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In some ways, life was really good for him and in others, it was complicated. Jae knew that was just a part of how things went, there were good days and bad days. He and Han had been doing everything they could to make what they had work and it was, they were there for one another through the good and the bad times. They worked through Han’s problem with painting and now he was back to making works of art on a daily basis again, they spent the evenings watching movies and chatting about their day, Jae spent more time at Han’s home than he did at his dorm now and in so many ways he was blissfully happy.
But ever since that day when Jae had come home early only to find out that Han had met someone new, things were different. That wasn’t him being some jealous boyfriend because the star was convinced the male he met was his twin brother. But he could tell whoever this guy was leaving had definitely hurt Han more than he let on. The Celestial was out of the house all the time, searching areas he thought he might be able to find Sunmin and Jae had offered to help too, even though he’d never seen this guy or had any proof he existed. But it was starting to exhaust him, looking for someone who was essentially a ghost and knowing Han wouldn’t rest properly until he found his answers.
So Jae had called Daehuyn and asked to meet, really he just needed someone to talk to that might understand his frustrations, plus Dae was master at finding people who didn’t want to be found so he figured the elder male might have some suggestions. There was a small cafe on the other side of town which he usually met the Niveis whenever he wanted to chat, they whiled away hours there usually and the owner never seemed to mind too much because they were always ordering more coffee. It didn’t take too long for Jae to get to the subway station and make his way over there. He didn’t explain to Dae what he wanted to talk about over the phone because it was a lot but he was glad when the other male agreed to meet him.
Heading up the stairs of the exit station he swiped his pass before heading out onto the streets, entering the little cafe the two of them had claimed as their place and waving hello to the owner before asking for the usual. Iced Americano for Dae and Latte with caramel syrup for him. He took a seat at the table before pulling the painting Han had painted of Sunmin and placing it face up. He figured he may as well ask around if anyone had seen him around this part of the city but after doing a lap of the cafe he was left with the usual story. Nothing. He settled himself back in his seat just in time for a familiar white-haired male to walk through the door, Jae waved slightly to his friend before sliding his coffee over the table towards him with a smile "Feels like a long time since we last got coffee" he mused gently as he waited for Dae to get settled.
"Oh you bet it does, or else I wouldn't have done it, I am many things Jae, but being diligent for no reason is not one of it" he huffed, Dae always wanted something in return for a certain behavior of his that could be monetized. In this case, he was a good spy, having done that pretty much his entire life given the route he took, and he wasn't just good at covering his tracks only. The niveis would pounce on his target when the time is right. "Reputation precedes everyone, dhampy, even the worst people, it's like the only thing that actually holds value to people who'd care about it." Initially, he thought it was crap but then realized reputation was exactly what got him the high profiled clients. "If my rep gives me cha ching then, why not" he made a money gesture towards the male and glanced over him when he asked what he would make with his carpentry skills.
"Not a fucking birdhouse" he grumbled, remembering how Han really likes calling him a bird, which technically wouldn't be wrong since they were practically ice phoenixes with no rebirth in exchange for immortality. And phoenixes are birds, aren't they? "What would you want? I'll take a bet and make it. I'm not much of a planner than a doer." His hands would do the talking, in a lot of scenarios. "Would we be a scary duo I imagine? Nobody would dare mess with us at least…" not that they would still do it when they're separated individually like this either. But it's a food for thought. "Fortunately, world domination is not in my list… too much work and it's a hassle. I don't have nearly the time to do all of that." He's also a simple guy, he's always sure of what he wants and what he doesn't. Which is why Dae is quite a decisive person when needed be.
The moment Jae brought back that incident that the niveis recalled was something that happened quite some time ago when Han and Jae didn't date yet or even confessed to one another. He had heard a bit about Han's struggles and that came up but he never knew the full story to it. "Were you stabbed by them? I need something to sketch my mind to it" he deadpanned, the serious look that morphed into his features clearly stated that he would hunt those people down if he's given even the slightest information regarding them. He bit his lip and pressed them together to form a thin line because god was he right, he needed someone to give a damn about him and Jae knew that. "Even if I don't have someone to do that for me, it wouldn't change anything anyway… why would I strive to gain people's validation… that's bullshit." Yet another case of denial came surfacing. But Jae probably knew that too. "Shut up" he whined and huffed, Jae knew where to tease him.
