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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She didn't know what she was expecting when she allowed him to come inside the house, but she didn't really want to leave him out in the cold, it's pretty chilly outside for the weather. She had thought he'd just come and sit down but apparently not, she didn't know if she was relieved that he was trying to take care of her or conflicted because she couldn't turn him away. She originally thought nothing would shake her because despite being empathetic, Astraea could prove herself to be quite stubborn when she wants to be. She can be a brat when she wants to.

"I don't think... I know my choice paid off... because I'm here... looking at you with good feelings... positive ones that I know will just bloom even more day by day" She wasn't even sugarcoating anything, this is the reality for her. "I'd advise you... to not always say no first. You look so blunt and funny sometimes but maybe think about it first before saying... no?" He noticed the star loves to say no right on the spot without hesitation it would've been amusing if not frustrating when you want to appeal to him. 

When he said it was hypothetical, she cleared her throat because oh that was pretty awkward. It wasn't until she saw him leaning forward, eyes scanning her while quirking his eyebrow asking if he should wait to be her backup choice. It made her back up a little while her cheeks grew redder. God he could be so intimidating it's making her heart flutter too. When he took her hand, she looked at him with those heart eyes and bit her lip, "Do you... want to be my first choice? Because I know I'm not your first..."

He cared. There was no skirting around that fact or pretending like it wasn't true. He wouldn't be here right now if he didn't care. He couldn't recall the very moment where her presence had gone from being mildly annoying to welcoming, it was something that had happened over time, and now he couldn't imagine his life without her. It was quite the revelation for him because no one had mattered that much to him before. And she seemed so sure about all this, which was grounding for him "It's hard not to get swept up in your confidence" he commented softly.

When she spoke her advice for him a wry smile crossed his face and he immediately responded with "No" though there was a playfulness in his expression which alluded to the fact he was only playing around with her. He was the type of person who shut things down without much thought because often he couldn't see how it could possibly lead anywhere good, she must have ignored plenty of his no responses in the time they had known one another. She was pretty much immune to them.

He could always tell with her, she was pretty easy to read and so he could sense from the nervousness in her demeanor and the way that she moved back that it wasn't just some joke so he knew to tread carefully. "I've never been in the position to have a first choice" he murmured softly "I don't know anything about...any of it" his hand stroked against hers almost absentmindedly to distract from his nervousness "And as far as first choices go...I don't think I'm a good one" he pressed his lips together "but you'd be mine" he was sure of that much.

When did she realized she could no longer go about her day acting as if she was living a normal life and to close this chapter once they have to return back home as usual? At some point Astraea honestly thought she had grown immune to it because it was the same routine. Unfortunately, she was wrong, that was why she stopped being an empath and became a shepherd instead. It was a surprising move but she got attached and that was dangerous for an aurazin. She didn't belong in this world; in this realm. But ever since she met him, she wanted to stay. Everything about earth screams love me and she missed all of it.

When he said no with that same tone but witb with playful expression, the aurazin scoffed and shook her head "There you have it, you sneaky star, you love teasing me don't you?" He probably does, why else would he be so good at it if not? And she hated to admit it, but Astraea grew to love every aspect of it. She felt almost empty and bored without him, and that was already a big warning. If she didn't cut him off now, she is going to get hurt badly.

"I have to admit Sunmin... I don't like attachments. I'm not someone who has the privilege and luxury of being attached to anyone... I don't belong here and if I fall in love with anyone, I'm going to get very hurt and so will that person." When he said he wasn't a good first choice, she had an automatic pout as if to tell him that's not true but god knows her breath hitched when the celestial said she'd be his. She'd be his first, he said. The same thing kept ringing in her head. It didn't help that he was stroking her hand gently like he was trying to calm both of themselves down. "Do you like me? Anything about me? In a non-platonic... way?" She laughed nervously and almost sadly because she wondered if she was being delusional, "Do you even see me as a woman?"

