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The therian got out of his car and inspected the engine. It shouldn't have caused him the sort of turmoil he was currently facing but since coming back, things seemed to have completely spiralled out of control. He was still not on speaking terms with Sera and he was getting exasperated but her inability to understand his perspective and the cold war currently raging in his home made him spend more and more time outside. He had never been a heavy drinker but these days he found himself at the bar more than he did anywhere else. There was some comfort in wanting others too, try and drown his troubles in alcohol. Plus since befriending Ash, he had been dragged to try new restaurants and clubs and it had provided some much-needed distractions.
Since all he had been able to think about all week was the almost kiss.
If he was being completely honest with himself he had been absolutely disappointed when Damien pulled back and then abruptly left. He was a bit hurt too but the way the Valkyr had rushed out of the door, like his heels were on fire leaving him to deal with all the emotions that simple action had resurfaced.
He hadn't slept. Whenever his eyes were closed, all he could see were those happy moments, moments when his heart was so in love, he couldn't him fathom how he had survived the heartbreak and though the therian knew that he had been the one to end it, it had not made things easier.
Now that they had met again, Arwyn couldn't help wonder just what it meant and where it would lead but knew that any speculation on his part would simply end up hurting him. WIth a smack to the hood of his car, he took out his phone searching for the number of the tow truck. Worst case scenario, he'd have to call Kane or Ash or someone else for help. He knew to fix tires but engines had always been his weakness.
The last few weeks have been quite chaotic to say the least for the Valkyr. Between dealing with problems with his love life and then to his work life. More pressure had been put on him since he’d agreed to undertake the job as Malva’s Personal guard. Quite a step up to what he was used to. More hours and training than between. Trying to ensure he was keeping tabs on all of Malva’s whereabouts. More so than ever since the death of Vladimir. It all came to a shock to them, causing termioal from all areas. An unknown threat was looming but no one knew what or where it was coming from. Adding on the pressure on personal guards more than ever to ensure all of Ailward Aspects are protected. Damien has been spending more time focusing on his duties instead of thinking about anything else. He couldn’t help but feel bad for running out on Arwyn like how he did. On their near kiss. Leaving all in a hurry, no explanations, nothing. Damien knew he had no choice, knowing that part of joining the guard was to put duties over personal life. Screwing things up even more between them if it was possible, he wouldn’t blame Arwyn if he didn’t want anything to do with him again. Losing all his chances and hopes.
Even trying to retrace his steps back to the bar they met again, a few weeks back. Yet when he stepped inside his heart sank almost seeing Arwyn sat beside another maybe. Already able to see the way Arwyn’s leaning and body language to know the Lycanthrope was flirting. Damien blew it, quickly making his escape not wanting him to see him. Feeling saddened and jealous that he’d moved on, thinking that maybe there could be a second chance for them yet it seemed not. Screwing his head up even more, struggling to sleep too. Damien has spent the better part of the morning bickering with Malva. Both of them could sense that they were both bit fed up of each other by now, since guards had to be with their Aspects a lot more. He was no fool to know there was more of a reason to why the Aspects wanted to be alone. Malva ended up sending him out to run some errands for her, the job he hated most of all. Each time it always was like a wild goose chase, never knowing what the half of things that she wanted him to get. Let alone where to find them.
On his way as he was driving he’d noticed a car that was broken down on the side of the toad. His old mechanic self came back, choosing to pull over and help. There was no rush to get back. Parking his truck up behind, Damien made his way over. Seeing the owner of the truck was on his phone probably trying to get some help. Getting closer he could see who it was. Arwyn. Of all time and places they were both drawn back to the same place. Not knowing if it was fate or just out of luck. “You never was good at fixing cars. Weren’t you?” He marvelled softly, with a smirk on his lips looking At Arwyn’s facial expressions. Always finding how looked cute all concentrating with his frown all screwed up. “I can help you if you want?” Offering his expertise or if he was overstepping with how he left things before.
Frustration and fatigue were pretty evident on the Therian’s face as he glanced at the screen for the fourth time. It seemed both of them were either busy or away from the phone and Arwyn knew better than to call his dad. Not the Orion would refuse help, but the boy in him didn’t want to bug his father for simple things. There was nothing to do now than wait. Arwyn pulled up his app of puzzle games- it had been an old habit of his. When there was nothing to do, he’d pull up a crossword puzzle and there had been days when Damien and he were playfully fighting over words and their meaning and spend hours playing scrabbles. A pang of nostalgia hit him so hard and it took a moment for him to catch his breath.
Was there any point in denying it?
He was still crazily, madly in love with the Valkyr.