The way Jae pointed out that he was the one telling him he would only accept horror genres had him snickering as they crossed the road, "I know, I just want to be there to tease you when you get scared. Don't worry, it's probably not that scary anyway" he reassured, "besides, haven't you had your fair share with horror? Han likes those stupid zombie movies right?"
He laughed under his breath “You don’t do anything unless there’s something worth doing it for, we all know that” Dae could drive a hard bargain even when he was doing a favor for a friend he expected payment in the form of a nice meal, though knowing Dae’s going rates that was honestly a bargain. “True, though I can’t say I care much for my own” he never tried to be popular or stand out among others, most people at college didn’t even know his name because he preferred to keep to himself. He didn’t need to be notorious, he was more than happy being a nobody “Some jobs you can’t get by without a reputation...others it’s okay to fade into the background” Jae already knew he planned to write any of his work with a pseudonym.
The way Dae immediately refuted the idea of making a birdhouse made the dhampir chuckle under his breath, shaking his head in amusement though he could understand, it was very cliche and Dae certainly wasn’t the type for those, he was unorthodox in most things “A…” he thought about what he’d want if he was good at woodwork “Storage chest….one I could keep important things in” most of the ones he saw were either too expensive or didn’t seem good quality so he ended up not getting one in the end. “Terrifying” he responded without a thought when Dae asked if he and Yeon were a scary duo “With Yeon’s charm and your planning I swear you could have anyone fooled” they were different in some ways but similar in others, it was interesting honestly.
Jae looked down for a moment when Dae asked them if they really stabbed him “They weren’t after me but I got in the way when they were trying to hurt Han” he mumbled softly and the star hadn’t fought back so Jae had to do something to keep himself “Don’t worry...my super healing meant I was fine before long” but it had definitely hurt at the time, he didn’t appreciate how protective his friend could be though. Jae gave him a somewhat stern look when he refuted the fact that he liked having someone care about him but the knowing smile on the dhampir’s lips didn’t fade “There are some people who’s opinion does matter” he commented in a soft voice, even Dae must have experienced that.
Jae sighed under his breath when Dae said he wanted to tease him for getting scared “Han loves the gory ones...I can deal with the blood, it’s the jumpscares that get me” he shook his head slightly, he would watch them and know something jumpy was about to happen and yet he would still find himself jumping “Why do you both love to torture me?” he questioned in a slightly whiny voice as he noticed Dae’s building was just up ahead.
He shrugged casually and raised his arms a bit as if to tell Jae that there is no point doing charity when nobody is asking. "I'm not the guy you wanna go to for charity so…" He narrowed his eyes slightly when he said he didn't care much for his own, "I mean I don't give a damn what others say but don't you at least want to leave a mark on your… name, at least? Don't want it going down the book or something? You're a literature kid, right? And you want to be a writer, I would've thought despite the stereotypical writers most know and heard of, you would wanna put your name out there." Unless he wants to be anonymous, which is also cool. "Let me guess… you're going to use a pseudonym when you publish your work, aren't you?" Jae can be that predictable too, but then again Dae spent his career just observing people so it wasn't exactly news to the niveis.
"How big do you want it?" A storage chest does seem practical. "Big enough to store a dead body? Or just enough to store books away?" He couldn't help but smirk when Jae mentioned him and Yeon would make a scary duo, "Well the both of us do like to enjoy the pleasures of life too." Hedonistic? Perhaps. The blond cringed because a dhampir's weapon used against the owner does sound painful, "Probably not the best time for me to use the phrase it comes biting you back in the ass." Thank god he healed fast. Upon seeing the stern expression Jae gave him, Dae rolled his eyes in response, he could almost hear what he was thinking of. "Yeah well maybe it shouldn't" he muttered, he is very distrusting and they know that.