He knew it was going to be complicated to navigate, not long after she told him what she was she also told him of her situation, how her time on earth was going to be limited and she didn't know how long they could be friends. He remembered scoffing and asking if they were friends back then, so many things had changed since then. He chuckled softly when she called him out in response and branded him as sneaky "You give me too many opportunities to do it, it makes it hard to resist" he commented in response and tilted his head slightly.

Her admission that she couldn't get attached to anyone did make his chest feel a little tighter though, he knew in the back of his mind that was something that wouldn't just go away. She was always going to be an aurazin and he was always going to be a celestial and there was always going to be risks "But I also know that won't stop you" if it would then she wouldn't have been talking about how she wanted to find her one, she wouldn't talk about being there for one another, none of it.

Seeing the pout that appeared on her lips when he commented about his own standing brought a hint of a smile to his lips because he could tell she was about to argue the case. He pressed his lips together, feeling a little overwhelmed by his own emotions, was this what the beginning of loving someone felt like? "I've always felt...dull and you are the...only person who has ever made me feel like I can be bright bring out the best in me and I didn't even know that best...existed" he lifted his gaze to her eyes, trying to read her expression "There's never been a question about whether I think you're are" he commented almost bluntly "That's why I knew those guys would try to bother you that night" the night they met.

Sunmin didn't want to be friends back then, she remembered him telling her that them being friends seemed like the type of possibility thay will never happen. But it did, it happened and they were the best of friends ever since. None of her days went by without him, especially after they started working together. Even when they had different shifts, he would visit her and she would visit him. They would climb any random building and watch the sunset together. It was everything she wanted... how could she not get attached after all of that? How could someone ask her to give that up? "You're such a tease" but maybe she would like it even more when he's her tease. Just hers.

She didn't want to hurt him. The last thing Astraea wanted to do was hurt anyone or anything, much less Sunmin, the person who is quite literally the one she cared very much for. But it was the truth, attachments don't go easy for her. All because she simply couldn't have it. "Then you'd know me well" She chuckled, he was right, she wouldn't be bothered about it. Even when it was supposed to stop her, it eventually ends up being amended somehow. At the end of the day, it's ironic to use the phrase 'you always get what you want'.

Was she worried when she saw the change in his expression and his colors? Very. She couldn't read him so the only thing that gives her even the slightest hint of what he might be thinking was his colors shifting, and if it wasn't because of the mix of happy blue hue, she would've panicked she just made their friendship awkward. The confession and compliments went together, bluntly but it was very Sunmin. "Do you find me pretty now? Even in this state? I'm still a mess, not even a bath could change that if whatever's up here says they're closed..."

He chuckled softly under his breath when she pointed out he was teasing her "Teasing people is fun, especially when they leave opportunities wide open" she was bad but Han was much worse, he swore he had to hold himself back from going too far with the other star because he was always doing something goofy. He supposed it showed the level of comfort he now had around them both, to be able to show more of himself than the cold wall he presented to most.

He scoffed slightly when she mentioned that he knew her well, he liked to think he did at this point, she was the type who could be pretty reckless with her emotions, she wasn't guarded the way he was and he could usually read her pretty well. When she was angry you knew about it and despite her best efforts to hide her sadness, it wasn't difficult for him to tell that something was wrong. On the flip side, when she was happy she practically illuminated the whole room around her "You said yourself that it's not wrong to want to be happy" he commented softly.

He softened his eyes when she asked him if he found her pretty right now "I think you look prettiest when you smile and I've seen a few of those tonight" which given the circumstances was all he could really ask for. He didn't care that she looked a mess, he cared that she was going to be okay. He looked down for a moment at their hands, his larger one was covering her smaller but it fitted well, she felt warm and he could feel his heartbeat speed up as he watched her "So yes...I do" he murmured softly.

