One day in your life. They say that one day in your life could completely change it and Leigh had never really paid mind to that thought before. But since that evening when the bookstore had got held up for the takings of the till, Leigh had seen the world a little differently. Thankfully, Eun had been there to stop the attack and neither of them had been harmed in the process, over the past month or so he’d been working with the police to prosecute the attacker and get back the money that was rightfully his. It had been a long and somewhat stressful process but Leigh was happy to see the justice system run it’s proper course the way that his new friend truly believed in.

He had also felt something trigger in himself, it was a combination of things, from being held at gunpoint and feeling the fear of having such a weapon pointed in his direction to meeting someone who was incredibly bold and brave, someone who made the therianthrope want to be a stronger and bolder person. Someone who had become his friend from that day forward. Honestly, Leigh had a lot of things he could thank Eun for but he knew he didn’t need to tell the dhampir them, from the way they had chatted over the phone and through texts here and there since. Leigh was trying to put himself out there more, make friends and not just immediately dismiss the thoughts in his head or the people who walked into his life.

It was easier said than done, of course, he had met Irene through the book store and struck up a strange arrangement with her and he had managed to work up the courage to attend one of those cooking classes Willow was always raving about where he had met Ha-joon but it still felt like a conscious effort on his part every time. He had to work up his own confidence and tell himself that he was going to be okay and that this was good for him, there were days when he felt like he could do it and there were days where he couldn’t. But it was progress and that was what was really important to the therianthrope.

It was late afternoon in the store and he was doing the last few tasks of his closing up routine, which essentially gave him an excuse to pace up and down the shop floor as many times as he wanted without it looking weird. It was ridiculous, he knew, but ever since he was a kid he had always begged his parents to let him do horse riding lessons. He never got his way back then but now he was older he could afford to do it for himself. So he’d signed himself up to an open lesson today. And now he was freaking out about it. He was trying to tell himself it was all in his head and he would be fine but it just wasn’t one of those days where he could talk himself down so he was debating whether he should cancel or now. He froze when he heard the bell on the door open “Sorry we’re just about to close” he spoke as he turned to face the customer only to be met with the familiar face of Sangeun Moon “Though I’ll make an exception and let you stay a while” he added with a bright smile happy to see the dhampir.

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He knew that his departure would only evoke sadness from the people he's befriended here in the eternal city, people like Leigh, who he actually really preferred the company of. But that's the sad truth to his reality, that all of this was just temporary for him. He could feel the ache in his heart whenever he reminded himself he wasn't here to stay. He wanted to know more about the therian who's with him right now, he wanted to know more about his life, how his relationship with his pets are like, what makes him tick, everything. Eun realized then what he's been missing his entire life; friends. He's never had a true friend who would take their time to talk to him about their lives and neither has he done that to anyone either. "Then you should make good use of the chance you were given" he murmured, sparing him an encouraging nod and smile. "Not everyone gets that luxury." He wished his parents were understanding of his situation but perhaps he was just being irresponsible for the things they've planned; it's for the betterment of his future one way or another. His parents would never do anything to jeopardize his future, right?

 "Well, things take time. But you're doing better, you acknowledge that yourself. That's progress and for me, that's more than enough. If you keep at it, you'll get better at it and soon it would not feel you down." Leigh was so humble and kind, smart too, he was sad that others couldn't see the same because they didn't bother to give him a glance, much less a chance. But that's okay, he'll take that chance if no one else will. "Thanks… I think I needed that." Leigh telling him that he was worth it too made the dhampir's heart swell in happiness, he was touched. A chuckle escaped him when the therian pointed out the fact that remains true, "Yeah, my brother said the same thing to me too. I give advice pretty well… which sucks because I won't take it."  His chuckles fell short as he gazed back at him with a clueless expression, the twinkle in his sleep eyes made it impossible for the therian to miss, "Does that make me a hypocrite?" his tone coming out so soft and tender, like he was trying to contemplate what right for him. 

"I'm glad I met you, Leigh. Really." The gaze he sent him held a message, Eun was grateful he found someone he could rely on other than his brother. There were times he wanted to talk and Leigh was always there. "Maybe I should have a sleepover and see if you actually do talk in your sleep" he teased, that was actually possible knowing the dhampir's resilience. He had this proud streak to him when Leigh said perhaps he brought out the confident side of him, "It was already in you. You just didn't realize it." There was definitely a lot to the therian more than what he realized, he wondered if others could pinpoint it too. The way he talked about how horrible he was at cooking and that he needed to brush his skills back up before late made him snicker, he did that too once upon a time, until he realized that he didn't have the time nor the luxury to be playing around the kitchen with his mother.

 When asked if he still baked, Eun rubbed the back of his neck awkwardly and giggled shyly, "I'm rusty. That's for sure. But I sometimes do a few things when I was in law school. Can't survive on instant noodles all the time, on the weekends when we finished our work, I get to use the kitchen. A few experimentation here and there but no one blew up so I guess it's fine. I haven't baked since last year though, work piles up and there was simply no time." He did miss it though. He always listened to music and danced a bit while he's in the kitchen. He was happy. "Like I said, you can take mine if you want. We can share. Though I'm afraid I only have one troublemaker here in Evermore but he's a good troublemaker." He recalled the time he would often bribed their attention with muffins, so when Leigh asked, Eun sighed contently and chuckled, "Yeah I did. They were so noisy and since we started training young, I can definitely tell you that watching your sister hit your brother's chest because he wouldn't give her toy back definitely blows. Not quite like the time when Ahri was training and almost broke Hyunsik's arm because he wouldn't tell her who scared her boyfriend off too. Took more than one a dozen but she conceded." Their family wasn't all dull, it used to be colorful.

 "Then we have something in common, they're not my scene either." Both of them seemed to live quite simple and minimalistic life. What pet would he get? "I think once I meet your chinchillas, I'll end up stealing one of them and that'll be my pet" he jested, oh who knows, maybe that'll happen. "So, what's on my next to do list? Take you out for a sushi dinner, then get past your dog… steal your chinchillas and yes, probably your dog too. Please, we both know they'll love me." That was his narcissist coming out and he was enjoying the time he teased Leigh. "Next weekend? Sounds like a plan." He couldn't wait to meet them, knowing their owner, the pets shouldn't stray too far from how Leighton Kingsman was like. Eun placed a reassuring hold on his hands, shaking it a bit, "Don't worry. I'm right there with you too. Not at how the helmet made my hair look like hell but at least this is for the horses. The things I do for you, Mr Kingsman."

