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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.
There was nothing wrong with being kind, wanting to think the best in people before everything else. She told herself that while hearing him out, he said it so himself, people were different. Astraea realized that no matter how bad the world would stoop low, she would be there to hold out her hand for them to take because she couldn’t bear to leave them alone. Perhaps her head is only designed to see one way, but so long as she could find the light in them, she’ll keep on doing that. His answer didn’t surprise her, if anything, it made the Aurazin chuckle and blew a few stray strands of her dark locks away from her vision, she expected that kind of answer and honestly, it was refreshing to get this kind of input from someone else. No sugar-coating, no filter, nothing at all. Who had thought that she needed this view? Not her, that’s for sure. “You’re probably the first person who’s actually said this out loud to me directly, I don’t think others could do it because it’s only proving that they’re doing exactly what you said people are doing to me, or because they didn’t want to hurt my feelings.”
If you were told that you were a pushover who would do anything she was told to do, even that would hurt her feelings despite insisting that she wouldn’t even feel offended over traded insults. “It’s all that I know to do” she murmured, she couldn’t recall doing anything else aside from finding the good and redeeming quality in people. “I think I’ve encountered a few, they didn’t call my manager but they did make a scene. One time, I had to be sent home because one of them poured a smoothie on me because I didn’t add the yogurt enough…it was a very sticky situation” It still surprised her colleagues how she’s encountered a few bad apples while working here but still managed to put on a smile and act like another day is a new day. “Have you ever had those situations before? A Karen or Kristian acting up on you?” He did say he’s met a few but she wondered if he’s also suffered from that position of not being able to say another word.
The moment he implied she was probably lucky enough to never be on the receiving end, it made the Aurazin pursed her lips, maybe he was right, it wasn’t as if she was there physically visible to others for a very long time, “You know… I was kinda invisible most of the time. People don’t notice me, not really. So they never pay attention to me, and I just… go by. Maybe they think I’m harmless?” Astraea does look like a harmless penguin, in all senses, honestly. She was halfway beaming in delight when he said not to lose the positivity but the smile quickly faltered when he finished the sentence, not to be like him, “You’re more honest than ¾ of the people I’ve met. You don’t lie. You don’t let yourself be stepped on… I don’t see why you would say that. If we’re living in a dystopian world, you’d survive till the end of days and I’ll probably die while trying to make a difference in a day.”
When he said he was better at memorizing but lesser on the practical terms, he was not selling it short because the raven-haired female tilted her head to the side as her eyes followed his movements, including when he went over the sink to wash but flat out stopped doing anything afterwards, “I feel like I could almost hear your gears moving” she jested and took them from his hands and showed it to him again before handing it over, “One more time. We’ll move on to the next after this. Just try it” Her movements had been a lot slower so it wouldn’t confuse him.
Sunmin knew his direct approach to people wasn’t for everyone and he had gotten himself into a lot of altercations because people expected him to lie or to say the nice thing when it wasn’t true. He’d honestly prefer that than to feel ingenuine or feed people with compliments they didn’t deserve “Most people are probably afraid to hurt your feelings” he answered directly, she was a sweet and friendly person and so people wouldn’t want to upset her or make her cry “The opposite of me then” he never invalidated the way she behaved and she never invalidated the way he behaved, it was like they both had this understanding when it comes to one another that things weren’t always going to be straightforward and different people reacted to the same thing in different ways.
He wrinkled his nose a little at the thought of one of those entitled women throwing a drink over Astraea, he imagined that it must have been hard for her to handle as she seemed to be the type to want people to like her and someone doing something stupidly mean like that would upset her a lot “Not gonna lie, if someone did that to me, they’d have to hold me back while I throw myself at them” he grumbled it under his breath “What happened to common decency” though he had seen people do far worse things than that, to purposely publicly shame someone that way was simply cruel. “I used to work in a call center for a while” he grimaced, that was not fun “I don’t really take it personally when people insult me down the phone but there were definitely a few calls I was pretty close to throwing the receiver a the wall” but learning to take those calls did help him to get this job so that was something he supposed.
