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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.
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"Your line could be mine over time, sharing is caring remember?" She shot back playfully, she remembered him telling her she should be more selfish too so she's doing exactly that now. It was a long overdue but at least she's getting hang of it now. Better late than never. She didn't want to do anything today if she was being honest because her death days, especially this day of all period, was a moment of grieving again. To mourn the life she could have had but to have it being replaced by another life she leads, maybe it wasn't as bad as previously.
"I won't ask you to shake your bad habits away, I know you, and I accept every part of you. Some will make me frown but does that mean I think any less of you? Never." How could she judge someone when she is also flawed? That seems to be contradictory on her part. "Besides, you're not the only one with flaws, I just hide mine a lot..." who wouldn't be insecure with theirs? "A dead mouse is still a gift at the end of the day." With his hand resting against her back and the aurazin staring up at him with those doe eyes, it was as if time stopped for a moment for her. She still needed time to process this was actually happening and that it was all very real. Her best friend, who is a very attractive man that's clearly out of her league, actually likes her. It wasn't easy to believe.
"Something crazy... like what? Should I be worried ?" She teased gently and began thinking of what they could do. It's the weekend, they could quite literally do anything but she couldn't think of one. It's also late afternoon already too, well past lunch hours. "Your definition of crazy can sometimes differ from mine. You holding my hand is crazy, that's my definition. But yours could be cliff diving sort of crazy... or driving off coast without a clear direction." Knowing him, it wouldn't exactly be impossible.
He chuckled and rolled his eyes playfully "I swear there's such thing as copyright for this exact reason" he commented and shook his head in amusement but he couldn't really complain because it honestly looked like a whole weight had been lifted from her shoulder in those moments. She said she wanted him to leave but he knew now he had done the right thing by insisting on staying. Just as he had come to rely on her, he realized she also reached for him too in her own ways. It made him feel important.
"I'll try not to bring you back too many surprise gifts of those kind" he did promise that much, he knew she worried when he got himself into trouble and so he had been avoiding it more and more as best he could. As he held her there for those few fleeting moments he noticed the way she tilted her head to look up at him, so he lowered his gaze and smiled a little as he met her eyes, she had the prettiest eyes, he thought to himself, there was a depth and sparkle in them he'd never noticed when he looked at anyone else.
He scoffed a little when she asked if she could be worried "Well those did come to mind...though cliff diving in this weather would probably end up with us becoming those blocks of ice floating on the water like you see in those cartoons" he commented and pressed his lips together. She was right, his kind of crazy was a little grander than most he supposed "With a full tank of fuel we should be able to drive through Nevada and into California..." he murmured softly "This time tomorrow we could be in Disneyland?" crazy indeed but so was this entire day.
"Will you copyright that phrase then? I thought when were together what's mine is yours and what's yours is mine baby?" She didn't even realize that she had let it slip, the endearment term. It took her a few moments to let that part register and suddenly gaped, "Sorry I totally didn't... Notice I said that... I don't know if you like being referred to such terms..." and of course she quickly panicked. Because if there was one thing she knows about Sunmin it's that he doesn't like being referred to a lot of things. She did... find it comfortable and natural to call him things like baby, it just comes off like that when she was trying to refer to him *now*. He is somewhat supposed to be her boyfriend, right?
"I'll prefer other kinds of surprise gifts, if you get what I mean..." She teased, the sad mood from earlier might not have dissipated but it was gradually fleeting, especially when she knows he's trying to make her feel better. The fact that he even went as far as promising her to not bring back such surprises had her giving him soft eyes, that really means a lot considering how Sunmin handle things. Even so she still wouldn't mind, she just wished he wouldn't get himself hurt. She didn't want her favorite person to get hurt at all. When he lowered his gaze, she continued to stare at him and noticed the tender look he was giving her. "You're staring" She pointed out softly.
Cliff diving was probably not a wise choice but the fact that she guessed two of the things he had in mind clearly speaks volume. She knows him well and he her. No wonder they were able to get along after a while if they caught up to each other's habits this fast. When he suggested to go on a ride she was about to laugh, until he mentioned Disneyland, "You're joking... right? Disneyland... You're really gonna bring me there this fast? That's crazy... you're crazy" but the look of pure wonder and enjoyment was taking in his crazy decision as something that made her fall for him even more.
He widened his eyes a little in surprise when she called him by that name, he had to admit he was shocked to hear it from her lips, less because of the word itself and more because of how naturally it came from her. Her babbling afterward made him bite his lip though, just smiling as he let her talk "You should know by now you can call me by any name you want" he commented and chuckled, she had called him by so many nicknames in the time they had been friends "Call me baby if it feels natural" and by the sound of it, it did.
