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Settling into a routine in Evermore City had been easier than Sunmin had expected it to be. Ever since he started working at the little cafe, things started to look up, he finally felt like he had some control of his life, even if it was by choosing to serve coffee to the Karens of the world. The money he earned he paid back to his brother, when he refused to take it the younger male would hide in places he would find it eventually, like in his pockets or down the side of the couch. He felt better knowing he wasn't simply surviving off the back of his brother's good graces and honestly the two of them had been growing to know one another better. Perhaps the little nudge he had been given in the right direction had helped.
It had been a long and difficult day at the cafe today though, not only were the customers being extra difficult today but they had a new manager in the store and she didn't seem to understand the first thing about managing. Sunmin thought he was bad with people but she brought it to a whole new level, constantly reprimanding people for the smallest of things and generally making the mood sour. Sunmin had been close to cussing her out a few times but in the end he had decided it wasn't worth it and avoided her by working in the back most of the day. Typically, what made the day a little better was Astraea, she was always this stupidly bright ball of energy that filled everyone with the spirit they needed to get through the day but he could tell even she was feeling the strain of today.
By the time the shift was drawing to a close, he honestly felt exhausted and he hadn't even been working the floor. It made him wonder who had put itching powder in that damn manager's pants because she clearly had them in a twist. She knew better than to challenge him though, by now everyone at the cafe had learned it was better not to be on their bad side and that he could come back with a clever statement before they even managed to full start a fight. Usually Sunmin would wait until the shift ended and then chat to Astraea for a little while before they headed out, turned out they both came from the same way so sometimes he would walk with her to the subway too. He had just finished clocking out when he heard more yelling coming from the front room which made him frown before taking a few steps towards the doorway
It wasn't exactly a secret that Astraea was the star waitress of the store and that the owners loved her so he wasn't all that surprised that the manager had singled her out. Jealous and threatened came to mind in the celestial's mind. Still, he could see that the telling off and nit picking comments had definitely taken the edge off the Aurazin's spirit. He cleared his throat, interrupting their conversation "We're going to miss our train if we don't get going" he spoke bluntly, staring down the head bitch with a look that said he wasn't going to take any of her bullshit. It had been a long day and everyone needed a break from this place before they all went insane.
When he told her the name of the said dragon, which caused her to chuckle in response to his confusion, "Ailward is their family name. Who you met was one of the 8 members. I think she's the Aspect of Magic. Yeah, she helped us with the crops last time. I also heard she's a bit… closed off" which was ironic that Sunmin met someone slightly similar to him when it comes to attitude. She didn't know if he was a bit sad about her knowing about them when he might not so she quickly added a little something to make things better, "And no, not everyone knows about them. So you're not really out of the loop in the supernatural club either. I just happen to know about them since one of them is the Aspect of Realms and well, he's the first person we had to seek out when we were stranded here." She made it clear to Sunmin the other day that he was free to ask her anything he wished to know and if she could provide the answer to it, then she will. Astraea didn't want him to feel like he was an outcast in his own community. Nobody deserves to feel that way.
When he told her the kind of life he lived before this, the Aurazin felt a pang of sympathy but was careful not to show it too much, she knew how much he disliked that. "Home is a relative term. Home is usually where the best people are at. Sometimes it'll take us a while to find it. And even then, you can just refer to yourself as one" she reassured, home is meant to deliver your comfort, after all. This wasn't the first time someone has asked her whether it was tiring or not, but with Sunmin she felt more free to speak her mind, "It is. I would be lying if I said it wasn't tiring. It's a heavy job and honestly working double shifts at the cafe for a week is nothing compared to a day's worth of being an empath." She remembered how it was also a meticulous job. "But making people happy, when you realize you can't find your own or that your time is up, it's nice to see that you could make others feel that way. My clock ended long ago, I'm not even supposed to be wandering around and the fact that I could is more than enough." Astraea thought that there was nothing to focus on herself.