“You do seem pretty harmless” he pointed out and chuckled, she had this airy, happy aura around her which definitely didn’t give him the impression she was threatening or scary, people were probably more likely to think she needed protecting “You’d probably apologize to an ant you accidentally stepped on” in that respect, she reminded him a lot of his brother because Han was soft-hearted like that and couldn’t stand to see anyone in pain. “I’m also paranoid, cynical and generally spiteful so” he smirked slightly and made a sarcastic salute “While I may survive the zombie apocalypse I’d probably be alone in some farmhouse and while you’d die, you’d probably be having a tea party with all your friends” just more reasons to see how crazy different the two of them were he supposed.
He was determined to try and do well at this job because he felt the need to pay Hanseol back for the help he had given him, it was a principal of individuality for the younger star, he didn’t like owing anyone or feeling like he was a charity case. But he also promised that he wouldn’t go anywhere just yet, so finding a job seemed like the right balance. “There are a few cobwebs in there but it’ll move eventually” he commented when she mentioned how it seemed the cogs were whirring inside of his head, he watched as she did it again and realized his mistake before, this time he took it apart and then put it back correctly, though he was grimacing as though waiting for her to say it looked okay.
There were no expectations whatsoever, not everyone would have the same views and they certainly wouldn’t agree to everything. Though she likes to see the good in people and find their redeeming quality, she understood that humans are complex beings and given the person she once was before she even became an Aurazin, there wasn’t much Astraea could say without making it seem like she wasn’t a hypocrite. He was honest, brutally honest for sure, but still, there was something extremely refreshing about that. “I guess I should be flattered that people even cared enough to take care of my feelings” Even if she wished people would be more concerned about being honest, it does make her feel good. “Surprisingly, we are two very different people, I know we’re not supposed to be similar to one another or we may as well be robots but… I don’t think I’ve ever met someone so different, until now.” Was it a compliment? Perhaps. She was definitely intrigued by him.
“I think I would have to hold you back if something like that happens again, this time with you being on the receiving end” she quipped humorously, yeah he did seem like he wouldn’t take it well, no one actually would, Astraea only stayed silent because she didn’t want to upset anyone else aside from her own self. Much like what was expected, the Aurazin was upset that day, but she didn’t cry. As opposed to others’ beliefs, it wasn’t as easy to make her cry. “You’re gonna have to control that urge once you start working as a waiter, we may have a lot more of those people coming in the future” It was inevitable, unfortunately. “Back where I was from, people held that ‘belief’ for a while, they have a whole hierarchy system still going on, it’s a bit absurd” Her neighbourhood was a bit more peaceful compared to the rest of the city, because of their supernatural understanding and small community but she couldn’t say the same when she went to the capital to run errands. “Superiority complex is always going to exist in the generation before you and the next, I guess.” Shocking but not surprising.
Astraea couldn’t help but cringe at the story, she hasn’t had the opportunity to try those customer service things even though she’s a good talker, and judging from how he had described his experience, maybe she’ll stay where she is now. “That doesn’t sound pleasant… I imagine hearing strangers cursing and mocking you from the other line for something you’re not supposed to even be held responsible for, would be a test to your patience.” A chuckle escaped her when he affirmed that she did look harmless, “I don’t think anybody’s ever felt intimidated by me. Except when I’m playing the rubik’s cube because I won’t slack just to wait for you to pick up your pace and catch up.” She could recall hearing Damarco complaining because she wouldn’t slow down to help him. “I do like to think that it’s better to look harmless, then nobody would see you as a threat.” She only wanted to live a low-profiled life while being here until they could go back home. Two different people in one similar setting, what could go wrong? “You have no idea how scarily on point you are with that, tea parties seemed to be something I’d do if we’re not weighed by the responsibilities of this world” Literally. “Besides, I make a better tea than coffee” Considering she’s been working in a coffee shop for two months, then her teas are really something.
