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Four Months. It had been four months since Yeonseok had decided to take a chance on Hanseol Park. Yeon didn't know exactly what it was about Han that drew him in but from that day they had stuck quite the interesting friendship, mostly they just annoyed one another to death but it worked for them. For the most part, their meetings had been about trying track down the person behind the attack on Hanseol before they met, while Yeon hadn't been there himself he had managed to pry out of the celestial how worried he was for his own safety and the other celestials in the city and that had been enough to get him on board.
It hadn't been an easy investigation considering they had to work around Yeon's crazy and constantly changing schedule, he had seen more time on a plane in the past few months than he had in years before that, he didn't mind traveling but the constant flights with his travel sickness made things exhausting for him, work was slowly draining and considering he hadn't been able to get much relief lately he found himself getting pretty stressed and worked up over little things lately. He had become more and more snappy with the people around him, especially Han who was probably the person he talked to most, he did his best to rein it in when he found himself doing it but it was hard when the other male liked to talk about his significant other often and how happy the two of them were together.
Don't get Yeon wrong, he was happy for Hanseol and his significant other who he'd managed to get the name of after much pushing, Jaesung. Just because he didn't believe in the idea of love for himself didn't mean that he didn't think other people deserved happiness, it just kept reminding him of the fact that things were...difficult in the intimacy department right now. Since he had met that damn snowy-haired blond who had quite literally blown his mind and even now he still hadn't managed to pick up all the pieces. That wasn't Hanseol's fault though so he tried to control his aggravation around him.
But they had, in the time they had known each other and spent together, become pretty good friends, they talked about everything really, it didn't feel like there was a subject that was off limits between the two of them and some of their discussions got quite in depth and heated. Yeon had been pretty majorly involved in encouraging Hanseol and later helping with the expansion of his business, he had gotten the chance to look into how well the clinic was doing in Evermore and make suggestions on how to improve the place. They had many long car journeys together back and forth between Denver and Evermore on the weekends Yeon had free so that the blond valkyr could give input. But really it was also an excuse to spend time together and talk.
Having someone share his mind in a small part unfolded differently than he was expecting it to, he definitely thought he had taken up some of Han's tendencies to worry about other others more and despite not being particularly interested in animals before, he suddenly found himself wanting to stop people on the streets and ask to pet their dogs. The pain thing was a bit of an annoyance because the two of them weren't exactly gentle with themselves, especially when it came bedroom activities, it was hard to know what could be a real danger and what was simply collateral damage. Still, they had agreed on a certain spot on their body to use to communicate if they were in real danger, Yeon's was his right wrist, somewhere he could easily pinch but not somewhere he would typically feel any pain.
He honestly felt like having a Volakiri had been a good thing for him, it forced him to let someone in, he'd already learned pretty quickly that he couldn't lie to Hanseol, or rather, he could but the star would almost instantly be able to tell the insincerity in him. It wasn't without its challenges, they argued a lot because they had quite conflicting personalities and Yeon often pushed Hanseol to come out of his shell which could backfire if the star was feeling especially shy that day. It happened when they were around a lot of strangers usually. Han was stubborn too when his mind got onto something it was very hard to change it or make him see any different. Yeon was getting used to those traits in his friend though, he learned how to ease into topics with the star and to compromise. Most of all though, he found himself caring about the celestial. caring that he was safe and well, interested in hearing about his day or how things were going with Jae, invested in another person, which was very unlike him considering he never really let anyone in. With Han that felt easier though, maybe because they were linked now or maybe it was because he thought the celestial was a decent person.
He was tired as he made his way through the airport, passing through immigration and handing over his papers before collecting his suitcase from the turntable and headed out to the exit. Normally he would get an Uber or taxi back to the studio after a flight and get a nap in but Han had been texting him about some new information he'd found just before Yeon had gotten on the plane and blond had suggested they talk over what he found over a coffee once he got back into Evermore, which then became picking him up from the airport. He knew how much Han actually hated driving, most of the trips to Denver, Yeon had driven but the airport was only about a 30-minute drive from the city. When he got into the arrival lounge his eyes scanned through the crowd of people before they fell on Han, looking a little lost and grumpy at the back of the crowd.
Yeon shuffled his way through the people dragging his pretty compact suitcase behind him before he threw his arm around Hanseol's shoulder "Try not to look like someone just kicked your dog" he commented as he pulled the star along with him a half smile on his face. Despite the long flight and still feeling frustrated as hell, he was glad to be back in Evermore and this time he actually got to stay for a few weeks, the prospect of his own bed instead of hotels and not having to get up at 6 am to go to the airport was enough to tempt his mood to the brighter side. Plus, despite the fact he had just gotten off a plane, he looked good, dressed in black skinny jeans that fitted him perfectly, paired with a white button up and a red blazer, his hair was still it’s usual sandy blond color that he had kept for quite a long time now, he pulled his sunglasses out of his pocket and put them on, already noticing it was bright outside "Alright, I need coffee and I need it now, otherwise I will actually pass out" the valkyr stated leading the way even though he had no idea where Hanseol parked the car.
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How long has it been since he initiated that bond with a certain valkyr? A little over four months, that's how long he measured up their friendship that had also bloomed and gradually gotten better over the period of time. Yeon was not someone Han could ever see himself befriending, much less get close to. Don't get him wrong, there is strictly nothing wrong about Yeonseok Lee. He's a fine lad and a good friend, who offers his undying company that sometimes stretched out like he was the older brother when it was clear who's the older one in the group. Though it's obvious when Hanseol himself played like a child, whereas Yeon had the more mature approach to everything else. It was one of the things he admired greatly about the blond, how he's always calm and composed despite everything.
Since becoming each other's Volakiri, they began to inherit one another's traits, transferring this to that, and vice versa. Admittedly, those traits he got from the other male gave him a better insight in how things go around him, especially on how they weren't what it seemed like. There was a certain maturity level that the valkyr holds, and every day, the celestial found himself enticed by it, wishing to have some of those to help him go through his day. Thankfully, ever since they connected with one another and got to know each other a little deeper in depth, closer than ever, the fallen star successfully adapted to it. It gave him a clear conscious, sometimes; something he thanks Yeon for.
What did they do throughout those four months? Four months isn't a short duration when you think back on it, it's quite some time and a lot happened during it. For instance, both males went out their way and tried to trace the perpetrator to the attack on Hanseol earlier this year, which believe it or not, has been a little over 5 months or so. Time flies so fast. So far, they did have leads and hints, clues on who they might be but no actual outline on what the ulterior motive was, though Hanseol easily concluded it was to extract his celestial energy, which is no longer a surprising matter anymore. A lot more simple than said, yes, but when you've been hunted down your whole life because of that same reason, wouldn't you feel the same way too?
The pessimistic celestial wouldn't go as far as to say that they've got a rough end, a dead one. It's because there's still a few faint lines behind the lining, but neither one them seemed aure to venture deeper into things they probably should leave it to the higher ups. Would that stop them from prying any longer though? Not a chance. Han wasn't sure if it was his stubbornness or if Yeon has the same fire for it, but they wouldn't back down with ease. Accommodating all of these researching to Yeon's schedule was another thing entirely too, seeing as the valkyr often flies out to NYC a lot more frequently, lately. Nothing Hanging wouldn't understand since he knew the career field his Volakiri pursued and wanted nothing more to see him succeed and flourish. It caused a little stent in their plans on wanting to get this ‘investigation’ over with as soon as possible, but what's new?
There was one thing that really contrasts the both of them in personal terms – love. Unlike the somewhat innocent and childlike celestial, the regal valkyr didn't seem to have the same views on it. While Han believes in it fully, Yeon is more than skeptical about it, and at some point, they came to terms with one another regarding it, though it was not without a few spare playful banters and debatable discussions on the concept alone. The fallen star had to remind himself that perhaps, Yeon had a bad experience with love, or that he has yet to find his own, and he's nowhere near to judge. Despite their rough ends, the two managed to hit off pretty well as friends, influencing one another with good vibes respectively. Yeon helped him with his clinic expansion, and he was forever grateful for the valkyr's assistance, seeing as he would never have the courage to go along with it had it not been him accompanying the celestial to Denver every time. It seems that they would both go out their ways and comfort zones to make sure the other is safe and sound, tucked in comfortably, until they're sure there's no more danger lurking around, waiting to attack.
