Of all the festive seasons, Thanksgiving and Christmas would make up high on his list. Simply because it was supposed to be a season where families gather together and meet up to share their stories, bonding over it with laughter and elation. Well, at least it used to be that way for him. Julian didn't have a big family, it was only his parents, him and his elder sister and his younger sister. The five of them were able to make up the absence for plenty though, which was the reason why the Nephilim never felt like anything was lesser when they gather together. Unfortunately, this year wouldn't make it possible for him. He couldn't go back to England because he had a whole shift two days ago and the flights bound there were all sold out, leaving him no choice but to spend his Christmas in Evermore. He had no problem with the city, but who wouldn't want to go home for Christmas? He misses his parents and Christmas was one of the times he could actually get to see his elder sister who is otherwise, staying in Australia. 

And ever since the tragedy that took place a few years ago, it's the only time they were able to check in the Nephilim to see if he's doing fine as he says he is. He's guessing that he'll have to settle and FaceTime his family for this year, and hope that his schedule can be cleared out next year. While he was busy cleaning the cabinet where he stored his bow and arrows alongside other weapons in case anything happens, he realized that he's been tapping his feet against the carpeted floor for over half an hour. He wasn't usually this jittery when he's alone, so he stopped whatever he was doing and tried to figure out the reason for it. Until he realized that the living room was pretty much cold to the core, which was unusual because he was sure he had turned on the heater before. With a rag still in his left hand, Julian went over to where the heater was located and crouched down to its level to check if it's working. 

The lights weren't on and he thought he must've turned it off accidentally. Another unfortunate case for the poor Nephilim who had to endure a cold night while being alone for Christmas, it wasn't turned off, rather, it was broken. A heaved sigh escaped the male as he got up and realized that he will have to rush to the stores to get a heater unless he wanted to spend his nights cold. He knew there was no way the stores would be open on Christmas Eve, and even if they were, the chances were likely high to know that it's been sold out. Yet that didn't prevent Julian from wrapping his coat around him and rushed out. At least, his car was slightly warm. And that's probably the alternative for his place to sleep tonight or for a few nights if there was no more heaters.

 That was the case for Julian who was still diligently searching for a heater for about an hour already. Sighing to himself, he exited the last shop which told him sorry because they were sold out. Just his luck. "Goddammit, Julian… you're full of bad luck at this time of the year, aren't you?" he grumbled to himself and found himself slumping against the bench while listening to Deck The Halls With Boughs of Holly blaring from god knows which shop. 

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Christmas. It was supposed to be a good time of year right? For Nora, she found it tended to be the opposite. Christmas was supposed to be the time that you spent with your family or those who were closest to you. Problem...Nora didn’t really have a family, not anymore and there weren’t many people she would call herself close with. Most years she would spend it with Katzia, the Dojo leader would come over and they’d watch a few cheesy movies together and catch up on life in general. But this year she hadn’t been able to make it, so here she was on Christmas Eve, just here and her dog.

Despite the fact that it was just her though, Nora always relentlessly made the effort to celebrate Christmas every year, perhaps in a way it was her way of spiting her family for the poor excuse of a holiday they celebrated every year when she was young. She remembered all the presents that had been sent to her because her parents were too ‘busy’ to spend the actual day with them. She got pretty much everything she ever wanted except the thing she wanted most, time. So by now, she supposed she was content with her own company to the point where it didn’t dishearten her too much, she could still do her traditions like watch movies and bake her favorite Christmas cake.

Except when she went to the cupboard she realized she had entirely run out of flour which made her curse. Not exactly her ideal Christmas Eve plan to have to go to the store, they were practically like a warzone for people who forgot to buy presents. She sighed getting her keys from the side and driving down to the nearest Walmart. She would have to hope that of all the things people mass bought today for the holidays, self-raising flour wasn’t one of them. She parked her car and locked it before heading up towards the entrance, not bothering to look for a shopping cart because she wasn’t planning on buying much.

She headed up towards the door before she came to a stop for a moment when she heard a familiar voice mumbling to themselves. Curse her enhanced hearing because she knew exactly who that voice belonged to. It wasn’t long before she spotted the male sitting against a bench just outside the entrance and after a bit of deliberating whether he’d just rather be left alone she approached him, taking a seat on the bench next to him “Not having the best holidays either?” she asked noting that he seemed upset and troubled.