She scowled playfully when he said teasing people was fun, but then again she understood why it was probably funny to tease people closest to you so this only proved to her that he did find her to be one of his closest ones, which if she was being honest, was more than enough of a compliment. Sunmin wasn't exactly a people person to start with so the people he actually likes, would be minimal. It's a bit special and it kinda makes her heart racing because who wouldn't want to be very special to someone, right? Knowing Astraea, she finds the idea alone to be quite romantic. "Yeah... I did" She meant it though, if shouldn't be wrong to want to be happy... if it was, why was it an emotion?

"I don't know if it's just me, but I want to be happy for a very long time... I've wandered the world alone enough, I don't want to be alone anymore... but that's definitely not as easy as it sounds like" After all, not everyone would be willing to stay by your side despite everything. "Everything and everyone I mean ages anyway... I'll come back a few decades later and they would've started to wither, it's sad..." She looked up at him and spared a small smile, "But you're immortal... aren't you?" He'd be different. At least she hoped he would be. His age wouldn't bother her but whether or not he would be willing to stay with her is another case entirely.

To see Sunmin's soft eyes really did make her heart race in excitement. Because what is this? Why is she blushing so hard and why is the adrenaline rush taking over? It was at this moment when she started noticing more of the small things, like him holding her smaller hands with his large hands. Couldn't she have this to herself? Couldn't she at least have something like this for once in her life? "I don't know what to say... my heart is racing and it's fluttering... I feel like there's tons of butterflies flying around right now..." Which was only ever supposed to be a positive feeling you feel when you like someone.

He offered a small but encouraging smile to her and squeezed against the hand in his gently "Don't think too much about it...we can spend all our time wondering what will happen tomorrow, or next year...but I don't want to get that far and regret spending all my time worrying" he wanted to live in the moment where he could he supposed, nothing was promised, things could come to an end at any time but there was nothing they could do about that right?

"I know life is complicated...I won't delude myself into thinking any differently" he murmured softly, if he wanted simple then choosing her probably wasn't a good idea, they both admitted they were broken and their future wasn't set. "Maybe it would be smart for me to save myself the heartache that might come one day but...." he offered a small smile "It would break my heart even more not to try" he admitted in a soft voice "Because I know it would kill me to see someone else making you smile like that" oh he was loading heavy emotions now.

He shifted a little on the spot before getting up from the table and starting to clear away the plates to busy himself for a moment while he gathered his thoughts, he loaded them into the dishwasher before fiddling with his fingers a little as he watched her "If you're looking for the perfect guy who knows what to say and do...I'm not him" he commented softly "But if you're looking for someone who just wants to make you happy, here I am" he opened his arms a little as though to plead with her to say yes.

They could spend everyday thinking about what's about to come next and worry tomorrow might not come because of their circumstances. Or they could just live the moment the best they can and bask in whatever happiness they have hy creating new memories together; memories that will for sure last. Wouldn't she prefer doing that instead of wondering if this or that would have worked out? Or regret her decisions one day because she never tried? What kind of justification could she give herself if she didn't try now? "You're right, we should just focus on being happy now, right?" That's a better move.

Both of them understand where they're coming from very well, she's not permanent here and they both know that. But they still wanted to try either way. Imagine having this kind of mindset for your relationship, she was touched she could feel it in this lifetime, to be cherished and cared this much. When was the last time she felt this much love? "You make me smile effortlessly, even when I'm trying to be mad at you, it doesn't seem like it works... much to my dismay" She chuckled, how she wished that she would... be able to do it differently but it is what it is.

Astraea watched as he got up from his seat and went to do the dishes from behind, staring at the tall male's silhouette with thoughts in her head as he turned to meet her eyes "I knew I was never going to find the perfect guy... at some point I resigned to find someone who can just love me with their whole heart. That's a rarity and I just wish to feel it once in my life... even if it's fleeting." It was no stranger to anyone that the aurazin wanted to lead a pretty maternal life, she wanted to find what she was robbed off. The sight of him opening his arms made her bite her lip before getting up slowly and making her way to his embrace, "Is this a confession?"

