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Today was another day of silence for her. Ever since she encountered the rogue valkyr in that alley that night, she hasn't been able to forget about the conspicuous manner befitting him. It felt as if she was missing out on something that was dangling in front of her. Despite having looked into it, Sofi still couldn't find the answer to it. However dreadful it might have been for the blonde, she eventually gave into it and asked Everson for help. He had the technology and she had the ability he wanted to utilise in this search. And to be honest? The Initia Grand Master also wanted to find out what was happening. Unfortunately, Sofi is usually always busy, the clock keeps her occupied and it wasn’t letting her out of its sight anytime soon. Either she’s kept at bay by the client files piling on top of her desk back in her office, or thinking about more ideas to enhance what was already there for the tribe.
Today was one of the days where she didn't have to check in for work and because of this, Sofi decided to do a little bit of her own research, such as where the rogue valkyr originated from. The Initia managed to pinpoint the basics, even reaching the details regarding his former family but nothing had suggested his sudden erratic behavior for the past few months. It was as if he completely got absorbed into something and forgot about it once it was done.
It was too suspicious, so when she received the address to the rundown cabin where he resided during his stay in Evermore, she was quick to go there, only to find the charred walls being her only witness. "Well this is surely a bust…" she muttered under her breath and realized she had to start her search elsewhere before the authorities found none other than the Initia tribe ambassador there, of all places. A notification ping caught her attention as she fished out her phone from her pocket, her sapphire hues scanning over the text that came in a few seconds ago. "Don't forget to pick up the flowers for the kids" how could she forget? "Dammit…" She had been so busy chasing cold prints, so much so that she forgot she had promised the novitiates that she would gather the materials needed for their weekly activity tomorrow. The florist was closed today but thankfully, the spot where she usually came to pick up the flowers were nearby.
Imagine her surprise when she saw the flowers weren't where it was supposed to be, someone had plucked it. There were a few petals to her left side, leading it somewhere. While following the trail, Sofi found herself walking over a sturdy bridge to the other side of the river, somewhere she still has yet to explore throughout the entire time she was in the eternal city. That's when she noticed there were flower petals being scattered over the river by someone, who looks to be a male, judging from his silhouette. "Won't you get in trouble for making a mess?"
Today was always difficult. Usually Aeryn was able to put the past in the past and move forward, his life had been made up a long path of twists and turns, there had been highs and lows, moments of bliss and of misery. That was a life after all. But that didn’t mean that the nephilim didn’t feel crushed by the reality at times. 105 years to this day was the day his ship had gone down, after been chased down by assailants, they’d know their time was running out and he and Marie only had a short time to say their goodbyes before the storm had taken them under.
He still blamed himself for what happened, blamed his selfish want for love that meant someone else was put into the harmful path he chose to walk. It was his duty to protect the stone of El’Ar and his alone, bringing someone had been a mistake and the price had been paid tragically. He missed her a lot, it might have been over a century since then but to him it felt like it was almost yesterday. His eyes trailed over the river in front of him as the golden-colored petals floated over the current, tears welling in his eyes as he wondered why life had decided on this path for him.
He reached up to wipe a tear from his eyes when he heard the sound of a voice behind him, he froze up for a moment because it seemed so familiar to him. He wondered if perhaps his mind had completely given in and caused him to start hearing her “You always did question my tradition” he commented with a low chuckle “But it seems less destructive than burning something in memorial right?” he didn’t turn around because there was no point looking for a ghost who wasn’t really there right?
The last thing she thought she would see is someone plucking those pretty flowers and then throwing it on the river like some grieving person. Normally she wouldn't judge but today she's in need of said flowers if she wanted to make the novitiates happy because the florist didn't have the stock she wanted. Perhaps she could… approach him in another manner? Aside from ambushing him that will probably end up being an epic bust. He didn't turn around even after hearing her which meant he probably didn't care who said it, his aura did tell her that he's being incredibly solemn right now, the somber mood didn't help either.
"I did? I don't even know you mister…" she mumbled silently, clearly he thought she was someone he knew. An acquaintance perhaps. "I'm not surprised if others did question your tradition… because those are pretty flowers that you usually can't find everywhere…" what a shame. "I mean… I burn something at memorials… so I don't know what others would think of that" she remembered it was part of their tradition to burn the things they offered. But things are different now.
