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As she stared out over the counter of her store, she was hit with a sense of disbelief. This was her store, she had done this, she had worked for months to make enough stock to fill the place, she had gone and gotten the loan she needed for the retail, she had designed the layout and placed each item carefully to give it the attention it deserved and here at the end of her first week running her new store she was feeling good. Much to her luck, because of the area and the time of year she had tracked a lot of foot traffic into her little place over the past few days and she had made a few big sales too. It was a great encouragement to finish the rest of the garments she had started over the past day or so, she thought as she turned out the lights for today and locked up the front door.
It was a decent trek between the shop and the Celestial castle but she didn’t mind, the star was used to spending her time alone so she never really cared much for the 30-minute walk. It was chilly tonight though and she was glad she had her coat so that she wouldn’t end up with a cold, you’d think after everything a Celestial is weak to they’d at least be given resistance to illness but that was sadly not the case. She had been walking about 10 minutes when she felt the urge to look over her shoulder, she turned to face behind her but nothing was there. If there was anything she had learned from her years spent on the run it was how to know when someone was following her though so she quickened her pace trying to head back towards the more well-lit roads.
She had been right however, someone had been tailing her. She wasn’t exactly sure what they wanted with her and she didn’t intend on asking, the moment the male stepped out from the shadows and grabbed her shoulder was the moment she went into action. The Wayfinder might seem rational and sweet most of the time but this male would quickly learn that her survival instincts were sharp and would fight any blow he decided to throw at her. “What do you want from me?” she yelled at him while blocking a blow he tried to make to her stomach, the guy gave a slimy grin “What everyone wants from a fallen star” he responded smugly which made her blood boil, she was caught off for a moment when he pulled out a blade and slashed across her hand causing it to bleed immediately and her to cry out in pain. She knew at this point her emotions were getting high, meaning that her natural Celestial glow was brightening but she wasn’t going to lose to some street thug with a knife.
She looked around for a moment making sure that no one was actually around before she drew her Celestial energy to her and in one flash of light so fast that most would never even see it, she sent him flying across the way and he crash-landed against a dumpster. Her attention turned to her hand which was still bleeding pretty badly was she watched him make a run for it, it wasn’t like there was anywhere here to catch him and she didn’t have any way to apprehend him so instead she focused on trying to remember his features while she fell to a crouch, checking the wound to make sure it was clean and looking around for somewhere she could go to get it cleaned up. Her breathing started to quicken as she looked down at the cut, she knew it wasn’t a big deal but it had been so long since she was targeted and attacked that she really thought she was past it and this had been a very sudden reminder that a Celestial was never truly safe in the city. The more she tried to get control of her breathing the more panicky and shaky it got and the moment she heard footsteps coming towards her she stood up, getting on her guard and ready to blast the guy who had no doubt come back for more.
Click. The sound of the puncher checking her out tonight was quite possibly the best feeling Celia has ever felt in two weeks. Yes, for the past two weeks, the Italian has been busy in the surgery rooms, there were plenty of surgeries done and of course that meant a lot of blood. Whilst she was better with her control over the practice she had managed to keep up the habit for years, you can't really present a room full of humans panicking and knowing you can hear their blood pumping from across the room. She had no idea why she opted in such a career, she could have done well being a pediatrician if she wanted to be a doctor still, but no, cardiology got her heart, literally. And that that why she allowed herself the torture of checking in for more hours due to their short staff. The inflation to the hospital admission didn't stop, not even during the Christmas season, which was a big buzz kill for the staff. Thankfully, for the Valkyr who never saw anything significant to festivities in general, Cecilia volunteered to take a few days of others' absence. She probably shouldn't have.
The brunette tossed her coat at the rack and settled herself on her seat before slumping against the cool surface of her desk that was halfway piled up with paperwork to be done. So much for the holiday spirit. Because of the commitment she had shown to Evermore General this month, Celia hasn't been able to go out to survey other areas though she does still receive plenty of feedback from her eyes and ears everywhere else. Why do a job you can only do alone, right? The response were the same old, same old. Rogues getting braver and started terrorizing people. But they were handling it. Kind of. While she was napping against the desk for about 15 minutes, she was woken up by the sound of her own hunger waking up. Right, 16 hours of shift yesterday and she hasn't eaten. Both sides. When was the last time she fed? Probably a week ago, and with the ongoing surgeries, she kept a strict diet to herself. The Italian had close to none for her sexual escapades just as well due to her keeping her diet in check which meant no sex after feeding.
