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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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"A cracked vase can be glued together again..." She murmured, "Once it's fixed, it can hold water too... it's just going to take some time to make sure the water stops spilling... you know?" She's sure he knows what she means but she had to say it either way. "I'm not just a nice person, Sunmin... I'm an aurazin, I'm inherently good and my duty is to guide both lost people and lost souls... I can't help it, it's my instinct." And she loves that she had the ability to do so.
The blush she had earlier deepened the moment he praised her and said she could pull anything off, "You really think so? Even if I'm wiping my ass on the floor more than I stand... it'll still be that?" She teased, she's not stupid, she knows even with her good coordination, she might end up swiping the ice plenty. "I chose you because you were the only one I couldn't read and I... got curious. This person who had such a pretty color to him... especially when he's happy or in a pleasant mode, why can't I read him... and why can't he believe he deserves happiness too?" And ever since then, she made it her mission to bring that to him.
She hugged him even closer and purred intently because why does it feel perfect? Her small frame against his, it felt just right. "I don't have a lot of things I've done right? So I wanted to be impulsive like that too... besides the rides looked so nice and fun, surely the it will live up to the hype, right?" She quickly took a few more bites as if she really hasn't eaten for days, and every single time, she looked like a starved puppy who was just served food. "I think I just fell in love with you damn..."
"Let's hope the glue is really strong" he commented in a soft voice, still you had to hope what was broken could be fixed, otherwise what was the point in pushing forward, wandering aimlessly? Even someone like him held onto hope that one-day things would be different, better. "Well I've never met any other aurazin so maybe I'm biased but...honestly I think you deserve more credit in that statement than you're giving yourself, your job is to help people, not hand over your whole self" and they both knew which one she did.
He laughed softly when she pointed out exactly what he was imagining "Well no one became an expert in anything right away, behind every perfect performance is years of hard work and practice" and she was headstrong enough to put her mind to things, she was more ambitious than she gave herself credit for, perhaps even a little too much for her situation. "Happiness is a myth" he responded to her words "Every time you have it...the world finds a way to strip it away from you...cruelly" he murmured softly "So why should I believe in something which never stays?" his mind had been trained that way he supposed.
He chuckled softly "I guess that's enough of a reason" though her impulsive nature was still pretty surprising to him honestly, given how together she seems most of the time, it was kind of amusing to see her wilder side poking through. He ate a few more bites of his food, enjoying the taste, it wasn't until this very moment he realized he basically hadn't eaten most of the day and he was really hungry. He let out a soft, but surprised-sounding laugh when she said that "Don't get yourself too excited, I'm a terrible cook most of the time" but he was confident in this meal. "There's that smile" he murmured softly.
"The glue can be stronger when you have the right person" She exclaimed, she longs to find her right one, "Have you ever wanted to find the right one like that? At least once? I wonder if I'll finally be able to achieve that in this lifetime..." She really had that innocent doe eye look the entire time when she looked at him from the side. "Sometimes it's fine to give my whole self because that's the only way I could have... a life, you know? I have none..." and it was sad but that's the reality.
"Happiness can be real you know... I want to bring you happiness... in any way I could. You... when you smile it's nice... I want to see you smile forever... and laugh, if I'm being selfish." Obviously Sunmin wasn't aware of the effect he had on the people around him when he could. "You're a charming guy, Sunmin... very..." While the world is being lenient she believed they shouldn't give up. "Find happiness with me" Once she realized what she just said, she cleared her throat and mumble, "I mean... find happiness *with* me... like you know? Like alongside me... " She could feel her loss of words registering.
When she saw him eating like he hasn't eaten for a while, she picked some and offered it to him like she was going to feed him, coming from Astraea who only shares her food with people she cares for. She blushed even more when he pointed out her smile, "I can't cook either because I need to taste salt and sugar..."
He pursed his lips in thought when she asked him that "Maybe..." he commented though his voice sounded unsure "I guess I never really let myself get too deep into it because..." he always fell short when it came to his expectations for his own self, he never wanted more than he knew he could get because hope was a killer when you knew it would end in heartbreak "Before I came to Evermore I never had anyone give me longer than a passing thought so...maybe I've trained myself to believe I don't deserve...that" he wondered what she would take from his honesty.
"But will it last?" he asked in a soft voice, because if happiness was fleeting it seemed like a lot of commitment to reach for it, knowing that it might not stay. Maybe she was onto something in the end though, because he couldn't deny that he did feel happy when he was with her, it became easy to forget the distrust and betrayal when you were around someone so pure. He widened his eyes a little in surprise when she said to find happiness with her, it was cute, the way she babbled to cover up her words up "Okay, I'll find happiness with you" he commented and smiled softly.
He was happily eating his food, getting through it quicker than he expected honestly so he looked down for a moment and noticed the fork she was holding out to him, he waited a moment before taking the bite, feeling his face get hot because it seemed awfully...close to do something like that "Sugar always coming around to ruin your day huh?" he commented and chuckled as he finished off his food and then sat back a little, pressing his back to the wall "You know...I think there's an ice rink at the market..."
