It had been about month now since she had come to the hospital as a volunteer. It was a demanding work schedule but she didn't mind because it let her do the one thing she had always wished she could do when she was alive, help people to feel better. In the short time she had been here she had learned a lot, mostly she helped with sorting out the paperwork and appointments, taking people to and from different places around the hospital and ensuring everyone was comfortable. It wasn't that different from her role as an empath, most days she would visit the patients who didn't have family coming in for them and just give them someone to talk to. 

Sometimes it made her wonder if she had been born in this modern age, would she have found herself doing this or would she be living a different life entirely. Because Arcadia knew someone from her old life in the city, she had chosen a certain persona for her work, she didn't look exactly like herself but she resembled herself enough to feel at ease when she looked in the mirror. Today had been a tough shift, she had been asked to do the suicide watch, which meant staying awake and watching a patient as they slept, someone who had previously tried to take their life. It was the middle of the night when someone came into the room to tell her she could take her break and they would keep watch for an hour. 

She headed through the familiar halls of the hospital until she reached the break room. She headed inside, going over to the kitchen to get herself a glass of water. There were always usually people coming and going in here but since it was the middle of the night everything was quiet. But she felt her heart pound in her chest when she noticed the lone figure in the corner, with their head in their hands. Arcadia would recognize Cecilia Laterza anywhere. She took a deep breath, flipping on the kettle and pouring out a mug which she mixed a hot cocoa in before taking the mug and heading towards Celia.

Her eyes softened as she slowly made her way towards her, she knew she shouldn't have, Arcadia had done pretty well at keeping her distance from her until then but how could she stop herself when she could see how upset she was. She placed the mug down gently on the table in front of her "Seems like you could use something good right now" she spoke it softly. How badly she wished she could tell the Valkyr who she was and just be there for her but she knew the rules she had to follow. She was breaking them simply by approaching her or even working at this hospital but if there is one thing Arcadia wouldn't be able to take, it would be having to take Ce's memories of her away. 

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When she said she was very confident, Ce found herself chewing on her bottom lip while staring at the blonde sitting across her, she didn't know why but somehow those words hit her a little too close to home. What was this feeling? Why is she suddenly feeling like it felt so familiar to hear it from her, who's a stranger she just met today? She's been wondering if she was just missing Cassie but the way this woman speaks reminds her of a similar sense of comfort, it felt as if the valkyr could lean against her shoulder and let it engulf her. "You're right, nothing hurts more than that. You can never truly… forget how it feels" until today, she could still feel her heart ache at the sudden reminder of her. Especially when Ce will always remember it as a time when she failed to protect her own lover. 

"Maybe… maybe not. I just didn't want her to be taken away like that you know… I felt like I couldn't fulfill the promise I made to her and I wonder if she knew how painful it was to come back to her like that" she expected Cassie to greet her with that warm smile and a similar hug, not her funeral. When asked if she could ever heal from it, the Italian cleared her throat and shrugged, "I think a day will come when I'll heal… but I've been trying to heal for a long time and no matter how many times I tried, there is still that fraction in me ready to rip a bigger hole when I allow it." In her case, that's pretty much every time she is reminded of the blonde. "No? Not one repeat of it?" That's an interesting view from someone else. Most people would take a chance to shift something else. 

When Arcadia tried to brush her off albeit while acting nervously, Ce couldn't help but to chuckle, how cute, it feels like she's playing the role of the predator preying on her dinner for the night. It doesn't help that the blonde is clearly taken by the actions she displayed earlier, it was clear as the day when she closed her eyes and excused herself to go to the bathroom. Celia stared at the blonde who scurried over to the direction of the bathroom with an amused grin. She gave the cashier her card so she could pay for their dinner and once she finished doing so, the valkyr made her way to the bathroom, making sure to lock the door as she entered behind it. Of course, Ce being Ce also placed the under cleaning maintenance in front of the female washroom so no one would be able to interrupt them. "I hope you didn't have any upset stomach" she teased and leaned against the door with her arms crossed.

Arcadia looked up at Ce with a knowing look, they both shared the pain of losing one another, even if the valkyr didn’t know who it was in front of her. Honestly it felt a little therapeutic to be here with her and know someone finally understood the pain she had gone through, because honestly sometimes she felt alone in it “Relationships are...messy” she commented softly, she knew she should have moved on by now and found happiness elsewhere but she found herself stuck in the same loop where she pined for what she had before, for the person who was right here with her.

