One look at his suite and anyone can tell he did some cleaning. Everything was spotless, the kitchen, the bathroom, even his bed was tidied up properly, the floorboards had no smudge of dirt or dust to accompany it. Why? Because Eun took the liberty to clean the entire place earlier this morning. He could've just requested for a housekeeping service for this but he just felt the motivation to do some cleaning and once the elder Moon gets motivated to do something, he never stops until it's done. Which was ironic, considering he's still sticking himself in Evermore even after his client was dead and his case was marked off. What was he doing here again? Right, to investigate. He came to Evermore to take on this case that was specifically requesting for his service, but when the case was marked off following his client's death, Eun knew it was only a matter of time before his superior calls him back home. Home. What a relative term. It feels so foreign to him now, especially with the wedding in five more months. It's an upcoming event that will surely change his entire life but why does he feel so reluctant to set his foot back in his country? 

Over the past few months he's been in the eternal city, he's met plenty of beautiful souls, one stood out over the many; Leighton Kingsman, a cute bookstore owner he met when he first came to Evermore. They struck up a friendship that Eun never felt in all of his 29 years of staying. He realized someone many things went by this year but his time was well spent here with the therian. He promised the therian that they would have their sushi dinner the next Saturday after their horseback riding session. When was that? Months ago. Eun was guilty of postponing it from week to week, until it eventually became months. They still contact each other, of course. Eun grew closer to Leigh where he was already so comfortable with telling about his past stories. Sometimes at 2 so 3 am, he was guilty to keep the therian up and awake at such a time but Leigh never told him off. In fact, he only encouraged him to speak his mind even more. Their friendship was close to almost 7 months already and Eun felt like the time flew seamlessly. 

7 months should've indicated that he should be back in Korea planning his wedding in 2 more months but after insisting to stay here for work, he persuaded his family to extend the dates. His father wasn't impressed but also got the memo that it was for work so he caved in, and his fiancee's family was understanding which made him even more guilty of lying. If only they knew. But today is Saturday, he woke up early just for this. He cleaned the place up and himself up pretty well. Eun remembered he promised Leigh a Saturday, and today is a Saturday. The day was already stepping into evening, he spent hours in the morning and afternoon to make sure the suite is spotless and the book he promised to bring was placed neatly on the bedside table. Eun quickly got dressed after stepping out of the shower a while ago, and stared at his reflection in the bathroom's mirror as he blow dried his hair and styled it properly. It was supposed to be a casual dinner but he made sure to dress up well because it's been long overdue, and there was nothing wrong with dressing handsomely anyway. 

Once he was done, he grabbed the book on the table and put it in the paper bag where another box was also occupying the space. What does it hold? That'll be revealed soon enough. The dhampir wrapped himself in a coat and exited the suite, making his way to the elevator so he can make it to the sushi place in time for his reservation. He greeted the receptionist and securities with a smile and got himself an Uber because he wanted to get there as quick as possible. After a few minutes of small traffic, he finally arrived at his destination, giving his name to the receptionist in charge before trailing behind to his booth. Eun gave his coat to the staff and took his seat, placing the paper bag under the table while waiting for the arrival of his friend. 

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It felt natural now, to be teased by Eun and not feel completely like the ground would swallow him whole, his usual response was a sweet soft laugher he reserved for when he was embarrassed but doing his best not to be completely freaked out. It was a delicate balance considering the significance that Eun had come to hold in his life and how he felt about him, there was a part of him that felt completely at ease with him and like he could do or say anything but there was another which had never felt so nervous because of a single person before. It was complicated but the short truth was that he enjoyed being with the Dhampir, however, and whenever he could be. “True, some people ask if he just ran off of a modeling runway, others think he literally stepped out a magazine” he grinned slightly but went quiet for a moment when Eun said that Leigh made him blush “Maybe I’m making sure you never forget me” he responded with a playful smile, he found it easier to keep up with Eun’s teasing now than he ever used to.

They had both helped one another in different ways he supposed, Eun had somehow managed to lend the Kitsune some of his confidence and courage, helping him to get the means he needed to meet new friends and give people more chances than he would before, he helped Leigh to feel like he had truly moved on from some of the demons of his past, even though he hadn’t shared that particular story yet. “If those are meltdowns Eun then I’m impressed” he gave a soft smile “You always seem so put together, even when I can tell you’re hurting” and Leigh could definitely tell now when Eun was hurting. He never questioned why Eun wanted to talk at stupid in the morning, he knew, he wanted a distraction, he wanted something to put a smile on his face and the Therianthrope was more than happy to be the person who would give that to him.

And yes, what he felt, he knew for sure went further than just friendship, he knew there was a part of himself deep down that longed for him, that asked all those impossible questions which tried to fill him with hope but also brought a sense of fear over him. Does Eun feel the same way? Would it mean anything when he has to go home to marry someone else? Was a few months worth it anyway? What if his heart broke? What if a few months wouldn’t be enough. He tried to push those questions aside because it seemed almost crazy to even entertain them but the moment he heard Eun said that passing comment he had to do a double-take. They came rushing back in a moment and felt his heart pounding in his chest. Did he just say love or did his mind make that up because it was what he wanted to hear? His face flushed a deep shade of red as he looked back at Eun speechless for a moment “I can live with being second to really good sushi” he responded in a soft voice but he was still staring at Eun with wide eyes.

