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Ayutthayan period [Year 1521]

 

“Khun Mew..” soft knocks sounded on Mew’s room, however the person behind the door was tucked in a corner, with hands covering his ears, eyes squeezing shut as if he’s willing the sound and the person behind the sound to go away and for a moment it did.. Until “SUPPASIT JONGCHEVEEVAT” a loud male voice thundered across the hallway outside his room.

“SUPPASIT JONGCHEVEEVAT OPEN THE DOOR THIS INSTANT!” the person behind the voice continued banging on the door and demanding the person inside to come out of the room. Curling into a ball, Mew quietly sobbed, not daring to make a single sound but at the same time he feels like screaming in pain as though his heart and lungs have been ripped out of him. He couldn’t breathe and he couldn’t see anything else even though his eyes were open as the tears were blocking his vision. Just then, he felt something licking his eyes and for a moment he could see what was in front of him: his fluffy pomeranian was lying on its stomach in front of him and licking at his face to comfort him. He sobbed even harder and as if the pomeranian could sense his overwhelming emotions, it lay itself next to Mew and the panting of the petite dog slowly lulled Mew into sleep.

 

Click

 

Upon hearing the sound of the door unlocking, Mew jumped awake from his slumber. He immediately curled into a ball again in the corner of the room, hoping to stay hidden from whoever had entered his room. “Mew.. my dear son.. Don’t hide away from mama” A woman dressed in rich green and gold cotton cloth carefully came to his side. Even with her tired face, she still somehow oozes elegance and gentleness in her mannerisms and speech. Mew looked at his mama and tears immediately started falling again, as if a water tap had been turned on. “Mama.. Ma.. Ma.. I..I..I..I didn’t mea..mean..to..dis..dis..disgra..disgrace..the..whole..fam..famil..family..” he broke down, ashamed to look at his mama, afraid to see anger or worse, disappointment in his dearest mama’s eyes. “Oh Mew, my dearest son.. Look at me” Mew looked up at his mama’s firm request before she continued “You will always be my pride. You’re my son afterall, I know you are feeling sorry towards the family but Mew Suppasit, remember that you’re not wrong. You were never wrong, you just trusted the wrong person that’s all. Don’t you ever dare think that everything is your fault. Everything will be over after awhile, don’t worry about it” Soft gentle hands stroked his hair as he cried upon hearing his mama’s words. Soon after, Mew fell asleep again on his mama’s lap.

When he woke up next, he found himself lying on his bed with his dog next to him. His mama must have requested for someone to carry him to the bed. He moved to get out of the bed until he heard his name mentioned by the servants coming into the room. He slowly laid back down and turned his face towards the wall so that he could eavesdrop on their conversation. After eavesdropping, he wished he didn’t and tears started flowing out of his eyes again. He has decided, he will not bring shame to his family and he will fix this to repay the love his family had given him. He went around his room, gathering the things he needed and by sunset, everything was ready. Kneeling down, Mew softly petted and kissed his fluffball.. “Chopper, be a good boy for mama, papa and nong Jom please? Take good care and protect them in my place, kay? I love you” As if sensing what his owner is going to do, the fluffball named Chopper started barking loudly, as if demanding its owner to stop whatever he was going to do.

At Chopper’s loud barking, Mew tapped at its nose. With a soft yellow light, chopper lost its voice and upon realising that its owner took it’s voice away from him, the fluffball stared at Mew in defiance. “Sorry Chopper, you were being too loud. After I’m done, you can have your voice back okay?” Mew booped Chopper’s nose and went up on the chair. Taking a deep breath, he looped the rope hanging on the ceiling beam around his neck. As tears filled his eyes, he kicked the chair away from him and immediately he felt constriction at his neck and on instinct, he kicked around to get oxygen into his lungs. As he struggled from the ceiling, he could feel his airway and lungs on fire and as if his body realised that no oxygen was flowing into his brain, he stopped struggling and laid limp, life draining out of his body.

 

WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!

 

The sound of running footsteps could be heard as the owners of the footsteps ran over to Mew’s room upon hearing the fluffball continuous barking. Entering the room, the remaining Jongcheveevat family stared at Mew’s body hanging from the ceiling in shock. The head of the family was the quickest to react as he screamed at a servant to bring down Mew’s body and the family tried all ways and means to force oxygen into Mew’s lungs again. After countless attempts, the family finally accepted that life is gone from their eldest son. “Mew, my baby.. You must have suffered so much..” Mama hugged Mew’s lifeless body tightly, as if attempting to preserve what’s left of the body warmth when one is alive. Peeling his wife away from his son, the head of the family lay Mew’s body down on the floor and gently swiped his hands across those once bright almond eyes, closing it in hope of his son being at peace now on the other side. Jom and mama sat across Mew’s body, sobbing and soon the head of the family could be heard by the servants sobbing by his dead son’s body as well.

