Coffee.

That had been a bit of a life-saver for Elle lately. Whilst the young Therian mainly worked from home; when it came to her job as a book editor;she kept herself as busy as possible. Sometimes staying up late; working or enjoying the occasional evening out. But the hot caffeinated beverage kept her going, late at night when she needed to focus. Helped warm her up and wake her up in the early mornings, when she couldn’t get back to sleep. Like a lot of people, the Therian supposed it was a must have, in her day. In all fairness, like a few things she liked; it probably wasn’t the most healthy choice. But Elle always made up for it somehow, whether it was the amount of exercise or occasional diets. She knew how to keep herself in good shape.

With the winter fast approaching; Elle-Mae often found herself waking up to a very white window in the morning. Snow. Something she loved. It always reminded her off the holidays that were around the corner. White Christmas.

Like most mornings; Elle had a pretty busy one. It had been spent doing some Christmas shopping and running a few errands. Her cheeks and the tip of her nose looked bit red in color; from the crispy morning air. Despite being wrapped up warm. Elle’s nose was freezing. It was a windy and snowy morning. Her boots making crunching sounds, against the crispy snow. A lot of residents of Evermore City, were out and about attending to their seasonal shopping, last minute decoration finding and shopping for presents.

Heading into the nearest coffee-shop. Elle-Mae pushed upon the doors. Entering the warm building. Despite being a born Therian; she wasn’t entirely immune to the cold weather. It seemed like few others had the same idea; wanting to find shelter in the warmth of the coffee shop. Rubbing her gloved hands over her cold cheeks, to help warm them up slightly. Her eyes scanning the menu behind the counter; mentally trying to decide what she wanted to order. The Christmas editions for the hot drinks and snacks alike; all looked too tempting. Humming to herself slightly, as she waited in line.

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It wasn’t often that Chansol stepped out of the territory and this time, he needed to get out of the house. He had quite literally stayed up all night to finish a project that his manager called him about. Immediately, he started working on it and time managed to slip away from him. Running a hand over his face, he was walking through the human territory towards the local cafe he often went to that wasn’t starbucks. He didn’t particularly like starbucks. So he knew a particular good one to go to, the snow was definitely here, his boots were crunching beneath him as he took each step. His thick warm jacket was snuggled around him as he kept his hands in his pockets, his pace quickening towards the cafe as it came into view.

People were about for the Christmas season and he had no intentions of shopping for the festive season. His parents were in Seoul and sending mail was too expensive at this time of year, however, he already sent them something earlier on in the year. They weren’t too bothered by the fact that he was still the States, so he would have thought they would have accepted it by now. Even if he misses all his favourite dishes over there and his mother's cooking. As he approached the cafe, he stepped inside and saw a line towards the door, he didn’t mind waiting even if he felt like he was a zombie at the moment. He slipped his phone from his pocket as he waited in the line, looking through the notifications that were popping up from his phone and texting his manager that he was almost finished with the project.

Without realizing someone dismissed the line, his body moved a bit too far forward before he bumped into someone, his phone slipped from his hand as his eyes widened when an older woman was knocked over. ‘’오 젠장! 내가 왜 그런 멍청한 짓이야?!’’ (‘’Oh shit! Why am I such a clutz?!’’) He almost yelled in Korean before he saw onlookers and he quickly bent over to help the lady up, ‘’I’m so sorry, ma’am! I didn’t realize that someone had moved and I managed to knock you over.’’ He quickly murmured a quick apology as he bowed his head slightly as his eyes flickered over the older woman. ‘’Are you okay? You aren’t bleeding aren’t you?’’ He asked, concern filling his eyes. 

Elle was a little distracted, by the menu; that she didn’t really take notice of the younger male that was behind her. Suddenly, she felt someone bump her. Whilst she was usually stable. This time, the red haired Therian lost her balance. Falling to the ground with a ‘oooft’. Using her hands to stop herself from her face colliding with the cold, coffee place floor. Her right hip had uncomfortably hit the side of one of the table legs; making her wince slightly.