After closing her laptop and locking her desk drawers, the Valkyr craned her neck and stretched out her arms before making her way down using the elevator, making sure to let down her hair from the ponytail she's been tying her hair up. Shift's over, time for dinner. And maybe a supper snack. Or snacks. While humming to herself as soon as the elevator came down, Celia was quick to allow her legs to carry her to the nearest restaurant. Unfortunately and unsurprisingly, they were closed early, Christmas preparations probably. With a small whine to herself, the Valkyr kicked the pebbles on the road and turned around to go for a walk. Walking always calms her head when she's hungry anyway. She'll probably have to cook something up at home, given that the microwave doesn't blow her up. With both hands tucked in her coat pockets, the sounds of her heels clicked against the pavement while the female sung a small tune to past the time. She didn't even realize that she was singing to herself until she halted on her steps, her ears taking in a small yell. Was someone fighting?
She tried to dismiss it by telling herself she was probably just getting a bit lightheaded from hunger which was prompting the Valkyr to go feed but before she could turn on her heel and go back, she noticed a faint glow coming from the corner. Of course, she followed. A, a glow meant a Celestial. And she's well-versed enough to know about these fallen stars. B, if they were in trouble, then she needs to help. It's practically a rule in the book. The Italian went over to the corner and tried to search for the source of the light, only to find an unconscious knocked out guy in the dumpster and a female crouching against the pavement. The glow was from her and the silhouette looks familiar so Celia stepped out of the shadow masking her appearance earlier and walked towards her, stopping slightly because the Celestial had her hands out as if she was ready to blast someone.
"Ophelia?" her voice was soft, there was concern etched on her features as she took in the Wayfinder's distressed state, and her bleeding hand that made the Valkyr breathe heavily. Right, she hasn't fed yet. After calming her breathing down, Celia slowly made her way towards the Celestial, "Hey, it's just me. Cecilia? Uh, you've probably seen me a few times. Are you okay? I saw the glow… " she pointed towards her bleeding hand sheepishly, "Let's clean that up first before you get infected. But do you mind putting down your hands because I really don't want to end up like that guy over there... "
Her mind went into overload for a moment and for a while she felt like she had traveled back in the past to the days of her life she spent on the run from hunters, back then she didn’t know how to control her own powers let alone dull her glow and so people had chased after her endlessly, the world had been plagued with the belief that Celestials were treasure meant for chasing and if it wasn’t for her own survival instincts and intelligence she probably wouldn’t have made it very many years. Her hands were held out in front of her as though to warn the person approaching that they shouldn’t come any closer but it was clear her mind was completely elsewhere.
But then she heard her name which gave her pause, sucking in a long breath but she didn’t know how to stop herself from spinning in that moment, all she could think about was those moments spent where her lungs were burning so hard she thought they might give out any moment, her chest was heaving just from the memory, she remembered all the times she had barely escaped with her life, all the injuries she had to hide and treat herself, every time she wondered if this was it. But then she was reminded that she was still here and that made her snap out of her trance, slowly lowering her shaking hands as she gazed back at the dark-haired female.
She didn’t recognize her in the dark at first but after a while recognition crossed her features and she let out a sigh of relief that the girl wasn’t another attacker to face. Ophelia noted the way her voice was so soft and almost cautious which made her realize she had felt threatened by the Wayfinder’s actions “Oh my, I am so sorry, I don’t know what got into me” she responded softly as she lowered her hands, twiddling them together before wincing because she felt the cut on her hand then. “He was following me” she explained in an attempt to explain why she had blasted him across the clearing her expression clearly showing that she was disoriented.
She had been feeling like that more and more often lately, strange happenings seeping into her dreams, feeling lightheaded and sometimes like she was watching the world around her rather than actually being a part of it. She blinked a few times to try and clear her vision and calm herself, her hands were still shaking but the color seemed to come back to her face and her rational mind set back in “Yes, I should get this cleaned up, he was hiding a knife and I didn’t see it until it was too late” she bit on her lip because it really was painful “You don’t need to worry about me though, I’m fine, as you can see he came off much worse than I did” she glanced over at him, probably wake up just fine in a few hours with nothing more than a killer headache, unfortunately.
When she decided to check out what was going on, there were two opposing sides telling her not to and to do so. One is the other's opponent the same way it goes on every single day. Celia had that sort of consciousness to her and only think after she had acted, which was why she chose to check it out before thinking what it could be. Besides, even if she somehow stumbled across someone being eaten alive or something, she was more than capable of handling herself. Not to say that nothing fazes her anymore but the Italian had plenty of rogue cases to back her own history of dealing with people who won't take no for an answer. But the glow obviously signified Celestial so of course, she would go and check. What if they were in trouble? The Valkyr peeked to see if the guy was really knocked out cold and impressively, he was. Approaching the Wayfinder may not be the best idea, especially when it was clear that Ophelia was in a distressed state but that wasn't about to stop her from helping.