"Not to ruin the… mood, but do you need the rest?" She peeked over and noticed there were plenty of them on the ground, right next to his feet. "I went to the florist and they didn't have the stock… also, do I know you? You speak to me as if we're old acquaintances…" When she was sure she did not recognize who this person was.
It wasn’t exactly a strange occurrence for him, hearing her voice, he knew his imagination and guilt liked to play tricks on him sometimes. Though it usually happened when he was sleeping, memories would come creeping in, interlaced with what ifs. He regretted what happened back then in some ways but in others he felt incredibly lucky to experience what he did. It was bittersweet but on days like this, it brought more pain than it did happiness. Still, he knew Marie would have never wanted him to blame himself or regret meeting her...choosing her, she always said her choice was her own.
Her words made him frown, wondering why his mind was trying to fight against it, perhaps that was his consciousness trying to snap back to reality “Are they rare?” he commented as he glanced down at the petals on the water, he picked them because they were bright and reminded him of the sunset. He played with the one in his hand, twirling the stem around his fingers as he processed his thoughts.
He frowned again when she asked if she could have the rest of the flowers and he cocked a smile “You and your love for flowers” he commented, remembering how she would always want to stop whenever she saw a merchant selling them. It was all she ever really asked from him. He nodded and reached down to gather them into a bunch so that he could place them into her hands gently. His eyes meeting her, gracing that familiar face he know with a soft smile, how he had missed it. Though he frowned when she asked who he was “You don’t….remember me?” he asked curiously.
To be fair, Sofi did remind herself to not get into situations she wouldn't be able to get out of. But this time, it was way too weird for her to just ignore. He acted like he knew her, and as far as she was concerned, Sofi Zahara has no problem recollecting any past memories. Especially if they were pretty significant in said timeline. This guy seems to act like he knows her that well though. Could it be she forgot about him? When asked if the flowers he picked were rare, the blonde cleared her throat and nodded, "They're not easy to find, that's for sure. Very location specific kind of folks…" It is why the flowers are usually pretty high in demand. Camellias are… beautiful and hard to obtain, even at the florist since you would have to place an order beforehand or else it'll get sold out in a second.
"I see you have a certain liking towards begonia camellias" she pointed out, the ones he had were a lighter shade, the color is striking enough to be compared to the sunset. Such a shame they ended up going to the waters. "Me and my love for flowers?" She raised her eyebrows in confusion, now he definitely used the term he knows her. Sofi does indeed love begonia camellias in general because of where she grew up but oen wouldn't easily peg her as the flower type either. Not unless they know her that well or long enough to sneak into her friend circle.
She took the flowers from him when he gave it to her and it was clear that he thought she was someone else, "I think you had me mistaken for someone else. I have never met you in my entire life… who is this girl's name you speak of anyway? I can hedge a bet it won't be my name." Sofi is confident in her memories. His gaze was piercing but soft and his dark hair and clothing contrasts his sadness today, she could feel the distress spiraling out of him from a mile away.
He raised his brow in surprised when she explained that the flowers he had been using were rare “I just thought they were pretty” he commented under his breath as he glanced to them and then to the blonde. She seemed to know a lot about flowers which he honestly found interesting because he was never really one to pay too much mind to smaller details but Marie had always been the one who told him he needed to slow down and let the world come to him.
His lips rose just a little into a half-smile at the memory before he blinked his vision clear and shrugged slightly, though what he wasn’t expecting was for this vision to completely play dumb with him. If this was something his mind had conjured why was she acting like she had no idea of who he was or the past they shared “Flowers are pretty but nowhere near as beautiful as the woman who receives them” he commented softly, she looked radiant, with bright blue hues and blonde locks that cascaded over her shoulders.
He went quiet for a moment and blinked a few times when she pointed out she had no idea who he was and that she didn’t think she shared Marie’s name, how was that even possible? He questioned as he shuffled a little in discomfort because the more time passed the more it seemed like this woman really wasn’t her “You're not Marie?” he spoke softly, it was almost as though his voice was hopeful it was her because if not then reality just suddenly got far more complicated than he thought it could be.
“Pardon me...my mind must be playing tricks on me on this sad day” he commented as he turned back towards the river, he must be seeing Marie’s face on someone else right? That was the only thing that made sense.