After receiving a few complaints from the two, they decided to come with a way to alert the other if either was in danger, which was a pinch to the right wrist. Weird spot, but who was he to judge? It would be a lie if he would say that there hasn't been any arguments between them both because it's been quite the road to tackle them down. Both their personalities were passionate and strong, so even if they're a bit influenced, it wasn't going to get rid of that problem miraculously. Hanseol is naturally shy and timid, meanwhile Yeon is forward and confident. The two complement one another but it doesn't mean it's a smooth progress either. When he received a request from the blond to come fetch him at the airport today, Hanseol grunted in response, clearly rethinking his choices at hand. Perhaps, he should've never ring him up and tell him he stumbled on something that might be helpful to their search. And now he's stuck in chaperone duty.
Well, driving...and it's 30 minutes away from Evermore, but still. Yeon knew exactly just how much the star disliked driving, it just sends his claustrophobic ass into a whole new dimension. That's how severe his phobic case is. Regardless of his endless grunting and complaining in response to the valkyr's request, the celestial didn't say no, and drove there nonetheless, to pick him up. If Hanseol drives, it's either because he really likes you, or plainly because he wish to run you over. Not sure which is which for Yeonseok Lee. As per his punctual self, Hanseol arrived at the airport 10 minutes earlier than that estimated time of arrival meant for the blond male. It doesn't seem like he was being anywhere near pleasant when it comes to waiting, though. Crossing his arms in retaliation, the dark-haired celestial gave a pointed glare towards the valkyr as soon as he threw his hands around his shoulder casually. “I feel like you can kick Yeontan and I wouldn't be half as happy because you made me drive.” He hated driving. Period.
While walking towards the exit, his ears perked up at the sudden mention of a particular hot beverage he really isn't much of a big fan without milk, he quirked his eyebrows questioningly. “You don't even like coffee… did you hit your head and injured yourself or something? Do we need to bring you to a neuro specialist?” He beckoned for him to follow as he pointed at the direction where the car is parked at.
Jae remembered back to that night in the library where he had first met Daehyun, there was something about the other male that had drawn him in from the get-go, Dae was a generally standoffish and often grumpy person but the dhampir supposed he had met him on a good day because the two of them had developed a pretty close friendship since then. If you thought of people who would end up being friends, Jae and Dae would probably be the furthest apart on the scale. Really Dae would be on an island alone really because he literally didn’t let anyone in, anyone but Jae anyway, who had somehow managed to get under his skin.
It had started with the philosophical discussion they’d had about a hypothetical cat that night and it had turned into a full on debate about the way the world worked and the balance between pessimism and optimism, maybe a lot of people would get tired of Dae’s negative perspective on the world but Jae found it interesting and he found himself wanting to help him, to make his world just a little bit better. The dhampir wasn’t stupid enough to think he could he could single-handedly change him but he liked spreading positivity, especially because he had a lot of it to spare in his own life right now, his relationship was in a great place, he felt like he was getting on really well with his studies, he’d even managed to half befriend his roommates and make relative peace with them.
Dae was generally a closed off person, his way of saying nice things was to do so sarcastically and Jae had learned quickly that shrugging off his slightly mean comments was the best way to handle it, truth was Dae seemed to care more than he actually wanted to let on and he was generally quite a thoughtful person. Besides, contrary to what most people believed, Jae was actually pretty good at teasing people back and he and Daehyun had pretty hilarious banter together nowadays, always teasing one another about their polar opposite opinions, Jae would often call Dae grumpy cat as a testament to that first night they met.
Most of their time together, however, was spent training. Just like they talked about on that first night, Jae had been the first one to call Daehyun and set up a training session. And just like Dae had warned him, he was definitely an interesting training partner. The thing with Dae was that he didn’t pull his punches or go easy on Jae, or at least he didn’t now. At first, Jae’s technique and fighting style had clearly been inferior to the much older and more experienced niveis’ but since Jae had been getting training from Donovan and these sessions with Daehyun, he was getting stronger and more deadly with every week that passed. Jae couldn’t even count the number of times he’d gone home with bruises on him because of how much he’d been knocked down by the Niveis but Jae always got back up and like he promised when they started, he didn’t give up.
More than that though, it was nice to have someone to rely on, every time that Jae showed up to the sessions, Dae would be there, usually arriving way earlier than he needed to and they would practice for a few hours. The dhampir was getting very good at studying and knowing the elder male’s fighting style and stances, perhaps even now he emulated some of them in his own. The snowy-haired male had quickly learned that Jae was somewhat of a natural sharpshooter and learned to avoid any situation which allowed the dhampir to throw his weapons. Nowadays, Jae looked forward to their training sessions and was glad that four months of practice had allowed him to hold his own in a fight, he felt stronger and more confident in himself because of it.
Jae did really like Daehyun and his no-nonsense attitude though, he was straight to the point and always told things like he thought they were and the dhampir liked that, with so many people around that would lie or pretend to be your friend he felt really lucky to meet someone who was so real and honest. Jae had never actually met someone quite like him before, he was fun, with his wicked sense of humor and snarky comments which were often directed at random people he pointed out around them that gave them funny looks. They did stand out in a crowd after all, with their often brightly colored hair and piercings. Jae had given in to the temptation to dye his hair and was back to his bright shade of blue after giving his hair a rest for a couple of months so he definitely stood out nowadays. If anyone stared then Dae would simply give them his death glare and they’d scurry on their way though, he supposed his friend was protective in that way and Jae appreciated it because he didn’t really like being the center of attention and Dae knew that.
Today was one of their usual sessions and Jae found himself in the midst of a particularly heated fight. Nowadays neither of them really held back during hand-to-hand sessions, instead preferring to give it their all and see what happened. It drove Hanseol almost insane because Jae would come home with bruises on his chest and the star would get jealous, Jae assured him it was nothing but training and that seemed to settle him but Han was still yet to meet Dae, not for lack of trying but the schedules never seemed to work out, especially as the celestial was back and forth to Denver a lot lately. The dhampir ducked a particularly powerful swing from the niveis before sweeping at his leg but the icy male knew his play too well and went for a hit to Jae’s chest while gaining his balance. But thanks to his lack of coordination Jae tripped over his own feet and so when the punch came it landed directly to the dhampir’s jaw at full force and sent him flying along the ground.
They had a rule that if anyone got seriously hurt then the fight would be instantly off and in this case Jae tapped his hand against the floor to indicate a pause in the combat and then spat blood onto the ground and groaned “Jesus Christ Dae you seriously need to get laid to deal with all that pent up frustration” he spoke though he wasn’t really that mad about it, when the signed onto these practice sessions they were signing on to get better and you didn’t improve without a little pain, he ran a hand through his hair before getting to his feet shaking his head a little “Sorry that was uncalled for, reflex reaction” he shook it off before rubbing his hand against the side of his fact, that one was going to stick around for a while and it was already swelling a little “My boyfriend is not gonna be happy about this one” he grumbled a little before he decided to try and lighten the mood “Hey you wanna head out and get a coffee? I might get an icy drink to I can press it against my face” he teased but he did look over at the male with a little concern, he was getting more and more frustrated later and his hits were getting harder, it made him wonder what was going on with him to make him so grumpy.
It’s been a while since he’s actually found a friend, well, befriend one. Even back when he was with his former tribe, growing up, Daehyun knew nothing about the concept nor idea of friendship as a whole. It was precisely the reason why he grew up detached and a loner, having only Mirae as his company, who even then didn’t spend much of his childhood becoming her big brother. Too encased around the whole responsibility and duty on being a good son while climbing up the hierarchy ladder in the initia tribe, that’s what he mostly spent his childhood and teenhood doing. So when they were somewhat exiled after running away following their deviant species discovery, Daehyun took the mantle and wanted to carry the burden that befell them both.
