Julie's eyes instantly went to Ash's face from Aiden's when he heard the words. "Don't you even joke that way. That circus is no joke Ash." she said suddenly very stern. Then she sighed and scratched one of her tiger ears. "All I know is if he doesn't leave soon more spies are going to come after him. I don't know how long he can last.
Aiden's eyes started to flutter a little. He mumbled something unintelligable before mumbling. "Leave... Need to.. leave." He was still half asleep and his hand grabbed onto Ash's shirt tighter in a death grip.
"Who said I was joking?" Ash muttered seriously, glancing over at Julie. "Of course this isn't a joking matter. I'm not stupid." He heard Aiden talking in his sleep, gripping onto him tightly. It was honestly a bit heartbreaking. Ash hesitated, but finally moved to wrap his arms around Aiden's small frame, just holding him. "I'm just saying... Do you think it would work?"
"No. Stop talking like that." She said with a frown. "That is not even an option. I do need to run though. I need to meet Garrett. Take care of him. I'll be in touch." Julie said before standing.
Aiden whined once in his sleep before his eyes opened. He looked around realizing he was in Ash's arms. "H-Hi." he whispered looking up with his large, innocent green eyes. He knew Julie was there but he didn't care. 'Oh my god. He's holding me... Why is he holding me? I don't even care.' Aiden thought to himself as he tangled his legs with Ash's. It didn't even occur to him that it might make Ash feel uncomfortable. He just felt so safe with the other male he couldn't help himself.
"Oh, you're leaving? I'll take care of him, don't worry." But Ash wasn't even looking at Julie as he asked her. His eyes were trained on Aiden, now finally awake. Was he okay, being held like this? The thought made Ash blush just slightly, but he couldn't look away. How could some random boy be so cute? And how could that boy end up here, in Ash's arms? It was unreal! "Hi," he whispered back with a small smile.
Julie left them alone not wanting to ruin the moment. Aiden started purring very quietly meaning he was relaxed and happy. "What did Julie say? Sorry... Somtimes I get so stressed or tired that I pass out." he said quietly. Aiden actually passed out because he was so unhealthy from not eating right or having a proper bed and being sick so much or not getting much sleep at all.
He was purring? Ash felt his smile widen slightly. Purring meant a cat was happy, right? So Aiden was happy? Knowing that made Ash relax; Aiden was okay. Nothing to worry about. "It... wasn't really anything that was too important..." he murmured softly, absently tracing patterns along Aiden's back. "She just wanted to make sure you were okay, that's all." That was sort of the truth, right..? Not a total lie...
"Oh." Aiden was too naive to realize Julie had told Ash some of his past. "I'm sorry." He suddenly sat up, his purring seizing when he remembered the house being wrecked. "I should go... I should go... I need to go..." he whispered most to himself.
Aiden didn't want to go. He wanted to stay with Ash. He liked Ash. Ash wasn't mean to him like so many others. But he couldn't let Ash get killed. He didn't stand a chance against the demons of the twelve kingdoms.
Ash sat up quickly, his smile gone in an instant. "Y-you're going? But..." He tried not to look so sad about it, but it was hard, and the sadness ended up showing all over his face. "You... I... I don't want you to go..." He looked down at his hands, swallowing hard. He was probably being selfish, wanting Aiden to stay. Right? But at the same time, Ash didn't care. Selfish or not, he didn't want Aiden to leave. "I mean... Won't you get lonely, travelling around all by yourself? And you won't have any food, and... and..."
Aiden bit his lower lip hard freezing. He looked at Ash with sorrowful eyes. He didn't want to leave but... "Ash I've been on my own for almost two years." he looked down at his hands which were in his lap. "I... I don't want you k-killed." the stammered word made Aiden wince. "You don't understand what they're capable of... What they'll do if they know you're helping me. I'm really sorry about your house. I'll find a way to send money to you eventually. I j-just... I-I..." Aiden was cut off by a broken sob from deep inside him. Suddenly his hands went over his face and he began crying.
Ash couldn't bear seeing Aiden like this, so sad... He carefully wrapped his arms around him, just holding him as the boy cried, and rocked him gently. "Hey, hey... Don't cry..." Ash murmured softly. He shouldn't have said anything... He was being selfish. If Aiden had to leave to be safe, then... No. Aiden couldn't just leave... What if he got hurt? "Aiden, it's okay... Just... Please don't cry?"
Aiden tried to stop his tears but they kept running down his cheeks. "This isn't ab-bout m-me Ash." Aiden whispered burying his face into Ash's chest immediately after he was wrapped in Ash's arms. "I-I can't l-let y-you get h-hurt." He whimpered, cat ears flat against his head. "If I-I don't l-leave th-they'll k-kill you." Aiden sniffled attempting to story his sobs but they wouldn't stop. The half feline couldn't remember the last time he was held while crying.... Because there was never a time.