“Fast learner” she exclaimed and went over the espresso machine with the portafilter in her hand, before long, she had already filled the coffee grounds and tamped it down neatly before removing any excess of it, “Remember to remove the excess so it won’t be messy, you can use your fingers or a cloth, whichever you prefer.” She placed it in the grouphead slowly so he could see how it was done, “Anti-clockwise, one round would be enough, you’ll hear a click, it’ll be tight and you’re set.” The Aurazin tapped the buttons, “Here, we have single shot, double shot, single long and double long. Sometimes you’re not sure if they’ve been tested or set so I like to be safe by using the free pour button. Single shot can take about 15 to 20 seconds, double shot 20 to 25 and it continues. There’s a timer displayed on this screen so you’ll know. I’ll be nice and set the shot buttons for you so you won’t need to resort to free pour, but try to study it through when you can, it's valuable information.” Once the shot was finished, she took out the portafilter and dumped the remaining coffee grounds into the knock box, “Remember to throw these out and rinse it after you’ve done your shot, or else it’ll warp the portafilter. Do you think you can do what I just did? Go ahead and prepare a single shot” She had taken out the other portafilter and handed it to him.
Somehow she seemed to find a plus side to anything and he would likely find it annoying if it wasn’t the fact she was so casual and matter of fact about it “I rarely find that having people avoid the truth with me leads to good things” he responded and shrugged his shoulders slightly, trying to protect someone’s feelings usually only went so far. He raised his brow when she pointed out how different the two of them were and then shrugged slightly “Life does that” he responded, nodding his head thoughtfully. He sighed slightly as he imagined that he might get himself in trouble with customers “Technically what she did was assault, you could have got her ass arrested” he knew she wouldn’t though, if anything the customer was probably allowed to get away with it and would do it to some poor person again.
“It’s fine, I’ll just be getting my revenge in my head while staring into space” he was actually pretty good at ignoring what was going on around him and completely zoning out, it was the easiest way not to feel hard done by the world and move forward sometimes. She made a good point about people thinking the world owes them everything though, you’d think people would be capable of some empathy and understand but it seemed as soon as someone didn’t get their way they wanted to speak to the manager. “People tend to be even worse when they can get away with saying whatever they want and not having to see the person they direct those words at” which was why you really could see the worst of people over the phone or on the internet where people didn’t really have to face the consequences of their actions.
“You have one of those faces which always looks happy, I think you’d actually have to try to look angry and even then it might come across like a pouting child” she looked pretty young and he imagined her scowling would look a lot like someone throwing a tantrum. Her story about being able to complete Rubik’s cubes made him arch his brow though because that was the second time she had mentioned them “I get the feeling you might be a fan of Rubik’s cube” he commented with an amused chuckle. The way she pointed out that his vision of her having a tea party made him shake his head in amusement “Well at least you’d die full of tiny sandwiches and interesting flavored teas” he commented with a grin.
Sunmin had to admit that he wasn’t expecting the process of making coffee to be so difficult but she was a pretty good teacher, she explained as she went along and took it slowly enough that he could watch what she was doing over her shoulder, she was small so it was easy to get a good view. He nodded thoughtfully as he took it in, essentially fill the thing with coffee, flatten it down, put it in and pull the lever to put it in place. Then you just needed to press the correct button unless you were doing it manually, in which case you needed to time it yourself. He looked down at the portafilter she passed him with a slightly overwhelmed expression but took a deep breath and went over to the coffee grounds before filling it and then swiping his finger over the top to flatten the top. He went back over to her and pressed his lips together before she pointed out where he was supposed to put it and he placed it inside, at first he tried to move it clockwise but that didn’t work so he quickly remembered to move it the other way until it clicked. He gave a sigh of relief “It’s not quite as scary when you focus on the smaller steps” he noted.
Even though he made it sound as if he would get annoyed at everything living, surprisingly he still has yet to snap at her asking her to shut up despite how incessant she could be at times, which only made the Aurazin bit her lip to refrain herself from pulling a wide grin. “I prefer honesty, it’s always best to hit people with that, even when you think telling a white lie would be far better” A white lie may sound slightly ‘noble’ but it was still a lie, at the end of the day. She could understand where they were coming from though, sometimes the truth hurts and the temptation to protect those you care and love could be stronger. “Even so… I feel like that would just prolong things for me and as you can see, I don’t like to get myself into unnecessary trouble” She really didn’t, his entire purpose was to steer clear from it, that’s the first thing she promised herself when they finally decided to make their temporary stay here in the eternal city. “I do wish I could make her reflect on her actions though…” But alas, things weren’t about to change just because she made that one simple gesture.