Sofi couldn't help but chuckle when he said he just thought they were pretty. Of course he would think that. Most people who didn't have prior knowledge of what the flowers could do and what it meant usually go by that line and honestly, Sofi couldn't blame them. The camellias are beautiful. She couldn't help but feel slightly bothered at the way he stared and talked to her though, she was positive she never met this person or else she would've remembered. Did she somehow hit her head at some point and forgot a few things along the way? Could that be what was going on? Or was this guy just trying to fool her?
People have been known to use one's memory against them over the years but he didn't look like a con-artist either, much else someone who would want to trick the other. He was being genuine. Genuinely confused. "Well you sure are handy with your compliments, do you tell every lady that? Seems like it'll get you a few brownie points in return" she scoffed playfully, there was a nice touch to it. If she didn't know what was going on, she would've been fully flattered by it. Still, it didn't mean the intention wasn't halfway there. She could feel it. Marie. Just who the hell was she? Did the initia resemble whoever that person is that much? "No, I'm not Marie. My name is Sofi. Which is honestly far from Marie…"
There was nothing about their names that indicated they were similar. "Is that her name? The person you thought I was? Marie?" She saw the look on his face though, how hopeful he looked but it dissolved slightly upon hearing she wasn't that person. "I'm sorry to disappoint you, I'm sure whoever she is, she's a delightful person." Well now she feels guilty for some reason. She wondered if Marie was the person he was mourning, were they really alike or could it be that he was just seeing her face on the blonde's? She had no idea honestly. It wasn't as if she could just tap into his head for no reason to clarify. That's just rude. "You look like you could use a drink though" she bent over to pick up the rest of the flowers scattered next to his feet and beckoned for him to follow her, "Come on, I'll buy you one."
Aeryn blinked again, practically pleading with his mind to stop playing such cruel tricks and dragging this girl into it but no matter how many times he tried, she still looked back at him the same. He chuckled under his breath when she asked if he gave that compliment to every girl he met “Only the special ones” he jested playfully, he had met many different people in his life, some stayed for longer than others but he’d always been the kind to keep on moving. “Sofi” he responded and nodded his head slightly when she introduced herself, so he really was an entire stranger, he’d be embarrassed if it wasn’t for the fact he was far too enveloped in his emotions right now to worry about his own pride.
“You look a lot like her...long blond hair...eyes as blue as an ocean...kind spirit” he pressed his lips together and nodded his head slightly “My mistake” he commented, bowing just a little as though to apologize for the misunderstanding, he didn’t want to offend her after all. He blinked and then smiled sadly when she spoke her next words “She was” he commented and pressed his lips together, he missed her a lot nowadays, he missed having someone by his side who he could just rely on. Especially now that it seemed like he had finally managed to establish somewhat of a base here in Evermore. A home you might say.
He had been staring off into the distance while they were talking but he turned back to face her when she said he could use a drink, he gave a low chuckle and nodded “You’re probably right” he wasn’t expecting her to offer to buy her one but out of curiosity he found himself turning to follow behind her “What are you planning to use the flowers for?” he asked out of curiosity, they were the reason she was here originally right so it must be something important.
The way he blinked and his body language gives out the distress signal she us all too used to seeing all her life; confusion. It made her eyes soften because some people are really that genuine and she couldn't find it in her heart to make them upset. Despite her tough way of showing things sometimes, Sofi is a compassionate soul at the end of the day. It makes it easier because she could feel everything and everyone. She raised her eyebrows playfully and chuckled in response to his remark, "I'm considered special now?" She teased and shook her head. When he said she looks a lot like this Marie, Sofi tilted her head slightly to the side and nod, he's not lying, that's for sure. He was far too composed and a bit under the previous distress if anything, which makes him truthful.
"I say yes to the long blonde hair and blue eyes… but kind spirit? What makes you think I'm a kind spirit? That's rather presumptuous of you" she jested. He was really good with his manners, that much she could see, which meant he was probably brought up in a good household or at least learned from the good things around him. She was glad to see him smile amd lift a bit of that devastation plaguing his heart from earlier when she offered him a drink, maybe the mood will lighten up in time. She couldn't bear to see someone so genuine end up being this upset, it just wasn't right. Not everyone needed to be miserable, after all "I'm usually always right."