“That’s what I’m trying to do” he answered it slightly hesitantly because sometimes he wondered if he was letting them down by choosing the quieter life with a bookstore rather than trying to run in the financial big leagues, he could have easily been a banker or an accountant, perhaps even a CFO if he was feeling especially brave but none of those jobs ever really appealed to him like the idea of having a place of his own. He made okay money but he did wonder if he was supposed to be more “You’re right, a lot of people don’t have parents at all or their parents don’t care what they do” he pressed his lips together, when he thought about it he was actually really lucky when it came to the people who chose to adopt him when he was young and he hoped to never throw that in their face, even temporarily.

Eun spoke a lot of truths which was nice to hear for someone who tended to doubt himself a lot, it was a habit he had gotten into whilst in high school and while he might get better in other ways, the way he saw himself definitely always felt a little tainted “God I hope so, I see all those people who have all the confidence in the world and never let anything bother them and I just have to ask myself, how?” Eun was closer to one of them than he was to Leigh but he could still see moments of doubt and vulnerability in the other male, especially when the topic of his parents came along, it was clear that the Dhampir wanted to make his parents proud and would do pretty much whatever it took to achieve that feat. He smiled when Eun thanked him for his compliment “So did I” he commented and laughed gently, it was nice to hear nice things, especially when they felt sincere. His question about taking his own advice made Leigh shrug a little “I don’t think so, I think it’s just harder to take advice than people make it out to be, especially when it conflicts interests” it wasn’t as simple as most made it out to be.

He widened his eyes slightly when Eun mentioned the idea of a sleepover, he hadn’t had anyone stay at his house or stayed at someone’s house in a very long time unless you counted his parents sleeping in the spare room when they came to visit. “I’m not sure it would be worth the payoff just to see me mumble a few things while sleeping” he commented as casually as he could but he was evidently blushing at the suggestion. “Maybe you’re right, maybe the world decided I needed a chatty, kind friend to bring me out of my shell” he laughed softly, he enjoyed having Eun for a friend, he was a really good person and he could use more of those people around him. He was sure he had his flaws but Leigh was yet to see something he didn’t like about him, even his slightly inflated ego didn’t bother the kitsune because he was very self-aware of the way he came across.

Leigh smiled softly when Eun admitted he hadn’t had a lot of time to keep up with baking, he knew the feeling of not being able to keep up with something you loved because work was overbearing or you just felt too tired in the evenings to be able to focus on something “Don’t worry I totally resonate with the exhaustion of working life” he laughed softly, everyone wanted something from you and if you let them, they could steal away all the energy you had left. “But hey, we’re making time to get out of the house and have fun, that counts for something right?” it wasn’t a party or a social gathering but it was something they both seemed to be enjoying, at least Leigh was enjoying being around the horses. When Eun offered to share his brother again, Leigh wrinkled his nose “I’m not sure how much patience I have for troublemakers” he teased it because they both knew Leigh was a very patient person “Well aren’t you just the elegant peacekeeper, making the world better one sweet treat at a time” he grinned slightly “Would it be too much to ask to try one sometime?” he really did love blueberry muffins, after all.

It wasn’t really like Leigh to ask people for things which spoke lengths about his trust and comfort with the Dhampir, he really found ways to set the Kitsune at ease which wasn’t easy to do. His jaw fell slack when Eun proudly claimed he was going to steal one of his chinchillas and he shook his head a few times “You can’t do that! We can’t split up the epic duo of Chip and Dale” he gave a mock glare towards the other male, more so when he said he was going to try and steal Minha too “Minha is much harder to win over, she doesn’t really like strangers all that much” he eyed the other male and made an ‘I’m watching you gesture’ in his direction playfully, going out and getting sushi did sound really nice though, he hadn’t had the excuse to go and eat out at a nice place in a while. “I’m almost tempted to retract the invite so you can’t steal my pets but I do really want some sushi” he grinned slightly.

Eun definitely looked adorable with his hair all flattened over his forehead underneath the helmet but Leigh wasn’t sure how he could actually see properly so he stopped him for a moment “Hey wait” he spoke softly and then hesitantly reached up to brush a few strands out of his eyes and tuck them under the helmet. After a moment he dropped his hand and smile “There, now you can defeat the entire world with your forehead alone” he laughed softly as they were led over to their horses and shown a demonstration on how to climb up before being told to give it a guy. Thankfully, Leigh was tall, so putting one foot in the stirrups and they pushing himself over the horses’ back was actually pretty easy for him, though he was a little wobbly as he adjusted to the new sensation.

"Well, you're doing well, Leigh, don't put yourself down, I'm sure life has better things planned out for you" he reassured with a gentle smile, Leigh had got to be the most humblest person he's ever met and yet the therian continues to surprise him every single day with what he's done. It reminded the dhampir that there are people like him in this world, even when it's overrode by questionable forces, there are people who would deliver the light. He felt as if those words hit him closer to home than he's ever admit, he envied Leigh on that part too, to have supportive parents who wouldn't put him down despite anything. He wanted that too. From the looks of things, it doesn't seem like his in-laws would pose any different from his own parents who kept telling him they were doing everything for his own good. But that didn't stop Eun from keeping up that smile, even if it faltered momentarily earlier. "See, being grateful for what we were given is the first step towards realizing that we have so much to scour." Pep talks, he could give. But to accept his own words? That one is hard for him. 

When Leigh said he wondered how confident people became confident, he chuckled softly, "Yeah, you always want to know just how some people do things. I'm guessing it's not something you'll find in the studies either because it depends on your own person. It's not a formula, Leigh. Once you're happy with yourself, you'll become confident in your own way, you'll see" Perhaps that's why he always looked carefree to others and while that is close to the truth, the only problem with Eun is that he still had a big room filled with doubts on what he wants, completely confusing it with what others want for him. Leigh told him he wasn't a hypocrite for not accepting his own words and that made him feel so relieved, as if a big burden was then lifted off his shoulders. That's nice to hear. "Oh please, I would pay to hear you mumble incoherently in your sleep. Who knows, your diction may be better than anyone else I've met. Maybe even better than my own brother and believe me, he's good at that, it scared me when I tested him during his high school years." 