He'd spent so much time in his life pushing people away he was practically an expert at it, it felt almost foreign to him to try and pull someone towards him instead. He felt nervous because he didn't know how this would change things, if he was reading the signs wrong or if he made a big mistake he might lose her and he couldn't stand the idea of that. She was good for him and she gave him a reason to look forward to the next day, he didn't want to let her go. "Isn't that the only way ahead..." they couldn't stay stuck.

He couldn't help but chuckle when she talked about how he managed to make her smile even when she was trying to be mad at him "Let's be can't be mad at your alley cat for too long, even when he brings you back a dead mouse as a gift" he chuckled and grinned slightly, oh the way things had changed in time, he felt comfortable telling her everything now but there was a time when he was closed off, barely giving her one-word sentences in response to her endless stream of questions.

When he turned back to face her, he stood there with a soft expression, he was putting himself out there in a way that honestly surprised even himself and he couldn't stop the way his mind brought it out in rambling sentences. She was too good for him, everyone could see that but he couldn't help himself from wanting her anyway. When she stepped closer he enclosed his arms around her and pulled her in tighter against his chest "It wasn't obvious already?" he murmured softly "Maybe we could...go for a nice dinner after skating?" that's what people did on dates right?

For someone who pushes people away expertly like the man before her, to see him wanting to embrace and pull her in like this, she must've been someone very special to this guy. That's what she thought and that's what others would think too, especially knowing how he is. Sunmin is not a friendly person, he is closed off and standoffish, hence why people tend to give up before they even try. But he was just protecting himself and she understood that, she just wanted to tell him that if he allowed himself to feel, maybe he could find someone who could share the world with him. Obviously the aurazin meant anyone else but now that he has confessed like that, she suddenly thought maybe the thought of her being one of the only ones didn't seem like a bad thing anymore. "You know what... maybe it's time I start feeling a little bit of selfishness..." Because god knows right now she wants to be selfish. She wants everything and she wants him.

"Will my alley cat bring me a dead mouse anytime soon then? I sure hope not, I'd rather give him treats and cuddles than have him wander off and come back all dirtied up looking like he just got out of a fight with the biggest cat in the area" as if that wasn't nough emphasis on how much she wants him to keep his temper in check. But there were a few times when he would come back a but bruised and she would still root for him either way, nothing will change on that. "I can't believe you're the same guy that kept giving him those looks that said why are you here and why are you talking whenever I start a conversation with you. The same one who gives one word sentences in response..."

They have definitely come a long way. 

As soon as she threw herself against his chest, she purred gently like a pet seeking affection from its owner "I accept the confession and I accept this cute attempt on asking me out on a date. We'll schedule that when we can, okay?" But now her heart is filled up with hope, maybe things shouldn't have to be so bad for her. "Today is still my death day... and I feel like I still couldn't move on... I don't want to stay inside and be miserable, but I don't know what else I could do."

He was honestly a little surprised to hear her said that she wanted to be selfish "That's my line" he teased softly and grinned slightly, honestly it was nice to see her looking up and thinking more positively, though he couldn't help but wonder if this was a bad time to do this. Maybe he should have kept it to least until she felt better. He didn't want to take the day away from her because it was clear that grieving was important. But he didn't want her to be sad any more than she had to, it hurt him to see her go through that.

He pressed his lips together when she asked him if he was going to bring back a dead mouse "I can't promise you that I'm always going to be able to shake bad habits" and he didn't want to start all of this with any false pretenses, he was still a flawed man who made mistakes "But knowing I have something to return gives me a reason to be more turn away when I usually might dive right in" like he had told her before, he wanted to be better and he meant that....with his whole being. He didn't want to go back to the life he had before.

He rested one hand gently against her back and smiled, feeling his heart practically doing flips in his chest when she said she accepted his confession. He couldn't believe this was real because honestly, it felt so surreal, like he might roll over in a moment and land with a thud on the bedroom floor. "Today is your second chance day" he murmured softly as he stroked against her hair gently "So take the chance....let's go do something crazy" he whispered softly, a few ideas coming to mind almost immediately.


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