It was hard to believe that he had been living with Hanseol and his boyfriend for several months now, time seemed to move so fast since then and everything was new for Sunmin. He still kept to himself mostly but in the mornings he would catch the two of them eating their breakfast together, usually they'd insist that he eat something which he would protest because he didn't want to be a bother but one thing he had learned already was that it was hard to tell Han no. He spent most of his time away from the house though, it was their home and he didn't want to get in the way of their plans, he really only returned in the evenings to sleep. Sometimes he could tell Han wanted him to be around more but he was still figuring out this whole family thing.

To make it up to them for letting him stay, Sunmin had been doing odd jobs and using it to pay Hanseol rent, if the other male refused to take it he would find creative places to hide it to ensure that he got it at some point. He had also into the process of getting himself an official identity, which had taken months of back and forth and some help from the Celestial Wayfinder but about a week ago his passport had arrived. He was officially an American citizen. Things were good, as much as he hated to accept help he realized now how much he had needed it. And to his luck, last week he had been given a job offer to work in a little cafe across the city. He was sure the owner had taken pity on him but it was something, a start to figuring this whole member of society thing out. 

He had been mailed the uniform which he was now wearing as he rode on the subway across the city, he hadn't told anything about the job because then he figured if it went horribly and he couldn't continue then he could just quit and no one would know. When the train stopped he hopped off of it before heading to the exit, he kept smoothing down the shirt he was wearing because it didn't feel like it suited him at all. He wouldn't say he was nervous but he was definitely curious to see how working here would go. Thankfully he was a pretty good learner and didn't think he would need long to be up to speed. 

He made it to the cafe about 15 minutes before opening but the front door was locked, he frowned for a moment wondering if there was some kind of mistake but before long he noticed someone popping up from behind the counter here and there, looked like they were cleaning. He knocked lightly on the glass to alert them to the fact he was here, it wasn't until he caught her attention that he realized that he recognized that face all too well. His eyes widened for a moment and he looked around for a moment wondering if he should make a dash for it but before he could do anything she was already at the door. 

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It wouldn't be surprising to see her up and about even when the rooster didn't even have the chance to make a sound yet. By 5 am, Astraea was already stretching out so she wouldn't have any muscle pains while working, it had been her routine every morning ever since she decided to take up the shift at Wanderlust. Her work clothes would've been ironed and hung on a hanger against the closet in her room before she went to bed, assuming she even slept that much. Honestly, she still wasn't used to how many hours they needed to sleep and rest to function properly and normally. The idea of eating and drinking alone had the Aurazin drifting over the clouds, much less sleep or nap. The alarms on her phone made it easier for her to remember when to do some of those things and she could thank Arcadia for reminding her to not keep herself up at night too long. The elder Aurazin gave her some advice that she found useful. 

No, they didn't have breakfast together at the table together either. The others kept to themselves and would mind their own business. The only times she ever witnessed them huddling together in a group was when they were talking about their possible return to the veil. Even then, it wasn't much to begin with. Astraea had tied her hair up in a neat ponytail, the curls in her hair wasn't easily tamed especially after she had brushed them and the Aurazin didn't have enough time to spare, nor the effort to use the straightener Maddison had. Before exiting the house, she skipped over the kitchen and grabbed a toast before going her way. The bag slung around her feels slightly snug as she rushed over to the subway station. Since they were living a bit far from the nearest subway station, she always had to calculate her distance and time hence why she always came to work early by 30 minutes. The walk to the subway station would take her 7 minutes and the train ride would take 15, leaving another 6 to walk to the cafe. 

After that incident the other night, she made sure to scour every route possible and chose the safest one. Going to work an hour makes sense because she would spend half an hour commuting alone. The station wasn't too busy considering the early clock, and she was grateful for it, considering her petite stature being huddled up against one another is not what she wanted to go through the first thing in the morning. The clock ticks and before long, she was already approaching the cafe. Astraea would be the first to come due to her circumstances and today, two of them would not be able to make it so it would only leave 4 of them, if she was lucky, including the new guy who was replacing the one who quit last month. Upon placing her bag in the locker, she went over a full sweep to make sure everything was clean before their opening.