“You? Staring into space? I find it hard to picture that ever happening” she jested, there were times when he looked as if he could glare someone to death, and there were times when she’d be able to witness him laughing, which was actually quite nice. If she didn’t know he'd refute her compliment, she would’ve told him he had a nice laugh and smile to match. When he said that, she understood why people always resorted to being keyboard warriors or cyberbullying some poor souls from behind the screen on the internet. It was one of the things she didn’t like about social media. “Is that bad? To have a happy face? I don’t think you’d like me all that well if I’m to be mean, not that I think I could pass off as one… I couldn’t even remember the last time I got pissed off” Annoyed? Yes, sure. But as usual, it wouldn’t last longer than a few minutes with Astraea. A pouting child? “You know… you don’t seem to be any older than I am, I think I might even be older than you” Technically? She is. But hey, they’re not counting numbers.
“Playing the cube is fun” when she first discovered it, she couldn’t stop playing with it for hours long, Arcadia actually had to take it away from her hands because she didn’t hear what she was telling her. “You should join one of those tea parties, I promise I don’t bite” she teased, anything is better than being alone, right? She had gone over the sink to rinse the previous portafilter she used and was halfway cleaning it with a cloth when she peeked over to see how he was doing, he sure was taking his time and that was fine. Eventually, he managed to get it, “Next step, steaming the milk. I know you shouldn’t be wasting milk, but do not steam the milk twice, the taste will dull away, just try to put the right amount of milk instead.” She took a cup and placed it on the counter, “Put ⅔ of cold milk to measure and I think that should be fine” Most of the measurement when it comes to steamed milk were similar.
Astraea placed the pitcher underneath and pulled the lever slowly, “Once the pitcher feels warm enough, you can stop. See, it wasn’t so hard, when you’re done, you should clean the steam wand using a cloth or else you’ll scald your hands and we can’t have that, can we? After you’re done doing this, you only need to assemble them altogether in one cup, if you’re creative and artistic, maybe your foam will turn out pretty” Before she could say another word, the bells ringing from the entrance door rang, two more people emerged, their co-workers for the shift. “Say hi” she nudged.
He tilted his head slightly as he listened to her talk and he realized there was this resounding sense of determination in her which was somewhat unexpected “You’re not nearly as weak as people probably assume you are” he wondered it out loud because he noticed that despite being the type who was probably hurt by others, she seemed very good at keeping herself in check and even moving on. She would do a better job of being patient and understanding than he would, that was for sure. “Well at least you have a funny story to tell about the psycho lady who threw a smoothie over you?” he responded with a playful grin “And somehow I doubt she showed her face here again” because that was appalling behavior to exhibit in public.
He chuckled under his breath “I mean the look on my face would probably show that I’m ready to burn down the world in the process but, I can bite my tongue when I have to” he didn’t like to and certainly had to put on a certain persona which wasn’t his own to be the bigger person but one thing he had learned quickly is that some people just weren’t worth dealing with in any sense. “Depends how badly you want people to take your annoyance seriously” he jested with a laugh but shook his head as though to say he didn’t think it was a bad thing that she looked like a happy person. “In this world, what does age even mean?” he questioned with a quirk of his brow, he’d never been a child and so he didn’t really exhibit child-like behaviors “Or do you just like the idea of being able to boss me around?” he added, shaking his head in amusement.
He couldn’t say he had ever really tried to solve one of them so he didn’t think he would be very good at it, sometimes he did play some puzzle games on the library computers though, he enjoyed problem-solving a lot and would often challenge himself “Can’t say I’ve ever really been a tea guy” he responded when she invited him to come to a tea party, don’t get him wrong he didn’t hate the taste or anything but then he didn’t see what was special about it either “If I ever wanted a drink as a treat I’d always get one of those ridiculous milkshakes, the ones they layer with cream and cakes and basically looks like diabetes in a glass” he chuckled under his breath, yeah, he had a big sweet tooth, though he always had them in moderation because of how expensive they were.
He did as she instructed and filled the cup to about ⅔ of the way full and then glanced over to her for a moment wondering if he was getting this right, he watched as she finished steaming the milk and then it all came together to make the final thing. He didn’t think he was going to be able to make anything but Americanos for today and he needed to watch some of the others as they made the fancier looking drinks but he definitely appreciated the headstart she had given him. He was so focused on the machines he hadn’t even realized more people had joined them until she nudged him “Uh hi” he responded, giving a half-effort of a wave to the 2 people who had come in “I’m Sunmin, nice to meet you” he spoke formally, unlike his usual demeanor and nodded as each of them introduced themselves. Maybe today wouldn’t go too badly, he thought to himself as he watched everybody getting ready and then the flipping of the closed sign to be open.