One, she's a Valkyr. Two, she's a doctor. From where she stood, she could hear how the Celestial's heart was pumping, if she didn't calm down soon, it was possible to have her go through a series of traumatic shock or her fainting. Either way, having a seizure is probably not a good way to end the day so once she was sure Ophelia wasn't going to blast her off for wanting to help, Celia took a few steps closer and placed her hand on her arms gently to stop her from trembling. "Don't worry about it. I get being cautious... " she reassured softly, "Don't touch your wound, it'll scar" The smell of her blood was pretty much overwhelming her, someone who's had a blood addiction on Celestials, and someone who hasn't fed yet. Thankfully, she was able to keep herself under wraps because the concern regarding the Celestial was a lot more important than her own self control.
"You're okay… you're okay" she murmured faintly and made Ophelia look at her in the eyes when she tilted her chin, "You're safe now. I'll make sure he won't follow you again. I promise." Mental care? That's what she was trying to do. At least, she would be able to ease some of her worries. When she tried to convince her that she was fine, the Valkyr shook her head in retaliation, "No, you're not. You're not fine. Please let me take care of you… let me help. You can trust me, Ophelia. I'm here to help… and you're bleeding pretty bad. Just see me as a doctor, okay? I'm here as your… resident doctor whose job is to treat people, no matter how tiny their wound is."
Ophelia wasn’t sure why she felt the need to explain her actions to someone else when she was simply defending herself from a clearly targeted attack. Perhaps it did matter to her how people saw her, perhaps she had developed somewhat of an attachment to the life she had in Evermore and perhaps she felt threatened by having someone attack her on the streets of the place she now considered home. She almost jerked away when she felt her hand touch gently against her arm but then she took a few long breaths, taking comfort in the gesture “I just thought for a brief while that perhaps I was safe” she spoke softly, almost in a murmured “Though a Celestial shouldn’t foolish to believe that should they” she looked back into Cecilia’s dark hues as if he would somehow have the answers. She did naturally pull her hand away from the cut when she told her to stop of it would scar though.
Ophelia didn’t let people see this side of her, she couldn’t, if people saw the cracks in her armor they would use it against her and her people, she was supposed to be strong for them and shield them from the dangers they faced but the truth was that she was scared too, perhaps even more so. The assurances made her nod her head a few times, attempting to get a hold of her breathing, she hated feeling like this, like she was weak “Okay” she spoke in a very softy voice when she promised that she was safe. She didn’t know why but something told the Wayfinder that she could trust her, she wasn’t sure if it was instinct or her Volakiri bond advising her but she decided to go with it. “I didn’t know you were a doctor” she responded trying to distract herself, Ophelia was a little squeamish when it came to blood so she was doing her best not to look at it too much “I think there’s a restaurant still open down the street”.
She didn’t really wait for the Valkyr to agree with going there because she couldn’t stay here any longer and look at that guy and not feel overwhelmed with panic, so she tugged gently against her hand to imply she was going to walk. She tried to steady her breathing as they wandered towards the place, she had to admit she was glad to have someone with her right now because the last thing she would have wanted was to have to navigate more of these dark alleyways all alone tonight “I’m sorry if I scared you” she spoke softly “I uh..” she didn’t really know how to explain exactly how she felt right now or her own actions so she just pressed her lips together and nodded “Thank you” she added and bit her lip “Do you think you could talk about something? Anything really, just take my mind off of it?” because the most she thought about it the worse she felt and all she wanted was to be distracted from it.