 She was just wiping the counter when she suddenly heard a small knock against the entrance, which made her whip her head around to see who was here early, it couldn't have been a customer, but once she caught who the silhouette was, she blinked a few times and coughed to herself before heading over to open the door, "Well this is a familiar face I don't see everyday" she chuckled and waved a bit, "I'm assuming from the attire you're not here as a customer either... " He looks different without the whole black and dark ensemble, but still, the uniform looks fine on him. "You must be the new guy who's supposed to take over Herman's spot, you're here early. Place doesn't open until… " she eyed the clock and counted down, "31 minutes."

He had to admit that the moment he saw her, his first thought was to get out of there as fast as possible, not because he disliked her particularly or anything like that but simply because it knocked his plan for quitting if he didn’t like the place. Honestly, the whole getting a job process had been odd from the get-go, he had been looking around for odd jobs that needed doing when the owner of the store had been putting out the help wanted flyer and before he knew it, he was in an impromptu interview. Sunmin might be generally difficult about people he didn’t know but the owner knew he was a hard worker after hearing of the odd jobs he had been doing in the neighborhood, so even though he was positive he had interviewed awfully, he had been offered the position.

Admittedly he had considered declining it, but there was only so long he could rely on random jobs on the streets, especially if he wanted to keep paying Hanseol for his hospitality. So he supposed he was going to have to face this, at least get through the first day and see how things went. He pressed his lips together and shuffled on the spot slightly, why did he feel so uncomfortable all of a sudden? “I have no idea what you’re talking about” he grumbled slightly when she teased him for being a familiar face, he had met her once, he was hardly that memorable. It now made sense why she had been walking through this neighborhood, though he had to admit he wasn’t sure why she was here so late at night before.

“So you don’t work at the club after all, I was wondering about it” he commented and shuffled inside the door and peered around the cafe, it looked so different without any customers inside eating their meals and without the music playing “Better early than late right?” he responded to her words and frowned slightly “Besides...I don’t actually know how to use any of these things” he headed over towards the kitchen area and eyed the coffee machine suspiciously, honestly he couldn’t decipher one thing from another when it came to purpose on the dials. This seemed like it was going to be more challenging than he originally pictured.

When she first arrived, she had counted the number of manpower they would have for the day, it was the first thing she thought about as she unlocked the doors at the front. It was a habit Astraea had, she would always come from the back exit that's restricted and only given access to staff members. She would often let the entrance remain locked until it was 10 minutes before opening. Nobody ever really queued this early anyway. So when someone suddenly knocked on the doors, she was taken aback. Even if it was a staff member, most knew to use the back exit because it was easier and wouldn't be as 'rude' to interrupt anything or anyone who was in front. The moment she caught his attention was when Astraea's head started to gear up again, it was the same guy who saved her the other night. The one who lived on a lifetime supply of sarcasm and snark, which would've annoyed anyone else but not her. 

When he grumbled and dismissed what she had said beforehand, she chuckled and shrugged absentmindedly, that didn't surprise her, "You'll be surprised to know how memorable one can be when they saved them" Technically, to Astraea, he was her savior and it was hard for one to forget their savior. She wasn't excluded from the narrative either. With one hand holding the door open, her confused gaze followed his figure as he entered, "No, I don't work at the club, why would you think I work there-" She finally closed the door with a small click and gasped softly, "Did you think I worked there? What gave the impression?" She was aware that she came home quite late that night but she didn't find anything weird about it. No, the Aurazin wasn't offended that he had thought of her that way, she was leaning more to the confused part. She followed him to the kitchen area and saw the way he eyed the coffee machines, which made her snicker wryly, "Don't worry, I didn't get a hang of this thing after two failed tries. Two very embarrassing failed tries." 

As scarlet as her cheeks were that day, she was more relieved to know she could work it the next day. "I already did the cleaning, so I can show you how to operate the machines and cash registry. Though, with luck, I think you'd stay off the registry and end up serving as a waiter." She beckoned for him to follow her to the back where a PC monitor is located, typing in a few things, most likely the password since they scanned QR codes for work attendance, "Please write your name. Since you're new you won't have a code yet, but once you get your tag, you'll find it easier to scan" she showed him her tag, where the QR code was printed at the back, now that's technology she could appreciate, "Are you filling for the morning shift only? Or do you have any other?" 

