if you tasted poison you could've (spit me out at the first chance) - vitale - 原神 (2023)

Sometimes, Cyno forgets that being a seasoned warrior doesn't preclude him from getting hurt.

Cyno has endured his fair share of injuries in his lifetime, the multitude of scars littering his body a testament to it. It's rarely anything that incapacitates him or requires urgent care, though; Tighnari would beg to differ about that last point, but Cyno knows his limits. He knows when a gash is merely a scrap and when he should seek immediate assistance before he bleeds out on the desert sand.

He's pretty sure he just sprained his fucking ankle.

That realization doesn't stop Cyno from waving off Candace's concerns, however. “I'm fine.”

He tries to stand up and regrets it when a sharp jolt of pain tears through his right ankle, almost making him cry out.

"Can you walk?" Dehya asks from behind Candace.

“Yes,” Cyno says without thinking. The way his ankle almost gives out when he accidentally puts too much weight on his foot begs to differ. He resists the urge to reach down and prod at it.

“Did you sprain it? That's bad. We're in the middle of nowhere.”

"I said I was fine," Cyno mutters through gritted teeth.

"What's going on?" A familiar voice inquires.

Cyno looks up to see the Traveler approaching them, followed by their flying fairy, and, infuriatingly enough, Al-Haitham, his face as blank and empty as ever. Cyno doesn't scoff or roll his eyes at the sight of him. He's a mature adult, and the General Mahamatra, and letting the Scribe under his skin more than he already has—never mind whether Al-Haitham is doing it on purpose or if everything he does just pisses Cyno off—would simply be unbecoming.

“Cyno sprained his ankle. Hopefully he didn’t break it,” Dehya says, her arms crossed. For some reason, her eyes flicker between him and Al-Haitham. Al-Haitham barely seems to register what she said, but the Traveler immediately runs over to Cyno and starts fussing over him. Their cold hands make contact with the warm skin of his ankle and Cyno almost flinches.

“How bad is it? When did it happen? We need to get you some ice... If only we had a Cryo user with us…”

“I know a healer in the village who won't ask too many questions,” Dehya pipes up.

“He can't walk,” Candace says, brows furrowed. “I doubt he can walk back to the village.”

“He has to get back one way or another.”

“We can get him back after the mission.”

“Sprained ankles can get pretty bad if not taken care of immediately,” the Traveler points out.

“I'll carry him.”

It takes Cyno a second to realize who the new voice belongs to.

Everyone turns to Al-Haitham like he's just grown a couple of horns. Even Cyno can’t help the plain surprise on his face, and he quickly hides it behind a layer of irritation. Is Al-Haitham making fun of him now?

“Uh, well, I guess that's a solution,” Dehya says after a few moments of stunned silence. Cyno doesn't miss the gleeful glint in her eyes as she looks between Cyno and Al-Haitham again before sharing a knowing look with Candace. Cyno wants to strangle everyone in his general vicinity.

“Are you sure about this?” Candace asks.

Al-Haitham makes a vague noise of—acknowledgment? Approval? Disinterest? Cyno can't tell. It doesn't matter, because whatever Al-Haitham is plotting isn't happening anyway.

“It's settled, then,” the Traveler’s fairy pipes up before Cyno can get a word in and no, what the hell, it isn't fucking settled at all.

“He's not serious,” Cyno says, feeling vaguely hysterical. He doesn't make for a very imposing image right now from where he's sprawled on the desert sand and everyone has to look down at him, but Cyno figures they—or at least Al-Haitham—have to look down at him anyway. “He's not carrying me.”

Everyone exchanges dubious glances, except Al-Haitham, who now has his impassive gaze pinned on Cyno. Cyno wants to hold his stare, not one to lose a staring contest against Al-Haitham of all people, but he’s feeling strangely raw and vulnerable right now, so he settles on glaring at Paimon instead.

“What's the problem?” The Traveler asks mildly. “It's not like we have a lot of options.”

The problem?