She scoffed and shook her head when he said she wasn't nearly as week as she looked, "I'm going to take that as a compliment" she pointed out, if there was anything that she's learned after conversing with Sunmin all this while, it's that most of what he spouted were all genuine and held no traces of bluffing at all. Which was totally fine with the Aurazin since she preferred honesty. And it wasn't as if his attitude didn't bring her a few moments of laughter. He's a humorous guy, albeit a bit rough around the edge but that's fine. "A story on a psycho lady making me feel sticky for the rest of the day because I forgot her yogurt by 2%? Yeah… that is quite the story" She could still recall going back all sticky, having to go through a subway ride when it's packed was even worse. It was a miracle Astraea managed to keep herself grounded and calm on that day. "You're right, she did not show her face here anymore" she was a bit reassured by that, honestly. She felt… Safer, knowing that she's not going to come back. The last thing she needed was another harassing her.
"Oh so you do know that you look like you could actually burn the hole with your gaze alone?" she couldn't help but to take this chance to tease him about it, after all the dark-haired Aurazin is naturally playful. "We'll see how well you bite your tongue" she giggled, it was certainly something to look forward to. "I… I mean, I'm not someone you can easily anger but yeah, I do wonder if they're aware I am still someone with feelings and can actually get annoyed when they mess up." Now that he's put it that way, it doesn't seem like it. Did nobody take her seriously? Her eyes widened almost instantaneously as his words left her a flustered mess, "T-that's not what I was intending to do" she huffed and crossed her arms, "In this era, where people can easily lie about their age by forging their ID? Yeah… pretty easy to say that age doesn't matter. It does matter when you're trying to escape from the authorities though, it's either juvie or jail time." Today's law enforcement system is so magnanimous, she wasn't sure whether she should be impressed or not when she saw all the loopholes.
"Just wondering, if I do turn out to be older, you still wouldn't let me boss you around huh?" she just had to. Any other days, she would've been ready to whip out a whole catalogue on teas just to promote it but when he said his favorite would be milkshakes, Astraea found herself gaping in awe, "Lucky… I could never get those. I can probably whip something up to do half of what those people do, sadly I could only stare and pout once I've done it." Oh, she has a big sweet tooth, it just sucks that she couldn't really drink them without a care in the world like others do. Not without affecting her shifting abilities. She noticed that he would glance over her to see if he's doing it right and it always formed a smile on her lips, he was pretty attentive. Once Katy and David had gone to the back to check in their shifts, she blinked at him in disbelief, "How come I didn't get that kind of formal introduction?" She shook her head in feigned offense before giving him an apron, as the sign was turned, so did the atmosphere. The music was slowly played through the speakers and the lights were flicked open. "Welcome to working at Wanderlust. Hope your first day is better than mine."
Sunmin shrugged slightly “If you’re going to be crazy enough to work in customer services, you have to have an armory of bad customer stories to lighten the mood” he chuckled “Though the good stories are also welcome, most of the time I spent my days explaining to people how to use a website” he sighed softly, he wasn’t big on relying on technology but it was a necessity nowadays to use it so he educated himself and it frustrated him when others couldn’t be bothered to learn how to use a simple website. “Good, no one needs to have to deal with people like that” he hated entitled people and those who thought it was acceptable behavior to attack people when they weren’t getting their way was the worst of the worst.
“Theoretically yes” he responded when she wondered out loud if he could burn things with his glare, though she seemed to doubt his ability to hold back his temper. Sunmin was actually quite a patient person, despite his generally grumpy demeanor he didn’t really lose his cool over anything, but he was also honest and direct, which didn’t always work so well. If he said something too honest, no doubt he would piss off a customer “Let’s see how well they bite their tongues first” he didn’t ever attack without cause, that much was for sure. “They are probably aware, but probably don’t care” he responded and shrugged his shoulders, a lot of people could be mean and ignorant without actually trying to be, they just were too focused on themselves to realize they were hurting others. “You say it like the authorities have time to be chasing people with fake IDs” well if that was the biggest crime he would definitely already be in jail, if they could catch him.
