Jae didn’t go back to the dorms that much these days after the dhampir was finally convinced to start moving in for real. However, there were times when he’s in his study week and it was easier to stay at the dorms since he’d have access to the university library any time he wanted and could do with some discussions with his classmates. Today is one of those days, Jae had stayed back and told Han he’d be away for two days. He had already texted him that and told the celestial a few days prior but it was cute of him to still leave a note on the fridge to remind Han to not forget his meals. Work has been hectic for him as usual and last week he fainted due to being dehydrated, and Jae has been quite strict with his meals ever since.

“It’s been 8 hours since you left home and I’ve already missed you dearly” he cooed as he held the phone to his ear while giving the dogs their food. “I have a day off today so I’m going to head over to the supermarket to do some grocery shopping. I hope you won’t study too hard, don’t forget your meals too.” The call was brief because Han had to end it soon if he wants to go out. Thankfully, the supermarket only took him 10 minutes of walking, the celestial never preferred to drive due to his claustrophobia and he still couldn’t get over them so it was better to evade that. The last thing he wanted was a case where he hurt himself because he couldn’t focus on driving.

It’s been a while since he went on a grocery run, mainly because he likes doing all his shopping with the dhampir, and these days both of them have been pretty busy. It’s more than good enough that they were able to come back to snuggle one another by the end of the day. Sometimes Han would need to stay in Denver for a few days to do his work because most of his work line is directed at the new facility there. He refused to move, of course, and his supervisor understood the reasoning behind it. However, not everything could be done virtually so there were days where he simply needs to be physically present. Han soon finished putting everything on the list in the cart and passed by a woman he remembered talking to, at the apothecary, which caused him to halt.

She was a kind lady from what he’s seen and they had a small chit chat while he was trying to understand the labels plastered on the bottles back in the apothecary, something she had experience and knowledge on. She helped him get what he needed and he never got to thank her because she had to leave. “Hey, you’re the kind lady I met at the apothecary last Wednesday, right? I never got to thank you… I don’t even know your name because you had to rush out.” He held out his hand with a sheepish grin “I’m Hanseol, you can call me Han. Please, can I get you a coffee or something? I felt bad not returning your kindness…”

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Octavia kinda liked living in a city as opposed to the isle of skye, not that she didn’t miss her home back there but she felt much more integrated into society here, she liked being able to get in her car and head into the city, go into a few shops or a restaurant, order take out and have it delivered, there were many conveniences she wasn’t even aware she was missing until they had come here. Still, the busy nature of the city was something she found it hard to get used to, everything was so fast paced she found it hard to keep up sometimes.

The blonde had finished early and Mal was in a particularly sour mood and told her to stop hovering so the guard had taken the chance to hop in her car and head out for a bit of shopping, she liked to get groceries fresh from the supermarket sometimes so that she could plan some of the meals she made for dinner or even pick up a few bits for baking if she was in the mood. After parking her car she headed in and started wandering around the store, eyes lingering over the shelves as she picked up a few bits and pieces and tucked them into her cart.

She was focusing on deciding on two different flavors of icing for the cake she was planning to make when a voice piped up to get her attention. She was dazed for a moment, blinking a few times before recognizing the young man she had met at the apothecary the other day. He had caught her attention then because of his glow, it was kinda impossible to miss but he certainly made himself memorable by the way he was rushing around like a mad man “Oh yes, I hope the herbs you chose helped with your sleep, though honestly all that rushing around should tire you out enough” she commented and smiled.

It was hard for her to face celestials after everything that had happened, there was a certain guily that weighed down on her wondering if she should have done more to help them “Nice to meet you Han, I’m Octavia, though you really don’t need to thank me, anyone would have helped you” he seemed so well adjusted to life now, she wondered if he was enjoying his freedom and what he would do with it.

Han is someone who would never just forget any form of kindness done to him. The other day when he was rushing to the apothecary trying to find things needed to help him with his sleeping, she had helped him with her vast knowledge. It fascinated him honestly, and by the time he tried to find her to thank her for her help, she was already gone. And now here she is again. Fate is a funny thing. 

If only he had known there was more tying their connection together than just a simple help at the apothecary, he'd probably be surprised, considering how much he still stiffens and scowl at the mention of Ailwards. They did rob 80 plus years of his life. Years he could've spent to help his twin. He will never forget about that. "I struggle with insomnia and even with hectic schedules… and the kind of work I'm doing, it still makes me feel fresh as the day when I try to go to sleep… but it's not just that" he murmured softly, it's definitely the nightmares too. "But you know how people have night terrors too, right? That's mostly the main factor." 