Meeting Coldren was supposed to be his one in a million good moments, but it turned out to be the most tragic. Ever since then, he had closed himself off, distancing himself away from the others in the tribe while also carrying out whatever the tyrant would ask of him since Mirae would get the sour end of the blade had he opposed or defied. And he also couldn’t rebirth as they were no longer phoenixes, so rather than risking his wings, living the rest of his pathetic life before slowly dying of old age, he’ll just play the part others would want to see him play. Better to fool them into believing he’s with them, no? As he grew tired of living this life despite the man he despised most had been dead for over 40 years now, the snowy-haired niveis still has yet to find the true purpose and meaning of living his immortal life for the near future. What did he have to live for?
He had the proof and evidence that his baby sister could survive without him just fine, seeing her bloom into this independent woman he was so proud of. Why was he still sticking around, then? He promised to get out of Evermore after finishing a few this and that for Anivia, yet here he is still, in the eternal city located in Colorado. It was all because of him meeting a particular someone to a little over four months ago. His name is Jaesung, and the dhampir has been a constant ball of light in his dull life. Dae could recall the time they met each other, in a weird and humorous fashion, but fortunately for both of them, Jae caught him in a good mood, he wasn’t so grumpy and sour on that particular day. From then on, their friendship bloomed.
Finding out the insanely attractive male to originate from a species that’s known for their sense of protectiveness and fighting nature, it didn’t take him long to invite the latter for a few training sessions to test around. Eventually, after a whole month of sparring with one another, usually consisting of both ends getting out with a few bruises here and there, nothing they couldn’t handle, Daehyun finally found a sparring partner in Jae. Unlike the cold and distant niveis, the dhampir was the exact opposite of him, though Dae could see some of what he might’ve become had his life laid out like that and he wasn’t involved in the weird supernatural mix. At least not the one where your entire family and community would disown you for the circumstances of your birth as someone deviant and rare, oh wait, they would hunt you down too. Putting that on the list of things Dae’s overly done with. From the corner of his eyes, he could identify the maturity and wisdom Jae exuded, and he had plenty of promising and prodigal traits to him, which amused the older male to no end, especially seeing just how witty the latter is too. Only Jae could get away after poking his cheeks and telling how he’s a human manifestation of the infamous grumpy cat.
Whilst the dhampir might not get out unscathed after training, due to the elder Stormwind pulling a few strings easily to give him back a taste of his own medicine, at the end of the day, as soon as that training hour ends, they’re back to being that duo where both is balanced out. However, aside from the very clear distinction of his sarcastic and passive-aggressive self, Jae is also one of the few that was able to witness more of his protective and caring side. Daehyun Stormwind is a tough guy, but it does mean that if you hurt one hair or go as much as to offend the ones he cared and loved, just expect to get the bitter end of frostbite, yes even if it’s in the middle of summer. His promises are as sharp as his glare, basically. If it was possible to cut someone with a gaze, he’d be one of those people.
Dae would sometimes display his gummy smile when he forgot about the whole world behind him whenever he’s with his friend, and he’s very grateful for this bond to form during the times when he really required someone to lean on. The niveis didn’t change overnight and even after four months passed, there weren’t much that changed, only how he acts and treats Jae. The endearing dhampir always sparked up the best reactions from him, that’s for sure. After getting to know him better, he found out that Jae was a taken man, of course, he is. No way is someone beautiful like him still single, though according to the flustered dhampir whenever he’d prod, the relationship is still very new and fresh, around the stages of blooming. Regardless of his lack of experience and belief in love, he wasn’t being a wicked pessimist when it comes to advising. Jae didn’t deserve that, he concluded. If he had to be a better cat around him, so be it. The last thing he wanted to see was an upset or discouraged Jaesung.
He remembered he was so close to throwing hands, literally, when Jae got unintentionally scolded by some stranger who bumped into them, spilling coffee to the floor, when Dae was busy washing his hands at the washroom. Let’s just say the guy didn’t leave without apologizing, and it took the niveis 35 seconds. Jae didn’t know the original story to how the stranger apologized before leaving after coming back from the washroom, but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, especially when Jae has a tendency to chastise Dae for his ‘persona’. Their training does get a lot more intense as days went by until they both reached to a consensus that they’re fine with any blow to the end, and after multiple attempts of assurance from Jae, was when Dae gave into the idea. Today was just like any of those normal days, they were in the dojo, which was an ideal place to train, since the place is equipped with plenty of variables to be used, despite the niveis preferring hand to hand combat. Admittedly, there were times when Dae would often hit his friend with the bo staff because it’s just fun teasing.
As soon as the dhampir swept him off the ground, he had already calculated his moves, perks of knowing the person you spare with well, so as soon as he regained his composure, he was about to deliver a hit towards his chest, so he could successfully knocking the other male off his balance, but the opposite happened. It landed on his pretty face instead, and it really did send him flying slightly, which Dae shook his head and his mouth was agape when he realized what he did. Though this was not at least after 30 seconds later, and that was when he heard the tapping against the mat. He’s being awfully slow today and more aggressive. Gee, wonder why. “Fuck, sorry, Jae” he apologized profusely, one hand running through his bright locks awkwardly. Seeing the blood got him pressing his lips into a fine thin line, clearly wondering what’s gotten into him. He wasn’t usually this aggressive. He likes the challenge and exhilaration, sure, but they’ve been doing this for a while, so what went wrong? Oh right, that blond valkyr that still didn’t get out of his head, standing out in the midst of many other stuff. Daehyun knew his name but that’s it, and he didn’t went out his way into tracking him down because let’s be real, it was called a one-night-stand for a reason. His pride wouldn’t let that, and it’s already smelling like trouble trying to get involved.
Pointing his forefinger accusingly, he grumbled in response to the remark released by Jae. “Excuse you, I do get laid…,” he exclaimed in retaliation, sounding very offended. But when was the last time he actually did, though? Was it a month ago now? “And I’m not frustrated…” Sure. When the latter asked him to join for a coffee break, he fluttered his eyes closed and agreed. Yes, he needed his much deserved iced americano again. “I can cradle your face if you need a more comfortable method of cooling that bruise off. Preferably in front of your boyfriend too? Making people jealous sometimes is good for your relationship, or so I’ve heard” he winked playfully. Jae is clearly a very attractive person, suiting plenty of hair colors, if not all, and adorned himself with good fashion choices. “I can even kiss it better.”
Yeon definitely felt content with his life right now, things were going really well in NYC, so well that the idea of moving out there was still heavily on his mind and yet he still found himself coming back to Evermore. He’d never admit it out loud but part of his reason for staying was because Hanseol was here and he wanted to be there for the celestial, maybe that made him foolish considering how much the star insisted he didn’t need a babysitter and didn’t want anyone getting involved in the danger he brought but Yeon couldn’t stop himself throwing into the ring every time they got new information. At this point, the valkyr wanted to know who was behind the attack just as much as the celestial and he hadn’t even been there. It made his blood boil to know there were people out there who wanted to hurt someone as kind and thoughtful as Hanseol and he didn’t hesitate when it came to protecting his friend.
Hanseol was the reason he had taken several weeks of break in Evermore away from his deal, he knew that the big opening for the store in Denver was only a few days away and he wanted to be here to make sure that it went ahead smoothly and honestly, he wanted to see the happiness on his friend’s face when he realized everything he’d managed to achieve. Since they had been friends he had seen Han’s confidence grow tenfold, he didn’t know if that was thanks to their somewhat shared mind or the encouragements that he had given the celestial but he was proud of the results they brought nonetheless. Just like the potential he had seen in Hanseol on the first day they met, he saw his friend becoming so much more than an empty shell of a person, someone who was driven and focused, someone who reached for what they wanted and got it.
Yeon was also really impressed that he’d managed to convince the celestial to drive him considering how much he knew the star hated driving or being in a car overall, something about claustrophobia he supposed though he’d never brought it up in specific terms, the valkyr didn’t like making him uncomfortable so he was glad it was a short journey. Still as he made his way over the celestial and wrapped his arm around his shoulder, he was just glad to be with his friend again, NYC was big and beautiful but it didn’t quite have the charm that Evermore had and the people were definitely better here too “Oh hush, it’s not like I don’t drive you for hours every time we need to go to Denver” he teased, Yeon had a bigger more spacious car than Hanseol did which is why he supposed the star preferred it “And I even let you pick the music in my own car” he teased as he led the way towards the exit.
