Khun Aguero Agnis wasn’t one to celebrate his own birthday. He simply thought of it as another day in his life and certainly one day closer to death. Which is why typically it’s up to the others to make sure he celebrates it properly. And that is also the reason why Evolet was already up at dawn earlier, laser focused on making the best cake she possibly could for Khun and nodding proudly at her work as she hid it carefully in the fridge.
She purposefully turned off Khun’s alarm beforehand to let him sleep in and so that he wouldn't find the surprise. She hummed happily as she was reminded of the gift she picked for him. The gift was safely tucked in her Lighthouse and she was proud to say she's picked yet another great gift for him this year even if it was somewhat different than what she usually gave him.
Knowing that Khun was probably going to wake up soon, she started the coffee machine while prepping a few ingredients for brunch. She was sure to make all of his favorite foods today, humming absent-mindedly as she maneuvered around the kitchen with practiced ease and a skip in her steps. Just as she was about to turn on the stove, she heard a whisper close to her ear.
“Good morning, Eve~”
Needless to say, Evolet was surprised enough to jump slightly. Turning to the side as she covered her ear that was the same shade as her blushing face, she found Khun smiling mischievously at her. Content that Evolet was properly looking at him now, Khun let out a low hum as he kissed her forehead. If it was possible, Evolet’s face reddened up even more as it was painted in red hues with slight steam coming from her ears.
Khun smirked confidently at her as he peppered soft kisses all over Evolet’s face, uncaring of her flustered state. By the time Khun finally decided to stop, Evolet’s mind was already long gone and not functioning anymore. The bluenette was fully enjoying the spectacle he caused, chuckling as Evolet buried her face in his chest in an attempt to hide her blushing face.
"Khun-san, stop that… I need to cook..." Her voice had come off more akin to a whine, a small pout on her blushing face as she mumbled into his chest instead of speaking clearly. The bluenette caught her words either way, smirking as he leaned down to her ear.
"Can’t I eat you instead hm~?"
Khun bit her earlobe lightly, licking the bite mark playfully to convey his point properly. Evolet shakily backed a step away from him, steam erupting from her face as she stuttered incoherently. Processing his words actions, her knees went weak as she collapsed to the floor in a heap of utter embarrassment. Khun could still see the continuous steam coming out of her red ears as he chuckled at the adorable sight and didn't waste any time to literally sweep her up in a bridal carry.
"Khun-san!!! Oh Jahad… I can't–" The purplette let out small whines and mumbles in her flustered state. Even when she struggled lightly in his hold, Khun still didn’t let her down. In the end she just settled to cover her face with both hands as she stayed still in his arms.
“Khun-san… please let me down, I need to cook for real...” Hearing Evolet speaking weakly as a last attempt, Khun finally set her down with a soft chuckle and one last kiss on her cheek. There was still a faint blush on her expression as she poured his coffee and told him to wait.
Khun had offered to help her make breakfast, but she only glanced at him unconvinced before promptly telling him to stay out of the kitchen. The reason is either because she was still flustered or she just didn’t want to see his horrific cooking skills so early in the morning, he mused.
He still enjoyed watching her maneuver around the kitchen gracefully, movements so familiar that she didn’t even look twice before putting anything in. Sipping his coffee, he found himself humming delightfully at the familiar taste to perfection. It was always a good way to start his day.
Soon enough, Khun found out that today’s brunch was practically all of his favorite items. Evolet only smiled tenderly at the look of curiosity he was giving her as she refilled his coffee. The suspicion was long gone once he started to eat without a care in the world. Khun didn’t even notice the absence of the usual loud shouts of the team members from their typical shenanigans.
Around 2 hours later, the pair could be seen walking in the wintery landscape of the town while chatting nonchalantly about random topics. Both of them were clad in simple winter attire. Khun was wearing a suave pair of black cords, coupled with a classic black wool-blend peacoat and a sapphire blue scarf. The bluenette glanced worriedly at Evolet who was wearing a simple knee-length white woolen coat dress and her typical white leggings, knowing that she was rather weak to the cold.
Evolet just smiled at him once she noticed his stare, telling him that she was fine before changing the topic smoothly. Occasionally a rare smile would grace Khun's features along with small laughs at whatever Evolet said. If Ran was there, he would probably shake his head exasperatedly at his older sibling for being out of character.
Khun asked her where she was taking him from time to time, but Evolet would only shake her head as a response before intertwining their hands before she pulled him along with an underlying playfulness. And honestly, who was Khun to deny her loving gestures.