He had to admit that he didn’t really think working at a cafe was exactly his style but then he had determined that needing the money outweighed his pride at wearing the uniform and serving the tables, he was diligent and polite and for some reason, people tended to like him even when he wasn’t trying all that hard. When she pointed out that she thought he was memorable he scoffed “You make it sound like I’m some superhero” he commented and shook his head in an amused manner, he had helped her get out of a bad spot, which according to her own words about self-defense, it seemed like she could have done herself if necessary. Hardly warranted much when it came to recognition.

She seemed pretty surprised by him thinking she worked in the club which made him bite his tongue for a moment “Well you were working strangely late for a cafe, plus this area is basically known for the club and then there were the comments about customers being particular which you made” he shrugged nonchalantly, was he supposed to assume anything else from that? Though it did occur to him at the time that she seemed awfully sweet and innocent which definitely put some doubt in his mind about it. He glanced over at her for a moment when she commented on how she had some embarrassing first failed attempts “Part of me wants to ask” he responded with a low chuckle as he ran his hand over the countertop slowly. This already felt strange for him and they hadn’t even started working yet.

There was this weird air between them for a while, he honestly hadn’t been expecting to see her again so it felt a little odd to be working in the same place, though not necessarily bad. He moved to stand next to her when she offered to show him how to work the machines, glancing at her and then the screen a few times and sighing, of course it was all computer-operated, he swore he had a personal battle going on when it came to technology. He nodded moving closer and slowly managing to type in his name on the keyboard, while listening to her explain how it works “Just the morning for now...but hopefully if things go well I can pick up more” he pressed his lips together, this felt like it was going to be more challenging than he thought but at least the cafe was small.

That silhouette could've been anyone had she not made any eye contact with the male, it didn't take a genius to remember a few distinctive people. And him, Astraea was sure she could distinguish him pretty well. "Not much of a superhero, even though that's exactly what a superhero would say" she pointed out, still, he saved her. That's got to count for savior points, at least. "If you didn't help me out that night, I wouldn't be here today. For all we know, I would've turned up on one of those local daily news reporting about yet another serial killer at loose killing a poor girl who was just trying to get home."

 After what she's seen from the news, she wasn't even surprised anymore. The Aurazin recalled watching every single news outlet to find out more and suffice to say, it baffled her. She was a bit taken aback when he thought she had worked at somewhere as shady as that which clearly didn't fit well with her character, but it made sense when he told her his reasoning for it, "That's what happens when you're the newest employee and everyone just wants to get a crack down on the newbie to do… pretty much everything." It feels like a work culture, honestly. She's never had the heart to say no to them either, so it's also her fault. Judging from his body language alone, Astraea had a feeling that he's worked before but this was probably his first at working at a cafe, not that she could judge, she was the same the first time she came around. Worse, even. "You can't be worse than me" she quipped humorously and pointed towards the coffee machine that still looked intimidating to the brunette, eyeing it as if it was her greatest threat in existence.

 "I tried to make coffee the first time and I ended up operating the wrong machine, which was the sundae one… and let's just say I had a big trip to mopping the floor and cleaning the entire section that was completely revolutionized by vanilla. As if that wasn't bad enough, I was pretty sure I slipped every 10 minutes even after cleaning the floor." She remembered going home with a few bruises on her shin because of it. Once he had typed his name in the system, she pressed enter and with a few swipes here and there, he was good to start his shift. "I think you'd fare better even if you did take up dinner shift, you seemed like you could take good care of yourself just fine." As shown that night, he seemed to know the area well too. "Go wash your hands and I'll show you how to operate the machines" They had roughly about 25 minutes to spare and she was sure they'll be able to get to it. 

"We have a few machines, but you only need to know a few on your first day, it's unlikely for you to be the barista so early anyway." She tapped the first machine that was larger than the others, "This is the main one, the most important part; the espresso machine. You make lattes, mochas, cappuccinos from here, it's the workhouse of the cafe, if this thing is malfunctioning, then we have a second one at the back. Precautions." She hopped on the counter so she could point to the machines easier without her blocking the view, "Two grinders. Espresso grinder and regular coffee grinder. These are more manually done compared to the espresso machine earlier, sometimes people prefer decaf. You'll get the menu soon enough. Then there's the coffee brewer because some people just prefer plain black coffee. It's always there. These 4 are strictly under the coffee section. Am I going too fast?"