Due to it being a suicide which was frowned upon in their country and the Jongcheveevat family being a family with status, Mew’s funeral was done in a quiet manner and soon it was over. As the family returned back to their house, mama looked at Chopper and tears filled her eyes again. “My dear, do you think we should send Chopper to accompany Mew?” mama looked at her husband, heartbreak evident all over her tired features. “We should. He must have felt so lonely and scared before he left and I won’t allow him to feel that way anymore, be it afterlife or his reincarnations. It’s my fault for making him feel like he doesn’t have anyone beside him.” The head of the family glanced at Chopper, guilt all over his face as he mourned over his son.

Late at night, when the servants were all asleep, the Jongcheveevat gathered in Mew’s room as Chopper still slept there. Pouring a vial of mixed herbs and powders into a small black cauldron mama had hidden there earlier, Jom took out a ball of fur obtained from Chopper from a small pouch and handed it to her mother. As the content in the cauldron hissed, mama took out a dagger and slit a line across her palm, collecting the blood dripping from her palm into a golden cup. Then, Jom and the head of the family followed what mama did and their blood too dripped into the golden cup, mixing it together. Once every drop of the blood had been collected, mama poured the blood mixture into the cauldron along with Chopper’s ball of fur. When the blood mixture and Chopper’s fur hit the bottom of the cauldron, a gold light flowed out of the cauldron and towards the sleeping Chopper. As the light hit Chopper, soft snores could no longer be heard. 

“Stay beside Mew at all times and protect him wherever he is okay? Papa, mama and p’jom had each placed a part of us in you in order for you to better take care of him when our physical bodies couldn’t. Thank you Chopper.” Mama kneeled down and whispered to the lifeless body of the fluffball.

Chapter Text

Rattanakosin period [year 2021]

 

“Mew.. Mew.. Mew.. MEW SUPPASIT JONGCHEVEEVAT!” 

 

Mew jumped, pulled out from wherever his mind had drifted to and glared at the person standing in front of him. “Don’t glare at me, I’ve been trying to get your attention for the past 2 minutes and you kept ignoring me.” Tong crossed his hands over his chest and glanced at his boss slash friend. “What were you thinking of anyway? You didn’t even hear me calling you.” Mew grimaced as he remembered what he was thinking of before Tong had shouted at him. “Just some memories from my past.” Tong nodded in acknowledgement before walking away from Mew and into the counter behind them. 

“What did you even call me for anyway?” Mew threw the nearest dish towel onto Tong’s face, to which he gave a look of disapproval. “We’re running out of the normal ingredients, I’ve sent Kaownah and Run to purchase it. We’re also running out of the special ingredients too, so you’ll need to make a trip down to p’Tuk there and one last thing, I think we should hire one more staff member to help out Kaownah and Run. What do you think? Run bakes the desserts and wash the dishes, Kaownah makes the beverages and takes order, I’m in charge of the daily operations while you, my dear friend, just sits there looking moody and handsome, attracting the female and male customers, so I think we need a server in the cafe, especially during the weekends.”

Mew frowned, not liking the idea “Tong, I think 4 people who knew about the true nature of the cafe were already more than eno..g.” Tong held up his hand in front of Mew’s face, effectively stopping him from continuing whatever he was going to say. “I knew you would say that so I’ve already placed the notice that we are looking for a server on the cafe window as well as the social media accounts.” Tong smirked. “WHAT” Mew glared at Tong who’s happily wiping the cups and plates behind the counter, preparing for the opening of that day. “Why did you even ask me then?!” Mew sulked.

 

WOOF! WOOF!

 

Sensing the change in its owner’s tone, the little fluffball beneath the two men’s feets started barking, wanting to find out what happened that made his beloved owner upset. “Chopper~~ Tong is bullying me~ bite him for me naaaaaa~” Mew kneeled down and rubbed his face against the fluffball’s soft fur while Tong scoffed as he looked upon the interaction between his 183cm tall friend and the little pomeranian. 