“I feel like even the Christmas music is mocking me at this point” she commented, grumbling because she really wasn’t feeling in the spirit this year, maybe she was just tired of celebrating alone or maybe she was just grumpy because she knew the mess she was going to find when she walked into the store. Well, the least she could do was try and brighten his day a little considering it seemed like his was even worse than hers “Do you wanna talk about it?” she offered with a friendly smile, usually Nora wasn’t so approachable on the streets but her and Julian were kinda friends, truth be told she kinda liked him.

The weather was cold, he knew that, it was why he even wrapped a coat around him alongside his scarf that was currently protecting and heating up his neck, preventing the Nephilim from suffering a cold. Only, that didn't seem to be a problem for the weather when the wind blew and Julian sneezed briefly. "Goddammit… out of all days" Why did it have to be today? When his heater is broken and everywhere else plastered a whole sold out sticker to their every door that he's visited for the past hour. With both hands tucked into his pocket, he coughed slightly and lowered his head to stare at his feet and the ground that was covered by snow and blew the few stray strands of his dark locks that kept covering his peripheral vision. He was so deeply focused on cursing internally about the mishap today that he didn't even realize there was another presence nearby; a very familiar one at that. How could Julian ever forget someone like Nora?

 The Nephilim pretty much remembered every single detail of their time together, it was hard for him to pretend he didn't recognize who the CFO of Everectronics was. It wasn't until he felt a certain warmth radiating from someone who took a seat next to him on the bench, that Julian lifted his gaze up to meet hers. A look of sudden realization was spread across his face when he recognized the female; Eleanora Nordstroem. He shook his head upon being asked if he wasn't having the best holidays, "Something like that. A sudden mishap on Christmas Eve and of course, everywhere else is sold out for me to even buy another, so here I am… crying at my own failure to notice that something was wrong" he tried to pass it off with a wry chuckle but it was clear that Julian was really rethinking of his way of spending Christmas away from his family this year. Bad luck, probably. 

A snicker escaped him when she said the music was mocking her, "I quite like Christmas songs but with my current situation right now? You're right… it feels like they're mocking me" Which was ouch. No need to rub it in the wound that was already there. "Judging from your grumble, I guess you're not feeling the spirit this year?" There was no harm telling her about his trouble tonight, right? She was a good company and Julian likes her. Besides, it wasn't as if there was anything else he could do now. "You sure you won't be rather going somewhere else instead of staying here listening to my pathetic Christmas Eve story?" he jested teasingly and leaned against the bench comfortably, "But if you must know, my heater broke last minute and I totally didn't notice until an hour ago? Yeah. Big time. Why are you out here instead of settling in the comfort and warmth of your place?"

Today was absolutely manic, she could tell that much from the way people were bustling around in the parking lot with shopping carts full of things, barely managing to swerve one another and making her wince a few times as she witnessed the near-misses. Normally she would steer entirely clear of these crowds, she wasn’t an idiot and didn’t have any particular like for going to the shops when you could barely even move but tradition was tradition and if she didn’t have her traditions to hold onto then what did she even have anymore. Her steely gaze watched him intently as he talked about the day he had so far, she noted that he looked stressed, like he had been panicking over something which troubled her, considering it was Christmas eve. She pressed her lips together and placed a hesitant hand on his back, rubbing it slightly.

“Are you not spending the holidays with family?” she asked it softly because she thought nearly everyone went home for the holidays or have family come over to visit but yet he was here alone, much like she was here alone which made her wonder if there was some reason as to why. “There’s some Christmas songs I like, you know the ones you can jam to in your socks in the kitchen while you make dinner?” was she talking about stuff to try and cheer him up a little? Perhaps. “But then there’s one like this which just kinda sound sad” she nodded slightly. When he asked her if she wasn’t feeling the spirit she shrugged slightly “It’s not like I don’t want to but it’s kinda hard to get excited about Christmas when you know you’ll be spending the day alone” same story every year honestly, no family, friends were all busy having their own celebrations and she had already talked to him before about her whole lack of a love life.

She felt her heart jitter a little when he said his story was pathetic “Can’t be much worse than the girl who spends it alone every year?” she offered with a half laugh and nonchalant shrug of her shoulders, there were times when Nora was perfectly content with her own company and didn’t need anyone and then there were others where she just wished her walls weren’t built quite so high. She sighed when he admitted his heating had gone out “So you were looking for a heating unit huh?” and she would guess from his downhearted look that he hadn’t been able to find one “And no one will call out til after the holidays, damn” she pressed her lips together.

