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Tired. He was so tired. It had been three weeks since Jae had walked away that day and the cut still felt as fresh now as it did the moment he said it. To the world around him, Jae told everyone he was okay, he got up every morning and he showered, he said hello to his roommates when they passed him in the hall, he went to his classes, every single one without fail because skipping only made him think of Hanseol. He did his assignments on time and with as much effort as he always did. From the outside it looked like Jae was dealing with the breakup well, keeping his life together well. He wasn’t.
In three weeks Jae had gone through such a roller coaster of emotions and self-searching that it was hard to even sum it up into words. For the first couple of days all he had been able to do was cry, clutching at his chest like his heart was going to burst out of it because of the pain, he had fallen asleep from exhaustion from crying so many times that his head hurt so badly every time he woke up, it felt worse than any hangover he’d ever had. All he could do was replay the way things had unfolded, the words Han had spoken to him, the look on his face as the two of them argued. The way it had made him feel.
It felt like a part of him had been hollowed out and taken away, he still did everything he was supposed to do without fail but he did nothing else, when he came back to his room he would either study or stare into space for hours on end and question what ifs. Every little thing would remind the dhampir of the fallen star, from the flour in the cupboard that he had cussed at after he spilled it all over the counter to hearing his roommates talking with some girl in the next room and telling her how she amazing was. And every time he was reminded, it hurt, it brought back thoughts of the future he had begun to see with Hanseol. Maybe he was young and naive as they all told him but he honestly had been in so deep that he was ready to finally come out to his parents and risk the life he had always pictured for himself on Hanseol.
He felt stupid for even entertaining the idea when he knew all along that Han had told him lies, he supposed a part of him wanted to believe that night where he had found out about the star’s nightmares was impactful enough for the star to finally start telling him the truth. When he broke that promise he really did leave Jae with no other choice. If Jae had stayed after that then he was doing himself a massive disservice, he was saying that it was okay to continue this cycle over and over again and slowly chip away at the strong relationship they had built. He had wanted to stay, of course, he’d wanted to stay and on a different day he probably would have, he would have told Han it was okay and fooled himself into believing this was the last time he received a lie from the celestial’s lips.
But the reasons he told himself justified this split didn’t make him feel any better about it, he felt like he had lost something huge, something that he had come to rely on, something that had become a necessity to him and without it, he wasn’t sure how to have that same energy and enthusiasm he did before. He felt like all the passion and happiness had been sucked out of him and all that was left was a shell of a person. Someone he didn’t like, someone who was easily made angry because all his days seemed to be surrounded by right now was negativity. Someone who was dodging the person he considered his best friend and even his brother, who had to force Jae to let him in before the dhampir would finally admit what happened.
Eun had been there for him and told him that he was strong enough to get through this, but Jae honestly wasn’t sure he was. Because every time he saw Hanseol’s name light up on his phone or a new message appear on his voicemail, he couldn’t stop himself from reading the message or listening to his voice. Did that make him weak? He didn’t know if it did but he just didn’t know how to stop himself. It was a wonder that Jae hadn’t actually answered a call from him yet because the dhampir just allowed himself to fall into the trap. And every time he heard his voice on the other end of the line those feelings would come right back, his heart would lurch in his chest.
He missed him. He missed him more than he could even put into words. He missed the way his arms felt tucked around the star as they slept in the same bed together, he missed the stupid cheesy lines that Han would come up with throughout the day because he knew it would make Jae smile. He missed the tone of his voice when he would tell him that he loved him and the way Han's lips felt against his own, like they belonged there. Honestly, it was everything that Jae had ever wanted in a relationship, it was loving, passionate, a little dangerous, it was dedicated and even a little domestic. It was them. It was theirs.
And there had been many nights where all Jae had wanted to do was get on that stupid number 3 subway to the west of the city after class, show up on Hanseol’s door and tell him how sorry he was for ever scaring him the way he did. Give in, fall back into his arms, let him wrap him up and kiss the pain away. He just wanted the pain to be gone, it felt so hard to handle when he knew Hanseol was just across the city from him, they both still loved each other more than words can say and yet they were both here. Suffering in their own misery caused by them being apart. The problem was, while Jae might have blown some things out of proportion, he still had really valid and standing reasons for leaving and not a single one of them was going to be solved by that. He couldn’t go through the last three weeks again, no he’d made it this far, he had to see it through. He had to move on.
That’s what he told himself as he dived against his pillow, setting his phone on charge and closing his eyes. He laid there in the dark for a moment, telling himself not to do this again, not to let the memories creep in but they came regardless of what he wanted. He saw the celestial’s face, so perfect and ethereal as he looked back at him, those deep doe eyes capturing him in the way they always did. But it was a memory, he couldn’t reach out and touch him, he couldn’t even talk to him, how badly he missed talking to him, missed having someone to tell about his day, especially when it had been a bad one like today. See he knew exactly what day it was and it hurt him even to think about, especially because he’d put so much work into planning something special for Han’s birthday, he wanted the celestial to finally have a birthday he wanted to remember, a special one, something that made him look forward to every birthday.
Instead, he found the tears coming again as he whined against his pillow for the 21st night in a row, he clutched his chest as he felt his breathing get faster and more desperate. Why wasn’t he enough? Why couldn’t he fix this and why did he have to hurt so badly right now. The questions, mixed with the memories haunted him over and over again until eventually his body couldn’t take any more of the crying and he passed out from the sheer exhaustion he’d been putting his body through from trying to hold himself together.
3 weeks. That’s how long he’s gone without his boyfriend, Jaesung Moon, by his side. How did he even survive that long without the blue-haired dhampir? The dhampir that would always be there to cheer him up despite anything that clouded his day; the one he could always turn to whenever he’s troubled. But that’s it, though. That’s the problem. He didn’t turn to him for everything, it’s why he’s not with the celestial now. Not today, not ever in the future, perhaps. Not after what he’s done a few weeks ago. It was stupid of him, and now he’ll have to live knowing that he lost the best thing that has ever happened to him. Lying to Jae was the last thing he wanted to do, yet that was what he did eventually. Now he’ll have to pay for it, by continuing to live day by day without the dhampir’s presence. How hard was it? The most difficult.
For the first week, Han couldn’t even hold it in, he was a mess, there wasn’t a night that went by without him thinking about that particular blue-haired male. How did he let go of the guy that accepted him for who he is? It was a stupid decision and one he’ll live to regret, and for a while, Hanseol thought he was able to live with it by moving on. How wrong he was, for the next week that came, he felt slightly better. But then the third week entered and everything went flying out of the window. He felt worse. The celestial couldn’t even sleep a wink, without having the nightmares chasing him back into reality, which really made him miss the dhampir’s touch, more specifically, his hugs and embraces, it’s always been one of their favorite gestures to do.
Pang! That’s what his heart feels like someone just hit it harshly and left it to simmer out under the scorching sun that doesn’t want to grant him mercy. The world and universe weren’t being lenient on the star, not that it ever did, but during the period of his relationship with Jae, everything was better. Now? It resembles a lot like the dumpster he wrecked in the alley, weeks ago. All broken, used and recycled. Only it’s not recycled gently. His heart felt torn and shredded over the past week and it didn’t help when he remembered what today was supposed to be. Staring at the time and date displayed on his lock screen, Hanseol groaned in response before tossing his phone away. As if the picture on his lock screen wasn’t bad enough, the date and time are also taking part in torturing the poor soul of his. 15th June 2019. 12:01 pm. That sucks. Friday night and instead of mingling outside partying like any person his age should do, well the age he looks the part of, he’s cooped up in his painting room, with half the red paint spilled on the floorboards. That is going to be one hell of a job to clean up. There’s too much going on right now.
