The past month had been somewhat of a whirlwind for Yeon, he felt as though no matter how much he held onto his roots in Evermore, the place he had called home for the past 8 years of his life, the further they seemed to get away from him. He knew it was inevitable, he was barely here anymore, most of the apartment now packed up in boxes and his essentials in suitcases that rarely left his side. He was back and forth to the airport a lot and spent most of his nights in hotel rooms. He'd put in an offer on a nice place on the outskirts of New York, big enough for him to live there and entertain guests but nowhere near as big or as nice to this penthouse he supposed he'd come to associate with the word home. Just like Dae said, Yeon hadn't been able to give this place up fully and something kept him coming back here.

Or perhaps more accurately, someone kept him coming back here, multiple someones. When the valkyr had first started to make plans to leave Evermore and start a life elsewhere, he hadn't exactly been expecting for people to get in the way. But since then he had been reunited with Celia, someone who had been a very big part of his life for a very long time now. Han, whose presence he had really grown to like, Yeon had been there for him in the past few weeks since his breakup with Jae, mostly reminding the star that he was a bit of an idiot and encouraging him to try and make things right but he felt like he had learned a great deal about his friend and the life he led. Then there was Dae, he wasn't his volakiri but he had definitely sparked an interesting friendship with him, which mostly consisted of them complaining about the world and commentating on their friend's relationship. Especially now it looked like the two of them had finally reconciled. 

Yeon had to admit, he had been pretty shocked when Dae finally revealed that he did indeed live in the same building as the valkyr, at first he had thought he was joking but then he had proved it by inviting him over to see, which had bled into a dinner. It was pretty casual, considering the circumstances that their friendship came to be but he was happy with it, it was nice to have another person he could talk to, vent about something stupid that happened at work to and generally just be around. It wasn't exactly a secret that Yeon didn't have many friends, being who he was and having the assets he did, it was hard to find people you could trust but he definitely felt like he was really lucky in that area lately. An idiom about how things never happened and then happened all at once came to mind when he considered the recent changes to his life. 

He had just finished packing up the last of the things in the dining room of the apartment, mostly display plates and silverware that he only used if he had any of his clients over for dinner in a more private setting, he hadn't needed them much lately since none of his clients were currently in Evermore city, he tended to just take them out to a nice restaurant instead, which also reminded him that he'd been seriously slacking on cooking lately. After closing the last box he headed into his room and collapsed backward onto the bed, enjoying taking a break from all the moving fiasco and just relaxing into the sheets. He knew he was probably pushing himself too far, trying desperately to keep on top of everything but he definitely felt the tension starting to build up. Perhaps that was why he was quitting for tonight and just trying to wind down, he closed his eyes for a few seconds feeling the exhaustion slowly taking over. 

That was when he heard the first crash and he immediately sat up surprised in his bed, he yawned before sleepily drifting his gaze towards the window, he was about to collapse back into the sheets when the music started, booming and loud, echoing against the window even this high up the building, he grunted getting to his feet and going over to the window, peering outside to try and figure out what was going on. He couldn't see much from up here but he could definitely feel the rhythmic beat of the music from his toes. He sighed and flopped back onto his bed, grabbed his phone from the bedside table and scanning through all the missed notifications, he was pretty terrible at answering his messages on his days off. He pulled open his conversation with Daehyun and typed a message "Any idea why there's an elephant out on the street?" not literal of course but the beat felt like one

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At first glance, he still couldn't figure out how he befriended the blond male with him right now, he seemed so out of his league the Niveis had to rethink what he had in common with the other just so he could assure himself that this friendship is built on trusting and genuine grounds. That's all that matters to him. That this was something pure and true that he was able to conjure for once in his dreadful life. "Crazy exceptions?" he quirked his eyebrows in surprise, still so amused by the fact that Yeon found him to be an exception even though the Niveis knew he's been breaking those rules in his book the same way Yeon did to him. "Is it the good kind of crazy exceptions, at least?" Even if Yeon was just jesting with him, Dae felt this small need to know if he was burdening the Valkyr or not. Hopefully, his company was something the other could tolerate and maybe, like? Why he's competing with himself when it comes down to validation still surprises himself, does he actually find another enjoyment? 

When Yeon said they get friend discounts, he snickered and smirked wryly, "How much? Tell me it's at least half" he teased, seeing more of that smirk and smile was slowly driving him off because he knew he probably shouldn't want something or someone he couldn't have. It doesn't apply to everyone, he knows that. Just a few some and Yeonseok Lee is definitely high up on the list. Something about the Valkyr just oozes confidence and sometimes Daehyun felt himself growing envious of that kind of freedom, he wanted to feel it too but what's left for him? "You're right… negativity breeds more negativity… maybe those kind of people are perceived as-" the words died down on his throat, constricting every letter he was trying to pull out, Dae had to clear his throat a few times until he was able to finally say it, "cowards… because they don't want to accept that things can be for the better." But why does it feel like he's sitting up this hole even deeper now? Why does it burn in his chest, where his heart lies?

 But Daehyun was continuously grateful that Yeon was able to bring in his optimism and pour it to him because it felt nice, being surrounded with such positivity with someone who feeds on it. He found himself staring at the Valkyr a bit longer as his lips parted in awe, all he could think of was that this guy with him right now, is one great man. There was a swell of pride filling his chest and this time, there was no way of knowing how wide his smile stretched out because Dae was looking at him as if he just gave him a cat; one of the animals he actually loves. "You're an inspiring individual, has anyone told you that?" Well, they should. "But yeah, he's very cute. Tall, with those glasses, definitely good proportions and those legs are to die for" he quipped humorously, now he sounded like a teenager who was fangirling on their crush. Pushing that aside, on that note, the owner was pretty attractive. 

His gaze softened when Yeon showed him that he was the living proof of impossible things, he couldn't even deny that because he marveled at how quick the latter got up on his two feet and start working his way up to the pyramid and flourish like the potential he hid in himself. "No... " he murmured and sighed heavily, "I just feel incredibly lost right now, Yeon. What am I doing? What am I working for? What am I living for? Do I even know what I want?" All those questions felt heavy, he'll admit. It felt like it was dragging him down to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean which even if he couldn't drown, is still an impending problem. Despite all those thoughts filling his head and making him feel smaller than he already is, Dae was glad he had Yeon to cheer him up with his quips and dry humor. 