He couldn’t stop thinking about what Eun said even after they averted their gazes and turned to trying to get food from the belt which was circling the room “Are you telling me that you don’t have a line of people just waiting to try your baked goods?” he smiled softly trying to ease his nerves a little and enjoy their night without overthinking something Eun said by mistake too much. He laughed softly when he said not to tell Jae “But you’re depriving your brother of blueberry goodness” he spoke with widened eyes, again feeling a little shocked by the way Eun said he was more important. Was he reading too much into this or was the other male trying to tell him something, either way, it was making his heart skip in his chest “You make it sound like it’s the only good night you’re going to get” he spoke softly, he could tell Eun felt tender tonight, he sensed it in the way he was forcing smiles at times and seeming like he was lost in thought at others.

After finally managing to grab the tuna rolls he had been eyeing for a while he set the box down on the table and then looked at Eun with a deep, meaningful look which communicated that he didn’t need to fake with him before he offered out his arm as if to offer that if he needed a shoulder, he’d be there to listen. Unlike Eun, his mind wasn’t on the food at all.

Whatever he felt for Leigh, he knew it was positive. There wasn't anything bad about loving his company and Leigh has never given him a reason to doubt his sincerity at all either. Everything was good, too good. Eun admitted he was a bit scared to see how things would come to pass, especially with how close they seem to be doing and the therian never requested anything from him in return. While Leigh would tell him that was the decent courtesy between friends, he begged to differ. This was different. It was something. Unfortunately, the dhampir couldn't yet put his finger on it because there was nothing he could use as proof. As a lawyer, he, out of all people, knew how imperative it is to have evidence stacked on you before pulling the assumption cards. 

"Literally stepped out of magazine huh? Is he really that handsome to you?" he poked teasingly, he loved hearing those, even more so when it comes from the therian that he had seemingly grown closer to, every single day. Regardless of having to sort things out very soon before eventually returning, Eun didn't wish to part their ways like this. To him, Leigh deserved a better send off. And that wouldn't have been a problem if Eun actually wanted to be sent off. But he didn't. He didn't want to leave at all. The only thing that egged him was the fact that he had made promises back home. "It's hard to forget someone like you, Leigh" he quipped softly. His gaze fell briefly when the other male pointed out his well put on act that masked over his emotions 24/7, "I wanted to say that's my natural talent but it's a mask. It's a bit upsetting, when you know you can't do much about it. Can you really see how I'm hurting?" 

That was another thing he was surprised of, partially. "Was it too obvious or was it your… super lying detector thingy?" Was he worried about his image in front of Leigh? No. But he was afraid of giving Leigh a reason to look at him in another light. Insecurity still exists in the Moon bloodline, somewhere. Had he paid enough attention to what he thought of before actually speaking it out, Eun would've been able to avoid this but alas, it wasn't something he could take back. And honestly? He didn't want to. That's what he felt. This guy made him feel like a whole other person; the kind of guy he aspired to be, the teen him which was every bit of the real Sangeun Moon, once upon a time ago. The elder Moon continued to stare at Leigh as he watched him flush, he really did look good tonight. 

"I mean… if it comes down to a fight, and I could only pick one… sushi won't stand a chance... " he murmured softly, eyes fixated in place as he fiddled with his fingers underneath the table. When asked if there was nobody else who would like you for his baked goods, Eun grinned and shook his head, "What they don't know won't hurt them." And maybe, just maybe, he wanted this to be something between the two of them only. "My brother can live without blueberry goodness, I'll still give him something on his birthday to commemorate but maybe blueberry can stay between us both only" With the soft look he gave Leigh? Please say yes. "Maybe it's not the only good night I'll get but it sure feels like it'll be the last time I could even think about having a good time…" 

The dhampir was clearly taken aback by the way the therian offered his shoulders to him, he didn't expect this. They've been friends for months long but he has never even hugged Leigh, that's true. Eun was sensitive on skinship matters and it shows. But how could he say no when he could lay his head on his shoulder right there? Without thinking much, he leaned towards him and pressed his head slightly against his shoulder, it was meant to be awkward but why does it feel so comforting and warm? "We aren't even an hour in and I'm already being sentimental...haha… " 

Leigh always felt conflicted when it came to Eun, it wasn’t the Dhampir’s fault, there had never been a point since they met that Leigh felt like he was leading him on or promising anything he couldn’t give, the Kitsune hadn’t even been meaning to feel something for him, he just kinda did. And it was hard not to, not only was Eun incredibly attractive when you first met him, both physically and with his personality but once you got to know him, you saw how thoughtful caring he was, how he would do anything for his family and loved his brother regardless of anything. He was reliable when he didn’t need to be and when he made a promise, it was something he kept like it was made with the whole of his heart. Really it would have been a challenge not to feel something for him when you considered all that.

Leigh pressed his lips together when Eun asked him if he really thought he was that handsome, it wasn’t like the two of them hadn’t had conversations about Eun’s good looks before, Leigh remembered asking him about how he had managed to dodge all the attention he must have gotten back in school “I think we both know he is” he responded blushing slightly because he was nowhere near as shameless as the other male when it came to talking about looks. The Therianthrope’s eyes softened when Eun said he was hard to forget “You say it like I stand out in the crowd” he commented back and chuckled, he didn’t, unless you counted his height but that wasn’t what he meant “But I think ordinary suits me, I couldn’t handle all the attention you get” he was far too shy and people staring at him or whispering about him would absolutely freak him out.

