Dancing was a way of life for Aster. It wasn’t something she’d ever stopped doing. She rarely had a moment in her day to herself or to sit still. Eating lunch in a  moment was a luxury and sometimes she would sneak away into the old hiding spots she’d found at the Evemore Prince Theatre as a child. They were a tad big squishier now, but in truth, she hadn’t grown very much. Today, she was in the fitting room, unwinding her ribbons and trying to focus her thoughts. Once costumes were selected, only the staff was supposed to enter this room, but she’d known Marianne for years and collected a handful of favors. Being the lead of the show had its own benefits, but today Aster didn’t feel like a success. All morning, all she could do was flub her footwork and miss cues. They were not big enough mistakes that the director caught on, but she did and that was enough to make her bowl of soybean noodles and egg dressing look oddly unappetizing. This was her favorite lunch. 

The brunette sighed as the shoes were released from her feet. She was tired, but not exactly in a way that sleeping could fix. When she was working in New York, or Los Angeles, or London, there had always been a force that propelled her. It pushed her to the top. She hadn’t always minded the people she stepped on to get their, either. Here, in Evermore, it was like facing a giant mental list of everyone that she’d pushed to get where she wanted to be; but maybe that wasn’t the problem. Maybe it was the person who had pushed her to leave home in the first place – as a shy, impressionable eleven year old. The face has been erased from her memory until it was rudely called to mind three weeks ago. There was an inelegant mouthful of spaghetti in her mouth when a pair of heavy footfalls announced someone’s presence. She was posed atop a cupboard, with a large bowl of noodles in between her crossed feet, and the look of being caught with her hand in a candy jar. She chewed her food slowly and cleared her throat. “Is it time already?” 

The diviner gave a last longing look to her food (it was fuel, after all) before following behind the new security guard who looked around her age. “I see they are putting you through the ropes of the where on earth is Aster Gallagher game.” 

He’d done a decent job. If only he was worse at it she may have finished her lunch. She bounced upwards towards the stage, her red ribbons carrying a pair of swinging slippers behind her. “I’ll make it harder next time.”

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Being in charge of security for a ballet is not something Felix saw himself doing a couple of years ago. In fact had you told him that he’d be playing bodyguard for a bunch of ballerinas he probably would have laughed at you back then. He certainly doesn’t look like he belongs, the way he moves not exactly the graceful ballerina way and his all black outfit stands out, but this is a job that works well with his university schedule and, despite the odd looks he gets sometimes, he does a good job. Not that there’s much to guard around here, mostly he’s playing ‘eye the visitors’. It’s busiest during the time before the show when he’s keeping an eye on the audience milling about to make sure some crazy doesn’t decide to get too cozy with the dancers.

He’ll admit to never having much of an eye for dance. Where he grew up they didn’t exactly watch professionals often, the only dancing he was exposed to growing up was the standard high school variety. It does make his experience here quite entertaining and informative. While he hasn’t been around for rehearsals thanks to classes, he can be there to watch the show. Sure it’s from backstage, but it’s still cool to watch and he’s starting to develop a greater appreciation for the art form. He’s called from doing a quick check in with the bosses by one of the people who hired them for the show. He thinks they’re called instructors or coaches but frankly he’s not sure. Apparently they can’t find one of their dancers and it’s almost show time. He gives the older woman a reassuring smile and immediately heads off to see about sniffing the wayward girl out. Sometimes he’s quite thankful for his therian senses as it doesn’t take him too long to follow the smell of lunch right to her. He smiles up at the woman as he enters her eyesight, no judgement on his face even though he definitely catches the guilty look. “That it is ma’am.”

She looks like she’s not that much older than him, though in this city that’s always practically impossible to know for sure. It takes the whole ‘never ask a lady’s age’ thing to an entirely new level but it’s something that he was taught to respect from a young age so he doesn’t ever voice that question, he can see his mom coming out of the shadows now to pop him if he dared. Instead he maintains an air of polite professionalism, stringently keeping the small chuckle from sounding when he sees the longing way she stares at the plate before hopping down to follow him. “Judging from your reaction, I take it that it's a common game Miss Gallagher?” He does break for just a moment to turn and smile at her so she knows he’s joking.