The idea of a sleepover wasn't too far-fetched, he wondered if it was a norm for them here as it would have been for students back home, "Have you had one before? A sleepover?" he asked curiously, he wondered what Leigh did during his studying years. That was another step of him wanting to know more about the male before him. "Oh yes, and so the world decided to grant you a chatty and kind friend. Who by the way is also equipped with good looks and eloquent skills that would sweep you off the floor" he winked cheekily and even went as far as to deliver a flying kiss. "But the world also gave me a present, who knew I needed some humility in my life, delivered in the form of a tall guy who has a thing for green teas god knows why." The idea of spending more time outside his work sounds tempting and maybe he could revel in that luxury while he's not in Korea, baking with Leigh? Now that took his attention away.

 "You may not like troublemakers but they" he nudged and poked him suggestively, "usually have a thing for people who can take care of them" Now where's the lie in that? When he asked if he could try one of his muffins, Eun swore his ears heated up, oh that was unexpected, "Sure. If you give me a kitchen to work with and the ingredients are there, I'm sure I can muster something from the back of my head" he giggled and wondered if he should invite Leigh over to his suite for that. "Come over to my place and I'll serve you exactly that." The look on Leigh's face when he told him he was going to steal his chinchillas was priceless and Eun couldn't stop laughing over it, "Tell me you did not name your chinchillas Chip and Dale, Leigh" he tried his best to look serious but the facade didn't last as long as he thought he would because it only took a few seconds after that for him to fall back into the laughter pit, "Don't be so gloomy when I managed to steal Minha then." 

He had a stupid grin plastered on his face when he said he likes sushi better, "So all I have to do is bribe you with sushi, got it." His eyes widened significantly when he brushed his hair covering his peripheral vision, but ended up staring deep into his eyes and grinned bashfully, "Thanks, I know my forehead is a killer. Girls love it" he winked playfully and eyed the saddles because he was analyzing the best way to get up, he hoisted himself up on the horse carefully but almost tripped when his leg was hooked the wrong way though he made it as if nothing bothered him with a straight face, "I'm now ready to go get my princess. Or prince." And one would not expect less than him. "When are you free? For that sushi night?"

It felt really nice to have someone that felt like they were on his side, so when Eun said he was sure life had better things planned he didn’t just shrug it off, he smiled softly at the other male and nodded, perhaps Eun’s optimism was rubbing off on him. He watched Eun as he seemingly got lost in thought for a moment and it made Leigh wonder where his mind went whenever he did that, sometimes it felt like Eun went to another place for a while. “You’re right, it’s so easy to complain about the things we don’t have or how things haven’t worked out and then forget all the good things that have happened” like meeting a new friend who had done so much already to remind him of the brighter things he got to have.

“I guess I’ve just always seen these people around me who can just act like being around people and talking to them isn’t terrifying” or maybe that truly just was him, after all the things he had experienced in his life, maybe he’d just been left damaged by the things he had been through “Somehow even thinking about me and confident in the same sentence sounds foreign” he grinned shyly because he had always been the quieter keep to himself type, even in middle school, he preferred to keep his head down and get things done rather than worry about making other people like him. When Eun said he would pay to hear him talk in his sleep, Leigh let out a loud peal of laughter “That sounds like a waste of your hard-earned money if you ask me” he grinned slightly “But now you’ve made me want to practice reading alone” he teased with a smile because it seemed like Eun was a really big fan of his voice.

“Once, though the person who stayed over wasn’t all that interested in being my friend, they just wanted help with their math homework” he shrugged slightly, pretty much story of his school life, kids were cruel and either wanted to use him for his intelligence or to make fun of him, though that wasn’t something he wanted to talk about all that much. The way Eun talked about himself made Leigh giggle slightly “All of those things I’m sure” though he swore his heart stopped beating for just a moment when Eun teased and blew a kiss in his direction. His face flushed and he averted his gaze for a moment completely caught off guard “I swear you have a personal vendetta against tea” he commented with a slight grumble in his voice as he watched the Dhampir for a few moments “Maybe we balance each other out” he commented in a quiet tone thinking about how different they were and yet how they somehow made that work in their friendship.

He looked back at Eun with a playful gaze when he talked about troublemakers, but it was when he asked to try one of the muffins he made that Leigh really watched for Eun’s reaction and he immediately saw how flustered the other male looked, though his answer actually surprised Leigh as the Therianthrope was expecting him to make some excuse about how he hadn’t baked in a long time or something similar “Okay, we’ll do that then” he spoke it slightly shyly because they kept making these future plans, which he really liked because it gave him things to look forward to but then it also reminded him of how sooner or later Eun was going to have to go home and there would be no more hour-long conversations at the shop or randomly showing up to spend time together. Eun’s laughter was infectious and the way he was laughing about Leigh’s pets was making the Kitsune laugh too “Hey it’s the cutest name for a pair I could think of at the time okay” he wrinkled his nose slightly as he said he was going to steal Minha “You’ll be lucky if she lets you anywhere near me, she doesn’t like sharing all that much” he grinned slightly and shrugged.

He snapped his fingers and made a dramatic sigh when Eun said he just needed to bribe him with sushi though there was still a playful smile on his lips “Damn, I’ve given away my weakness it seems” he had a lot of those honestly so it wasn’t entirely surprising that Eun could find one of them. The stare Eun was giving him while he fixed his hair almost made the Therian want to avert his gaze but there was softness behind that intensity which you could only appreciate from up close “It sure is” he commented with a wry smile as he pulled away so they could get on with their lesson. He wasn’t sure if being up here on Raven’s back made him more or less confident but Eun’s joking around as he rode Tera made him scrunch his nose as he laughed, he really did look like he was ready to dash off into some fairytale “You’re missing the sword and shield” he teased softly his eyes fixed on the other male. When he asked him when he was free to go out for dinner Leigh bit his lip trying to recall his schedule “I could probably do Saturday?” it was a half-day at the book store so he’d have plenty of time to get ready, though he had to admit going out for dinner felt a little date like to him but if Eun was okay with it, so was he.

The instructor led them out into the small area of the paddock where they could practice guiding the horses and looping around the track to get used to riding, Leigh mixed up his movements a few times but for the most time, he was managing the loops okay and fussing Raven as they went around, keeping up to speed so they could trot alongside Eun and Tera and continue their conversation “Do you have anything on your list of things you wanna do someday?” he felt like everyone had one, even if it was just in their head.