Leigh had to admit he was surprised when Eun admitted he was right when he said he was hurting, he guessed he expected the other male to brush it off or pretend he didn’t hear it so to get a real answer made him go quiet as he listened to him as how he knew “Neither” he responded honestly and nodded “Believe me when I say you do more than a good job at veiling it” he pressed his lips together, it had him fooled for a fair while he had to admit “But then I look at the little things, how you never wanna put down the phone because you don’t want to be alone, the way you sometimes avert your gaze when you see couples that are happy around, how you want to talk about anything and everything, as long as it’s not about your parents and going back home” Leigh sucked in a soft breath and nodded “So no it is not obvious, unless someone knows you well enough to see past it” which Leigh now did, after spending so much time together and talking about so many things.

Leigh found himself completely speechless at Eun’s next words, the way he practically reiterated what he said before made the Therianthrope’s throat feel dry as he stared back at the other male in surprise. He felt his heart swelling in his chest simply from knowing he was that significant in the Dhampir’s eyes, it didn’t even matter in what context, he felt important and special in that moment. He heard how soft Eun’s voice turned which told Leigh what he was saying was hard for him to say, perhaps because he saw it as something selfish or wrong “Okay” he responded softly, nodding his head slowly “If you want it to be ours then it will be ours” he agreed in an equally soft voice, this conversation felt so much deeper than he ever intended for it to be “Don’t say that” he whispered softly when Eun said he couldn’t even think about being happy after tonight “Sounding hopeless doesn’t suit you Eun” he swore he was tempted to pull the Dhampir in tightly against his shoulder in that moment but he let Eun come to him.

Leigh closed his eyes when he finally did, placing his hand around Eun’s shoulder and just staying there for a moment, basking in the warmth they shared “You don’t have to pretend with me I hope you know that” he spoke softly as he brushed his fingers lightly against Eun’s shoulder and smiled “And I’d pick you first too, in case you were wondering” Leigh had never really spoken about his feelings with Eun before because it didn’t feel right to considering the Dhampir had to return home soon and marry someone else but it didn’t feel right not to tell him when Eun had essentially poured his heart to him.

He remembered he mulled over his options while sitting on a chair at the kitchen the other night, with his right hand wrapped around a glass of wine. It had been a night Eun had been trying to remind himself a lot. First of all, the dhampir doesn't drink often, he only drinks for occasions and to commemorate something. He's not a drinker. Two, the fact that he drank something that will very likely result him in an intoxicated state made it sound more surprising seeing as the dhampir doesn't really go around the lines if he's working. And he had been working. He had his paperwork surrounding the kitchen counter, he remembered. Getting to get out today to meet Leigh and let things off his chest made him feel at ease. He could smile better without feeling like his chest was hurting. It seemed so ironic how one guy could calm him down even if a storm had been brewing earlier. 

He was everything that he could see himself wanting to be. In fact, Eun grew more envious of how nobody else had to face this family problem and whilst he could just go down Jae's path, the promises he's made to his family doesn't allow him to do any of that. "You do stand out in the crowd" he murmured gently, "It's not just your height, I swear. You think so lowly of yourself, Leigh, you don't see the happiness you could bring to someone" You don't see the calmness and peacefulness you bring to me, but he didn't say it out loud. He had decided to keep it to himself. "Well, to me, you're far than ordinary but then again, ordinary doesn't need to be boring. If this is considered ordinary then I'm game." Initially, he didn't think tonight would prod the feelings to make an appearance but the longer he stared into Leigh's eyes and the more the therian encouraged him to speak his mind, assuring him that it was fine to talk about it, he knew it was only a matter of time before he eventually breaks down. He would like to prevent that to the full scale so spilling bit by bit would minimize the effect, right?

 "I didn't want to hide it but if I don't, then wouldn't that make me look childish? I'm an adult who has to take my responsibilities seriously, ha" Even from the way he chuckled halfway, anyone could see the elder Moon wasn't feeling all too good about the thing he's going through right now. It started off fine, but the more he spent time here and had the space to clear his mind so he could plan his steps thoroughly, the more he felt conflicted. Hearing Leigh list out the smallest things he saw him doing made him breathless momentarily, "You… noticed?" Unless someone who knows you well enough to see past it, the words kept ringing in his ears. It occurred to him that they've known each other for so many months and he didn't regret a single second of it. If anything, he wanted to add to it.

 "I've never had anything special with anyone. Not really. Not something where it's only the two of us, not even with my siblings… I guess I've just been too afraid. But I really want to have something to look back and remember you're a participant to it. That you were privy to everything of that event. Like Winterfest." Like that cheek kiss. "Even though Jae kinda made me eh then" he snickered coyly, but it served him a good memory in the many doors of his memory lane. He chuckled when Leigh pointedly out that sounding hopeless doesn't suit him, "I know, it ruins my image. How will I ever attract people now?" The fact that he could still play around with this, attempting to be happy, it's surprising. He didn't know if it was just him but Leigh felt so warm, he even hovered his hand until he eventually placed them on the therian's right hand. "I don't want to pretend when I'm with you... " Why does that sound so different from what he meant? Was Eun even aware what he wanted it to mean?