As they approach the stage and she moves in front of him he takes notice of the bright red slippers hanging from the ribbon. They’re pretty shoes, but he’s starting to come to expect that from these productions. Her comment prompts a raised brow from the young therian and this time he can’t quite stop his chuckle. “That sounds like a challenge. I’ll happily take you up on it.”

Aster propped herself up on the edge of the stage to once again begin lacing her shoes back over her feet. Ballerina feet weren’t exactly the prettiest, most manicured ones ever. They were better compared to horses hooves, with the calluses that she’d developed over the years and the tight clipped nails that had to be cut extremely short to prevent them from digging into her feet when she danced on the tips of her toes for hours. Right now, there were two bruises on her left ankle, but they were healing. To tell the truth, Aster has barely noticed the injury until her instructor had pointed it out. After pushing through difficult  routines for a certain amount of years, pain became something of a nuance. It was a part of her. It was something she carried, but not something that stopped her from living. Being in pain was better than the alternative - which was not dancing. Not dancing was not an option. 

The brunette ran the piece of silk crisscrossed around her tights, tying it in a tight bow, before peering up at the new security guard through the whisps of hair that had fallen out of her bun. She would have to fix that before the performance. “I like to disappear sometimes.” 

He didn’t seem like the usual type of guard they had, Aster noticed. Firstly, he wasn’t old. Secondly, he wasn’t strangely trying to stare her up like most people did. She was aware, having lived most her life in a leotard, that people in general could be creeps. “If someone was constantly looking for you, perhaps you’d also find hide and seek a bit more alluring.” 

She finished with the second foot and stretched her long legs into pointe before standing and giving him a tiny nod. “It’s nice to meet you...Felix, isn’t it?” 

She was nothing, if not observent. 

                           ————

The first performance passed by in a breeze. For Aster it was all about going through the motions. She would eat a granola bar with soy milk in the morning, get to the theatre at five a.m. and unlock with her key from the janitor. The next hour would be spent warming up in the solitude that would often be the only quiet she got during the rest of her day. After years of performing, picking up new choreography was easy and practicing ballet wasn’t always necessary in her personal time. Although it would always be the first love of her life, when she needed a release, hip hop was often the best thing. She could plug in her headphones, set the mirrors, lower the lights, and get a workout in while also releasing better than she ever had in therapy. This morning, her feet were bare and her hair was tied back in a simple ponytail. it was hard to tell whether it was the active  dance that she was engaged in or the solitude that brought a smile to her face, but the sound of people flooding in through the doors for morning meetings slowly drained it away. 

Aster sighed, slowly removed her earplugs and began the slow walk back towards the dressing rooms. She could see hers ahead, it was the one with a large gold star on the front. She didn’t even want to look at it right now. Despite knowing the building well, navigating a crowd while staring at her feet wasn’t a good idea and before long, she ran smack into someone, sturdy as a wall. “Ow,” The tiny dancer grumbled, staring daggers upwards through her messy hair, only to find a familiar face. “Do you have eyes or do you need a map, mister?” 

Felix casts his gaze out over the crowd as Aster sits to ready herself for her performance, hands held loosely at his sides in direct contradiction of how focused he appears to be. It wasn’t too long ago that he would’ve been one of the very people he now keeps an eye out for. After scanning over the crowd for a moment he turns to check around the room backstage, just to be on the safe side, before putting his focus back on the dancer that he’s standing with. He doesn’t have too much experience with what a ballerina’s life is like but, judging from what he’s seen of their legs, there’s a lot of sports injuries involved. Bodies aren’t actually made to move the way many of them force themselves to, it’s not like his combat training where learning how the body moves appropriately is such a big aspect. He trains to avoid injury and put someone down without causing them extreme injury. It leaves him with a lot of respect for people who would train their bodies to perform knowing that it could be causing them a lot of harm. “One of the risks of show business I suppose. Feel free to disappear, you can always tell me to go away. Don’t worry, I can cover for you.” He’s there to provide security, not cause the dancers undue stress.