As she tried to scramble up; Elle heard someone explain out in Korean. Her brows scrunching up in confusion. Despite her travelling; Elle-Mae had never been in Korea; so the language was foreign to her. As a young male, began to helping her up. It seemed like he was the one, that had accidentally knocked her down to the ground. Elle gripped onto one of his arms for support. Giving him a soft smile. “Don’t worry. It happens...I guess, I was a little distracted myself.” She retorted softly, as she managed to get to her feet again. Taking some fault for the incident herself. If she had been paying more attention; she probably would have moved out of the way, and he wouldn’t have knocked her over.

Yep, her hip would have a bruise. Elle slightly rubbed at her side. “No, no bleeding...my hip will have a bruise though.” But it wasn’t her first injury. Granted. Not many people usually knocked her over, in situations like this. “Don’t worry. I’ve had worse.” she assured him, when she saw his concerned expression. After all, she did grow up with two brothers and had taken karate classes; so yes. Other injuries had occurred; much more painful than her hip right now. Feeling bit more balanced on her feet; she just gave him a gentle smile. At least,he was kind enough to help her up. Some people would have been rude, and overlooked her.

“Are you new in the city?” Elle-Mae asked him curious. He wasn’t someone, she had recognised seeing in the city before. And it was the first time; she had seen him in this coffee place. This spot, was one of her favorite coffee places to go to. So, internally she couldn’t help but feel a bit curious about the young man. “I am Elle-Mae, but everyone calls me Elle.” She introduced herself to him, holding out her hand to shake his.

The young kitsune cursed himself that he was such a clutz at times, unsure of where the trait actually came from. The young male panicked inside slightly as he heard the small ‘ooft’ sound as he yelled out in Korean, he normally didn’t speak Korean unless others were Korean as he found it rather uncomfortable of using his native tongue. He realized that onlookers were around and he felt his face heat up slightly due to that fact he used Korean language, he was proud of where he came from but most of the time, English speakers, had no idea what they were talking about. He grunted as he quickly helped the woman up from the floor, bowing his head slightly as it was manners in their own culture. His eyebrows raised slightly as he shook his head, ‘’don’t be silly! It was my fault, truly.’’ He said as he took the blame that he wasn’t looking out of where he was going after all. 

His eyes wandered over the tiles of the floor as he saw his phone that had slipped out of his hand, thankfully it wasn’t broken. He quickly snatched up from the ground before he turned to see the woman, his eyes quickly looked over to the hip where she was currently rubbing at, he frowned slightly. ‘’I’ll buy you a coffee.’’ He offered as he took his wallet out from his coat. ‘’I’m sorry about it though, I’m such a clutz.’’ He said with a small ‘tsk’ at the end of the sentence. He could sense something about her but he wasn’t sure what it was, he was also curious. He didn’t know anyone in the Therian faction as he mostly, tried to steer clear from the others. 

As much as he knew they didn’t mean any harm. He cleared his throat for a moment as he was asked if he was new to the city. He nodded slightly as he was sort of new? He had only been here for nearly a month. ‘’Indeed I am,’’ he said before woman introduced herself, a small smile lifted on his face before he took her hand gently and shook it. ‘’I’m Chansol. Chansol Kyu, -- Chans or Chan, whichever you'd like to call me.’’ He added on as he moved over to the counter, his eyes flickered back to Elle. ‘’What would you like Elle?’’ he asked as he was ready to place an order into the cafe. 

The red haired Therian, could tell that the young male felt bad. It was clear; by his apologetic and slightly panicked expression. He seemed to insist on taking the blame for the incident. “Why do I have a feeling, we’ll both keep taking the blame?” She slightly joked. She still felt a little at fault; even if he had knocked her down by accident. Unlike some people; she didn’t mind that he had spoken in his mother tongue. She wasn’t that kind of a person to judge. In fact; she always was the type of person that enjoyed travelling, seeing/experiencing different cultures and meeting different people.