Grinning, Tong grabbed some dry snacks and kneeled down. “Chopper~~” at the smell of its snack, Chopper escaped out of Mew’s embrace and trotted towards Tong immediately, eating the snack and licking Tong as a way of saying thanks for the snack. “Traitor” Mew whispered to his dog. “Anyway, don’t worry about it. We can keep the true nature of the cafe away from the new hire. He will be a normal staff here and we won’t involve him in matters that are not normal and most importantly.. We have the budget to afford it.” Before Mew could say anything else, the door to the cafe opened and Kaownah and Run came in carrying bags and bags of ingredients for the cafe. As the time was coming close to opening time, the 4 men shuffled to their respective workspace and started getting ready for opening.

Even with the unusual operating hours, from sunset to sunrise, the cafe had its stream of customers trailing in, especially on the weekends, with people from all walks of life stepping into the cafe -  People who work the night shift, students who are burning midnight oil for their exams, the random office worker who finished late at night, insomniacs etc. Aligning with the unusual operating hours, the cafe’s menu is unusual too. Depending on what Run feels like baking on that day, customers usually have 2 to 3 options to choose from and the daily changes keep the customers coming back for more, since no one knows what to expect from Run. Even Mew and Tong didn't know what he’s baking until Run told them. For the beverages, as Kaownah is the cashier as well, he’ll take one look at the ordering customer and decide on the best beverage for them. Outside the cafe, people were spreading jokes of Kaownah being a mind reader, as he has never failed a customer’s expectation.

“P’Mew, today’s dessert menu is Honey, Lavender & Lemon Glazed cake, chocolate caramel tart and cinnamon apple bread.” Run informed Mew so that he could start writing on the whiteboard that would be placed outside the cafe, along with some random drawings by Mew. As Run happily bounced back to the kitchen, Mew swore he could see a smirk from his employee’s face. “Did something good happen to Run while you both went ingredient shopping?” Mew asked Kaownah, who was busy counting the petty cash in the cashier. “Nothing, everything was normal though he kept saying a huge stone is coming to disrupt the water flow soon. When I asked him what that meant, he just gave me his usual annoying smirk and we just dropped the conversation then.” Kaownah shrugged and since Kaownah thought nothing of it, Mew too gave up harping on that weird sentence and went back to work.

“Mew, do you think Chopper will sense any hollow today? It’s been long since we last had one and you haven’t even make the trip to p’tuk there for the special ingredients! What if there’s one tonight?!” Tong looked out the window, an anxious expression on his face. “As long as I don’t get the ingredients, the fate wouldn’t “allow” any hollow to step into the cafe, so don’t worry about it.” Mew smiled, even when he knew the smile didn’t reach his eyes.

“I guess you still have no idea when you are going to do this until?” Tong looked at his dear friend, who was absentmindedly playing with the marker on the counter. “The fate only said until the day I embraced myself and life itself, I have to continue doing this. It’s vague, isn’t it? No matter how many spa sessions I’ve gone for, how many Yankee candles I’ve burnt, how many figurines I’ve collected, I’m still here.” Mew sighed in defeat.

“Don’t worry, the flow of the water will be disrupted soon by a huge stone.” Run’s voice came from the side and as he walked past the two friends, he petted his boss’ back and went back to the kitchen without any explanation, confused glances were exchanged between the two friends.

Chapter Text

Mild glanced at his best friend besides him, worried at the physical state of his friend due to the lack of sleep. His usual pretty doe eyes are now dull, his caramel tanned skin ashy, his pinkish cupid bow lips pale and cracked. “Gulf, are you okay?” Mild lightly tapped his friend’s shoulder in concern. “Yeah.. Just feeling tired.. Don’t worry about me.” Gulf failed to stifle a yawn and smiled at Mild to reassure him that he’s really only feeling tired. “You still can’t sleep at night? Did you try sleeping pills?” Mild asked as his hands started arranging the accessories at the counter while Gulf made his way to the side of the counter to hang the clothes back to where it belonged. “I still can’t sleep and the sleeping pills are no use either. I wonder if it was because I used to sleep too much in the past? And now I can’t sleep no matter what I do. It’s so weird too, when I tried recalling when the insomnia started, I realised that it was actually after my 21st birthday. Weird right?”

Mild shrugged, “maybe you really did sleep too much.” Gulf sighed in defeat, “yeah, that’s the only explanation that I could find.” After he’s done with the counter arrangement, Mild playfully jumps onto Gulf’s back, “Don’t be so sad. It’s our off day tomorrow! Let’s go for a drink tonight and I’ll accompany you for the whole night!”