When the star called him out for his dislike of coffee “Then you now must understand how incredibly tired I am” honestly, he was running fumes constantly lately, always feeling exhausted from all the changes in timezone and meetings, he hadn’t even had the time to properly get into dancing and routines in the past few weeks which made him sad because that was his favorite thing to do. But with 3 full weeks in Evermore he knew he could change that after he’d managed to catch up on some well-earned sleep “And rude” he jested as he flicked against the side of Hanseol’s head with a shake of his head “If either of us need to see a therapist, it’s you” he pushed against his shoulder but didn’t let go, Yeon was a pretty clingy person with his friends and Han never seemed to push him off “Besides we need some kind of drink to go with the donuts I brought us back from New York” he wiggled his brows knowing how much Hanseol liked sweets and how good the pastries from the streets of NYC were.
When they reached the car, which he now recognized even from across the lot, he waited for Hanseol to unlock it before he put his suitcase into the back of the trunk and then closed it softly, making sure not to slam it because Han would always yell at him when he did that, even when it was usually accidental. He rounded the car and climbed into the passenger seat, it was already adjusted to his usual spot because he tended to be the only person who could actually get Hanseol to drive for any reason at all “I was thinking we could visit that new cafe that opened downtown” he commented thinking it would be nice to have a spot to visit when they wanted to talk about their investigation and not have to debate all random places around the city. He was glad he was wearing sunglasses because it was really bright today, so much so that he didn’t even wanna look up at the sky “It must be your birthday soon right?” Yeon asked with raised brows, he remembered Han saying it was in June and they were now nearing the end of spring. He reached up and fastened his seatbelt as he punched the location of the place he was talking about into his phone and then set it onto the middle of the dash so that the celestial could follow it, he wasn’t taking no for an answer today.
What really did rile him up was the fact that Yeon knew exactly how much the celestial despised driving, a fear he never got through; claustrophobia. It was a hard phobia to get over, and quite frankly, it might be his only existing phobia for Hanseol. Whenever they had to use the car, they would always use Yeon’s, one, the valkyr can drive and if he could, it’s easier that way because the car can be the biggest car ever made or if the spot was spacious for the driver, and Hanseol still would not want to drive. It’s simply a no from him. Yeon’s car was relatively larger in space terms compared to his, so that was the only reason why the fallen star felt more comfortable when they have to use the said transportation mode. The things he does for the people he cares for, he sighed heavily.
Thankfully, according to what the valkyr told him earlier, the ride didn’t take long, thank god. Even 30 minutes was enough to give him a small anxiety attack, much less long than that. It was also one of the reasons why he’s never seen inside a compressed space like a broom closet, no, keep him away. Han made sure every room is occupied with the simplest things like he could’ve stored his painting equipment away in some closet downstairs, but no, because he couldn’t handle setting a foot inside the said space, he went through the lengths to decorate an entire room just for the purpose of storing them. The place being coordinated is only a plus side. But after what the blond has done for him over the past few months, fetching him at the nearby airport is the least he could do.
Yeon would always find a way to come down and help him, despite the dark-haired celestial reminding him how he doesn’t constantly need supervision since he’s not a child and is a grown adult that could function perfectly fine. Though, admittedly, the whining about those complaints is what really allowed Yeon to give him a judging stare and Han scraped it down as he accepted whatever the circumstance it might be. Yeonseok Lee is a good friend, always coming to his aid whenever he needed him the most, and even if he couldn’t be there physically, the phone calls, at this point, it’s easier to put the valkyr on dial 2, right next to Jae. Hanseol is quite big on affection and skinship shown, whether publicly or privately, he really didn’t mind because there was no shame switch within the celestial when it comes to those. Hence why he hasn’t tried to twist the other male’s arm when he wrapped it around Han, who only gave a tight-lipped snarky smile his way.
Even if he didn’t prefer them, how can one deny Yeonseok Lee? That’s just almost impossible, not to mention very hard to succeed on. “Fine, that’s a given, so thank you for taking the time off your extremely busy schedule to spare some just to drive me to Denver that’s literally a 40-minute drive. But hey, you don’t hear me complaining about it, huh?” he jested, pushing the valkyr back, returning the gesture back at him after he was nudged earlier. Their friendship was practiced around playfully, it was something both of them could achieve, thankfully. The celestial wasn’t too stoic nor serious, since he’s usually shy, and Yeon is the definition of a party social butterfly that instantly encases you in his charms, looping them every time, making it very hard to escape.
Scrunching his nose up in response, he gave the blond a side-eye. “Excuse me, are you trying to imply that my music taste is nowhere near preferable or enjoyable? I happen to have a good choice of them, you know.” The defensive tone always did cause a laugh though, Yeon wasn’t immune to it and neither was his boyfriend, it just made Hanseol look more childish than initially. The latter had a point though, Yeon really doesn’t like coffee most of the time, so if he’s requesting for them now, it must mean things have been rough on him, especially revolving around the sleeping department. “Aw, look at you, feeling all tired, if you lose the shades, you might even look cuter” he cooed, clearly having the best time of his life by teasing the male, even up to poking the valkyr’s cheeks. Well, they have been quite comfortable with one another, there’s bound to have progress. It’s easier when they bonded with each other too because that way they could understand both of them with a lot more ease.
Granted, they’re not really allowed to lie because the other would detect it faster than they could blink, which is strangely convenient and troublesome at the same time. Perks of being Volakiri, he’s guessing. When he was flicked, the star growled slightly, but really just sounded like a puppy’s growl. Once they got inside the car, the star stared at him, a mixture of confusion and disbelief because Yeon had taken it up himself to set the location and placed it on the dash, literally giving the celestial no chance of saying no nor backing out from it. “The audacity, tsk tsk…,” he exclaimed, shaking his head at the blond while feigning drama. “I can’t believe you’re halfway saying I’m mental, Yeon.” His head is disturbing, but hey, nothing weird. Recalling what the other male said about sweets and specifically, donuts did have him reeling halfway across the world. Oh wow, he knew just what to be bribing him. Hanseol Park is weak when it comes to sweets and the likes.
“This is totally unfair, you can’t just bribe me like that, it’s not supposed to work that way, Yeon…” he whined, tapping against the steering wheel childishly and even had a visible pout. “But speaking of that, I’m 1000% sold on the idea.” How easy it was to get him to agree, as stated before, Han is either A or B, no middle ground. Shortly after starting the engines, he pressed his foot on the gas pedal and slowly drove off the parking lot. His birthday, right. “I honestly forgot about it… up until you brought it up” he murmured sheepishly, with his eyes still on the road. “I’ve never done anything on that day anyways, so I guess it’s understandable that I would forget about it.” Birthdays weren’t colloquial for him, mainly because there was no reason to celebrate them. He’s turning 90 this year, so?
Jae had never really expected to have the life he had right now in Evermore city, he had been very fortunate to meet the people he had and to connect with each of them so quickly and on a personal level. First, he had met Hanseol, someone who had honestly completely changed Jae’s life for the better, made him really see a future and a life for himself and then he had met Dae, someone who had been a really great friend to him. Most people avoided Dae because he was snarky and standoffish but Jae actually liked that part of him, the way he would always make funny but also very true comments about the world or generally look annoyed by anything and everything. On rare moments Jae had been able to get him to smile, that bright and gummy smile that Dae didn’t even admit he had. That’s how Jae knew he liked keeping him around, even when he complained a lot.
Hanseol hadn’t been the only one who remembered Jae’s birthday either, the dhampir had told the niveis when his birthday was the day they met and a few days after the day when he’d showed up for a training session, Dae had brought him a few sweets to celebrate which Jae really appreciated. His birthday had actually turned out to be way better than he was expecting it to be considering it was the first one he had spent away from home. Still, he had gotten messages from his parents and all of his siblings wishing him well and even Daehyun too. He came away from that day feeling very cared for and appreciated. He hoped he was as good of a friend in return to Dae, he always tried to be there for him though it was hard sometimes when the other male was pretty closed off about his problems.