“I don’t think there’s anything more painful in life than missing the chance to say goodbye” she commented in a soft voice, it definitely tortured her and it clearly took it’s toll on Ce too, that day was supposed to be their new beginning, they were supposed to run away together and they would have been happy. Maybe it would have been short-lived but it would have meant everything. “At least you’re optimistic that you’ll find your way there...even if it takes a long time” she nodded slightly, it made her sad knowing that even after all this time, Ce still found it hard to move on from what happened. “Maybe I’d repeat a birthday where I got to eat a really nice treat” she commented and giggled slightly.

The moment she got to the bathroom she immediately headed inside and wandered over to the mirror, looking at her reflection and sighing before shaking her head, she was scolding herself in her head for letting herself get here, for getting caught up in everything she felt for Ce practically falling for her all over again. She reached down and splashed some water on her face before she jumped a the sound of Ce’s voice echoing in the bathroom “No just...a little hot” she commented before awkwardly brushing the drops of water from her face and tilting her head slightly “What about you?”

It doesn't take away the pain, nothing could ever do that to her. A hundred years could pass, perhaps even a thousand like what it is, but the pain is still very much fresh in her heart. It was just like yesterday that she lost the love of her life. Despite what she told people, the hypocrite herself never quite moved on. But talking about it with someone who seemed like she understood that pain very well, made it feel somewhat bearable. "It is, sometimes you just wish you've never gotten into one but the experience in one could just quite literally blow your mind away…" She hoped she never had to feel that pain ever again but did she regret it? Not once. "I hate goodbyes…" but would it have been any better if she had the chance to say such words to Cassie before she left the world? Perhaps. 

Either way, it would've been painful for the valkyr anyway. When Cadia mentioned that she was being optimistic, Ce chuckled and shrugged absentmindedly, "I have to be optimistic for a lot of things. Or else things… wouldn't go my way. And I have a tendency to get what I want at the end of the day." After that incident, the Italian vowed she will never lose what she had anymore, she will be in control of what goes and what doesn't. For a long while, she had that under control pretty well. It was better that way. Her ears perked up at the mention of a birthday, when a smile crept up, she missed those too. "I love birthdays… I basically like everything that give me a reason to celebrate because it enables the party girl in me" she chuckled and tilted her head to the side while staring at the blonde intently. She really is beautiful. 

Was it her eyes? Or was it the fact that she resembles a lot like Cassie? From the personality to the physical appearance, it matches out. Whatever it is, it definitely gave her reassurance that she's seeing her. She knew she couldn't leave her alone so when the blonde scurried off to the bathroom, she trailed behind soon enough after paying. Even with her face splashed with water, she still looks pretty, and that flustered tone and look she had only made the valkyr bite her lip in temptation. "A little hot? I wonder why, temperature wise it's not that heated… unless you're referring to yourself." She came over a few steps closer until she's barely far from Arcadia and held onto her shoulders, "I was just checking on you. You looked… distressed. I was worried" though it was clear by the tone and facial expression that Cecilia Laterza is far from being worried.

Arcadia would never say that she regretted the time she spent with Ce, even if it was only short-lived and she had hoped for much more, when she looked back on her life, a lot of the things she remembered were the good times she spent with the valkyr, how she made her feel like the world could be just a little bit simpler for a while and all that etiquette and social rules just faded away. She missed the feeling of freedom she had when she was with her “Even if I knew how it ended from the start...I think I’d still do it over again” she confessed with a slight nod of her head, it was enough, it had to be enough.

“Me too….but without them...closure is hard to find” it made you regret not saying something or doing something. It made you wonder if there was something you could have done to change the course of events. “I like that thought...to keep imagining things will go our way until it does” she nodded a few times, maybe if she kept dreaming about the life she wanted for long enough then eventually the world would find a way to give it to her. It was a nice thought, even if it seemed like a pipe dream rather than something that would actually happen. She smiled slightly “Me too...I always got treated like a princess on my birthday” she always looked forward to them for that reason “Though I can’t say I’ve really...partied on them” she laughed, that wasn’t really a thing back then.

Seeing Ce that close definitely brought back a lot of memories and while they were good ones they were also twinged in this sadness that she couldn’t shake because she knew that she couldn’t go back to how things were and be Ce’s first love again. It honestly pained her a little knowing the valkyr hadn’t fully gotten over her but at the same time it also made her feel touched. The splashes of water did help to calm her down a little but it was short-lived because she completely forgot there was nothing stopping Ce from following her inside. She bit her lip slightly when the valkyr pointed out it wasn’t hot in her but she quickly got herself lost in her eyes.