“Not a chance” he responded bluntly when she asked if her being older would mean she got to boss him around, she didn’t seem like the bossy type to him anyway, he wasn’t sure it was even in her nature. He raised his brow when she spoke about not being able to enjoy milkshakes for herself which made him tilt his head curiously “Lactose intolerant?” he questioned wondering what would stop her, the way she said it meant it wasn’t that she disliked them in general. After he introduced himself to the other two employees he allowed the fake smile to drain from his face and he shrugged slightly “Because it would have been weird to re-introduce myself to the weird girl I escorted to the subway the other night?” he arched a curious brow, he looked down at the apron she passed and grumbled as he put it on “Thanks” he responded as he pressed his lips together.
The morning was pretty easy, people came in for breakfast, placing their orders at the counters and then he would bring them over after they were prepped, he learned how to use the toaster pretty quickly and even made a couple of the coffees with Astraea watching over him. He was pretty busy moving from customer to customer, answering their questions and making sure everything was okay. Lunch was starting to come around though and that was where he was starting to feel a little frazzled “How do you even remember all of these orders?” he questioned as he passed Astraea as he was heading back to the counter.
She couldn't help but to find herself grimacing at that, "I don't think I'll ever be crazy enough to work at customer services now…" certainly not after how he had described it. Perhaps it was not for her. Not everyone could be good at everything, right? "How to use a website? How often does that annoy you?" Admittedly, Astraea remembered having to ask the younger Aurazin teach her on how to use the gadgets because she's been quite out of touch with the moment century, but she could only imagine how annoying it would be to have to explain how to do the bare minimum. Thankfully, she managed to get a hold of them, enough to know how to do her own research online. They said you needed to know how to use technology to survive in days like these. Considering how even the checking in using a qr code behind their customized name tags, she was starting to believe that it's true. "I'd like to hope that I won't have to deal with people like that" she quipped humorously, they were definitely not the kind of customers she could handle.
"Theoretically?" she quirked her eyebrows questioningly before snickering, somehow that didn't feel like a lie at all, "Tame yourself, Sunmin" she mused wryly, "Not everyone can handle you. And I so don't want to see a customer throwing their drinks over you, I can tell you dry cleaning did not get the stain off unless you hand-wash them with two different solutions." Been there, done that. It should've hurt when he said that people were aware but simply didn't care but surprisingly, it was as if Astraea had already been waiting for that kind of response, she only hummed softly in affirmation, "Maybe." He was not wrong. "Well either they have something against me or I'm doing something really wrong because there's been instances where nobody seems to believe the ID I had was real" Technically, they weren't but that wasn't the issue in hand. The brunette only chuckled when he bluntly told her there was no way he would allow that to ever happen, yeah she didn't think so. "Not even if I'm like… a lot like a senior?" she teased.
When he asked her if she was lactose intolerant, Astraea was confused momentarily, why would he say that? She literally blanked out for a moment until it dawned to her what he meant, "Oh- no… not lactose intolerant. Just… let's just say it is highly advisable to keep me away from sugar. If I even had any sugar consumption or intake, that'd be trouble. It's just a shame… there are so many sweet things" she sighed heavily, it's not fair that the most common household item would end up being their biggest weakness. In a way it also makes sense because they were quite powerful in their realm. She clicked her tongue and nodded when he pointed out how weird it would've been to reintroduce himself to her, "You've got a point." The morning shift started and as usual, there were mostly people who needed to stop by for a quick breakfast before heading off to work, most of them didn't sit to stay so everyone was either lining up or waiting to get their orders. Sunmin was also doing pretty good at making coffee.
That's when the lunch shift commenced and the cafe was bustling with customers; especially those who are on their lunch break or students who were working on their study groups or simply hanging out. She was balancing a few drinks and desserts on both hands using the trays when he passed her, "I have a good memory?" What else could it be? "Are you okay? Do you need me to take over? You can switch to do the dishes if you want, that's fine."