Red, especially the hue he had mixed together intricately, red is Jae’s favorite color. The picture on his lock screen is a picture of them both. The 15th strikes and the road to be a 90-year-old begins. He wouldn’t even remember his birthday had it not been to Jae reminding him a few times in the past few months, right after he planned the dhampir’s. Yeon also brought it up once or twice, it was supposed to be a well-looked-forward-to kind of day, but now, all that it was became a regular Saturday for him. A regular Saturday to which, he’s probably going to spend the entire day moping around. At least he won’t be sober to remember how pathetic that day would be. Yes, he’s going to be a reckless star and be irresponsible by drinking his sorrows away, as if that ever helps anyone. Han stared at the phone after crawling towards it, wondering just how many messages and voicemails he’d left Jae over the past three weeks. Yet he’s got no form nor implication that the dhampir would respond back.
Swiping the screen after punching in the password, he was greeted by another background picture. Nothing surprising as it’s another picture of them. The longer his eyes lingered on that picture, the more he missed his boyfriend, well...ex-boyfriend. The truth hurts and it still does, no matter how many times Han had tried to tell himself he did this on his own and should find a way to move with it. Yeon told him that because he still loves Jae, he’s not considered single, and boy how he wished things were that easy to comprehend. Single or not, it doesn’t change the fact that Jaesung Moon had adopted the status of being his ex-boyfriend for 3 weeks now.
Forcing himself to get up so he could stop feeling sorry for himself and do something about it, the dark-haired celestial got up to his feet and decided to go ahead with his plans on getting drunk because if he’s not going to spend the day well, at least he’s gonna get a few hours worth of actual sleep after blacking out. He’d probably have the worst hangover a person could have because he couldn’t contract alcohol poisoning, but if it meant sleeping before that, what does he have to lose? He’s already lost Jae. Hanseol never kept alcohol in his house since they never needed to use it. They, he still couldn’t get over that now he’s going to stay alone forever.
Shaking his head at that thought, he grabbed his cap and jacket before dragging himself out of the residency, not even bothering to spare a glance at Byul and Yeontan who did not look amused at his state. For the next hour, he was already tipsy as hell at the corner of the bar. It was hard to get in with his youthful appearance, especially when he didn’t sport anything that gives him a mature outlook tonight. But thanks to his ID that says he’s 22, they didn’t question further. One shot turns to god knows how many, and now he’s propped on the counter. If he wasn’t ushered out by the bartender, he would’ve stayed there and get wasted, but no, he was pushed out by the bartender who spared him a pitiful glance, the one he really hates because it reminds him of his situation. So yet again, he’s out and about, well...quite literally. He’s halfway outside Evermore’s border, while not being able to even walk a straight line. Without thinking much, not in this kind of state, he fished out his phone and pressed 1 long enough to direct the call to the person he never changed as his number 1.
The hardest part of everything was knowing how much the two of them cared about one another and that not being enough to keep them together. He knew that Hanseol was trying to protect his feelings when he chose to hide Yeonseok from him and maybe in a way he had a little, it wasn’t exactly an easy thing for him to swallow, it made him feel like he wasn’t enough to protect the star and while that might actually be true, it was a serious hit to his own ego. Add onto that the fact that Hanseol had shared blood with this guy, something which the dhampir had always seen as an intimate and personal act you only did with people you had deep connections with and it was enough to make him twitchy whenever he thought about the blond valkyr.
Jae would have been able to get past it though, he would have done so because at the end of the day Hanseol was always going to be in danger and every little bit of protection he could be afforded was important. It could make a massive difference to the time that the two of them got to be together and the life they got to lead. So while he didn’t like Yeon and it would probably take a very long time for him to warm to someone with a personality like that, he would have swallowed the jealousy he felt about it. The stupid thing was that he did still want to trust Hanseol, even now, after he had lied to him about something like this for months. He knew that made him the fool to even consider it but he really just missed him so much.
Jae had been trying to figure out where this break up left his life now, he, of course, needed to stay in the dorm for the foreseeable so he was very glad that he had made some sort of peace with his roommates. They didn’t really all see eye to eye most of the time but they had a pretty reliable way of avoiding one another and not stepping on one another’s toes and they had both actually done the dishes this week so that was progress. Jae had tried his hardest not to be snappy with people because of the way he was feeling but sometimes it just kinda happened, he’d be lost in thought about something him and Hanseol had said or done and completely blanking someone and when they finally got his attention they got the sour end of his reaction to their interruption. He didn’t like the person he was without Hanseol Park, he felt like the world was a little darker without him in his life and while he told himself this was for the best it didn’t feel like it anymore. It felt empty like an important piece was missing and it was in the shape of a bright smile and doe eyes that the dhampir would remember every time he closed his eyes.
He was getting through his days well though, somehow finding a way to face the world every day without falling apart which he knew was progress, hell he’d actually messaged Daehyun back a couple of times to let the Niveis know he was alive. The pale-haired male had made all kinds of threats but Jae had told him to stand down, honestly just thinking about Hanseol hurt him too much at the moment, whether it was negative or positive. But it was nights like this one, where he laid asleep in his bed, his mind filling with the good memories the two of them had together that were the hardest. While he slept, the dhampir whined softly against his pillow which barely muffled the evident pain in his voice that he felt from knowing it wasn’t real, that this was his mind teasing him and taunting him with the things he had lost and he would wake feeling empty when he reached over to the empty other side of the bed which he usually shared with his star. Or he supposed he wasn’t his anymore.
The memories were running full speed, from their grocery trips to the nights spent in Hanseol’s living room watching movies and stupid TV shows. To the important moments like the first time he had felt the star’s lips against his and how he had felt like they belonged there, he honestly thought he had so much longer than he did to revel in that feeling which made him regret not being more selfish, not stealing more kisses. At least he had the memory of it to hold onto though, it was vivid in his mind but it wasn’t enough, it wasn’t the same as feeling Hanseol against his skin for real. He craved that so badly, he missed the intimacy that came with having someone, having his someone, by his side.
Instead of waking to the sound of his alarm as expected, he was started awake by the sound of his phone ringing but in his confused state, reached out towards his phone as though he was going to turn off the alarm. The ringing stopped but he didn’t really take in what he had done until he heard the faint sound of the voice down the line. “Shit” he murmured feeling stunned the moment that he heard Hanseol’s voice on the other end of the line from the desk beside him, he couldn’t hear what he was saying but he would recognize the timbre of his voice anywhere. An intelligent person probably would have ended the call right there and pretended like it never happened but in his emotional state Jae couldn’t stop himself as he grabbed the phone and held it against his ear. He didn’t say anything but he knew Hanseol would be able to hear him breathing down the line.
Jae listened to the star’s voice as he spoke, the words were slurred and unclear which immediately made his heart pang, he was drunk. Jae remembered the first time they had talked about drinking and Hanseol admitted he’d only ever done so once and it had turned out pretty awful for him which instantly had Jae concerned. He knew he should try and detach himself from the situation, return to sleep and tell himself the star wasn’t his concern anymore but he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. Not on Hanseol’s birthday of all days either. Jae sucked in a long breath before he finally responded to the words that Han had been speaking to him this whole time, probably assuming he got through to voicemail and that he wouldn’t get a response anywhere “Han..” he spoke softly “How much did you drink?” he asked just as he heard the loud sound of a car horn and tires screeching and he swallowed hard.