 He glanced up to meet the therian's eyes and smiled softly, "That's good to know. I always needed to be the first one… and while I wanted to know what it feels like to be someone's first pick, I never knew I wanted it as much until today...  It had always been just a need." He nudged the other male to the food, "I can talk to you and eat. My stomach will actually be tempted to eat you if I don't eat now."

It occurred to Leigh that there hadn’t been a single time he had felt the need to doubt Eun, he was so honorable when it came to his word and the promises he made, no matter how small the gesture might seem, Eun would always hold true to what he said he would do. Which he knew was a source of conflict for him right now, how could it not be when he promised to do something he didn’t want to do, no matter how much he wanted to go back on it and make different decisions, Leigh could understand why that might feel like betraying his own very nature. And it was Eun’s loyal and consistent nature that had Leigh so wrapped up in him in the first place, the Kitsune could understand the internal struggle he must be going through every time that he thought about his future right now.

And yes, Leigh had told himself time and time again that letting himself fall deeper for him was only going to hurt in the end, because there was no way he could imagine this leading that didn’t have some sort of end to it, one which he knew would hurt. Why was it that he wanted to know anyway though? His lips twitched into a soft smile when Eun insisted that he thought he stood out in a crowd “I really don’t, but if I stand out to you, that means even more than the crowd” he admitted with a slight nod of his head, perhaps Eun was talking from experience when he said he could make someone happy? They did right? Make each other happy. At least Leigh couldn’t think of a time they’d spent together where smiles hadn’t been almost consistently etched on their lips. Things definitely felt different tonight though, it was had to explain why but it felt like if there was a small barrier holding them back before, it had now faded away, he felt closer to Eun somehow and that was a little scary “Ordinary is what I asked for and honestly this ‘regular’ life makes me happy” he admitted with a slight nod of his head, he didn’t have this need to be the best or be particularly special, he just enjoyed the little things that made him happy.

Leigh pressed his lips together when Eun expressed how hiding his hurt was something he did because he didn’t want to seem immature or selfish, which made him a little sad to hear but also understand “You know I never told you about this before, honestly, I never told anyone about this before and maybe that’s the problem in on itself” he spoke it softly, eyes looking forward “When I was younger, I was in a lot of pain in here” he pressed a finger against his temple to show what he meant “And I buried and buried it and I found ways to cope with it, unhealthy ways” he sighed softly, he wasn’t proud of it but this had a reason to share it “and it got pretty bad” he spoke it in a really quiet voice and turned to look at Eun “Don’t be like me, don’t feel like you can’t share when you’re hurting and let it get to the point that you may be beyond saving” in his case, if it wasn’t for the fact his father was a Kitsune, his life would have ended that night “You can talk to me, you can lean on me, even if you think no one else in the world will understand, I promise you I will try to” Leigh worried about the pressures Eun put on himself and how one day they were probably going to implode on him.

Leigh understood wanting to have something special and meaningful with someone, he just hadn’t really expected Eun to say he wanted that with him. The Kitsune looked back at him with wide eyes which spoke the words he was feeling but didn’t really know how to explain “So what you’re saying is you want to look back on your time here in Evermore and think about how special those moments were” they had already had a few of those in his opinion “Well we have blueberry, Raven and Tera, your endless threats to steal my dog, awkward falling while ice skating, photobooths” he blushed a little as he said that last one, he still had the strip of photos tucked away in his wallet and he swore his heartbeat quickened every time he looked at them “I think we both know Jae only wants the best for you, even if he’s a little brash in his ways” if there was anyone in Eun’s family that deserved him completely it was Jae.

He chuckled at the way Eun joked about his image being ruined by his sadness, he did always feel impressed by the way the Dhampir could make a hard situation feel a little better with a joke or even just a smile “You might have to resort to old-fashioned bribery” he teased with a laugh and rubbed his hand gently against Eun’s shoulder, glancing down to where he placed his hands over his other one “Then don’t” he spoke in a voice barely above a whisper, Leigh had accepted Eun for the person he was since they met, he hoped he’d never asked him to be someone he wasn’t and he really liked the person he had gotten to know since then. The way Eun expressed how he needed to be first but never wanted to be before definitely made sense to the Kitsune “I guess that’s the difference between doing the things you feel you’re expected to and wanting something just for you” he spoke it softly because he didn’t want to seem like he was boldly proclaiming Eun wanted him because that wasn’t what he meant at all, though sometimes he did question what it was that Eun wanted for himself when other things were pushed aside.

Leigh laughed softly when Eun prompted that they should probably eat “Yeah you’re right, we did come here because of the sushi after all” he glanced at Eun, almost like he wanted the Dhampir to ask him not to pull away so he had an excuse to hold him for longer but then he dropped his arm from around his shoulder so he could open the box he’d grabbed from earlier. He looked down to the utensils on the table and then smiled apologetically at Eun as he picked up a fork “I feel like I’m betraying my Asian roots by admitting I don’t know how to use chopsticks” he admitted with a shy grin.

There were only two sides of his head, at the moment, much like there were only two sides of the coin. Heads or tails. Nothing else. One side of his head was filled with the happy prospective, pictures of how happy he would be here, the way he would flourish. A life in a city he likes better than his own home. How would it be like to make a life here? He had thought about it a few times and every time he tried to reach a conclusion, he knew it would be far better from the life that was already planned for him back home. The life he envisioned was here. How was he even going to begin to describe how thankful he was to have Leigh gracing his life when he first came here? The same guy who's sitting next to him, staring at him with those dark hues he found increasingly hard to look away from. His kind and humble self, this guy was the same person that showed Eun it was possible to find something he likes; someone he likes. 