As he offered to buy her coffee; she gave him a soft smile. “That’s sweet of you.” It was an unexpected gesture. But if it was his way of trying to apologise; she wouldn’t say no.. As he apologised for being a klutz, she smiled at him softly. “It’s alright. It happens...we all have our clumsy moment.” No real harm was done. She was sure, she would be alright. The Therian always bounced back pretty quickly. Thank god...she hadn’t hit her head...or broke anything. As she was sure; the young male would feel worse if that was the case.

Something about his scent was familiar. Elle-Mae had been around few Therians; to know when she was in the presence of another. And she had a feeling, he was one. As he introduced himself. Elle nodded softly. “It’s nice to meet you Chan. Welcome to Evermore.” She wasn’t sure how long he had lived here for. But at least, she could welcome him to the city, even if he had lived here a short while. “What part of Korea, did you move from?” She asked, genuinely curious. A warm pleasant smile still on her face. Even if she had travelled to a  few foreign countries. Korea, had not been one of them. Despite it still being on her list of places, she one day wanted to visit.“I’ll have a black coffee, with a hint of Vanilla syrup in it.” Elle felt like having bit of a sweeter taste to her coffee.

Chansol felt bad for almost ruining someone else’s day, it was clear that he was indeed at his own fault but of course, the other was trying to take the blame herself. A small chuckle left him and he scratched the back of his head, shrugging his shoulders slightly as he heard her. ‘’I guess we both feel guilty.’’ He said with a slight smile, his eyes wandered over the woman and was glad that she wasn’t injured or badly bruised. Everyone had their moments. At least she didn’t judge when he spoke another language, he was always so cautious when using it, especially in America. 

The blonde haired male once again shrugged his shoulders when she commented that was sweet of him to buy her coffee. ‘’It’s the least I can do.’’ He said as he nodded as he walked over to the counter as the queue definitely had cut down by now, he was able to order what he’d like to have, he asked what Elle was having first as he didn’t want to be rude. He could smell something that was awfully familiar, the scent coming off strong that clearly, indicating that she was a Kitsune. He blinked away from his thoughts before he heard the welcome, smiling slightly as he spoke.

‘’Thanks. And well, nice to meet you too.’’ He commented as he waited by the counter as he quickly said his own order before his eyes flashed over back to Elle. ‘’I’m from Seoul, Korea.’’ He said quickly before he heard her order, ordering the two cups of coffee, he handed over the money to the cashier. Smiling at them before taking a number from the counter and he headed back over to her, with the number in his hand. 

‘’Shall we take a seat?’’ His eyes fluttered about the small cafe, a few spots still available but it was a busy morning here due to the cold weather. ‘’Have you been to Korea before?’’ He asked as he headed over to the window booth, placing the number on the table before he sat down, making himself comfortable. He blinked for a moment before asking a question, ‘’how did you know I was Korean?’’ He asked, genuinely curious of how she knew about it unless she knew the language, looking across to her with a small smile but the lingering smell of the scent was still there. He had a feeling that she was a Kitsune herself. 

“I guess it'll teach us both to pay a bit more attention.” She said in a joking manner.  After all, they both had been distracted by various things. So might as well, be equally guilty. The young woman wasn’t a judgemental one. True, like everyone else; she may have had her moments which could be perceived in the wrong way. But no one was truly perfect. Elle would easily admit to her own faults. But despite her faults; she was quite the caring, intelligent, independent young woman; that stood her ground when needed. Elle felt protective over those close to her; her brothers and close friends being top of that list.

As they waited in the queue. Elle slowly felt the pain die down. It’s probably leave a bit of a bruise; but nothing too major to worry about. Paying attention to the younger male; slightly nodding as he mentioned he was from Seoul. “I am sure, you must be adjusting to the American way of life?.” It sounded more like a question. Of course, she didn’t know how long he had lived in the states. If it had been a few years, he was probably doing quite well by now.