She didn't like the fact that he had undermined himself and thought he couldn't get this or that, he deserves so much better and she stands by it. There is so much to him than what meets the eye and to Astraea, as usual she would say it's a waste others don't get to witness what she could. If they did, they would know how much of a good company he is. "Well here I am telling you... you deserve everything, just like how you tell me I deserve everything." She likes thay he always encourages her, so she found it to be decent to do the same to him.
"It'll last if you want it to be... and it'll last if you say it will. I want mine to last... and I know you do too, don't lie..." despite denying himself access to this, she knows he wanted to feel that way too. Even a glimpse of it. "How about we make a promise? If you and I don't find ours in a time, let's give each other a chance? You're a charming and a good guy, Sunmin, it wouldn't be a stretch if I wanted someone similar to be by my side..." it's better than being alone forever, right? At least that's what she thought at the moment. But when he said he'd find happiness with her, she could feel her heart bubbling with excitement.
When he leaned over to take the food she offered, she couldn't help but let the grin grow wider, "I hate that it does... sugar is in everything, it's like I'm allergic to living... or fun... or pure goodness... it sucks" and she couldn't be vulnerable nor weak all the time, especially not around strangers. Her ears perked up when he said there's an ice rink, "There is? How would you know?"
He watched her with soft eyes, he knew he needed to improve on that, giving himself more credit for what he deserved and reaching for the things he wanted. "We're terrible at being our own advocates aren't we" he commented and chuckled softly, he supposed that was a curse he would have to bear, but she did remind him often that he could reach for more, if he wanted to.
He offered a small smile which showed how conflicted he felt over the manner "I can't help worrying that it'll...disappear" he'd had moments where he thought his life was turning for the better in the past and reality had come to shatter it, he had become programmed inside to hold back his expectations because it prevented disappointment. He raised his brows at her suggestion before tilting his head slightly "You'd settle for this alley cat?" he teased softly as he eyed her with a playful look.
"Have you thought about trying to build a tolerance to it?" he murmured softly and tilted his head slightly, it couldn't hurt to try right, if humans could build a tolerance to drugs like alcohol then why couldn't an aurazin do the same with something that made them weak. "I notice stupid small things remember" he commented and chuckled "Some lady brought in a flyer in for it the other day, I remember because it had a really goofy picture of a snowman skating" he shook his head in an amused manner.
He was right, they were terrible at being their own advocates, they often don't take their own advice but would expect others to, "I think mine comes with being an aurazin who is nosy with people's affairs but what about you?" She teased, knowing well what his answer might be. When he said he worries that those will disappear, she realized how similar they felt at that time, that's true, she was afraid it'll disappear too hence why she didn't even think of trying.
"I think if we... try our best, when it disappears, it'll be for a reason... we can't give up forever right? You'd tell me to do the opposite, why won't you do the same?" She wanted him to follow her when she finally goes into it too. Astraea didn't want to do it alone. When asked if she'd settle for this alley cat, she chuckled and winked playfully, "I mean this alley cat is extremely gorgeous and not good for my health... some would say he's detrimental to the progress of people saying good looks and charms don't matter overall" because goddamn was this celestial attractive *and* handsome.
"That sounds like an idea, I never tried because every single time I could, I instantly become weak... besides I don't think it's an experiment worth risking... if I do that, who's going to take care of me? I can't risk being vulnerable around people... and I can't not go to work... right?" It was as if she was asking if he'd help and be willing to take care of her sometimes. "Maybe we can pay a visit this weekend? If you're not busy... that is..."
If he was better at looking out for himself, maybe he would be brave enough to chase down the things he wanted rather than waiting for them to come to him. "I guess I spent so long wondering why everyone cast me out that eventually, it was easier to believe I was the problem than everyone else" maybe he was the problem, otherwise wouldn't someone have tried to reach out? Wouldn't he have made friends?
"You said it yourself, it's hard to keep fighting" he acknowledged, nodding his head a little but she was also right when the pointed out they'd tell one another to keep fighting "We should start taking one another's advice to heart huh?" they clearly wanted the best for one another and were advocates for the other. He blinked in surprise when she started babbling about his looks and how it was bad for her health "You think I'm good-looking?" he questioned and tilted his head slightly, well that was quite the admission.
"I'll be here" he responded to her words without hesitation, if she was looking for a way forward then he was more than happy to be the one she could lean on "If you need someone to rely on, someone you can trust to look out for you, I can be that person for you...I want to" if he could be of help to her then maybe he could pay her back for everything she had done for him, even a little. He had a somewhat wry smile on his lips when she responded like that "For you, I'll always have time, princess" he murmured softly and bit his lip.