“I make the same cake every year on Christmas and I totally forgot to buy the ingredients for it” she laughed slightly “Not sure why I’m so determined to make it when I’ll literally end up having to eat the whole thing but” she shrugged slightly and offered a half-smile. Suddenly it occurred to her that perhaps they both didn’t have to be completely miserable on Christmas day “You know I have like two spare rooms if you wanted somewhere to go for the next couple of days while you wait for a repair” she pressed her lips together because it wasn’t like her to invite someone over “You could even help me eat some of the monster cake I’ll no doubt end up making” she wouldn’t push it but if he wanted a way out then she had already made it clear she didn’t have any significant plans for him to interrupt “No pressure of course” she added to the end and bit slightly on her lip wondering what he would say.

He probably should've went home as soon as he realized that no other shops would be offering him anything close to a heating source. He could stay at a hotel, but he was pretty sure most are occupied by people travelling to visit their loved ones alongside families and relatives alike. He knew his family would do that. Every year. It was basically a family tradition for them to come over and visit their family house in England, God how much he wished that he was able to get a few days earlier for holiday. But alas, spending Christmas in Evermore is on his list this year because that's the way it seemed to be going. While he was contemplating on whether he should go back home and hope the night won't be as cold for a few more days or search for an empty room at any hotels, he didn't expect someone to accompany him. Better yet, he didn't expect to see a familiar face that is Nora. Her company was very much appreciated by the Nephilim, of course. And whilst she may not stick around, at least he'll get to chat for a brief while, right? God, that made him sound so much more miserable. 

He held in his breath momentarily when Nora rubbed his back hesitantly, it was a gesture he didn't expect but it does feel nice having someone consoling and comforting you over this. When asked if he's not spending his holidays with his family, Julian shook his head and pressed his lips together, "Not this year, no. There were no more available flights back home and I was a bit held up at work two days ago, I actually only got off the hangar yesterday after closing up properly." Work commitments. But he couldn't even blame that either. Had he requested a leave much earlier, maybe he would've been celebrating with his family. A very amused grin crept up to his lips as he turned to face her and snickered because the thought of her dancing in the kitchen over some Christmas tunes was quite hilarious, "That'd be such a sight, I imagine. Careful, those house elves might even join you in for a dance, one day" he teased, it was a tale his mother used to tell him to scare him off. 

Though it probably didn't work as much because Julian always found himself doing exactly that every year just to see the house elves that turned out to be his cousins. "You're spending yours alone?" He wanted to ask how come, but decided to keep it to himself, knowing how sensitive that would be to some people. Alone every year, even he couldn't fathom that. She's right, he should be feeling grateful that he still had the luxury to spend his previous holidays with his family when there were others out there who didn't get to have a similar chance. "Mhmm… exactly. I guess I'm either opting to search for a room that'll be a chore on Christmas Eve… or hope that my place won't be as cold as I thought it would be." A Christmas cake sounded nice, even if you ended up having to eat on your own but perhaps, just like he said in their previous conversation, everyone needed someone. Being alone is a terrible thing. 

"I mean, eating a cake on your own while not having to beat your sibling and cousins to get the last piece is a pro for me" Was he trying to lighten the atmosphere up? Maybe. The offer was too good to be true, if he was being honest. Was she really trying to help him out like this? Julian had nothing to be wary of, honestly, the Nephilim knew Nora can be very generous and kind but he wouldn't want to impose on intrude her holidays like an uninvited guest. "I… That honestly sounds like you're my guardian angel protecting me, an offer that is too good to be true" he admitted, "Are you trying to deliver me my Christmas miracle, fairy?" he jested playfully, his amused and smug grin plastered all over his face as he leaned closer. 

She pressed her lips together and sighed slightly “You should have reached out to me sooner, I can teach the secrets of last-minute flights” she grinned slightly, being an executive she had a lot of practice in booking flights and getting seemingly impossible deals, especially because most flight companies wanted to keep those with a lot of money to spend sweet. It would be too late now though, most airlines didn’t even full staff on Christmas day and he wouldn’t make it back in time to really enjoy the holidays. She hadn’t quite realized the admission she had made about her own habits until he pointed out that it would be a sight to see and she felt herself getting a little flustered “Believe me it’s nothing special, though I will admit my kitchen floors are excellent for powerslides” she chuckled thinking of that advert where the guy slides in and dances to music wearing an oversized shirt.