When asked what she planned to use the flowers for, she stared at the amount she held in her hands and shrugged casually, "I look after and teach some of the kids where I'm at… and they love playing around after their lessons, flowers are used to make crowns and alike so I often go to the florist to get it every week for them. Unfortunately, the kind of flowers I was looking for… they're out of stock and I remembered I could find them here. Until you took them away of course." She turned to face him and cleared her throat as they make their way out if the clearing, "What's your name? Or am I to call you… what I call you in my head?"
He chuckled under his breath when she asked if that made her special, well she did look exactly like the woman he loved most in the past to him so of course he found her very beautiful. He pressed his lips together and shrugged slightly “I mean you didn’t run for the hills the moment some strange guy mistook you for someone he knew so..” he offered a small, easygoing smile, that definitely meant she was more than just human. He found that humans had very little tolerance for things they didn’t understand after all.
He laughed “Well you didn’t yell at me for stealing the flowers for starters” he pointed out when she asked what made him think she was a kind spirit “And I’ve gotten pretty good at reading people in my time” he got the impression she was good, though he wasn’t going to reveal the fact he wore a stone around his neck that warned him when danger was afoot. He was following behind her, grinning with amusement thanks to her confidence in himself, he always found that kind of certainty attractive “I’ll keep that in mind” he commented before quickening his pace a little so he could fall into step beside her.
He smiled softly when she explained what her intentions for the flowers had been “It kinda relieves me to know kids still enjoy making flower crowns” he commented thinking about how Willa had loved doing that when she was younger, always heading out to the meadow so she could collect the best flowers and twist them in interesting ways. “Are these specific flowers...special?” he always just thought any flower would be good enough. She turned around so quickly that he had to dig in his heels to the ground to stop himself stumbling into her. He paused for a moment, amused by her unpredictability before chuckling “Aeryn” he introduced himself and nodded his head in a bow “Though I’m very curious what your head would call me” he teased softly.
Maybe, she wanted to make someone's day a bit better than it already was, not that it looks like he had a good one considering he was scattering flower petals over the river mourning after someone. "Why would I run for the hills? It's hardly the first time someone would mistake one for another and you're… not exactly the first weird guy I've met. So that kinda helps too." When reminded of the type of people she has met over the time she resided here, Sofi couldn't help but chuckle because she could really list them down. And it's always, the woods. "Honest question though, should I be running for the hills?"
Her gaze instantly fell on the flowers in her grasp when he talked about them, fortunately there were plenty of them left but who was she to yell at someone for… carelessly wasting flowers? It's not hers. "I don't think I have the right to yell at you for stealing flowers when it's not even mine in the first place. But I will admit I was a bit irked that you decided to waste such precious things. Given your situation though, I'll let it go" she winked playfully, at least he wasn't so sad anymore. That's a good start. When he said he learned to read people over time, Sofi grinned, "How ironic, me too." The sound of the leaves crushed under her boot would've filled her senses if she wasn't trying to pick up a conversation with him because he was being unseemly and quiet. This is awkward, she thought. So when he took the liberty to answer a few of her enquiries, it lifted a certain burden off her. It almost made her let out a huge sigh.
"How old are you supposed to be and where are you from to be thinking that? It's 2021, the world hasn't gone into full android and AI mode yet and forests still exist for the kids to play at" she teased. When asked if the flowers are special, she shrugged, "It was the same type of flowers I received from my father when he took me home. He told me that my mother used to love them very much and it's pretty much the only thing I know about my parents. I can't recall anything else unfortunately" they passed away when she was 5, it was hardly at the age where she would fully forget them but she couldn't remember. He managed to not stumble against her which had her raise her eyebrows in surprise and amusement because of how good his body control was to halt like that.
"Well, if we're being honest, my head called you Mopey… and of course, I'm Sofi. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Aeryn." It sounds foreign, which makes her wonder where he came from. "I'm assuming you're not from America. I hope I'm not embarrassing myself by being wrong."
He couldn’t help but chuckle when he referred to her as a weird guy, raising his brows as though to act like the was surprised at the accusation but honestly, to any regular person, he was strange, of another time, his life was far more complicated than most could fathom. But he also got the feeling she was far from ordinary too “Weird guy huh? I guess that’s kinda accurate” he commented and shook his head in amusement “But some people are made uncomfortable by things they don’t understand” he commented and shrugged. He grinned when she asked him if she ‘should’ be running for the hills and he pressed his lips together “Honestly, if you were smart, probably” he commented, the stone of El’Ar was a danger magnet and because of it, he tried not to let people get too close.