The problem is that Cyno would sooner ask them to leave him in the middle of the desert like a sitting duck than be carried by Al-Haitham.

Has everyone lost their damn minds?

“Stop being a brat,” Al-Haitham’s flat, holier-than-thou baritone snaps. And, well. Trust Al-Haitham to get Cyno’s temper to flare up with just a handful of words.

(Video) Anything You Can Fit In The Circle I’ll Pay For

“Why do you care?” Cyno snaps back. He immediately regrets it, because it's definitely unbecoming of the General Mahamatra to act like a petulant child and go back and forth with the Academiya’s Scribe, but Cyno simply doesn’t care right now.

Al-Haitham lifts an unimpressed eyebrow but doesn't answer Cyno’s question.

It does nothing to quell Cyno’s unwarranted rage.

“It's settled,” Candace says firmly, making Cyno jolt. Cyno thought she would at least be on his side. “Al-Haitham, Cyno, please get back to the village. And if you could try not to kill each other on your way, that would be extremely appreciated.”

“I don't think they can make any promises,” Dehya says in a faux-whisper, making the Traveler snort. Cyno glares at everyone, opens his mouth to argue, and then sighs in defeat.

Cyno knows a losing battle when he sees one.

Cyno manages to convince everyone to leave before he and Al-Haitham get going. If he's going to be carried bridal style—no, no way, that would be highly impractical, that's just Cyno’s imagination running wild—if he's going to get carried by Al-Haitham at all, he would much rather nobody else see it. Cyno already knows he's never going to live this down even with no witnesses.

To his credit, Al-Haitham doesn't show any sign of impatience as Cyno limps over to grab his polearm. He does click his tongue in annoyance when Cyno makes to walk past him, and Cyno’s current predicament is the only thing keeping him from tackling Al-Haitham when he grabs his wrist, his palm impossibly cold against Cyno’s warm skin.

“Do not touch me,” Cyno growls, but to his great chagrin, it comes out sounding more like a pained puppy than the intimidating leader of the Matras.

“Get on my back.”

“Let go of me.”

Al-Haitham’s eyes flash at him.

Cyno almost thinks Al-Haitham is going to lose patience and throw him over his shoulder, and then Cyno would actually have to kill him and get rid of the body, but Al-Haitham merely sighs like the weight of the entire world is on his shoulders, and then he turns around and crouches down in front of Cyno.

Cyno just stares blankly at his back.


Al-Haitham takes a strained breath, like this whole situation is physically paining him and he’d rather be anywhere else in Teyvat. “Get on my back.”

“No,” Cyno says again, stubborn and nonsensical.

“How are you planning to walk back to the village, genius?” Al-Haitham snaps. Cyno can hear the eyeroll in his voice.

“I can do it,” Cyno grumbles in one last ditch attempt to preserve his dignity. He can't, and they both know that he can't, but surprisingly, instead of arguing with him or laughing at him, Al-Haitham merely says:

“Humor me.”

And, well. It’s not like Cyno really has any choice.

It’s for that reason, and that reason alone, that Cyno wraps his arms around Al-Haitham’s neck and allows Al-Haitham to put his arms under his legs. A bit hysterically, Cyno tells himself that this is better than getting carried bridal style.

Cyno tries very hard to ignore the fact that they are touching everywhere and that Cyno is wearing very little.

The walk back is quiet, uncharacteristically so. Cyno and Al-Haitham would usually be bickering, but Al-Haitham is eerily silent today. Not that he's usually loud, but he doesn't try to poke at Cyno—whether it’s because Cyno is injured or not remains a mystery—and so Cyno leaves him alone.

“Is it that bad?” Al-Haitham eventually asks with practiced indifference. They're about halfway to the village, and Cyno is tired enough that he would have dozed off if it was possible for him to let his guard down in the presence of Al-Haitham, let alone while being held—carried—by him.


Al-Haitham scoffs.

“It won’t kill you to admit that you’re hurt, you know.”