He did find out their destination sooner or later, already having a place in mind from the guesses he took while observing the path they took. They stopped in front of a frozen lake, appreciating the panoramic view for a while. Evolet knelt down on the snow as she knocked lightly on the ice with a look of awe. Khun couldn't stop the smile forming on his delicate features, borderline thinking that he might be smiling all day long if Evolet kept being like that. Shibisu probably would never believe that the Khun standing beside Evolet right now was the same as the Khun he knew.
"So, why did you bring me here?" Khun asked with a faint smirk on his expression.
Evolet perked up at the question, tugging his hand gently to lead him to the only long bench near the lake. She dashed out two pairs of ice skates from her Lighthouse and handed one of them to Khun with an expectant look. Khun relented with an amused expression, gladly humoring whatever she was planning as he sat down and put on the pair of ice skates. He stood up with little difficulties, glancing at Evolet before raising an eyebrow in amusement. She looked completely lost on how to wear the ice skates properly.
Chuckling lightly at the confusion she was showing, the bluenette scooted over and took the pair of ice skates from her hands. He wasted no time to kneel down, weaving his way through the knots of the ice skates with practiced expertise. Evolet was taken aback for a moment before the softest of smiles spread across her expression along with a scarlet hue decorating her warming cheeks.
"Endorsi-san recommended this place to me. She said there was a frozen lake on the 31st Floor and that the location is less known to the other Regulars so I should bring you to check it out!"
"And she was also the one who suggested bringing the ice skates, I'm guessing?" Evolet nodded gingerly at him, and Khun made a mental note to actually thank Endorsi instead for once.
“Have you ever done this before, Eve?” Khun could safely assume that she’s never actually tried ice skating before since she didn’t seem to be overly familiar with the ice skates. Well, it was either that or she also had someone else to help her put it on. And Khun preferred to think it was the first than the latter.
“No… Endorsi-san told me it'll be fun, but I’ve never actually done this before.”
Contrary to Evolet’s somewhat sullen expression, a smirk was slowly forming on Khun’s expression. The Lightbearer stood up, offering a hand to the Anima. “Then I’ll just have to teach you, won’t I?”
There wasn’t an ounce of hesitation when Evolet gingerly placed her hands in his and Khun pulled her up then guided her to the frozen surface. He could see a small pout on her face as she struggled to keep steady on her wobbly feet while holding on his hands. It was almost as if he was watching a kitten attempting to stand on their front legs for the first time. His lips curled up into a soft smile, one that no doubt would’ve made Ran gag at how utterly smitten he was.
He urged her to slide slowly as he glided backwards in the same pace. Her movements were undeniably rigid as she tried to skate forward. There was a look of concentration on her as she focused all her attention to get the hang of it. Which she did in a short amount of time, thanks to her sense of balance and experience from dancing.
Truth to be told, if Khun was teaching anyone else then he would’ve let go of their hand and let them try a few moves on their own by now. Except the bluenette absolutely did not want to do that and instead he just hid it all behind a smile while pretending it was totally normal to keep holding someone’s hand while teaching them how to ice skate.
It wasn’t as if Evolet ever had anyone tutoring her on ice skating either, so she wouldn't know. True to his musing, Evolet was more than happy to keep holding his hands as they continued their little lesson without even realizing the bluenette’s thoughts.
Evolet had no idea what she was being led into, but enjoyed it nonetheless. Khun began to instruct her on how to execute basic figures and side-by-side free-skating moves, guiding her along the way carefully while making sure their hands never separated.
And soon enough they were lost in their own little world with the whole lake as their stage in perfect unison. Though as time passed, they were treating it more as a dance rather than ice skating. At some point, Khun’s right circled around her waist while Evolet’s left hand was on his shoulder. Their other two hands were clasped together as their movements flowed into a slow waltz on ice.
The bluenette leaned down slightly to whisper in her ear, something that he did fairly often ever since he found out it was one of her weak spots. “Does this remind you of the time we danced on the Archimedes?”
That seemed to have amused the Anima as she tried to hold in her laughter while answering him. “I still prefer this Khun-san rather than Mask-san though.”
"Well I'm glad to hear that then. I also prefer this Eve than Muse."
Both of them laughed from the small revelation, their dance slowly coming to an end. There was an evident smirk on the bluenette's expression as he spun her around once before his right hand trailed from her waist to her back instead. As if reading his mind, Evolet only smiled as Khun gently lowered her backwards into a dip.
“You don’t seem surprised.” Khun said, delight and amusement swirling in those mischievous cobalt blue gaze.
“You were the one who gave me the sign, Khun-san. Besides, something like this is nothing compared to the Floor Test last time. I trust Khun-san after all.”