Celia had to admit, when she realized what went down earlier, she could feel her heart shaking in tremor, was she worried? Very much so. What if something befell Ophelia? Not just a Celestial but the leader of the fallen stars. Conflicts would arise and God have mercy on them if they ever need to come across any problem or issues coming from ambassadors themselves. At the moment, there were two problems for the Valkyr; one, she needed to calm down a shaken Celestial who could probably blast her off without even blinking, two, her cut was still fresh and the blood was pretty much pressing the matters tightly around her throat. Her breathing was constructed for a brief while because it was very hard for her not to stare at her wounded palm. It seems that the latter should pose the biggest threat to her right now after Ophelia calmed down slightly. "Hey… don't say like that. You are safe here… in Evermore. You have our protection, remember? This is your home now" she noticed how traumatized the Celestial was and couldn't help but let a frown crease her features as she rubbed her shoulders gently, "I'm sorry you had to deal with all of that earlier... "
It shouldn't have had to happen. Not here. At least, not in Evermore. But with all the crimes bustling lately, people have no control and she has no idea how to get everything settled properly. "You shouldn't have to fear for your life… you're not foolish for wanting to live normally just like everyone else, don't ever tell yourself that you don't deserve to do the same," she reminded sternly and sighed heavily as she tried to examine her hand gently, making sure that she was careful enough not to take a whiff too much. The Italian has to remind herself that it was Celestial blood that got her the need to go through rehabilitation over nine centuries ago, after all. She may not be Atticus, but Ophelia is a star, still. When she noticed the Wayfinder having a hard time diverting her gaze from her wound, she used her free hand to push her chin to face her, "Don't look, it's pretty deep. But I'll make sure it'll be fine in no time. Not a lot of people know I'm a doctor, is it really that surprising to find someone working around her source of food?"
In a way, it may sound patronizing in her case, but Ce doesn't bother herself in those formalities to care. "I'm kidding" she added softly, and nodded in agreement, they should get out of this scene and go somewhere more secure. Celia took out her handkerchief from her pocket and wrapped it around her palm, tying it not too tightly to cut off the circulation but enough to stop the bleeding. "Let's get you some place safer, okay? How about we go to that restaurant you said? Do you think you can show us where it is? No need to rush, I'm here. You're not alone, Ophelia" she pressed a reassuring grip on her arm while beckoning for her to walk, and the hunter? Well, she'll deal with that guy later. When she asked for her to take her mind off, Celia scrambled to get a proper topic, "I'm really bad at random conversations… but, let's start with something basic first, hi, I'm your resident doctor who definitely does not steal blood from the hospital, Cecilia Laterza" she quipped awkwardly and chuckled later because it sounded weird, "What were you doing out here all alone so late at night? Do you have early thing for dark alleys or? I mean I don't judge, of course not."
It wasn’t like Ophelia to be like this at all, normally she was able to push down her own fear and worry in the name of reassuring her people, that was her job as the Wayfinder, to be their guide and the one who held it together even when it felt things were falling apart. But Cecilia wasn’t one of her people and honestly, she didn’t have the energy to hold it in right now, so she knew what she said sounded pessimistic but sometimes it was hard not to be pessimistic when it felt like the whole world was against you, she reached up to wipe a tear from her eyes with the hand which wasn’t bleeding and nodded slightly “Yeah you’re right, no point going into doomsday mode right” she attempted to force a smile but it was slightly teary as she looked back at her “Yeah me too, it’s the sad reality of being what I am though, there’s always gonna be someone who cares more for their own agenda than my life, or any of my people’s lives” honestly it wasn’t her own safety she worried about so much as theirs.
She nodded slightly when the dark-haired Valkyr validated her feelings, she appreciated the empathy though most of what she said was more because of the shock she was going through “The thing is that I can’t ever truly categorize myself as normal like that because the moment that I do…” she pressed her lips together “The moment I forget and just be happy for 5 seconds, something like this happens” or worse, she had been happy with Mikael and then that had all fallen apart in a matter of moments, she honestly felt lie she was cursed at this point and she was running out of energy to fight it. She bit her lip when she told her not to look “Too late” she spoke softly and pressed her other hand against her stomach for a moment feeling a little queasy, she hadn’t even thought of the fact that Cecilia would be affected by the blood until she mentioned it and she widened her eyes “Oh my goodness I am so sorry, this must be so troublesome for you” if there was one thing that the Wayfinder couldn’t stand, it was feeling like a nuisance to someone else.
She winced slightly as she felt Cecilia reach to tie a cloth around her hand and she grimaced slightly doing her best to look anywhere that wasn’t at her hand “Yes, let’s do that, probably best we don’t stick around and wait for one of his friends to come along” thankfully Phe had managed to calm herself down enough to dim her glow back to its usual level, much thanks to how level-headed and calm the Valkyr was, her doctor instincts the Wayfinder was sure. She led the way towards the restaurant moving slowly just because she was still a little lightheaded from everything that had happened over the past 15 minutes. “Why does that sound like an almost guilty thing to say” she commented when she led with how she didn’t steal blood from the hospital “I actually work not too far from here, or well my shop isn’t far from here, the hours just got away with me and I never really worry about the dark because I’m basically a walking flashlight” she laughed under her breath as they reached the late-night cafe and she pushed the door open before heading inside, glad it was warm in here because she was feeling the winter evening chills.