He doesn’t know why the theater decided to go to private security over the more standard fare, that’s not his job to question. It’s Ember and Orion’s, he just goes where they send, though he’s well aware that he’s not the standard when one thinks of a security guard. Then again, most of the employees at the company aren’t. “Far be it for me to judge, I played a type of hide and seek for years. Nice to meet you too Aster, I think the phrase you all use is ‘break a leg’?” Noting that she doesn’t offer her hand for a shake he returns her nod with a smile, silently confirming that she's right about his name. He’s surprised she knows it, he can’t remember anyone saying it recently.

---

Felix’s life wasn’t always looking up like this. He spent years on the wrong side of the tracks, his family shifting between struggling to get by and being quite successful. He was fortunate enough to have a family that cared enough about him to keep him mostly out of their less than above board business, but had his life continued on it’s path he’s aware he would’ve ended up in jail. The opportunities in front of him is why he works so hard now, he refuses to let everyone down. Days he doesn’t have classes lined up, like today, he takes on extra shifts which is why he’s at the studio so early. Since he’s just arriving he even still has his backpack at his feet, with papers in his hand as he goes over some checklists.

He’s just finished with a quick headcount of the other couple guys that are there to help him keep an eye out and started on a headcount of the people he’s meant to keep an eye on when he feels a slight collision on his back. It’s not too surprising, the place is getting quite busy, but when he turns he wasn’t expecting for the dancer from before to be the one that ran into him. Aster, who he has since learned is the prima ballerina and for good reason. Her dancing was good enough to impress even a newbie to the art form like him. “I could ask the same considering you ran into my back.” With a small smile he ticks her name off on his clipboard before taking in her expression and his smile falls. “You okay? You didn’t get hurt did you?” She certainly doesn’t look happy and he lets the clipboard rest at his side as he looks down at her. He’d never say he was the best at judging people’s emotions and Aster seems quite the introverted type but he looks a little worried running into him might’ve aggravated an injury.

Aster stood up and brushed herself off, pushing her shoulder length hair back behind her ears. She was embarrassed that she’d snapped at him. He seemed nice enough and not quite deserving of her pre-caffeine, early morning annoyance. “Just not a morning person. Not here, anyway.” She motioned to the business of the theatre around her: camera men rushing down the halls, costumed young women and men stretching their legs on furniture, and staff running through checklists. “I’m not the best with...people.” 

Her nose wrinkled slightly at the confession, as she lifted her chin to asses a bit more whom she was speaking to. He had even bone structure, and bright eyes, which seemed fairly compassionate. The outfit was certainly a uniform, but she couldn’t fault him for that. She wouldn’t have worn half of the costumes that she’d been payed to prance around public in. Especially not that dreadful fuschia hair bow from her middle school performance of Alice in Wonderland. Even back then, her pride had almost prevented her from wearing such a monstrosity, but instead of pouting she did what she did best: dance. It had only taken three performances to see that she was performing better in the background than the lead was in the spotlight. Before long, the roles had been changed and she’d gotten to watch someone else flounce around in the giant pink ribbon, which was extremely satisfying. 

Aster began walking towards stage left, attempting to smile when she realized that  they were going in the same direction. She’d never been good at keeping people in her life, but maybe she could try. Perhaps, she could just start by saying something that was not negative. As she gripped the stage door with her foot, she leaned back and gave him a sturdy nod. “Have...a pleasant day.” 

It sounded a bit stiff coming out of her mouth and Aster’s cheeks flushed as she quickly hurried inside to warm up for morning practice. She had people depending on her; but in the very least she could be kind to the extra security, it was, after all, because of her lawsuit that they had been hired.

Felix can see the slight embarrassment on her face so he refrains from commenting on it any farther. Instead he nods, relieved that she’s not hurt. “That’s understandable. Lots of people aren’t. I’d offer you some coffee but it’s against the rules to have it with me on the job.” It can cause distractions, mean you don’t have a hand free when you need one, any sort of problems and so no drinks while actively working. He takes in the chaotic rush of the area around them when she gestures with a soft chuckle. It reminds him of the different clubs and such at university, the way they all rush to set things up in the morning. “Hey, don’t worry about it. I get it, I was never the best with them either.” Instead of snapping at them though he tended toward getting into fights, so at least Aster didn’t throw a punch at him. Makes her better than he used to be at least.