Laughter escaped the bluenette’s lips as he pulled Evolet up straight into a hug. The smaller girl looked at him curiously as he buried his head in her shoulder comfortably. She was somewhat confused at the randomness. But she didn't waste any time to hug him back while drawing small circles on his back with a low content hun. Khun's arms wrapped tighter around her shoulder.
It was (un)fortunate that Evolet couldn't see his face right now. Otherwise she would've been greeted by the sight of Khun blushing furiously as he covered his mouth with his palm. As Ran would say, he was a lost case when it came to her.
When they got off from the frozen lake to the snowy ground, Khun could see how Evolet was slightly shivering as she released a frosty breath when a cold breeze passed them. Shoulders slumped down as she weakly caressed the side of her arms to retain whatever heat she had.
Being the observant and considerate person he was, Khun took off his coat and draped it over Evolet's shoulder. The Anima blinked confusedly at his actions, even more so when he proceeded to wrap his scarf around her neck. Both of the clothing were still warm from his body heat. It was undoubtedly cozy. He was reprimanding her for not bundling up properly despite knowing that she couldn't stand the cold. Evolet had thought she'd be fine since the weather forecast said it wasn't going to snow today and the temperature would be less cold than yesterday, but apparently she still just can't stand it.
Despite how he was lightly scolding her, Evolet only smiled as she nodded along to his words dutifully. One glance was enough for him to confirm that Evolet wasn't even taking his little lecture seriously. So Khun sighed exasperatedly at her, taking out another set of coat and scarf from his own Lighthouse.
"Then, can I steal these from you?" She pointed to the coat and the scarf with a mischievous grin.
Khun rolled his eyes playfully, aware that Evolet will most likely never return it regardless of what he said. Quite a few sweaters have been taken hostage too, and might he say; he loves it when she does that. A few sweaters and coats are nothing compared to what she's stolen from him anyway. Maybe someday he'll have her steal his last name too? That seemed like an ingenious plan in his mind.
Their walk back to the house was supposed to be an uneventful one. The keyword being supposed to. Well, Evolet thought there was nothing out of the ordinary. Khun certainly did though. It was a miracle that Evolet didn't notice all the stares directed to her, Khun noted. Every so often, he could see some gazes of the Regulars straying to the purplette beside him. And it was getting too annoying for him to ignore.
A confident smirk on his face, he called out her name in a whisper. As he expected, Evolet stopped briefly and looked up at him in perplexion.
Albeit puzzled by his intentions, Evolet didn't hesitate to pull up her sleeves slightly to reveal Khun's bandanna tied on her left wrist. He untied it swiftly, kissing her cheek as his hand inserted the bandanna to her hair similarly to his hairstyle on the 2nd Floor in the same instant.
"Much better." He commented nonchalantly, both at the bandanna adorning her hair with his family logo and at Evolet who was blushing uncontrollably at his sudden action. She had completely frozen up, head downwards to avoid Khun's piercing gaze. While on the other hand, said Lightbearer used the opportunity to send glares to the staring Regulars. If the symbol on the bandanna, his signature sky blue hair and sharp cobalt blue eyes, along with the glare he was practically shooting off everywhere didn't get them to back off… Well he'll just have to resort to more drastic measures, won't he?
For safety measures, he snaked an arm around Evolet's waist and pulled her close. As if that wasn't quite enough, he leaned down and one of her eyes fluttered close as Khun pecked it lightly. Finally content with what he did, Khun chuckled at Evolet who was a stuttering mess in his hold.
He knew the only way to make her flustered like this was to catch her off guard. The moment she attained some sort of clue, then he won't be able to make her blush and so was the reverse. Luckily, he could be considered a master at surprising her with these small gestures. The fact that Evolet wasn't used to being showered in affection in that manner also certainly helped him too.
"Shall we go now?"
Still a tint of pink from the blush on her cheeks, Evolet somehow managed to calm herself down and nodded carefully. She didn't comment on how Khun's arm still wrapped around her waist loosely without any intentions of letting go. It was safe to say that no one else dared to stare too long at them.
He should’ve realized that something was off once they arrived home. But he was far too observed in their small conversation and Evolet herself didn’t show any sign of caution, hence why he didn’t mind a thing. Just as soon as the door opened though, Khun was baffled when he heard the popping sound of streamers and the team members crowding him.
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KHUN!”
All of them were lined up properly with Wangnan at the center, carrying a two layered cake that Evolet had made earlier this morning. Khun on the other hand, blinked confusedly at the sight in front of him. They were clearly expecting some sort of reaction from him. The bluenette stayed silent for a moment before he turned to Evolet who stood beside him. She was smiling innocently and he knew her job was to distract him while the others prepared this. Props to her for a job well done indeed for diverting his attention.