They were closer than ever now and there was nothing keeping them separated except the distance he would later put in between them once he returns to Korea. That was also one of his reasons why he didn't want to return. He won't be able to see Leigh again, no one to share his stories. Whatever piece of technology there was, it pales to the real thing. "Then continue to be regular. Sometimes, while some people want to be a superhero, we could be wanting to settle down in a peaceful life, have a few pets at home to occupy our time… build a family... " The family part was still very much ingrained in him. He couldn't let that one go. Eun didn't expect for Leigh to suddenly come forth with his own personal story, it was a big step, albeit a rather surprising one that left the dhampir gaping in awe. It took a great deal of courage for the therian to be telling him this. 

"How did you get through it? You're here today looking all well… there must be something that helped you get back. What was it?" The dhampir sounded so strained and desperate, it was almost upsetting. "I don't want to go beyond saving but I don't know what to do. I can't decide on something where everyone gets their happy ending." Even if you think no one else in the world will understand, I promise you I will try to, he said. It was more than enough to hit him where it hurts, Eun's breath hitched significantly as he dropped his head low. "Thank you… you had no idea how badly I've been wanting to hear that. I don't think I even realized I wanted to hear that… until now." Every word that came out of his mouth tonight was sincere and genuine, there was no sugar coating whatsoever. Just Sangeun Moon in his real flesh. 

Hearing the therian list down the things they had that was special for the two of them made him smile, "Yeah, something like that. I want to have something too. I want to possess something too." And if those memories were all that he had, he would be able to move on with a sound mind. It doesn't mean he didn't want them to stay, and anticipate the days they'll be able to create more. He realized, he wanted that. So badly. "I want to be able to create more… I don't want them to stop there. There are so many things I haven't done, what we haven't done. I haven't even met Minha yet... " The mention of Jae gave him the push to chuckle lightly, "Yeah, that brat wants the best for me… I want the best for me too... " His dark hues dropped to Leigh's hand placed on top of his own, it felt comfortable. "I want the best for everyone. I want to be happy… and I want my parents to be happy too. But, I don't want to sacrifice everything just to be sure the latter wins. I don't want to marry Ahreum. Not her." Because he knows he won't love her. Not her. 

Eun swore a small and almost inaudible whimper escaped him when Leigh dropped his hand from his shoulder, but was able to distract himself upon seeing the sheepish grin from Leigh who admitted he doesn't know how to use chopsticks. "It's time to learn then." He gave him a pair and made sure to hold both of his hands in trying to show him how it's done. He didn't feel like he wanted to let go too but he was so focused on teaching the kitsune how to hold a sushi up to realize. 

It really had been an interesting past year for Leigh, if he looked at where his life was at the start of the year to now, you could see the differences in him so clearly, he was happier, happier because he had met someone who really made him believe that perhaps he could be in a good place again and that had boosted his confidence to the point where he met many new friends and felt like he really came out of his shell. “I’m not saying I won’t do something really important one day” he spoke it softly, with the intelligence he had, who knew what he might be able to figure out with time “But I do know my idea of happy revolves around being important in the eyes of a few people” namely the ones he had met this year and of course his parents. And yes, maybe the idea of having a family of his own was one he could see for himself.

Leigh hesitated for a moment because he hadn’t been expecting Eun to ask the reason he got better and he wasn’t sure how to explain to him the events that happened. He took a deep breath, could he say it? He’d never told anyone outside of his parents and support groups what happened but he felt like he could trust Eun to understand in this case “I didn’t” he answered and averted his gaze towards the table “I was in a lot of pain back then and I turned to things I shouldn’t have to numb it and then one night I numbed the pain so much that I stopped breathing” Leigh bit his tongue in his mouth and sighed “My father turned me into a Kitsune and saved me” his eyes were welling with tears as he explained it but he did feel a sense of relief by finally admitting it out loud “And after that I finally realized I didn’t have to be alone, my parents accepted me, they took me to a rehabilitation center and I got better, I met people there who struggled like I did” he reached for Eun’s hand and held it tightly in his.

“If there is one thing I learned so crystal clear from that experience, it’s that you can’t make everyone happy and you will die trying” his voice was soft, his thumb stroking gently over the back of Eun’s hand “So I am here for you, you are not alone in this and you will never be alone in this” he assured him it with a steadfast tone “Just let someone else see that hurt before it becomes so painful you explode” Leigh saw the signs in Eun that were there in himself back then and if he could stop him going down even a relatively similar path he would. It didn’t matter whether they were together or friends from across the world, Leigh was making this promise to Eun as someone who cared deeply about him. But Eun still had a lot of light in him, that much was for sure, you could sense it in the way he talked about the things he wanted to have “Then it’s ours” he responded without hesitation, truth be told, he wanted them to share more things like that too.

“Oh you’re going to meet Minha and she is going to love you just like you predicted” he responded with an effortless smile “And you can have more memories too, there’s still time Eun” he assured him as he nodded his head slightly, they had a couple of months at least and he could cram a lot into that “Seize the day, as they say, do the things you want to do most while you’re free to do so” he encouraged it with a grin, even if it was a short time at least Eun wouldn’t look back to this time of his life and feel like he wasted or regretted it, that was important right? Of course he wished Eun could have all the time and the freedom in the world but he did realize it wasn’t that simple “You have such good intentions that it hurts you” he spoke softly as he stroked against his skin “But at least you can be honest with yourself about what you want, that’s the first step” the way Eun stressed the word her could almost send his mind spinning though because Leigh was wondering if that had another implication.