Like today, when Jae could tell that Daehyun was feeling aggravated and even a little upset simply from the way he was holding himself in the fight, the curt and sharp way he was landing his punches that told the dhampir he wasn’t in the mood to play today. Jae didn’t mind dealing with serious and to the point Dae, that was usually the version of him that showed up to training sessions but today felt especially bad like something was weighing on his mind as the two of them sparred and it was clouding his judgment and making him damn right dangerous at points. The dhampir knew better than to ask him if he was okay though, he’d done that a few times when he’d noticed the Niveis was in a particularly bad mood and all he’d gotten back was snarky comments or grumbling, neither of which helped either of their moods. Still, he hoped that Dae knew he could talk to him if he needed to and he’d told him so several times before. For the most part, their training sessions were fun and challenging for Jae though, he found himself getting stronger and an overall better fighter and that was all thanks to Daehyun’s patience and guidance. The snowy-haired male wouldn’t give himself much credit, but he was actually an excellent teacher and mentor.
The moment he felt the punch connect with his jaw he knew this one was going to hurt like a bitch and it sure did, he felt his body go skittering across the floor and he put out his hands to try and slow down the force of the blow before tapping the mat to indicate he was hurt. He could feel the stinging radiating from his whole jaw and his lip which had split from the force of the blow, it wasn’t really Dae’s fault because his aim had been going for Jae’s chest and the dhampir had been the one to trip and put his face in the line of fire but he acknowledged the other male’s apology with a nod of his head. This is what he had signed up for after all and honestly he actually surprised it hadn’t happened before now considering how reckless the dhampir could be with his movements. It still worried him, how worked up Dae’s temper could get while fighting lately though, it wasn’t like him and Jae could tell something was on his mind, something was bothering him.
The dhampir sent him a look of judgment when he said he wasn’t frustrated “Well your fist is saying differently” he commented with a slight shake of his head, he hadn’t meant to be quite so crude with his comment though, Jae had a tendency to have snap reactions to pain and he could say something he didn’t mean in the heat of the moment, he always apologized for it though, unless it was deserved. The look only intensified as Dae started talking about touching his face and making Hanseol jealous, he came out with comments like this often, he was shameless with his flirty and forward behavior and at first it had really freaked Jae out but nowadays he was used to the comments that it only brought an amused quirk of his brow “My boyfriend got jealous over a girl sharing her lunch with me, I think there might be an actual riot if you try kissing me” he shoved the other male with his shoulder and laughed as he slung his bag over his shoulder, Dae not saying no he had generally learned meant a yes, besides the other male really liked coffee, more than Jae did for sure.
Besides that, Jae was probably the most loyal guy there was, he had never and would never stray from him celestial, he had everything he needed back home and he’d made sure Daehyun knew that many times over. The other male mostly did it because he knew it riled him up. As they headed out of the dojo, Jae rubbed his hand against his face again, thankfully it wouldn’t bruise for at least a few hours and if he got some ice on it quickly then hopefully it wouldn’t turn out too badly. He started leading the way towards the new cafe that opened in town, he’d tried some of their coffee the other day and he was already addicted and was looking forward to taking Dae there “So are you gonna tell me what’s got you all wired up?” Jae asked with a glance over to the pale-haired male, he’d taken hits from Dae before but none of them had been quite that direct and powerful.
He kept walking, hands tucked into his pockets until they reached the little place on the corner and reached for the door and headed inside. He stood staring up at the menu for a little bit before he went up to the counter and ordered himself an espresso shot and a regular latte as well as some ice on the side which he wrapped in a napkin and pressed against his face and then ordered Dae an iced Americano, they spent too much time in coffee shops that they actually knew one another’s regular orders now. Not that either of them was all that picky with what they liked, Jae would drink anything really, as long as it contained caffeine and sugar. Once their drinks were done he grabbed his and pointed out a table he’d scouted a few minutes earlier and headed over to it sitting opposite the niveis.
There were plenty of what the dhampir could evoke the niveis into doing, like those times when he’d make him laugh and those gummy smiles made its appearances. Yes, plural, which meant it was definitely a lot more than a one-time occurrence. Wise beyond his peers, Jae always showed a good manifestation of what someone exemplary should be; real. He’s equipped with talents surrounding the literary world and had a good perception, though he was not without flaws too, which was what usually made Daehyun snicker, seeing how down to earth he could be, sometimes.
Daehyun wasn’t always so open with people, he came as someone standoffish at first, and unless he’s approached, then it’ll remain that way for god knows how long. To get him to talk is already a stroke of luck, much less getting a laugh out of him. Even his sister would find that surprising. Despite his cold pessimistic self, he did showcase a few promising and redeeming qualities that would literally shape him into a whole new person had they known him as well as they thought they did. That gummy smile didn’t come unnoticed for no reason, it calls on to his slightly ‘sweeter’ side. Like the time when it was Jae’s birthday, admittedly, he’d been a few days late, so it became belated, but the niveis got the dhampir a gift to make up for it, either way. It wasn’t much, just something to make his day better, coming in plenty of forms like sweets and the likes.
Unfortunately, the other male is also quite reckless and careless in his own right, so when he accidentally delivered the harsh blow to his face instead of the chest, where he had originally intended because the dhampir tripped on his steps, it was nothing surprising. What did surprise him, however, was the fact that he was a bit too aggressive today. Of course, both knew how well the snowy-haired niveis got riled up easily. That’s not it though. Regardless of his temperament, the elder Stormwind always kept his composure balanced and remained calm in everything else, which is what made him a good spy, in the first place. You can never really figure what’s going on in his head because he would wear that same mask you call expression every day, playing himself out to be someone who’s emotionless or blank.
Today, however, proved to be the opposite. He couldn’t control his cool, ironically, and lashed out with all that pent up frustration that he wasn’t even aware was there inside him all this time. How had he not notice it? Being serious wasn’t a new thing when it comes to Dae, who’s always sparing Jae no mercy when it comes training, gifting him with bruises every day, though the dhampir has gotten relatively better over the months and was able to send more than a few hits his way rather than only deflecting them, to say he was proud of this development would be an understatement of the century. The elder male contemplated whether he should help the other male up or not, though it came down to rest when Jae got himself up.
Sparing a not-so-subtle glance his way, Dae winced internally at the sight of the bruise marring his handsome face. Ouch. “Well my fist always says differently, Jae” he grumbled, returning to his signature mode as a scowl made its way up to his face. Slowly unraveling the bandage he wrapped around both of his wrists, he bit his bottom lip briefly before wondering what’s going on with him. Why was he suddenly so aggravated? It wouldn’t be the first time he’s been so forward in his flirtation with Jae, well the dhampir is very attractive and he doesn’t miss the chance to make him flustered. At least, at first, it worked. Until a few months later, it seems like Jae grew used to it so it became a casual thing.
So what he did, was that he sauntered across the room to Jae and actually took his face in his hands playfully, and scrunched his nose up. “Oh wow, that looks very nasty though. You sure you don’t want me to kiss it better? Hanseol doesn’t have to know, what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him” he purred, before eventually breaking into fits of laughter afterward. “A girl brought you lunch? Classic soap opera there. I’m surprised your boyfriend hasn’t sicced her yet. The way you described him was like he’s this dog, with the part of having duality switch.” The two of them did talk frequently, having spent a lot of time too, if Jae wasn’t with his boyfriend, he’d be with the niveis. As they walked out of the dojo, Daehyun zipped his jacket up and ruffled his hair, tousling it into a messy mop as he stared at the nasty bruise that really looks painful. “You really should get ice on that, though. I know you heal fast and all, but if your boyfriend sees that, he might come to me bringing more than just a riot squad with him. I’d rather not have an animal rioting outside my place, please.”