Any other day, the blood may not bother Cecilia as much as it's actually bothering her smelling senses that seemingly grew tenfold in the last 5 minutes but not today. Today is the day she cursed herself for delaying her feeding schedule for a few days because she needed to finish her report on last week's surgery. She would lie if she said she wasn't eyeing the wound on Ophelia because that was the reality of it, she is staring at the wound. But seeing as there were more pressing matters than needed her attention, she was able to look away and focus on the Wayfinder. She chuckled when the other female tried to brush it off dismissively, "Mhmm, but it's fine to worry too. Just… not now. We can worry about other things later. What's important for us to do right now is to make sure you're fine. And I don't mean fine physically… are you sure you're fine? Do you need anything?" When Ophelia said it was the reality of their world, especially a Celestial like her, Celia found herself shaking her head and tried to brush away any hint of tears by pressing her thumbs against her cheek.
She lifted her gaze up to meet her and offered a reassuring smile, "No one should have to succumb to what the world sees you as. You're your own person. Nobody else can dictate that for you." She hated that the Celestial couldn't feel secure or happy even when she deserves it like anyone else, but what she could offer is just a shoulder for her to lean on, at the moment, "You can't keep telling yourself that… there's happiness in store for you, I'm sure of it. If others could have it, why can't you? Who says you can't?" Her hazel hues panicked slightly when Phe ends up looking and placed her hand over her stomach, "Uh… you're not going to throw up… right?" When the raven-haired female apologized for what seemed to be an inconvenience in her eyes, Celia shook her head and assured her it was nothing, "Don't worry about it. Blood is not foreign to me. I open people's hearts for a living so... " She wondered if that sounded weirder than she expected it to be.
"Don't worry about him, I'll make sure nobody finds out. The last thing we need is to draw attention to you, right? If anyone get a wind of this, who knows what kind of personal agenda they could have going on" Because Ce was sure there was someone inside who was working for their own selfish gains too, she wasn't stupid enough to trust everyone. It was why she continued to stay cautious and alarmed, since at the end of the day, her loyalty is to her Valkyrie and her fidelity stretched out to the Celestials. She bit her lip and shrugged the moment Phe pointed out it sounded as if Ce was guilty of not drinking from blood bags, "Maybe I feel guilty because I don't drink from them. Is it shameful for me to say I prefer taking it fresh from the vein?" She is curious to see how a moraled person like Ophelia would feel about that. Thankfully, the cafe was still opened and Celia ushered the female inside and guided her to the booth at the very end of the room, taking a sit across her and eyed the handkerchief, "Do you mind if I take a look? I think we should wash it off, there's a bathroom here" she pointed to the sign that showed them where it's located at.
Most of the time it was easy for Phe to cover her own emotions, she spent so much time worrying over others that she rarely had the time or energy to worry over herself and she supposed she worked best that way, focusing on her people and doing what was best for them kept her on the right path and ensured that she didn’t fall apart. Lately, she had noticed how they didn’t need her quite so much though, which left her with more quiet moments where her own thoughts and feelings started sinking in. Truth be told Ophelia was starting to wonder if she was cursed to always give her happiness up in the name of others “That’s a very loaded question for one answer” she responded honestly, attempting to smile when the brunette reached up to wipe her tears away “Honestly I’m not sure” she spoke in a very soft voice “It’s a harsh reminder of everything I’d hoped would now be in the past” she admitted softly and shrugged her shoulders slightly “Sorry I probably look a mess” between the tears and the blood it definitely wasn’t her best day.
“I know that, I do” she responded when she said she was her own person and she could dictate her own path “It’s just…” she didn’t really know how to explain it “Sometimes I feel like that person I am gets a little lost in the person I feel I have to be” and she didn’t really have anyone to talk to about feeling that way because it wasn’t like she would admit to the stars that she felt like she gave up a lot in the name of their best interests. But the truth was she had spent the last 100 years of her life hopelessly looking for them and she wasn’t even sure how to live her own life now that she had finally found them. “I am...trying my best not to” she admitted as she did her best not to think about the blood or look at it “I definitely couldn’t have been a doctor that’s for sure” she joked in a weak attempt to lighten the mood just a little “At least one of us is brave” having to open someone’s heart in the physical sense sounded like horror movie scary to her so she’d leave it to someone with the stomach for it.