"Maybe I'm insensitive to falling for a death method. Sounds like a long way down though" he pursed his lips and couldn't stop the wolfish grin from making an appearance when the Valkyr asked if he was a chaser, to which he leaned closer and smirked, "I always like myself a challenge. The thought of completing them gives me a thrill. You know, the same equation to chasing down your partner and shoving them against the nearest tree and well, you know" he chuckled because his head definitely conjured up some pretty explicit imaginary for the blond before him. "I can't get the image of a burrito Yeon out of my head now. That's all thanks to you, so don't blame me if I try to catch you snuggling up to a big fortress of blankets and pillows" he jested, and gaped at the Valkyr when he said it'll take about 8 months time, "I am offended that you'll put me on hold for that long. Are you sure you can resist me for that long, Valky?" Somehow, that sounded like it held a double meaning, or more. 

"I mean, I've been told I'm quite irresistible and you are surely insatiable" he pointed out casually. "And I don't pick our movies that will end up with death… my hands just have that pull, I guess. Wait… I do watch Happy Tree Friends for fun. But, that's because they're cute." And just like that, Daehyun Stormwind blushed, the red hues was there marking a stark look to his pale complexion and he actually tried to avert his gaze away, "You think I'm smart?"

Yeon gaze him a slightly shifty look when Dae commented on what he said, he wasn’t sure it was a secret or anything that Dae got to cross a lot of lines with him that others didn’t, the Valkyr still didn’t have a reason why but he’d accepted it as his reality. Dae had become a part of his life now in some strange way and while he always thought he’d regret giving someone a second time because of the implications behind it, with Dae, he didn’t. “It’s the good kind” he confirmed with a nod of his head, he could never call any of it a mistake when he’d gotten such a good friend out of it, someone he just clicked with and felt natural around. It surprised him that someone could gain so much significance to him like that but somehow, this didn't scare him, Dae didn’t scare him.

“Oh you know, what’s a price for a good friend right?” he grinned slightly with a laugh, he tended to offer advice to people who he felt cared enough about his opinion to listen to it. Didn’t expect people to actually care all that much for what he said though, he knew advice typically fell on deaf ears until someone was ready to learn the lesson for themselves. Yeon tried to live by his own advice too but it was easier said than done, he knew that much for sure. He liked to think he found a certain amount of success with it but he always felt like he could push further to be an even better person and so he constantly strived for that. The way Dae talked so slowly made the Valkyr realize that it was hard for him to say what he was saying so Yeon listened carefully, he shook his head slowly “Not cowards no” he responded “Just not ready yet” he spoke firmly and nodded and that was okay as long as they didn’t stay stuck forever. =

The same as negativity breeds negativity, he did find that the opposite was true too which is why he tried to keep a positive mind even when things were difficult and complicated, which in the terms of his business could be pretty often if he was honest with himself. Yeon had been through many setbacks and moments when he wondered if it was all worth it, even after seeing a lot of success he doubted himself sometimes. “I try to be” he responded in a soft voice because deep below all that confidence and showy front, there was someone who could actually be pretty humble and at times vulnerable “I like to think if I can do something to make someone’s life better, I will” he enjoyed the feeling he got by sharing success, not by treating anyone as a charity case but by understanding their goals and dreams and then giving them a small but substantial effort towards it. “Yeah you’re definitely talking about Leigh” he commented with a laugh and scrunched up his nose in amusement.

Yeon liked to think that if his entire existence managed to inspire one single person to better their life then he had done something truly worthwhile and through his years he had tried to spread that to as many people as possible, whether it was small loans to help them make the first steps towards their dream or fostering aspiring dancers to help them get the career they dreamed of, he thrived off seeing other people succeed. Yeon had always seen Dae as their confident and slightly smug front he put on but the more they talked and spent time together the more Yeon saw this side of him, the one that doubted his own worth and debated what was in his future. “That’s a lot to ask yourself all at once” he admitted with a slightly sad smile and reached out to put his hand on his shoulder for a moment “You know you don’t need to have all those answers right now right?” he squeezed slightly and smiled slightly “It’s okay to live for everything around you until you’re ready to live for yourself” of course it worried him to hear Dae say something like that but he kept calm, his gaze steadfast as he looked back at him.

“Can’t say I’m the biggest fan of heights but it’s the kind of thing that tends to be over fast” he gave a dry chuckle because that sounded pretty morbid despite being true, he imagined the brief sense of panic was much like his own experience of death though, not something he would really like to repeat. When Dae leaned in close Yeon had this very brief moment of panic in him which felt completely out of character for him as he looked back at him “I would know, yes” he responded coyly, though he was still weirded out by the feeling he experienced before...did Dae make him nervous? He swallowed and shrugged “Good luck catching me, I am a stealthy snuggler” he chuckled lightening the mood a little and smiled, he did enjoy having a day where he didn't need to go out and just stayed in bed, even if they were rare lately.

“You do realize you’re talking to the biggest workaholic that probably ever lived right?” he commented and raised his brows slightly as he gazed back at Dae “Just how would I ever do without your /friendship/” he commented with raised brows when Dae suggested that Yeon would find it hard to resist him. After all, it was Dae who was putting the divide between the two of them, if the Valkyr had his way they would already be up in his suite. The way Dae went quiet when Yeon said he was smart enough to do something with his talent made the Valkyr wonder if anyone had told him that before I do “Of course I do” he spoke without hesitation “The world would have to be blind not to see that Dae” he insisted with a nod.

A smile settled on his lips when he heard Yeon told him it was the good kind, this was good. This sense of importance he felt from the blond Valkyr alone. He was sure whatever Yeon said at this point would make him revel in happiness, especially when the Valkyr seemed to be so optimistic. If there was anyone that he would choose to let in his cold and shriveled heart he didn't even know how to make use of, it would be him. He was positive about it. It's gonna be Yeon. Was he thinking too much on this? Does their friendship give him too much hope? Another part of him felt a bit reluctant to give his trust away so freely like this to a guy he only knew for a few months. But Yeon is his friend, quite possibly his kind of friend that he could come and complain to without feeling ashamed. Another part of him also questioned, why is he not able to do this to others? Why can't he go to Jae the same way he went to Yeon? For now, he has no idea.