She couldn't help but to chuckle at the threat he gave her, well he was actually encouraging her to follow her heart and that is really nice to hear. "You do?" She blinked in surprise but the smile was still present on her lips. Sunmin is a good friend, more than he would let others admit it and Astraea felt lucky to be one of the said people who could laugh and talk with him freely. "Sometimes it's like getting drunk, other times it's like getting high. I have no idea which is which, but I would rather not suffer from a hangover the next morning. Not sure if an aspirin would be enough to remedy that. I'll test it out in time, when I don't have work and when I feel safe enough." She couldn't avoid it forever, maybe it's better to pace how it's going to go in case anything goes wrong. It was fascinating to see how he doesn't seem to have anything tying him down, he made it clear a few times that rules are made to be broken sometimes. While Astraea wouldn't find herself doing that, she could understand why Sunmin felt free compared to others. He lived according to his own merit.
"It must be freeing to live your life the way you want it. With no one to tell you what to do." The way he demonstrated how he jumped earlier made her remember how she would also try to climb the mountains when she was younger, the details were blurry but it wasn't completely gone. "You're really inspiring, you know that? I don't think I've met anyone more free than you. It feels exhilarating. I'm sure this blanket and you go way back huh?" she jested and stared at the sky with a smile. Upon hearing that he didn't bring company whenever he does this, Astraea grinned cheekily and nudged his shoulder gently, "I should consider myself lucky then." The clouds were slightly darker, indicating that the sun would be setting very soon. "You asked me earlier if it was tiring right? It's tiring because I have to wipe their memories of my existence once I'm done fulfilling their wishes. No trace of me left. Like they never met me. And it's upsetting because you know you'll never be important to anyone. I know I'm a ghost but I guess it's really tiring."
He raised his brows when she explained how there were 8 dragons and all of them had the same surname, well that made a little more sense, Malva had been pretty secretive about what she was and how all of that worked, though she was forced to reveal things in order to gain his trust “That girl talks in riddles” he grumbled under his breath remembering how when she as telling him things he had no idea what she was even talking about most of the time, he didn’t have much patience with people who purposely tried to confuse others like that. She knew by now because he had expressed a few times that he hadn’t felt all that welcome when it came to the supernatural world, so her follow up comment wasn’t entirely surprising “Just when you think the supernatural world is confusing enough, there’s secret collections of people within it” he commented and sighed under his breath, it was overwhelming to say the least, he had been trying to introduce himself to this side of the world piece by piece as to not completely overload on information.
He nodded slightly “I guess home for me is just finding somewhere I can feel safe for a while” he might not glow but the celestial had plenty of other reasons to be on edge, especially because he wasn’t always in with the best crowds and often found himself targeted. “The best people though” he commented in a thoughtful tone “Can’t say I know that one” there were a few people he had let into his life recently but it still felt to him like it was a trial basis. He told Han he would give this family thing a chance but that didn’t mean that he necessarily thought it was going to work out. There were some topics she seemed to hold back on at first but now she seemed okay with whatever he asked her, though there was one topic he didn’t dare to bring up, he didn’t come with the intention of upsetting her and so he never mentioned her death or questioned how it happened, he didn’t feel like it was his place to even know that. “Sounds kinda unfair if you ask me” he commented and shrugged slightly “Surely you of all people deserve to live” you’d think if there were gods who could make these supernatural empaths they could also make them something else, give them the second chance they deserved.
He tilted his head curiously when she explained what the experience of having sugar was like for her “Sometimes getting drunk or high can be fun though, it’s exhilarating” he commented under his breath, was that his admission he had tried both? Perhaps. “None of the hard stuff though, seen too many people fall trap to that” he was very careful about what he chose to consume but that didn’t mean he was completely boring. He was sure that his free-spirit mentality was a little different from what she was used to, from the way she explained life as an aurazin she was basically led by the instructions she was given and she wouldn’t even be able to have a life of her own if she hadn’t gotten stuck here. “It is...though it can be lonely sometimes” he responded and shrugged “Trade-off I suppose, you can’t have everything” he would rather be free to make his own decisions than constantly pushing himself to fit into someone else’s expectations.