The rolled his eyes and shot her a pointed look when she insisted that she saw him as a hero, he wasn’t trying to be that and honestly, he didn’t even want thanks for it, he got plenty of assurance in just knowing the people who hurt him didn’t get to hurt anyone else that night. Backward logic probably but that was how he worked most of the time “Something tells me that isn’t true” he commented as he watched her carefully. She still had that rainbow glow about her, though it was fainter in this light, more like it blended in with the daylight but the fact she had it told him that she was more than what she seemed.

He glanced over at her for a moment as she talked about how when you’re the newest employee people tended to pick on you and expect you to pick up the slack “You know you’re really not selling the benefits of the job to me right now” he commented in a somewhat snarky tone and pressed his lips together “Though they have no excuse anymore, you’re not the newbie” he commented bluntly. Then again, he wasn’t going to tolerate anyone treating him less than fairly so he’d like to see them try to throw everything on him. If there was one thing he was really good at, it was exposing other people for being assholes without putting a single bit of attention on himself. He had the feeling she was right though, he was quite a practical person and he didn’t see himself making huge mistakes, even on the first day.

He pulled a surprised face as she explained what happened though “Oh wow...that must have been a whole lot of mess...and sticky” his expression showed that he didn’t like to imagine what the experience would have been like and he was sure the others didn’t try to help all that much either. “Well you do walk like a penguin” he commented when she mentioned that she kept slipping over all of the time and then averted his gaze for a moment realizing that comment could have been seen as rude “A cute penguin?” he added to the end in an attempt to make it sound less mean. “The machines aren’t my worry, I’m only keeping my eye on the customers” unfortunately most entry-level jobs did require you to work with and serve customers, something he wasn’t exactly skilled or confident in

He headed to the back and washed his hands before coming back to follow her around the kitchen area and learn each of the machines, he was taking mental notes as she spoke but he definitely noticed that she talked really fast, kinda like her brain had the energy of a hyperactive puppy “Okay, so that’s the fancy coffee machine, then the other one is for the people who don’t care about it being frothy” he nodded slightly, made sense, when she looked over to him and asked if she was going too fast he laughed under his breath but shook his head as though to imply she should keep going “I’m guessing the waiting part is pretty much putting orders through and then collecting them when they’re ready?” Sunmin never went into anything unprepared so he had been doing some research on the hospitality business.

No matter how many times she seemed to put it that way, it doesn't seem like he likes being remembered as someone who held a remarkable achievement to himself. Sure, she could drop it and played it off like it was nothing but it was clearly shown that Astraea doesn't forget people easily. Especially when she felt indebted to them. "True or not, it doesn't defeat the fact that there's a possibility of it happening, right?" she chuckled, perhaps he had a point, any other way, the Aurazin would definitely defend herself and even though she couldn't fare well if she was chloroformed, still she could inflict some damage before that happens. But she likes to think that it's better that never happens now, or in the near future, at all. "Ah… right" she bit her lip and offer a sheepish grin when he said she wasn't promoting the benefits of working there all that much, "They can be overbearing but the owner and manager is very kind. The others aren't mean… they're just yeah" Overall, she loves working here, the people she's met could be complicated at times but she likes interacting with them as much as she would interact with flora and fauna. 

"Somehow I have a feeling that you won't let yourself be bossed around like that" she pointed out wryly, Sunmin didn't seem like the type that would take in a treatment like that, unlike Astraea who thought to take care of people's feelings before anything, the Celestial had made it clear the other night that he had no need to care of what people thought about him. She scrunched up her nose and shook her head as she shuddered at the mere memory of that day, "It was…" she nodded in affirmation, it was so sticky she felt like hell. When he called her a penguin which was probably implying on the way she walked, Astraea gasped and pouted slightly as if she was offended by it but only chuckled when he quickly added the adjective in front to make it sound a lot less meaner, "Adding somewhat an endearing adjective in front of a word does not make it a compliment, you know that, right?" she teased and hummed softly when he told her the machines were the least of his concerns. 

