Kyouya’s eyes open to meet his own, and Dino is presented with another rare sight; the boy’s groggy, confused expression is somehow even cuter than his sleeping face was, and the blond has to bite back a grin that he knows won’t be appreciated.
When Kyouya questions his presence here, Dino knows that he was right in assuming that the boy has been ignoring the date. The blond tilts his head and lets his smile grow, moving to crouch in front of the prefect who has now settled himself against the wall.
“Why else, Kyouya? It’s your birthday, isn’t it?” He throws a vague gesture toward the box sitting by the roof’s entrance. “I brought you a cake!”
He’s not even sure if the boy likes sweets, but a birthday cake is a necessity on one’s birthday regardless, he thinks. He stands, walking over to the door by which his gift sits, and plucks it from the ground carefully.
He knows there’s a good chance that the second he sets the cake down in front of Kyouya, Dino will end up covered in it, but it’s a risk he’s willing to take, if only for today. Placing the box on the ground again by the prefect’s side, he slides the lid from the top and tosses it aside, glancing in at the sugary confection almost nervously.
He’s managed not to smudge any of the icing, somehow. He bought this cake from the finest bakery in his hometown back in Italy, a tiny shop that had taken him and Romario days to track down. The cake itself was half chocolate and half vanilla (Dino hadn’t been sure which Kyouya preferred, if either, so he had decided that both was the safest bet) and iced in red and gold to match the armband ever-present on the left sleeve of his student’s uniform shirt. He’d even given the confused Italian baker a scrap of paper with Kyouya’s name written on it in kanji; the phrase that had spilled from his lips minutes ago when he’d woken Kyouya is shining up at them in gold from the face of the cake, and Dino thinks (or hopes, at least) that if there’s any cake that Kyouya would like, even just a little bit, it would be this one.
The Cavallone boss gives a soft sigh of relief at the sight of the unmarred cake and shifts his gaze to Kyouya’s face, scratching at the back of his head nervously as he waits to receive a face-full of the carefully crafted dessert he’d tried so hard not to let his accursed clumsiness destroy.
Birthday. The day of his birth. Of course, how could he forget? A frown lingers on his face as a yawn threatens to pass, and his attention fades away from bright blonde and the surprise of knowledge shared to focus on the past, days of yonder, when once upon a time this day was celebrated with a cake, with gifts, congratulations for simply being alive. Once, he remembers, sliding back down against the wall, the world was normal, average, and Hibari thought of what was best for himself.
The cake is beautiful; the word is all he can think of, and as he reaches out almost tenderly to swipe a finger along the icing, bringing it to his lips and licking, carefully, with the tip of his tongue, he savours the explosion of sweet sensation, memories continuing to flood. He can taste affection among tangy vanilla and smooth chocolate, and he cannot quite explain why his heart stops at this thought.
The gesture was entirely unexpected, and while he still finds it… Troublesome, being in the company of his self proclaimed tutor, he has learned from experience that not expressing gratitude for gifts, no matter the individual bestowing, is something he can, will, has been punished for. His mind is reeling, pulse pounding in his ears, the back of his throat, everywhere he can feel. Everywhere that isn’t preoccupied with confusion, and the slightest tinge of worry that the horse won’t accept his limited thank you.
He keeps his gaze on red and gold, black and white morality waltzing through his mind as, almost hesitant, he reaches out for another taste of the cake. It seems a shame to mar the icing like this, when such care has been taken to deliver it in such prime condition, but as the rush of endorphins hit his mind, his mood lifts from contemplative to almost, grudgingly happ-content. No. He can’t do this, not now.
A fight will not be offered, because he hasn’t the strength, the mental fortitude to withstand one. He is weak in this state, and to show that would be a failure, never to be overcome. Let Dino think he is the unmoveable mountain over the tempestuous cyclone, for flames be damned, he must remain strong, unchanging.
“You have paid your dues. Namimori will grant you safe passage for today.”
Arrogance is a home away from home, and really, the only home he knows; affixing a smirk to his face, he offers a show of pure annoying, aggravating attitude, as ever, knowing this is what usually ignites a fight. This is as far from grateful as he can get, but even with the threat of punishment, it feels unnatural to bow his head to the other.
With arrogance, with attitude, he can be left to mourn.
A yawn tears his lips apart, but it’s not long until they meet once more, pressed into a line of approval as a pleasant day continues around him. Here, the wind doesn’t blow so much as breeze through his hair, the tangled mop becoming more so as he sits up. Exhaustion has been erased by a thirty minute nap, but still his body remains sluggish, the affects of too many nights spent patrolling with too little rest dimming his reaction times still. A huff leaves him, mind annoyed at his body’s inability to rise to the occasion and move, sharpen skills and bite those who disturb the peace he sacrifices so much to protect.
Although… Today is a quiet day. No troublemakers recorded in the past few hours, no disturbances and spring in full blossom below him, slim fingers lace through metal fencing as he stands still and observes Namimori. The view could not be more worthy of attention than this moment in time; eyes softening for just a fraction of a second, he concludes that perhaps he could afford to lose another period of time to regain his strength atop the rooftop. Paperwork can wait for now.