Since getting this job he’d had to really work on that. The work had been good for him though, given him a constructive outlet so that he no longer felt the need to punch his problems even though he’s far more skilled at that now. As a therian he naturally has a hot temper but training with Orion had really gone a long way toward cooling it down, teaching him control. He wouldn’t ever say he was a bad guy before, just not the most emotionally mature. Not that any teenager is. His uniform stands in pretty stark contrast to his backpack that’s still at his feet. The mostly black security outfit seems pretty new, well taken care of, while the old bag looks as though it’s been sewn back together more times than it deserved. It’s his old bag from high school, back when his dad was in jail and they really didn’t have enough money to worry about buying him a new one when it could be repaired and they had other concerns. He simply hasn’t bothered to replace it, a more frugal nature from his upbringing showing through in keeping the thing.

He lifts it over his shoulder as they begin walking, silently taking note of the fact that Aster seems to be thinking of something so he remains quiet. As they walk he takes note of the scent that he’d picked up off of her before, the distinct smell of magic coming off her. It’s faint but definitely there, not something he’s picked up from any of the others here that he’s encountered. Considering it’s hard to tell about someone being a therian she probably figures he’s human, especially since his pack tattoo is hidden under his shirt. He’s about to walk on toward the lockers to drop his bag off when her voice catches his ear and he stops, turning to look at her. The stiff way she says it isn’t quite as cute as the way she immediately flushes up to her ears but he manages to keep his smile from turning into a chortle. “Thanks Aster. You too.” He has to give her credit for trying. She seems shy so he’s not about to discourage her. He raises a hand in a goodbye wave as she turns to run onto stage then heads off himself to officially begin his shift.

Felix hasn’t been part of the company the longest, in fact only 2 years, but he is one of the most trusted employees which is the reason why he tends to take lead on his shifts. Because of that he’s usually the one to keep direct eyes on the dancers, which makes him easy to find should he be needed and also makes his absence when he goes on break more noticeable. When Aster takes a break next she discovers a hot cup of coffee sitting on her dressing room table, still black but with anything she might want to add to it sitting beside it.

By the time Aster was done dancing for the day, it was mid-afternoon and she’d already been roped into several volunteer tutoring sessions for the young adults who were playing fairies and party goers as well. She couldn’t resist. Despite knowing her time was valuable, there was very little that brought her joy than watching a young crowd carefully balance their way through moves that she’d once been a beginner at as well. She’d never considered herself the teacher type. She didn’t like people all that much and her voice was quiet. Neither of those things screamed middle school dance teacher,  but there wasn’t quite anything else like the way the younger girls at the theatre followed her around. She felt a sense of protectiveness and perhaps, duty, to her younger self to make sure that they stayed safe and the light in their eyes remained bright. She wouldn’t want anyone else to ever feel quite as confused as she had lately. It was confusing how the place that had hurt her was right now the only place of shelter. 

Aster ran through the next day of training, carefully stashing a pencil behind her ear as she walked back towards her dressing room to change into her street clothes. She had no outright objection to wearing a leotard and tutu on the way home, but her pointe shoes were both far too precious and too painful to keep on when she wasn’t dancing. Her shoe of choice was navy blue sateen sneaker with ribbon laces and orthopedic insoles. It was far from a glass slipper, but after a hard day of work her feet needed a little pampering. The smell of coffee drew her in further from her hallway sketch session. Just inside the door was a to-go cup with her name on it that just so happened to be from her favorite coffee shop up the corner. It was plain, but the milk and cream were there to pour together a decently chilled afternoon latte. There was no note to say who had left it, but her love of chai and warm milk slowly overtook her powers of suspicion. It wasn’t like, “Ballerina poisoned in the Theatre” was an actual answer in the game of clue. 