She pouted and shook her head when he said it was easier to believe that the root of the problem was him and not the other way around, "Sometimes we want to believe that... we want to believe that it's our fault and it's our part why people keep leaving us but that's not it... they were the ones who decided to go away, we didn't really push them away. Shouldn't we at least try to get one to stay?" You would want one to at least stay, right? "Besides if you were the problem I wouldn't be here today... talking to you and eating your mac and cheese." They wouldn't be friend in the first place. She refused to let him believe it was all that.
"If we can't take our advice... I think we should at least try to take each other's advice... you'll take mine and I'll take yours... sounds good?" It sounds plausible if she was being honest. She knew she shouldn't have let that mouth of hers blabber but unfortunately it was already too late and the damage was done. Astraea had accidentally raved about his good looks and now he caught wind of it. "You really... are not aware of how gorgeous you are?" It's crazy, the man sitting across her is beautiful, yet he is still amused by the fact that she calls him handsome. "You're one of the most good looking guys I have ever met... or people, in general." And she has met a lot of people.
She looked up at him when he told her he'd be there, "You'll be that person for me...? Would that be okay? But that would mean you won't have time for yourself and your beloved... your time will be consumed by your friend." But she can't say she doesn't like the idea of that. She likes being important to him. And God the aurazin swore her heart fluttered when he said he'd always have the time for her. *For* her. "Thank you starboy... I knew I could count on you..."
He pressed his lips together in thought, he had placed the blame in a lot of places in his frustration, he lost faith in people because they didn't show him a single scrap of hope to hold on to, he saw the worst of the world and that was the image that was always painted in the back of his mind. "Trying is...hard" he murmured softly, he didn't have the level of faith she had to be able to leap, he was more cautious when it came to his own protection "Are you sure? Because you do have a track record or making some reckless decisions" he teased her softly and grinned.
"I'm not sure I'll be able to follow through on it all" he commented honestly "But I'll listen...at least" that would be a start right? Though he had to admit he was curious to see what her advice for him would be, would she be able to point him in the right direction? He honestly didn't really have the answers, he often felt lost in the world and while things made a lot more sense after he came to Evermore, there were still times when he felt lost...like a stranger in the world. He couldn't help but smirk in response to the compliment she gave to his looks "Well when you butter me up like that, how can I turn down your...offer" he commented "I'd say by the time we reach our 40th birthday but..." he looked her up and down for a moment.
He narrowed his eyes a little when she downplayed her importance in his life "My friend is one of the only good things I have going in this crazy life okay" he assured her with a somewhat stern tone "She's worth my time" he murmured softly as he stared back at her with soft eyes, honestly he would drop the whole world if she asked him to. "I haven't done a lot of good things with my time so far...but I want to change that...I want to be better" so he could deserve to know her....so he could be the person she wants to see in him.
All she saw is someone who deserved a second chance to show how good he is, and he's showing so much to her in this while they were able to come and talk. He's a good friend, and while he would scoff and act like a grumpy cat, she loves that aspect about him, it makes him endearing. "I do have a track record of making reckless decisions yes... but I guess I could say you're my biggest decision yet if so, because here I am still wanting to be by your side either way..." She had hoped that he won't take this as a sign she'll be clingy forever because she knows how much that turns people off.
"At least try? I'll try as well I promise" She gave him those infamous puppy eyes and was sure that he wouldn't say no to that. Which was hilarious considering she has said she wouldn't do that. When he started teasing her about complimenting him of his physical appearance, she blushed and leaned forward with her elbows on the table and chin up, "Look at you telling your half a millennium old friend that you'll wait until the 40th. The question is... Will *you* be able to wait until the 40th? I would've been giving birth and starting a whole new generation" She teased.
"You're very important to me too, Sunmin. Very. I never met someone I wish to keep so dearly until I met you. It's crazy but I can't say I didn't expect it either with how things are going." She doesn't want him to go away, she wants to keep him. And cherish him. "You are better already based on what you've told me... look at you going out your way to console your pain in the ass friend when she literally shut the door to your face."
He watched her from across the table with expressive eyes, honestly, he hadn't known what to expect when he came here tonight to check on her but he was so glad he was able to get her to open up a little. He knew she often felt like she needed to take on the world alone and he knew that feeling well himself, he could empathize. "Biggest reckless decision huh?" he murmured softly, he supposed she had taken quite the risk chasing someone who never said he wanted to be chased "Do you think your choice paid off?"
"It can't hurt to try right?" he commented and smiled softly "So what advice would you give me?" he placed his hands on the table, sitting one on top of the other while he listened to her talk. He noticed the hint of blush on her cheeks which honestly made his heart flutter a little, did she really see him that way? "I thought this hypothetical situation required us to both have not found our one" he questioned, leaning forward to as though to challenge her a little "Should I wait to be your backup choice?" he asked with a quirk of his brow.
He pressed his lips together, eyes taking in her frame, she looked really tired and still a little sad but there was a new spark that returned to her eyes and that made him happy, happy that he could be the one to bring that moment. He must have looked pretty conflicted in the moment before reaching out and taking her hand, slowly setting it down against the table "Or should I hope to be first choice?" he spoke softly, he wanted to know for sure either way.