“Same as usual” she responded and shrugged a little, she could see from the look in his eyes that he was debating asking her why but decided against it which she appreciated, whenever the holidays came around she became more aware of the family that betrayed her which wasn’t something she particularly liked talking about. “I’d say get a lot of blankets but I’m sure those are probably low on stock too, considering they make good last-minute Christmas gifts” it seemed almost criminal for him to be that unlucky this time of year, not only was he unable to spend it with the people she was sure he wanted to but he would be cold and probably forced to huddle around the fireplace the whole time, if he even had a fireplace. Nora was used to being alone by now, though sometimes her maid would take pity on her and stay around a little longer just to talk “I mean I’m not completely alone, my best friend in the whole world is waiting for my return” she laughed softly, she couldn’t remember if she had mentioned her dog Cloud to him before.

She laughed and nodded “Yeah I suppose you’re right, all the cake is definitely better than barely getting any at all” though it was evident from her slightly nervous laughter that perhaps she did wish that she had someone to share the holidays with, just so for once she could impress someone with her recipe or make fun of the bad television with. Though she would never admit that was something she craved out loud. Perhaps that was why she felt a swelling sense of hope when he didn’t immediately decline her offer like she half expected him to “Oh I’m no miracle granter” she responded with a soft laugh “But I hate the idea of someone being cold and uncomfortable on Christmas when I have a practically empty house” she lifted her steely gaze to meet his hazel hues.

“Plus if I take you into the store with me then I’ll be able to use you as a shield from the crowds” she spoke playfully and grinned “So how about we head back inside the store and get the things I need and then I’ll give you the address, give you the chance to get your things while I get to baking” she was sure he would want his clothes and other essentials if he was going to be away from home a couple of days but he seemed like he was going to take the offer she gave and she honestly felt a little excited about it, she hadn’t had a new guest over in a while but she was very house proud so she didn’t mind showing it to others.

He quirked his eyebrows questioningly towards her, "Last-minute flights? Now what would you, know about them?" he asked curiously, "Oooh do you have some sort of secret code to get your way into the system or something?" he knew she was probably talking about the probability of securing a last minute flight with money or the likes but the teasing wouldn't hurt. Besides, Julian really needed something to diffuse his steam. It's really cold outside and he wanted nothing more but to bundle himself up warmly somewhere that is indoors. But Having Nora accompanying him doesn't hurt either. In fact, it was able to keep his attention diverted from the thing he was previously worrying about. "Amazing for powerslides, now that you've said it… I can almost feel myself wanting to picture you doing that. How would Eleanora Nordstroem entertain herself by dancing? Does she twirl around? Or does she hop around? So many questions... " he tapped against his chin as if there was an imaginary beard and grinned sheepishly, even the thought of it was hilariously cute. 

It sounds fun to do that and Julian himself was also a victim to Christmas music. A whine escaped the Nephilim when she suggested for blankets but was also spot on when it makes a good last minute gift, "You don't say...  I tried, and you're right, all sold out, even the ordinary ones I was beginning to curse the Grinch for making my Christmas miserable… and it's not even Christmas yet." His ears perked up at the sudden mention of friend at her place, during their previous encounter, or at least their first one, Nora had mentioned she had a pet dog named Cloud and Julian could distinctly recall it once he jagged up his memory, "You mean Cloud? That's his name, right? Your dog?" A part of him was silently praying that he didn't get the name wrong and it was an actual dog instead of a person waiting for the female at home. 

The thought of a dog spending a better Christmas than he is does give a big slap to himself, what a loser, he grumbled to himself. "Every miracle granter says they're not miracle granter, you gotta get better at this, miracle granter" he shook his head and clicked his tongue at the apparent childishness playing out. His breathing hitched slightly when he averted his gaze to stare at him, he'll never get used to that. "Using me as your shield? Gosh, look at your mind, Nora" he teased, he could already picture himself towering above everyone else with tiny her by his side trying to maneuver her way around the place, he pressed his lips together in an attempt to try and think about what she's proposing to him, there was no harm in accepting her kindness, right? It's not as if he's gonna be able to find a better place tonight anyway. Not with the way his heating is acting up. 