He shrugged slightly when she said she never wanted to work in customer service “It does teach you a lot about the true nature of people...seeing how they treat people they see as being on the bottom rung” there was definitely a sense of entitlement and I am better than you mentality when it came to certain people, it showed them for the self-centered people they are. He chuckled when she asked how annoying someone struggling with a website might be “It’s not so bad at first but then you realize this is the tenth time you’ve repeated the same steps today” he grumbled slightly, he wasn’t much for repeating himself, it felt frustrating to say the same things over and over. “You do an awful lot of hoping” he commented as he watched her, always the optimist he had noticed, it might be a little endearing if it wasn’t so annoying.
“I mean I’m more likely to imagine it in my head and be satisfied with that” he commented in a blunt tone and then shrugged when she told him to tame himself, he deadpanned a little and narrowed his eyes “You’re telling me you’ve never even imagined retaliating to someone who’s been rude or mean to you? Even in your hear” honestly he was curious to hear her answer and how she handled people who had been cruel or mean to her. He tilted his head out of curiosity when she said no one seemed to believe her ID was wrong, he had a fake ID obviously because he couldn’t exactly explain to the authorities why he never looked any older than about 18, despite the fact he had been looking like this for 21 years “It’s all about confidence, if you look nervous when you hand it over then obviously they’re going to think something is up” he always handed his over without worry and he’d never had someone flag it up as fake before. He narrowed his gaze for a moment when she said a lot senior “No probably not, though I am now curious about how old you are” she chuckled “Though my brother told me it’s rude to ask someone their age I’m going to anyway” he tilted his head expectantly.
He’d never met someone before that wasn’t upfront with their dietary requirements, usually, when someone had an allergy they would make sure the whole room knew it so it seemed odd for her to be kinda shy about her own. He had to admit he was surprised when he said it was sugar she was supposed to stay away from “Oh, are you sensitive to it?” he chuckled imagining how she might get all hyperactive if she had too much, like those kids who started acting out because you gave them a candy bar. “I’m not sure I could do without sweets” he commented in a thoughtful voice, always been a sucker for a dessert or treat, he remembered saving just so he could get someone nice throughout the years, it was his form of rewarding himself.
For a first shift, things seemed to be okay, he made a few mistakes here and there and needed to redo things and he did trip over his words a few times when talking to customers but they seemed empathetic enough because of the trainee badge he was wearing on his uniform. He almost dropped a plate at one point which then taught him that he needed to give them better support when working with them. He wasn’t doing perfectly but he liked to think he was doing okay for a first try “Whoa there buckaroo” he commented, widening his eyes when he realized how much she was holding “You’ve got to teach me how to balance all that stuff” he commented with a grin. He smiled when she offered to take over though “That’s okay, I was more venting than anything” before long the lunch rush was over and he was just about still in one piece. It was around now that the shift was drawing to a close.
The true nature of people, she liked to think that she has seen plenty of those going around, especially when they were at their lowest, it's hard not to see that when you're supposedly there to comfort them at first. But things were slightly different now, the technology has evolved and there were a lot of things she had to start learning about if she wanted to adapt and not stick out like a sore thumb. "I don't think I would want to be the one on the other line if you had to tell me again on how to properly make myself an email after ten tries" Of course, she could see it. He's a good guy, and had this pleasant color about him but nobody can deny the intimidation that he emitted. Intense. Probably passionate. When he pointed out that she did a lot of hoping, Astraea coughed and cleared her throat awkwardly for a few times, "I would like to see the best in everything? I mean, it must be nice if you can love everyone and everything, right?" Such a person would be so lovable.
"Is it wrong to be hopeful?" she had to ask, having too much hope wouldn't be good because you're just setting yourself up for a bigger disappointment if the expectations are not met but she did it anyway. "No… I mean I get upset but have I ever thought about cursing that person out and think about throwing a drink back at them in my head? Not really. I guess I'm a bit tame or mild, even when compared to a normal scale." This did allow people to step on her occasionally and she didn't know why she let them, the Aurazin was in no way a damsel in distress either. She's had a few problems with her ID and when he told her it's all about the confidence, she could see why, maybe that's where she lacked. She probably shouldn't have said that because now the question is coming back around her, which left the raven-haired female to blink a few times in surprise, he basically knew she's not human either, given how he could see the rainbow glow around her since that first night they met.