There were times when Eun randomly stares out in the distance, just wondering about a few things he may or may not have done properly had he thought about it a while longer rather than rushing straight into it. He was definitely thinking about that right now. Spending time with Leigh had made him rethink about the few choices he had done over the past few years of his life, even the latest ones he did a few months ago. He was just in awe of how someone could live such a stress free life so happily, but then knew he would be in the equally same position had he chose to lead a life that doesn't stress himself out over his questionable choices; like following every single wants his family told him to do. "I think you've had a few good things happen in your life, right?" Leigh could smile so effortlessly and Eun couldn't see any problem in seeing more of that pretty smile because those dimples that kept appearing was slowly tempting him to touch. "Believe me, they may act like it's not terrifying… but they're probably dying inside. That or they've been having plenty of practices of that dying inside thing. It's one or the two" he had tried to make Leigh feel better, he disliked it when someone feels inferior to a certain thing.

 If only the therian could see how worthwhile he was, but convincing someone to do that is equally just as hard so the elder Moon focused on making him feel positive and better first. Baby steps. "It's never a waste of money if it turns out to be worth it in the end, right?" Eun of course came back with a witty answer, knowing him. In his vocabulary and dictionary alike, Eun feels that it was only a waste if it was a complete waste of time. "You can probably read a whole psychology book on how the human mind works and I may fall asleep… in a good way?" Good way, he was able to doze off because he could understand well. He winced considerably when Leigh mentioned that they didn't even intend on befriending him for the sake of being friends, "Really… they risked their ego for a math homework? That sounds… horrible" Eun couldn't brain in how someone was willing to go through all the trouble to deceive someone over a math homework, "Man, people are so weird… Can't believe they had free time to even find that prank to go with" he shook his head, clearly a bit disappointed that such immaturity had existed back then.

 The dhampir cleared his throat awkwardly and shrugged when Leigh called him out for having a personal vendetta against tea, "Well, technically… I once had my tongue burned from drinking hot tea… The one that had freshly boiled water too, so yes I have a personal vendetta against tea thanks to Jae pranking me. You can blame him" he was so quick to put Jae out in defense because that was the truth, Jae once forgot to tell him the tea was scorching hot before Eun drank it. "Maybe" he quipped humorously, the two of them were different and yet here they are, conversing with each other like friends. If they can make it work, then he was positive others could too. "But… speaking about the tea, maybe I'm inclined to give it a second chance if someone else would be to introduce it to me" He was purposely playing with the threaded lines in his efforts of trying to get closer to Leigh by making him comfortable. When he extended the invite to Leigh to come and try his muffins later on in the future, Eun didn't think of the problem; an issue he will be facing because the lawyer hasn't been baking for a while, namely two years before he graduated law school? Yeah, that's about it. 

Well, like it or not, he will have to find a way to relearn it before that day comes because he is in no way going to embarrass himself in front of Leigh. "I would boast that my muffins would make you fall in love but… I also haven't been baking for about three years" he rubbed the back of his head awkwardly while sparing the therian a lopsided sheepish grin, "At least it won't be poisoned." Seeing Leigh laugh alongside him made the dhampir pause for a moment just to admire the other male's laugh, though he pretty much wouldn't believe that Leigh named his two chinchillas after Chip & Dale until he sees them for himself, "Talk about bad names of the decade, mister. How is it that someone with Leighton Kingsman for a name could name his dog Minha but settled on Chip & Dale for his chinchillas?" His hand made a gesture as if he was stroking his imaginary beard that remained non-existent. "Well now I'm determined to have your dog fall in love with me so my work will be easier to steal" His words could easily be interpreted as him wanting to steal Leigh too. But does the therian notice that?

 "Be careful, Kingsman. You may be giving up your entire closet of secrets at this point if I get to bribe you" he playfully cooed and chuckled because that wouldn't exactly be far-fetched, knowing Eun who likes to prod around teasingly. When Leigh pointed out that he was missing a sword and a shield, the dhampir scoffed dramatically, "Overrated. I'm strong enough to defeat the monster keeping my soulmate captive. Besides, how do you know I don't always have my sword with me right now? Invisibility rune, my friend" he sent him a wink before puffing out his chest, tapping his hand against it a few times, "I can take people down with my charms and good looks alone anyhow…" His eyes lit up almost instantly when Leigh accepted the thought and confirmed the possible date for them to have dinner, "I can do Saturday." Thankfully, despite Leigh fussing over Raven, Eun got along splendidly with Tera who had this calm demeanor to it and made it tolerable for the elder male to guide the horse through the entire training process, which earned the horse a heartfelt laugh as he stroked her mare softly.

 "A list of what I wanna do someday? I... As embarrassing as this is, I've never had one" Though, he was sure he had a few things planned out in his imagination section, "Paragliding… bungee jumping, uh what's that thing called? Flying fox? Yeah. That one. What about you?" Their horses seemed friendly enough with each other because they trotted at a careful and even pace close to each other while everyone else was handling their horses. His grip on the reins were slightly firm as he beckoned for Tera to go forward.

“Everyone’s had good things in their life” he responded and nodded a few times “Happy childhood with my parents, good career, the chance to put my little mark on the world, who could complain” Leigh wasn’t an ‘I want the world’ type but he did like to think he’d brought something good to it, sharing his love of books was something he was passionate about it, now if only he could find a way to link it all in with tea. “Or they’re just too crazy brave to care” he laughed softly and shrugged, sure he was lacking when it came to social skills but he excelled in other things people struggled with so he supposed it was all balanced in the end. “I was implying that it might not be worth much in the end” he laughed softly, Leigh didn’t have the patience to be reading entire books out loud honestly, he was patient in some ways but sitting and doing the same thing for too long did bother him. “I put people to sleep in a good way, huh?” he laughed, well that was the strangest compliment he might have ever received.

“If those kids could find a way to cheat or generally not follow the rules they tended to do so” he explained with a slightly sheepish smile because there was more to it than that, most of them did things like that because they were cruel and wanted to mock the socially awkward smart kid but he didn’t want to get into that right now. Hearing Eun as he talked about an experience with tea where he burned his mouth made the Kitsune laugh because he could quite literally picture how it would have unfolded in his head. Eun was very expressive with his words which made it really easy to understand him and the messages he was trying to convey. “Well then it seems like I need to have a stern talk with that brother of yours, that is a complete disservice to tea” he grinned slightly when he said he may give it a second chance “You should, I swear it won’t disappoint you” mostly because he would put every effort he had into making sure he enjoyed it. That’s what friends did right? Went the extra mile to make one another smile.