It had been shocking, to say the least for him to have met Damien again. Though technically he had closed the chapter of their relationship when he had told him to leave, Arwyn had never forgotten him or forgiven himself for destroying what they had. But no matter what he felt towards Damien, and no matter how many ‘what if’ scenarios he had concocted in his head, Arwyn had never expected to see him in Evermore. He had tried to tack the Valkyr down some years ago but with no luck, so the realisation that he had been here all this while had been a jolt to his system.
Messing up his hair in thought, Arwyn tried to focus on the issue at hand. It really didn’t seem like the best solution but he figured Kane or Ash would call him back and he’d kill some time in the meanwhile. He expected it to take a while but what he didn’t expect was a very familiar voice addressing him.
A flash of delight flickered across his face at the sight of Damien and he gave a small self-affecting smile- “But I was good at making things. Remember the shelf that we made and how we-” his words stumbled for a moment as he remembered just what they had done after that. His ears turned a shade of red and Arwyn coughed lightly “Anyways, I would definitely like some help. Don’t think Kane or Ash are gonna return my call any time soon. What are you doing here anyway?” He asked curiously as he took the toolbox from the car and handed it to the Valkyr.
For the longest time he tried so hard to forget, to move on in a way. Yet his mind would always go back to thinking if things could go back to how they were. It was foolish of him to think that they could. With almost a decade has passed since then along with many things have changed between then. Damien himself have changed, maturing more with all the responsibilities on his shoulders. He weren’t that naive as he once was taking a step up instead. Finding himself thrown off when he was face to face with his old flame, the only person he really have ever loved. Not knowing if he should throw it all away thinking and believing that it was still over, not the same person as he was. Yet truthfully he wasn't too sure if all of those feelings were gone, nothing something like that couldn’t easily slip away. Finding himself drowning his sorrows at the end of the day since meeting Arwyn again and then seeing him in a bar with someone else. Nadiya was the only one who knew and understood the pain he was going through, and could talk to about it. Always being the one to keep his personal life private, like many people in the guard and manor does. Not letting it affect their work life and duties, it would only seem like a weakness and threats. Something that should never happen only would put missions in jeopardy. Better to mask feelings and emotions instead of showing it.
Damien was surprised to say the least to see of all people it had been Arwyn who stood by a broken down truck. Stopping by to help not knowing that it was, knowing he couldn’t back out. Seeing how Arwyn was already stressing since he knew the Lycanthrope knew nothing about fixing cars. A grin appeared on Damien’s lips hearing Arwyn talk about the shelf they once put up. “That shelf was on the wonk because you wouldn’t keep it level enough. You could never keep anything straight huh?” He couldn’t to wink teasing him like out times. Damien was the one to make puns or mention internially gay jokes just to annoy Arwyn who was still hiding in the closet “The shelf soon fell back down if I remember” A heated make out session that were one of many knowing that Arwyn will be embrassed by him reminding him. Hearing him mention someone called Ash, he couldn’t help to look annoyed for a moment. “So this Ash huh? Is he the new guy you’d been seeing” Bluntly mention that he had seen them together not helping to sound jealous. “I was running errands for work, happen to run into you on the way” Damien explained rubbing the back of his neck, always the one to never properly tell him what he does for work. That was something he’d always kept from him for his own protection. Taking the tool box from him, Damien started to look inside the front bonnet trying to see what the problem was. Used to fixing up cars in his previous human life, knowing how to take out an engine clean it and put it back. He did miss but something he wouldn’t go back to. “Your valve cover is busted” Looking around inside to see where the problem was, with it already overheating. Soon able to spot the problem straight away using a spanner to tighten it, a makeshift repair. “You need a new cooling temperature sensor, without you’ll be going nowhere” Putting back down the bonnet tossing spanner in the air before catching it.
An infectious grin danced across Arwyn's lips at that straight comment. He understood the subtle implication. Damien had been his first in more ways than one. Arwyn had, of course, tried dating girls, but he had never been completely at ease in those relationships. It was only after meeting the Valkyr that he finally understood why. His classmates had often bullied the gay guys and the fear of social rejection had the therian keeping their relationship under wraps. He had seen what the taunts and jeers had done to those boys and he didn't feel strong enough to deal with them. Looking back now, he understood that he should have stood up for their relationship. Damien's love had meant the whole world to him. It still did.
Though he wasn't completely sure whether he still had that love from the Valkyr anymore.
"I still tried though, didn't I? You'd be proud to know that in the time I was away, I learnt a lot. Fixing furniture included. I guess...you could say...that I have changed. My views, my ideas...if I had been who I am now all those years ago, maybe...it would have been different." Arwyn found himself confessing, perhaps the closest he would ever come to stating point-blank that he still loved the Valkyr.