He narrowed his gaze in thought when she said she couldn’t scold him for taking something that wasn’t his because it also wasn’t hers “I can tell the urge to scold is definitely there” he jested and pressed his lips together. He glanced over at her wondering what, in her mind, his ‘situation’ was to warrant letting him off the hook. “It was a tradition, something my family did whenever we wanted to...remember things” it wasn’t exactly a tradition from any culture or background but simply something he did because it reminded him of what he had lost. “Is that so?” he asked when she said she knew how to read people “Tell me, do you wish you could go back to a time when you didn’t know so much about others?” honestly he did, he felt like a lot of his innocence had been stolen from him.
He gave a somewhat coy smile when she asked how old he was to think that the world had moved past enjoying nature “I just notice a lot of people prefer seeing things through a screen than their own eyes nowadays” don’t get him wrong, he thought technology was an amazing development but he had to admit that sometimes he missed the old ways. “You lost your parents?” he picked up from the way she spoke that they were gone, it made him feel a little sad at the thought of his own, his mother mostly because his father had been quite the piece of work in the end.
He cleared his throat when he just managed to halt himself before colliding with her but smiled softly because she was so close to him and she looked so much like Marie that if he paused for a moment he could feel like he was transported back to when she was here. “Mopey” he responded and gave a slightly surprised chuckle “Well it could have been worse I suppose” he commented and pressed his lips together “It’s...a hard day for me” he explained, figuring she might be wondering why he was so ‘mopey’. But she was a breath of fresh air and he decided maybe that was what he needed today “You’re right...though my American accent is pretty well developed by now” he smirked “Originally I am from Greece” he nodded slightly as he tilted his head slightly “You don’t seem like you were ‘born in the USA’ either” he teased, purposely putting on an overly American accent.
This wasn't her first time meeting a weird person while she didn't even think she'd meet them, because who the hell meets a stranger and befriends them in a place that people don't usually meet at? Sofi Zahara. That's who. She didn't mind though, because this person she met seemed nice and looked like he could use a drink. "Not all weird are supposed to be bad so don't worry" she chuckled, When he said people are uncomfortable with the things they don't understand, Sofi found herself wondering if that's just how it is for every single one of them. "Don't people fear what what don't understand anyway? They're afraid of the unknown… and they don't like the change, so they try to get rid of it the best way they can." That's exactly how she felt. Even in her own tribe, she didn't feel like she belonged until she actually had an element so it wasn't just reserved for humans but supernatural alike too.
"If I was smart, well I would like to think that I am but I'll pretend I don't" she winked playfully. When he told her it was his tradition, she nodded in understanding, "That's cute." Did she wish she could go back? She wasn't sure about that. "Maybe… maybe not. I guess it depends which part of not knowing about others you mean… Even before I knew I was different, I was never normal… God my childhood sure did made sure of that. Things have always been so… hectic for me." Considering the fact that she lost her parents at a young age and had to keep moving here and there to one orphanage over to the other until a friend of her mother's came to adopt her due to his sense of loyalty, it was pretty much explanatory.
"Oh the technology is very useful, I am amazed every single day. And the cars? Thank god the cars last longer because I don't think I can settle to ride a horse or a carriage… or sit still in a ship knowing I can probably end up being washed away whole traveling for months long to get to a destination." Vehicle and transportation wise, she loves it. "Doesn't everyone?" She was sure a lot of people lost their parents, at some point it happens. "But yeah, I was orphaned at 5." That was too young for a girl who didn't think anything bad was ever going to happen to their happy family. They were content with everything, she could recall that much, until that perfect picture was destroyed right in front of her. "Mopey can sound cute if you make it" she said defensively, pursing her lips slightly when he explained to her the reason for his 'mopeyness'. "You don't need to explain, you know. I told you before, I can read people pretty well" and it was clear from the male before her, his emotions were scrambled all over the place.
"Oh god you sounded even worse when you try to make it sound more American. I think yours is pretty fine now. I'm not from the USA, I was born in Budapest but moved to Andorra and lived there with my parents, spent most of my childhood in Kiev after I got adopted and traveled pretty much everywhere when I decided to pursue my studies. My accent is only fine because I spent a few years in Canada, I guess. Though I have no idea why I resort to that instead of the other considering I lived in England longer." It checks out. "So why Evermore? Is it because of the whole eternal city populated by supernaturals and being able to coexist peacefully?"