Ash could feel his own eyes beginning to burn. Great, now he wanted to cry... But he forced back any tears that threatened to fall, holding Aiden even closer. "Aiden... Aiden, it's okay..." His expression was pained as he closed his eyes. "Aiden... I'm okay with that. It's okay." What could Vaughn possibly do? Ash had been hurt before; not like Aiden, of course, but Ash figured he could deal with it. "It's okay."
Aiden shook his head looking up at Ash with his big green eyes. "It's n-not okay. D-Don't you g-get it? They'll k-kill you." he whispered it in a thick emotion filled voice. "I c-can't be the c-cause of th-that." The half cat boy sniffled meeting Ash's eyes. "I d-don't want t-to leave." he whispered, finally starting to stop his crying. "I j-just have t-to keep m-moving."
"Hey." Ash gently pressed his finger to Aiden's lips, shushing him. "I do get it. They'll kill me. I get that." He took his finger away to gently comb through Aiden's hair with his fingers. "And that's okay. Aiden, it's not like I have much to live for, anyway. Besides, I..." He sighed, letting a small smile through, though his eyes were still pained. "I don't want you to leave, Aiden. I want you to stay with me."
Aiden felt Ash's finger and it immediately silenced him. He swallowed hard watching Ash with his innocent looking eyes. His tears almost stopped as well. "But I-I d-don't want y-you dead." Aiden spoke so quietly it was almost unheard. "No one h-has ever b-been so n-nice to m-me." the small boy admitted.
He didn't want to leave Ash. But he didn't want Ash to get killed either. So it was between being selfish and not being selfish. But when Aiden gazed into Ash's eyes he felt like he'd traveled to another world where he was lost and the choice became clear. "I'll st-stay. But i-if I t-tell you t-to run pl-please listen." Aiden mentally cursed himself for stuttering so much. Half of it it was fear and the other half was from being nervous because he was around Ash.
Ash let out a breath of relief, and even joy. "Thank you," he breathed softly, hugging Aiden close. Aiden was going to stay. "Thank you, Aiden, thank you... I'll do anything you want, okay? Thank you..." Ash wouldn't have to be alone anymore... It was a wonderful feeling, and he never wanted it to go away.
He finally pulled away, smiling brightly for once. "We can get you some new clothes, okay?" he offered, looking the boy over. "And we'll have to get you cleaned up. And if you tell me what food you like, I can go to the store..." He trailed off, biting his lip. Maybe he was going a little overboard, but he couldn't help it.
Ash felt so warm to Aiden and it was nice. He let the other male hug onto him as he purred quietly."I didn't do anything to be thanked for." he whispered. If anything Aiden knew he was about to do something that he should be yelled at for. He nuzzled his furry black ears against Ash's neck until he pulled away.
Aiden's cheeks went a soft pink color when he heard Ash offering him all these things. He wanted to deny it all but knew it was probably necessary for living. "A couple shirts would nice." he admitted in a shy tone. "And I like um fish..." Aiden's tone suggested that he was confessing these things and they made his face go a dull red.
"Shirts... okay." Ash nodded with a small smile. It was nice having someone to actually buy things for. "I wonder what size you wear," he mused, toying with a tear in Aiden's shirt. No wonder the boy was freezing outside.
Ash had to smirk at Aiden's choice of food. Fish. Of course. How did he not see that coming? "Fish, huh? Like... cooked fish, or raw..? The tuna stuff that's in a can?" That sounded pretty disgusting, honestly, but whatever.
Aiden's jeans were ripped up too but he didn't want to be a burden so he didn't say anything about them. And the shoes he wore were just like cloth now. They'd been worn down and ripped up so much from being so old. "I don't know..." he said honestly. He was a small boy and petite so anything of Ash's would probably fit him like a night gown and go down to his thighs.
"Yes fish." Aiden whispered biting his lip at the feeling of Ash's finger on his skin. It had accidentally brushed Aiden's bare torso when he'd been playing with the tear. "Cooked. I like sushi the best though." The half feline admitted. "And milk. Whole especially." his smile was sheepish as he looked at Ash.
Ash's brow furrowed as he thought. "How about this. I'm already late for school anyway, so I'll just skip for today. And I can take you shopping." He shrugged, still playing with the large torn piece of Aiden's shirt. "Okay?
It wasn't really a big deal; he needed to go out and get groceries anyway, so why not do all the shopping out of the way all at once? "Oh, it's been a long time since I've had sushi..." He couldn't even remember if he liked it.