"Why?" she asked curiously, Astraea always liked talking to people but of course, that's not the same with him, she knew that he may not be a people person but wanted to know if there were more to it, "You don't like people?" She realized how weird that sounds but ended up shrugging at it. At first, she was a bit concerned that she was going too fast and he didn't manage to understand them but when he summarized them, she laughed and nodded when he asked if that's what they do after putting in the orders, "Pretty much." She hopped off the counter and pointed to two machines next to each other that was clearly not coffee based. "Frappe and smoothie blender. And of course next to it is my biggest enemy until today, the soft ice cream machine. I have no idea how one could despise an inanimate object so much but" She does. That was basically it since it was clear everything else is basic to know. "Have you ever made a coffee before?"

He was amused by the fact that she was so chatty and happy to talk about what it was like to work here, she wasn’t guarded at all and he was sure any question he asked her she would give him an answer to, regardless of whether it was something she wanted to answer “Sensible?” he responded when she spoke about the others, it seemed like they wanted to work on their own terms and not constantly be slaving over waiting tables and he could honestly understand “Well someone has to be the weakest link I suppose” he watched her and chuckled, yeah she was definitely the one who would always want to say yes to helping others, regardless of the ridiculous reasons they probably came up with, though it did make him wonder if she overworked herself in the process.

“You would be right” he responded and shook his head in amusement, the celestial could do as he was asked when it came down to keeping a job and getting to earn money but there was no way in hell he was going to let others take advantage of him if there wasn’t advantage for him in return “Do you actually manage to get a weekend off?” he questioned curiously, he imagined it was those shifts that others wanted to do the least and therefore would try to pass off if they could. He chuckled at the way she shuddered at the mention of the word sticky, he imagined it was probably as bad as it sounds. Her pouting made him raise his brows slightly and then when she commented about how adding ‘cute’ to the front didn’t fix it “Do I seem like the type who hands out compliments?” he asked with a smirk, of course he was teasing her and she made it far too easy to do.

“Well I’ve seen my fair share of ‘Karen’s in my time” he responded and grimaced slightly, she seemed young enough to know what he meant by that, the people who came in and demanded stupidly complicated orders which they wanted completely perfectly and quickly, otherwise they would scream and berate the person serving them and then report it to management “Why would I like people?” he responded bluntly, people lied and people pretended they didn’t see others in pain and they were mean about one another behind their backs. He looked at the last 2 machines and nodded, well the blender was exactly what it said and he knew a frappe was frozen coffee “Oh it’s a sworn enemy huh? Did you manage to defeat it yet?” he came closer and inspected it, none of it seemed too hard once you got the hang of using the machines “Only instant coffee” he responded and shrugged “So if you wouldn’t mind showing me” he pointed to the fancy machine and pressed his lips together “How long have you been working here?” he asked in a thoughtful voice.

Astraea was a naturally chatty person with a bright personality to fit the amount of love in her heart that she could give, it was why she would sometimes turn out to be devastatingly optimistic, even when the situation probably doesn’t call for it. So it wasn’t surprising to see her beam like a whole rainbow was floating above her, which was funny when she took the rainbow or slightly iridescent glow she had around her, into consideration. “Yes… sensible… that’s the word I was looking for." She couldn’t help but to pout unconsciously when he said someone had to be at the bottom, “That doesn’t sound healthy... Do we really need to have the one at the very end of it for everything?” It didn’t sound malicious or intentionally meant to offend, if anything, it sounded as if she was curious. There was a whole world out here that she wasn’t sure was the same as the world she once walked on, being away from 80 years meant she didn’t get to witness plenty of things. 

When asked if she managed to get a weekend off, Astraea had to admit, she did not expect that question to come from him, it made her blink a few times before reminding herself to answer, “Uh… no, not really? I do get Sundays off though, it’s the only day I’m occupied with something else.” It occurred to her that she only got that due to the particular day’s significance to the Aurazin herself. “The others don’t want to work a weekend shift, especially Saturdays but I managed to lay off on Sundays by taking a double shift on Saturdays.” The raven-haired female shook her head when he said that, of course he’s not the type to give out compliments, she could almost sense that from a mile away. “Karen’s?” her voice was slightly timid this time as she expressed her confusion before trying to remember what that term meant in the 21st century. Before long, she remembered people calling others that and nodded knowingly, “Ah…” She thought it was mean but then again, from the way those Karen’s acted, it wasn’t as if they were making a good impression of themselves either so it was to be expected. After all, respect goes both ways.

