Leigh really liked this city. Not because it was home to the supernatural, something he was but never really flaunted but just because of the general feeling like you could lose yourself in a crowd here. Leigh had never liked to be the center of the attention, it was why he owned a low profile store in the middle of the city where even his shop seemed to get in the crowd of others around. It was why all his published papers were written under a name that wasn’t his own and he never bragged about them or brought them up at all really. The kitsune did well for himself, but only his business partner and bank manager really knew that.

The therian was sitting on his slightly wobbly chair behind the counter of the shop, it was late afternoon and the sun was starting to set on Evermore city. It had been a busy morning for the store because a new book had been released by a popular author and all of his regulars had come in to pick up their pre-ordered copies but it had quietened down greatly in the afternoon and he was on the verge of dozing off as he leaned against the desk and tried to keep his eyes open. Just a few more hours and he could get back to his paper on weights of investor sales in share prices, he reminded himself.

His attention was suddenly snapped to alert when he heard the alarm to the store go off he quickly raised to his feet in surprise, he wasn’t all that worried at first because customers often accidentally set off the alarm when they knocked one of the displays but as he spotted the hooded figure who had his face covered with a balaclava the therianthrope realized quickly that he was in trouble. His heartbeat began to quicken as he reached for the phone in his pocket and his eyes quickly darted outside, there was no one there to shout for help.

When the male came up to the counter he demanded all of the money from the till Leigh stared a little dumbfounded and then his eyes widened and he nodded slightly when the male pulled a gun on him. Leigh’s breath hitched in panic, sweat forming on his brow from the very sight of the gun and the fear of the male pulling it “Okay, okay” he assured doing his best to keep control over his emotions as he reached to get the override key and then slotted it into the bottom drawer of the register, his hands were shaking as he pulled it open and then stepped aside to let the assailant take what he wanted. He kept debating reaching for his phone but it seemed unwise with the male watching him like a hawk, Leigh swallowed doing his best to stay calm.

Part of him was mad, why his shop of all the places here, it wasn't like an independently owned bookstore made anywhere near as much as money as all of the big corporations who kept trying to push him out of his property. He kept his words to himself as always though, Leigh wasn't a confrontational person and the money in the register wasn't worth the risk of being shot. When the male backed him against the counter and demanded his wallet was when he really started to panic, the screaming of the alarm not helping him to think straight either.

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Stepping outside the boarding queue that’s filled with plenty of humans and possibly supernaturals all around, the dark haired male stared at the direction signage placed around the entire airport. The air felt constricted but as soon as he allowed himself to take a few moments to breathe properly, it wasn’t so bad. Right, where was he? Denver Airport. How was he here when he’s supposed to be working in his office in Gangnam, Korea? The usual daily routine for the lawyer to skim through stacked up documents and files alike that’s making him rethink his career choices apparently lost its steam, for today at least. Instead of burying himself neck deep with the papers and stressing over so many matters, he’s here standing in a foreign country that’s around 6000 miles away from his home and one that had 15 hour time zone difference.

Sangeun is going to suffer here, but for most part, the dhampir was equally relieved that he’s able to take a week off from office work due to the case he’s taken on, and that he finally had the chance to leave Korea. The Korean born male has never set a foot outside the country since birth, and the current 29 year old guy was in awe of everything else. No doubt, he knew he’ll be facing a few minor problems on the surroundings, everyone seemed so warm, yet so busy. The rush of people dashing here and there in the airport alone was overwhelming. Dragging his suitcase with him, with the other free hand holding the straps of his leather briefcase that held the other documents, filled with information he needed regarding the case and his client as a whole. From head to toe, Eun was dressed formally, like he’s always been dressed most of the time since he’s always occupied with work. A white shirt paired with a dark navy tie and black cuffed sleeved blazer, measured slacks and leather dress shoes. If he wasn’t recognized as an attorney, then he’ll pass off as a businessman easily enough with the way he’s dressed.

It was important to dress well and make a good impression, his mother said. Perhaps it was why he’s always dressed himself formally since a young age, because all the young dhampir only ever knew from the beginning, was follow what his strict parents would say. Their words were as good as the mandate in his life and Eun never went against a single thing, not once. Sometimes he wondered where all the rebellious streak he once felt from inside him went, until he figured out it went straight to his youngest brother; who’s quite possibly his favorite sibling ever, who also had a knack on causing his parents and younger brother and sister equally frustrated with his choices and his mindset. However, to him, it was refreshing to see someone he could well relate to, despite not visiting them as frequently as he used to.

Luck is once again on his side, since he’s currently in Colorado, USA, far from home yet close to his brother’s warm embrace who’s currently residing in Evermore, which is not far off from where he’s at. Hailing a cab as soon as he exited the airport, the calm dhampir loaded his luggage and hopped on the back seat, his eyes taking in the greenery and sights the country had to offer, from the windows. Close to almost an hour later, the driver told him they’ve arrived. The infamous eternal city that he’s heard so much about from Jae was not what he expected at all. The architectures alone were impressive, and he felt both new and old air from the city. Eun thanked the driver briefly after paying and tilted his head slightly to the side as he stared at the building before him. His current accommodation, a hotel in the city center.

