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Most of the days lately were the same, he'd get up in the morning before being dragged to the kitchen by Han, he had this thing about them eating breakfast together and the elder star would always have something prepared in the morning. After eating whatever it was the star wanted to test on him today, he'd chat with him and Jae for a bit before heading off to shower and putting on his uniform for work. He'd head out to meet Astraea halfway to the cafe and the two of them would walk up for their shift.
Having noticed how she had a good impact on his working ethic they often put her on the same schedule as him which he never complained about as she was one of the people he actually got along with there. The morning tended to fly by between all of the working crowd heading in for their morning coffee but after lunch was when things started to get quieter. Usually, they'd joke around a bit between the customers coming in which would get them through to the end of the day. It wasn't the most exciting schedule but he found himself enjoying the familiarity of it all.
But the past few days, when he reached the subway stop he would always wait for Astraea at, she hadn't been there. By the time they called into work they informed him she had called in sick but today was the third day with the same story and he was starting to worry there was something more going on. Even if she was sick it wasn't like her not to send him those random text messages she always did, usually chronicling her day or something interesting she found while scrolling online.
So instead of heading home after his shift, he hung up his apron and grabbed his bag, heading out but instead of going the usual way, he headed to the familiar route which lead to her place. He wondered for a moment if he was being nosy to show up here but then he was reminded that she would do the exact same thing had the roles been switched. So he headed up to the door of the house and rang the bell, he waited for a while to no reply before frowning and pulling out his phone to dial her number.
How can she show such a side to him? "What if I tell you I don't want to come out on the other side?" It wasn't as if she had much of a choice, it was either suffer and perish in the dark… or fight and go to the light. She chose the latter just like any sane person would. Being sad alone is miserable, but when she has company, he was right, it didn't feel as bad. At least she's not alone… which seems to be her number one nightmare. "I'm a dog person… I'd get… a corgi… because they said it's nice to get dogs who resemble you…" And goddammit did he make her talk. Astraea swore she cursed under her breath when she realized he made her reply within seconds.
When he gave her a blunt answer like that, she had to admit it stung. Because of course, that's the only answer he could give. Just like anyone else. But were they wrong? She woke up… while others didn't get the chance to. Still, it did make her bite her lip harshly and clench her fist because she hated hearing responses like that even if it's a reality check. "What's the reason I woke up though? You know why we were offered the chance to be given a second chance and use our services like this? I'll tell you why…" She scoffed and brushed the tangled curls from her vision to face him with those tired eyes "Innocents. The whole point of this is to give innocent people who died tragically a second chance to use their life to do good. That's the foundation… " Because they were innocent.
"I was supposed to live a long life. Even if it wasn't long, it shouldn't have been that short. I will never forget the fact that my end was premeditated. It wasn't natural, no, someone wanted me dead and they wanted to make sure I knew that my end was near. Or else they wouldn't have set up an elaborate plan to have me humiliated or tortured before my demise. And you know what? I still remember every single minute of it. Up until I was burned because guess what? Apparently it's hard to kill me to the point a dull dagger still couldn't kill me. It only left me the fucking bleed out so ut would be slow, so I could still feel the burning sensation. Tell me how am I supposed to just… forget? When I know very well I never found the reason why they wanted to kill me?"
Perhaps that was what she needed because as soon as she had that outburst, she felt… strangely better. That smile he gave her… why did it make her heart flutter? She felt so comforted by his presence. "I've… never had mac and cheese…"
He shrugged slightly “We all have those days where all we can see is the bad, but there will be another day in the future when the light is just as bright, hold out for that” he assured her and nodded his head slightly. He had a hint of a smile on his lips because he managed to get her to open up about something, even if it was only about pets, it was something “Dog person huh?” he nodded slightly as though he was mentally taking notes because honestly, he was. “I can see the resemblance” he commented as he leaned in slightly, tracing his gaze over her and grinning slightly, Corgi definitely worked.
He realized after he spoke that his blunt comments were probably unwanted so he went quiet for a moment to allow her to mull over her thoughts “Well then, doesn’t that mean you’ve earned this second chance and that in some ways, it’s yours to spend as you wish?” he knew there were strings attached but he definitely believed if anyone deserved to have the things they wanted and experience the things they missed, it was her.
Hearing her talk about her past was heavy though, as he rolled up his sleeves and got to work on organizing all the food and utensils he had found in the kitchen, he listened to her as she talked, peeking over his shoulder at her every so often as though to show he was paying attention. He fiddled with his hands as she talked, it was hard to hear someone you cared about talk about the pain and torture they had been through. He bit his lip softly “People are cruel and selfish, they do things for their own gain without even a moment of hesitation” he nodded slightly.
“You don’t have to forget” he assured her “Your past is your past, it’s part of you, the good parts and the bad” he nodded slightly as he put some water to heat on the stove and set the oven to preheat, messing around with the settings a bit until he thought he had it right “Never?” he questioned with a surprised brow and shook his head “You’re just…full of surprises” he teased softly “This is going to blow your mind then” he commented excitedly as he poured the pasta into the boiling pan.