He knew he probably shouldn’t have done that, why would he try to call Jae again after knowing fully well where those multiple attempts had gotten him at before? Right, nowhere. That’s precisely what happened every time the celestial would fish out his phone and press that number one digit on his screen, just waiting to see if the dhampir would pick up, or if he would be able to hear his voice from the other side. Technically, he did get to hear that baritone voice of his; the one that always sends him so far up cloud nine every time he heard it. But it was only the voicemails, telling the celestial to leave a message after the beep. He should have stopped, because, after the first week of non-stop routine on doing that, he felt more pathetic than ever since he secretly knew there was completely no reason whatsoever for the blue-haired male to pick up his calls, or reply to his endless chain of messages left.
Is he even blue-haired anymore? The fallen star didn’t know anything about Jae anymore, a lot of things could change 3 weeks, he did. Instead of going to work and moving on with his life after having a depressing mental breakdown for the first two weeks, he’s still moping through his third week and drank his sorrows away on his birthday because that’s the best gift he could ever give himself; blacking out in a few more hours after puking his inside out and wake up with the worst hangover. But at least, he would get to sleep for a few hours, right? That’s the deal breaker, right there. Sleep. It’s what he wanted so desperate after enduring the torturous period of three weeks without his dhampir by his side to help him sleep.
He can never get enough of calling Jae, his. Jaesung Moon is his, he knew that. But officially and quite literally right now, he is not his. That’s why he’s having the worst period of his life while the latter is probably enjoying his freedom. Another pang hits him when that thought seeped in, is that how the dhampir felt? Free of him? Is it enjoyable? For a natural born pessimist such as Hanseol, it wasn’t hard to see him breathing heavily against those prospects. After all, Han is quite clingy and possessive. He gets jealous easily and his temper doesn’t suit it. At all. He remembered there were plenty of times when he had allowed himself to get too high on his horse and ended up hurting Jae the worst way possible; using his words. He also remembered apologizing for the next four days. How he wished he could do that now, he would be willing to apologize for four months or more, let alone four days. Anything to get his boyfriend back, because he’s an utter mess without him.
They say love makes you blind, is this what it really meant? It clouded him so much that the celestial couldn’t find the will to even move forward anymore? Gosh, he hates this so much, he couldn’t even begin to comprehend the pain embedded in his heart. Speaking of work, what did happen? The grand opening in the other branch in Denver was supposed to be done a week ago, but seeing as the dark-haired star is still wallowing in his own pit of sorrows, no way would the new establishment stand. It didn’t have to, since Hanseol made the decision to postpone the date of opening, much to everyone else’s dismay. It was something personal, he had told them. When he told Yeon that he was going to postpone the date, the valkyr only pat his shoulders reassuringly, but the celestial felt so far from being reassured. Nothing is fine.
So why is he calling Jae again? When he knew nothing will come out of it? Secretly, somewhere inside his twisted way of thinking, since he craved to hear his voice, he would be able to leave voicemails all along. That, and that the star had no intention of giving up on the dhampir, even if he looks the part, okay… maybe not physically look the part. His hair is tousled messily and is what you would call a mop of hair. His eyes were hollow and empty, with a clear indication of the sleep-deprived state he’s in once people notice the eyebags underneath those once shiny dark mocha hues. His lips no longer had any trace of smiles over it, it would probably act a lot like how a rusty ledge would once they tried to move it. But at least, a ledge could be oiled, could he do the same? Is there anyone else that could make Hanseol Park act fine again?
He probably should’ve taken a page out of his Volakiri’s life and try to live for himself, but this kept bothering him. It’s hard to do that when you know you screwed up the best thing that’s ever happened to you, what’s stopping him from screwing up in the future? When the call got connected, he was elated. At first, he was visibly upset over the lack of communication because there was no usual voice telling him to leave a message, but it was quickly replaced with a delighted look when he realized that meant the call was accepted. Han couldn’t hear much, but he could detect the vibration and frequency sent from the other side, which meant he wasn’t wrong when he thought Jae picked up the call. “Baby…” he slurred, the tinge of drunkenness taking over for a quick while, which actually also caused the celestial to stumble on his steps, nearly falling face first on the asphalt. “I’m glad you picked up, I missed you,” Can someone sound so miserable behind a happy tone? Here’s a hint, yes.
There was no hiding the pain behind the voice coming from Hanseol, and when they say a drunken person will spill their truth like a promise made towards the wine, they were not wrong. His silver bracelet dangled on his right wrist as he fluttered his eyes shut briefly and rubbed them in trying to stay awake. He wanted to sleep earlier, but after seeing Jae accepting his call, all thoughts of diving into slumber land went out of the window in an instance. The way Jae had uttered his name slowly was enough to have his heart leap out, causing the star to be giddy enough to trip on his steps finally, this time.
Huffing as he got the phone back to his ears, he mumbled out an apology for not answering. “Sorry, the cars were being way too loud...rude” coming back to the question posed by the dhampir, the celestial pondered just how many drinks he had. “I’m not sure… maybe 5, wait no no… 5 is a small numberrr-” Quite honestly, Hanseol could already have up to 6 shots of vodka and he probably wouldn’t even remember. It’s surprising to even see him speaking coherently and walking, well, whatever he’s doing that is walking anyway.
Jae really did regret the way he had reacted, while the blond had made a pretty asshole like statement, he realized after why he had said it, he was trying to get Jae’s attention away from Hanseol and onto him so that the star could process what he could say. He knew he hadn’t handled it well and given the opportunity to calm down, Han would have told him the truth by himself. It still bothered him that he had to pry for it and he did question in his mind how long it would have taken the celestial to bring up this revelation or whether he would have just kept hiding it for more months to come until he eventually found out some other way. Jae didn’t dare to think where that could have taken him, the very thought of the idea of Hanseol cheating on him really hurt. He knew what he had with Yeon wasn’t technically cheating but the blood sharing did bother him, especially because they had been dating at the time and the star didn’t think to ask him what he thought about it before going ahead with it.
They’d had arguments before but every single one of them had blown over pretty quickly, the two of them jumping straight into apologies when they realized how what they had said or done had affected the other. The main one that came to mind for Jae was the night that Hanseol had flown back from a conference to bail the dhampir out of jail for getting into a drunken fight. Han had rightly been mad at Jae for making him come home and had been worried about Jae’s temper and the way he’d let it get out of hand. Jae had struggled with his temper since he was a young child and while he had gotten much better at dealing with it in time, there were still moments where it got the better of him. He’d promised Hanseol that night he’d try everything he could to get a better handle over it and he had failed him the moment he punched Yeon in the face. But more so every time he saw the celestial flinch at his words as though he was afraid of Jae, it haunted the dhampir to know that Han might be scared of him.
Jae had been avoiding taking Hanseol’s calls because he didn’t know how much strength he would have to stay away if he heard his voice if he spoke to him in person rather than just listening to the recordings on the voicemail. Jae told himself that he was being strong and that he was able to move on from this but every time he took one step forward it felt like he took two back because he was still unable to stop himself from listening to those voicemails. Answering this call had been a mistake, in his tiredness he thought he was switching off his alarm until he realized what he had done. Keeping the line open and selfishly listening to Hanseol as he spoke to him down the line though, that was a conscious choice the exhausted dhampir made, unable to be strong like he normally was in that moment of weakness.