 “I get that you don’t seem like a people person, I just wondered if there’s a whole reason behind it is all. You don’t just dislike people just for the sake of it, right?” Somehow she had a feeling that he had plenty of reasons to dislike people in general but said nothing more to it. “After 6 days? Yes, finally” she remembered hollering and cheering so loud that night, it was basically a big accomplishment for her. “I was able to get everything working in 2 days but that thing took me a while because it’s a… sensitive machine.” Enough to make even Astraea aggravated? For sure. The Aurazin only nodded with a smile as she headed over to the espresso machine. "2 months, give or take? I had no experience of doing any of these, not being a waitress and certainly not at being a barista. But the owner is probably the second kindest person I’ve met so there you go, one month of training and job secured.” 

Every barista was different because of how they operated but the least she could do is show him the parts of the rig first, “We have 7 parts to this rig; portafilter, espresso grounds go in here to be brewed. Grouphead, it’s the place where the portafilter gets secured to brew coffee. We have 3 of them here since we’re using a big machine. Steamwand, basically where it spits out steam. This lever right here controls the flow. Hot water spigot, it’s hot water for teas or americanos. Warming rack is for you to warm the cup before we pour them in.” She tapped the pressure and temperature dial lightly, “This one you don’t need to worry though I’d be cautious to keep an eye out, if the dials goes up, you should let someone know so we can call a technician.” Then comes the complicated buttons, “Here’s the part that’s probably the trickiest. Not because it’s hard but because you need to focus or else if someone asks for a single shot and you hit double shot… well, we know where that will go. The two at the edges are buttons for hot water and hot water spigot. Can you remember these parts?”

Sunmin shrugged his shoulders “People only get higher in the world by stepping on others, people get their free time by making you take their shifts” he pressed his lips together “Managers make themselves look better by working their staff harder and making it look like they have things under control” it was rare that anyone moved up in the world without causing some sort of stress to others and they certainly weren’t the ones who were going to be billionaires. His point was made when she said she hadn’t had a weekend off in a very long time “Point made, proved and closed” he responded and shrugged, though she didn’t seem to mind, he was sure other people took advantage of her kindness and general naivety.

He raised his brows curiously when she asked what a Karen was and he purposely moved his hair to make it look like he had bangs and a bowl cut “Can I speak to the manager please?” he stated and then chuckled under his breath when she finally realized what he meant. It was a loose term but it basically covered the entitled people in the world who thought it was okay to look down on others. Sunmin shrugged slightly “Let’s see...there was the time some drunk woke me up by pissing right next to me, watching people get screwed over for their last dime in a casino, oh that time when someone gave me dog biscuits for food, that one was fun” his expressed deadpanned, he didn’t see good in most people and their truly selfish sides came to light when faced with someone like him “People who pretended they didn’t see or hear me” even though he never begged for food or money “Watching scumbags on the streets prey on innocent girls” he gave her a pointed look for that one.

“So no, not just for the sake of it” he shrugged as though it wasn’t a big deal because it wasn’t, he had never needed to rely on others and he was grateful for that, he always took care of himself. He laughed when she said she finally managed to figure the machine out “Well remind me to give it milk and cookies before I leave then” he commented dryly, he was sure if she found it difficult to use then he should probably be careful not to make a mess. “Just about getting used to everything then” he surmised, he was usually quite a committed worker after he chose a place to work, though for a lot of his life he preferred just doing odd jobs and not having a manager to yell at him. He watched carefully as she explained how to work the machine, he was mentally taking notes of all the things she explained so that he could remember them “It makes sense in theory...but in actual reality, I have no idea how I’d make the crazy orders” he laughed under his breath Sunmin was usually quite upfront when he didn’t understand things, though he did understand the basics of making a shot or 2 of coffee and making tea with boiling hot water, so he wasn’t completely confused.

The way he had explained it, it was as if he had gone through them personally, more than enough to know that what he had claimed was authentic to the dot. Was she naive? Sure. But she wasn’t stupid, she knows exactly what was going on in the world, or at least, what was going on the last time she was there. But her sense of optimism tends to kick in when people would least expect it, Astraea wasn’t sure if that’s a bad thing or not. She just desperately wanted to believe that inside everyone, they could still be redeemed, perhaps it was because it had hurt her personally when she failed to seek those, once upon a time ago. “You have a point…” she mumbled softly and averted her gaze downwards, finding herself fiddling with the helm of her apron as she thought back about everything that’s happened in the cafe alone, much less the world outside this premise. She didn’t mind doing those things… right? “Do you think I’m too naive? To the point where others step on me because of it?” It was a genuine question, nobody would tell her straight on, not really. Either they couldn’t be bothered to, or they didn’t want to hurt her feelings. 

