Asen wasn’t sure how long time had passed, it only felt a moment ago he was nodding off, he peeked an eye open to get a blurry view of the restaurant. He kinda stretched in place to notice he was laying down, he glanced up to see Luminous on his phone. He was in Luminous’ lap. he pouted a little and poked his friend’s phone.
Luminous moved it to make eye contact with Asen. A smirk grew on the honey-eyed student’s face
“Mornin’ Sleeping Beauty~” He giggled
“How long?” He signed tiredly
“A few hours, but honestly, you look a lot better!” Luminous helped him sit up,
Asen stretched more properly and looked over to see the rest of the group all mobile and utilizing the space to connect with Cassell’s home base. Asen also noticed their luggage was there, looks like the delivery was made safely. Asen looked towards his injury to see if it had gotten any better. It stopped bleeding, so that was good.
“Why not try your Heal-source now?” Luminous suggested
Asen nods and adjusted himself, flexing his hand out, and sure enough, a warm ember began emitting from Asen’s palm. He carefully set it on the ground and watched the ground form a source around him. It got right to work, healing Asen up and his injuries
Luminous grinned from ear to ear, he was happy to see Asen was better
Caesar walked over to them and folded his arms
“Good! Nice to see our healer is healed” He patted Asen’s head before Johann walked up to him, holding a duffle bag
“Asen, I have your stuff here, I want you to change and we can get ready to figure a way out of here” Johann explained
Asen nods and took the bag, waiting to heal up first,
“Oh! I’m glad to see you better!” Makoto smiled as she walked in with Koshi
“Hey, kids, I got back with my buddy, He’s willing to take you all in until you can evacuate, due to the riots happening outside...”
“They’re rioting now?” Solace asked worriedly
“Yeah...I’m afraid so, Asou and I boarded up what we could, but it’s only a matter of time, His guys will pick you up in the morning” Koshi Explained
“Sounds good, everyone get ready, I’ll connect us with Home Base to get our next orders...” Caesar instructed.
Asen stood up once he was healed enough to walk, he grabbed his duffle bag and headed to the restrooms to change properly. Asen pulled out his old Black Swan clothes and put them on, he preferred it to the tight school uniform anyway. As Asen was trashing the wetsuit he noticed a book poking out from the side of the duffle bag. He pulled it out and scanned over it.
It was the cookbook Chisei had bought for him in Chizuru, Asen softened as he thought back on Chisei. It hurt to think about it. He really couldn’t think of Chisei as a traitor, but then again, he never saw it coming with his father. Asen knew he put too much loyalty in others, a small part of him feared his friends were the same way.
He quickly dismissed those thoughts and put away the book. He zipped up his bag and walked out of the restroom. Caesar was waiting for him. It caught Asen by surprise, he flinched a bit at the Frenchman’s presence
“Hey...Can we talk?” Caesar asked
Asen nods sheepishly and Caesar guided him out to the back of the restaurant where a booth was, it seemed to be meant for parties and private groups. Caesar sat down and gestured Asen to do the same
“Look...I’m sorry I overreacted earlier” Caesar mumbled
Asen tilted his head quizzically
"Back at the mission..." Caesar fumbled with a smudge on the table, not wanting to look Asen in the eye. The Russian softened upon realizing what he had meant.
Caesar pulled out his phone and opened notes up for Asen to type with and handed it to him,
"I promised I would explain, is that what you're here for?" Asen typed out
"No--no...I realize that it's not my business..." Caesar mumbled out
"It's okay, if you want to know, you can know," He wrote on the phone
Caesar harbored on the thought for a moment, eyeing Asen carefully.
"Alright...then yeah, I wanna know, I know the rest of my team well enough, except you, you're a walking question mark to me, And- I feel, as a leader, and as a friend, I should know more about you," Caesar admits
Asen then proceeds to scoot over to sit beside Caesar, using his phone to type out everything, things even HJ never taught.
He was telling his story. Asen talked about his sister, his friends. Caesar would question who Anton was. Asen would remind the resemblances to him and Anton. Caesar made remarks about the similarities between Ivan and Luminous. Then they got to Solace. Caesar furrowed his brow and scanned over the sentence again
"Hang on...Solace was a part of Black Swan too??" Caesar asked, Asen simply nodded
"But- she didn't even know about Black Swan earlier-" Caesar sat there confused
"She doesn't remember, I think, HJ said she went through a lot, but She doesn't remember me, or Black Swan, I don't wanna pry into it, she seems happy now." Asen typed
Caesar softened and glanced at the group in the distance watching Solace joke with Luminous and Johann who were waiting on them
"That's gotta be hard...Knowing she's right there and you can't say anything to her" Caesar mumbled, Asen looked down at the phone quietly before typing
"My friends there were my family, everyone, especially..." Asen typed
Caesar softened "Oppai?" He asked
Asen jolted at the word, looking down at the phone, he hadn't even realized he wrote that down, he deleted the word frantically, emotions swelling in his chest, he bit his lip to try to compose himself
"Professor Hertzog, he was my father, not biologically, but, I suppose you could say adopted, we were a family..." Asen confessed
"I-I don't understand, if everything was well, I mean, from what you told me he seemed to care about you kids, why would he go 180 all of a sudden?" Caesar asked, Asen fell silent
"I never understood, I knew he needed the funding, but it was for the orphanage...I wonder to this day why he was willing to kill them..." Asen typed out, feeling his eyes well up with the tears
Caesar softened and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder
"Maybe this agent man threatened him, maybe between his old age and his desperation he truly believed there was no hope for you guys, but that wouldn't make sense why he would kill you too..." Caesar mumbled
"His plan was never to kill me, or my sister, just, everyone else. Bonderev was ordered to take us in with him. I don't think Hertzog wanted us dead" Asen softened as he wrote into the phone
"Then, what happened?" Caesar asked
"I was so angry, I shouted at him, I wanted to fight so badly, I lost my friends, my home, my first love, and now I was about to lose my sister too...I couldn't lose her, She was my other half, she did everything for me, I wasn't gonna lose her, and yet--" Asen stopped typing, his vision was too blurry to type, his hands trembled as he felt the thoughts swirl up
Caesar softened and gently took the phone away from him
"That's enough for now, I'm not gonna make you do any more okay?" He reassured, Asen simply signed an apology, looking down as tears fell from his face
"Don't even worry about it- I appreciate you telling me--I know more about Black Swan now and more importantly about you, Asen you carry yourself as most Russian men I know... like you don't matter. Men like us have such an honor, You carry the world yet no one carries you. You have to understand sometimes its okay to be weak, you're not any less of a man for being so..." Caesar reassured
Asen nods quietly and looked over to Caesar, grabbing the phone back to type "I didn't tell anyone because in my time Russians and Americans weren't exactly friends" Asen explained
"I understand, I also know now that no time has passed between now and Black Swan for you, you're still living as if this happened a few months ago" Caesar sighed, Asen agreed
"I'm glad we did this though, I'm glad to know you, the real you..." Caesar mumbled, Asen leans on him a bit, giving a small side hug before standing
"Hey...one more thing" Caesar stood up with him. Asen turned to him with his attention
"Once we get home, I promise, I'll help you look for your sister, We can fly to Russia, start there, I can't guarantee we will find her...alive, but anything to tie that loose end, I'll help with okay?" Caesar promised
Asen smiled a bit, taking his hand and shaking on it
Caesar felt a smile form on his face as Asen cleaned his face up, walking towards the group to talk to Home Base.
Caesar let his smile fall as now Asen was in the distance with the squad. "I need a drink after this" He murmured before walking back to the group, his white coat trailing behind him.