He figured Moon should be used to this. His insistence, his stubbornness, his desire to always get the final word in. But it happened in Kalos their first year of dating, and it happened in Unova the following, and now they were in Alola on New Year’s Eve and Moon made it quite evident when they stayed in that she would like to hear the other words off of him.
“Don’t wish me happy birthday,” she kept repeating. She was putting her foot down. She was expecting Gladion to give in like he always did.
(Which wasn’t true at all, according to Gladion.)
However, when the clock strikes 12 and the fireworks from the docks are visible from the balcony of their apartment, he could hear her shift in his arms to look up at him expectantly. If he could stop time he would just stare at how her eyes sparkled underneath the flashes of red and blue, or how her freckled cheeks were always visibly pink around him even after so many years. But instead he chuckles, sending vibrations down her spine as his warm practiced fingers lift her chin up so easily. New Year’s in itself didn’t make him feel any magic, but her kisses always did. Better than fireworks, and hotter than sparks--but like always, their first kiss is short and soft; giving her a small chance to whispers a breathy “Happy New Years, Gladi.”
His warm breath dances on her skin, smile tugging at the corner of his lips. He could tell she was anticipating the next kiss, the one that would make her knees weak and her heart pound faster in her chest as she pressed closer for more and more--
but then he utters those three predictable words:
“Happy Birthday, Moon.”
He could feel the pout on her lips against his.
“Are you ever going to wish me a Happy New Year?”
It would sound almost sad if it wasn’t for the whine in her intonation; her clear desire for Gladion to not put her higher than a national holiday. She swore New Year’s Day was the one day in the calendar besides Christmas that she could have him all to herself. She wanted to celebrate them and their future.
Only for him to turn it around and make it about her.
Her tiptoes drop onto the floor, her arms unclasp from behind his neck and firmly slide onto his shoulders, as she stares at him with a narrowed expression. A cute expression, he would argue, but one that Moon would disagree with ardently. So instead Gladion laughs quietly, pulling her closer into chest. She doesn’t fight him off, wrapping her arms around him almost instantly.
“Hey, there’s no cake this time around,” he states, kissing the top of her head only to hear a muffled “Gladion” against his sweater.
“I know you’re just going to pull it out of thin air later.”
He smirks. Aware that he did indeed have a cake planned for later. And a dinner, with several of her friends and family. And a gift, carefully wrapped up currently hidden in their cupboard.
Moon just didn’t know yet.
And she never would--because every year was different. Every year he aimed to make her birthday more memorable than the last, and more memorable than a silly holiday.
New Years was only important for a minute, while Moon was beyond that. Moon deserved more than that.
He feels her hands wring on the fabric of his sweater, her face nuzzling deeper into his torso, his heart entering the familiar pace he had gotten used to when it came to her.
She really was the best thing to celebrate on this day, he just hoped she would see eye-to-eye on this matter. A matter he would not back down from no matter how much she protested.
Because he could see it in her smile, hear it in her laugh, feel it in her kisses--she appreciated it all.
A barely audible, “thank you” escapes his girlfriend. Her head shifting up to stare at him as sternly as she could. Clear eyes gazing up at him with a silent plea-- ‘ thank you even though I would rather just spend my birthday with you .”
And he chuckles, hands moving to tuck back a strand of her hair. Lingering by her ear as his fingers slowly trace down her jaw. Moonlight caressed every curve of her face. Her skin warm underneath his touch as a visible shiver ran through her. Sure the Alolan air was brisk, but they both knew that wasn’t the reason why. And as a knowing look makes its way onto his features he feels her cheeks heat up more.
“22 looks good on you.”
Moon whimpers, feeling him come in closer, but not as close as she really desired.
“You’re such a tease.”
“I do this because love you,” he states, and Moon just giggles--giving up the pout and the huffiness from before.
The fireworks had already started to die down. The excitement of the new year fading. But she remained. And while deep down Moon knew this was one argument she couldn’t win, it wouldn’t stop her from trying.
Her small hands release his sweater and reach up to cup his face. Smile growing sly as his emerald eyes grow wide. “I love you too.” Four easy words dispatched to make him melt. Gaze softly directed at him before pulling him to close the gap between them.
She starts the kiss off soft and tender, but quickly it grows a little more needy, more urgent, desperate for his touch, but still filled with longing and hopes for the year to come.
One they hoped would be spent together.
And as he picks her up all too easily, with a smile cracking enough to get them to pause for only a moment, they knew that this was one for sure resolution that would come true.