His English wasn’t the best, but he’s proficient enough since most of his studies in law are based around the said language. It’s impossible not to know them, especially when you’ve learned and dabbled around the said area for 5 years. Eun felt like he’s doing decent as a fourth language learner, which Mandarin and Japanese came first after Korean, due to the family upbringing. He remembered how his father would chastise that he should be able memorize all the Chinese characters when he reached elementary. As usual, he said nothing and abide. All of that English linguistic abilities fell to Jae who’s pursuing his tertiary education in English Literature.

After he checked in and had placed all his stuff in his room, he loosened his tie and unbuttoned his cuff sleeves, kicking off the dress shoes and settled for a pair of sneakers instead, before slowly making his way to door. The sun was setting and Eun gape in awe as he witnessed the marvelous sight as soon as he came out from the hotel’s entrance. The city didn’t seem as busy by the time he reached a few blocks down the street, still within the vicinity of city center but a little shielded away. Humming his favorite tune while he walked down the pavement, with both hands tucked inside his pockets, his ears perked up suddenly and the dhampir halted on his steps abruptly. It sounded like a siren, an alarm of sorts. Eun allowed the curiosity to get to the best of him, unveiling his dhampir senses to the world once again after suppressing it for over two months long. Nevertheless, he did keep his weapon around, it brings him a calming feeling, one he clung on since he received it. The double-edged short sword hung firmly around his holster, though only he was able to actually see it since he applied the invisibility rune over it as he hardly doubted prancing around with a short sword seen is ideal, especially since he’s in a foreign country and has only settled in said city for less than 20 minutes.

His hearing brought him to a bookstore not far from his route earlier, so his suspicions were right since it’s an alarm blaring from within. From where he’s standing, next to a lamp post, he could see who he’d presume is the shop owner by the register counter. Oh, it’s still open, and he knew better than to reach to a quick conclusion, maybe someone tripped the alarm by mistake. Sucking in a deep breath, he walked inside the store, clearly not noticing the other hooded guy holding Leigh at gunpoint. “Hi, are you still open-- why does he have gun.” Admittedly, as soon as he saw the gun, his expression wasn’t the only thing that faltered and he had to look back and forth between them both. A robbery. Of course. Classic scene, really. But Eun has never tolerated such treatment condemned on someone, even much more when he’s a natural born protector and has trained as one since a child. His occupation as an attorney also served a reminder of how the justice system needed to be maintained. Nonetheless, he is still a well-mannered and polite guy who believed a more subtle and verbal approach first, so the sword will stay there in the holster as part of his protection warranty. But he still placed a hold over his waist because of the jitters, call it reflex. When he said the city was not what he expected, he did not mean it this way.

His delayed reaction did elicit another from the said robber who moved his stance to face him instead and a knife is flipped out, showing it aggressively towards Eun who gave a very unimpressed look that could literally say 'really'. He'd thought there's another gun but no, it seems like there's only one on him. Putting hands up in defense, he wanted to try and talk some sense into the robber but he didn't appreciate having any weapon pointed against himself so as soon as the frown creased his features, he went forward slowly, only to be rebuked by the male trying to slash him to which he evaded nimbly. "Out of all places, a bookstore, really?" Not what most would've expected to come from him but that's exactly what Eun is saying. 

Leigh had lived in Evermore for about 5 years now, he was accustomed to the city and the way of life here, he was a member of a pack, though he often distanced himself from pack life because being a therianthrope wasn’t something he had chosen for himself and while he was thankful to still be alive, he wasn’t exactly the most embracing of his supernatural life. He did get along well with Orion, the alpha though, who understood and respected Leigh’s ask to live as normal of a life as he could, though as any therianthrope did, every full moon he turned into his fox form for the night. Leigh had been turning for long enough that it didn’t terrify him now but he still disliked it and still felt pain for several days after it happened, he knew he should get into turning at will but he just wasn’t there yet with his confidence in what he was.

He guessed he foolishly trusted this city which is why he had felt a little invincible here, fooled himself into believing the world was different from what he knew it would be, so as soon as that gun was pulled on him all the memories of the bad things he had gone through came rushing back. His breathing began to catch in his chest and it was like his body suddenly didn’t know how to breathe, he felt like he’d been punched in the gut despite the fact that no one had even touched him, so much so that he was clutching his chest like it was in pain. Sweat glistened on his face as she felt the panic take him over and he didn’t know what to say or do. His mind wasn’t working properly which was probably making things more dangerous for him than it should have been “That’s all I have” he managed to choke out as he looked up to the hooded figure who had zero sympathies for him.

The stupid thing was that Leigh did know how to fight and he was strong too but every time he got into a situation like this he found himself freezing up, not knowing what to do or how to act, it was something that had carried with him since his high school years, because standing up for himself back then was exactly what had gotten him kicked in the ribs and at the doctors the next day. He was shaking as he went to put his hand into his pocket and take out his wallet when he heard someone else enter the shop. The male instantly pointed out the obvious which caught Leigh off guard from the directness of it and how he seemed completely unfazed by the fact he was in the presence of a guy holding gun who in response jammed it closer to Leigh’s head and sent the therianthrope back to shaking like a leaf all over again.