He could see a sense of determination in Eun’s face which made him curious about what he was thinking but when he heard he hadn’t baked in a few years it made Leigh kinda sad “You just got out of the habit or didn’t have the time?” he raised his brows in a questioning manner, it did strike him that Eun was very busy and probably kept quite a packed schedule which often made Leigh wonder why he kept acting like he wasn’t busy when he wanted to spend time with the Kitsune. It was flattering in a way but Leigh wasn’t really sure of his reasoning. “Well then I look forward to seeing the results of your efforts” he spoke firmly, if Eun was going to put the effort in to make it for him then he was going to keep it as something to look ahead for. “Uh excuse you, my 22-year-old Disney obsessed self thought that was the perfect name” he laughed softly and nudged against Eun’s side “You’re not stealing my pets” he warned him playfully, waggling his finger in his direction.

He laughed at Eun’s playful prompting about him giving away his entire closet of secrets “Nope, not in the closet any longer so that one is ticked off” he teased with a grin, there had been a time when he felt shame about having attraction towards the same gender but he had long ago accepted the person he was and moved forward with his life. He did find it very entertaining that Eun had used closet as part of his metaphor. Eun was always making jokes and acting playful, Leigh swore his jaw hurt from smiling so much around him today, he just seemed to uplift him so easily and know the right thing to do “Lookout villains, he’s out and ready to charm” he giggled softly and nodded a few times when Eun said he could do Saturday, for some reason he felt the words ‘it’s a date’ on the tip of his tongue but he decided against it “Looking forward to it” he spoke softly as they continued their lesson.

The riding part was actually both different than he expected but also not so bad, they did a few rounds of the paddock where the trainer helped them to familiarize themselves with the animals and then the basic commands which were used to guide them, with some practice, Raven was taking the commands he was giving which brought a child-like grin to his lips which no one could wipe away. When Eun said he didn’t have a list of things he wanted to do, Leigh shrugged slightly “Never too late to think about it” he prompted and nodded a few times when the Dhampir answered his question, though he did part his lips in surprise at the answers as he hadn’t expected him to be the thrillseeker type “I guess I have many but the one thing I really want to do one day is invent something” he admitted with a sheepish grin “Knowing me, some algorithm or calculation no one’s thought of yet” he laughed because that probably seemed boring or anticlimactic. “Do you think they’re friends?” he commented softly noting the way the horses interacted with one another whenever they came in close.

The more he got to know Leigh, the more he saw how his humility stemmed from his kind heart, the other male had led such a simple life but looked so happy doing so. He was living his life with no regrets and that was precisely what Eun wished for. A part of him felt envious seeing how trouble-free and worry-free the therian was in but was quick to realize that he should be taking this as an initiative for him to make his steps instead of dwelling in his room of regrets. The last thing the dhampir wanted was to be jealous over something he could've controlled but just didn't have the courage to do so. He's got no one to blame for that but himself. "You sound like you've led a good life, Leigh. I would be lying if I said I wasn't jealous." Eun liked seeing him happy, the way he would laugh and the way his eyes would crinkle and form an eyesmile whenever he smiles. It was those small details that he managed to pay attention to. "Yes, you put people to sleep in a good way. But just so you know, I am going to get that podcast reading one day. Mark my words, Leighton Kingsman" he even made that 'I have my eyes fixated on you' gesture with his fingers.

 He hated that someone so kind and humble got himself bullied over something he couldn't control and shouldn't have to. He hated bullies the most. It was only by a miracle that Sangeun Moon was blessed with a high tolerance level and patience to equip his current self. "Don't worry, maybe you'll help me fall in love with… tea." He wouldn't put it far from what Leigh would achieve, he's been here only for a while and yet he's already having fun spending his hours away with him. When asked which one was the answer for his rusty skills on baking, Eun rubbed the back of his head awkwardly and grinned sheepishly in return, "Both? I think it was a little bit of both. Law school was hectic and I don't even have time to go home every month, much less do any of my hobbies without being occupied. By the time I graduated, I was offered a good spot in the firm I interned at, which was lucky for me considering the competition rate. Then, all my days and nights were basically documents here and there, I'm sure the trees were shedding their tears on behalf of me surrounding myself with all those papers." He'll get back into it. 

"But don't worry, with a little practice, I'm sure I can get back to it. Just wait, I'll bake you one of the best blueberry muffins in the world for you to taste." A snicker escaped the dhampir when Leigh defended himself for naming his chinchillas over the Chip & Dale duo, "You're nearing 30 soon, mister. Though technically you can never be too old for Disney, that name will haunt you" he teased, it was funny but it does seemed iconic. "The more you tell me not to steal your pets, the more I want to do it. Be careful, Leigh. Who knows, once I captivate them with my good looks, they'll leave you for me" he winked and giggled, finding amusement in how things would turn out, which made him anticipate the day where he would be able to meet them. His cheeks were flushed by the time Leigh teased about no longer being in the closet, knowing that was meant to imply on his sexuality, he wasn't going to lie, despite having close to none for experience when it comes down to love or relationship in general, Eun did wonder if Leigh had been attracted to him. At least once? 

"I'm the definition of your Prince Charming, sir. Villains should be afraid of me for I will cut them down like steak." Okay, perhaps, he' was a bit famished. The talk about sushi had him hungry for a while now and seeing how much he loves to eat, it wasn't surprising to see the elder Moon fantasizing about food already. He didn't pay attention momentarily on what they were supposed to do but Tera seemed to follow the instructions others were giving quite well, he shook the thoughts out of his head and focused on Leigh's answer, it wasn't too late? "You think so? I would love to spare some time to do all those things I listed down though… perhaps one day. Maybe you can come and do it with me. Keep me company, right?" How was he going to leave Evermore without missing him? Don't think about that now, Eun, he told himself. He still had time to spend. 

"Invent? Am I looking at a future Ada Lovelace?" he grinned and poked him playfully, his eyes glancing back at how Raven and Tera were seemingly communicating with each other, "Maybe they are. Look at this intertwined fate. Two good friends riding two good horses who also happened to be friends." Time had passed quickly for them, by the time he fixed the watch on his left wrist, he noticed they were already spending almost an hour of the class. "Maybe we can come here later once this is over… you know, come visit Raven and Tera."