 "Alright... " he chuckled, "You got me sold on the idea" Somehow the first three words in his sentence  would've meant something different had he chose it that way. He got up from his seat and brushed all the snow off him and beckoned for her to do the same, "Come on, let's go get you what you need before you break down saying that cake is a tradition must." 

She tilted her head to the side “What would a COO who spends most of her time on last-minute business trips know about booking flights I wonder” she grinned slightly “And it’s this thing called frequent flyers club, very very helpful” it was amazing what suddenly became available when they knew you were a frequent customer and fed a lot of money into them. She had to admit this was not the way she expected to be spending Christmas Eve but then the way she intended to wasn’t exactly exciting so she couldn’t really complain, besides, from what she had experienced so far, Julian was actually quite good company. She narrowed her eyes at him playfully when he teased about her dancing “You’re not going to find out” she spoke sternly, shaking her head slightly.

She had to laugh slightly when he whined about all the blankets being sold out “Quite possibly the very worst day for your heating to stop working huh?” she couldn’t even imagine the idea of having to spend Christmas cold and she didn’t want him to have to face that either. “Well the Grinch ended up coming around to the idea so maybe things will work out better for you in the end too” she reached up and squeezed his shoulder slightly. When he spoke about Cloud her face pretty much lit up “You remembered?” she spoke softly and then grinned to herself “Yeah he’s waiting for me to bring back some treats, which he will probably eat in the space of about 10 seconds” she smiled softly, her and her dog were definitely a package deal and she honestly wouldn’t know how to picture her life without him.

She gave him a pointed look when he called her a miracle granter again “Keep saying miracle granter in that smug voice and see how much of a miracle you get” she grumbled slightly because she didn’t think it was a big deal to be a kind person, especially around the holidays, she would hope that anyone would show the same decency, though part of her doubted that would actually come true. She grinned slightly and nodded enthusiastically when he asked if she would really use him as a shield “Hey, if you have the ability to not get completely crushed in a crowd of crazy Christmas shoppers, shouldn’t you take it?” she gave an amused arch of her brow in his direction, she was small which meant she always got shoved aside and while she could fight back if she wanted to, that probably wasn’t the wisest move in the middle of the store.

She smiled when he said he was sold on the idea, suddenly excited by the turn of events and what it might mean for the next couple of days, it could go well or it could go horribly, they’d never really spent any time talking personally so she didn’t really know what to expect, but couldn’t be much worse than sitting all alone. “Alright, let’s go fight our way through then” she laughed grabbing a basket as they walked into the store only to find loads of people crowding all the aisles “So we need flour and if we’re going to spend the entire night having to talk to each other, probably wanna get some alcohol” her voice was dry but her expression showed that she was being playful.

"I always seem to forget that you're the COO of Everectronics, pardon my… forgetfulness, Miss Nordstroem" he cooed wryly and chuckled at his own memory, it was hard to remember that their COO of such a well-established business like that was someone humble and generous like how Nora is. It was the reason why Julian is still dealing with his inner dilemma, wondering if it was fine to intrude her holidays like this. Technically, it wouldn't be much of an intrusion if she was the one extending the invitation, right? "Only time I get to fly is when I'm flying the babies at the hangar instead of my own so I forget there are commercial airplanes still" he murmured sheepishly and rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly. The last time Julian was boarding a commercial airplane was when he needed to go back to his hometown go celebrate Christmas last year. This year doesn't seem possible for the Nephilim to bode with. "Oh come on, not even a small peek? How am I supposed to help you bake your traditional cake if you won't even let loose around me?" he teased purposely, knowing the other female would have a better chance of relenting. 

"I'm gonna be there when you do, don't worry. You'll trip one way or another and when you do, I'll be there waiting to see you show how it's supposed to go." He only grumbled in response to her question about having the single worst possible day today due to the heating unit, "I can't believe I was gonna have a more cursed day but surprisingly, it got worse" Oh yes, he could recall the times he hit his head against the shelves or any other spaces above. But with Nora, seems like it has yet to be better. So there was still a chance. "I can't believe you tried using the Grinch as an example to make me feel better though" he teased, "I do think I am better than the Grinch though, considering I actually do want to celebrate Christmas to begin with" instead of ruining it. A chuckle escaped him when she expressed her surprise when he remembered her dog, Cloud, "With the way you talked about it? Who wouldn't?" 