Cadia’s eyes couldn’t help but soften because Ce looked just like she used to and for a moment it felt like no time had passed at all. She pressed her lips together for a moment “I’m just a little...flustered...it’s not every day that someone like you flirts with me” she commented softly, part of her was screaming that she shouldn’t cross the line but she was completely at Ce’s mercy right here.

How peculiar, she thought silently. This girl sitting across her bear so many resemblances to the girl she fell in love with, once upon a time ago. Yet there was something about her that just feels… strange. Different, if she would out a word to describe Arcadia. Cecilia hated feeling unsure, finding things to be ambiguous or vague is the one time she would likely frown over since she wasn't in control of the situation. Whatever the outcome will be, it wouldn't be introduced as one that would be in her favor. And she hates losing. "Most people wouldn't do what you would" she pointed out dryly, but the smile on her lips said otherwise. "Closure js relative" to her, it was. Most people don't often find their own closure and Ce wasn't even sure if she herself found hers. Perhaps if she had, she wouldn't pine over someone who was already dead over a thousand years ago. That's just unhealthy. 

Comparing others to the blonde who never quite left her alone. It's as if she was being haunted by her remnants, and she wants to be haunted by it. At least, that meant the valkyr wouldn't be utterly alone, even if most of the time she would be living in the delusions crafted by herself. "I used to like spoiling the people I care for, on whatever occasion of theirs that would warrant a celebration. I still do actually, it's just that the list of important people have decreased significantly over the past few years." Or centuries, if she was being honest. Cecilia Laterza doesn't favor a lot of people nor does she keep them close, she has a certain line she keeps, but sometimes said people she cherished, they don't live for long. Not even immortals. 

When she found her acting erratic in the bathroom, it piqued her interest. Settle down, Ce, don't move forward. She's not a prey, she reminded herself. But rather than seeing Arcadia as one of her many fanciful escapades, there was something else she wanted from her. Something not even the Italian knew what it was, not until she truly gets it. But there was one thing that is for sure; she wants her. "Someone like me? What is that supposed to mean, I wonder?" She teased and twirled a strand of her hair playfully while leaning in closer, there was no way the other female would've been able to not detect the alluringness in her voice. "But I am flirting with you though, I imagine others would too… It's not often you get to miss a jewel in front of your eyes, you know." She fixed her gaze onto her and grinned while pressing her finger under chin, "You can tell me off and I won't bother you again" it sounds like she was taunting her, almost challenging the female to say no to her. "Or you can just enjoy…"

She looked up at Ce and then down again for a moment as she thought about it, she didn’t regret her decisions that led her to meet the valkyr and fall in love with her, how could she ever regret that? Ce had become special to her and even after death, she was still able to look back at everything good they had shared and smile, she wasn’t sure there were many people who could say the same if she was honest. “To me...I think goodbye would have helped, even a little” maybe then she could have told Ce not to stay hung up on her forever. It saddened her to think about how she hadn’t managed to find another love, though perhaps the jealous part was happy that no one was able to replace her in Ce’s heart.

Of course Arcadia remembered the way Ce would always spoil her on her birthday which was partly the reason she cherished them so much, she missed being able to celebrate her birthday with a party, surrounded by the people who mattered most to her “It’s nice to make someone feel special on their day” she commented and nodded her head, Cadia had gotten Ce a bracelet once for hers, even though the valkyr insisted she didn’t want to celebrate it and she remembered how much she had liked it and always worn it. “Well I’m sure the few people that make the list feel special” she murmured softly and smiled a little.

The blonde bit down on her lip softly when Ce asked her what she meant by someone like her, well she could hardly admit that the reason was because she was the one person she cared for most so she decided to list her secondary reason instead “That you’re...stunning” she spoke softly, Ce had always been that attractive and she’d always found it incredibly unfair because it meant she was constantly getting attention from all directions. And back then she hadn’t even been able to show her jealousy. She bit her lip at Ce’s next words “I’m hardly a jewel” she commented but her eyes were fixed on Ce, she felt her heart doing little flips in her chest from her words.

She should have known she would end up completely under the valkyr’s spell all over again, her gaze locked onto Ce’s and she couldn’t help but find herself drawn to her allowing the valkyr to pull her in closer “I don’t think no is in my vocabulary right now” she murmured softly as she leaned in to closer the gap between them by mere centimeters.

That gaze, she didn’t know what it was, but god does that gaze feel familiar to her. Where has she seen that? It doesn’t really ring a bell when she knows she only met the blonde today though. Whatever it was, she did feel this familiar tug towards her, a sensation Ce would both love and hate. Love because it reminds her of Cassie, hate because the last thing she wanted was to see another woman on the blonde sitting across her. That’s disrespectful, right? Especially when she’s a bit taken by her, the interest is clearly there. 

