed a little as she laughed at herself, reaching her gloved hands up to cover her face a little, peering between her fingers at Beidou. Her hands lowered almost immediately when she was thanked for her friendship, reaching over to give the pirate a good nudge with her palm curled up into a loose fist.

"What are you thanking me for? I should be thanking you for letting me be around you- I know its a big ask of me, being an adeptus and all... and don't disagree either, you know what I mean." Fussing a little as Beidou moved herself closer, Ganyu felt her face heating up once more, immediately looking down at her hands on her lap while she was hugged.
"I'd do a lot more for you if I could." Ganyu added softly, mostly under her breath. Slowly she looked up and peered at Beidou from beneath her blue hair, smiling as a breeze washed over them, chilled but bringing the sweet scent of nearby flowers.

As for herself and sensing Beidou wished for her to join in, Ganyu poured herself a small cup of the liquor, sipping at it and feeling the alcohol burn through her system as it often did. She didn't drink usually but when she did, it always left her feeling flushed, could it be an excuse for how Beidou made her do the same? Possibly. Having brought along a collection of fresh flowers, the Qilin happily nibbled on the petals of one she had lifted to her mouth, her face lighting up when she tasted the dew that had lingered on the flower, up to now.

It was a perfect distraction for how she leaned into the pirate's side a bit more, ignoring the slight zaps and tingles that always seemed to come about whenever they touched one another.
 
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Beidou

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"You're right, living is far more important than aging." Beidou spoke, nodding a little at the clear difference between the words and the meaning behind them. However, as she turned to look at Ganyu, it was with a brow raised very pointedly. "But if that's the case, then why do I sense you've been keeping yourself from being alive, Miss Ganyu?"

The woman reached up, gently brushing her fingers along the pin now holding up her hair, feeling the metal under her touch, a soft sigh leaving her lips. Even if the adeptus spoke of only now having given the present more meaning, Beidou knew that for her, it meant the world the second it was in her hands. She knew that if she expressed that, though, it was cause the other woman to shy away, and no matter how cute she found it, in the moment she preferred their proximity.

As she spoke of spending their time together, even nudging against her shoulder, Beidou found herself settling into a nice rhythm. She dug into the food that was offered, gladly eating bites between chatting and drinking, though she never strayed from Ganyu's side while the Qilin dared to drink a little and nibble on the petals of her flowers. The pirate took some time to think on what to say, looking out along the scenery before her. Thankfully, the woman tucked under her arm was used to the cooler night air, and Beidou herself could never be bothered by a cold breeze. She was accustomed to the chilly air from the sea.

"I'm thanking you because you've always been a good friend to me, no matter what. You've stood up for me for years, you've been a voice of reason and a big comfort for me." As she spoke, she looked over to Ganyu with a small smile playing on her lips, bringing the cup to her lips to take a large gulp of her drink. The warmth that spread through her was welcome, as well as the little sparks that tickled her skin, but with Ganyu even more so. "I don't think I could thank you enough, really."
 
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Ganyu

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"What do you mean? I'm very much alive. Oh don't tell me you're talking about my work back in Liyue." Ganyu would have rolled her eyes right then if she wasn't so busy letting out a dainty scoff, even when in disagreement she seemed as gentle as a Qilin was expected to be.
"I enjoyed my work, I loved helping people, work was my hobby because you're meant to enjoy your hobbies and I loved my work- not all of us can set sail when we please and let our hearts follow wherever the wind may take us." She added, there was no jealousy in her tone, though perhaps a little bit clipped, she was just frustrated whenever someone told her she basically was as boring and as dry as the books she loved.

Not that Beidou was saying that, it was just too close and running along the same vein.


"As a Qilin, I'm fine living alone. As a human, I find myself happiest living for others and helping them. That's not a bad thing, at least I don't think so." If it was, she'd been living the last few millennia incorrectly.
"Besides, the people in my life make it an adventure all on its own! And you're here too, so our adventure continues. You promised me." Nudging the pirate's side gently, Ganyu let out a small giggle that she would later deduce was because of the alcohol, before laying her head against Beidou's shoulder comfortably.