She finished changing and hurried along the emptying aisles, pushing her white earbuds into her ears. Swan Lake poured out in a slow crescendo. She could have floated away, if it weren’t for her bags, the coffee cup, and a voice calling out behind her to hold the door open. The decibel of the music almost made it impossible to hear until she turned, trying to orient herself to carrying so much baggage home without spilling her to-go all over her white shirt. She smiled shyly, removing one of the earbuds,  as she saw Felix. “Heading off? It seems I see you in places for no more than thirty seconds at a time."

His experience at the theatre just continues to improve. He finds that he genuinely enjoys the time he’s spending here, getting to watch the practice and actually see as the younger dancers improve. Over time they seem to be getting more comfortable with his presence as well and he’s begun to notice some of the younger ones coming up to ask him about his job. It’s cute, seeing tiny girls in leotards make scary faces and fists at each other, though he does try to discourage that before they start play fighting. He’d rather not have any injuries on his hands. It’s also really nice watching the older dancers take the time to coach the little ones, there’s a community in this place that he’s only recently been able to appreciate. The community he grew up in was… rougher around the edges so to say.

Watching this also makes him a touch glad he never had a little sister. Seeing all these people and the money that goes into a production and lessons like this only serves to drive home how much any siblings he might’ve had wouldn’t have had. There’s no way his parents would have been able to afford all the lessons, the outfits. Especially not the pointe shoes. He’s noticed how quickly those things wear out with dancers going through several pairs a week. He has to get out of his head though, especially as the working day draws to a close. Everyone’s leaving and this is when he needs to pay the most attention due to all the bustling around. Strangers would find it far easier to sneak their way in amongst all the commotion. He’s fully expecting to be there a good half hour after everyone else filling out reports when one of the others catches him and mentions they need the extra time so he can head on out. He quickly gathers his things once he’s told that, throwing his worn down backpack over his shoulder and clocking out so that he can head home for some sleep.

It’s soon after that he realizes he hadn’t thought this through well. He’s carrying a bottle of water now that his shift is over, chugging half of it on his way to the front door, clipboard in his other hand as he was checking some last minute items off, and his hands are a bit too full to open the door without setting something down. Thankfully a familiar figure is ahead of him and he calls out for her to hold up a second so he can slip out behind her. It’s only once she turns that he realizes she’s just as overburdened as he is… and was also listening to music, oops. He doesn’t seem to have offended her though thankfully. “Yeah, finally get to head home at a decent time.” He chuckles, taking the opportunity to put his water and clipboard in his bag to free up his hands. “Well you’re a busy person and I unfortunately can’t be here all day most of the time. I know you probably hear this a lot, but you look great out there.” It’s a genuine compliment, she floats across the stage with an ease that looks practically unreal. Meanwhile he probably resembles a horse clomping around with all these graceful people. “Oh, can I help you carry something?” He motions generally toward the several bags she’s carrying, now that he’s put his extra stuff up he has his hands free.

Aster was very much used to carrying her own weight, both at work and when it came to the 72 bags that she tended to haul around from the studio, to the theater, and back again. Her younger students had nicknamed her "bag lady" because with the giant straw bag she carried, it seemed like she could have been prepared for an apocalypse; but really, she was just used to waiting in long lines. Auditions could sometimes take twelve hours if you weren't well known in a company and that required not only carrying non-perishable food, but also things like sunscreen and entertainment. She kept three days of preparation in every purse. She smirked as Felix offered to help, her shoulders tilting upwards in a silent laugh. "Sure, but it may be heavier than you expect." 

Three pair of shoes, a lunch box, a kindle, and much more did that to one's personal carry-on luggage. Whoever invented a way to stow it all inside a pocket would have Aster's money and life-long gratitude. "So," She said as they exited the theatre into the warm air of July. "You seem to be fitting in just fine around here. I'm afraid most body guards tend to not enjoy the arts very much, but I've seen your subtle appreciation for a good waltz." She laughed, and stopped at the cross walk.  