“It is, it feels even better when you know the birthday recipient is happy because of it. Sometimes all you want to do is just put a smile on their face” she remembered that’s what she wanted to do for Cassie, she loved her smile and she still does, the person she was back then was different from the woman you see her today. The contrast was there and she wondered if Cassie would approve of how she lived her life now. Would she be disappointed? Would she be indifferent? She didn’t know why her head is filled with so many questions about Cassie, it hasn’t been this bad since a while ago. 

The Italian clearly still longs for her and misses her dearly but it has never been wrecking her like this. Aside from on her birthday, where the valkyr quite literally just mourns her. “I’m stunning? Wow, you really went for it, didn’t you?” she teased, it was nice to hear that and considering how Cecilia was pretty much preying on her, playing around with the blonde is an additional bonus to her night. The way Cadia was biting her lip made the seductress chuckle, how cute. She wanted to push her more to the edge until she could no longer get up. “The most precious people tend to be humble and see others more than themselves. That’s why jewels are so… precious. Because they know they’re already beautiful but would do nothing to attract the attention of the room.” And that is definitely what Arcadia is. A jewel. 

“And denial is not in mine” she purred, taking in the pleasure of the closed gap between them. She had pushed her against the sink and dragged her hand over her legs, tugging softly on her bottom lip and smirked, “Are you the type to kiss someone in the bathroom after having dinner with them? My my, I wouldn’t have expected this, at all.” She purposely dragged her syllables while bringing her hand higher, while the other hand grazed her neck gently. 

Arcadia had to wonder what Ce was seeing when she looked into her eyes, because for the blonde it was everything she remembered, the expressive but somewhat judgmental gaze she had memorized, no matter how much time passed, it was something she could never forget. Ce always used to tell her you could read a lot about a person by looking into their eyes and sometimes she swore she could see hints of recognition in the valkyr’s eyes. “I’ve always been someone who would give everything she has to make someone else happy” she commented in a soft voice, that was what made her want to be an aurazin, having the chance to make other people’s lives better.

“I remember I always used to put so much effort into birthday gifts, though I moved away and haven’t been as close with most of my friends since then” it was a vague way of describing what had actually happened but it covered what she wanted to say at least. She blushed and averted her gaze when Ce pointed out that she was bold with her compliment, she tucked her hair behind her ears and pressed her lips together “I’m sure it’s nothing you haven’t heard from...literally everyone” she rationalized in a soft voice. She definitely felt more alert with the valkyr so close to her, knowing that look so well and unable to do a thing to stop her reactions to it.

“I’ve always thought myself more of a fade into the background kind of girl...the girl next door as you might put it” she wasn’t the person that got attention for her looks so much as her personality, she was a bright and optimistic person which often meant that people were warm and receptive to her, but when it came to pure beauty, that was definitely the valkyr’s department. The moment Ce was that close to her, all of her ability to rationalize was gone and she found herself wrapping her legs around Ce as she perched against the seat, getting lost immediately in the intimacy she craved so badly. She couldn’t stop herself as she stole a soft kiss which quickly became less soft “I’m the type not to let a good opportunity pass me by” she murmured softly against her lips.

There was no going back now so she may as well enjoy the moment she got to have with the person that still meant the most to her. She missed her, she missed everything about her and as her hands came up to wrap around her neck as she deepened a kiss, it felt like no time had passed at all. She squealed a little playfully as Ce slowly trailed up her inner leg but she didn’t stop her.

She is so mysterious yet so open, it was as if Ce could read her easily without having to double back. But that’s the thing that made her so interesting, no matter how easy it is for her to read someone, they almost always end up having something she couldn’t penetrate through with her reading, unless they’re insanely dull, which the valkyr is confident Arcadia is not. “So you’re an empathetic girl who wants to make everyone around her happy because that’s what the world deems to be proper?” She wouldn’t be the first one, she thought, but Arcadia had this calming sense of positivity that made her rethink a few things. She vaguely reminds her of someone. “Never been much of a gift girl myself but my girlfriend used to give me a lot, the smallest things that would make my day” how she misses her. 