The moment he heard Hanseol’s voice, tears pricked in his eyes and he let out a long and emotional breath, it was the first time they had actually talked since he left, Han had shown up to his apartment a couple of times but he’d told his roommates not to let him in for any reason and Jae had avoided being home most of the time as well as the library because he knew that was the place the celestial was most likely to go to. When he said he missed him Jae let out a shaky breath, the reflex in him wanted to say ‘I missed you too’ but instead he said nothing, feeling a little stunned inside until he started to realize that the celestial was drunk. With his enhanced hearing, even over the phone, Jae could hear the way the celestial was staggering with his walk and the sound of the traffic in the background.
He wasn’t supposed to care, he was supposed to let Hanseol go down whatever spiral it was that he needed to in order to get past this and they were supposed to move on with their lives. Though a part of the dhampir knew the celestial wasn’t giving up on him yet, that’s why he kept on calling him, despite the fact that it had been three full weeks and he thought the celestial would have got the message that he wasn’t going to answer by now. Except now he supposed this made Han right, because here he was, talking to him on the phone. Jae’s eyes widened as he heard the traffic sounding like it was getting very close to the inebriated fallen star, he felt pangs of worry in his chest, celestials weren’t immortal and if Han got himself run over by a car or anyone searching for a celestial happened to be prowling, he would be like a sitting duck.
“Hey make sure to stay on the sidewalk okay” he warned with a furrowed brow, without even thinking about what he was doing the dhampir had gotten up from his bed and started to get dressed, putting on a pair of dark jeans and his boots along with a shirt, sweater and then his motorcycle jacket. The phone was still held against his ear as he talked to Han and the longer it went on the more concerned he got for the star’s safety. It sounded like he’d had far too much “Okay” he spoke softly “Han do you have a way of getting home?” he asked hoping the star hadn’t been stupid enough to go out drinking alone but he already got the dreaded feeling he hadn’t “Can you tell me where you are?” his voice was soft, not filled with any of the anger or hurt he was feeling about the celestial a few hours before. All he wanted right now was to make sure that Han was safe and well, not running around on the busy streets of Evermore.
Jae yawned and stretched a little, the phone nestled between his shoulder and his ear so he could free his hands as he grabbed his wallet, phone, keys, and helmet and headed for the door, there wasn’t even a question in his mind about where he was going. Or there was because he needed the celestial to tell him where he was but Jae was going to find his drunken ass and make sure he got back home before he got himself killed “Stay where you are okay, don’t keep walking, please” yes, perhaps he was resorting to begging but he was seriously worried, Han didn’t know how to handle alcohol, he’d quite literally said so himself.
He’s never gotten drunk before. That’s a given fact since this is literally his second time drinking, probably the first after two years too. The last time he drank was when he was under the bad influence of his co-workers, and Hanseol being Hanseol, tried it. It didn’t leave him with a pleasant memory, or really, anywhere near the word nice itself. Ever since then, he vowed to never drink irresponsibly and allow his recklessness to take over. Yet today, here he was, stumbling over his own steps by the side of the main road that leads them straight to the eternal city; Evermore, while being under the influence of alcohol, and not just light ones too. He probably mixed them without a care in the world because that’s exactly what a reckless Hanseol would do. He just wanted to sleep.
Besides, blacking out is the easiest way to get to it, and maybe a small part of the celestial wanted to drink his sorrows away. It didn't work, obviously. He felt terrible, but for the most part, despite his tipsiness, Hanseol was able to still think clearly. Slightly. When Jae picked up the call, the elation jumped out and he was already struggling to find actual words to say to the dhampir on the other line. And he didn't hang up, so that must've meant something, right? Especially with a drunk Han, there's literally no way to talk some sense into him, so options on taking things as logical or rational as it is; completely out of the window, there. He remembered how Jae’s drunken incident scared and enraged him at the same time, that’s also a big factor to why the celestial never tried to drink, mostly because he didn’t want to end up the same way.
While his temperament is nowhere near the level of Jae, it’s still there and only time tells when he’d explode one day. As he reminisced that particular memory, Han didn’t realize he had fallen on his steps once again. The fallen star remembered canceling his conference and took the next flight back to Evermore as soon as he could once he got a call regarding Jae’s condition at the police station. He was so worried, and all of those strong emotions meshed up into one with anger and sadness, it surprised him that he was even able to get mad at his own boyfriend. Now, the celestial might not get alcohol poisoning, but he definitely feels that way. His stomach is churning, the bile just rising up as each minute passes, which caused him to crouch and grumble in response. His hand was on the harsh road while the other free hand had his hand wrapped around his phone that was pushed against his ear. Maybe he felt slightly hurt that Jae didn’t return his greetings with an I miss you too, but at the moment, he’s just too hazy to care.
What’s important is that Jae picked up and is talking to him, or whatever this is. Hanseol could hear the hesitation in his voice, but that wasn’t what he focused on. How could the star focused on that when he could also hear the concern lacing the dhampir’s voice? That gesture alone was enough to make him grin stupidly. “I am...staying on the sidewalk,” he mumbled and coughed a few times before surveying the area. “I think.” Oh Han, he’s going to get himself targeted so easily with no Yeon to come and save him, and no Jae too. It’s literally an opening for whoever wanted his celestial energy, what better target would they get than an undefended drunk celestial who wouldn’t even be able to walk straight, much less throw a punch?
“Ugh, my tummy doesn’t feel good” Another slur escaped his lips as he heaved a sigh, trying to inhale as much air as possible but the contaminated air filled with carbon monoxide wasn’t helping his case. That, and the countless lights shining just in front of him. “No, I don’t have anyone… I couldn’t exactly bring Yeontan or Byul with me to the bar... “ Of course, he’d say that. “And Yeon, well, he’s in NYC, working on his latest establishment, I think I remember distinctly him saying he wouldn’t be back until next week-ish, so yeah...I’m alone” The good thing about this is that Hanseol wouldn’t evade any questions and in return, would answer them truthfully. Anyone would be able to take advantage of this. His eyes landed on the signboard across him, ‘Welcome to Evermore’ was painted on it. “I can see a sign saying welcome to Evermore, does that help? Oh, there’s also a few cars here… it’s a busy road.” A frown creased his features when he heard the dhampir begging, he didn’t like that. “Jae, don’t beg…” he murmured and only nodded, hinting that he’ll stay wherever he was at. “I’m really tired though… do you think I can sleep while waiting for you?”
Jae felt groggy and exhausted, crying himself to sleep every night had taken its toll on him and while he had been managing to get several hours of sleep every night, it felt restless and uneasy, he would come to with a blocked nose or a headache every so often and with no sign of being able to stop himself, he was definitely feeling the effects of it now. In a bitter kind of way he hoped Hanseol had been finding it as hard as he had, he wanted the other male to feel the same kind of pain he did because it felt unfair that he would be the only one hurting over this. But then in the same train of thought, he would remember the struggles that Han had with sleeping and he felt bad for wishing that on him, he had seen how cruel those nightmares were on the celestial with his own eyes and he didn’t want anyone to go through that.
Jae really didn’t know why he left the line open, he knew for a fact it wasn’t going to be productive for him, now was it going to support his case on moving on, that nagging voice in his head kept telling him that maybe he didn’t want to move on and he was waiting for a sign that things were going to get better. The other part of him wasn’t sure that could happen after the things Han had said to him, if he’d meant them then that meant the celestial really didn’t see their relationship the way Jae had and there really was no hope for them repairing things like that. Still, he didn’t press that end call button, he couldn’t ever fully close the door and just move forward, he was still holding out hope, though he knew it was stupid to do so. Because he loved him. Because in spite of everything, that voice still made his heart swell and jump.