 For some reason, the Valkyr drew him close. "What's a price for a good friend… what is it? Good sex?" he teased, because ironically that's how they even met each other. Mind blowing sex and this path of friendship where Dae realized how great of a person Yeon was and started respecting as well as admiring him. The way Yeon tried to reassure him by making him think and feel that it was fine to feel lost sometimes, it was a progress; a cycle. He's never felt so reassured in his entire life. "Not a coward?" he murmured softly, "Then… when will I be ready?" The fact that his voice was so low and timid, as if he was ashamed with himself tells a lot. He truly felt so lost and confused right now and he didn't want to tell anyone else because he was ashamed. "If I ask anyone else, they'll tell me there's more for me to live for but they'll evade from giving me actual answers to my questions." 

Perhaps, he was wording it a bit but he was curious. He was curious on how his life would turn out in a few years. Dae never thought much about it but hearing all those hopes and dreams from Yeon made him rethink his decisions and choices. Did he choose right? Hearing that Yeon would take the chance if he could make someone's life better, made the Niveis smile softly, he truly befriended a priceless man. This feeling he has, it only magnified and his respect for the Valkyr rose considerably. "Ah… so his name is Leigh. Does he swing both ways or is he straight as a ruler? Don't get me wrong but with those proportions… hard to think he's the latter" he chuckled, recalling back the time he actually did stop for a while to eye the male from head to toe. He realized throughout their friendship, he always came off as blunt and passive-aggressive, much like a cat but he never voiced out his worries or insecurities. However, he also realized that with time, Dae slowly crawled out of his shell and shed the old skin one return for a new one, opening himself up to someone he's not afraid of. 

It's hard to think that a guy like Daehyun Stormwind is afraid of anyone. Well, he's quite fearful. Feeling the soft touch from his hand resting on his shoulder, Dae swore he let out a sigh he wasn't even aware he's been holding in, "Time is precious. It's golden. I need to ask the right questions to know the right answers… right?" He wasn't even sure anymore, truthfully. Until you're ready to live for yourself? "How long would that take? All these questioning? When will I finally know which is which? When- " he cleared his throat and bit his bottom lip apprehensively before staring up to meet his eyes, "-When will I know if I should live for yourself?" Snap. He probably shouldn't say too much about this but he desperately wanted something to quench this desire to know inside him. "Well, most people are afraid of heights I'm not surprised. Just wait till you get to fly though… or swim, come swimming with me sometime, Yeon. It really calms you down." 

Perhaps he was being biased, but he was also trying to ask Yeon to spend more time with him not so subtly. "Swimming in pools doesn't count, no" he shot playfully. "Stealthy snuggler huh? No wonder you're cute." Oops, totally slipped out. Once he realized he said that out loud, he covered his mouth with one hand and laughed nervously. "Right, you would work yourself to death for your company, can't say it's a pretty simple death but it's admirable" he jested, one way to bring this conversation back to their initial track was to diffuse it. "I don't befriend just anyone, Yeon, you're special" he cooed and snickered, his eyes softening upon hearing his words about him, he really did think him that way, didn't he? He was actually touched. "I… thank you, Yeon. It felt different hearing it from you."

He laughed and rolled his eyes slightly “I mean I never complain about good sex but I meant that money isn’t a big deal when it comes to good friends” he chuckled and lifted a hand to run through his disheveled hair and grinned, he looked tired he was sure but he was actually having a much better time than he’d expected when he first heard the loud music. “Well I can’t answer that one for you” he commented with a stern look “One person’s enjoyment isn’t another's you know” he responded and shrugged “But you can choose to find joy in anything, looking forward to swimming in a special ocean, some trip you planned, a plant which relies on you to keep it alive, maybe even a pet” he shrugged slightly “I don’t think you’re a coward Dae, I think being able to admit you feel like that makes you pretty damn strong” he meant that, most people were so secretive about their feelings and he felt honored that Dae trusted enough to share it.

He had seen a few of those sweet smiles on Dae’s lips tonight, they didn’t compare to the full works he had seen earlier but those little twitch of the lips told Yeon that there was someone there who found joy in the company of a friend, in good food and from the way he saw him tap his foot a few times, he’d dare say Dae actually like the music. “Leigh the giant” he confirmed with a laugh, the other male pretty much towered over the shorter valkyr and yet it was him who was the confident one. Strange. “I mean I’ve never seen him check out a girl but he’s stared at my ass before so I’m gonna say a safe neither on that one” he was pretty sure Leigh was gay, the shy type who wouldn’t really shout about it unless someone directly asked him but then he was that way with everyone. The way Dae talked tended to be in short bursts of grumpy which was interesting to Yeon because if you got him onto a topic that really tugged at him then those short responses became flowing sentences and you realized Dae actually had quite a lot to say.

Yeon searched Dae’s eyes as he rested his hand against his shoulders, to say he had some concern would be an understatement but the wanted the Niveis to know he could talk to him about anything without judgment, they’d talked about dreams and future plans along with bits and pieces of their past. Shared their love for movies and silly hobbies, he would say they were quite close and Yeon cared about him. Cared about his well being. “You’re right, time is precious but as immortals, we also have too much of it and that can be daunting” just thinking about the fact that he might live another 100 years definitely felt scary to him. All those questions made his heart ache a little because he could tell Dae felt a little lost and misguided in his life. Yeon took a long breath before doing something he wouldn’t normally even consider with Dae and wrapped his arms around him, drawing him in for a hug for just a moment and saying nothing before he spoke softly “Start by letting a few good people in, the people who brighten your life just a little and one day it will all make sense” he let him go knowing he probably would feel uncomfortable with the sudden touch “It doesn’t have to be now Dae” he spoke it softly, he couldn’t stop him feeling empty or asking these questions but he could promise him silently that he would be there for him.

Dae’s suggestion about going swimming did make Yeon glower for a moment because was absolutely sure Dae would wanna go somewhere that the water was absolutely chilling and just thinking about it made him want to shiver “Are you sure you won’t turn the whole place into an ice rink?” he asked with a coy smile though it was clear from the look on his face that he was intrigued by the idea. Yeon had to admit he was pretty surprised when Dae called him cute, to the point he couldn’t stop a bright grin appearing on his face because that was something really new for him “Cute” he commented with a slightly sheepish grin “You sure you remember who you’re talking to?” he averted his gaze for a moment wondering why that specific word go him so flustered for a moment there, he’d been called hot, sexy, attractive and the likes but people didn’t really call him cute.