She looked up at the night sky, looking at the stars she did not know because here, they were different to the ones back home. She'd once even heard someone say they were fake, Pandora was a shoe box of a world after all so it shouldn't have been too hard to believe. But the old soul in Ganyu wanted to think otherwise, perhaps she would ask Beidou to take her with her on the seas for a little, so they might chart these news stars together and learn if they had names. Wasn't that a lovely thought?

Lifting her head as her friend spoke, Ganyu gazed up at the woman, looking into her singularly visible eye before she returned a sweet smile.
"You've nothing to thank me for! Really, Beidou, or at the very least if you get to thank me then I get to thank you too. Isn't that fair?" The adeptus asked, lips forming the slightest of pouts as she did so. Another cool breeze had the Qilin sighing wistfully, her little nose twitching when she smelled the oncoming rain that was still some time away, and the sweet nectar of blossoms nearby.

"Maybe there's something you could do, equal to this thanks you speak of never having..." Trailing off, Ganyu looked from her friends eye to her lips, her face immediately flushing a new shade of red. It was definitely the alcohol.
"U-Um, you know, you could take me on the Crux and help me find out the name of Pandora's stars because I don't know them and I love stars and who better to find out with than someone who journeys around based on them and-" Cutting herself off, Ganyu made a small whining noise before hiding her face against Beidou's shoulder once more. Ask her to do the impossible, save a nation, fight among gods - Ganyu could do it. Expect her to handle something as human and simple as flirting?

You ended up with one malfunctioning adeptus.
 
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Beidou

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"Ganyu, I think you misunderstood me." Beidou spoke plainly, looking over to the woman with a brow raised, watching the way she seemed to grow more guarded over her passions. "I know you loved your work in Liyue, and I know you did it for the people. You're passionate, and I admire that about you. Me going off and sailing didn't only involve my hobbies. I had a duty to my people just as well as you did, you know that."

"But what I meant was — here. Are you living, here?" As she looked over the other, the pirate spoke softly, not necessarily chastising but interested in the answer nonetheless. As it was, she knew how hard the woman could be on herself. "You don't have to answer right now, or ever. Just something to think about."

Falling silent, she basked in the moment she got to share with the adeptus. An arm swung around the smaller woman's shoulders kept her close, Beidou enjoyed the coolness that battled her own warmth. It balanced her out, she reflected, a fond smile on her lips while she sipped from her cup. It was a pleasant night, the stars shining and twinkling up in the sky, the food and drink warm and good, and the company even better. An affectionate squeeze to Ganyu's shoulders, pulling her closer if possible, coupled her thoughts. A pleasant night indeed.

Ganyu's pout almost had the woman cooing, the knuckle of her index just barely brushing over the Qilin's cheek in an affectionate gesture while she watched the expression change. It was as she spoke, however, that Beidou's soft smile shifted, something more akin to a smirk playing at the corner of her lips, she drummed her fingers on Ganyu's shoulder before slowly drawing away, tipping her head while setting her cup down. She was so cute, the pirate just couldn't resist.

Her words were pretty, even as she stammered through them. Beidou knew she would take her to see the stars out on the sea, the second she asked she would be on the Crux and exploring the waters. The sea was her home, but right now... she was sitting next to the one person in this new world who meant something to her, who she could rely on and trust. She caught the way Ganyu's eyes flicked, perhaps that's why the tip of her tongue just barely poked out of the corner of her lips. Either way, it was only a moment or two before she made her decision. Beidou slipped her hand to Ganyu's chin, just barely tipping her head up, and with the softest and most gentle laughs, she brought their lips to meet.

It would be a lie to say she hadn't thought about kissing her friend before. She had always wondered if there would be actual sparks, not just the metaphorical ones, or if the woman's cool skin would melt under her touch. She wasn't prepared for how soft Ganyu's lips were, how nicely they fit together. There were sparks, little zaps to the skin, but it was a pleasant sensation, one that had Beidou smiling against her mouth. Rather than linger to long, she pulled back, pressed another quick peck to the woman's pretty pink tiers, and smiled that charming little half smirk.