The last time they talked about the fluff, Nora seems pretty invested which could only give so much reason warranting it. She was going back to it, which made his heart warm, "Well then you probably shouldn't concern yourself with me any longer than you have to if you have Cloud to come back to, not to mention you haven't bought those treats yet" Considering she seemed empty with things, he was going to assume she hasn't bought anything. The way she was acting all grumbly about her generous act was only prompting for him to tease her a little bit more because why not? "Someone doesn't like being called a miracle granter, I see" he cooed and snickered, "Nobody else would actually offer me what you are offering, Nora. That's why I am calling you my miracle granter tonight. Or else I would've been left at the part where it'll be cold without any hearing to help me survive and fend the wintery cold." And it would've been extremely miserable then.

 "I guess the least I could do is be your human shield for the day so you can get what you want without any problem, yes" Besides, what would a crowd of people do against him if he was able to tower over a few of them, if not more, right? When he accepted her offer, he had to wonder what was in store for them for the next few days, he would even spending his Christmas Eve and Christmas alongside the dhampir, which would be the first for Julian to celebrate outside of his family. It will be a new experience and honestly, he was looking forward to it. The moment they stepped inside, he could already see people bustling around busily without caring what the other was doing, everyone was in their own world. "So… flour and alcohol? Lead me the way, Miss, and tell me what I need to take specifically, and I'll get it for you" he would. One way or another, Julian will make sure that'll come true. "Because I'll tell you early on, I am hopeless when it comes to selecting good wine or the likes and while I'm not as hopeless around cooking ingredients, I have no idea which is suited to your recipe" he murmured, his eyes had been scanning the aisles carefully as he navigated himself in between them with Nora trailing. 

She chuckled softly when he said he had forgotten that she was the COO of Everectronics “I forget sometimes too” she admitted it with a slightly sheepish smile in his direction “Sometimes feels like that’s a whole different life I lead” there she was collected and constantly handling people and important decisions, it definitely made her wonder why it was so hard for her to apply the same logic to her own life and the decisions she made for herself. She had to grin at the way he referred to the planes at the hangar as ‘babies’ it only went to show how much his work must mean to him “You forget commercial airplanes exist? Don’t you ever go on vacation?” she thought that someone so interested in planes would probably enjoy traveling but maybe she was wrong. She gave a playful glare in his direction and shook her head slightly “You are skating on thin ice if you think you can get me to dance” she jested with a shake of her head, she didn’t dance while people were watching, ever.

She raised a curious brow when he seemed to take that as a challenge “In your dreams” she teased with an amused shake of her head, he was bold, she would give him that much, always so much more daring than she expected someone to be which was generally keeping her on her toes. “Well the good news is that we can probably safely say at this point it can’t get much worse” she laughed and nudged against his shoulder slightly attempting to cheer him up. She reached up to rub the back of her neck slightly when he commented on her using the Grinch as an example to cheer someone up “Yeah well you probably picked the world’s worst cheerer upper ever but” she gave a half-smile to show that she was trying with him regardless of that “That’s the spirit” she encouraged with a grin and pressed her lips together when he said he couldn’t forget because of the way she spoke about Cloud “Did I gush too much about him? Anyone would think he’s my actual child from the amount I bring him up” she flushed a little realizing she might be a little too much.

She laughed softly “As good company as my dog is, he can’t actually talk” she admitted with a mock roll of her eyes as she looked back at him “And sometimes it’s nice to actually have someone listen to the things you say rather than just stare cluelessly but adorably” as they headed towards the shop she heard his comment about being called a miracle granter and frowned a little at him “Well I don’t think anyone would particularly want that title unless their ego was already through the roof” she scolded a little but she couldn’t bring herself to be mad at him when he was just trying to express his thanks for the offer so she faded it out with a smile. Though it did feel like she had let him get away with sassing her a little “Yeah well most people are self-centered and ignorant, that doesn’t mean common decency is special” she shrugged slightly as she headed off through the store.

“Oh and we mustn’t forget the dog treats or there really will be no forgiveness tonight” her dog could sulk for a long time when he didn’t get what he wanted that was for sure, he was a little spoiled she supposed but he was the only thing she had to spoil. With that she led the way through the store, staring with the home baking aisle where she pointed out some of the self-raising flour she needed and then headed around, narrowly avoiding being hit by shopping carts as they went into the pet aisle “He’ll pretty much eat anything you give him so just pick out something that looks decent” she smiled and nodded a thanks when he placed it in the basket and before they knew it they were in the alcohol aisle “So are you a wine guy or were you saying that to give the impression you drink fancy?” she grinned slightly as she glanced up at him wondering what his preference was.