He did miss him, he missed him more than anything, there was so much to miss, he didn’t even know how much impact a relationship would have on his life and way he saw his own future before he had one and now he wasn’t sure where he was left without it. Han had made his life brighter, he had brought out determination and passion in the dhampir to do better, Jae wanted to succeed in his career not just for himself or to prove anything to his parents but because there was someone he wanted to come home to every night, someone he wanted to be proud of him and he wanted to be able to afford to spoil a little and contribute to their lives together. He still wanted to succeed, but the extra drive he’d gotten from having someone cheering him on faded away in the past 3 weeks. So did his certainty on what he wanted to do with his life, where he wanted to live and what he would tell his parents about his sexuality. Seemed pointless to bring it up now when it could cause a crack in the family when there wasn’t a driving force to. His bisexuality was still a part of him though, that could never be taken from him now that he had accepted it.
Jae could tell Hanseol was smiling down the phone from the way his voice lifted a little when he spoke and that felt like a little punch in the gut for the dhampir, he hated the idea of giving Han false hope about what this meant. He didn’t even know what this meant himself, he was tired and confused but most of all he was worried. Jae had been around drunk people enough now to know they could be stupid and reckless, especially if they went off alone and alarm bells were ringing loudly in his head as they talked. He cleared his throat a little as he heard another car beep and he swore the shock that ran through him almost made him swallow his tongue. Jae tried to keep a level of calmness in his voice as he spoke and started getting changed “Good, stay on the sidewalk and away from the cars” he instructed in a soft voice hoping the celestial was of sound enough mind to at least do as he was told.
Jae wrinkled his nose feeling the tummy comment in his gut, last time he had gotten drunk he’d been pretty violently sick too so he knew the feeling well but his heart felt like it dropped in his chest as Han admitted that he’d been drinking lightly. The first reaction he had was the will to chew the celestial’s ear off about getting drunk alone and irresponsibly but he bit his tongue before the words could come out because it wasn’t going to help him, instead he sighed softly down the phone and then took a long breath, the mention of Yeontan made him sad because he missed that pup more than words could say too but he swallowed down his emotions for the sake of keeping Hanseol talking “I’m pretty sure we talked about drinking alone Han” admittedly it had been him who was being lectured that night and he hadn’t been intending to go home alone “Plus Yeontan wouldn’t make a great designated driver, his feet can’t even reach the pedals” he spoke in a joke though he didn’t laugh, he was too busy tripping over the fact that the first person Han mentioned when he thought about who could accompany him when he was drinking alone was Yeonseok. Yet again he pushed down the pain he was feeling, it wasn’t worth getting into right now and Han was too drunk to make much sense anyway.
Thankfully he wasn’t too drunk to give the dhampir a good pointer as to where he was though, there were two entrances to Evermore but only the one from the main highway had a sign, which also told Jae that Han was walking along the side of the highway. His heart beat in his chest intensified at that very thought and he quickened his pace as he headed out of the apartment, quickly starting to make his way down the stairs, now rushing. When Han told him not to beg he went quiet for a few seconds and then spoke “Stay where you are” he repeated this time leaving off the please, though the only place he had to go from there was further down the highway so if Jae rode for long enough he’d find him. He reached his motorbike and climbed onto it “No you gotta stay awake Han, count the stars in the sky like you always said you like to, you can tell me how many you get to when I get there” he was worried, really worried and he didn’t even want to hang up but he also needed to move. He hit the end call button and tucked his phone into his pocket and put on his helmet, adjusted the strap and started the engine.
It didn’t take long for Jae to get out of the city and while he was a little bit of a nervous rider, there was thankfully no one else around in the inner city and by the time he got to the highway, it was mostly trucks and cars speeding in other lanes. His bike wasn’t that big or flashy but it did a good job of getting him around where he wanted to go and it was a bit of a treat to cheer himself up. About a mile down the highway out of Evermore he found the sign but there was no sign of Han. He looked around curiously at the side of the road but decided to keep going in case he walked a bit further on.
He felt so awful, really, really awful. He's in a cloud of emotions, at the moment, too. Hanseol is upset, angry, frustrated, aggravated and the likes of it while being under the influence of alcohol. What's worse is that the celestial actually took the liberty to mix his drinks and ended up drinking more than he should, which he probably would've never stopped until the bartender tells him to. Well, he ushered him out. Had he asked, even politely, in that kind of state, Han is more likely to ignore him and tell him to mind his own business. Today was supposed to be his day, no? Shouldn't he be able to do what he wants? It's his birthday, if anyone can be pampered today, it should be him. As childishly as that sounds, Hanseol found justification in that.
He had no one to celebrate it with, no boyfriend to come home to and embrace, not even a friend. Both of them are away, one is away in another state, the other is away for good. Or does he still stand a chance at winning Jae back? Or is he hopeless in that too? Truthfully, he doesn't even know anymore. All he knows is that if he wanted to make the best use of today and not feel like an utter dump, perhaps he should try his best to find a way to close his eyes for a few hours and get back to the land of living tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, his nightmares did not cease control and it's not as if he had a place to go to work at. The establishment in Denver is postponed until further notice because of Jae alone. Not that it's the dhampir's fault, there's just something that holds a sentimental value to the fallen star in that branch; a wing section. In the west side, he named that section after his boyfriend and was supposed to surprise him when the Grand Opening happened a week ago, but since he screwed things up three weeks ago, that didn't come to fruition and it's left alone, for a few more weeks until Yeon probably sets him right again.
He wondered how Jae is doing, is he sleeping right? Is he eating right? How is his classes and roommates? What about him and Eun? Is everything okay? No, of course, it's not okay. The blue haired male just broke up with him a while ago and a part of him was sure that he wasn't the only one suffering on the bitter end to this blade. That made Han feel a lot worse because if anyone deserves to feel this way, it's him, not the other way around. This time, he wouldn't be there to hug the dhampir and assure him things are going to be alright, just like what the other male always does to him whenever he's burdened. God, he misses him so much it hurts like hell.
The mere sound of his voice was enough to make him leap in joy, not literally because he would've tripped on his steps and would most likely land his face on the road, which would not be pleasant for him once he wakes up with an aching pain to his jaw. What happened to moving together? Did Jae throw the key away? Yeontan's collar? Does the dhampir even possess their photos still? Out of all the times he could've thought of this, it had to be when he's drunk, karma really is a pain. Maybe this doesn't mean anything, but Han didn't care about that. He picked up, that's all that matters right now. He's being heard, he's being reached out. He feels special now, though that's probably just his drunken self. Whatever works. “Okay... “ he followed exactly what the male instructed earlier, he made sure to stay away from the main road and stick to the sidewalk instead. He tripped a few times while trying to get back up and walk slowly because somehow, he just could not get that part of staying still, right.
A stupid grin crept up his lips when he heard the chastise in his tone, scolding the celestial on drinking habits, even though it's established before that the fallen star would never try to drink irresponsibly without the supervision of someone who can take care of him, namely, Jae. Seems like that promise is broken, now. That's not the only promise broken, seeing as he's no longer Jae's boyfriend. “I know… I just wanted to sleep, you know? It's very hard to close my eyes these days… I get tired very easily but can't sleep,” the dhampir could even picture the pout resting on his lips right now because that's how well his former partner knew the celestial. He sn*****ed softly at the thought of Yeontan driving. Okay, that was funny. Jae's joking with him, why does he feel so happy? His eyes were already half lidded when Jae told him to stay awake and since the celestial didn't want to upset the dhampir, he complied. “Come here quick, okay?” he mumbled and then heard the phone beep, signalling the other line just hung up.