"How's that for a start?"
 
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Ganyu

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"Oh... Well, yes. I think? I'm still not sure what to do with myself, honestly. But I'm trying to figure things out." Ganyu looked sheepish when she realised she'd been in the wrong, misunderstanding her friend's words. A soft apology left her lips before she wrung her gloved fingers together, avoiding the younger's gaze because she'd asked something of her she didn't really want to think about the answer for now.

Wasn't she living for them both right now? Enjoying their time together? Trying to quell the turmoil inside of her once again, Ganyu cleared her throat and looked out among the stars once again, trying stubbornly to see if she really couldn't recognise any of the patterns there. There were none but she wasn't really trying, not when she tensed as she was pulled against Beidou's side a little more, her eyes widening for a fraction of a moment.

She relaxed soon after, always did when it came to the pirate, but her heart? No, that wouldn't quell no matter what she did, the adeptus unused to how it beat so fast in her chest, like it was going to burst free any moment. Even if it was, the Qilin quietly thought there was probably, honestly, no better way to go than that. But not now, something much more pressing was brewing between the two of them, something unspoken.

And it came just as unexpected as she had imagined, not daring to pull away as her face was tilted up and she was kissed. Her first kiss. In her long life, Ganyu had only ever seen this before, never experienced it herself, and Beidou was not alone in imagining what it might have been like to share something like this between them both. Of course the Qilin felt the sparks, the little zaps that danced along her skin but she liked it, it made her feel alive in their moment together.

It took her some time and she almost missed it but Ganyu kissed her friend back, reaching one of her hands up to gently fan her fingertips across the younger's cheek. Beidou tasted of her alcohol but more than anything she was warm, warm enough the Qilin felt like melting but she hung on, a soft noise leaving her lips when the kiss seemed to be over too soon and she was left leaning in, as if to chase after for more. Catching herself soon after she looked up at Beidou in a daze, dreamy and pretty the Qilin was, the pirate pecking her lips just once more.

How was that for a start? Ganyu's answer came in the form of her sliding her hand around her friend's neck, gloved fingers curling over her nape before pulling Beidou in to meet her halfway in another kiss. Sure it was a great start, but the adeptus wanted a lot sliver more, to drag the moment out a few moments longer in case she never had this again. So she kissed Beidou until she couldn't anymore, until she was sure her cooler lips and mouth had begun to border on uncomfortable, and only then did she whisper.

"...Perfect."
 
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Beidou

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Beidou wasn't even sure that she had been living recently. Her days were spent doing the relatively same thing over and over: command her crew, worry about the people she had left back home and if they had found a way to survive just fine without her there, and then sigh in resignation because there was no way to tell and no way to help. Of course, it made her a hypocrite to say such things to the adeptus at her side, but she figured it was easier to do such things for other people than for herself. Was it a flaw, or a strength? She wasn't convinced one way or another, and she wasn't entirely sure that she'd ever find out.

Their lips meeting had all of those fears, all of those worries, gone in a second. There was no point worrying about the past, about the future, when the present was right there. She was with the woman who made her happiest, both in this world and the one that they had called home, and it was everything she needed. Why worry about anything else?

Ganyu was pretty, too pretty. Her touch was cold, sending a shiver down the pirate's spine while their lips moved against one another, a gentle kiss with passion and gentleness. There were goosebumps on her skin, and a smile on her lips. Beidou was happy. She always was around the Qilin, but the moment was something else entirely, something more than what they had shared before. And the way she looked at her — Beidou let out a little sound at the sight of the daze in Ganyu's eyes, something between a coo and one of her deep hums.

"Pretty— " Was all she could get out before their lips met in another kiss, one of Beidou's hearty chuckles muffled against the woman's mouth while she was pulled in. And she moved willingly, sinking into another kiss and letting her hands slide around Ganyu's waist. They kissed until their lungs couldn't take it anymore, lips tingling and head swimming with the passion of the moment, caught up in how it felt.