Hearing the question flying out from Jae got him to halt momentarily on his steps, contemplating if he should answer that honestly or just dismiss it. “Honestly? I don’t know… got no idea, at all. Maybe you’re right, maybe it’s because I haven’t got laid in a month.” To be fair, he was the one who’s been rejecting all approaches because he couldn’t get that certain valkyr out of his head ever since that night. “It’s frustrating because things didn’t feel the same anymore. I hate it.” He also gave the dhampir a look that told him to bite him if he was gonna judge the TMI part. Given their history, he allowed Jae to order for him as he leaned against the window and stared at the not so busy crowd inside the cafe. It’s aesthetically pleasing and the aroma of pure coffee beans being ground really filled the air, a smell Daehyun appreciates.
There were only about 6 people in the cafe, which was honestly good for him since he’s not much on the company. Shortly taking a seat at one of the tables near the windows after receiving their orders, he thanked Jae briefly for his beverage. “Be right back..” he excused himself and asked the barista for a glass of ice, and came back to their table with them. “I told you, you need ice…” In order to make sure the ice won’t melt all the way, the niveis glanced down to the clear transparent glass filled with a few ice cubes and focused on freezing the cubes alone without shattering the glass due to the sudden temperature change, before pushing it towards Jae.
Yeon had getting Hanseol to do what he wanted down to a tee now, he was easy to bribe and a sucker for a pouty tone, besides it wasn’t like the celestial didn’t owe him a few favors by now considering Yeon had been pretty instrumental in making Hanseol’s new branch in Denver happen, though he didn’t try and take any credit, the star did the hard work, he just provided advice and a nudge here and there “I’m not complaining, I’m reminding you how much I slave away for you my Volakiri” he pressed a hand against his own forehead as though he was sweating and the smirked, Han knew he didn’t mind at all and was just teasing him “Speaking of though, not long until the grand opening” his eyes twinkled with excitement, how quickly the months of work had passed.
Yeon chuckled when Han got defensive over his music taste “No, I’m just saying that driver normally gets pick” he teased with a laugh, he actually quite liked Han’s taste in music, though it was very varied and some days you literally had no idea what you were gonna hear. Yeon was an EDM guy, for the most part, the music they played in the clubs, upbeat and energetic. Hanseol, however, was the furthest from a partier than a person could probably be. Yeon shot Han a look, eyeing him from above his shades when he made fun of the fact the valkyr was tried “Uh excuse you, I just spent 5 hours on a flight and walked off looking like this” he jested and winked before pushing his shades back up his nose “Besides I don’t aim to look cute, I aim to look as though the ground might set on fire around me” he chuckled with an amused shake of his head pulling away from the celestial’s poking around at his cheeks. He did really like the outfit he’d chosen today, even if he was only going to get to wear it to the coffee shop and then home, he liked to look his best.
The valkyr snickered when Hanseol growled at him, he’d found out very quickly that the star could act pretty childish at times, not that he minded, it rubbed off on Yeon a little who was usually quite sensible, made him a little more goofy and silly, especially when he was around Hanseol. “I said I wanted coffee and you’re hopeless at using your phone” the valkyr explained as he set the phone into place on the dash and then made himself comfortable in the seat, leaning his head against the window so he could look out at the cars rushing by, Yeon wasn’t great with travel but he’d never had major issue with cars as long as the driver was sensible and while Han didn’t like driving, he was actually a pretty good one “You were locked up for most of your life, I think you’re allowed a little crazy” the valkyr turned his gaze on Hanseol for a minute and shrugged his shoulders “Least you don’t drive like a maniac” she commented with a roll of his shoulders.
“That’s exactly what I’m doing” he responded, mocking the celestial’s whiny tone and rolling his eyes, he knew exactly how to get Hanseol on his side and it was usually with some kind of sweet treat, though this time he had gone one step extra and gotten really special treats from the streets of New York because he knew how much of an ask it was to get Hanseol to drive. As they moved Yeon kept talking, bringing up different topics and talking away as Han drove, it was actually quite easy to keep the celestial calm if you occupied his mind and the valkyr had plenty of practice “I’ve never been big on birthdays either but isn’t this year the big 90?” Yeon asked with raised brows “I have to get you something to congratulate you on making it to old age pensioner status, maybe a zimmer frame or we could get a ramp installed up to the door of your house” he snickered at the very thought of it, Yeon was the younger of the two of them but tended to act older, probably thanks to his upbringing making him more mature than most around him.
“Besides you made a massive deal about Jae’s birthday so surely he’s gonna return the favor” Yeon commented as he pulled down the sun visor from above him to block out the bright light which was hurting his eyes even though he had sunglasses on. Han talked about Jae often, so much so that the valkyr felt like he knew the guy despite never actually getting to meet him in person, he’d certainly felt the damn dhampir bite him a few times much to his dismay, in that respect they knew one another quite intimately. Yeon figured they’d cross paths soon enough and thankfully it wasn’t all that weird for him, the valkyr had found himself in much stranger situations “Has he told you anything more on moving in yet or are you still too chicken to push?” the blond wasn’t exactly subtle when it came to asking questions and he did like a bit of gossip, besides with the amount his Volakiri talked about his significant other, it only seemed fair he got regular updates on where things were at.
Han had been following the directions of the robotic voice this whole time and before he knew it they found themselves pulling up into the parking lot of the little cafe in the middle of the city, Yeon patted Han on the back “Good job” he stated and nodded his head “It’s alright if I leave my suitcase in the trunk right?” he looked down to the paper bag he had been holding this whole time “The real goods are in here” the valkyr had a bit of a sweet tooth too, though he couldn’t only eat so much at once before he got sick, Han could eat far more than he could. He reached for the handle and climbed out of the car closing the door behind him and then rounded the car until he found the celestial again “This way slow poke” he teased as he threw his arm around him once again, he swore Hanseol was always going at snail’s pace and he constantly had to drag him everywhere. He led the way towards the door of the little coffee shop and pulled the door open for them both before heading inside.
It was surprising to see just how quick Hanseol was able to turn the entire corner over 180 degrees when it comes to the people he cares about, namely his boyfriend, and of course, his Volakiri, the only who stands with him, with that arm wrapped around him as if it was supposed to rest there forever. It was no weird occurrence to see Yeon being very touchy, the valkyr had a spot on being very forward with his advances and skinship alongside the string of affection he’s shown the celestial, and he wasn’t really one to deny too. Hanseol had a soft spot on the particular affection too, and he’s loyal to the core when it comes to loving Jae, so really, it was nothing weird for him. It feels good that he had another person he could relate to without having much difficulty in explaining things to.
“Slave away, you make it sound so much worse than before, oh my god, Yeon.” He scrunched up his nose and shook his head at the blond, contemplating what’s going on in that head of his, because he always seemed to find the starting point to pull out things seamlessly. When Yeon reminded him of the grand opening of the place that should open in around 2 more weeks, Han felt himself shrinking. The shy guy didn’t just disappear overnight okay, not even after he’s spent a lot of time with someone as confident as Yeon. “Yeah... it’s in 12 days. I uh- actually forgot about it, until you reminded me.” Admittedly, he’s been busy sorting out the necessary paperwork regarding the matter but really did forget when it was supposed to be launched officially.
“You do seem a lot more excited than I am, though. Do you like it that much?” he teased, taking in the twinkle of excitement flashing across the valkyr’s dark hues. Of course, he had every reason to look forward to the opening, since Yeon had a lot of part in playing for this success too, but seeing it physically just warmed his heart. Their music taste differs sometimes, but he’s slowly picking up what the blond preferred, those eccentric and loud music that would suit dancing and the likes, and the celestial even checked them out and had a few tracks from Illenium in his Spotify playlist. Speaking of dancing, ever since he found out that Yeon is a choreographer, Han has been coming down to the studio frequently whenever he had time to spare, just to see the male dance. There were occasional times when he took a few lessons to occupy his ‘free time’ or so to say. It didn’t take the celestial long to like the idea of allowing your body to flow freely and move to the music. Another influence coming from the valkyr.