When he moved his hair, the Aurazin squinted her eyes curiously and watched as he imitated a ‘Karen’, causing her to break out a smile and laugh, “You mean those people who got viral and roasted on social media” she pointed out and chuckled, hey she’s had her fair share of scrolling down social media. “So… people who feel like they’re entitled to everything and over everyone. People who have superiority complex?” From what she’s read, it sure sums up like that. When she said that, she truly didn’t expect for him to tell her the reasons that clearly justified his reasoning for not liking people, Astraea couldn’t help but frown and grimace slightly when he listed out all that’s happened to him, “Dog… biscuits?” she muttered in disbelief under her breath, is that what the civilization has come down to? His last statement made her bite her lip, right, wasn’t that the situation she got herself roped into the last time? “I wonder if I’m just truly ignorant to what’s happened or I’m just… blind to them” It’s starting to dawn on her that things were worse than she expected. So yes, she was disappointed. 

“I’m not sure if it’ll take a bribe like that but who knows, maybe she would like you better than me” she teased. “You won’t be alone, I had to memorize the menu for like 2 weeks or so, my friend thought I was memorizing a mantra when I went back home” she was sure Arcadia was convinced her younger fellow unicorn was trying to take a national exam. Astraea took the portafilter off and disassembled them, “You need these three to work a portafilter. Handle, spigot, brew basket” she held up the 3 parts one by one as she told him what it’s called. It didn’t take the Aurazin long to assemble them again, “You’ll have to do a lot of assembling these when you wash them, practice them and you’ll be fine. It’s like playing a rubik's cube.” Of course she’d find a hobby out of playing a rubik’s cube. She had pushed the portafilter towards him and beckoned for him to disassemble it and assemble them the same way she did.

He didn’t mean to make her feel bad about the person she was because he truly understood that not everyone was the same and saw the world the same way as he did but he also wouldn’t hold back when it came to pointing out what he saw around him, he question did surprise him though “Yes, I do” he responded honestly and shrugged “I think people see you as a pushover who will do whatever they want if they tell you a sob story” Sunmin was many things but one thing he would never be is a liar, so if someone asked him a question then he would always answer it honestly “But I can see why you’re like that too and I don’t think your intentions come from a bad place, you sacrifice your own happiness for the happiness of others” he just didn’t think other people were worth it, especially when they took advantage of others to get what they wanted.

The way she responded to his mocking made him laugh too before he brushed his hair back into place, letting it fall messily how it wanted again “Yeah, you know the one, everyone knows the one” you saw them everywhere, they were the ones harassing the staff in the stores about little things or constantly complaining about their neighbors for the smallest things. “Mostly females who fall under that bracket, yeah” he laughed and shrugged “Though I have met a few male Karens in my life….or...Kristians” he shrugged slightly. She honestly looked shocked that he went to elaborate on his answer to her question about his dislike and distrust in people. The list he gave her was just the things off the top of his head too, he had seen a lot more “I think you’ve probably just never been unlucky enough to be on the receiving end” he responded and shrugged “Don’t lose the positivity, I feel like you need it to stop yourself becoming like me” he knew he was too cynical, he realized that when he pushed his own brother away.

“Well it sounds like I need to do something or I’ll end up in a rather sticky situation” he chuckled under his breath and shrugged, he was glad to hear that she had trouble remembering everything on the menu at first too, he was pretty good at remembering things but it was going to take a while for him to process all the crazy Italian names for coffee and what they practically meant. “I’m usually good at memorizing things but putting a word to an action...that’s tougher” he watched her as she disassembled the pats from the machine, everything went back with ease and she made it look simple even though he could tell it wasn’t “Okay” he took a deep breath and took out each part in the order she took them out but then one part slipped from his grip and he dropped it. He pressed his lips together in annoyance before reaching down to get it “Well now it really does need cleaning” he spoke in a slightly annoyed tone and took it over to the sink to wash it down. Before long he was back at the machine and trying to remember where the parts went but he was drawing blank.


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