When they parted, the pirate smiled, tucking Ganyu's hair behind her ear with a soft hum leaving her lips.
"One, we should do that more often. Two, I'll gladly take you out to sea with me to see the stars. We'll map this world together, you and me."
 
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Ganyu

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Could an adepti live without breathing? Ganyu was very eager to find out just then as she kissed Beidou until her lungs ached for her to breathe, fire filling her up from head to toe as she had ignored it as long as she possibly could. Sighing when they parted for long than a moment she resorted into leaning into her friend's touch, looking up at her while she promised to map the stars with her in this new world and to just in general be by her side while they did it together.

That in itself was priceless for the Qilin.

"Sounds like a dream. I'll be holding you to it." Ganyu teased, the both of them knowing she was very much more the kind of person who if such a promise was forgotten, she would merely not say anything despite missing Beidou and assume her friend had simply become too busy for her. But this was Beidou, she wouldn't do that to her, she was too kind hearted and loving. At least she had been towards the Qilin as long as they had known one another.

Perhaps they would have kissed again and ended their evening the same way, if it were not for the sudden chilled breeze that threatened to blow them away. Holding up her hand to shield her face, Ganyu's long hair billowed in the strong wind while goosebumps rose along her skin, though not from the cold - she loved that crisp feeling, instead it was from the foreboding arrival of an unwanted presence.

Rising to her feet in an instant, Ganyu could not see anything out of the ordinary to the blind eye but she could feel it, like they were being watched. Summoning her bow she pulled back the string and an arrow appeared as if by magic, the woman looking down the length of it before she let it fly through the air. It lodged itself in the ground a few feet away from her before it exploded into a blast of cryo from her vision, showing ice over the surrounding area and outlining a most unwelcome figure.

Ganyu knew this outline, the hooded head, the tailcoat and the surrounding blades alight with fire - a fatui agent. So they were even here? Jumping back in an agile manner, Ganyu stood beside Beidou while she lifted her bow again, pulling back another arrow and aiming it at their attacker as he charged, the adeptus keeping her distance while she knew the pirate was more favourable for up close and personal encounters.

It just took an unspeakable amount of trust for them to work together and for Beidou to trust Ganyu wouldn't shoot her in the midst of the scuffle.
 
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Beidou

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Perhaps dreams really do come true.

Beidou had dreams once. She had goals, of becoming the strongest pirate of the seas, of making a name for herself to be feared and respected by all. Everything changed when she settled in Liyue, when she saw the people who needed her help. Over time, after all of the kids had taken a liking to playing pirate on the docks and climbing around ships that weren't to set sail, even the child who seemed to be a stowaway plenty of times on her own ship, she realized that maybe it wasn't all that bad to be liked. Children, after all, were the most pure of heart, and if the children of Liyue grew to like her, maybe there was hope.

Her goals changed because she wanted less for herself and more for those she encountered. It was more satisfying, she found, seeing the smiles of those she cared for than seeing her own reflection in the mirror. When other people looked at her, she felt proud. When she looked at herself, all she saw were her failures, every single time she had fallen short.

But her goals, her dreams, everything she wanted had to change again. She wouldn't be able to help the people of Liyue, at least not this version of her. Instead, maybe it was time to do something for herself for once. Perhaps that's why she held so tightly to the Qilin, treasured their friendship, and now adored the taste of her on her lips.

The pirate was pulled from her thoughts, however, when she felt the chilly breeze wash over the two of them. She saw the way Ganyu's attention shifted, and she knew it was time to act. She was used to the cold, she was used to harsh winds, but this was a different feeling, one she knew well, and she didn't like it one bit.

"Stay sharp." She murmured to Ganyu as she stood as if the woman wouldn't be, immediately taking a fighting stance. Her weapon appeared in her hands in the blink of an eye, summoned from her vision with sparks flying from the blade. She waited, watched, until both of them knew just what they were up against. And when the enemy came into view, the pirate couldn't help but roll her eyes. "These guys? Even here? Come on, you've gotta give me a break."