"I'm not sure if that's convenient or the opposite, considering you forget who you are sometimes" he narrowed his hazel hues towards her and chuckled wryly, it does seem like it could be humorous given the situation they were in. But a part of him actually saw that one somewhat endearing because Nora doesn't act like your usual aristocrat snobbish girl, and she had a big personality which he's able to pinpoint due to the time they spent together. Evidently, they managed to keep rather good friendship between them both and seeing how she was trying her best to make him feel better tonight tells him a lot. When asked if he's ever went for a vacation, Julian shook his head and shrugged absentmindedly, "I'd be lying if I said I've never been on commercial planes and get a vacay somewhere in between… but I haven't been able to go about it for a while now. Duty calls, you know?" It wasn't a big deal to him. He had the opportunity to venture to plenty of countries in his fieldwork and he would retain all the memories he had on those places.

 "You? I imagine you would be going to a lot of places but I'm not sure if you're taking them as a vacation. Something tells me you're not the vacation type of girl either" With how committed Nora seemed to be about her work, he could understand why. Everything she does, there's a certain energy about it. If she's doing something she enjoys, he'd most likely sense the passion seeping out. "Skating on thin ice is skating nevertheless, but I'm not gonna prod, if I see it, I see it. If not, guess luck's not for me." And god he actually needed a few stock of those considering his current situation. The Nephilim craned his neck slightly due to her touch earlier, it wasn't uncomfortable for him, surprisingly. And it does seem that the other female didn't seem to mind on skinship much either. 

"If the name wasn't Cloud, I'd actually think he was your kid. But then again, knowing you, I'm not surprised if you do name your kid, Cloud" Not that it wasn't a cool and unique name. "Aww, you could've just said so, Nora. You could've just told me the reason why you did all of this" he made a dramatic gesture of him and her, accompanied by a cheeky grin, "Is for me to give you my charming company. Don't worry, I'll let you nag my ear off, even." He had a massive grin when she tried to brush her kindness off by saying common decency wasn't surprising. "I kinda like this common decency from you, let's just leave it at I'm thrilled too" He knew she would never stop at it so he decided to put it at that. When they got to the aisles, he tried to make sure he didn't lose her because with the amount of people rushing and piling in, he didn't want to be left alone there either. 

His eyes searched the shelves to find a good pack of treats for Cloud and noticed the brand he used to give his house dog back in England, resulting in Julian stretching out his arm to the highest shelf and placed it in the basket. When they got to the wine section, he snickered at her remark, "Oh, I drink wine. I just don't drink it as often. Can't drink while on work and that's me for… almost all the time" Even when he's off the clock, Julian would spend his time sketching out designs for potential enhancements in the future. He wanted an advanced air vehicle and there was nothing wrong with being imaginative. He's an engineer, after all. "I favor red wine. But if you get me to go to a bar or somewhere, you can see me with vodka and scotch. You? What kind of alcohol do you drink?" While his eyes raked the shelf, he cleared his throat and grinned sheepishly, "If your plan is to get drunk tonight, then you have my three weaknesses already."

She gave a soft laugh and then shrugged her shoulders slightly “Well I don’t entirely forget my identity every so often” she gave him a look “Just that my job is supposed to be a big deal to people” to her it was what she got up and did every day, she didn’t really think about the title and what it might look like to others most of the time. She shifted a little on the spot as he talked about taking vacation but not having the chance to for a while “Yeah I know the workaholic drill, you keep telling yourself that you’ll get around to it but it never happens” she grinned slightly, mostly in her case she got sick of seeing planes and so her idea of taking time off didn’t involve getting on yet another one.

“I see a lot of airports” she offered with a chuckle under her breath “And the inside of offices in other countries” she added and smiled “but my idea of a vacation nowadays is getting to stay home and do nothing” which probably said a lot about how crazy busy her schedule was “I wouldn’t mind a cruise one day though, that sounds like fun” mostly because she could just sit around and do very little all day and not get questioned about it because that was simply what you did on a cruise. She gave him a slightly wary look when he seemed determined to see her dance, which in turn made her wary about drinking too much in case it actually did come true and also made her question why this was even a question in the first place, she grumbled slightly pressing a hand against her temple “I can already tell you’re stubborn” she complained.