Shaking his head to shake himself awake, he glanced at the road before him lazily. Hanseol was just minding his own business and was actually counting the stars when suddenly a group of 4 people came his way and started eyeing him. All 4 of them were males, around the same height as he is too. They seemed like those typical jocks, and Han being Han, couldn't give a care in the world because they're strangers. That was until one of them nudged him and started messing around with his jacket, to which he frowned upon the action and pushed him away. “That's not nice... My boyfriend won’t like you messing with me, he's very scary when he's angry” he slurred, pointing dejectedly at them, while being careful not to stumble on his steps. Gosh, they could rob him and he couldn't even defend himself. But they don't seem to be bounty hunters or selfish individuals who hunted for celestial energy.
One of them snatched his silver bracelet that he was wearing on his right wrist, the one his mother gifted him, and earned a scowl from the dark-haired celestial. “Give that back” he growled. That holds too much significance for him to allow such treatment.
Jae wasn’t really sure what it was he wanted right now. At first, he had just wanted to be alone, his mind had poured over every single thing that happened between the two of them, the words they had spoken, the harsh and defensive tone in Han’s voice the moment he had been angry. Han had tried to apologize but an apology hadn’t felt like enough at the time, he had wanted something concrete, something that made him feel like he knew for sure that things were going to change this time, that this would really be the last time they had that conversation, that they could be partners and equals in their life. But Hanseol hadn’t been able to give him that assurance and without it, Jae knew it wasn’t right for him to want the relationship. As much as he cared about Hanseol and wanted to be with him more than anything, what was the point if he only ever got half of him, it felt like a lie in itself, which only added to the pile of them that Han had told him over the past few months.
But that didn’t stop him from worrying over the celestial who he knew often struggled to remember to do the little things, how he would get lost in his work and forget to eat dinner and how he would try and force himself to stay awake for extra hours just so that he didn’t have to face his nightmares. That behavior had eased since the dhampir had been sleeping with the celestial between his arms most nights, he liked to think he was chasing a lot of the bad dreams away and when they awoke in the morning the celestial would look rested and peaceful. He worried without him there that Han would fall back into old habits, the nightmares would creep up again.
Despite being angry as hell at Han, he hadn’t been able to bring himself to break anything, the photo of them still remained in the frame on his desk, face down against the wood so it didn’t catch his eye but a few times he had clutched it to his chest as he cried for the loss of what they had. The chain, which still shimmered as brightly as the day he had been given it, was hanging up on a hook over his shelf, the key dangling in his eyeline from on the bed, reminding him of the broken promises between the two of them and the future they could have had. He told himself he was letting go but it was evident that he wasn’t, that he was hoping for a sign things would change, anything really. So maybe it wasn’t all that surprising at all that he did answer the call and speak softly down the line to the celestial. He was glad as the sound of traffic got quieter as the celestial did as he asked and moved away from it because he wasn’t sure how to focus with the sound of those vehicles rushing by so close to the celestial.
Jae could sense the elation in Hanseol’s voice as they spoke and it made him feel a little guilty because even though he was getting dressed and had every intention of going and finding the drunken star and making sure he got home, it wasn’t going to change anything and it wasn’t like the drunk version of Han was going to be able to save this relationship. Hearing Han’s words about sleep caused a pang to explode through his chest and he sighed softly “Yeah, I know the feeling” he admitted, probably the first truly raw thing he had spoken that entire evening, he hadn’t slept a good night since the moment he walked away from the star. It felt like torturing himself every time he climbed into bed because it wasn’t long before the tears came, he didn’t know how to stop. The little laugh Han gave when Jae made a joke shot through him and in a brief moment of weakness it made him smile too, he’d missed that sound more than he even knew how to say. He heard Han’s words just as he hit the end call button and he took a deep breath “On my way” he breathed almost a little in disbelief he was doing this right now.
It was about a mile and a quarter outside Evermore that he finally came across someone at the side of the road, though it wasn’t a lone figure like he’d been expecting but a stopped cheap-looking car and a cluster of people standing around. His heart dropped in his chest the moment he saw it and took in what was happening. He stopped his bike with screech turning on both his blinkers as a warning to traffic around and without even taking a moment to get himself together he killed the engine and jumped off the bike. He heard a homophobic slur spoken by one of the other males which instantly ticked the dhampir off, he clenched his jaw as he made his way towards them and pulled his helmet off his head “Is there a problem here?” he asked boldly as he physically put himself between Hanseol and the four strangers. He couldn’t bring himself to look at the star so instead, he focused on the asshole who was trying to steal his stuff. He spotted the silver chain in the male’s hand and growled a little under his breath “I know for a fact that isn’t yours, hand it over” he spoke to which he got a cocky smirk in response.
Jae was tired and grumpy and still angry at everything about his life right now so he didn’t have the patience to be playing games. He reached forward to grab the male by his collar and shoved him up against the cheap car he owned “You really don’t wanna see me angry” he spoke in an expectant tone as he held his hand out and the male placed the bracelet in his hand only to then go for a punch to Jae’s face. He grunted and staggered backward with a clench of his jaw and he sighed softly, could have been so much easier if they’d just given it back and left. He was half tempted to pull out his sword from the sheath on his belt and make them seriously regret messing with him but instead, he went for a clean punch straight to the gut. The others in the group had already run back to the car scared of the dhampir but this one guy just didn’t seem to wanna let it go.
As if things were already bad enough for the celestial today, after drinking god knows how many shots already, Hanseol was hit by nostalgia, enabling him to reminisce those memories he actually didn't want to remember on this particular day of all days. If it's tomorrow or yesterday, then perhaps he wouldn't mind because that's his curse right there, to remind himself of the things he's done towards the person he loved most, on how badly he screwed everything up until it comes to a point where he's not even sure if he could mend their relationship once again. Doesn't mean he didn't want to try, but how far could he go with that tryout exactly? Is he ready to try only to be rejected coldly by Jae?
Han knew he wouldn't be able to handle that kind of rejection so he didn't try to seek the dhampir out personally after getting the endless complaints and excuses from his very annoying roommates who he also did not like. There were times when he wanted to snip their heads off whenever they would give the worst excuses like Jae's not home or that he's sick, hell, let's not mention that one time when they told him Jae contracted a serious case of diarrhea and was bed bound. If he could count the times he felt tempted to climb up the balcony or window so he could see him again, it should've been possible for him to carry that idea out because it's just countless. So yes, reminiscing all those failures was not just doing it out for him, not today, at least. Shouldn't the world be slightly more lenient and sympathetic on his birthday? The day where he crashed in that park next to the river at Busan, 90 years ago?
Wasn't it enough that he was tormented his entire life by the thoughts of dying unjustifiably or the times when he had to resort to running because that's the only way he can survive? What about those decades in those steel cages? All he's asking is just one day, just today, for him to forget about everything and fall on his bed, sleeping for at least a few hours, at long last. Stumbling once again as he loses his footing on the ground, the dark-haired celestial grunted in annoyance. Okay, let's refrain from falling on the pavement please, he told himself and pulled every weight on him to get back up on his two feet. “You clumsy guy... “ he murmured silently as the lights from the lamp posts nearby blinded him for a brief second. Usually, his eyesight is exceptional, but he is currently drunk off his mind so there's got to be some exception to that.