Leigh had been very lucky in his life, he knew that, he had a roof over his head, parents who supported and loved him, friends he could see from time to time and work he loved doing and felt like he could make a difference with. That was why he rarely complained about the things he struggled with, especially not to those who didn’t know him well but he definitely did have a hard time sometimes, living with PTSD was difficult and affected his life in ways he didn’t expect often. But he was handling it and he felt like he was slowly but surely running his own life rather than being led by his own problems “I feel like everyone can say they’re a little envious of someone else” Leigh definitely admired the way Eun seemed so put together and that he had excelled so much in his work and therefore no doubt his academics. He chuckled when Eun insisted he was going to get that podcast reading, shaking his head in an amused manner “I’d like to see you try” he cooed softly as he grinned back at Eun.

“How about a deal then, you give tea and fair and unbiased chance and I’ll consider reading your favorite book just for you” he smiled softly, that seemed like a fair compromise plus it was a good idea for a gift if Eun enjoyed his voice so much and he was sure he had some story he adored more than any other. Though the way Eun said he would fall in love with tea so hesitantly did make the Kitsune laugh softly. It seemed to Leigh that perhaps Eun didn’t have the best experience with college, every time the topic came up he seemed pretty disconnected from it, kinda like he’d pushed that memory from his mind. Leigh wondered if maybe the pressure Eun had put himself under to do well had affected his experience of college “Sounds like you were always really busy” he pointed it out as he glanced over at the Dhampir. It made him a little sad to think he might have given up a lot of things that were important to him because he needed to focus on his career “You know you are allowed to be happy outside of work though right?” maybe it wasn’t his place to say that but then maybe Eun needed to hear it.

He still appreciated how willing Eun seemed to be to show him his baking skills after Leigh had expressed he’d like to, though he did feel a little bad for asking for something which the other male had all but left in his past. Still, Leigh didn’t think it would be a bad thing for Eun to pick something back up that he clearly once really enjoyed “Well then I will look forward to that day” he responded playfully with a knowing look. He shot Eun a questioning gaze when he pointed out his age as though to warn him to watch his tongue “You clearly underestimate my love for animated characters” he teased back with a shake of his head. He practically gasped when Eun said he wanted to steal his pets and then make them leave him “Uh excuse you, they would never leave me, not even for someone with the face of an actual God” he commented out of frustration before his eyes widened at what he had said and an immediate blush appeared on his cheeks which made him turn his head from embarrassment because he had totally just admitted that he found Eun very attractive.

Leigh couldn’t help the laugh that bubbled up when Eun said he would cut down villains like steak because that was the most Eun way of phrasing it that he could imagine and it entertained him no end “I feel like you might be hungry” he commented with a chuckled, now that he thought about it, Leigh was really hungry too, though that wasn’t anything new for him, he felt like the fox inside him would eat constantly given half a chance. “I think you should try and tick off at least a few items, if anything to remind yourself to take a break from crazy life” he nodded slightly, he definitely got the feeling Eun was more work than he was play which was a shame because the playful side of Eun was one of his favorites.

Leigh giggled slightly when Eun asked him if he was going to be the next Ada Lovelace “I love that you know who that is” he spoke softly and flushed slightly nodding his head slightly “Maybe not quite that spectacular but I hope I can contribute something” he admitted as he nodded, he looked down at the horse’s back as he stroked gently against Raven’s mane “Well at the very least they look good together don’t you think?” the contrast between them was definitely evident. “I’d like that, maybe even more lessons, I kinda have this idea of being able to ride up the mountain trails” he laughed softly as their lesson started to come to a close and they were led back to the paddocks. He hopped off of Raven’s back before leading her back to her pen and taking off her saddle and reins before he gazed back over at Eun for a moment seeing how sweet he was with Tera.

When he compared it again, his life and Leigh's were different. They live in a different world, if anything. While they get along very well with each other, he realized that where he came from, it wasn't the same place where Leigh came from and it would never come as close. Ever. It wasn't the kind of environment he thinks Leigh belonged to, either. Albeit comfortable and carefree with each other, always proving their chemistry with one another's dynamic, they were still from different worlds. But that was what made him believe in this friendship even more than a regular person would. Especially for someone who's only known this friend for a month. But Leigh was so warm and humble to be around with, he wasn't surprised that even Jae knew about him. "True… everyone is envious of someone." He was glad that Leigh didn't judge him after seeing the sense of validation from others around him that Eun seemed to crave. His judgmental free self is what coerced the dhampir into deepening this friendship bond without amiss. 

His eyes quite literally lit up as soon as Leigh considered proposing a deal for them to both get what they wanted, it sounded like a win-win situation. It wouldn't be bad. So he focused intently and heard what the therian had to propose, "My favorite book? Then you're in for a big ride, Leigh. Are you sure you want to take a risk on that?" he jested teasingly, oh Eun may not look like it but all of those quotes came from somewhere and he likes to read a lot of romantic novels. "But… I would gladly take a chance with… tea, if you would read me a few pages of my chosen book. The question is, are you up for it, truly?" In his case, he didn't have anything to lose because it was only one attempt at drinking the dreadful tea. Maybe he'll finally change his mind and perception about them. Maybe he'll be able to join Leigh with the therian's beloved green tea. 

He felt a bit embarrassed when Leigh said it was possible for him to have some time outside of work and expectations, he desperately wanted all of those but was it really the best move for him? Eun grew up having to think about the best option to choose when doing something so he would not be regretting his decisions, ever. "Yeah… I was always so busy. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing it because I want to, or because it's the best thing for others around me." He wanted to do that too, he wanted to have an outing activity with his friends, he wanted to do what the thrill of having fun with them would be like. He's jealous of others having the time to wash their twenties away doing all of that while he's stuck like this. "I'm trying to improve though. It may be a bit late but better late than never, right?" he chuckled, to say he wasn't excited to try all of these new ideas out would be an understatement, it was why Eun was all on board for finding his way back to the passion of baking as he once delved himself in. He also wanted to impress Leigh, because why not? Leigh has always impressed him so he thought it was his turn to do the same for a change. 