“To you, it just might.”

Silence. “What is that supposed to mean?”

Cyno hopes Al-Haitham can hear the eyeroll in his voice. “What do you think it means?”

“I don't know if your memories fail you, but only one of us has tried to kill the other thus far.”

(Video) Xiaozhang rushed to the sea and picked up pearl oysters, which were full of pearls and expensive


“Is that all you have to say?”

“I don't feel like talking to you.”

“How very grateful,” Al-Haitham says wryly. He doesn't seem to mind Cyno’s silence, though. Cyno figures he’s not too eager to talk to Cyno either.

Once at the village, Cyno expects Al-Haitham to get him to the healer Dehya was talking about. That’s his first mistake; the inn they stop in is definitely not where that healer dwells. The owner of the inn greets Al-Haitham affably before she notices Cyno and her expression shifts into genuine concern.

Al-Haitham curtly brushes her off. Cyno wants to cuff him in the back of the head.

After convincing the inn owner that yes, Cyno is fine, and to give Al-Haitham his room keys, Al-Haitham makes his way across his room and dumps Cyno on the bed marginally gentler than Cyno was tabling on.

“Why did you bring me here?” Cyno immediately asks while sitting up. “You were supposed to take me to a healer.”

“I don’t know the healer Dehya was talking about.”

“You could have asked.”

Al-Haitham gives him an exasperated look. “Just let me take a look at it.”

Cyno crosses his arms defensively. “You’re not a healer.”

Al-Haitham tries to glare him into submission. Of course, it doesn’t work.

Al-Haitham throws his hands in the air. Cyno doesn’t think he’s ever seen him this agitated.

“Fuck, Cyno—Can you not make things difficult for me once? I’ll take you to him if it’s broken, but you don’t need a healer if it’s just a sprain.”

And, well. It’s not that Cyno feels bad about this sudden outburst, per se, it’s just that he’s too tired to argue.


Cyno shivers as Al-Haitham’s cold fingers examine his ankle, his expression bland as ever. His hands are careful but firm; Cyno clenches his teeth and focuses on his face. He gets the random urge to smooth out the slight frown between Al-Haitham eyebrows. Cyno licks his lips and clasps his hands to keep from doing something dumb.

“It’s not broken,” Al-Haitham comments after a minute, which they both already knew. Cyno makes a noncommittal sound. “Wait here,” Al-Haitham orders, and walks back out of the room.

He comes back mere minutes later with an ice pack and a glass of water. Cyno takes the glass from him without a word.

“I didn’t poison it,” Al-Haitham deadpans when Cyno hesitates. Cyno allows himself a snort.

Cyno downs the water and only spares five seconds to mull over how weirdly considerate Al-Haitham is being before taking the ice pack from him and making himself comfortable on the bed.

“Better?” Al-Haitham asks noncommittally.

There is nowhere else to sit in the small room, so Al-Haitham slowly sits down on the edge of the bed, as if not to jostle Cyno’s ankle. He lifts a hand towards Cyno in an aborted movement, then seems to think better of it and lets it drop next to Cyno’s leg.

Cyno wonders what he was going to do. He sort of wishes he had gone through with whatever he had in mind.


“So talkative.”

“Says you,” Cyno says with an eyeroll. He's glad Al-Haitham can see it this time.

Instead of answering, Al-Haitham just stares at him. It’s one of his intense stares, the kind Cyno suspects he does on purpose to make people uncomfortable, but it doesn't work on Cyno. Hasn't in a long time.

Cyno closes his eyes and makes himself think about all the things he actually needs to worry about. If his ankle doesn’t get better soon, he’ll probably be bedridden for the next few days. That is so much time Cyno can't afford to lose. At least Candace already knows he got hurt, so she won't expect him to help with the mission. Still, Cyno can't help but feel bad.

“Wait here,” Al-Haitham grunts out again. He shoots Cyno one last look before leaving the room, and Cyno idly wonders if he’s afraid Cyno is going to disappear by the time he comes back.