“At least you still look good, no? So, are you really complaining?” he scoffed, giving the blond a side eye while judging him internally. Of course, he would say he’s hopeless on modern-day gadgets, which caused the star to cough. “I’m 90, not 900, Yeon. I know how to operate a smartphone, thank you very much,” Whilst it is true that Hanseol doesn’t really use his phone that much, he’s not utterly hopeless around it. “And besides, it’s all about preferential matters. You know, kinda like how you prefer to rile me up whenever I gave you a ‘bruise’.” Both of them knew where that leads, whenever Jae would bite Hanseol, which has been going on quite often in the past month, much to his delight, Yeon would always come back with a rebuttal, to retaliate.
Even though he knew the blond meant nothing literal about his years of imprisonment, it did sting a bit to recall those moments. He didn’t say anything about it and preferred to keep a silent mode on when it comes to such matters. “Yes, thank you for acknowledging despite my extreme distaste over driving, I am a sensible driver” he narrowed his dark hues at the other male, before returning his gaze towards the front. “You’re lucky you have those sweets, it’s quite possibly the only thing between us from me throwing you out and ask you to teleport yourself back.” He wouldn’t actually do that, no. “On second thought, I’ll rob the sweets and still do that” he grumbled, following the remark about being a pensioner. Is it really June, already?
Though Yeon does have a good point regarding Jae, the dhampir would not miss out on that, knowing him. “I don’t really have anything I want though, so I’m kind of worried on what lengths he’d go for. Would settle for a nice day off at home, a day where no one would be able to bother us.” Yes, Yeon, that’s a literally fuck off statement by Hanseol to his Volakiri to not bother him on that particular day. Thankfully, he could still spare an offended gaze on the male sitting on the passenger seat and huffed, clearly dissatisfied by the question. “He hasn’t moved in yet. We’re still working through things, and no, what the fuck, I’m not a chicken. I’m just respecting his choices, doesn’t sound like me if I push, anyway. Wouldn’t you know that, Volakiri.” Han would lie if he said he really wished Jae would decide soon, and it made him feel guilty to have those thoughts.
Fortunately, they finally arrived not long after, Hanseol was the first to hop out of the car, inhaling the breeze of the day. The celestial was mostly glad he didn’t have to sit in a car any longer than he needed to. “Yeah sure, just leave it in. Come on, let’s get you that well-needed coffee before you pass out on me. Doesn’t really look good on me if I would be holding another guy in my arms, right?” A scowl displayed itself across his features as he scoffed at the blond who then wrapped his arms around him once again, leading him towards the said cafe. “I’m not slow, I was just enjoying nature. That 30-minute drive drained me, excuse you.” However, when he was about to go and order at the counter, he saw a familiar silhouette from the corner of his eyes; one he can always recognize from anywhere. Is that his boyfriend? With someone else? The pale hair did spark realization in him after a few seconds, that should be the infamous Daehyun that Jae’s told him before. He even forgot to order because his eyes were eyeing that particular direction hotly.
Jae wasn’t going to lie and say that hit didn’t hurt like a bitch because it did, he knew even with his advanced healing it was going to bruise whether he got ice on it or not, for now it was just a little swollen and red though “That’s true, your power is definitely on the up” he commented with a nod, they trained together to get better at fighting most of all and it was clear to Jae that Dae had definitely gotten stronger, they both worked out a lot more than they used to now too, it had kinda become a routine for him, regular training sessions with both Dae and Donovan, really working on figuring out who he was as a fighter. He felt stronger and more capable thanks to it.
Jae scowled at Dae as he felt his fingers curl around his face but he didn’t move away because the other male’s touch really was ice cold and it soothed the burning he was feeling against his skin, that Dae had inflicted. He wrinkled his nose a little at Daehyun’s teasing “Pretty sure, you’d probably freeze my face” he commented and pushed against his chest with a wry smile, Jae had always been okay with friends getting close and touching him even though it wasn’t typically something that was normal back home so it didn’t bother him like it might his brothers or sister. “She shared her lunch with me cause I forgot mine” he rolled his eyes and pulled away from his touch “I don’t know why everyone keeps making such a big deal over it” Jae was as loyal as loyal came and Daehyun knew that he’d talked his ear off about Hanseol several times in the past “I don’t think even ice is gonna save me from this one” he grumbled still rubbing at it like that was going to help at all as they walked. “And he’s not a dog” Jae glared at him for a moment, Dae insulted everything and everyone though, the dhampir was used to it by now.
One thing Jae did always appreciate about Dae is that he was a very upfront and honest person, which means if Jae asked him a question, normally he would get a real answer or the Niveis would make it clear it wasn’t something he wanted to talk about, he always knew where he stood with him. He coughed when he heard the other male hadn’t had sex in a month though, that wasn’t like him at all “Damn I wasn’t actually being serious” he commented as he glanced over at him and furrowed his brow a little “I really don’t wanna ask more about this do I?” he pulled a face and turned away from Dae, he wasn’t judging his habits, just a little worried about the other male not feeling like himself anymore. He shrugged the topic off as they headed into the cafe and the smell of coffee filled his nostrils.
It didn’t take long for them to get their orders and settle themselves at the table, Jae was confused for a moment when Dae disappeared up to the counter again but then it made sense when he came back with the cup of ice, ah yes, the pain in his jaw, how could he forget. He took the cup with a thanks and tipped them out into a napkin before pressing the soft material up against his chin and holding it there. It did help to take the sting out a little, thankfully, so he leaned into it for a moment. He then picked up his espresso shot and downed it in one before placing the little china cup back down against the table “Ah, so much better” he stated as he relaxed into his chair, his eyes scanning over the room and noting it was much quieter than he was expecting it to be considering it only opened a couple of weeks ago, not that he was complaining about that.
Jae looked up at Daehyun and furrowed his brow for a moment noticing a feather had gotta caught in his hair when they were walking “Hold still” Jae spoke before he reached out and plucked it from his head before putting it down on the table in front of him “So you’re not really a grumpy cat, you’re a grumpy pigeon” Jae teased before he started laughing lifting his other drink to his lips and sipping some down. Jae was sitting with his back to the counter but somehow he felt like eyes were on him and he turned around to see Han there by the entrance, with another guy hanging off his shoulder. Jae looked confused at first, wondering if he was just seeing things but no, there was a blond, Korean-looking male, clinging to his boyfriend. If looks could kill, it’s quite possible whoever this guy was, would have combusted on the spot.
Jae quickly tried to rein in his temper though, he had no idea what was going on but he could give his boyfriend the benefit of the doubt though...maybe this guy was just bothering him. The dhampir glanced at Dae who looked like he was in trance too and the dhampir felt thoroughly mind fucked “Han?” Jae called out with a tilt of his head, though he didn’t really need to because the celestial had been staring at him since before he even turned around, he arched his brow questioningly and jerked his chin to imply he was welcome to stop standing there like a statue.
He will say that he really did feel guilty for delivering that blow to Jae, it was accidental, but he should’ve known better than to fight when his head is an utter mess, after all, it was one of his rules; to never engage with your heart. Unfortunately, that has happened today without him noticing and an innocent bystander took the blow, it doesn’t help when he was supposed to spar with him mildly like they always do, but no, he really did punch him square in the face and now that bruise looks like it’s gonna stay for a while longer. “You think?” he mumbled, his strength is often his own weakness just as well, that’s the way it’s always been with Daehyun.
Overall, he’s a pretty good soldier, there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t try to execute nor carry out, but his emotions and empathy often delayed that. But it’s also a good thing, though the niveis would never admit that. Had it not been to him possessing such feelings embedded inside him, there was literally nothing stopping him from being a cruel madman who would assassinate people here and there. But with his emotions enhanced, it also means the snowy-haired male is a lot more prone to lashing out and he hates the idea of that happening around the people he cares about, namely his friend, Jae, who got the sour end of the blade, today. “Well at least it’s from my fist and not from a staff?” he exclaimed, trying to diffuse the awkwardness, but to no avail, it wasn’t working since Dae literally said if he had used a staff, it would’ve been worse and that’s saying a lot since that is one nasty bruise on Jae’s handsome face.