“Still, beloved CEO isn’t exactly what I’d want written on my headstone” he commented and laughed softly, he had work to do when it came to branching out his priorities and finding his way in life, he acknowledged that. He gave Dae a soft look when he said he was special for getting to befriend him and felt the words ‘you too’ on his lips but didn’t say them. Instead, he gave an effortless smile in his direction “Now you just need to start believing that yourself and we’ll be making some real progress” he chuckled and tapped on his shoulder a few times “How about some chocolate? They must have something sweet amongst all these stalls right?” he had a bit of a sweet tooth but also a selective one and he really wanted something covered in chocolate.

"Of course, you would never complain about good sex, why am I not surprised, Yeon" he narrowed his hues playfully towards the Valkyr and allowed the smile to stay on his lips a while longer when the blond told him it doesn't matter if they're friends because friends help out each other. He knew there was already a good vibe about the Valkyr but this definitely made the Niveis more grateful to have such a friend by his side. Who knew, he'd find such a guy inside Yeonseok Lee? He definitely didn't come to Evermore expecting himself to make a few friends but that was exactly what he's gotten himself into. "I guess I ask because I don't really know what it entails. You know me enough, Yeon, I'm uptight, god knows I can be fun and joyous but that doesn't erase the fact that I do that because I wanted to feel… irresponsible for a quick moment." Not because he knew what he enjoyed. For someone who was tribe-oriented like Dae, all he's known is duty, duty, duty. The responsibility he brings around, that's it. It was one of the many reasons why he enjoyed Yeon's company, the Valkyr was so open he loved that about him. 

He envied a few parts of him but seeing how he enjoyed life also made him feel content. Though, perhaps he'll never let the other know that. All the suggestions he gave out made him rethink, should he go do that? Would he find enjoyment in life that way? There was only one way to find out, and that is to try it out. "Maybe I will get a pet. A white cat that probably doesn't like you" he jested teasingly, they say pets follow their owners pretty well. His eyes softened when Yeon said he wasn't a coward, that's the first. "I'm not?" It was almost impossible to see Daehyun Stormwind looking so vulnerable and fragile, yet the Valkyr brought that out of him with such ease, simply because the snowy-haired Niveis felt like he could trust him with anything. "Oh yeah, he's pretty tall" Dae remembered he almost knocked over the books on the racks because Leigh came asking if he needed any help, "Yeon, everyone stares at your ass at any given moment of the day" he facepalmed and shook his head at the Valkyr who was definitely not oblivious to how attractive he is in person. 

He realized he's told Yeon so much about himself, maybe not all of him, but the fact that the Valkyr knew what his favorite food is and his quips, tells a lot seeing as the Niveis doesn't usually hold a conversation for more than an hour with someone. He wondered if he was someone significant to the blond, perhaps a part of him ached for that significance. He wanted to be important to someone too. Someone that wasn't his sister or Anivia, no offense meant to them but they've known him their entire lives. Yeon doesn't. Yeon brings a fresh surrounding that he wanted to be in. So when Yeon suddenly wrapped his arms around him and pulled him into a hug, the Niveis had his eyes widened in surprise and his body went stiff for a quick while before eventually leaning in, it felt warm, and he doesn't mind it. In fact, he daresay he loves it. It didn't last long though, the other male eventually let go of his hold and there it was again, the coldness. And for the first time in his life, Dae hated this cold.

 "Maybe it doesn't have to be… but what if I don't think I'll have enough time to dwell on it? Shouldn't I be looking forward to ways I can prevent myself from ruining my own life?" It was soft and husky, the Niveis made sure to enunciate every syllable gently, as if he was crying out a plea for help. Though, the idea of turning the place into an ice rink made the Niveis hum in delight, "If not swimming, we can go ice skating then. And no Yeon, I won't ask you to go swimming with me in the Pacific Ocean, I am not opposed to a simple pool swim, you know. Or the river." He was sure there was a blush resting on his cheeks and since he was pale in comparison, it would look more evident, "Yes I remember who I'm talking to. A person can be hot, sexy, attractive, charming and cute, that's not possible" he shot playfully. "Chocolate?" And just like that, his eyes lit up again, sometimes he wondered if Yeon knew how easy it was to get him to bow down to anything that's food. "Come on-" he stood up so quickly and was already holding Yeon's hand so he could tug him, until he realized the sudden motion and dropped it, "Sorry... "

“Maybe you’re overthinking it” he suggested with a shrug of his shoulders, if Dae wanted to be reckless he didn’t need to wait for any reason to do so, he just could if he was so inclined. But perhaps Dae was a lot like Yeon in feeling like he needed to achieve some goal in his mind before he could focus on himself “You worried the world won’t spin for someone without you?” Yeon had the suspicion that a lot of Dae’s decisions were based around his sister which wasn’t the worst thing in the world but also wasn’t all that healthy, especially when he knew how self-sufficient and headstrong Mirae was.

Yeon wrinkled his nose at the idea of him getting a cat, not because he thought it was a bad idea but because Dae’s first thought was to get a cat that didn’t like him “I knew you were a bit of a sadist but wanting me to get clawed up by a cat? Harsh” he pulled a face but it was clear he was teasing the other male a little. Yeon didn’t have any pets and didn’t intend on getting one any time soon but he did love animals, mostly the reason he didn’t get one was because he didn’t think he could give them the attention they deserved from their owner. The shock in Dae’s voice made Yeon’s eyes soften when he said he wasn’t a coward, he simply shook his head to emphasize what he was trying to say and then shrugged with an encouraging smile. Yeon allowed a devilish grin to cross his face when Dae spoke about staring at his ass “Well true, a lot of people seem to like it very much” he chuckled softly and patted against it a couple of times for good measure with a grin.

In the short time they had known one another they had grown to be pretty close, or at least Yeon saw it that way, they just connected on a level he didn’t with most people and while Dae had his judgemental moments, Yeon generally felt happy to be himself around him. Sometimes it was a little confusing because of this line Dae was drawing to keep the valkyr back a little but that didn’t stop him from being friends with him or getting to know him more and more. While Yeon wasn’t always in Evermore that didn’t seem to stop them talking, timezones not affecting them as much as they probably should because it seemed like Dae was always up at crazy hours. Probably suffered from insomnia like Yeon though he hadn’t actually brought that up before. The hug they shared, at first he thought he’d overstepped because Dae’s initial reaction was to tense his body but then he leaned in closer and the blond closed his eyes for a moment just taking in the moment and the ability to comfort a friend but as quickly as the moment came it was over.