It wasn't easy for Daehyun Stormwind to open his heart like that, even with the people he already trusts, it can never be too easy. "Opinions make your heart go fickle… it's fucking exhausting." It doesn't surprise him that the celestial liked zombie movies, he looked like the type who would go into a haunted house being the one chasing the ghosts out. Yes, that bunny guy. "Do I wanna know how you cope with haunted houses then?" When they reached the entrance, he pressed the elevator button and waited for it to arrive. Once it did, they got inside and he swiped his card to go to his level. "I mean if you're going to throw the chicken out of your hand whenever you get jumped, then I'll back out on the whole horror part because I just got a new carpet."
Jae bit his bottom lip when Dae asked him if he wanted to make his mark on the world “I don’t need everyone to remember in 1000 years but...it would be nice if something I made...wrote..meant something to people” he murmured softly, there was always going to be a part of him that wanted other people to like him and his work was no exception to that want. “I’ll probably use a pseudonym, if people ever see my name and face attached to my work...that could cause me problems down the line” Jae had been toying with whether he wanted to keep his immortality switch on or off, but if he kept it on, he needed to protect himself.
Jae loved the idea of a storage chest because it would be so handy for all his things and it would be special to see it every time and have it remind him of Dae “Mostly I just need a place for all my books…” he commented in a soft voice, of course Dae already guessed that because the icy male knew him pretty well. “Whenever I see you two, you always seem to be living it up” sometimes he was a little jealous because they could be a little careless if they wanted to. Jae shuddered slightly as he remembered the time he had been stabbed with his own weapon “I can’t be too upset about what happened...Han worried over me so much” it was one of the reasons Jae had started having feelings for the fallen star.
“It is...but worrying about what other people think of us also helps us to keep choosing to do the right things…” it depended who you were worrying over but Jae certainly wanted to be seen as a good person by those he cared about, he wanted them to be proud to call him their friend. “I don’t cope with haunted houses…” he murmured in a weak voice “My plan is usually to run through them as quickly as possible to avoid having to experience them” of course Han loved them and enjoyed the whole experience so he had to put up with it. Before long they were heading up the elevator to Dae’s apartment and entering inside with their food “I can’t make any promises” he commented with a shifty look before heading into Dae’s kitchen and finding the plates.
It wasn't surprising to hear that Jae had his own dreams too, wouldn't it be weird if he didn't have those? "You're still young, it's not weird to have those hopes… so you want to be remembered as an author that inspired people huh? That's nice" it wasn't too ambitious and it fits Jae just well, knowing the type of person the dhampir is. It's almost admirable, if he was being honest. At least Jae had a dream, what did he have? Even after almost two centuries of living, he was still lost and confused. "Ah… right, immortality. Can be such a pain in the ass sometimes" he nodded in understanding, people would be able to put a name to his face someday, especially if Jae turns out to be very popular as a best-selling author along the line. "Any ideas yet on what the pseudonym would be? Something mysterious? Or just straightforward?"
He couldn't help the chuckle that escaped him when Jae confirmed his suspicions about what the storage chest was supposed to function as, "I knew it… you're such a dork, Jae" a cute one. "I'll make something along the way, I'll let you know once it's done, don't worry about it." He actually likes creating things like that, more than he would admit it, and of course he was being selective to who gets to witness that, Jae is his best friend, so that's a given privilege. "Well, we do mesh up well together, don't we?" He scoffed, even amid the sarcasm underlying his tone, Jae could see what he meant. "Han has always been such a worry wart, and that was when I met him, which is after you've done some upgrades on his shyness and whatnot. So I can't imagine how much of a worry wart he was before this version of him, was it bad? Or did you swoon as you usually do?"