When he was greeted by the group of 4 that did not seem anywhere near hospitable and welcoming, he was just about to go on his merry way by ignoring them as usual. But how could he? They wouldn't leave him alone and despite his drunken state, even Han knew what to perceive of this situation occurring before him. They're a group of jocks just trying to mug him while he's at his most vulnerable state. Classic move. Even he couldn't push them away because the strength they asserted on their holds were alarming. The fallen star's attempts on nudging them off and be on his way were futile. He couldn't even throw a punch, much less walk away from this unscathed. Not when he's also outnumbered. This is the best time when he actually wants to call Yeon, or better yet, for his boyfriend, well ex-boyfriend, to arrive soon.
Even in sober state, Hanseol wouldn't dare harm a living soul, even if they're trying to kill him, much less this pathetic attempt on robbing him. It got worse when they antagonized him further by snatching the silver bracelet he's never taken off his entire life. And that's quite some time. It held too much significance to the star for him to leave it be, a part of it also mocked him on his current standing with Jae since Han gave the exact same replicated bracelet to the dhampir to signify Jae's present as the star's past, present and future. Having it snatched away was like a stab to the chest. The homophobic comments didn't bother him as much as it would since the celestial had no care in the world regarding the community's view towards their sexual orientations but what ticked him off was the fact that they had the audacity to mock him about how his boyfriend isn't coming and that bracelet one of them held in his dirty hands. Had it not been because of Jae intervening, Hanseol would've actually that guy down to regain possession of his bracelet. He's drunk, there's not really anything else he wouldn't do.
The way his eyes lit up immediately when he saw the dhampir coming to his rescue, but what did caught his eye was his attire. They were mostly cladded in black and leather, matching his hair, wait his hair. Oh, his dhampir is not blue-haired anymore. Unfortunately, he wasn't able to take in the sight before him despite the dhampir having his back against him because the next thing he knew, Jae got punched by one of them. Naturally he would rush to his aid but his feet was glued to the ground as he tried to comprehend what's going on. Give him a break, he's very drunk and the fact that he's standing is more than enough to say. “Just fucking leave us alone” he grumbled, while heaving a frustrated sigh as he glared at that particular guy who's still wanting to pick a fight with Jae. Even he wouldn't want to pick a fight with the dhampir. Despite his peace loving self, perhaps today can be an exception on being a witness to a few beatings.
Jae felt bad for keep asking his roommates to make sure that Hanseol stayed away but he just didn’t know how to face him after everything had gone down. After a few days even looking into the mirror and seeing the blue hair he sported hurt because he would remember it was Hanseol’s favorite color, especially when you could see green undertones in it and that simple thing reminded him of the celestial. That’s part of the reason he had gone and gotten his hair dyed to a dark color, pretty close to his natural hair color actually, enough that he wouldn’t actually need to touch up the color when his roots came through. He did like the darker shade, he felt it made him look more refined an mature, though he doubted it would be the last time he dabbled with bright colors.
The motorcycle, that one had been more of a way of cheering himself up. He’d been saving to get his own means of transport for a long time and had done his license for driving a motorcycle during his military service as he was required to use one in his role at times. Just like riding a bike to get back on one. It had been quite expensive but a worthwhile investment because it allowed him to get around the city with ease, no more waiting for buses and trains, not to mention he kinda liked the confidence it gave him. It was a bit of an indulgent purchase but also a practical one, especially if he intended to stay in America for more years to come. Despite the breakup, Jae still didn’t feel the compulsion to go home, he did really like the life he had in Evermore.
Perhaps both of those things were his way of trying to change something to heal a little of the pain he was feeling from the absence of his person. Neither had really worked, neither took his mind off the celestial or made him miss him any less. He still hadn’t managed to sleep a full night properly, he still found his mind wandering to Han at the strangest times, like in the middle of class or while he was walking down the aisle of some store and saw something they’d bickered over in the past. Truth was when you let someone into every element of your life like that, they had a part in all the small things you do and so it wasn’t just the big things like the empty other side of the bed or the chain which he was no longer wearing around his neck. It was missing telling someone he had gotten a good grade or cooking instant noodles for the third time that week and knowing the other male would worry over him for it.
His mind was full of thoughts of Hanseol and worries as he sped through the city, thankfully at night, there weren’t many people out and about so it was easy for him to get across the city without getting stuck at too many red lights. He knew how dangerous it was for a celestial to be out on their own regularly but while drunk? He didn’t know what someone in a passing car might do if they happened to see a glowing figure at the side of the road. That’s why his heart clenched so much when he saw the group of people surrounded Hanseol at the side of the road. The moment he got off his bike he had made his way straight towards them and positioned himself to protect the celestial who was still crouched on the ground. He didn’t need to think about his actions too much, just did what his instinct told him to do, it would always protect Hanseol first, together or not, the celestial would always hold significance to Jae and he would always want to see him safe.
Jae really couldn’t stand people who used homophobic slurs at this day and age, not to mention trying to rob someone who was inebriated and incapable of protecting themselves, low lives, he thought to himself as he pushed up the burly male against the car with a force he knew would scare him a little. Still, the cocky bastard seemed to want to act tough in front of his friends and spat some pretty choice words at the dark-haired dhampir. Jae gave him a less than impressed look as he tucked the silver chain into his jacket pocket and closed the zip. The punch to his face hurt but it wasn’t hard or direct enough to break anything, it would bruise if the other male was lucky. Jae gave an annoyed grunt and finally allowed himself to look over at Hanseol when he heard him speak, the cuss word not sounding right from his lips.
“Alright, you want a fight, fine” he spoke with a clench of his jaw “Just a note that it’s not gonna impress a single one of them” he pointed to the other males who were peering at them through the windows just as the human came at him and tackled him to the ground. Jae sighed softly and used the momentum to roll them over so he ended up on top of the attack and he grabbed his arm in a martial arts maneuver he had learned from Donovan. He twisted his arm in just the right way so that he was pinned to the ground, unable to move and then he twisted just a little more to cause a little pain “Not quite so cocky now” he taunted a little as the male pleaded to let him go and he would leave “You’re gonna get in your car, you’re gonna drive as far as the highway takes you and if I ever see you again, it won’t just be my fist that you have to face, understood?” his words were calm as the male agreed with him and Jae let him go.
He allowed himself to relax a little as he leaned back and the figure did as he was told, skittered off and go into the car, they pulled off with a screeching of brakes leaving just the dhampir and the celestial. Jae just stared into the road for a little while and rubbed a little at his face where he had taken the hit. He realized he wasn’t really sure what to say. Or even how to look at Hanseol right now. After a moment he sighed softly and pushed to his feet making his way towards the celestial and then pulled the bracelet from his pocket and held it out for him to take back “I know how much this means to you” he spoke softly before he realized the celestial wasn’t going to have the coordination to do it up himself so he took hold of Han’s wrist and wrapped the chain around it before turning it and focusing while he did up the clasp. He hesitated for just a moment as he let go “There, back where it’s supposed to be” he spoke softly with a half attempt at a smile which faltered halfway.
He couldn’t forget the look on his own face when he saw the dhampir intervene, standing just in front of him so he could shield him away from the group of unfortunate idiotic people, which one of them just so happen to pick a fight with Jae, and suffered the best possible solution for someone like him. He could be drunk as hell and he still would be able to identify that voice anywhere. Quite literally. Jae had this unique voice to him that enabled the celestial to pinpoint the exact timbre and tonality to it, how could he forget the voice he loved to hear so much? That was like saying he forgot what the bracelet meant to him. His dark mocha hues eyed the fight going on in front of him like it was Saturday Night Live show, not much of a comedy skit, but perhaps a little over the top.