Moving to help Damien with the tool, he turned to stare at him for a moment. A series of emotions flickered across of his face at that note of jealousy he detected in Damien's voice. "You should have come to say hello atleast. Ash is friend. He's been helping me in getting a job" Though the therian appeared calm, internally a spark of hope burst through his heart. If Damien had gotten jealous, it meant something, didn't it?
As Damien began explaining the problem, Arwyn tried to shift his focus to the matters at hand. "That explains it. I'll get it fixed as soon as I can. Thanks for the help." Running his hands through his hair, he fiddled with the ends of his t-shirt "So what were you doing out and about? I still can't believe you have been in the city for long and our paths didn't cross. Maybe" he hesitated for a moment before continuing "Maybe we can get something to eat something- lunch or dinner or something...you know catch up and all?"
In the past Damien was used to being sent out on missions that meant for him to be at places few weeks at a time. Undercover work was what he was best or what it was till things had changed. Or more importantly who. Back when he was only meant to be in … for a week but it turned into months. Averting in a way forgetting what his mission was in the first place. Damien had forgotten for once that he wasn’t tied to the guard, stuck in love almost. For the years passed he thought that chapter in his life was past to focus solely on the guard. That what he has been doing since seeing and meeting Arwyn again in the bar he found himself distracted. His mind and thoughts all going back to him. Remembering both the good and the bad. Yet he was sure that Arwyn was thinking the same. Damien couldn’t help but laugh, remembering how bad Arwyn was whenever it came to build anything. “Hmm you were always best at just standing there looking pretty, still do” He commented winking to him yet soon realizing that he was overstepping a little. Damien lifted his head to when Arwyn said how he’s had time to rethink, he weren’t all that sure what he had meant. If it was for the good or for the bad, “I guess we both have had things happen to us in the last 5 years or so. Changing who we are as a people” Damien wasn’t going to sugar coat it and all. The way that things were left before was bad. Reason why he pushed himself into his work, being Malva’s own personal guard before being promoted to Ailward Guard Commander.
Arwyn was always a distraction to him but a good one. One person he could never get out of his head even how much he wanted it to at times. Thinking for a moment that Arwyn had moved on, it worried him. Damien couldn’t help but feel a bit of jealousy but soon was relieved hearing reassurance that it wasn’t anything. “Oh sorry I just thought” He chuckled softly for a moment, shaking his head. At the mention of a job he was surprised for a moment knowing Arwyn was never the job type of person. “So you finally figured out what you want to do or sick of your father asking” Damien teased just to annoy him remembering back he was always complaining and making him help to look at college courses in cities far away. “Please say it’s not fixing cars cause if it is your already bad at your job” Motioning to the truck that looked like it was on its last legs, knowing that Arwyn couldn’t part with the vehicle. “No problem, I can call up some contacts for local garages if you want. I’m not a mechanic anymore so i can’t really help” Damien offered turning the conversation back to the broken down truck yet he wasn’t as good at trying to trick him from asking questions about his work. “You know it’s a big city and all” A grin appeared on his lips as Arwyn was asking if he wanted to go out to eat. Always finding it cute he was nervous around him. “Are you asking me out?” Almost double checking before Arwyn always wanted to keep their relationship secret; Hiding him in a way not wanting to go out in public yet now it may be all different. “Sure lunch sounds great, I got free time now” Quickly accepting the date offer not wanting to lose him again.
He had never been a very forward or confident boy in his youth. Arwyn couldn't really pinpoint the reason for it, but he had always been content to remain in the shadows and listen rather than speak most of the time. But meeting Damien had changed him for the better. The Ailward Guard had made him feel alive, had dragged him out of the comfort zone and teased him and encouraged him enough to experience life. They had been so young and carefree and though Arwyn had been the one to finally call it quits, he had never forgotten all the good times they had had together.
Seeing him now, almost brought a sharp pang of nostalgia and pain- he had missed the Valkyr, no matter how often Arwyn tried to convince himself otherwise and while his old self may have retreated to being quiet and passive, the new experienced therian now didn't want to remain silent. He was willing to take the risk, no matter how painful Damien's rejection might be if he did not accept him back.
Arwyn had no reason to hope, but still, he continued to do so.
"I don't recollect you complaining before. I remember how I used to stand and keep you company while you worked on those cars" It was a bold memory to bring up because often Arwyn would be shirtless trying to tease Damien and they would forget the job and spend time making out and simply enjoying each other's company. "But I know what you mean, and change- atleast for me, that change was a good one. Though I may have angered Sera leaving her as I did. Dad understands, but she just won't forgive me yet" With a sad sigh, he went back to handing Damien the tools he needed.
There were moments Arwyn thought about his decision and while a major part of him regretted the way he had handled his mother's death and pushed Damien away, he also realised that the whole experience, no matter how painful it had been, that taught him a lot.