He shook his head when she said anyone would've helped him "Not everyone, they would look at me weirdly and pass by. Sometimes I wonder if I emit bad vibe energy but I don't think that's it?" Maybe people just didn't want to get along with him. He might've been a bit confused with how issues are circulating in the modern world but he's learning. "Octavia… that's such a nice name. I still wish to know how you were able to pick the correct herbs that really just kicks in… It's not everyday you find someone this knowledgeable so can we talk… by coffee? Or lunch?"

Octavia had understood the decision that was made to force the celestials to stay away from society, but she couldn’t say it ever sat well with her to see anyone’s choices taken from them, they had always been in the grey area when it came to morals but those times definitely felt darker and more shameful than she wanted to admit. “Insomnia is pretty common” she pointed out before pressing her lips together “Night terrors less so…those are usually the result of trauma someone has experienced and the inability to let it go” in a sense someone could get lost in the prison of their own mind.

“Have you thought about seeing a therapist…they can help a lot with teaching you to process your own memories and the emotions you have tied to them” she’d seen a grief counselor in the time after Vlad had passed and it certainly helped her to process things, to shake some of the blame which she was holding on her own shoulders, survivors guilt that had called it, it was something which was hard to let go of. “No I don’t think you emit bad energy, I guess just a lot of people are too wrapped up in their own world to think about the impact they could make on others” it was natural she supposed, to center your world around yourself.

She couldn’t help but smile when he said she had a nice name “You don’t think it sounds old-fashioned?” she questioned playfully, well it was pretty old considering that was the name she was given many years ago, the Nephilim felt it suited her though, in its own way. “Ah…well you see I’m friends with some rather…knowledgeable diviners, I’ve learned a trick or two I guess” it was pretty normal to reference diviners or witches to humans, they simply passed off their ‘magic’ as tricks if they didn’t believe in such things.

The moment he said lunch she felt her stomach rumble, reminded that she hadn’t taken the time to eat this morning “Well if you insist, I could use a coffee and a sandwich, let me just finish paying for my things” she started making her way towards the checkout.

Going to the apothecary was not something new to the celestial. In fact, he has heard of this place plenty of times from his colleagues and friends. They told him that he would likely find new ingredients there for a better price and the quality is top-notch. Han knew most people these days would never look for things in an apothecary considering how modern the world is, but he still does and he likes the old-fashioned way sometimes. True to its name and their words, he was marveling at the different things displayed in the shop, it was as if he would not be able to find these things at a local pharmacy.

Despite being supernatural, the celestial still relies on traditional medicine and some beliefs. "Insomnia gets worse when you have the trauma holding yourself back... but often time, people couldn't seem to find a way to get rid of that. Resorting to modern medicine doesn't work either... at some point, you ask yourself if it's a you problem or the medical field couldn't find a cure for it just yet." He did appreciate people's efforts to find ways to combat it though. When she asked if he tried going to the therapist, he nodded and sighed "I tried a few times, they said... I was hiding something back from them and until I let it go, it won't help me with anything." But the thing is, the celestial had no idea how to let it go.

"I think it sounds beautiful...Not everyone gets to have a meaningful name these days, right?" For Han who is still very much grasping the new world, of course, he didn't think it was strange. In fact, he thought it was rather classic. He had his ears perked up instantly when she said she had a few diviner friends, they would help. "That's amazing..." He didn't have enough ties to make such friends, but he wished he'd make more of them soon enough. It doesn't help that he is naturally shy. He chuckled when he heard her stomach rumbling "Even your stomach is agreeing with you right now. Come on, it wouldn't hurt. I promise I don't bite..." He followed her to the counter with a few more things in his basket and waited until she had finished paying for her things before he paid for his. "So... what are those things you bought for?"

The blonde nodded her head knowingly “It’s rarely something physical which causes the inability to sleep, but rather either something mental, or the body rejecting it’s currently reality” being a guard for as long as she had been, she had learned her fair share of medical practices and a few times she had even considered studying to be a nurse, if it wasn’t for the fact they were always moving around so much “Eventually you have to face down whatever is scaring you so much and let it know, it wont break you and it can’t win” she offered a slight encouraging smile twinged with guilt.