Still, the other male’s sense of serenity as he successfully distracted the assailants' attention was clever and it seemed he knew exactly what he was doing, even though the attacker had now pulled a knife on him, Mr handsome and charming looked completely unimpressed and had the male grunting at him with threatening words. Leigh still felt like his chest was about to explode but thanks to the diversion the hooded male didn’t notice him pulling his phone out and dialing the police, he slid the device under the counter so that it could pick up what was happening without the attacker noticing and with any luck whoever was on the line would realize the message he was trying to convey and send some help. The gun was still pointed at him, but it was lazily held and for a moment Leigh did consider making a grab at it to disarm him but the therian didn’t want to risk something going wrong.

Naturally his eyes turned to the male that had walked in, who was still arguing with the attacker, he seemed to have a way with words because someone was actually listening, the alarm was still piercing his ears and making it hard to think properly, normally Leigh was smart but when under pressure everything seemed to fall apart for him. When the sharply-dressed male commented about the bookstore of all places Leigh sighed softly, his entire life and livelihood of all places, it was going to take him weeks to file all the claims he’d need to after this. He tried to signal to the chatty Asian male that he had called the police in order to encourage him to continue stalling, hopefully, loud enough for the line to understand what was happening if the alarm wasn’t warning enough.

Admittedly, Eun should’ve known it wasn’t a customer who’s just being shady and emo with the hoodie and dark clothing standing in front of the register counter. It was too easy to pass off that way and the dhampir wasn’t exactly a foolish guy when it comes to crime scenes, before and after. He’s quite perceptive when it comes down to it, which aided him greatly in his work as an attorney whenever he needed to trace down every single detail that could be provided as a substantial proof to the court the next time the trial was conducted and they convened. When he stepped inside the bookstore, his only instinct was to see what’s going on, a part of him still didn’t expect to see an armed guy holding the owner at gunpoint, but for the most part since he was already used to such settings, he also acted like it was the most obvious and casual thing to happen on a weekend. Perhaps, that’s what makes Evermore so enticing?

The way he heard it from his youngest brother, the eternal city had a reputation to precede, and a wholesome one at that so the dhampir wasn’t sure what to believe, especially when he’s only been here for roughly half an hour and nothing more. First impressions do matter, indeed. The first thought he had about the city was nowhere near positive now that he’s witnessing a robbery in somewhere so out in the open. But still, he questions the motives, since out of all places, the stranger had to pick a bookstore? Really? He was either inexperienced, which could make this his first offense charge, or he’s just stupidly intoxicated with any drug in his system, which didn’t seem likely too, considering he wasn’t wavering, just plain nervous. Interesting.

The knife he pulled out earlier didn’t even look as sharp as it should be, inadvertently making the blunt edge of the said weapon look less malevolent. The only thing that actually worries Eun was the fact that the gun was still held firmly, even though his hold wasn’t as stable as before. It seemed loaded from his view, and even if it wasn’t, the dark-haired male couldn’t possibly take any chances nor risks when it’s involving a civilian’s life at stake. Most lawyers were cunning and aggressive, and Eun didn’t fall short on the end either, though he’s softer out the outside, depicting himself to be a rather calm persona. It usually fooled people easily, and he took pride in it. If it was up to him alone, the dhampir would’ve taken on the guy on the spot, possibly without breaking a sweat but it wasn’t an ideal suggestion since the gun was still aimed at the other male.

Glancing his way, he slowly picked off the aura he exuded; a supernatural. Which one? He doesn’t know. But definitely not your average human, though the offender holding both weapons was categorized as a human. From the corner of his eyes, he saw a silent signal sent by the owner, probably asking him to stall a while longer. He can do that. But first, to get that gun out of the way because it’s making him anxious if the light pink haired guy would get the sour end. “You see… buddy, robbery is a violent property crime that is a much more serious charge than that of simple theft or larceny. That’s 5 years maximum in state prison, do you really think a couple of dollar bills is worth that? I don’t. If you go now, you’ll be able to escape the police, which I assume would be here in less than 10 because of the trigger alarm,” sighing tiredly, he rolled his shoulders and walked around, still having a knife pointed towards him, but by the very least, his gaze was on him and not on the owner who’s standing like a statue behind the counter. “Let’s just let this go and call it a day, can we?” Until a book is thrown his way to which he ducked. “Or not.”

Leigh was utterly baffled by the other male that had entered the shop, he wasn’t sure if he knew what he was doing or was just stupidly brave and was hoping for the best, Leigh had the feeling it might be the latter but the dark-haired male also had an aura of confidence that seemed to sell it regardless. The therianthrope was confused by it all, his head wasn’t in a good space at that moment, with every touch the assailant made against him he was flashing back to his childhood over and over again, remembering new situations he went through one by one, it was a wonder that he hadn’t collapsed to the floor and completely lost his nerve yet. The only things stopping him doing was the fact that he knew that would only put him in more danger than he was already in and because he did get the sense that he wasn’t completely alone.