When he saw that the other male didn’t make any effort to move his face away, he smirked faintly and rubbed his fingers around the jawline, tracing it slowly as he inspected it. “I mean, I can still control my elements, you know. I won’t freeze you, do you think every time I engage in lip-locking actions, my partners are frozen too? Think logically, Jae” he chided, tapping his fingers harshly against his face. Naturally, Daehyun is quite the affectionate guy, what a shame no one unlocked that side of him before Jae because no one bothered to approach him. Considering he even closed himself away from his own sister for over a century despite living in the same place, it’s not surprising to see the niveis being a loner. Nothing bad about it too, so he didn’t mind if that meant people would stop trying to get on his nerves.
Mingling with humans and people in general really irked the elder Stormwind somehow. “Because anyone who’s not daft or the receiver can see it’s a move, dude. The girl likes you, tries to befriend you, gets into your good graces and gains a favor, next thing you know, she’s gonna try and get in your pants. One day she might even drug your food if she’s determined or scary, and voila, mission accomplished” he rolled his eyes at the obliviousness the dhampir possessed, it’s endearing and charming but there’s only so much that it could go. “Gosh, Jae. You didn’t realize that, did you? Everything big starts small.” Even though he didn’t exactly believe in the everlasting love concept, the relationship between Jae and his boyfriend did get him jealous sometimes, but he’ll never admit it. Who wouldn’t want someone to care for you like that? And he’s giving what Jae is giving him, back. Tenfold, if possible.
“My current job is protecting you, even if it meant protecting you from cheesy people who would turn out to be deceptive. So please, do ring me up if anyone tries to tackle you, except if it’s me. If it’s me doing the flirting, then I’d ask you to just enjoy it” he winked playfully before chortling at his own terrible attempt at humor. “Of course you would say he’s not a dog, put it this way then, he’s a cute one, at least?” Though Daehyun has yet to meet the celestial, from the way his friend described the star made it sound like he had the looks of a celebrity, body of a model, and the heart of an angel. It’s probably biased opinion, but who is he to judge. “Shut up, I’m really dealing with the midlife crisis here. Getting a month off over the sex department on my own consent? Not cool.” Here comes the grumbling guy again.
“Just know that it’s a big factor to why you are suffering from that, today. So it must’ve been serious.” With that, Dae pointed at the bruise which Jae is now covering with the ice he gave earlier. It wouldn’t melt until very much later, or at least until Dae deems it better. He quirked his eyebrow up in confusion when the male in front of him told him to stay still, only to see him removing a stray feather that weirdly got stuck in his pale colored hair. Oh well, it’s not surprising not to notice it then, given the resemblance. “Not only did you disgrace me by comparing me to a lazy majestic creature, but you are also comparing me to a freaking bird, a pigeon of everything. I can fly, but a pigeon, really? You wound me, dhampir.” That was until he saw the look on Jae’s face faltered momentarily, which made him squint his eyes scrutinizingly at the direction the dhampir was staring at as he turned around.
Instead of noticing Hanseol, he saw the very attractive blond next to him, chin propped on the shoulder affectionately. That guy, oh he knew who that guy is. While Jae was busy staring at his boyfriend, Dae was occupying his time staring at the one with him. Out of all places, here? And why was he with Jae’s boyfriend. Wait, is that guy two-timing him? His head is whirring with so many possibilities and with the present aggressiveness mixed with his pessimist self, it’s hard not to consider the results. He was not happy to see the blond with the star, and as soon as those thoughts began to cloud his head, the temperature in the cafe dropped down fast like it was just kicked to the curb.
Maybe Yeon was looking forward to the opening more than Hanseol, he was more the type to get excited about new things than nervous but the star seemed to be quite the opposite “Of course I like it, we put a lot of effort into it you know” he shook his head a little at the celestial, he was always so negative about things, always hopping to worst case scenario and putting himself down, the valkyr was good at calling him out when he was being too hard on himself but even he couldn’t fix a pessimistic mentality “Well especially you did, all I really did was advise, you put insane hours into this Han, you should be proud” Yeon wasn’t taking humility into account for this one, when someone worked hard on something they deserved credit and praise and he, for one, was very excited to see it succeed for the star, he was owed a little good news given everything he’d been through in his life.
“I always look good” Yeon responded as though there was no question to the statement, he was used to having people stare at him for the right reasons and perhaps that did give him a bit of an ego but that ego was what helped to shield him from anyone trying to tear him down. He tried not to let anyone get to him, for the most part, told himself he didn’t care about anyone’s opinion, even though it was far from the truth deep down. “You might know how to operate it, but we’ve established already that you are slow and I don’t have time to be waiting around for you” the valkyr gave a pointed roll of his eyes in the celestial’s direction as he made himself comfortable in his seat “Ugh don’t remind me, why does it always have to be when I’m at dance practice?” he shot the celestial a look, it was fine, he was sure he’d get revenge plenty once he got over this slump in action...if he got over it. He shook his head at that thought, he had to.
“Oh come on, you make a mean threat Hanseol but you’re really quite the softie” Yeon commented with a chuckle, the celestial threatened him often though he wasn’t sure Han realized quite how trained the valkyr was in combat, it wasn’t something he shouted about, nor used unless he really had to, he wasn’t the type of person to train with other people, he kept to himself really. Before Hanseol he didn’t really have anyone he’d spend time with often other than Cecilia but she was always out of town or busy. “Plus these sweets are addictive, believe me when I say you’re gonna wanna keep me around so I can get more” he chuckled softly, the celestial was easy to find the weakness of, he had to admit.
“Well sometimes the best gifts are the ones you have no idea about” the blond commented and shrugged slightly, especially if someone put time and effort into it rather than just throwing money at it, Yeon could throw money at his problems if he wanted to but for people he cared for he did like to put actual effort into choosing a meaningful gift for them. The warning the star spoke was more aggressive and Yeon held his hands up in defense for a moment “Believe me I have no desire to be anywhere near that” he winced thinking about how he was probably going to feel it though and grumbled a little, he was a little jealous because the celestial was able to actually get some satisfaction while he was just getting more and more aggravated at the lack of his. “Oh come on, you’ve been begging him for months, it’s clear he’s not going to get there on his own” Yeon observed with a shrug of his shoulders getting the hint to back off, not his problem wasn’t like he knew anything about relationships anyway.
As they entered the cafe he followed Han over to the counter and started to look over the menu, there were a lot of fancy names for coffee which he’d never bothered to learn because he didn’t like the stuff. He huffed softly and leaned up on his toes to press his chin against Hanseol’s shoulder and give him puppy dog eyes “I don’t know what coffee is good coffee” he admitted before turning back to the counter. The server asked him what he wanted and he panicked and read off the first thing he saw on the menu, a vanilla latte. He tapped his phone against the card reader to pay for his drink before he noticed that Han had literally not moved an inch.
The server gave him his drink which he raised to his lips to drink some down as his eyes followed Hanseol’s eyes in the direction of where they were glued, his eyes fell on the younger looking male first, who Hanseol was staring at intently, bright blue hair and soft boyish features, though he was staring at the valkyr like he was trying to burn a hole in him. He swallowed down the coffee in his mouth as his eyes moved to the guy sitting next to him and choked on it. Fucking hell. The valkyr erupted into a coughing fit because the drink went down the wrong way. His eyes instantly went to the door they had come, debating whether he could make it out and make a run for it before the snowy-haired male recognized him but from the look in his eyes, Yeon knew it was too late.
The valkyr reached up to pull his sunglasses from his eyes and tucked them into the top of his shirt so one of the arms was hanging against his chest and then he realized the blue-haired male recognized Hanseol. Oh fuck, this just got ten times more awkward. “I’m going to assume that’s Jae” he prompted in a low voice to Hanseol. Well now he looked guilty as hell but he couldn’t stop his gaze from drifting over to the Daehyun, sucking in a long breath, he looked as good as he remembered, even better. He could tell from the temperature and the way his eyes didn’t leave the valkyr’s frame that he was affected too. Was it too late to run? He glanced over at Han who was guiltily making his way towards Jae, yup, too late. Fuck.