It didn't take long for Beidou to spring into action. Her sword may have weighed a hefty amount, but she ran with and swung it as if it was simply a bag of feathers. The fatui agent was quick, but Beidou was quicker. The first few swings knocked the man off his feet, and Beidou moved quickly, making sure not to linger so Ganyu could have open spots to shoot her arrows. They trusted each other, that much evident. They made a perfect team.

With an icy shot chilling the air immediately around them, Beidou had goosebumps rising on her skin, but she kept up enough that she didn't really feel the cold. She only paused long enough to call upon the electricity in the air, infusing her blade with a crackling purple fizz, and three large swings of the sword had the agent flying through the air. One of his fiery blades managed to catch her skin, tearing her clothes and just barely scraping her skin, leaving the area hot. She'd be fine, but the pirate was more concerned with the enemy that was slowly climbing back to his feet. Beidou looked to Ganyu, glad to see the woman geared up for another shot, and not for the first time she paused to admire her stance, the poise and grace in every movement the Qilin made.
 
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Ganyu

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Ganyu kept her bow up and her arrow notched as she watched with keen eyes, seeing her friend moving around before she summoned her gift of electro and charged it into the large claymore. The Qilin could feel it on her skin, the way it ran down her spine and made goosebumps rise along her skin, it wasn't unlike the spark she felt when she and the pirate had kissed before being so rudely interrupted. Ganyu disliked violence in general, it went against her nature by law but this was not her first fight, nor would it be her last.

Not realising she was being watched, the adeptus let fly her arrow, watching as it squealed through the air and lodged itself in the man's torso. It was but a moment before it exploded, the charged arrow releasing an unforgiving icy blast that had the man grunting, collapsing to one knee before he seemed to just... vanish.

Spinning her bow between her fingers, the woman swayed it to her side and it disappeared, hovering behind her back in case she needed it again before it vanished into a rain of golden sparkles. She jogged over to Beidou in the meantime, reaching her hands out and gently laying them on the younger woman's arms while she looked up at her, searching her friend's face for any signs of pain just in case.
"Are you okay? I'm sorry the ice got so close to you." The Qilin mumbled, reaching her hands up to cup Beidou's face in her hands.

If it wasn't obvious before, it was now - Beidou meant more than words could ever say to Ganyu.

"I didn't realise they'd be here too." The woman murmured, when she was sure her friend was fine she let go, crossing one of her arms around her waist while her other hand tapped at her chin in thought. Why were they here? And what did they want with them? Meandering over to the spot where the Fatui had disappeared, Ganyu stood there, lost in deep thought as she often did, mumbling under her breath to herself about possibilities. Nothing had changed, not really, for even now Ganyu was worrying about the people of Cascade Bay instead of Liyue Harbour.
 
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Beidou

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Beidou watched as the Fatui agent collapsed and faded from sight, letting out a heavy breath of relief. Frost was on her breath, a puff of it leaving her mouth from the icy chill in the air, but she didn't mind. It was a welcome sensation, frankly, a reminder of the life that she treasured and fought to protect. She took her job seriously, of course, perhaps that's why she was so adamant about fighting for what was right.

With a single-handed swing of her weapon which clearly showed off her strength whether she meant to or not, the pirate shoved the tip of the blade into the ground with a soft thump, pleased as it disappeared the moment she released the hilt. How dare her birthday be interrupted, by a man of all things?

"Please, Miss Ganyu--" The woman couldn't help the little laugh that left her lips, shaking her head as she reached up to gently smooth Ganyu's hair over her head, tsking softly. "Don't worry so much about me. I'm in one piece, just a little scrape that really just warmed me up more than anything. See?"

Showing off the spot, Beidou smiled, clearly uninjured and making light of it. She was fine, and the Qilin's reaction to the moment simply left her endeared, to say the least.

Humming softly in response to Ganyu's words, the lady took her friend by the hand, gently urging her to walk with her back to their shared spot. Both of them were thrown back to their previous roles, protectors of a land they called home, and really the only difference was just who they were protecting and what they called home. It was no different now, they were still the same people, but perhaps now there was a sense of purpose.