It did make Leigh wonder why too though, why his little book store that made nowhere near as much as the other stores around him, any of those he could get triple the takings and there were multiple registers to go for. The kitsune soon answered his own question though, all those places had better security and more money to prosecute than he did, he was the easy target around here and the person who they were most likely to be able to take from and get away with it. Leigh would have been annoyed about it if it wasn’t for the fact he was struggling to keep up with the existing emotions filling his head over it. The dark-haired male kept talking to the thief though and the way he was clearly speaking about what would happen he knew would be enough to communicate what was happening to the police, he was very smart, Leigh noted in his head.

As soon as the male threw a book towards him, Leigh took a sharp inhale of breath and he brought his arms up to protect himself as he took the moment of confusion and scuffle to hop up onto the counter grabbing his phone as he did so and jumping down the other side to stand next to the male who may have just saved him from getting his wallet stolen. It did become evident from the book throwing that the attacker didn’t have any want to use his gun or his knife though which helped to settle Leigh’s worry a little. Everything seemed to freeze as the sound of sirens started ringing in the distance and a feeling of relief began to fill him because there seemed to be an end to the madness.

At the sound of the police arriving the hooded male made a break for the exit to the shop and dashed out of it but not before knocking down three racks of books. Leigh didn’t even have the chance to be upset about it or think much about it because the moment he was sure there was no longer a threat to his life was the moment he felt his legs completely collapse from under him and he curled himself into a ball with his back against the counter. His breathing became rapid and he felt like he couldn’t get enough air into his lungs, so much so that he felt like he was choking on his own lack of breath. His head was still replaying everything from his past and now present in his mind and he was shaking like crazy.

One part of him was actually screaming how it’s highly reckless of him to enter an unpredictable situation that’s more than likely to be very unsafe, but Eun couldn’t shake off his dhampir instincts, purely because he’s been holding the role of big brother since long, so it came to him naturally, someone who wanted to protect those who could not hold their own. At least, not at that particular moment. He swore an oath, to protect and preserve the justice system, and that is exactly what he is doing now. Only in a slightly different manner, that is not usually cultivated in his law ‘practices’. Either way, he’s there as Sangeun Moon, a dhampir. An individual. If someone was in trouble, of course, he should help, no?

When the assailant swung his knife reckless his way, it didn’t take him much to actually evade the said attack because it was sloppy and uncoordinated, obviously matching what he thought about the stranger earlier. He was inexperienced and is most likely driven by some drug or alcohol, or he’s just desperate. The book thrown his way however, that was unexpected, not a move he thought the stranger would pick up. Staring at the thick encyclopedia on the carpeted floor, he had a very amused look marring his features. “A book, really?” he scoffed, showing he displease over the choice of weapon he had picked, though seeing the size of the book, it would do him a mild concussion if thrown properly to hit his head. “One, your aim is terrible. Two, you have a knife and a gun.” He shook his head, shamelessly pinpointing what he did wrong as if he was giving a 101 lesson to robbery.

Granted, Eun did have quite the...humor. He probably shouldn’t be chastising him like he was going to give him one or two tips into committing a larceny offense next time, but he couldn’t help it. The tall male that stood next to him seemed nervous, but then again, if he was in the same shoes, he would too. Eun was so close to comforting him using words but then the sirens blared from a distance and the robber tried to make his escape. Very unfortunate. It even made him feel pitiful for a split second. Only he would feel sympathetic to criminals, well mild ones, really.

When the robber knocked over the book aisles, Eun was about to catch him until the owner next to him fell to his knees, taking him by surprise, who now only gaped because he didn’t know what to do. His eyes went back and forth to the one trying to escape and the victim who’s cowering in what seemed to be a panic attack of some sort, which induced enough panic in Eun. Should he go after the robber or should he stay and help the poor lad? It was hard to leave the pink-haired male though, it broke his heart to see someone in such a state. The brunette dhampir crouched down in front of him and didn’t try to approach him since it wasn’t wise to invade the space of someone who’s suffering from PTSD and the likes. It wasn’t the first time he’s seeing it, but the first where he’s met with difficulties because he’s a stranger.

His head was racking on ways to help him so Eun cleared his throat briefly and tried his first step into approaching such matter in hand. “Hi there, I need you to calm down. Can you do that for me? Or if you need help, I’ll help you. He’s gone now, and you’re safe. Help is coming, and I’m here with you.” He noticed the erratic breathing and the dhampir just hated seeing people in pain, suffering from traumatic events in their lives, carrying the weight with them into the future. They shouldn’t have to do that. “C-Can you count with me? 1 to 10?” His tone was soothing and tender, slightly airy but was covered nicely with his baritone timbre.

After everything that Leigh had experienced in high school he had made a point to take up self-defense classes, he was also a therianthrope which meant there was an animalistic side to him now too but that didn’t seem to help him whenever he got into situations like this, it wasn’t his physical capability that was the problem, it was the mental. Leigh got so lost in his own mind that he couldn’t act, it always happened like this and he didn’t know how to stop it, it wasn’t like he wanted to live his life in fear, he wanted to be able to move on. He just didn’t know how.