Fear was such a strong emotion, it took over everything surrounded it, it made even the person with purest of nature go crazy. She’d experienced it plenty around her but it was something the nephilim had always been good at tackling within herself, she couldn’t give in to fear or she would never move. “My tip, there’s nothing worse others can do than what you’ll inflict upon yourself in a state of fear, rising against it may seem impossible, but once you do, you’ll realize things aren’t as scar as you once thought” in other words, be crazy and tackle it head on.

She smiled a little when he complimented her name “I suppose not, though it does sound very ancient Grecian for my tastes, I’ve thought about asking people to call me Vi” she commented and laughed softly, yeah, she was definitely too old to be gaining new nicknames like that now that she said it out loud. After finishing her purchases she prepared herself to spend some time with her new found acquaintance “These…” she bit her lip softly “They’re for a spell hopefully, to help me recover some things I’ve forgotten” she had no idea if it would work but there were holes in her memory and it was bothering her, she needed answers.

“And the cake…well that’s just a little treat for me later” confessed in a soft giggle “I’ll bet a fellow sweet tooth can understand” she commented, noting he’d picked up a couple of treats too.

He didn’t know why he loved hearing explanations from the woman he literally just met a few minutes ago. She made so much sense though and every word that comes out of her mouth made sense. Han can be gullible like that but he’s not that gullible to the point he would just believe everything everyone says outrightly.

“So you’re saying the reason why I’m not getting enough sleep is because something is bothering me… mentally?” he didn’t know how to word it honestly. “How do I do that? How do I let it know I’m strong enough to not let it bother me… when I don’t even know where to start?” He didn’t know what keeps him awake other than his usual night terrors.

She has so much wisdom, every single word she uttered sounded like a mantra to him. “Octavia… like Octavius’ sister…” He was marvelling at it, because he grew up hearing stories too and it felt like it just fit nicely. “You know… when I was running for my life… I would read storybooks… Greek mythology books and their histories…” It gives him insight to life. “Vi? That’s a nice nickname… sounds very modern. I’d call you that…” If he had the permission. “You can call me Han…”

The celestial widened his eyes when he scanned her cart once again upon hearing it’s all ingredients to make a spell. “You can make a spell to recover lost memories? How cool… it’s a shame I can’t do things like that. Then it’d be nice…” He didn’t hate being a fallen star. However, he still thought that it’s pretty useless of him to just know how to protect himself or deflect. “I always find witches cool… do you have… your own or something” because obviously Octavia didn’t resemble one. Or he could be mistaken. “Or wait… are you?”

He giggled when he looked down to his basket “Yeah… my boyfriend he likes to have late night snacks… After all, a good partner has to take good care of their partner right?” He waited until he rung up his things and waited until she finished hers. “Let’s go and get some coffee, the place across the block makes the best caramel macchiato and they have this famous cinnamon roll that’s to die for.”

Octavia nodded her head slightly “Usually that’s the cause of insomnia, the brain won’t switch off no matter how much you try to quiet it” she had experience with it, in her long life she’d been through many ups and downs and she’d struggled plenty with sleep herself, it was a cycle that was strongly linked to emotions and experiences, you never knew when tragedy would strike “You…start by making sure wherever you sleep is your safe space, where only good things are allowed” she affirmed and nodded.

“You could try lighting incense before you sleep, lavender and the likes are known for being soothing and helping sleep to come” she nodded her head slightly and smiled. “Exactly…bit of a mouthful but it’s memorable right” she laughed softly under her breath. “Yeah?” she questioned curiously before pressing her lips together “You must really like stories…do you have any favorites?” she used to read a lot but honestly she had stopped doing so much recently, probably because life had become quite the distraction.

“Okay Han…let’s try it” she responded and nodded her head slightly, as she followed him out and he asked about doing a spell she agreed with him “Well yeah…I don’t do any spells myself but diviners can do crazy things with natural agents like this, it’s like watching a whole different world when they do their thing” she didn’t get too involved in it all though, Mal tried to explain it to her plenty of times but it mostly went over her head as she couldn’t feel magic the same way the aspect of magic did.