When he suggested them taking a seat. Elle slightly nodded. “Sure.” It was getting a bit crowded; so standing wasn’t a wise choice. “No, I haven’t actually. I’ve always wanted to go one day though.” Once she sat down at their table. Elle leaned against her seat. His next question indeed was a good one. “Well, you did kind of yell out something earlier.” Elle gave him a soft smile. It probably was a bit embarrassed on his behalf, since he did knock her down earlier. “But with all the K-Pop music around these days. I guess, I put it together.” She knew a little bit from music, to know what language he had yelled out earlier on. Even if that knowledge was limited. But there was room to space and grow.

Chansol didn’t mean to bump right into Elle and he felt slightly guilty for doing so as he had caused a small scene in the cafe. But she was right, he needed to pay more attention rather than his mobile phone. So he understood where the other was coming from and even if she joked about it. ‘’I guess you’re right,’’ a small sheepish chuckle left him as he paid for the two beverages and moved over to the booth near the window. Sitting back in his chair at the booth, he looked across to Elle and he hoped that the pain would slowly wear off, knowing that it would have bruised for sure. 

As he mentioned that he was from Seoul, a small smile came across his lips as Elle asked if he had been adjusting the American ways. He shrugged his shoulders slightly, ‘’I kinda am still but I have been here for at least a month now. Still settling in but I’ve come across ways to know what to do here. Like paying bills, etc, you know the basic kind of things.’’ He commented as he took a couple of sugar packets from the small glass near the window. The cafe was getting busier as time went on, his eyes flickered back over to the register as he noticed that their two beverages were arriving to them. The waitress placed them onto the table beside each of them, giving them both a slight smile and he returned it, as well as thanking her. Once the waitress was gone, he ripped opened the two packets of sugar and poured it into the coffee. ‘’So, how long have you been here in Evermore?’’ He asked in curiosity as he began to stir the coffee to dissolve the sugar. 

As he asked how did Elle know he was Korean, of course, it was a silly question. He yelled Korean earlier and due to embarrassment, he wished he hadn’t as the were onlookers still as the pair talked between each other. His eyebrows raised slightly as he heard that she listened to some K-Pop, it was true that K-Pop was indeed getting more popular overtime in English speaking countries and all across the world. It was great to see. ‘’Ah yes,’’ he murmured before he took his mug and took it up to his lips to take a small sip of the coffee, before setting it back down again. ‘’K-Pop is getting quite popular in the states. I’ve even heard some K-Pop on some radios, people are nuts over it now.’’ He mentioned the K-Pop because it was something that the two could talk about even if Elle was limited on the K-Pop music industry, he knew what went on behind the scenes of K-Pop industry and even if he did want to become part of a group one day. 

He licked his lips as he had some froth on the top of his mouth, he smiled softly at her. ‘’How’s your coffee?’’ He asked, he wanted to be sure that it was good since he did pay for it for her as he caused that accident earlier, he relaxed in the chair as his brown hues looked towards the window, light snow fell down from the grey skies above Evermore. It was pretty but he hoped the winter past soon enough. He loved the spring more than anything, back in Seoul, Spring time was his favourite because of the warmth and all the flowers coming into bloom. 

 

As sheepish, his reaction was. It was kind of adorable. She could tell; he didn’t mean to cause the slight scene. Hopefully, he wouldn’t beat himself up over it too much. Sometimes, accidents happen. That was life. “Don’t worry too much about it.” Elle gave him a warm smile. No bad damage was done; that was the main thing at the end of the day.

So he was still pretty new here. Elle nodded taking in the information he had given her. “I am sure, you’ll feel more in tune with everything, in a few months time.” Now that he was partially used to it; he would find his way around things, no doubt about that. She could smell the hot beverages; she did always love the scent of coffee in the morning. Finding, that sometimes it was something that could wake her up. The young Therian knew that the cafe was rather popular; so more people were expected. Giving the waitress a smile also. She picked up her own cup. “I take it, you’re a bit of a sweet tooth?” she nodded towards his coffee cup, as he added in two sugars. Elle took a sip of her coffee. “Me? I moved back here around May time,last year. Although, I did stay here for a few months….like 5-6 years ago.” Elle answered honestly.