Yeon raised his brows slightly when Dae said he said he wasn’t sure he had enough time to dwell on the fact he didn’t have to have everything figured out right now “I’ll tell you a secret” he spoke it softly and leaned in closer for a moment “Nothing is ever fully ruined, there’s always a chance to fix it” he nodded slightly as he pulled back. He hated the fact that Dae’s mind seemed to be in that place but he didn’t feel like it was his place to lecture him too much, after all, Yeon had a lot of troubles in his own life too and he wasn’t exactly the spokesperson for healthy coping mechanisms. “I’ve never tried ice skating” he admitted his expression lighting up a little at the chance to get to try something new that he’d never experienced before, he swore he would do that all the time if it didn’t take so much time out of his schedule.

Yeon shot Dae a look when he decided to compliment him rather than take in what he was trying to say “I think most of the world would disagree with you on that last one” he grumbled it a little because cute wasn’t exactly the image he usually went for. Though Dae was quickly distracted by the mention of more food, it seemed to the other male was definitely going to be easy to bribe and before long he was being pulled to his feet by the Niveis. He widened his eyes for just a moment at the sudden way Dae grabbed his hand but before long he eased into his touch only for Dae to let go. He pressed his lips together for a moment and grinned slightly when Dae apologized “People always tell me I have freakishly small hands, what do you think?” he held the hand he was holding up in front of him, his way of telling Dae he didn’t mind him touching him like that and not to apologize for it.

Before long they had made their way over to a food truck serving crepes and Yeon was eyeing the menu hungrily, trying to decide what sounded best when smooshed into pancake wrapper form.

"Maybe" he murmured gently, maybe Yeon had a point and he was just overthinking this. But what if he wasn't? There were so many possibilities raking his head right now and Dae wasn't sure which one is the better choice of the many. Because either definitely wasn't just A or B now. "No… no, of course not. I don't think anyone else need me for their world to keep on moving, and maybe that's the problem" He's been living his life trying to be the pillar for people, he never even thought about what life would be for him. "What if people don't need me anymore?" It was unhealthy for him to think like that but it was also a factor to be taken into consideration that Daehyun never knew anything else other than that. He needed to learn more about other things but neither seemed to pay close attention to his benefits only. He would always try to be sure that whatever he does would not impact anyone else negatively or at least, to contribute something to others. Nobody taught him to feel otherwise. Not until Yeon. 

"Ouch, definitely not offended that you called me a sadist, Yeon" he shook his head in feigned offense, because even he knows he had those lengths sometimes. "Besides, how deep of a cut down you think my cat can even inflict on you? Are you sure you won't be the one who claws her back?" he asked coyly, taking that moment to tease him just because he can. Yeon telling him that he wasn't a coward helped him a bit, at least he was under the pretense that people didn't see him disposable. That was one step at a time. He bit his lip instinctively as he felt how dry his throat became when the Valkyr took in the compliment he gave confidently, and went as far as to tap his own to make a point, "I mean, wouldn't expect less from a dancer, right?" he jested, their time together has taught the Niveis a few ways to enjoy life without thinking too much about it. It was still a foreign thing for him but that doesn't mean he doesn't want to try. 

He likes Yeon, he knows that. They've been good friends since they decided to pull off this friendship card, and the Niveis was immensely grateful to receive his company when he can, especially knowing how busy the other male can be most of the time. He knew their friendship value rose up significantly the moment he felt so comfortable texting and calling him. Dae also had other friends, namely Jae, but the connection and bond he has with the Valkyr is a different kind; one he can't seem to pinpoint properly now. Nothing stopped them from conversing with each other, not even distance would do the job. To say that the Niveis was upset the hug didn't last as long as he wanted it to last, would be a vast understatement. He wasn't a touchy person but god did he want to bask in that kind of warmth just a while longer. Just a few more seconds, he tells himself. But alas, he also realized there was a boundary between them and some lines just shouldn't be crossed. 

"A… secret?" he quirked his eyebrows in confusion but allowed the Valkyr to lean in for the sake of his curiosity, dismissing the fact that his heart was beating faster than usual and that his pupils dilated slightly when he was closer, the traits Dae never seem to understand the significance of. "How is that possible?" he murmured softly, gazing up to meet the Valkyr's dark hues, "How can we fix it? How do we know we're not too late?" His tone held pure curiosity and confusion, like a child asking an elderly for advice. He wanted to hear that he still had hope to hold onto, and Yeon is that source who could keep him on his toes right now. "Well, if you can dance to balance yourself, I'm pretty sure you can skate. I have never tried skating either. Never really had the time, you know? The only advantage I have for that is the fact that I won't be freezing my ass off trying to perfect those routines" he grinned sheepishly, "When you have the time, let me know. Maybe we could actually pull that one off." 

When Yeon said everyone else would disagree on him with his statement, the elder Stormwind shrugged casually, "Can't please everyone, right? They can stay in their own bubble, I'll stay in mine. If I think you're cute, then you're cute to me." It was hard to change his mind on things especially when the Niveis is usually dead set on what he believes. Holding his hand felt nice, unfortunately it could last long. He slowly turned his head to the side, his gaze following the hand Yeon raised; the hand he held earlier. "I don't know, it felt okay to me. Let's give a try again" he searched for his eyes to see if it was fine to touch it again and measured his hand to his, "Either my hand is just big or yours is just freakishly small." The entire time, he wasn't eyeing the menu, he was eyeing the Valkyr who seemed to be running his eyes wildly on the menu, probably trying to pick his order, why? Because he looked more interesting to him than the chocolate. "You look like someone who's been deprived of chocolate. It reminds me of that guy from Spongebob albeit a lot more attractive."

He had to admit it made him a little sad to know Dae was in that mindset where he was wondering his importance to others, it was a harsh reality he supposed, seeing people moving forward with their life and wondering if you were getting left behind. Yeon had never liked that feeling so he always tried to be one step ahead and leap forward with both feet “She’s always going to need to Dae” he hadn’t known Mirae for all that long but in the time he had, she’d not been able to stop talking about her brother, it was evidently clear to him right away that they cared for one another and relied on one another. “And from the way you talk about your tribe I’m sure they do too” he knew it could be hard to see your worth sometimes or you could convince yourself that people would be okay without you. Truth was ever since Dae walked into his life the Valkyr had been finding reasons to keep him there and he knew at this point it would hurt if he walked away.