“I’ve just about managed to get my people feeling brave enough to actually leave the castle and make lives, the last thing they need to hear about is this” she admitted with a slight bite on her lip, she definitely did everything she could to protect them, not just in the physical sense but in the mental too, she wanted them to feel like they were safe and free to live their lives as any other person was. Ophelia offered a half-smile in her direction when she said she felt a little guilty for not using blood bags for feeding “I mean from what I heard, it’s not a negative experience for someone to be fed on” she rationalized with a stern look “So as long as the act is consensual then I see no problem with it” not that it mattered what she thought, she wasn’t the leader of the Valkyr or anything after all. When she pointed out the bathroom and asked if she can see the wound Phe nodded “You can, though I’d prefer not to see it again myself” or this time she really might throw up. She pushed to her feet and headed into the bathroom, glancing at herself in the mirror before sighing softly and holding her shaky hand out towards Cecilia to look at “Where did you study for your medical degree?” she asked softly, mostly trying to take her mind off the pain and blood.
Celia had a guess that Ophelia was the kind of person who would look after others before her own self and while she always made fun of that sentiment when it comes to others, with the Wayfinder, she understood why she feels that way. There was nothing the other female wouldn't do for her faction, she was sure of it. And it was admirable, strength in unwavered spirit like that is rare among any souls. When she noticed the smile Phe attempted to show as she wiped her tears away gently, the Valkyr grinned, "That's more like it. Smile a little bit more. You have a beautiful smile, you shouldn't be sad, dare I say crying look does not fit you as well as it fit actresses" she tried to diffuse the tension filling the air by making her laugh and while she may not be able to witness her pearly grin, at least she smiled, that meant more than enough. "No, no, you don't look like a mess. I mean I like your smiling face way better than your crying one but you still look good either way, don't worry, you look very good" she assured, thankfully the blood from her wound hasn't gotten on any of her clothes of body parts, and once they clean it off, it should be fine.
"The world is cruel, Phe, don't fret too much about it. All we can do now is make sure to prevent this from happening again. Nobody should have to suffer being hunted like this" She saw how shaken the Celestial was, earlier, and she felt her heart wrenched at the sight of it. The moment Celia saw how the other female was trying to phrase her words properly, she pressed her lips together and rubbed her thumb against her shoulders soothingly, "Hey, you don't need to explain anything… you don't have to feel obligated, Phe." She couldn't imagine the kind of weight Phe carries around with her all this time, did she have someone to talk to about it? The Italian was by far, not the most hospitable choice or option to be picked when it comes down to that but even she had to wonder if Phe is doing fine. "Hey, don't worry, being a doctor is not for everyone. You don't need to do anything to prove yourself to be strong or brave, Phe. You're stomaching the blood, so to me, that's a brave thing to do."
She understood why Phe wouldn't want the stars to find our about this attack, it would defeat all the purposes of her trying to get them to enjoy the air around. Celia nodded gently and squeezed her hand, "Don't worry, they won't find out from me and if I say no one will find out, then they won't. Nobody will. I give you my word" And when Cecilia Laterza gives you her word, she intends to uphold it. "I just need to be sure you'll be fine first before doing all of that, your mental state is more important." Thankfully, where they were at, wasn't exactly a touristy spot and even locals would not walk around here at night after all that's happened so she will be able to do her job cleanly without a problem. The Italian has to refrain herself from grinning when the other female mentioned about feeding, "Yeah, I dare say it's very pleasurable. Speaking from experience" Her eyes widened slightly when Ophelia diverted her stern gaze onto her which made the Valkyr held both her hands up in a defensive manner, "It's all purely consensual, believe me. I would never feed on anyone without their permission... "
Moral code? Not quite but Celia didn't want them to feel like she was robbing their consent. As soon as they got to the bathroom, Ce made sure to lock it before returning to her side, taking the wounded hand gently before discarding the handkerchief to the side, "Medical degree? You mean first time or this time?" she purposely paused for a while before chuckling, "I'm kidding. Before I became a Valkyr, I was a healer in Italy. There was an institution there in Ravenna, I don't think I recall the name because it was over 1700 years ago. But because we're talking about my doctoral qualification, the answer for that is Stanford." Talking was a good way to take the mind off and Celia tried her best to clean her wound as fast as her hand could take her while answering Phe's question.
Ophelia couldn’t help but notice how thoughtful Celia was being with her, honestly, she wasn’t used to people understanding or trying to cheer her up, she was used to closing the door to her room and handing it alone, the way she always has. It was refreshing, being able to have someone there for her, even if it was someone she didn’t really know that well “I’m sure they’d look all red and blotchy too if they were actually crying” she joked with a slight laugh and smiled again, a more believable one this time because she did appreciate the attempt to cheer her up “You’re lying but I appreciate the sentiment” she spoke softly with a chuckle under her breath when the other woman said she didn’t look a mess, she did appreciate the effort made to cheer her up because she did honestly feel down by what happened tonight and honestly, she was trying to avoid going down the hole of questioning what it could mean.