He watched in horror as the attacker made a move with the knife towards the studious-looking male, Leigh tensed a little as though he was going to make a move on the attacker and perhaps he was, he may be afraid but he was more afraid of someone getting hurt because of him. Thankfully it wasn’t needed because the graceful dark-haired male dodged the movement with a poise that instantly told the therianthrope that he was supernatural. That was a relief, at least that meant he could probably handle himself. He didn’t think it was a good idea to be riling up the hooded male though in fact Leigh was cursing the words in his mind ‘don’t remind him he has a gun’ but he kept his mouth shut.

It was a somewhat strange experience for Leigh, on the inside he was panicking, thinking about everything that he should react to in the situation and how he should respond to the place he found himself in but on the outside nothing happened, he was still, unnaturally still, his body not obeying the commands he was trying to give it. He hated the way that panic always seemed to consume him to the point where he was completely paralyzed, he had been fighting with it for years, he was damaged by what happened to him back then and he wasn’t sure he would ever truly be healed.

As soon as the immediate threat was out of the way the panic really set itself in, he dropped to his knees before he fell into a sitting position and he curled them into his chest, his arms hugging around them as though they could protect him from the world but it was the inside of his mind that was really dangerous. All over again he felt like his face was pressed against the pavement, the asphalt digging into his cheek and grazing it as the foot held him to the ground his windpipe barely escaping being crushed as he struggled for breath. His eyes were almost glazed over despite the fact they were open and looking forward into space, his frame was trembling but he barely felt it because his mind was too busy torturing him with memories.

Leigh couldn’t see anything but somehow the other male’s voice managed to echo over the sounds that were spinning in his mind, it was the only thing he could recognize as reality and so he latched onto the words, his voice was soothing and soft, calm and slow, the accent in his voice told Leigh he wasn’t a native English speaker. The words ‘you’re safe’ rang around the therianthrope’s head and he did his best to latch onto them, despite his erratic and unnatural breathing, the words the other male spoke helped to give him something, anything else to focus on at that moment. Without much thought behind the action, Leigh reached out to grab onto the male’s arm, his hand curling around his wrist and staying there.

He heard him asking him to count and Leigh nodded softly, he let the other male speak the first few numbers just mouthing them until they got to three and he whispered that one out loud, with each number his breathing began to slow to a more regular pace and his voice turned speaking level. The last thing that came back to him was his eyesight, he blinked a few times as the face of the dark-haired male came into view, Leigh’s eyes taking in the detail of his face. He had bold but refined features that made him look intelligent but undoubtedly attractive. Realizing he was still holding onto the male’s arm Leigh gasped and let go “I’m sorry” he spoke apologetically and rubbed his hand against his side a little awkwardly “You uh...you didn’t have to do that” he spoke in a weak voice not giving eye contact as he did so.

The entire scenario that played out before him was surprising. Who would’ve thought he would encounter this kind of thing first night in Evermore, hell it hasn’t been more than an hour since he arrived in the eternal city. A part of him told him to stay in his hotel room, perhaps take a hot shower after the long flight that really messed up his sleeping schedule and left the dhampir severely jetlagged. Yet here he was, ever so stubborn and adamant in wanting to take a walk so he could have some ‘fresh air’, only to stumble upon a situation where a robbery was supposed to take place.

But thankfully, due to his ‘intervention’, the shop owner wasn’t hurt physically, though he couldn’t say much on the mental, because there he was, cowering and trembling. It caused the dhampir to frown because he hated seeing people getting upset, a trait that even his youngest brother adopted. Sangeun is generally a good person, working his way up so he’ll have the chance to make people’s lives a tad better than they were before. But by the very least, at least the male before him escaped this unscathed, kinda. Eun didn’t even realize that he still had his grip on his sword that was hung lowly around his hip. Had it been up to him, he would’ve taken care of the robber on a split second, but it’s hard not to reveal his supernatural identity in front of a stranger. Because who the hell carries around a short sword with them like it was the most normal thing ever, right? It wasn’t even a keychain or anything, it’s an actual sharp weapon that will cut precisely what it’s made for.

Even though they’re permitted to reveal themselves in certain situations and circumstances that would call for it, Eun wasn’t that big on revealing his identity so easily. Especially when he wasn’t sure if he’s ever going to see the guy around afterward. But seeing the male trembling in his panic attack, it broke his heart deeply. Crouching down to meet him at eye level, Eun was careful with his advancements, choosing to approach this with the best possible methodical technique; calming the breathing. He had to admit though, of all of the things that happened to him this entire day, the one that caught him off guard again was the other male taking a hold of his arm, gripping on them tightly as if his life depended on it.

That definitely was the highlight of his day, and he’s had plenty of them, from travel problems that lead to the exhaustion marring his face. Back in Korea, skinship and public display of affection were not that tolerated in the community, so to see him being so wide-eyed about the sudden skinship was not surprising. He’s never had someone so much as hold his hand, other than his family, and the only females who ever had the liberty to do that were his mother and younger sister. Whenever his classmates or coursemates would try, he would be uncomfortable because he wasn’t used to it. Thinking it would’ve gone away once he reached adulthood, he was proven wrong when it didn’t really go away despite his incessant efforts.