He did pause into silence when she called him inspiring though, he’d never been called that before “I don’t think anyone aspires to be homeless for most of their life” he commented with an amused chuckle, though she was right, he was free and he could do what he wanted with that freedom “That’s why staying is hard for me I guess, part of me is ready to be onto the next thing, starting the next life” but Evermore was different, he didn’t have to run from here. “You have no idea” he responded with a chuckle as he glanced down at the blanket “Don’t worry though, Han insisted I wash it about a dozen times” he laughed, he could smell the soft fragrance of fabric softener on it. He was staring out at the sky as he listened to her talk about her duty and how she had to remove memories, he bit his lip, that was sad, never being able to really influence them fully “They’ll remember the way they felt” he commented and nodded “And I’m sure they’ll go forward on a brighter note because of that” he nodded but grimaced slightly “Does that mean one day I’m going to forget you?” he asked curiously.
When he expressed his grumpiness towards the Aspect of Magic talking in riddles, she couldn't help but laugh because honestly that was cute and expected of him. "They can be very cryptic when they wanna be. You know the fact that you talked with an Ailward is beyond me, you're going somewhere Sunmin" she teased, she didn't mention the part about how Celestials feel about the particular family because she didn't think it was right to involve the strain and conflict. Not for him who is currently learning more. "There's always going to be a secret society everywhere" she whispered softly, "don't be too discouraged by it, it just happens. Honestly speaking, you shouldn't even know that my family and I exist. Knowing about the Ailwards is something, knowing about the Aurazin is also another thing since we are not of this realm to begin with." Their duties may stretch here but there's a reason why people don't know of their existence. When he said home is where he felt safe at, Astraea nodded in agreement, that's the easiest way to word it. "You'll eventually meet them" she reassured, "you know what they say, the best things always come when you least expect it, right?"
It was a saying the Aurazin likes actually. It felt impactful to her. Initially, she was reluctant to share information with him because she really shouldn't just be spilling but after befriending him for a while, Astraea realized how out of it he felt not knowing about his own community. That made her sad and she decided he shouldn't have to feel that way, not if she could help with it. Surely you of all people deserve to live, those words kept ringing in her ears and if she wasn't already touched by it, the dark haired female might actually tear up on the spot. It felt nice knowing someone felt like this. Sometimes you need someone to tell you things even though you keep telling yourself it's fine. "I like to think so too. Who knows, perhaps after I'm done with this I will be reborn into a better life." Now that she was hopeful. She had to admit though, when he described the feeling on getting drunk and high as exciting and exhilarating, Astraea tilted her head in curiosity, he would know that, wouldn't he?
"Have you… tried it? I mean getting high that is… I'm sure everyone has gotten drunk at some point in their lives." Sunmin seemed to have led a rather wild and free life so yes, she was curious to know. Besides, how would she of all people know about getting high? She may as well ask, right? "So at the end of the day, no matter what you do you'll end up being lonely?" The dejected tone in her voice was clear, this was someone who has felt lonely talking. Perhaps she was trying to find ways to improve her own life but so far it hasn't been showing much of a result. "Not that" she exclaimed bluntly when he said nobody aspired to be homeless, "you know what I mean." Freedom is a high price to pay, she wasn't really shackled down in her past life but even then the concept of freedom felt foreign to her. It wasn't like what she pictured it to be. It didn't fill her with a sense of hope once she returned to Athens a year after departing it in search for her father's connections. "Do you want to stay?" It was an innocent question.
The fact that he felt the need to tell her he washed it plenty of times made her laugh as she leaned in to smell it, he was right, it smelt like fabric softener. For what seemed to be the longest, she knew she had to give him an answer to that. Honestly, lying to him was the last thing she wanted to do. "Yes. You know too much, more than you should. They will want me to erase your memories and that… well that includes me in it. I'll be honest here, I don't want to. I want someone to remember me. No matter how little of a significance I will be to them." She averted her gaze from the sky to him instead and smiled sadly, "The more I forget about my past, the more I felt this need to grasp for whatever normalcy there is. It feels like desperation at some point. The older I get, the lonelier I feel." She could feel her voice getting smaller. "I just don't want to be forgotten."