As she leaned against her seat; she sipped on her coffee. Savoring the slightly bitter yet sweet taste from the flavored syrup within. Elle had to admit, K-Pop was still new to her. But she liked to dabble in new music genres. And found some stuff to be pretty catchy. She could see why it certainly caught on. “Yeah. I suppose like anything new and exciting...it finds it’s ways to new countries. I can’t blame the public...some stuff is actually pretty catchy.” She mused with a smile, as he mentioned people were nuts over K-Pop. “I mean...it’s not the genre I listen to the most...but I quite have a liking for SHINee and Black Pink.” For some reason, the groups came to mind first, when on said topic.

“It’s quite good thank you.” she smiled at him warmly. Elle hadn’t yet had a bad coffee from here. And hopefully, that wasn’t about to start now.

Chansol ran a hand through his brown hair as his eyes flickered over to Elle, smiling at her gently and nodding at her words. He still felt bad though that he knocked her over, right off her feet, it could have been much worse though. He knew that in time that he’ll be settled in Evermore, it’s getting used to everything and making sure that he speaks English fluently because he doesn’t tend to do that. He’s usually somewhat shy when it came to Americans, due to them, well, some of them he should say, being racist and all. Of course, he didn’t expect everyone to be the same and Elle seemed to be quite a lovely person so far. 

As the waitress came over with their beverages and setting them down onto the table, he thanked her and ripped opened the two sugar packets. ‘’Things take time to settle in, especially since you just came from South Korea.’’ He commented gently as he poured the two sugar packets into his coffee, as Elle mentioned that he was a sweet tooth. He hummed slightly as a soft yawn left his lips, shaking his head slightly. ‘’I’ve been up all night working on music. I think a bit of sugar might help me.’’ He said softly as he took a sip once he stirred the sugar, a small smile gracing his lips as he took a sip of the drink. 

His phone buzzed in his pocket and he groaned slightly after he took a sip, in all seriousness, he loved his job, but his manager can be a bit of an ass sometimes. His eyebrows raised slightly as he heard how long she had been in Evermore City. ‘’Well, maybe you could show me around a bit and see where are good venues and all that.’’ He suggested as he pulled his phone out, his phone was of course in Korean, so he read the text and quickly texted his manager back. His music was good, so that was a good start of the day. ‘’Phew, I thought my manager was going to say that the music I produced was horrible.’’ He commented out loud as he slipped his phone back into his pocket. It was rare that his manager thought that though. He was glad that his day might be rewarded with a bit of time off. K-Pop is something else, some of it was weird and other times, it was quite good. He had his own favourites.

 Hearing which K-Pop groups Elle liked, he nodded, they weren’t bad but he much preferred BTS or Seventeen. ‘’It is way too catchy, half of the time, most of the tunes are stuck in your head if you listen to them all day.’’ That part was true to him at least. He nodded once more as he heard that her coffee was good, ‘’did you want something to eat? I could go for a bagel or croissant.’’ He hummed at the thought, he hadn’t eaten since last night, so he was getting peckish. ‘’What do you like to do here in Evermore?’’ He asked, intrigued to know what American’s were like. ‘’Any particular interests?’’ 

“Yeah, I suppose it does.” Elle said softly in agreement, as he mentioned how things take time to settle down. Most foreigners felt that way, from experience of talking with them. As Elle sipped on her coffee; she noticed the small yawn slip past his lips. Maybe he had a late night. As he indeed mentioned why he had a late night, Elle looked curious. A warm smile on her lips. “Ah, you’re probably the first Musician I met in this city.” It wasn’t often, she met someone in that line of work. But he was probably in need of his coffee for sure. It always helped, keep her awake.

Hearing his suggestion, Elle nodded with a soft smile. “Of course. If you need a tour guide, more than happy to help.” Since she knew the city better than Chan, she would gladly help him out. As he attended to some matters on his phone. Elle wondered if it was serious; as he seemed focused on the phone, before looking relieved at something. When he spoke about his manager, she smiled. “Well I’d dare say, if he thought your music was terrible...he’d be a bad manager.” It wouldn’t be the most encouraging from his manager, if that was the case. Elle took another sip of her coffee, before setting the cup back onto the table.