But with him, regardless of the shock displayed across his face, it didn’t feel that wrong. The foreign feeling is there, but surprisingly, it was fine. This was definitely new. Completely drifted into his own world, he didn’t get back to reality until after the owner apologized to him and more precisely, released the hold on him. Clearing his throat awkwardly, he tried averting his gaze away but to no avail, failed to do so. “Don’t worry about it…,” he mumbled, and was surprised by the sudden shy persona he was emitting, this was so unlike him. It was just the shock getting to him, yeah, definitely. Eun could be a narcissist but then a simple form of skinship would be enough to topple him off his high horse. “You were in trouble, shouldn’t people help when someone else is in such situation?”

The hooded male had managed to get all of the takings from the till that day and get away with it but the important thing to Leigh was that he hadn’t gotten his wallet, the therianthrope really didn’t want to be dealing with credit card fraud and identity theft down the line and he had a photo in there of him and his parents which he didn’t have another copy of. He had the dark-haired male who had come in to thank for that particular save, he had managed to distract the attacker long enough for the police to get near and honestly, Leigh didn’t care if he managed to get away with the takings as long as his personal things were safe. It made Leigh think about how lucky he was that the other male happened to be walking by because he had a feeling things would have turned out much worse otherwise.

Leigh was so busy in his own mind, he’d suffered from PTSD triggered panic attacks since high school and they had never really gone away, but they definitely had got better with time and distance, they were triggered mostly by actual physical violence rather than sounds or voices now, which was a massive improvement and something he was very proud of. He had to admit the other male was good at handling the situation though, Leigh was used to suffering these alone and he would normally get himself into a whole state by the time he could pull himself out but thanks to the stranger he had something to ground himself to, someone to focus on that wasn’t a negative influence or a trigger of his panic.

Grabbing the other male’s arm hadn’t been something he meant to do really, he was focusing on his voice and using it to channel good thoughts into his mind but Leigh had learned a long time ago that the easiest way to pull himself out of this state was to focus on each of his senses, since his eyesight was failing him, he figured touch was the next best thing. His touch was gentle against the male’s wrist but enough to tell him someone was really there and he wasn’t actually in the place his mind was telling him he was. Combined with the counting it helped to pull him out of the memories and bring him back to real life, his breathing slowing to a natural pace and his eyes finally able to take in how the other male looked up close.

When Leigh removed his hand the realization set in that he’d just completely invaded the personal space of a complete stranger, a blush rested on his cheeks as he averted his gaze, he hadn’t meant to do that, he normally wouldn’t even be able to talk to someone who….well, who looked like that, without becoming a complete mess, let alone touch them. “You’d be surprised how many people would rather turn a blind eye” Leigh admitted letting out a long breath, aka everyone who had watched and laughed as he struggled for breath that day at school, nobody had wanted to help him then, he had been completely and utterly alone. But today he wasn’t, today a random stranger had decided to do something about it.

“Thank you” Leigh spoke as he sucked in a breath and forced himself to have the courage to look up at the other male and meet his eyes, he wanted to get across his sincerity. His eyes remained there for a moment until he heard the sound of the door to the shop open and he broke the gaze pushing himself to stand up rather quickly which caused himself to stumble and almost trip into the counter but he caught himself with his hands. The police came into the room and informed them they had caught the assailant just down the road and then looked between the two of them and said they would need a statement from each of them.

It’s a shame that the robber aka the assailant earlier had managed to take off with a sum of money, granted it might not have been that much, but it doesn’t take it away that he   a criminal offense either way, and even went as far to threaten the poor owner with a gun, who’s also having a panic attack right now. Slumped against the counter, the other male was probably suffering internally, which made Eun panic too. He wasn’t sure what to do, at first, until he eventually went with his instincts, doing what he feels is right, whatever it may be.

So there he was, crouching a few meters away from the frightened pink-haired male while soothing him with comforting words. When he was grabbed on the hand, he was contemplating his life choices as he could almost see them flashing across his gaze. But what’s really before his peripheral vision was only one guy, who by the way, looks timid and intelligent, sporting a pink hair which surprisingly suited him despite it revolving around the category of a bold color to be wearing around, and there’s Eun, who is now panicking internally once more because this was so out of the blue. Skinship didn’t come easy to him too, so it was a lot more awkward with a stranger he just met a few minutes ago, someone he doesn’t even know the name of.

Calm down, Eun, he mumbled internally, trying his very best to even his breathing because right now, it seems like he was the one having a hard time doing that action rather than the male in front of him. But after a while, it does seem like things are settling down and the intensified air was no more, leaving Eun room to clear his confusion. Following the remark he said, the dhampir found himself shaking his head, a frown creasing his features as he held out a hand to help him up. “I don’t believe that... there’s gotta be someone who would help.” Unfortunately, despite how mature he could think, he’s still very naive around those parts, perhaps, it was the way he was brought up to. Everything is justified in his life, he learned to roll it that way too.