“I’m not sure how much preventing can be done” she responded in a solemn tone as she glanced over at the brunette, it wasn’t like they could have someone accompanying a Celestial everywhere they went and even then there was no saying someone else might not get hurt in the process of trying to protect them. “When things are less…” she gestured as though her head was exploding to imply ‘crazy’ “I need to figure out who he was, who he works with” she nodded slightly, if she had the answers to that then she could be sure whether it was some rogue group working alone or a fully targeted attack, one thing was for sure, he knew what she was. Her expression softened as she felt the gentle rubbing against her shoulders “I know I’m not obligated to but you’re not obligated to help me either so” which was her way of saying she wanted the Valkyr to understand where she stood. “I’m tired of always being brave” she admitted in a soft, slightly wavering voice as she glanced up at her.
There was something about the way the other woman spoke and the conviction in her voice that told Ophelia that she could believe her, even that she could believe in her and the star found her intuition was rarely wrong when it comes to people “Good, because we were just finally starting to get somewhere” more and more people had been attending her sessions to teach them to use their energy, people were venturing out of the castle, getting their own homes, finding their own jobs, it really was beautiful to see. The way Cecilia talked about the experience of feeding told her all she needed to know about how she probably got her meals, there was a certain suggestive undertone to her works which even the Wayfinder couldn’t miss “Then there’s no need to feel guilty right, it the end everyone gets what they want” the idea of being fed on was a little unnerving to her, she had to admit, though that was more because of her aversion to blood than anything.
Ophelia had to laugh when the Celia asked her which time, she shook her head slightly “The modern time, I lived in the time before formal qualifications remember and it was...pretty abysmal” the reason most Celestials had died off before they made it to this era was because of the very poor sanitation and medical resource at the time, as beings who were completely susceptible to illness and disease, it was a challenge to stay alive. “Stanford huh? That must have been quite the experience” she’d never gotten the chance to attend college herself but who knew, now they were settled down, perhaps it wasn’t so impossible anymore. “What made you want to take that path?” she noticed how fast the doctor was working on her hand which she appreciated, one because she didn’t want to see it and two because it hurt a lot.
Had this been any other random person who Celia was more likely not recognize, she would've been on her way as soon as she finished checking if there were any harm done. Because she's not supposed to do more. And she did not prefer having to take detour tonight when she's been very famished. All she wanted to do right now is just find someone to sink her teeth into and call it a night. But seeing as that person is Ophelia Dreyvalian, out of all people, she feels obligated to help her. And honestly, with how shaken she seems to be, the Italian couldn't trust the Wayfinder to walk back without being traumatized. "Hey, some people actually do look good crying, I've seen them. Unfortunately, it's not really a good look anyone wants to wear, no matter how good they can make it look" she exclaimed, her relief settled in properly when she noticed she wasn't sobbing as much as before.
When the Celestial said she was lying, Celia chuckled and made Phe face her directly by positioning her face towards her, "I don't lie, Ophelia. You still look pretty." And she means it. "Not that I would like to see you being this upset again but I still stand with what I said." Though she had to admit, Phe was right on the whole preventing part, they couldn't do much. "But trying is better than nothing, right? You can't give up." It doesn't help that the Celestials had been hunted down for the entirety of their lives and there was no sureway of making sure each and every single one of them were safe. "I'll find out what you need to know. I'll tell you his details later… besides, if a Celestial is being harmed or targeted in this city, then my faction should know. We took an oath to protect you and I don't just mean to protect our own Volakiris" A lot good that did her. Atticus did got in harm's way the first place because of her.
It occurred to her that not everyone wants to be brave all the time, it can be very tiring, so the brunette placed one hand over Ophelia's shoulder and offered her a reassuring smile, "Then don't. It's okay to be afraid too. Not the part where I'd encourage you to be that way because people are waiting to prey on the fear, but… you don't need to be brave all the time." Cecilia made a small memo, a reminder for her to get rid of the body at the dumpster before anyone finds him. Better yet, she may need a few answers from the instigator himself. "You're right, nothing bad about feeding on someone if they feel the same pleasure we feel, one way or another" The Valkyr made sure to pay their consideration back by spending the night with them, resulting in both parties or more tangled up in the sheets. Celia never bothered to leave before the other wakes, seeing as she had no problem sending them away later on.