A thousand years could pass but she didn’t see how she could get over her. She still hasn’t, what makes it possible for her to do that later? “I think if she was still alive today, you would be good friends with her, you two strangely resemble one another.” Aside from the physical appearance, Arcadia could easily pass off as Cassie, a more mature version. The kind of Cassie she could see herself being after spending centuries together. Ce chuckled teasingly when the blonde pointed out the compliments that rolled out were not foreign to the brunette, “Maybe, but every compliment means differently since each person seemingly gave them with another… meaning. I like yours.” Flirting wasn’t surprising, Ce spent most of her time just flirting and teasing people, especially those she is interested in. Before the end of the day, once she sets her sights on someone, they normally find themselves in her bed before long but this game of chasing between a mouse and a cat doesn’t feel too boring when the mouse is the girl in front of her. 

She closed the gap between them and nipped her earlobe softly before whispering, “Well what do you know, I have a thing for blondes, and the sweet naivety of a girl next door.” Arcadia didn’t push her away, not that the valkyr was banking on that, but it was nice to be wanted like that. It feels different coming from her. Almost as if Ce was longing for her instead of the other way around. “Oh? So this is a good opportunity for you? How so? You do realize you are not walking out of this bathroom until I say so, right?” But do not mistake her gentleness for submission because that was not a department Cecilia Laterza dabbles in. Not in a million years. With her hand moving even further up against her inner thigh, Ce broke the kiss and started leaving them on her neck instead, kissing every spot as if she was making her claim on her. “Tell me, did you think this would happen 10 minutes ago?” Her hazel hues gleamed under the slightly dimmed space as she grazed her hand closer.

She gave a shy smile when Ce pointed out the kind of person she was and she nodded slightly “If we can’t be kind in life...what’s the point right?” she murmured softly, they lived to be around others and interact, being alone wasn’t fun. She felt like it was her purpose to take care of others and make sure they lived a better life than the one she did. It was the least she could do with the time she had been gifted. “Everyone likes receiving gifts, even if we pretend we don’t” she commented and scrunched his nose remembering how Ce would always treasure the gifts she gave her, even if she pretended like she didn’t want them.

Cadia and smiled and averted her gaze down for a moment, Ce was as perceptive as always and she knew even when she was wearing this mask the valkyr could sense the person she lost, but she also knew Ce was the kind of person where seeing was believing and she knew even if she had an inkling inside, she wouldn’t allow herself to hold onto the hope “She sounds like a good person” she commented and smiled softly. Cadia bit her lip when Ce said that getting a compliment from her was special “Especially when that person doesn’t give out compliments too often, huh?” she commented and smiled sweetly back at the valkyr.

She parted her lips and gasped when she felt the valkyr nip against her ear, god how she had missed her touch, the way she could be so commanding and yet so gentle with her touches “Well then it seems you’ve found one...trapped in your web” she murmured softly against her. She felt so warm and her skin was so soft against hers, it felt like she was immediately transported back so many years when he lips were against her own. She swallowed when the other girl said she wasn’t leaving this bathroom until she said so, her face turning red because she was flustered “Yes ma’am” she murmured instinctively, leaning into her touch. She was holding back her moans as the valkyr toyed with her, feeling every kiss as it marked her “Perhaps I hoped” she murmured softly.

This woman in front of her is filled with so much hope and optimism it was starting to make Ce feel like she's sitting across the light itself. Or whatever it could be personified anyway. If she didn't think this person reminded her of that person, she definitely thought about it now. Usually, the valkyr wouldn't care less about what people thought of the world, and often got annoyed when someone is being a bit too positive because it reminds her what could go wrong. But not her. Not Arcadia. "True, gifts are gifts, at the end of the day. You receive it as a token of gratitude from the other party, how can you even toss it away?" She wasn't the type to gush over the things she would receive but she recalled distinctly that Cassie would give her a few and she would secretly cherish every single one of them. 

She didn't show it openly, of course. But Cassie probably knew she loved it. "She is. Probably the kindest person I have ever met in my entire life." The only woman she would go to hell for. What she wouldn't give just to get her back. It still antagonised her until today to know that she should've been there by her side so she wouldn't get attacked. She would've been stronger to fend whoever that person was. And this person, Arcadia reminds her so much of her, she couldn't even see anyone else past her exterior. The blonde is gorgeous, with seemingly a heart of gold. 

The moment she laid her eyes on her, Ce knew she wanted to take her home. She kept on teasing her as she closed the gap between them, "So submissive" she purred, the fact that her face turned red and the way she complied to her so fast made the Italian reel internally. "Good girl" she whispered, "your hopes will come true soon enough, bella…" She brought up her hand closer and pushed her legs slightly, with a devilish smirk that was sure to burn inside the other female's head. Perhaps, a little appetiser before the main course wouldn't hurt.

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