Before Gulf could answer his friend, the two besties sensed someone standing behind them. Dread fills them as they come face to face with their store manager. “Are you guys working in the circus? I don’t see how a clothing store would require Gulf piggybacking Mild.” With a sheepish smile, Mild got down from Gulf’s back. As the two friends listened to the store manager lecturing them on the importance of proper behaviour in the store and giving customers a good impression, Gulf was getting increasingly annoyed due to the lack of sleep and his disdain towards the store manager.

As the manager was still in the midst of his lecture, the water sprinkler in the store suddenly activated on its own without a fire, immediately drenching the clothes and everything in sight wet. Even when they tried their best to save the clothes, the majority of them were still soaked till the point of it being unsellable. After 1 hour it was then the mall management was able to shut off the water sprinkler and somehow they couldn’t find a cause for the sudden water sprinkler activation. After being  informed of the lack of finding, the store manager’s face turned red in fury and he stomped back into the store. “Okay, how did you both do it?” the manager glared at them. “Errr. What did we do..?” Gulf tilted his head, questioning look evident on his face. “I know both of you did something to the water sprinkler and set it off while I was in the midst of lecturing you both. Just because the mall management couldn’t find any foul play, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook!”

“We swear we didn’t..” the store manager held up his hand and stopped Mild from defending Gulf and himself. “Anyway, BOTH. OF. YOU. ARE. FIRED. Get out of the store now and I’ll inform the head office to wire your pay to your bank accounts.”

“What a bitch, going on and on about how it’s our fault that we set off the water sprinkler. Why would we even do that?! We need the job to pay rent, bills and feed ourselves! I swear that the store manager has issues with us both. Out of all the store employees, HE ALWAYS PICKS ON US BOTH. That ugly bitch, who does he think he is?! Thank goodness we had already taken full advantage of the staff discounts and bought ourselves loads of nice clothes before we were asked to leave. It was the only nice thing about being in that company as well, do they think they pay us good money!? The pay was like peanuts!.” Mild was on a roll, calling the store manager names and all sorts of things that parents wouldn’t have liked their kids to hear.

Gulf laughed, relieved that he was no longer working there. To be honest, besides the pay, the job was taking a toll on Gulf’s physical and mental state as well. He had taken on the retail job, hoping that the long hours and standing on his feet for the whole day would tire him and fall asleep immediately once his head hit the pillows. It never happened in the end, so he was always struggling to stay awake when he was working and to sleep when he was in bed. As Mild continued on his ramblings besides him, his mind wandered to what the store manager had said... “P’Mild…” Gulf softly interrupted Mild and once he was sure that Mild’s attention was on him, he started rambling “do you think the water sprinkler was my fault…? Though I don’t know how, I just remembered that at my previous jobs, similar things had happened too. Remember the restaurant that I worked for before this? The kitchen burned down because of a stove fire.. And the mountain ranger job? An earthquake happened and the ranger station was buried under the sand and rocks! Oh and the supermarket job! The freezer malfunctioned and there was no cold air in it suddenly and the frozen food was all spoiled?” Gulf frowned as he listed out the strange happenings at his workplaces, wondering if he was the jinx. “Gulf, my dear nong, my precious overthinking nong, it was just a coincidence that all these happened at your previous workplaces. Don’t think too much of it. You might have pretty eyes, but you’re not Jean Grey nor Professor X. Let’s go back to our apartment, freshen up and go out for drinks? We have no work tomorrow or the day after tomorrow or even the next few weeks maybe, so let’s just enjoy this unexpected break? You look like you need some shut eye too, you look horrible.” Mild smirked.

“I guess you’re right. I must have been too tired to even think that I could do all these things. If I could, I would have been sitting in a wheelchair or met my own Cyclops by now.” Gulf laughed at his ridiculous doubts. “ Okay, let’s enjoy our unexpected break and P’Mild, you don’t look that good yourself too, even when you had plenty of sleep.” the cheeky boy retaliated with a grin. Mild slapped his friend’s arm, glad to see some sparkle back in Gulf’s pretty eyes. “By the way P’Mild, I preferred Wolverine as compared to Cyclops. I like Wolverine’s biceps and veiny arms.” As Gulf skipped in front of him, Mild secretly sighed in relief, glad that Gulf had bought his words without further questions even though Gulf had indeed caused all these “accidents”to happen, but he didn't need to know that.