"I clearly underestimate you in general, Leigh. You keep on surprising me every day. Is there anymore of those secrets you have hiding under your sleeves? Don't be shy, let it all out" he exclaimed playfully, narrowing his eyes back at him in retaliation when he said his animals wouldn't dare leave him, it only prompted him to grin wider because Leigh did end up complimenting him, "An actual God, you say?" Eun purposely leaned closer and hummed in delight, "That's right. I do have a godly face… equipped with attractive features many could only dream to have" his voice went one octave lower as he feigned the dramatics. He didn't want Leigh to hide the blush but knew he shouldn't be pushing the lines too much if it could mean discomfort to his friend. So he didn't say anything more to point out his blush. When pointed out that he might be hungry, his stomach actually grumbled asking for food and keeping its famished stance steadily, which caused the dhampir to widen his eyes and cover his stomach with a cough, "I haven't eaten since morning. Maybe that's why?" Okay, he feels like he could eat a horse now.

 "I'll make a list then. We can properly tick it off" Eun didn't notice how he had said we instead of I, but in reality, he really wanted Leigh to be there to help him tick a few of those. "But… please realize you and I are definitely having our appointments with flying fox, one day." His cheeks flushed slightly upon hearing the small compliment for knowing who Ada Lovelace is, "An individual who wishes to do nothing more than contribute rather than achieving fame and greatness. Hmm… sounds like every aspiring idol ever. Careful, Leigh. You may get famous one day and forget me" He nodded in agreement when he saw how close and gentle Raven and Tera were to each other, even when they led them back into their paddocks and hopped off their saddles, the two horses were still looking at one another until Eun stole Tera's attention by cooing in her peripheral vision, his hand brushed against her mane softly as he promised to come back and visit her. "Would it be too much to ask you to accompany me for lunch because I am really starving…" He had his lips jutted out in a natural pout as he ruffled his hair easily after taking off the helmet.

Of all the people he expected to befriend, he honestly wouldn’t have pictured someone like Eun coming into his life, it had been entirely expected but in the short time that Leigh had known him, the Kitsune had determined Eun was the kind of person who went the extra mile for others, it wasn’t something he bragged about, like he did his undisputed good looks, but something he did quietly but constantly. Leigh had noticed every time he wanted to talk, Eun would never be too busy to answer even when he was sure it was late and the other male wanted to turn in for the night. Eun was endlessly patient and sweet and listened to Leigh regardless of what he talked about which made the therianthrope feel important. So yeah, he did everything he could to make the most of the time he got to spend with the Dhampir and he didn’t downplay the effort he knew Eun put into spending time with him “Probably pointlessly because then they’re not thinking about how lucky they are to be them” he smiled, he felt very lucky right now at least.

He enjoyed seeing the way that Eun’s eyes would light up when he was excited about something, often Leigh got the impression that he was used to downplaying his reactions to things because he was supposed to be the mature and sensible one in his family but the more time the Kitsune spent with him the more he noticed that Eun enjoyed quite literally everything “As long as it’s actually your favorite book and not one you pick out that’s a long as possible simply to get the most of this deal” he teased back in response to his quip “There is no way I’m reading the dictionary for you” he bit his lip as he looked back at the other male “Oh you’re opening up to the possibilities now huh? Is my voice really that special to you?” he smiled softly, it was actually a really nice thought that someone liked and pointed out specific things about him, that hadn’t really happened much since his breakup with his ex-boyfriend.

Leigh expression softened a little as he looked back at Eun, he felt for him, he could sense this pressure he put on himself like it was an invisible weight that was pushing down on his shoulders. Leigh saw it in the little differences in him throughout the day, there were moments where Eun looked so careless and free, just having fun and talking about anything and everything and then there were moments where he swore you could see the Dhampir thinking about this not being a thing he got to have forever. Or maybe Leigh just read too much into things because he spent so much time just watching others from afar “All I’m saying is I’ve noticed there’s a you and then there’s a filtered version of you” he hoped he wasn’t overstepping by saying his observation but he supposed he hated the idea of someone not being able to be their true self. “Oh absolutely, you can turn the entire ship around if you so wish” he grinned slightly “I like the you, you” he spoke in reference to his explanation earlier and then nodding looking over at the dark-haired male.

He giggled slightly when Eun accused him of having secrets hidden up his sleeves ready to reveal themselves at any moment “Oh but it’s so much more fun to have you unravel the mystery” he teased back and chuckled, he didn’t really feel like he was all that mysterious honestly, just generally into anything nerdy. He swore he hoped the ground would swallow him whole the moment he said those words and while he hoped Eun would play them off, of course he didn’t. Leigh’s face was about as red as a tomato as he looked back at the handsome male, of course it was hardly his fault, he wasn’t blind and Eun looked like a model but he still wished he could have some more tact. “You haven’t eaten all day?” he asked with a raised brow, incredibly glad for the change of subject so he could attempt to get himself under control “Man I can’t go longer than a few hours without eating” ever since he became a Kitsune his appetite had practically tripled.

Leigh wasn’t sure whether Eun had even noticed the fact he said we when talking about ticking off his list but it made the Kitsune smile regardless, it was nice to think he could be a part of helping Eun reach his goals and dreams “Good, we’ll do that” he agreed as though it was the most casual thing in the world, though Leigh had to admit he was really curious to see what Eun would write on there. Leigh shot him a look when he mentioned a flying fox, confused a little by what he meant by that and then widening his eyes as the idea of him and heights set into play. Leigh really liked how Eun always encouraged him and said things to boost his confidence, like telling him he might get famous one day and forget him “Who could ever forget you?” he asked in a serious voice because in the small time they had known one another, Eun had left a big mark on his life. Now they were done with the lesson he thanked the instructor and said his goodbyes to Raven, stroking softly against her nose before making his way back towards the Dhampir who was back on the topic of food “I really thought you’d never ask” he teased with a laugh “Let me just head over to the office to settle up and then you can pick us a place to go” he took off his own helmet and gave Eun a soft smile before heading towards the office to pay for both of their lessons.

When he first met Leigh, he didn't expect to find a friend in him. Not in a bad way, of course. The dhampir is endlessly grateful that he was able to befriend such a humble and kind soul like Leigh, but it still surprises him how the therian continues to surprise him another day with something he would do. He may not know much about Leigh but the other male kept surprising him and it was incredibly endearing for him. From what he saw, Leigh was very thoughtful and would always lend him a shoulder or ear whenever Eun wanted to complain about how tired his work had made him that day. Hr remembered whining to Leigh while they were on call one night saying how work had successfully squeezed the energy out of the dhampir. Yet the therian never complained whenever he does that, he would only respond with a cute giggle or laugh of his own. With Leigh, he found himself. It wasn't too dramatic for him to know that there is a certain part of him that wanted to experience what most people his age has.