“Maybe things are different here, I guess. I wouldn’t know, I literally just got here less than an hour ago.” That was when he realized that they really didn’t know one another’s name at all. Granted, things were a bit prickly earlier to be exchanging greetings, but Eun wanted to at least know the name of the guy he saved tonight. “I’m Sangeun, by the way, Sangeun Moon. You can call me Eun. Do I have the pleasure of knowing your name?” He only responded with a content reassuring smile when he got thanked by him, and the sirens grew louder like they just parked outside the premise, and they did. Soon after, a few police stepped inside and wanted to take a few statements. “Just so you know, no one should have to suffer like that alone” he murmured silently, whispering it just audible enough for him to recount the words.

He gave his statement smoothly and finished it with a full stop, because one, he’s actually been trained to be a smooth talker when it comes to anything. It’s just a shame he doesn’t implement it a lot more than official reasons. “Are you okay? Like, really okay now?” he asked, a look of sincerity and concern masking his face, god knows what he would’ve done if he was to leave without knowing how he’s doing.

This whole thing was very confusing for the kitsune, everything happened so fast and his mind didn’t know how to process everything, that’s what had sent him into overdrive the moment that he wasn’t in immediate danger, his brain had managed to hold together until the moment the attacker had bolted out of the door, thankfully neither him nor the male who had come into the store and quite literally saved him had been hurt. Money the therianthrope could handle losing but getting hurt or worse was much more terrifying. He swallowed at the very thought of it and tried to shake it off. Thankfully the other male was here to guide him back to a sound state of mind, otherwise, he would have likely been panicking until the police arrived and perhaps even after that. If he hadn’t been hurt or worse before that.

When the other male held out a hand to help him up, Leigh breathed a hesitant breath before he took it and allowed him to pull him to his feet. The kitsune leaned against the counter for balance as he watched him “Yeah, you” Leigh spoke softly as he looked back at him, honestly he’d never met anyone quite so selfless and reckless before, no one did those kinds of things for a stranger, he could have been hurt, especially with the way he was talking to the attacker. And yet there was something incredibly admirable about his confidence and resilience too, so much so that the very thought of it got Leigh all caught up, he didn’t even know this guy, what the hell was going on.

“Most people would call the police but I don’t think nearly anyone would run in the way you did so…” he thanked the other male for the choice he had made, thanks to him the thief had been distracted long enough to not get a hold of Leigh’s wallet and was later apprehended, of course the takings would now get taken into evidence for the attack and he wouldn’t see the money for months but things could definitely be so much worse “You really know how to talk” he spoke before he realized that was a really weird way to compliment someone and sighed at his how awkwardness. Thankfully the other male didn’t seem bothered by Leigh’s awkwardness and just went on to introduce himself, Leigh found it strangely easy to talk to him which was strange for him considering how hard he found it to strike a conversation with everyone. He was staring a little dumbfoundedly when he realized he was supposed to introduce himself too “Oh yeah I’m Leighton” he nodded a little “Most people call me Leigh so please do” he gave a half smile, Eun, that was a nice name.

They were interrupted by the police entering the store and Leigh was taken into the next room to give his statement to ensure the two of them had the same story, he recounted everything he remembered about the incident to the officer and once it was all recorded the male was soon on his way, along with his partner who had interviewed Eun. Much to his surprise though, even after the officers were pulling away in the cop car, he came through from the next room to see the dark-haired male still here. Leigh took a long breath feeling nervous again, though this time not because of some attacker but because a very attractive and stunning guy was here and he supposed wanted to talk to him. Leigh bit his lip at his question debating whether he should tell the truth or assure him he was okay “I’ll be okay” he assured and then held out his hand “I’m sure I’ll stop shaking soon” he gave a small effort at a laugh before he pressed his lips together “Do you like tea? I can make tea, that’s the least I can do for you considering all you did for me today” though he was sure the male needed to be on his way, this had taken a lot of time out of his day after all and he didn’t want to be a bother, part of him was hoping he’d stay though.

Now that the situation has finally passed, the other part of Eun kicked in and had slapped himself internally for his previous actions. Wait, let him reiterate that again; his previous reckless actions. How had he gone inside a place that was currently a targeted spot and put himself in danger line because he was feeling a bit brave per usual? Sometimes, he never understood himself, because the lawyer in him would beat up the dhampir side of him, and had most of the time, successfully pushed it behind the doors without any problem. But today, before anything else, before he could even amount to anything rational or logical, his dhampir instincts pushed him to help a helpless person, who would also turn out to be a seemingly decent and kind-hearted guy.

Though it’s also clear Eun did not regret his actions but would reprimand himself to be extra careful before doing something like that again, especially when he’s treading in foreign territory. If anything happens to him, there’s no backup anywhere. He’s not in Korea anymore, he couldn’t rely on his friends or family, not that he ever really did in the first place, but the point still stands. Perhaps, there was more than just their physicalities and mind that connects both Eun and Jae together in similarity, they’re both reckless too as it seems. When he was able to bring the male back to reality, he felt proud of himself, that he succeeded in helping the poor soul again.