Leigh smiled softly as he watched the way Eun guided his and showed him how to use the chopsticks, correcting the way he was holding them and then encouraging him to try and pick up the sushi on the plate. Leigh gave a slightly nervous look in his direction before nodding and trying to pick it up, though he quickly lost grip and it fell back down on the plate “I swear I am naturally bad at everything” he commented with a sigh as he glanced over at Eun “Show me how you do it?” he asked with a studious gaze because he was determined to at least pick up and eat one thing with them.

Perhaps it was just all in his head, but every time he looked at Leigh, all he saw where endless possibilities that he could've done well to exploit them while he still could. He intends to do that, if he was going to go back one way or another, shouldn't he at least make everything he wanted to experience worth it? Spending his time with Leighton Kingsman seemed to make the priority list just fine. And maybe he's biased, but who isn't? "Well, then aren't you glad that you're very important in my eyes?" He swore his own dark hues were twinkling with fascination when he spoke those words. He meant every word he said and he couldn't recall ever evading the truth or lying to Leigh, the only times he could remember was him trying not to think about it with someone who was supposed to be his switch to a good mind. Does that make Leigh, his beacon? 

Eun didn't want to prod Leigh into telling him what happened, especially if it involves his past that he was sure could be extremely hard to rethink again but the therian told him either way, which tells him a lot on how much he seemed to trust the dhampir, much to Eun's delight. The elder Moon found himself biting down on his bottom lip apprehensively while hearing his story, he couldn't imagine how he went through all of that. Never once did he thought Leigh had been implying on actual death before. "Leigh... " So that's how he became a Kitsune, he was turned by his father at a dire state like that. A situation that calls for extreme measures. "I'm glad he did that. Or else, I wouldn't have met you and you know what? Maybe I would fall deeper into this pit without anyone to pull me up" There was just something special about the other male that drew Eun closer more than ever. 

And he couldn't bear tearing himself further and avoid this call to his heart. "So you think I need to ask for help? Psychologically?" he murmured faintly, he wasn't sure what to do, despite everything he's decided, it didn't cease to make him feel terrible about it. How could he disappoint the people he loves? All of them? "The way I see it, if I do this, I'll end up disappointing people I love either way. And you said we can't make everyone happy… I feel empty inside and I'm afraid that I will continue to feel this ache and void inside me until the end of my days." It was the reason why he hesitated to think about the marriage at all. His grip on Leigh's tightened firmly and he let out a heaved sigh, "Thank you… I really don't want to be alone." A part of him said it was fine to want things and that's exactly what he told Leigh. 

It's ours, those words kept ringing in his ears, "Ours." He felt his heart flutter as the mention of it, making him wonder if this was it feels like; was this what it felt like to feel happy and appreciated? To want more? "And then you'll blame me for stealing her heart like I said I would" he chuckled lightheartedly and nodded, "Then would you do it with me? Everything I want?" he asked timidly, looking at him with wide doe eyes that could only be described as shining, "I want to do them. All of them. But most… requires a second person to do it with me." Leigh had been so supportive it was almost hurting him to even think of leaving. How could he leave him when he's like this? How could he do that without losing another part of himself? Seeing how clumsy Leigh was with the chopsticks, he giggled and decided to guide him using his hands once again, and used his own to pick it up, putting it inside his mouth. It was very slow because he wanted to show Leigh how it's done. "You said to be honest with what I want. Do you mean that? Anything I want? Even if it's you?" How he was able to say them in such a casual manner while eating his sushi was beyond anyone.

Leigh went quiet for a moment when Eun said he was important in his eyes, honestly, that was such a thing for him to hear, as someone who had always felt like he was second to most people, an afterthought or someone they turned to when there were no other options, to have someone tell you that you were important and that they would choose you first was uplifting beyond words. “Very glad” he responded in a sheepish tone because glancing up at Eun, he looked serious in that moment which told the Kitsune all he needed to know. Perhaps it wasn’t all in his head, perhaps there was something here between them after all, the question was what was it?

It had never been easy for him to share his story because truthfully he was ashamed of it, ashamed that he hadn’t been able to talk to anyone and had let it get so bad that he could have had a very different story that night. He saw the way Eun bit down on his lip and could feel his heart clenching in his chest because he hated feeling like he was worrying someone he cared about “I’m okay now” he assured softly as he met his eyes, wanting Eun to know that the years of therapy and support from his family had put him in a much better place “When you met me you remember how I...freaked a little” he nodded slightly, if he was going to tell this story he felt like he should tell all of it now so Eun would have the full truth “I suffer from PTSD because of the things I went through in high school, it was uh…” he choked for a moment, his eyes welling with tears “It was the hardest time in my life and there’s always going to be a part of me that’s never fully past it” a small part that was always broken so to speak.