She didn't know how much he knew about why they had been hired. It had all been because of her. A bit of guilt gnawed at her insides that she didn't spit that fact out. Perhaps, for once, she didn't want someone normal to see her as otherwise. It would be nice to just be seen as something that sparkled for now. Even if it made her shallow, at least her darkness could be well hidden away inside the confines of a mental closet where it only crept out in the mid-morning light, or the agony of unknown footsteps in a hallway.

"I appreciate the compliment," She nodded, as he complimented her work. "Believe it or not once you get to a certain stage in this career, most people wonder when you'll quit or get an injury. I try to ignore that. I dance anyway, but that's enough about me."

She glanced up. He was quite tall compared to her. "What do you like to do?"

Far be it for him to take away from what she manages to do, but he’s genuinely a bit surprised that she’s lugging around so many bags with the relative ease of someone who’s used to it, even if she does still find them heavy. He doesn’t doubt that to most those bags would be quite heavy but to many supernatural things like that are more a matter of having enough hands than whether or not you can do it. That’s the problem he was just having with his own, his hands were full. Thank goodness for backpacks to help. He gives her a small smirk as she quietly laughs, holding his hand out to take whatever she’d like him to carry. “Don’t worry. I’m stronger than I look.” Obviously a joke as he looks plenty strong, as though he’s fought his whole life which honestly isn’t far off.

He shoulders the bags with nary a huff, silently thanking enhanced Therian strength that allows him to lug loads like this without really noticing much extra weight. They are heavier than he imagined they would be though and he raises an eyebrow at her. “Did you manage to pack the entire kitchen sink in here? Frankly I’m impressed.” He turns a lopsided grin her way as he follows her out into the heat, squinting in slight offense toward the bright sun glaring in his face. Of course he forgot his sunglasses. “Oh? Well you can partially blame that on having no prior bias. This is my first exposure to the world of ballet outside of movies my mom used to watch when I was little.” He thinks for a minute before continuing. “Also my bosses aren’t the types to hire such sticks in the mud. They want the job done right and in order to do that you need to keep an open mind to new things. Besides, what you do is pretty cool. I doubt I could ever dance like any of you do.” He’s sure he can’t actually. Two left feet and all.

Sensitive information is on a need to know basis with them so he can genuinely say that beyond paying special attention to the dancers he has no idea why he’s there providing security. It seems a bit strange to him admittedly but he trusts the bosses and their judgement and to be frank it’s not his job to ask questions. Besides, it’s not like an easy job is a bad thing, it allows him time to think over assignments so that he can finish them faster and that sort of thing. That’s not to say that he’s the best at reading people though so her internal diatribe is rather lost on him. “Really?” He turns a disbelieving look her way before starting to head across the street, making sure to keep an eye out for any stray cars. “That’s kinda assholeish of them. I’m glad you can ignore them but if you ever need to beat one of them up just let me know.”

Her question seems to catch him a bit off guard, he’s entirely unused to talking about himself and especially about his interests. “Well, when I have free time I like to unwind by playing video games or reading. Or helping out at my uncle’s automotive shop when I can.” Wow his life has gotten very monotonous since starting university. “Being entirely honest, I don’t have much time for the stuff I used to do between work and school. But I imagine you know that feeling very well.” He’s seen how hard she works even in just his short time being there and it’s something he admires. It takes a lot of drive to work as hard as she does.

Felix did look strong, but that wasn't exactly why Aster seemed to find herself drawn to him. Her time back in Evermore hadn't exactly been easy, but Aster was determined to stop running away from her problems. When she was around Felix, she felt all of the rapid thinking and racing heart that had accompanied her for so long calm down. Aster could imagine him being like a big warm blanket. There was some silence as she walked by his side down the city street. "Well, maybe there isn't exactly a kitchen sink," She laughed. "But I do carry hand sanitizer and lotion." There was never an excuse to have a mess and she liked to keep on top of herself. "It's just better to be prepared than to get stuck without something." 

"I absolutely dread when people ask me what the one thing I would bring to deserted island is..." Aster shook her head. "I can barely go anywhere without a carry-on." 