A trait he finds to be both his strength and weakness, all the same, is that Eun can never back down from a fight or turn a blind eye. It’s not his ego or pride, it’s just his dhampir instincts who simply could not tolerate any representations of oppressed people. He’s calm enough to keep that rushed adrenaline in control, however. So that’s a good thing. Unlike most, Eun doesn’t really act on his heart or emotions, sometimes because he feels like he lacks a lot of them. Everything in his head is like a wired system, unfortunately. Following the owner’s words, the dhampir brought one hand up and rub his nape awkwardly before offering a sheepish grin. “I guess, I’m a bit spontaneous when it comes to that.” That’s one way to put it.

A spark of realization flashed across his face when he noticed that was a compliment. “Thank you, I’ve always been told I’m a good speaker” he mused, his ears turning reddish as each moment passes by, but thankfully due to the dimmed and rather dark setting, it wasn’t as clear as the day. He also could not take compliments without flaunting them proudly. A narcissist, that’s what he is. But even he knew it wasn’t an appropriate trait to show to strangers. Leighton, not a name he’d hear often, but then again where he came from, no one really fashioned themselves with English names, and even if they did, it was quite mainstream. But still, it sounds breezy and calming, Leigh sounds like Lee too, in terms of pronunciation. The taller male also looked Asian in comparison, perhaps he’s born here since he sounded like a native.

Even after the polices went on their way, Eun still hasn’t left yet. He didn’t want to leave without making sure Leigh was alright, blame his over-protectiveness. Tea? He’s a coffee person, like any workaholic, but tea was nice too, and something about Leigh seems nice and he knew it was more than his kindness seeping out cutely. “I’d love to, thank you. I hope I’m not an intrusion to your...schedule. And please, I’m a civil servant and worker, I get my pay by putting people behind bars and getting the proper justification for victims” he chuckled.

Leigh wasn’t sure if there were that many decent people in the world anymore, most people were selfish and thought about themselves only, he’d pretty much come to expect the worst of people really and it was only in rare moments like this one that anyone managed to prove him wrong. Maybe that’s why Leigh didn’t have a lot of friends, he just expected people to let him down so he didn’t bother to try and get to know them. Not to mention he was about as shy as shy came so he never really knew what to say to people anyway, he’d have no idea what to say to this male in another situation, hell he wasn’t sure he knew what to say now.

When the other male called his recklessness ‘spontaneity’ the therianthrope laughed softly, well that was definitely one way to phrase it he supposed, he noticed the way the other male seemed to be a little nervous though, a very common sign of distress was to rub at the back of your neck which Leigh noticed him do “Well neither of us were seriously hurt so it worked out for the best right” he offered a returned smile, it was really a terrible idea when you thought about it, the attacker could have been more willing to use the gun he was holding than they originally thought and both of them could have ended up on the floor or seriously hurt. Leigh was good at this, worrying about worst case scenarios or worrying in general he supposed. He would have felt so bad if the other male had gotten hurt because of him. “But you should also be careful, people here, they can be cruel” he gave a slight nod of his head and averted his gaze.

The way the other male had when he was speaking was very natural and smooth, he knew exactly what to say and how to say it which was seriously impressive when you considered the fact that he wasn’t a native speaker, or at least Leigh was pretty sure of that given the things he knew so far, his name was undoubtedly Korean, he had quite a heavy accent which was clearly not adapted to the American way of life and he had quite literally said he’d only gotten here a few hours ago “You’re from Korea?” Leigh asked, almost completely unlike him to ask someone else a question but he was curious about him, it wasn’t often that you met someone like him, someone who was genuinely a nice person, maybe he wanted to know more about him.

Thankfully it didn’t take a long time for the police to be on their way and he finally felt like he could breathe again, or at least he could if it wasn’t for the fact that the rather attractive male was still here. Leigh wasn’t sure how to deal with that but he did his best to stay calm, he crossed the room and headed over to the door to hang the closed signup and then he locked the door and checked it was locked twice. Okay, perhaps he was more shaken by the whole thing than he actually wanted to admit. Though his alarm system had done him well today.

The pink-haired male glanced at Eun for a moment glad he wanted to stay for a little bit, Leigh could at least thank him properly then, even if all he had to offer was tea, that was better than nothing right.”Uh….this way” he spoke as he jerked his chin towards the back room, he’d actually made it quite nice and cozy because he often snuck back here to read books over his lunch or in the evenings, there were a couple of armchairs and a couch as well as a side with a sink and a kettle for making tea and coffee. He had a really nice herbal tea he’d gotten the other week and been saving which he figured now was a good time to break out. While he was making it he glanced at the other male remembering he had spoken about fighting for justification for victims “So you’re a lawyer?” Leigh put two and two together as he hopped up onto the counter next to the kettle and watched the dark-haired male intently “That must have taken many years of study, especially if you wanted to do so in two different languages” he noted as he tilted his head, Leigh was quite perceptive and good at picking up on details, but he didn’t say much, nor did he talk about himself often.

“Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to do something to try and save the world” he mused softly as he leaned his head to the side and then blushed when he realized he’d said that out loud averting his gaze and climbing down from the counter and finishing off making the tea. When he finished he grabbed the mug and offered it out to the other male noting they really needed a table in here “Sorry there’s no table” he spoke with widened eyes.

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