He grinned slightly "I'll try to give you more of those" he commented and bit his lip softly, he'd give her the whole world if he could but he wasn't a man of huge means. Still, he wanted to give her happiness, he wanted to make her smile. Seeing the way her gaze softened he felt entirely captivated by those doe eyes of hers "I know" he murmured softly under his breath "But you started it" he jested slightly noting the way she was looking up at him.
He was half expecting her to brush off his suggestion with a laugh and suggest they ordered a pizza instead but the hopeful look in her eyes was enough to tell him she was up for really going. He pursed his lips and smiled "I did say up front it was doing something crazy" he commented and chuckled softly "But I'm serious, if you want to go then we'll pack a bag and go" she could forget about her pain for a while and just give in to adventure and he'd be right there by her side to look out for her.
She was half expecting him to scowl as usual and say it's not the type of endearment term he prefers, and that would be him being civil and nicest possible. "I can call you any name I want...? You're giving me way too much power right there, mister. You know there's a high chance I'd misuse it right? You know me" She teased, she wouldn't really but still, it was fun to tease him like that. "I'm not gonna lie, I was expecting your grumpy cat scowl... but I guess not." And boy was she delighted. "I'll call you baby sometimes... it comes to me naturally... I hope it won't be too much of a burden to you" She murmured while fiddling with her fingers shyly. And she's suddenly so shy around him it's crazy.
"No pressure of course, I just want you to be you" Well that sounded more cheesy that she expected but it does translate the message well. Her blush grew redder and deeper when he called her out on her staring, which made her clear her throat and avert her gaze. "Will you stop staring if I don't stare at you?" A part of her wants him to say no, actually... 99% of her wants that. She wanted to be stared, if she was being honest. Because someone is actually referring to her directly.
The one thing she could always expect Sunmin to do is to be adventurous and think out of the box. Of course he would casually suggest something so bizarre like that, but with her, she always wants to follow. If he said he was a bad influence to the aurazin, then she's a goner at this point. When he said they could really do it, Astraea was seriously thinking about it. A few moments later, she took his hand and look at him with those eyes again, "I'll pack my bag... I just need 20 minutes..."
Her reaction made him chuckle, perhaps it was a lot of power but he wasn't all that worried about it because she was such a nice person that she wouldn't dare to call someone by a name she knew they didn't like "What's the worst you could do?" he challenged her back, trying to call her bluff because he didn't believe for a moment that she would do anything cruel. "Maybe the grumpy cat has decided to be happy for one day" because of her, he felt happier when she was here.
He had a hint of a smile on his lips when she said she just wanted him to be himself "Good, because that's all I have to offer you" he murmured softly, he wasn't a man of huge means but she said that was enough for her and he wanted to believe in that. He chuckled a little when she asked if he would stop if she did "Probably not" he admitted bluntly and brought one hand up to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear "It's like second nature" he whispered softly.
She looked cute as she stood there for a moment debating in her mind whether she wanted to take the leap and just go, he was honestly half expecting her to back up on it or suggest they go another time, she did love to plan after all and this was asking her to do things without a single plan. "Okay princess, you go and pack and I'll head back and pick up the car" he murmured but despite suggesting they split up, he still felt hesitant to let her go. "See you soon?" he whispered.
She was taken aback when he challenged her on what was the worst name she could call him "Well... I could... call you honey..." She stuttered and was blushing hard again "God that sounds too much though, baby will do better... I like to call my star baby..." And now my star, now it feels better to her ears. "The grumpy cat can decide to be happy forever with me." She was more than happy to indulge in him if so. He can be happy forever with her, and she would love that even more. "Us against the world right? Even before you told me you like me, it has always been like that."
When he brought one hand up to tuck a loose strand of hair behind her ear, she brought her hand up to his hair and stroke them gently, "You have everything to offer me... I have nothing too" she brought her hands down to cup his face and smiled "You are very handsome..." She had to say it, when she's looking at him this close, she couldn't help it, he's very good looking, all his features were distinctive and soft at the same time. "Stare at me some more then... I like it" this was the time for her to be cute, if she can't be cute for then who else would she be cute for?
She went up as soon as possible, rushing into her room to get her bag out and put all the necessary clothes she think she would need during their trip. Who knows right? Besides, it's cold... she looked back at the vanity mirror and decided to put up some light makeup too. Was she also dressing to impress? Maybe. But this day took a turn and she wasn't about to let him down. Perhaps this could very well be a new chapter in her story.