She wasn't used to the security guards being friendly, much less nice, but the offer to stand up for her was much appreciated. "I appreciate it. Most people seem to think I'm not very friendly," She tucked her hair behind her ear. "But, I'm just not very keen with people, I'm afraid. I tend to think a bit highly of myself and...well, people don't always like that."

She pursed her lips, stopping at the cross-section. "I never really had time to play video games, before, but I'm pretty sure I could slay anyone in Dance, Dance Revolution. What are you studying in school?"

If he could read minds, he’d probably find himself a bit embarrassed over the comparison. Though flattered that she feels safe around him. That’s really the whole aim, they’re there to help the dancers feel safe so it means he’s doing his job well. He’d never admit it but he can be a little socially oblivious. He joins her laugh as she remarks on the kitchen sink in her bag but falls silent for a moment afterwards, nodding a little. “I could take a lesson from that I think. I’d forget my head half the time if it wasn’t attached. My mom always said it was best to keep things like that in a separate bag so they don’t bust and leak all over your other stuff.” He wouldn’t know, he doesn’t carry stuff like that around. He’s got too much other stuff to worry about crammed in that backpack of his. “My answer to that question is usually a boat.”

Felix is certainly not your normal security guard, and that’s not in reference to his age… or that he’s private security either. It’s more in reference to the fact that he can smell the woman’s hot dog all the way down the street and hear the soft pattering of feet of the cat in the alleyway nearby. It certainly helps him out with his job. He raises an eyebrow at her at her statement, mulling over his words a little before he answers. “Well, you seem perfectly friendly to me so I say screw ‘em. As for thinking highly of oneself… well, I suppose that depends on the situation, right?” Self confidence has never been an issue for Felix much, not until being pulled out of his old life. Now it’s less being unsure of himself and more being uneasy knowing his background next to everyone else’s. He’s not sure if that counts but it can be hard to adjust to a bunch of rich people when you grew up hard.

He can’t really help the laugh that comes up at her mention of the dancing game. “You know, I’m sure you could. But it’s very different from what I’ve seen all of you in there doing, especially since I can even play Dance Dance Revolution.” He adjusts his backpack as they stop, looking down at her for a moment before paying attention to the cars again. “Criminal justice. Shocker, right?”

The small coffee shop across the street was one that Aster frequented nearly everyday. It was both convenient and quiet, considering she practically lived at the theatre. It was also a plus that the baristas had memorized her order for every single day of the week. Considering that she had a difficult time making friends, small gestures like that meant a lot to her. The brunette pushed the door open and happily inhaled the smell of coffee, fresh scones, and warm sugar. If there were any smell that she'd enjoy living with forever, it would be a coffee house. Like usual, the place was almost empty for the evening and she led Felix to her normal table, which was between a set of wide windows where the traffic could be seen coming and going. She liked watching people. It was less intimidating than speaking to them.  

She had to admit that it was clever, although cliche to say you'd bring a boat to a deserted island. "I don't know how logical that answer is, though," She pursed her lips. "Doesn't the whole concept of being stranded on an island mean you have no transportation?" 

Aster sipped her coffee, leaning backwards in the chair. "I think you'd disagree with me that some people are better than others because of their talents or what they possess." She tilted her head. "You seem nice."

Nice wasn't something she'd ever really wanted to be. She'd wanted to win. Winners didn't let other people take things from them. Sometimes that came with the sacrifice of having others revere you instead of love you. 

Aster didn't know if she'd change her mind, if she had the chance to live life again, but even if she wanted to - she wasn't sure she could. The illusion of perfection and the desire to come out on top had always been buried deep inside her. At some point she'd embraced it, instead of turning it away. "A bit," Her nose wrinkled in thought, as he mentioned his major. "Pardon me, but you seem a bit like a dog. You know. Friendly, loyal. I wouldn't exactly think people like you would be very interested in justice." 

Felix confused her, yet, here she was, trying to understand him and the fact that he looked rather handsome in the sunlight didn't hurt. A bit golden, actually. Like a baby lion. 

"I don't mean that offensively. I just mean that you seem rather nice. Why would you want to go into something so..." She gulped. "dark?"

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