She chuckled softly under her breath “I may have gotten myself a little hooked on the Final Fantasy series and taken some inspiration” she liked unique names, she gave a somewhat wry smile “Besides you’ll meet him later and all will make sense” she nodded slightly having the feeling they would get along well, she got the feeling he would get along well with animals much like he seemed to with all the people around him. She parted her lips as if to protest when he assured her for offering to help because she wanted to spend more time with him, she gave a playful roll of her eyes “You’d think with work we’d already be sick of each other” she joked thinking of the few times she had been back to see more progress with the device. The way he teased her for being humble made her offer an effort of a smile in his direction “Don’t get too used to it” she jested with a shake of her head.

It definitely was useful having him around, not only could he reach the highest shelves which she didn’t have a hope in hell of getting to but he was also able to reach past all the other shoppers in the aisles and ensure they weren’t standing around waiting constantly, she always got antsy and frustrated whenever people got in the way for too long. “All the more reason to get something good today, no work for several days, just food, drink and really cheesy TV” she smiled softly, there was something special about the holidays even when you spent it alone but it was going to be interesting to spend it with someone she was still getting to know. “I can pretty much go for anything, though a good rose is a quick way to my heart” she laughed softly picking up one of her favorite bottoms and placing it carefully in the basket “You don’t drink vodka neat do you?” she questioned him with a raised brow as though he might be crazy for doing so before eyeing a bottle “I usually mix it with coke” she added before placing it into the basket “Well the one bonus of not having any work tomorrow, if we want to have a few drinks, we can, if not, it doesn’t go off” she nodded a little hoping he was good with the choices as they headed towards the register.

She was right, her identity leaves a big deal to others but not herself and Julian wondered how it feels to deal with that. But the person he could see today I'd also someone who abandoned all titles and looked to be excited enough to spend her day with someone like him. A part of him felt honored and the other felt happy that he didn't need to spend it alone. In his defense, Nora was a good company to keep, her witty remarks were always welcomed. "I don't wanna say I'm a workaholic but now that you've put it that way… I wonder if that's right." Was he always surrounded by planes? Mhmm. "Really? Do nothing? I get if you're more of an indoor girl but is there really nothing you would like to do aside from chilling at home?" He found another contrast between them, this. 

Julian likes to venture out and see what the world has to offer. If hiking is the best activity to do in that location, then hiking it is. And if fishing is the best thing to do at the lake, he'll do that too. He may not be good at it but he'll do it for the sake of trying. The mention of a cruise did cause him to grin coyly, "There it is. Cruise girl. Never pegged you as one but I guess you could chill on the deck" And sometimes, sunbathing could be a treat for others. When he called him out by complaining how he was stubborn, Julian chuckled and shrugged, "No fun that way? Sorry I'm not your average follow guy." He could behave, but certain mischief was bound to get out somewhere. Truthfully, with the stories she's told him, he was getting even more excited to see this infamous Cloud, "Can't wait." 

He could see her every day at work and he wasn't sure if he could even think of getting rid of that face, "Nope, I didn't think so. In fact, the more I see you the more I get to tease you" he cleared his throat and grinned, like the time she almost tripped by the stairs with her heels because someone spilled water on them and didn't bother to clean up. He was there to witness the scene. "It's Christmas season, Nora, can't you smile for me?" he nudged her playfully and brought bought his forefinger so curve a smile on his own face while his eyes pleaded. "I couldn't remember the last time someone didn't hog the TV to watch their cheesy Christmas movies. Don't get me wrong, Christmas movies are the bomb but not when your cousins kept trying to bounce on you. Or when they brought their friends over…" he shuddered instinctively at the memory of it. It gave him chills. And flirtation wasn't something Julian saw himself spending his Christmas last year. It wasn't easy trying to escape two girls at the same time. 

"Ah, look at you, already exposing and spilling your secrets… what happens if I decided to use it to bribe you in the future?" he jested teasingly and shook his head when she questioned if she drank vodka neat, "I would sooner find myself passed out if so." Was he ready to bear witness to a possible tipsy Nora tonight? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. Right, they don't have work for a few days. That is something Julian can surely bask in. "I feel like I should have a few warnings if you're gonna get drunk tonight" he murmured and chuckled before moving to the side to give her the space at the register. He took the liberty of putting them into the plastic bags and offered to carry them as he waited for Nora to clear way at the exit. 


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