And that wasn’t something Yeon had allowed someone to have power over in a very long time “Said the guy who said he enjoys chasing people and who I’d still have a bite mark from if I didn’t have supernatural healing” he narrowed his eyes with an unimpressed expression, the Niveis was definitely wild in some ways but also very controlled and calculated in others, such a strange combination. “Clearly you have never actually been scratched by a cat. And the fact you already know it would be she makes the idea far too real” he grumbled because there had been one which had it out for him when he was much younger. “Well it definitely doesn’t become this toned overnight, that’s for sure” he gave an amused shake of his head, he was quite strict with himself in order to maintain his finesse so it was always nice when someone complimented him on his hard work.

One thing he found he really enjoyed was being able to catch someone like Daehyun off guard because it seemed like it was really hard to do. Dae was a bounty hunter, he quite literally made a living off of analyzing patterns and trends people followed and then anticipating their next move, he probably knew people way better than he would care to admit. And yet sometimes he would manage to stun the other male to silence and that took a certain level of skill. So when he leaned in to tell his secret, he looked back at the Niveis with a knowing smile “Every bone in my body was shattered and yet somehow I still made it to today” albeit it took magic to make it happen but the point was solid all the same “You can fix that broken heart of yours” he wondered if Dae might scoff or laugh at him calling it that but that was the sense he got from the other male, that he was smiling through the cracks which you could see if you looked hard enough “Start by showing it a little love” he truly did believe that healing began with appreciating yourself.

“I’m not sure dancing and balancing on a thin blade of metal directly equate” he commented it with an amused chuckle, well he suppose he wouldn’t know for sure if he was good or bad at it until he tried it for himself “The only advantage?” he gave the other male a dubious look “You do realize you can quite literally manipulate ice right?” he gave a shake of his head in disbelief but smiled at Dae’s suggestion they actually try it some time “Well as long as you don’t laugh when I show up with at least 2 coats” he laughed gently and shrugged.

If there was one defining trait about Dae it was that he was headstrong, which was something he shared with his sister, though they showed it in very different ways, Mirae was forward and direct while Dae tended to have a more hands-off approach but once he set his mind on something, no one was going to be able to tell him otherwise “Well then I guess I am cute to you” he commented with a grin, he knew better than to argue with him. Yeon didn’t really know where he was going with the whole hand thing, back in Korea it was pretty normal to be touchy with friends like that but Dae didn’t strike him as the type. So he was a little surprised when Dae raised his hand to press against his and he smiled slightly sheepishly “See I told you, it’s like I was born with the wrong size hands” he laughed and shook his head, hoping the Niveis didn’t feel as awkward about it all now. After a moment of studying the menu he noticed that Dae was staring at him and the comment he made, made him laugh “My single biggest flaw, in both my personal life and in the business world, is that I am horribly indecisive” he shook his head amusedly “Order for me?” it was more like pleading that it was him being bossy, he was sure Dae could pick something much easier than him.

Yeon always had this soothing vibe to him that attracted the snowy-haired Niveis to come over to his company because he wanted to bask in that energy too. The Valkyr telling him that both his sister and tribe needs him one way or the other made him feel into silence. "I don't know if they do... " he murmured faintly to himself, nearly inaudible to anyone else, but it was decided then that the elder Stormwind didn't wish to dwell on that stuff no more. He was here at a street fair with a good friend of his, mopping is the last thing he wanted to do while everyone else around him was having fun. "Thanks for telling that, Yeon. I… I needed that." It doesn't resolve his worries but it's a start. Maybe. "Look at you, already reminding me that everyone has their own worth, such a life coach, Yeon" he cooed teasingly, biting his lip to refrain that big grin from taking over, only to fall incredibly when the blond brought back the time where he had bitten him during their sessions together. 

"Touché, Valky" he scoffed, clicking his tongue playfully against the Valkyr in feigned offense, "A, I work as a bounty hunter, Yeon. Hunting and chasing people is what I do. May as well make a hobby out of it if I'm supposed to be good at it, right? What do you people say? Ah… it's better to work on something you're passionate about. B, you didn't complain about those bites when I inflicted it and I didn't bite that… hard." Did he? He rolled his eyes when Yeon retorted that he's never been scratched by a cat, okay, maybe he hasn't been scratched by a cat. "I've been scratched one way or the other, what's the difference?" he narrowed his dark hues on the Valkyr and hummed softly, "Tell me mister, do you have a personal vendetta against… female cats?" The talk about his workout on his body was never a dull topic for the Niveis who enjoys to gaze on what he finds… interesting and worthwhile. And Yeon is definitely that. He shouldn't be surprised that Yeon had managed to catch him off guard or better yet, to make him feel so flustered, but he is. Dae is still surprised that a simple action from the Valkyr was enough to make him question a lot of things in that particular moment. The power he held on him scares him. 

Maybe it was the fact that Yeon always surprised him with every word. The Niveis wasn't easily intimidated or taken aback because he was used to being the one who was always one step ahead, this was new to him. But it doesn't mean it's all bad, the question still remains, however. Was he scared of this foreign feeling? Yes. A bit. There's the thrill of the unknown but he wondered how far would this go. He listened to Yeon intently and never left the blond's peripheral vision, in fact, he only gazed into his eyes even more and blinked a few times as his lips parted in awe, "I don't know how to fix it... " he mumbled softly, that answer surprised even himself, if it was any other day with any other person, Dae would've straight off laughed or scoffed at them for saying those things. But not to Yeon. Those words came out automatically. "How do you show yourself a little love?" He truly does want to know, though. It wasn't as if Daehyun didn't want to fix himself. He also wanted to believe that there was still hope left for him. 