Everyone knows Han and Jae were that couple that you just totally voted on in the high school yearbook. Honestly, he would do the same too. "Maybe for you… but I honestly don't see the appeal in having to change because of what people think of you. But that could be me being insensitive, which is also not new" Dae can be pretty dismissive over a lot of things, he's hard headed and just stubborn to the core too. "I can't believe you haven't run into one of the crew inside the haunted house because you were running without looking back. Say, if they jumped out to scare you while you were doing that, on a scale of 1 to 10, how likely are you to punch them out of fear?" It was an honest question. He didn't particularly see the appeal but of course, he wasn't afraid of them either.
He left the dhampir to handle their food while he pulled out his DVD collection, ever since he got here, he became an avid collector. He skipped over to the kitchen to get a glass of water and then hopped back to the couch. "You know if a zombie apocalypse were to happen, this world wouldn't survive."
Jae bit his lip and then shrugged when Dae spoke to him about his dream “It would be nice to know my stories helped to make someone feel better...took their mind off everything going on in their life and just let them escape” he nodded his head slightly, perhaps it wouldn’t be possible but that was the vision he had and he had plenty of ideas for stories he wanted to tell. Jae was pretty smart when it came to the world and so he knew if he ever wanted to consider turning on his immortality switch, he needed to consider how to keep himself suitably hidden from the world “No idea...probably something simple, if it’s too mysterious that will make people want to try and figure out who it belongs to” he pondered for a moment “Jason Morrow or something like that” it was close enough to him without giving away his ethnicity.
Jae blushed slightly and shrugged, well he did have a lot of books because he couldn’t help himself from picking up a new one whenever he noticed something interesting in the store “Being a dork is fine with me” he commented and offered a small smile “Han already knows I own more books than clothes so it’s not like I need to worry about being exposed” he chuckled slightly, he should probably donate some of the ones he’s read or something. Jae raised his brow and chuckled “We do, sometimes a little surprisingly” he commented and chuckled “Sometimes Han teases that we’re like a couple of chatty grandpas” he wasn’t sure exactly what he meant by that but the dhampir found it funny.
Jae pondered for a moment when Dae asked about Han’s shyness back then “He was very timid, he barely even wanted to show me his drawings but he opened up pretty quickly...I think he was...hoping someone would come along and knock down his walls a little” it must have been pretty lonely back then for the star. Jae chuckled slightly embarrassed when Dae pointed out his reactions to horror “I don’t know why people keep trying to put me through it knowing there’s always a risk I could end up punching some poor actor” he shook his head in exasperation “It’s a real risk you know, I’m basically trained to protect myself now but that means it can be...reflex” and what if he hurt someone without meaning to?
Jae took out the food from the bads and started dividing it between their two plates without much thought, opening the fridge and grabbing some of Dae’s soda so he could pour them both drinks too, he’d been here so often now that it felt second nature to navigate the niveis’ kitchen. He headed over to him on the couch before handing him one of the plates and placing down his drink on the table before heading back to collect his own, he was already munching as he sat himself down “You think so? We’re pretty used to weird species though, I’d argue we stand more chance” he commented as he nibbled.
It was cute that Jae had these little sweet dreams and hopes about his future, of course, Dae could never see himself in a similar situation but it doesn't mean he couldn't appreciate what his best friend is going through. Doesn't he deserve everything? His pseudonym did make him break into fits of laughter though, because what is even Jason Morrow? “I swear you did not just think of that for a long time, it’s just something you picked in the heat of the moment, right? Because what is even Jason Morrow? No offense to the guy who was actually named that because phew, his parents are definitely parent of the year.” Immortality is a fickle thing, especially when you don’t take care of it properly and for Jae who wants to keep his work coming out every once in a while, that means no public appearance that shows his true face.
“If I was reading a book by Jason Morrow as you say it is, I wouldn’t think of this god-like appearance really” far from it probably. “But he’s mysterious alright.” Despite him saying that he owns more books than clothes, the dhampir did know how to dress, or maybe it’s just the face making everything work out well. “Not sure if you’re just good at fashion or your face just says it’s impossible to look bad in anything, even in yellow or other bright colors. Either way, color me impressed.” In his head, the niveis was already thinking about the design and measurements for said chest, maybe he’ll add up a bit of intricacy that resembles the dhampir, he knows enough anyway. “Chatty grandpas is one way to describe that. Aren’t you acting a lot like 90 when you’re twice younger?” He’s one to talk, of course, given his age, but Dae remembered how much he loves teasing the two of them on their so-called ‘age gap’. But they do chat like one.