He nodded slightly when Eun said he was glad to have met him and Leigh allowed a smile to break the tears in his eyes “I just hate to see anyone go down that path when I could do something about it” so if he could pull him up and Eun would let him, then he would. “I think you need to realize the toll that burying everything you’re feeling will have on you” he spoke it softly and nodded “How you deal with that...that’s a personal thing, I can’t tell you what would help most” but he did understand the place that Eun was in right now, no matter what decision he made, he either hurt everyone he loved back home or he hurt himself by choosing something he evidently didn’t want. “I’m not going to tell you what you should decide, I won’t ever do that to you” he made it clear that while he had his opinions on it, he understood it wasn’t as simple as everyone tried to make it be “But I think if you are going to go through with it, you need to find peace with the person you are first” he looked down to their joined hands feeling the way Eun was holding onto him for dear life “Hey, I’m here okay, you are not alone”.

Perhaps he knew he was setting himself up for heartbreak in the end here, if he had to guess what would happen, he didn’t see himself coming out happy at the end but there was a part of Leigh who knew it was worth it either way, that if he could bring some light to Eun’s life and help him to feel what he clearly wanted to, then he would be more at peace with the life he led and perhaps in some way he would be able to look back and feel happy. Was it stupid? Probably, but how could he stop himself when such a precious person was here with him. “I will blame you yes, it’s not fair that you get to be so naturally charming” he gave him a playful glare but truthfully he thought they would get along well. His eyes widened a little when he asked him if he would do the things he wanted with him, well that was unexpected and his face flushed naturally from the surprise “Of course, if there are things I can help with” his gaze lifted, seeing the way Eun’s eyes looked like they had been renewed with some form of hope that was honestly stunning, he couldn’t stop himself from staring.

Leigh laughed under his breath as he cursed his own clumsiness and watched Eun pick up the sushi so effortlessly, he sighed slightly because he wished he could be that good at things without trying, then again, he reminded himself Eun would have used chopsticks since he was a child, he repeated the actions Eun made, very carefully moving and just before the piece of sushi could fall from the chopsticks he managed to angle it into his mouth, he laughed softly and chewed slowly enjoying the taste. He was about to make a comment on his success when Eun spoke again and Leigh completely froze in place, eyes widening, heart hammering “Me?” he responded and swallowed down the bite and set down the chopsticks “As in...you want to...you uh..” he was lost for words and blushing a deep shade of red.

How could he lie to someone who seemed to understand him better than everyone else with the exception of his baby brother? How could he look Leigh in the eyes and tell him he's fine when he was far from it? How could he smiled and bury all those stuff inside him when one day he may explode from it? He couldn't lie, it would tear his heart apart. Leigh didn't ask him to be someone he didn't want to be. All the therian did was gave him hope that there were things he could reach and grasp, there were possibilities that would lead him to a happier life and he wants to continue on that road, no matter what others say. He's made his mind. 

Being able to hear Leigh's side of the story made him chastise his inner self, someone else actually died and he's here wallowing like the things he had would kill him, a part of him scolded him by saying he should be more mature while the other part said he shouldn't have to bow down just because his struggles were lesser. Every struggle was a struggle, at the end of the day. That doesn't change. He nodded when Leigh asked if he remembered why he was freaked out and slightly jumpy around him during their first meeting, only to find out he had PTSD, "I was under the impression that you had social anxiety or something… I never thought it was PTSD" he mumbled softly and squeezed his shoulder reassuringly, "You don't have to bury it, Leigh. The last is the past, yes. But there's no reason to lock it, you should make peace with it and strive to improve in the second chance you were given." 

When the tears fell, staining his cheeks, Eun instinctively raised both his hands and brushed it off using his thumbs softly, "Don't cry, you're better now" he soothed and caressed the same spot with his thumbs, it was a strangely intimate gesture but to Eun, it felt just nice. "You are doing something about it, you're helping me, Leigh. When I was down and feel as if nobody could save me, you reached out for me and offered me a hand to help me climb out." One way or another, whatever he chooses, the other side will suffer, but he could be selfish and do that while thinking about himself, right? "I think… that if I'm going to end up making one side unhappy, I should at least justify it by saying it makes me happy." The connection he shared with Leigh was different than anything he's ever felt, for a start, Eun never felt about someone this strongly. Enough to make his heart thump against his chest whenever he was nervous, or flutter whenever Leigh makes him smile or he saw him smiling. 

"What can I do? I was blessed like this when I was brought to the world, Leigh" he winked playfully, he saw how he was slightly flushed from what he said earlier. He was wondering if he was being a bit too forward about this but reminded himself that was his own self, Eun wasn't subtle at all. "You can help me with a lot, trust me." They didn't take their gaze off each other and it brought a smile to his lips. Every movement made by the therian made him giggle, it was cute, seeing him try his best to grip the sushi properly without using too much strength or too less of it. When he finally succeeded, Eun was already eating another, "Yes, you." He didn't know what it was, but he wanted Leigh to do all those things with him. "Mhmm… I want you. Why is it so surprising? You know there was something between us, Leigh... " 

It was hard for him to say all of this out loud because somehow telling someone else about it made it feel more real and less like the bad dream he tried to paint it to be in his mind, it was a long time ago now and he had really come a long way since then but he still regretted the way he handled it and lived with some fear he might do it again, it was why he didn’t drink alcohol and was very strict with himself on medication “Most people wouldn’t think that, not for someone who never served in the military or anything equally traumatic but” he shrugged slightly glancing to the hand on his shoulder and nodding a few times “I don’t want to bury it or hide it, I’ve spent my time trying to come to terms with what happened, I have good days and I have bad days” he sighed “I’m glad I could tell you, that’s a bigger step for me than you probably think” he had internalized a lot of his struggles over the years, separating his life into the things he shared and the things he didn’t.