The idea of seeing Yeon on an ice rink does sound tempting, "Well, you should be able to balance yourself pretty well. Something tells me you'll do better at skating than I would." He grinned sheepishly before shrugging when Yeon called him out for having the ability to manipulate ice, "Wouldn't be much of a fair game if I use them, right? But don't worry, I'll make sure you don't freeze your ass off" he patted his shoulder teasingly. Most people see Yeon and they are either greeted with one side of the coin or the other. He realized that while he may not be the only company who gets to witness his cheery and optimistic self, he was one of the few who was able to spend his time together with him. He was lucky in that sense. Sometimes, it feels like nothing bothers the Valkyr and that's a bit reassuring, like nothing would get to him and perhaps that's not the truth but he does a fine job of hiding that. His exuberant energy never failed to cheer Dae up, and that's a hard thing to do. Daehyun had a stupid grin on his face as he tilted his head to the side to examine their hands pressed against each other, it was a simple gesture but one he appreciated immensely, Yeon always knew how to make him feel comfortable, he swore it's like a talent.

 "I don't think you were born with the wrong size" he intertwined their hands together just to make a point, "See, it fits perfectly fine." When Yeon glanced back at him, he always bumped against the stall because he was trying not to show that he had been staring earlier, thankfully Yeon didn't act weird because of it, maybe Dae was overreacting that some of the things that he did would upset the Valkyr. "I'll take the Banana-Rama and Raspberry Beret" he quipped politely at the lady who offered them a smile in response, pointing at the menu displayed. His eyes kept following her skillful hands, eyeing the process of how the crepes were made until it was done and given to them, which he gave the first one to Yeon; a crepe that was rolled with bananas, nutella, with nut toppings and whipped cream while he settled for raspberries, walnuts and whipped cream. He quickly paid for it before Yeon could have the chance to and pushed his back to walk forward, "Come on."

It had become evident tonight that Dae doubted his own worth a lot and Yeon was sure there was a reason for that, probably times in his past when he had been put down and been abandoned by others. Yeon had some experience with past regrets and feeling like a lot of people let you down, he was very lucky to have a lot of friends who cared about him and saw the best in him but there were a lot of people who were only interested in knowing him for his money too. “Well sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of you” he spoke it softly and nodded thoughtfully because he truly saw a lot of good in Daehyun.

“Not a lot of people can actually say they enjoy their work” he commented with a wry smile, he was sure he had made his point though, Dae did have some tendencies which leaned that way, which was fine with him because it was all consensual and for the purpose of pleasure but that didn’t negate them being true. “It was pretty damn hard” he commented with a laugh naturally rubbing against the spot where it had been “But then I’m not all that breakable” plus he kinda liked seeing someone enjoy themselves so much they forgot their own strength, it was a massive compliment in some ways. “I have a personal vendetta against said cat you’re sure will dislike me” he wrinkled his nose because it kinda seemed like something that could happen, Yeon had met some really nice cats but he remembers a white one from his childhood that absolutely hated him.

He looked back at Dae as they sat in silence for a moment just processing what he said, part of him was wondering if the Niveis would just brush it off and deny it, he had seen Dae push aside his feelings for the sake of being strong before, he was sure that was how he pushed through his days so to see him being a little vulnerable definitely had the Valkyr’s interest piqued. “I know you don’t” he spoke it softly, which was evidently clear from the questions Dae kept asking. Yeon had his own personal experience of crawling out from himself to draw on but he also knew his journey was very personal and therefore not directly applicable to the other male “Think about things that make you happy, the reasons, no matter how dumb or small, that make you think for a split second t’s not so bad” he had some silly ones himself that was for sure “And focus on them, give yourself more of them, allocate more time to them” slowly, it wasn’t an immediate fix like Dae seemed to be looking for.

“Well you’ve made me curious about my skating ability now, so I suppose we’re just going to have to make it happen so we can find out” he laughed softly under his breath, he eyed him playfully as he spoke about playing fair when it came to using his ice control abilities “Since when did you play by the rules?” he spoke is a mischievous tone and tilted his head slightly eyeing Dae’s hand as it patted against his shoulder before watching him pull away. Yeon knew he gave the impression that a lot of things didn’t get to him but most of that was a front, he would take in the world around him, what people did and said and he would wait to truly process it until he was alone. Lately, there had been a lot to take in and a lot of it was actually positive, who knew two people really important to him would walk into his life at about the same time? Perhaps he had done something good to deserve such a reward.

He wasn’t normally the one to let out raw reactions or be dramatic with how he responded to things but he definitely was caught off guard by Dae reaching to take his hand again and seeing the way he threaded their fingers together. It was such a brief moment and probably meant very little in the grand scheme of things but knowing how against touching Dae seemed to be it was somewhat of an honor in his mind that the Niveis felt comfortable touching him like that. He didn’t say anything about it, but there was a soft, meaningful smile on his lips as he tucked his hands into his pockets and watched as the lady made their crepes. Noting the way Dae stealthily paid for the snack before he could even pull out his wallet made the Valkyr smile “I actually really love bananas, how did you know?” he looked down to the dish, scooping some up with the little wooden fork and put it into his mouth, groaning because it tasted so good.

“Damn, this tops everything that came before it” he commented with a chuckle as he looked around seeing that some of the stalls were starting to close up and they were putting away some of the equipment and speakers dotted around, it suddenly felt far too quiet for his liking. He was watching Dae because he seemed to really enjoy the treat he’d bought “So not completely regretting leaving the comfort of your bed?” he asked it softly between mouthfuls.

It felt so much easier to talk to Yeon, there were times when Daehyun felt like he was at ease whenever he was conversing with the other male, for reasons unknown until today. All he knew was that when it comes down to talking with Yeon, he didn't have to hide himself away, he didn't need to be someone else that he didn't want to be; he was able to be the person he wanted to be, whoever it was. And that gives him relief. Because there was no expectations when it comes to him. It was an unusual feeling for the Niveis, but it sure feels good. When Yeon said it was hard to see what's in front of you, he felt inclined to agree, "That's right. Sometimes we search for things that we think is out of our reach when they've been in front of us all this time. It's nostalgic, really." You always get a sense of how much you're missing out then. 

"Not a lot of people say a lot of things. But I do remember taking this job because I feel like it suited me. Until another prospect comes to mind, I'll stick with this one" And it was never because it was considered 'easy' or 'convenient' to him, for a job that has a lot of risks that would even cost him his own life if he didn't do them properly, it was the opposite. Being able to deliver, that was something Dae prides himself in a lot. A blush was threatening to make its home in his cheeks when he heard Yeon pointed out that the bite had been quite hard, he supposed he forgot his own strength when he's too high in pleasure, "No, you're not breakable" he affirmed with a coy smile. "All this talk about you and the said white cat I shall have in the future only makes me want to have one even more. Guess who's making his round to your Volakiri's place tomorrow then?" he teased and nudged him playfully, "I'm guessing something happened in the past then. Maybe a white cat scratched you or hate you when you were a kid. Can't have everyone liking and fawning over charismatic baby Yeonseok Lee, after all. That's not balanced" he cooed, one thing was for sure, Daehyun was definitely going to get himself one of those cats just because. 