“I think he just needed to know that someone is not going to leave him, and you’re not someone who would do that. Star is more in love than he would admit, and that’s saying something considering how head over heels he is for you” If they weren’t his friends and he didn’t understand their dynamic, Dae would have gagged at it and find it annoying. Besides, he, out of all people, should know how it feels like to be lonely. “Am I bad if I tell you I’m actually putting you in such scenarios because I actually do want to see you punch a poor actor?” he exclaimed bluntly, “I’m a sadistic bastard though, so there’s that…” Of course, he didn’t actually want actual damage on someone who doesn’t deserve it, but he can arrange that. For his own entertainment, sure.
He thanked him as he took the plate from the dhampir, munching on the wing the first thing as he shook his head at the other male’s claim, “I mean yeah we have plenty of weird species, hell I’m like a love child between the fire and ice. Which would be a better title for Game of Thrones, to be honest… Why talk about humans when you clearly have other things… Anyway, we do have weird species but as mankind, we do have a way of destroying ourselves before time too.” Judging from their history, he didn’t really have hope. Dae pushed in the CD of the movie he picked, Train to Busan, it was a good movie, before returning to his chicken after hitting the play button. “I argue we’d see more people being selfish and saving themselves only, not that I’d argue about it but you know? What do you think we would do if there is a zombie apocalypse?” As in their friend group.
Jae sighed and looked down in an embarrassed manner “Someone put me on the spot and expected me to decide on one in a short time, it was the best I could come up with under pressure” he confessed and looked down for a moment, the name didn’t really matter at the end of the day but Dae wasn’t wont when he said he had picked a pretty lame one. “As long as it doesn’t get tied back to me, it’s done it’s purpose anyway” he mumbled softly. He scratched at the back of his neck and laughed “Well the point is to give the impression of someone that’s...not me” otherwise he might as well just use his real name right? Then he’d be back at square one again.
Jae raised a curious brow when Dae pointed out that he looked good in most clothing, even things other people couldn’t really pull off, he bit his lip and shrugged slightly “People always said I was handsome in Korea” he murmured softly, he didn’t pay too much mind to it though, usually because in the next breath they were pointing out how Eun was even more handsome and fawning over their father, it was tiring. Jae laughed when Dae pointed out he acted like an old man despite being much younger “I’m an old soul okay, is it really a crime?” he questioned it curiously because honestly he didn’t feel like it was a problem, he was living in a supernatural world, when did age become important in that?
Jae nodded slightly “I could never abandon him” he spoke softly, he had fallen for Han in such a full and complete way, it honestly shocked him how it all played out because he never thought he would be the kind of person to go to college and find someone and fall madly for them and yet here he was. And he didn’t regret it, even when things were hard he didn’t regret it. Jae looked up and gave Dae a stern glare when he said he wanted to purposely take him to a scare maze because he wanted to see what happened “That definitely makes you bad, yes” he scolded and shook his head slightly “You have such a twisted perception of entertainment” he grumbled slightly.
Jae nodded slightly, Dae was right there, if a zombie outbreak happened he could definitely see people panicking and refusing to work together to eliminate the threat, trust would start to fall apart and before long it would be everyone for themselves against the threats “I guess we don’t help ourselves...all the separation between different people...communities that avoid or even fight with one another” he nodded slightly, it was definitely complicated. Jae curled his legs underneath himself as he made himself comfortable on the couch and started snacking on his chicken as his eyes lingered on the screen “Get everyone and find as much food as we can and then find a bunker we could live in until it’s over” he nodded slightly “It’d need to be a big bunker though…” there were a lot of them and Han didn’t like small spaces.