He was trying to hold back the tears but eventually a few did spill over his cheeks and he let out a shaky breath, Eun’s touch against his cheek was comforting and made him sigh softly in content because he was so gentle and sweet with him “I am better now, you’re right” he agreed and smiled “And this year has really shown me that, from the way you came into my life and I didn’t run for once” he was proud of himself for coming so far and finally opening himself up to friends, it had been meaningful for him to feel like he really connected with someone. Especially the Dhampir. He gave a sheepish grin when Eun said he reached out to save him “Knowing you, you would probably have managed to climb out yourself but, I’m glad you didn’t have to do it alone” he had definitely noticed how strong Eun was with how he always faced the world even when it was hard. “You’re right, at the end of the day, you should be happy with your life and if others can’t be happy for you” he shrugged slightly “Then that’s their loss” he certainly knew that Eun would never lose Jae, his brother was so steadfast in his support for him.

He chuckled softly at the way Eun said he was blessed from the moment he was born “You certainly were” he agreed without a second thought because the other male was incredibly good looking and had this confident and charming demeanor that definitely had everyone around him lured in. He felt a little nervous from the way the Dhampir almost unexpectedly made it about the two of them as a collective. Leigh had to admit he was surprised because he simply didn’t think someone like Eun would actually go for him, maybe that was just his low self-esteem but it really did surprise him. He felt like his heart might burst out of his chest when the other male affirmed that he was indeed not joking “Um” he was blushing hard as he looked back at Eun, he had a serious expression “I’m not rejecting you I’m just... I’m shocked” he admitted as he attempted to hold his gaze, honestly he was waiting for the punchline or the moment where he said he fell for it.

He twiddled his thumbs for a moment “Of course I know there’s something but…” he pressed his lips together “I mean I wasn’t ever going to act on it because I know the position that puts you in” he averted his gaze down for a moment “Plus I wasn’t even sure if you felt the same way” he spoke in an even softer voice while his vulnerable gaze trailed back up to meet Eun’s eyes, god those eyes were so piercing that he swore his heart leaped just from seeing them. He felt himself tearing up again, this time in happiness because he really hadn’t expected this, hadn’t expected for the man he had developed quite a ridiculously deep crush on, actually wanted him back.

Eun had to admit, when Leigh told him his story, how he struggled with himself so much to the point where he decided to end it once and for all, which actually led to his demise, the dhampir was scarred. He couldn't imagine the pain Leigh felt that time. How much it would've plagued him both physically and mentally to the point where he felt the need to switch it off forever. Yet it doesn't mean the dhampir was going to judge him, he had no right and neither did he want to. In a way, Eun understood why he felt that way. Was it because he, too, was feeling familiar? He had no doubts that his worries would not kill him but with how distressed he was, at the moment, it wouldn't be surprising to see Eun driving this to the wall.

 "No, don't try to put yourself down, don't try to downgrade your problems into making it sound like it's not a big deal. It's just as big as a problem for anything else, Leigh. Your problems are real, you shouldn't have to feel the need to hide it, not now" he shook his head, he didn't want him to do that. "I'm being truthful to you and you should do the same, no? I know your problems felt big, so heavy it trumps you out. It's okay to feel burdened… it's okay to feel burned out… you told me that." Perhaps, not the exact words but that's what the elder Moon got from his advice. "Thank you for sharing your story with me… it wasn't easy for you to do that but you took the courage and risk to trust me. It meant everything to me to know that you trust me that much." He couldn't see him crying, the sight of a teary Leigh broke his heart, it's wrenching all over again. "Don't run away from me" he mumbled softly and dropped his hold to his hand instead, he didn't even want to let go. 

Eun laughed when he said he would've been able to climb up alone even without his help, "I know you'd like to believe that and honestly, I'd love to believe that too. But the truth is, I'm afraid I may never be able to climb back out with all of my soul intact. I don't want to lose a piece of me… any piece of me" His lips were trembling slightly when he said those, he couldn't fathom the thought of that happening. A day that comes when he was another person. It was clear that Eun was also trying to hold his sadness at bay. "At least… I'll still have you and Jae, right? You two will continue to support me?" If he had to lose everyone else for his own happiness, then what was the point of not trying? This is his life. He's not going to live another life later. From the beginning, he knew Leigh held a part of him inside his heart. He didn't know what the therian has done, but he couldn't keep himself away. Every step only made the dhampir feel more drawn to him. 

It was nearly impossible to escape his clutch. Everything they had, the things they did, Eun wanted it to be only theirs. He didn't avert his gaze away even after Leigh blushed deeply, he wanted to gauge his reaction too. Just because he felt strongly about Leigh, doesn't mean the therian does too, right? "Well… I really do hope you're not rejecting me because ouch... Hahahaha" he chuckled nervously, Eun did you fuck things up? Leigh's response was not what he expected. But then again, he wasn't even sure what he was supposed to expect. "I… I've never felt this way before to anyone. It's new… and I don't know what it is. I even tried googling things up and it's really funny and absurd... " He was twiddling with his fingers underneath the table while trying his best to maintain eye contact. "I… I think I like you" he bit his lip and laughed nervously and actually wiped his non-existent sweat using the napkin, "I mean… I don't think… I just… they said this is what falling for someone feels like."

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