She noticed the way Phe seemed to cringe at the sight of her bloody palm so while she was cleaning the other female's hand, she couldn't help but ask, "Are you afraid of blood? You don't seem to handle the sight all too well earlier." As they talked to divert the attention away from the nasty wound Phe suffered from, a few questions rose up because for some weird reason, Ce found herself wanting to know something about the Wayfinder too, "When were you born, exactly? I know it's incredibly rude to ask a woman her age but… I am curious" Her experience studying at the medical school in Stanford was something she wished she could relieved again, "It was rather enjoyable. I never thought my immortal self would relish in doing such a mundane thing like that but it was fun. I enjoyed my life as a student, we had our fair share of parties too" And boy did Ce have her favoritism for Kappa Alpha Theta. "I enjoy healing. And the world has come a long way from its traditional ways… I thought why not? And you? Would you like to study in a university one day?"
She laughed under her breath when Cecilia insisted that some people did look good while crying “That’s probably because they’re fake crying for attention with all the waterproof mascara on” what she was doing was working though because Phe didn’t feel quite so sad or panicked anymore and there was a hint of a smile on her face because the other girl had made the effort to cheer her up and she appreciated it. Maybe Ophelia was easy to please but then she did live in a world where most people had let her down or betrayed her so seeing someone do something out of the kindness of their own heart was almost foreign to her “Do you uh” she smiled slightly “Have a preferred name you liked to be called, if you’re anything like me you don’t like your full name being said all the time” she nodded slightly “So please call me Phe” she requested with a small nod of her head.
She was still hiding behind her hands when Cecilia moved her face to look at her so she dropped it slowly as she looked back at her, her expression looked sincere and she felt a swell in her chest from her words “You don’t lie?” she asked as she rubbed at her eyes “Isn’t that kinda what a master of persuasion is meant to do?” she had no idea how the roles in the Valkyr factions worked but even she had heard some of the tales about what Celia was capable of. “Not that I’m accusing you of being a liar, I’m just curious” she added to the end because she didn’t want Celia to think she was judging her or anything like that. “I know I can’t, but I can be mad at the world for a little while until I get over it” she was a little pouty about it because she felt like she was okay to be a little vulnerable with Cecilia, something about her just instilled a sense of trust in the star. “Thank you, I have no idea what I’ll do with that information yet but I will figure it out” she nodded slightly, always felt like she was figuring things out.
She let out a long breath and nodded when she said it was okay to be afraid, that she should allow herself to have moments where she wasn’t holding it together, she wasn’t sure anyone had told her that before and it meant a lot just to have someone say it, even if they didn’t know her all that well. “I think I needed to hear that” she spoke softly, offering a weak attempt at a smile but a genuine one nonetheless. She ran a hand through her hair and dabbed a little at her eyes to dry them with the edge of the handkerchief figuring that if Celia didn’t mind her blood being on it then she wouldn’t mind a few tears either. “Though I’m guessing it must be a little hard for you too right? You have to know the right amount to take without things getting dangerous” she didn’t know how easy or hard that was from experience but she’d definitely heard of Valkyr going too far in the past.
She glanced up at Cecilia when she asked if she had a fear of blood and shook her head “It’s not so much a fear of blood itself than the open wound” she admitted with a bite of her lip “If blood was in a glass I wouldn’t mind seeing it but this” she nodded her chin towards her hand “Looking at it makes it feel more painful than it actually is...if that makes any sense” she definitely wouldn’t be able to be a doctor that was for sure “It goes back to something that happened not long after I first fell, when I was being chased by hunters and I almost….well I almost died” she pressed her lips together “And ever since then I can’t look at an open wound without reliving that moment I got stabbed” she didn’t know why she was telling her this, truthfully she wasn’t normally this talkative with someone she just met.
“I’m not sure you can call it born but I woke up here about...440 years ago, give or take?” she lost count of the real number honestly, it wasn’t really like Celestials actually celebrated a ‘birthday’ as most of the time they were passed out for the first few days of their lives and had no idea what happened. “You actually were born though so you know I’m going to throw that question right back to you?” she grinned slightly as she tilted her head curious to know. Phe did wrinkle her nose at the mention of parties and she pursed her lips for a moment “Yeah I don’t think the university life would have suited me” she gave a sheepish grin “But I think I would have studied something to do with fashion, textiles and the likes” she nodded slightly “I’ve already had a soft spot for dressmaking, I’d gather any scraps of cloth I could get my hands on” she shrugged slightly.