He still couldn't help but snicker just thinking about it "Yeah exactly that's the best you could do under pressure" it still didn't stop the niveis from cackling. "You're not thinking of changing it at all? No judgment layered under that of course, just asking" he even held both hands up in defense as if he truly meant it. It's sad that Jae said it wasn't supposed to tie it back to him, which made him remember that the person before him is a dhampir, someone who could very well switch on their immortality should they wish to do so. Jae has a celestial boyfriend, someone who has lived close to a century, there was no way he wouldn't find a way to live forever with Han.
"Yeah that pseudonym you chose definitely wouldn't tie it back to you but anyone who knows you well enough might actually find it familiar because they know your… uh… charm." He would. "Oh that's like the most blunt statement ever, Jaesung Moon, you are fucking handsome, have you really seen yourself? Anyone would be blind or in denial to say you don't have your looks…" No matter how much you detest a person, good looks are good looks at the end of the day. "Don't tell me that you don't think you're handsome because that's bullshit." Dae knew Jae wasn't the type to really be conscious about himself sometimes but still. "You're 22" he exclaimed bluntly upon hearing the dhampir say he's an old soul. "Yet you talk as if you're an old man who's been 22 his entire lifetime" he scoffed and shook his head.
"I have a twisted perception on everything in general, don't you remember yourself calling me… ah what was it again?" He placed one hand under his chin to feign ignorance before clicking his fingers "Ah yes… sadistic. That's the word." That's the reality of things, everyone is so split in their own personal greed that the thought of people coming together to face such a crisis doesn't seem likely. "Tlak about being divided… you'd think in the modern 21st century it wouldn't be as hard to comprehend the concept of solidarity anymore." It only seemed to be more complicated if anything. "And how long do you think it'd be until it's over. I admire the bunker thinking because I'd do the same but how are you so sure that it'll really end? Zombies don't starve, at most they'll probably what? Dessicate? What happens if you run out of food and need to get out and the chaos is still ongoing?"
Jae shrugged slightly when Dae asked him if he was planning on changing his pseudonym “Well I’d actually need a book or something to publish before I worry myself with the name I end up putting against it” he commented and pressed his lips together, he knew he was going to be tough to make it and he honestly didn’t want to get his hopes up too much “So i’ll decide on one if I ever actually need it” he murmured softly, Jae wasn’t the type who wanted to invest himself into something that he wasn’t sure would ever pan out. He laughed and shrugged “Maybe that’s a good thing, kinda like an inside joke” honestly he was still kinda sad he wouldn’t be able to put his work to his own name but such was his life.
Jae gave Dae a look as though to point out he wasn’t the kind of person to judge others by their looks and certainly wasn’t the narcissistic type either, he sighed under his breath and shook his head slightly “I try to look my best because of the pressure my father put on me to be perfect, but a lot of the things that come with growing up like that is feeling like you are never good enough, in anything” he murmured softly, it wasn’t just him being modest, he supposed he was missing the confidence that was supposed to back up good looks. Jae chuckled and shrugged “It’s not a crime to be able to reflect on the world” he mumbled and also shook his head “Besides you can talk, you’re an actual old man” he jested and nudged his side.
Jae chuckled and shook his head slightly “I don’t remember you denying it either, he pointed out, the other male definitely had strange tastes, that much could be seen by his choice in partners and the way he lived his life but Jae liked him regardless, he was such an interesting person to be around and if you were lucky enough to hear some of his stories, that was always worth sticking around for. “You’d think...there is solidarity in some ways but in others we are more divided than ever” he commented and shrugged “People need to remember what the whole point is...aren’t we all just trying to live our lives with some level of happiness?” but usually greed clouded judgement.
“Well I figure a lot of people will fight back against the zombies, possibly the governments would use weapons of mass destruction to try and wipe them off the face of the earth and would you rather spend the rest of the life you have constantly fighting, never knowing if you’ll make it another day or who you’ll lose next?” Jae would rather have as much happiness over time with the people he loved.