"There's plenty to worry about, but if I'm not mistaken, there's not much we can do about it right now. We have no information, and no real way of knowing if there's more than just that single agent we saw." Rational as always, Beidou placed a fist on her hip and stood before Ganyu, lifting her hand to just barely brush her finger under the woman's chin. "And if I remember correctly, I was celebrating my birthday with a beautiful lady."

She would not let her day be ruined, especially not if it was a day she was spending with someone so important to her.
 
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Ganyu

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Despite the reassurances Ganyu frowned as she heard mention of a scrape and was shown the spot, her fingertips resting lightly around it before she sighed and looked up at her friend once more. She allowed for herself to be led back to where they had been enjoying their time together, a small smile tugging at the corners of her lips as she recalled what they had been doing before having been so rudely interrupted.

Making a small noise of surprise when she realised Beidou was talking about the agent they'd met just now, Ganyu felt like a teen who had been caught daydreaming when she should have been focusing on something much more serious.
"Well... You make very good points. Hard to argue with to say the least..." The adeptus trailed off as she oh so naturally leaned into the pirate's touch, her own hands lifting to curl delicately over Beidou's, bringing the younger's palm to her cool cheek.

Except it wasn't that cool, or chilled like it often would be for the Cryo imbued woman. Instead it was warmed and graced with a delicate pink thanks to Beidou's words and affections, though she supposed some might have claimed it was merely from the exertion of dealing with their interruption just then. But Ganyu knew it was from her friend, it gave her enough courage to curl her fingers lightly over the fur collar the younger wore, tugging her down enough that she could lean up and press a soft kiss to the pirate's lips.

"What a lucky lady she must be, Miss Beidou." Ganyu murmured into the kiss, smiling to herself still as she didn't use the title as she might formally have done, but instead it was her way of being playful and recalling on how much time the two had spent together so far. Seemingly, they would happily continue to do so together for as long as they were allowed.
 
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Beidou

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"I have been told that I have a way with words." Beidou purred as she stayed close, lingering in the comfort that was the other woman's presence. In all the years that they had known each other, they had obviously been close, but nothing like this. And yet, the pirate was pleased with how things were playing out, and while many would fear that a friendship would be lost, she only thought of theirs to be strengthened by their bond.

After all, it wasn't every day that people were tossed from their own world and homeland to somewhere entirely new without much warning.

As Ganyu pulled her close by the collar, the woman obliged and leaned in, their lips meeting in another, gentle kiss, a soft breeze rustling the air around them as she smiled against the Qilin's lips.
"You know, perhaps they both are, to be sharing such a moment together. And now..." The pirate paused, pulling back just enough to brush her fingers through Ganyu's hair, her eyes shining happily before she placed a gentle peck to the woman's nose, affectionate in nature. "It doesn't have to end."
 
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Ganyu

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"I was hoping it wouldn't end after tonight. As happy as I have been to be able to spend your birthday with you like this... It wouldn't sit right with me if it just ended and we returned to whatever he consider normal." Ganyu tried her best to explain, gloved fingers fiddling over the collar fur her friend war, sinking her fingertips into the plush fabric with a slight smile still present on her visage. The adeptus wanted to stay with her pirate for a long time, the passing of which would not harm Beidou here in this strange world and perhaps that was one of the things that was meant to make up for them both being snatched from their home.

Nuzzling Beidou's nose back, the Qilin couldn't help but let out a small giggle, she wasn't used to such affectionate and cute signs of love but it didn't mean she couldn't get used to it. Especially if it was Miss Beidou doing it. Releasing the collar she had been holding onto, Ganyu slipped her hands around the younger woman's nape instead, brushing her fingertips over her skin and once more feeling the tingle and electric feel that came whenever the two made contact with one another.

"Does this mean we... we are tied to one another? I am not familiar with the customs most people would use, I mean I know what they are since I've witnessed generations do it, but me? I've never had a reason or a rhyme to apply it to myself." Casting her gaze down for a moment, the Qilin mustered her courage - fighting gods and monsters seemed almost easier, before she quietly asked Beidou.

"...May we?"
 
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