Right, the bracelet. Where is it? The last time he saw the silver chain dangling was when it was in the hands of the guy who got beaten by Jae mildly, if that’s one way to word it in, leaving the latter to leave in a humiliating state without a single glance back. Perhaps Jae had already reclaimed it from that guy? His attention was solely on the dhampir before him, that has yet to turn around to face him, which made the celestial whimper silently. Was he so hard to be looked at? Was a single glimpse so hard for the dhampir to spare a glance at? All the thoughts start rushing in, flooding the fallen star as it slowly hit the dark-haired male like a tsunami. It hurts. So damn much. The entire time he got hit by the homophobic slurs, he didn’t mind a single word but knew it would definitely bother Jae. All he could think of was how long he would take to get here and save the day.
Today was one of those rare days when he actually started being so whiny and dependent. He wanted to throw everything off his shoulders and set all the locks that held him back, free. His head is filled with so many whys and hows, it’s slowly annoying the hell out of him. So when Jae arrived and quite literally saved the day, he let out a relieved sigh he didn’t even know he was holding previously. Had he held his breath that long? Admittedly, a part of Han wanted to go home or anywhere away from Jae, now. Why? Because the celestial is a real truth machine when he’s drunk, even he knows that. That one time when he drank irresponsibly due to his co-workers' prodding was the worst day ever. But apart from all of that, he’s also very emotionally driven and reckless. Which meant one thing for the Korean celestial; trouble. God knows what he’d run his mouth on, ranting whatever comes into his head.
The Jae in front of him oozed so much confidence, it was honestly overwhelming for the star. It wasn’t as if this was the first time he’s witnessed the dhampir being the person he is, headstrong and resilient, but he’s in a hazy state and seeing Jae in all of his glory paired with those leather, it’s bound to give Han a few once-overs. Of course, he’d notice the hair first. It’s no longer blue in color, it’s raven black and it looks good on him. As always. It did make the dhampir look more mature than he appeared to be. Han didn’t even blink when Jae gave his bracelet back, more specifically, when he clasped it on him. After the other male let go of his hand, that was when the celestial blinked rapidly, as if he couldn’t believe the sight before him. Is this real? He didn’t forget to notice how long it took Jae to release the hold on his hand though, which gave him butterflies as if it was their first time. “Thank you…” he mumbled, running his hand over the bracelet absentmindedly until he saw something that caught his eyes.
“Did you lose yours?” he asked, his voice mellow and soft like there was no hint of anger left behind despite him cursing at the guy earlier. “You’re not wearing your bracelet…,” he trailed off and averted his gaze away. It didn’t last long though because the next thing he knew, Hanseol was already launching himself for a hug. Arms wrapped around the dhampir like it belonged there and nowhere else, the star tightened his grip but not too tight. “You’re not...wearing your necklace too…” he’s drunk, he’s not really thinking rationally. Clearly, he forgot about the fight that went down between them, three weeks ago.
Jae would be lying if he said he wasn’t having second thoughts about this whole thing the moment that he saw Hanseol, it was really hard to see him after all the pain he had been through in the past 3 weeks. He still looked the same way he did in the memory Jae had of the last glimpse he got of the star before he left, except his eyes were slightly deeper set, a sure tell of exhaustion. He felt a pang in his chest knowing he would be the reason that the celestial hadn’t been able to sleep properly. He’d only caught a look at him for a couple of seconds because he had forced himself to turn away because it was too hard to see him right now, too hard to face all the emotions he’d been trying to deal with the past few weeks at once because they immediately came to the surface.
Jae kept his focus on the assholes who had attacked the star, it was easy to be angry at them and keep check of his emotions because they were low lives, low lives who were spitting out derogatory terms at him and Han alike. He could take them calling him them but the fact they were directed at Han mostly was what bothered him, he didn’t know why they had decided to focus on the fact he was gay but it seriously ticked the dhampir off, everywhere he went there seemed to be some asshole who wanted to judge other people. Maybe guiltily it was easier to face up to these guys than it was to face the person who had hurt him so much worse. Just hearing his voice or seeing his face was enough to make his heart lurch in his chest and bring back all the pain he’d been trying to swallow. He thought he’d been moving forward but now it simply felt like one big circle back to the star. He did come running the very moment he was in need after all.
The fight was pretty much over before it started, most of them were for the dhampir nowadays, after that first night in the clinic where the two of them had just about managed to come out unscathed the dhampir had been training relentlessly. At first with Donovan, who was a great mentor and teacher for the younger male and then later with Daehyun who challenged Jae to broaden his tactics and the way he fought. His whole drive had been to never feel like he couldn’t protect Hanseol again, he had hated feeling like that, he was his life partner, he was supposed to be able to care for him and so Jae had been doing everything he could to fill those shoes. And tonight proved he could do it he supposed as he watched the group of men speed off down the road with their tail between their legs. This wasn’t how he had seen things turning out, he had to admit.
He finally forced himself to face the celestial but he felt the pressure hit him like a ton of bricks when he did, the other male was so pale-faced and it looked like he’d lost weight since the last time he saw him, Jae sighed as he came in closer and focused his eyes on the star’s arm, fastening the chain of the bracelet that had been taken. Hearing the thank you the dhampir nodded a little “They didn’t take anything else did they?” he asked but it already seemed like the celestial’s mind was on something else because he was already commenting on the fact that Jae had taken his off. He hadn’t been able to keep them on, both of them were a reminder of the promises of a future the two of them planned and wearing them meant he was still committed to having that future. He couldn’t be. Not after everything that was said after that night. Still, he wasn’t sure the drunk celestial was going to understand if he explained that to him “Yeah...I uhh...I took it off…” he was going to give some excuse about not remembering to put it back on or something but his words were cut off.
Jae sucked in a surprised breath as the other male launched himself at him, wrapping his arms around him and holding himself there, he felt feel Hanseol’s heartbeat against his chest and the shaky breaths he was taking as he clung on to the dhampir. Because of the force of the movement, Jae stumbled backward a little but just about managed to keep the both of then standing but his whole body tensed as he debated what he should do. It was hard because this was something he wanted to be able to do so badly, but the mix of Hanseol’s soft scent mixed with the overpowering stench of all the liquor he had downed reminded the dhampir of the reality of their situation.
Eventually, he pressed a hand gently against the small of Hanseol’s back for comfort before he stepped out of his embrace, it was too hard, having him close like that and knowing it wasn’t something he got to keep. He wasn’t going to just give in on all the very valid points he made about their relationship just because Han came running into his arms. Part of him wanted to snap ‘Of course I’m not wearing it, that’s not my home anymore’ but instead he swallowed “It didn’t feel right wearing it anymore” he spoke less harshly but honestly all the same. He cleared his throat wanting to change the subject, he came here to get the celestial home and make sure he was safe so he would focus on keeping his promise to himself that this was all this was “Did you walk all the way out here?” he asked as he pulled his phone out of his pocket, they were quite far out of the city and no surprise he had no damn mobile data. Jae sighed heavily as his eyes went to his bike and then back to Han to assess whether he’d be able to ride with him at least a mile or so until he could get to a place where mobile service was.
Jae sighed, he felt awful for all of this, especially the fact that he’d made Hanseol look the way he was looking right now on his birthday of all days but he couldn’t just pretend everything was fine with him either, every time he looked at the star he was reminded of that day, of the words they’d said, of what they had lost.