The ice pack is soaking through the wash cloth and onto Cyno’s—Al-Haitham’s—sheets and there’s a bruise slowly forming on Cyno’s ankle, but it feels blissfully numb.

(Video) Dark Near Death Experience (NDE) Showed Me Mankind's Future with Ken Leth | NLS Podcast

This time, Al-Haitham comes back with a small container that he throws quietly at Cyno before leaning against the door. Inside is a blue lotion that looks vaguely familiar to Cyno; Kalpalata Lotus gives a similar-looking lotion when brewed for its healing properties, if Cyno remembers correctly. Where Al-Haitham has managed to find Kalpalata Lotus lotion in the middle of the desert is beyond Cyno.

Cyno should really say thank you.

The words get stuck in his throat, though, and Al-Haitham doesn’t seem to expect Cyno to say anything because he just closes his eyes and tilts his head against the door.

Cyno’s taken to studying his face when he knows he isn’t looking.

The sunset filtering through the window casts golden shadows across his face and his sharp features look somewhat softer in the dull light. He’s beautiful, Cyno finds himself thinking, a thought he only allows himself when he’s this miserable and it’s dark enough outside that he can pretend the thoughts will evaporate with the morning light.

Cyno hates himself a little for it.

Al-Haitham, hopefully oblivious to Cyno’s inner turmoil, opens his eyes and sits back down on the bed. From the corner of his eye, Cyno can see him open his mouth and close it again. It grates on Cyno’s already frayed nerves.

“What?” Cyno asks pointedly.

“What?” Al-Haitham echoes.

“Spit it out, Al-Haitham,” Cyno says, raising an eyebrow at him.

“I don't know what you're talking about.”

Cyno bites back a curse. He doesn't want to be a dick after Al-Haitham has been so uncharacteristically nice to him, but it’s like Al-Haitham just brings out that side of him.

It’s very unfortunate.

“Just. You can say whatever you want to say. I won't get mad.”

It’s Al-Haitham’s turn to raise an eyebrow at him. “Don't make promises you can't keep, General Mahamatra.”

“What is that supposed to mean?”

“You get mad at everything I say.”

Cyno opens his mouth to argue, but, well... Al-Haitham isn't entirely wrong.

Doesn't mean Cyno has to admit it.

“I can tell you have something to say. Whatever it is, just say it.”

“Actually, I have a question.”

Cyno looks at him warily. “Okay.”

Al-Haitham scoffs. “See, I just said I had a question and you're already reacting like this.”

“Like what?”

“Thinking the worst of me.”

That renders Cyno speechless. “Thinking the worst of you? You think the worst of me.”

Al-Haitham runs a hand through his hair, visibly frustrated. Cyno tries and fails not to stare at his silver locks. Al-Haitham seems too agitated to notice.

“I only think the worst of you because you always—Never mind. Might as well ask my question. Why do you hate me so much?”

Why do you hate me so much?

Cyno gapes at him.

Al-Haitham looks back, unperturbed, but there's the tiniest flicker of something in his gaze, something almost vulnerable.

Cyno can't process his question, let alone come up with an answer.

(Video) Southern Baptist Faith Changed by NDE with Dr. Mary Helen Hensley | NLS Podcast

“I—” Cyno starts. Trails off. Al-Haitham crosses his arms across his chest and looks away. The glimpse of vulnerability in his eyes is gone. That makes Cyno’s chest tighten for a reason he can't pinpoint.

“Why do you hate me?” Cyno asks helplessly. He doesn't know what Al-Haitham is playing at, but two can play that game.

Al-Haitham looks at him like Cyno is terminally stupid. “Seriously, Cyno?”

Cyno glares at him stubbornly.

Al-Haitham sighs in resignation. It usually comes off as patronizing when he does it, but now it just sounds tired.

“I don’t hate you.”

Cyno just keeps looking at him, not comprehending. Al-Haitham lets out a short laugh.