“Late night snacks, or snacks all the time” she teased playfully, she could be guilty of it too, she enjoyed food a lot and unfortunately all the best food was usually either expensive or really bad for you. “Coffee is a must” she agreed with him as she followed him across the road, looking out for traffic as she did so “Though I can’t say I’ve ever ordered one of those…fancy ones” she usually just got plain coffee and that was enough for her but maybe her new friend could convince her to be adventurous for today.

The more he talked to her the more he could see that this woman seemed to be very experienced. It was good, because Han was young and he needed more advice about the state of everything. It doesn’t help that the celestial is also a little bit shy and naive at times. Well, most of the time. “Where only good things are allowed…” he murmured to himself, the only few places he could think about at the moment was on Jae’s lap or anywhere with his dogs and his boyfriend. “Does my boyfriend’s lap count as a safe place?” He asked innocently, that’s definitely it.

He took a mental note about what she suggested and nodded in understanding “I did buy those things… I just didn’t know how to use them.” Google can be your friend maybe. “I like the story of Achilles… oh right there’s a few things about Promeutheus that really struck me too. The book of Illiad…” He had plenty of stories he could recall. “So about magic… have you seen a friend or someone do really nice tricks with it? I’ve only seen a healing charm.”

He ordered a cup of caramel macchiato for her and brought it to their table. “Here you go, take a sip and tell how it tastes like. I’m sure you’ll like it.” He also got them a plate of macarons and strawberry cheesecake. “I’ve been taking sleeping pills sometimes but I was told it’s not a good habit… I do need to find an alternative though. I need sleep to work…”

She softened her gaze when he immediately thought of his loved one when she told him to think of a place where only good things were allowed because she immediately remembered how Vlad would have been her first thought too. “That works perfectly, but make sure he knows to stay quiet for you, you need quiet to be able to rest properly. Somewhere dark, have a blanket over you for comfort too” she was sure that he would be able to clear his head if he tried that.

“He must be a really good person if you see him as your safe space” she spoke softly and smiled, he seemed happy in his relationship which was honestly nice to see. “Well…quiet…dark…comfort…warmth” she pointed out all the things which she found helped her to switch off from the crazy world around her. It was a start at least. “So you’re a fan of ancient Greece?” she questioned and smiled, she enjoyed their texts too, fascinating stories of when gods roamed the earth.

She giggled and smiled “I’ve seen more than you can probably imagine…it all goes above my head mostly but…you can’t deny how…magical it all is when you see it with your own eyes” she commented and smiled “Are you hoping to find some sort of spell for yourself?” she questioned curiously wondering why he was so fascinated by diviners. She took a sip of the drink he brought, nodding and mumbling a thanks as she tasted it. It was very sweet, but surprisingly not bad “It tastes…like drinking coffee and dessert at the same time” she commented and chuckled slightly.

“You should avoid sleeping pills…they work at first, but the more you use them the less effective they become…kinda defeating the point of them in the first place” they were the type if thing you would save for emergencies.

Perhaps all he needed was just someone to give his clarification and validation, like Octavia. She was good at giving advice, he had no doubt of that but Han couldn’t help but wonder if he just desperately needed someone else’s input aside from himself. Of course, he had Jae and Yeon but both of them were hardly unbiased towards him. Dae would just annoy him for the sake for doing so.

“Yes… he’s a very nice person. The best person I have ever met…” God, he loves Jae so much it was crazy to even begin to comprehend how it shaped his reality. The dhampir gave life to him. “I read a lot” he nodded in response, glad that someone else also likes something he did. “Though I have never been there to the country itself… I wish I could one day… once everything is sorted.” Truthfully, Han is still afraid of the hunters. It wasn’t that long ago since his last spontaneous attack. What if they ambush him again?

“Well, the only thing close to a magician I have ever witnessed was a man with a funny hat who could pull tricks…” he has never actually witnessed a diviner doing what they do best. “But perhaps… a protective charm would be nice…” Given his circumstances, that would be the best possible gift. But Han wasn’t stupid, he knows only powerful people could do that and they wouldn’t do it for free. Neither do they have a reason to do it for him.

He was talking about a lot of things, happy he could find a good company in the woman he just befriended. That was until he had to excuse himself to go to the washroom real quick. He was washing his hands at the sink when he suddenly noticed someone else coming in the washroom, looking very suspicious. It didn’t long for them to subdue him, but not before he could yell in frustration and help. They had dragged him harshly towards the back door and he managed to push them off, which made them land another hit on Han.

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