"Let's put it this way, though, at least the cat's owner won't hate you the way it will. Who knows, maybe the cat will hate you because you'd be stealing her owner away" That's definitely also a possibility, Dae always found it hard to deny or reject Yeon at any time, the Valkyr was this enigma he wanted to unravel so bad, he wanted to know why he felt so comfortable around him since it wasn't the same way he felt when he was around Jae. "Things that make me happy... " he trailed off, nodding knowingly at his words, "I think I'll have to make a list then" he joked, he wasn't good at those things but he was sure with Yeon's help, he'll get around it soon. He wants to. "It sounds like a slow progress so I hope you won't leave me halfway into the road, I'd hate to go through it alone... " The pout he had resting on his lips was slowly beginning to form a signature look for the Niveis, who was not supposed to look anywhere near delicate or cute, but nobody else needed to know how vulnerable and sweet he can be around certain people. 

"So we're definitely having an ice skating day out, that's what you're saying. I see your game, Yeon" he playfully crossed his arms and snickered, that would be such a sight too. Upon being questioned since when did he play by the rules, Dae shrugged and winked teasingly towards the other male, "I can be quite fair when I want to. I use my abilities when the timing suits, when it fits me, and when I think it would benefit me" Besides, the idea of wondering if he won't end up a total failure at skating is now a secured whim in his head. Interlocking his fingers with Yeon's felt so nice, and considering how against touching Dae always seemed to be, this was a big move for the elder Stormwind. He's been doing a lot of things he never thought he would do and it felt… nice. Yeon's hand felt warm and fitted perfectly in his cold one, he supposed that was the irony. One was as warm as the sun while the other was as rigid as the cold. But they mold each other into being a better person and it was a pretty sight. 

When Yeon told him of his love for bananas, Dae stifled a laugh and shrugged absentmindedly, "I figured. Most people who keep themselves in shape likes banana for its potassium. Just a hunch, and one I'm glad I got it right" Contrary to what he may tell himself, Dae pays attention to what Yeon likes and dislikes, consider him being a good friend. Seeing the blissful expression on Yeon made the Niveis grin instinctively before digging in on his own. "No, I don't regret this one. I get good food, good company… good advice, and made good plans. Though I still want to sleep after this, which I'm sure I'll do better now that they've putting those stereos away" he pointed out and stared at the setting before them. "You look like you need some of that too, don't force yourself to stay awake, Yeon, your health matters even if you're a Valkyr, sleep properly."

“Exactly that, and in the same way, we often search for something for so long only to realize we already had it” people who strived for success constantly got trapped in that loop where they always wanted more but eventually have to realize how much they already have. Yeon tried to remain as humble as he could be and recognize his achievements for what they were but even he found it hard to fully take in the things he had achieved at times. “That’s fair, I don’t see myself changing career direction any time soon either” he had far too much he wanted to do with his current one and it allowed him to live a very comfortable and enjoyable life. Seeing the sheepish way Dae responded to him pointing out how hard he could bite made the Valkyr smirk “Believe me many have tried” he laughed, he was used to people being rough and he was hardly gentle himself. Yeon stared at Dae giving a playful shake of his head as the Niveis talked about getting the cat “There was this one white cat the neighbor had which hated me, I swear it waited for me to come home from school every day just to ambush me” he grimaced a little and widened his eyes when Dae called him a baby “I think my competitors in business are more than enough balance” he grumbled slightly under his breath.

He lifted his gaze as Dae talked about himself in vague terms and how he expected Yeon to steal him away, that was open to so many interpretations that it almost made him laugh “You give a guy ideas Daehyun” he teased back with an amused smirk, if it wasn’t for this barrier Dae had seemingly put up between them, Yeon would have already chased after him tonight but he was intrigued to see how well he could hold up resisting and working on this friendship. Which had become pretty important to him he might add. “I’m sure they’re plenty of them, you just have to notice the small things” often there were a lot of things in life that you took for granted and those were the important things you could make significant. He felt his breath catch in his throat when Dae basically asked for Yeon’s help with it all though, he smiled genuinely for a moment “Don’t worry, I may not always be here physically but I’m not going anywhere really” in spirit he would always be there for his friends and nothing would change that.

“It seems so” he spoke softly and grinned “They tend to do classes for them in the winter but I was thinking we wait until the big lake in Evermore freezes, everyone goes skating then” there was something kinda fun about going out skating on real nature to him rather than just going to your run of the mill ice rink. “So you’re saying that you wouldn’t refer to yourself as a rule-breaker” he teased it softly because they had talked about some of their silent ‘rules’ before and he knew that both of them had thrown theirs out of the window that night when they slept together after the incident at the cafe. Looking at their interlinked fingers he took a soft breath as his hues lifted to meet Dae’s and then dropped down again, he didn’t say anything because he didn’t want to make the moment awkward but it felt nice, seeing Dae open up a little and dare he say, thaw just a little, it made him feel important, like he had impacted the Niveis’ life positively in some small way.

The blond Valkyr grinned a little and shrugged “That’s smart” he spoke softly thinking about how he always did eat a banana after a workout because it helped to build strength back up again “But it actually goes back to when I was a kid and I always asked my mom to get me one of those massive banana splits after dinner, most of the time she said no but one time she relented” he smiled kinda sadly and shrugged, he rarely talked about his parents because the topic made him incredibly sad but with Dae no topic felt like it was too much or untouchable. Hearing Dae give as close of a confirmation as Dae would give that he had fun tonight made the Valkyr smile softly “Good, we should get out of our apartments more often” he spoke softly as he finished off his food, licking his lips and then jerking his chin towards the lobby of the apartment building again, when they reached it, he heard Dae worrying over his sleep which made the Valkyr smile “I’ll do my best” he compromised and reached up to squeeze Dae’s shoulder “Thanks for tonight” he spoke gently before he headed off to his elevator and called for it to come down.


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