His gaze rested sharply on the Valkyr's profile at his mention of Ash and the assumption he had made. Damien had always been honest and Arwyn decided to be so too. It was why he shook his head and muttered a quiet "There had never been anyone else" before looking over at the engines. "I have yet to figure a lot in life but I have been helping uncle Kane and looking around for a..purpose I think. Sometimes it is hard to stay inspired. But don't worry, it won't be fixing cars. I'll leave that to you. You always looked way better in those wet shirts anyways"
It was a bold statement to make given their history, but their time apart had made Arwyn really value what they had and he did not want to lose him again. Thanking the Valkyr for calling up some contacts from the garage, Arwyn decided to bite the bullet and speak out honestly. It didn't surprise him in the least that Damien didn't beat around the bush and asked him outright whether it was a date.
While the old Arwyn would have stammered, the new Arwyn simply walked up to him and lightly placing his hand on Damien's chest, pulled him in and kissed him.
It wasn't a passionate kiss, but it was not a soft one either. It kissed could tell a story, this one would probably be one filled with regret and love. Arwyn still loved him. He had never stopped and he doubted whether he ever could.
Pulling back, he couldn't help but grin at the Valkyrie "Did that answer your question? I could clarify it again if you'd like but let us go grab some food first. I am starving" And not waiting for a reply, he kissed him again before grabbing his hand and lightly pulling him in the direction of one of his favourite restaurants.
Sometimes Damien wondered what things would be like if they stayed together and not went their separate ways. Whether or not they would still be together through it all. It seemed everything in their lives came crumbling down at once near the same time. Damein tried to help Arwyn through the death of his mother and uncle but was just pushed away from the young Therian. All ties were broken like nothing ever happened with how they kept their relationship secret. Damien knew that Arwyn had his reasons that he was scared of what others may think, worried about coming out. Whilst for himself he’s always been open minded accepting who and what he is a long time ago. Part of him hoped that Arwyn would feel the same given some time. That's why he left him be but now happy that he’s back in his life. Almost ready for himself to be hurt again in hope for a second chance for everything to go right this time around. Giving Arwyn space after finding him again. Damien too had been busy with his commander duties, after Vlamdimir’s death everything was all a mess. Things back in the manor was bad with guards all in panic of fear of the unknown. With how his death was mysterious along with a long list of different things and reports of happenings in and around the city. All that confused both and Erytherus to figure out what had happened. It helped to keep himself busy, not to always think about Arwyn knowing he was back in the city and they could bump into each other at any time like it has happened now.
Damien carried on trying to fix Arwyn’s truck that seemed like it's seen better days. Knowing that he had the truck passed down to him after he passed that it was something he fixed up with his dad but Damien knew that it was Orion doing all the work whilst Arwyn overlooked and passed the tools. Just like how it was in the past when they tried to to any DIY or fixing up cars together. Damien sn*****ed to Arwyn’s comment. “But you would always end up distracting me” He teased softly but stated the truth of what always happened ending up for it to take a lot longer than it should do. Damien did wonder if the years apart did Arwyn having heard he took off away from his father and sister, only just coming back. “She’ll come around don’t worry she’s still a teenager who takes everything to heart” Damien pointed out letting him know to stop overthinking how his sister hates him. “She’ll give you the silent treatment for a while” That probably already happened by the looks of things, with how people never hold grudges against family for too long for what Arwyn did.
Relieved to hear that Ash was only a friend that he wasn’t moving on. In hopes of still having a shot at least. Even more reassured that there’s not been anyone else since him. “Same here, there’s been no one else either” He admitted out loud too. Although his reasons were different being a lot busier in the past few years but that was something that Arwyn didn’t know yet why. Thinking it be best leaving questions or information about his work away from his personal life for a while. Something Damien always have done, all the guards were just overly paranoid. “You’ll find something you want to do with your life, believe me. I had to die before I found mine but that won’t happen to you” Damien chuckled joking to him with how he knew how things worked out for him. “The shirts you always tried to make me take off” Winking to the young Therian like old times keeping up the flirting.
The truck was now fixed up at least to get it to a garage in the next few days but Damien knew that without a new cooling system that the problem would only come up again. Before Arwyn’s date request he thought that they would be parting ways but happy that it wasn’t like that. Surprised to see him walking towards him, feeling as he was being pulled in. The familiar touch of Arwyn lips on his, the kiss still felt the same. The spark was still there. “I think it does or I can ask you to, just to annoy you” Damien joked already knowing what Arwyn was asking without making it clear. Just like before. “Your always starving” As they headed out to a place to eat and catch up for what they’ve missed out on.