“I never hated you. This—rivalry? Bad blood? You just made it up. It was always one-sided. It was always just you.”

When Cyno just stares at him, uncomprehending, Al-Haitham takes five steps forward until he's crowding Cyno against the bed frame.

“It was always just you,” Al-Haitham whispers, and only then does Cyno realize how close—

“But I guess I shouldn't be surprised,” Al-Haitham carries on, already backing away. Cyno wants to…. What does Cyno want? “It’s not like I’m very…. Likable. Or trustworthy. And you value that above all else.”


“It’s not like I’m not used to people disliking me, either. And I don't care. But your hatred for me seems so excessive—”


“Considering I’ve never done anything to you, that I remember. Not directly. Not on purpose—”

“Haitham, shut up,” Cyno says.

And then Cyno kisses him.

Kissing Al-Haitham feels every bit and not at all like Cyno would have thought it would.

Not that Cyno thought about it a lot.

The kiss is close-mouthed and a little awkward at first; both because of their positions and because neither of them is sure what is happening at all. All Cyno knows is that Al-Haitham’s mouth is warm against his, a stark contrast to the rest of his body. Or maybe it’s just the warmth of Cyno’s own mouth transferring to his. Cyno can't tell where he ends and where Al-Haitham starts anymore.

And then Al-Haitham kisses him like he means it.

This kiss is electric and hot, Al-Haitham’s hand coming up to roughly cup Cyno’s face. For a moment, Cyno forgets who they are and where they are. They’re not the General Mahamatra and the Akademiya’s Scribe in a hotel room; they’re just Cyno and Al-Haitham and two breaths mingling in the space between two bodies.

When they break apart, Al-Haitham looks at Cyno like he’s seeing him for the first time, or maybe like he’s questioning whether it’s really Cyno he’s looking at. Cyno has never seen him look so dazed in his life.

It takes everything in Cyno not to jump him a second time.

“What was that for?” Al-Haitham breathes out. He looks disheveled, which is a rare sight, and Cyno feels a pang of pride for being the reason behind it.

“To shut you up,” Cyno says, releasing a shaky breath.

Al-Haitham looks at him in confusion. His expression is… It’s cute, Cyno thinks, and immediately slaps himself internally for thinking it. Cyno is a damn fool.

“I don't know. I just wanted to do it.” He clears his throat painfully, feeling uncharacteristically self-conscious. “It didn't seem like you hated it.”

Al-Haitham is silent for a minute, and it feels like the end of the world. And then he doesn't smile exactly, but his lips turn up a tiny bit at the corner, and he says “No, I didn’t,” and Cyno feels like a teenager all over again.

“Want to do it again?” Cyno asks in a newfound surge of boldness. He knows it's stupid, because this is Al-Haitham, and this can only end up in flames, but he can't bring himself to regret it.

Al-Haitham’s not-a-smile grows a little wider. “Anything you want, General.”

Maybe injuring yourself and getting looked after by your nemesis isn't so bad after all.

(Video) Two NDEs: I Died at 8 Yrs Old & Met the Eternal Saint Babaji w/ Rev. Bill McDonald | NLS Podcast


1. Life in Christ, Vol 2 | Charles H. Spurgeon | Christian Audiobook
(Aneko Press)
2. NDE: Died 3 Times & Saw My 12ft Guardian Angel with Michelle Clare | NLS Podcast
(Next Level Soul Podcast)
3. Detroit Lions First Look At Free Agency | Detroit Lions Podcast
(Detroit Lions Podcast)
4. Breaching the Emberhold | Critical Role: VOX MACHINA | Episode 6
(Geek & Sundry)
5. The Open Road | Critical Role: THE MIGHTY NEIN | Episode 5
(Geek & Sundry)
6. Two Witnesses of Revelation Explained. This Will Rock Your World. Ophir, Sheba, Tarshish
(The God Culture)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated: 28/09/2023

Views: 5767

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (72 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.