“That’s why, I try not to listen to something on repeat. Or it’ll drive me nuts for the rest of the month.” Elle said with a laugh. It was always hard to shake something off, that she knew well. The elder Therian was starting to feel a little peckish. “Actually, I think I could go for a cinnamon bun.” It seemed like they both had their cravings. Not that she could blame him. He probably didn’t eat, if he had been busy unless he had a break somewhere in between. As he asked her about interests, she smiled. “Well personally, I’ve had interest in martial arts. I have a black belt, in Karate. Growing up with two brothers, come with advantages I suppose. I learned some stuff from my elder half brother.” At least, when Phoenix had been around when she was growing up. “I always liked dance and traveling. Being a book editor, gave me the freedom to travel around with my work.” Elle spoke, with a soft smile. “But I suppose most people opt for bars. It’s not a bad place to meet some new faces. But I always preferred nature. There’s quite lots of places to explore around Evermore.”

Chansol had been here for at least a month or so now, it was something he was still adjusting to and the American culture, although, finding a decent Korean restaurant around here was something that he found challenging, he couldn’t find one he liked yet. His eyebrows raised slightly as she mentioned about a musician, before bringing up his finger to stop her for a moment. ‘’I’m a music producer, not really a ‘musician’ as such, I edit music in backgrounds of soundtracks, CD’s, you name it, I do it.’’ He said with a small smile as he sipped his coffee, humming in delight as it was a fairly decent coffee since arriving here, some places had awful coffee and he didn’t like starbucks. His hand reached over to the breakfast menu items, his eyes flickering over the items, seeing what specials they had, he wasn’t in the mood for something big, just a regular meal or snack sized. 

His eyes lit up slightly as she mentioned she’d love to give him a tour, ‘’that’s great then! Maybe after we eat here and our coffees, we can head out?’’ He asked as he could probably do with a tour of Evermore, since he hardly went anywhere and to top it off, he didn’t know where all the borders were for all of the territories here in Evermore. ‘’I know it sounds silly of me but I should really know where all the territories are but I just haven’t had the time to go out and do it.’’ He mentioned to her before picking on the egg and bacon bagel twist that he liked on the menu, ‘’and a cinnamon bun for you?’’ He asked, confirming that’s what she wanted before bringing out his wallet to pay for the meal. ‘’I’ll be back,’’ he quickly got up from the booth and headed over to the order station, ordering the bagel egg and bacon bagel twist and a cinnamon bun for Elle. Paying for the order, he returned back to the booth with a soft sigh, sipping his coffee once more. 

He chuckled as she mentioned his manager being an awful one, ‘’nah he’s alright, I like him just sometimes, he can be… demanding, I guess is the word.’’ He said with a slight shrug before the two mentioned K-Pop and the repetitive music industry some songs are, especially mainstream Pop music where the radio plays it over and over again, asking what interests he had, he listened before the two orders of their food came across to the table the waitress, smiling with her hair in a tight bun as she handed over the plates of food, his eyes perked up slightly at the bagel he ordered. He thanked her as he continued to listen to Elle in her interests, he nodded, humming as he began to pick up his bagel. ‘’Well, Karate sounds cool, I didn’t do that when I was younger but I was quite into dancing. I wanted to be a dancer more than anything other than be my father's businessman for the company,’’ he replied before taking a large bite of the bagel and chewing the mouthful, groaning slightly at the taste of bacon. He swallowed the mouth full before his eyes wandered to the cinnamon bun that had lots of icing over it. 

‘’You better eat that before I finish this,’’ he chuckled slightly as he grabbed a napkin or two from the napkin holder and wiped the grease from his mouth. ‘’Huh? Brothers,’’ he hummed slightly before shrugging, ‘’I was an only child so my parents always kept an eye on me.’’ He chuckled as he took another bite of the bagel, humming in delight. ‘’This is really good,’’ after swallowing the mouthful. ‘’Bars aren’t really my thing either, I’m like you, I love nature, I tend to be outside when I can.’’ 

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