Telling him the truth about her actual age doesn't seem to be that bad, it's not as if he knew what she was anyway, and Astraea really didn't like lying, even if it's a white lie. "Your brother sounds like a charmer" she pointed out wryly and averted her gaze elsewhere while trying to busy herself, telling the truth is fine but that doesn't mean she had to meet his eyes when she does it. Astraea swore Sunmin could actually make her cower in the spot if he stares at her expectantly like that long enough. "Give or take… maybe 560 something… 562?" She couldn't remember her birthday but she counted them annually. When asked if she was sensitive to sugar, she hummed in affirmation, "Feels like a curse, honestly. I long to find a day where I don't have to look at sugar like some long lost lover, it would be nice to enjoy them like others without having to worry about being vulnerable" Of all things, of course it had to be sugar and not salt. What a fate. "I'd rather be lactose intolerant if I don't have to have any problem with sugar."
Even amidst the busy atmosphere, she did keep an eye out on him to see how he was doing, sometimes it was cute to see his eyes growing larger every given moment as he tried to keep up. It was nice to see that display of attitude. So when she was halfway stopped while trying to deliver the beverages and desserts, Astraea only chuckled, "Oh you'll learn how to balance a lot of things later, I promise." Just like any other day, the lunch shift finally came to an end after a few hours. The cafe was no longer as busy as it was 2 hours ago which also meant her shift was over for the day. She took off her apron and folded them neatly before peeking her head out to detect Sunmin, beckoning for him to come over, "Come on. I promised you I'd teach you how to balance things. If you're free, of course. If you have other pressing matters we can schedule another day."
He gave an exasperated sigh and scratched at the back of his neck as she spoke about not wanting to be the one who was on the other end when he was getting frustrated over someone’s lack of competence “So glad I got out of that work in the end” he responded with an amused shake of his head. She seemed pretty naive to him but there was a certain appeal to her childlike whims, the way she wished that things could be better and everyone could get along, it wasn’t especially realistic but he did understand the sentiment she was trying to put into it “Perhaps, though the chances of everyone subscribing to that kind of ideal is 0” he responded and shrugged, there was always going to be someone who thought differently or thought they were better than others.
“I think there’s a difference between being hopeful but realistic and being completely deluded” he answered with a shrug of his shoulders, she definitely seemed to believe the best in people whenever she could which he personally saw as a dangerous choice which might come back to bite her later “Not giving up on those you know and trust is one thing, wrongly giving a stranger the power to hurt you, another” he wondered if he was getting his point across well enough, it wasn’t often he shared his views with others. He chuckled when she said she didn’t even think of throwing a drink back in someone’s face “Such a peaceful princess” he commented in a somewhat sarcastic tone. Honestly, most people wished they could be as understanding as she was but that definitely wasn’t the case.
He chuckled under his breath when she made a comment about Han and the person he seemed to be “Not really, he just has a lot of morals about how people should act around each other” he was a nice person don’t get him wrong but Han wasn’t exactly a charmer unless it was for Jae, most of the time he was quiet and reserved around people he didn’t know and would tell Sunmin off later for something he did or said which he deemed to blunt or rude. He raised his brows when she revealed her age to him and he pressed his lips together as though to cover his surprise “Well you definitely win on the seniority thing, but you still don’t get to boss me around” he responded bluntly as he glanced back at her “Does your rainbow mean you live forever?” he questioned in a soft voice. She had been kinda sketchy on revealing what she was so he wasn’t going to ask her directly but he was curious to know more, mostly because he was immortal himself and he had no idea how it all worked.
“A sweet tooth and no allowance for sweets, that’s kinda tragic” he commented in an amused tone before heading back to work. Things were busy but not to the point where he felt like his head was going to explode and while he did make some mistakes, he had avoided falling or making a massive mess so he was calling it a win. He did notice how elegantly Astraea did her work though, always chatting away with the customers and carrying things without a care in the world, it seemed like this was the kind of place she was truly in her element which was nice to see. Seeing the way she popped out from the break room after their shift was over made him raise his brows before taking off his apron and shuffling closer to her “It’s probably best to learn it early, before I end up inevitably throwing Karen’s dinner over her by accident” he commented as he followed her inside and closed the door behind them. “So what’s your goal?” he asked curiously “It can’t be serving customers her forever, you’re too good at it to settle like that” despite it being a compliment he spoke it quite bluntly as though he was wondering why she would settle for something so easy.