He wanted to know what it feels like to hang out with friends and laugh at stupid jokes each other gives out. He wanted all of that and while it was slow and mild, his friendship with Leigh was the definitive proof that he could have those with him. Laughing with Leigh? Why not? He makes him happy, after all. A mischievous grin crept up as soon ad Leigh pointed out how he shouldn't take advantage to the win-win deal, "Oh darn… I was totally about to make you read a whole dictionary for me. How did you know my favorite book happens to be the dictionary?" he rolled his eyes dramatically, "You'll either find my choice of book cringy or weird. It's that or the second, those two are the most responses I've received." He wasn't offended, though. Eun was rarely offended by anything. When asked if his voice is really that special to him, Eun nodded profusely, "Didn't you know how soothing it is?" He even went as far as to place a hand over his forehead and feigned the dramatics, "Oh, Leigh, your voice… is my holy grail."

A part of him knew that this wasn't going to last forever, he's going to go home in a few months, and then he'll be married and all of this? Will remain in his memory, only. But he'll bask in this while he still can, he hardly doubted that he would ever forget a whole Leighton Kingsman but who knows if the other male would? The elder Moon swore his heart stopped for a brief while before bursting into a whole circus inside when Leigh told him he likes him, the real him. It meant so much to the dhampir, he would've actually teared up on the spot if he wasn't reminding himself they were in a public place. Though it was clear Leigh's words made an impact to him when Eun remained still for a while, blinking a few times as he stared at the other male in awe. "Thank you…" It was so brief, it sounded so timid that one would think Eun didn't say that because there is no way such a small quip would originate from him. But it did. It came from him.

"I'm a lawyer, Leigh, but I'll end up going full Sherlock Holmes on you if you push me" he winked playfully. The look on Leigh upon realizing that the dhampir wasn't about to let that part about calling him handsome go, only made him giggle in response. When asked if he hasn't eaten all day, Eun mustered a sheepish grin and shook his head timidly, "Not yet. I was having an on-call with my client before coming." It explains why Eun was happy to come by because it was an escape ticket. "Now that you've said you can't go more than a few hours of eating, I suddenly wanted to see how much you can eat…" It was a spur of the moment, Run just completely blurred that out and once he realized what he said, he quickly covered his mouth with his hand. When it dawned on Leigh that he said flying fox, Eun couldn't help but laugh at his reaction, it was exactly what he expected, "I totally saif flying fox first just to see your reaction. And it was worth it." Technically, if they embarked on that activity, he would be seeing a literal flying fox since Leigh is one. 

He didn't know why, but his cheeks flushed significantly when Leigh said he won't forget him, or at least that's what he got from it. He didn't even think of a place for them to go when Leigh went over to the office to settle everything, all Eun was thinking was how grateful he was to have someone like Leigh in his life. He was smiling the entire time. With every second that passes by, he grinned even wider.

For a long time Leigh had avoided letting himself get into any close friendships, he was sure there were people out there he could have gotten close with if he’d put in the effort at the time but for his own sanity he had decided it was best to keep people at arm’s length after his breakup, every time someone got closer he got this fear of how much it might hurt if they left him so he walled himself up. Eun, however, had found a way to just waltz into his life and stay there, it didn’t matter if Leigh wanted to shake him or not, he couldn’t. And now he knew the other male was crossing the line where it was going to hurt if he walked away and the worst part was Leigh knew he had to one day. He laughed softly at Eun when he sarcastically teased him about asking to read the dictionary but seeing his self-consciousness about his favorite book made Leigh shake his head “You’re talking to the guy who openly admits he watches kids TV shows for fun, you really think I’d judge you for something you love?” he raised his brow, how sad it must be if Eun felt like he couldn’t even share that part of himself.

“I mean I can’t say I often just talk to listen to the sound of my own voice” he teased it with a slightly shake of his head giggled softly at the other male when he turned dramatic and pretended to swoon, though he did blush a little because of the connotation behind those words “Tell me the book” he pleaded softly hoping Eun knew he could trust him. Seeing the bliss which crossed the Dhampir’s expression, along with the brief moment of confusion told the Kitsune a lot about Eun. It told him that he often had to change the person he was to be what everyone else expected and Leigh suspected that took quite a toll on his ability to be himself. Every time he let that happiness he saw in him take over he saw the way Eun corrected himself like there was something wrong with being happy and that made Leigh sad. But he didn’t bring that up, instead he hoped in the short time they had he could help Eun to see how great his real self was and how it was okay to show that part of him. Without much thought about it, Leigh reached for his hand just to hold onto it for a moment before patting it with his other hand “Don’t lose it for anyone else” he spoke softly, even if he had to pretend for others, he hoped Eun held onto who he was.

He snickered slightly as Eun teased him about being able to pick up on little details, he tilted his head slightly “Then tell me, what is my motive for giving you a mystery to solve?” he giggled softly raising his brow, perhaps he was getting a little braver around Eun the more time they spent together, the Dhampir never seemed to be all that bothered by the moments Leigh got shy and clammed up a little, if anything he made an effort to put his mind at ease. “Oh I interrupted your work?” he spoke it softly with raised brows because he hated feeling like he was a nuisance to anyone else so he went quiet for a moment but when Eun asked about how much he could eat Leigh laughed “All I’m saying is if you challenge me to an eating contest, you’d lose” he grinned sheepishly. Eun’s pun about the flying fox did make the Kitsune laugh “The fact you seem serious about that has me worried” he chuckled softly because he wasn’t a massive heights guy.

After he headed into the office he thanked the lady for the lesson and paid the fees and before long he was making his way back to Eun who looked totally lost in thought. Leigh slowed down for a moment just to take in the way Eun looked in that moment, so incredibly at peace and with a wide grin on his face which made the Kitsune pull one of his own just from seeing it. Gosh did he practically light up everything around him. He pressed his lips together trying to shake off his stare before heading towards Eun “Are you ready to go?” he asked softly hoping he wasn’t interrupting the Dhampir.


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