"Come on, come on! Hurry up and blow the candles! Eve purposefully woke up early this morning just to make the cake for you! And we're already hungry~!"
Her lips curled into a sheepish smile as she tiptoed slightly and brushed the remaining streamers that were on his head and shoulders. She pushed him forward, urging him to humor them.
Noticing the team’s stares at him, sighing as he blew out the candles and the team cheered loudly. They didn’t even wait any longer to rush to the dining room to cut the cake and start the feast while the birthday boy himself was left at the doorway. He could hear the ruckus they were causing in the dining room.
He was already used to the shenanigans, but he could still feel the headache coming on. Evolet giggled faintly at his exasperated look, grasping his hand and pulling him down briefly to whisper in his ear.
“Happy birthday, Aguero.”
She sneaked a soft kiss to his cheek while she’s at it, before pulling him gently to where the others were. Khun just let himself be dragged along, head in the clouds as he registered the fact that she just whispered a happy birthday before kissing his cheek. She just called him by his given name, without any suffix. Maybe it’s not such a terrible day after all. Khun found that he didn’t mind if Evolet celebrated his birthday again. Now, how can he get her to keep calling him Aguero instead of Khun...
Bonus scene (drunk Khun and his schemes):
Truth to be told, Evolet had expected this to happen. Nearly half of the team was knocked out from the alcohol, excluding Evolet and Goseng. They were all passed out on the table, utterly clueless on what’s happening as they slept soundly.
What she didn’t account for was that Khun would also be drunk after partaking in the little drinking contest that the team practically forced all of them into. She thought for sure that Khun would have a high alcohol tolerance, but she can scratch that out after seeing the aftermath of said competition. There wasn't even a clear winner in the end because Goseng stopped them from going any further.
She shook his shoulder lightly, calling out Khun's name to see if he was still somewhat coherent enough to walk to his room by himself. The drunk Lightbearer groaned as he rubbed his eyes in a confused manner, blue cobalt eyes fluttered open albeit clearly hazed.
"Eve~" The Anima could confidently claim that he was completely drunk. Khun didn't seem to notice what she was thinking, hiccuping from his slurred speech.
Taking away the bottle of sake that was tucked neatly in his arms, Evolet shook her head exasperatedly as she calmly spoke out. "Come on, Khun-san. I'll take you to your room."
A frown made itself apparent on Khun's face for a split second, but it was already gone by the time Evolet switched her attention back to him. He didn't hesitate to throw his arms around her as soon as she leaned down, looping them around her neck and teasingly pulled her down. Evolet wasn't affected by it at the least, instead leaning even further down to steady herself. Once she had a better balance, she heaved him up slightly. Expertly shifting her hands to support his back and the back of his knees before lifting him up.
Khun certainly didn't mind her actions, quickly snuggling to the crook of her neck with a satisfied sigh as he made himself comfortable in her hold. It was a new experience for her, seeing Khun in such a state. Normally he would never act so spoiled like this, though she did find it to be rather cute.
Evolet paused her steps when the bluenette wriggled around in her hold. Shifting so that he could lay his head on her shoulder, inhaling the sweet scent of lavender as he relaxed and closed his eyes. She could feel Khun breathing down her neck as shivers ran down her back. His lips were dangerously brushing against her neck, or rather he was practically mumbling on her skin.
Her face was slowly starting to heat up, hues of pink and scarlet painted across her cheeks as she stiffened up. If this was the same as usual, then she would've loved to just cover up her face with her hands. Except she's got her hands full carrying Khun and she couldn't do that now. All the while flustered and steam rising up from her ears, Evolet walked at a hurried pace in hopes of reaching Khun's room earlier so that he would stop his little unintentional ministrations.
"Eve~" His voice resembles more of a whine by now, hiccuping at the end of his sentence.
"Wha–what is it, Khun-san?"
One of his cobalt blue eyes blinked open, a visible frown on his expression as he pouted childishly. "...that. Stop that. Call me Aguero like you did earlier."
Evolet practically stumbled on her steps, regaining her balance clumsily as her blush became more prominent under the light. "A–aguero-san...?"
Still unsatisfied with her answer, he lifted his head up and stared directly at Evolet. A confident smirk could be seen on his expression, mirth glinting in his sharp cobalt blue eyes. "No, without the suffix. Just Aguero without the '–san'"
Much to Evolet's relief, she reached Khun's room just in time as he said that. She opened the door and seated him on the bed in a split second, offering a glass of water as she told him to sleep in hopes of changing the topic.
To her defeat, Khun pouted at the glass of water handed to him without making any moves to actually drink it. He even dared to actually whine at her, childishly crossing his arms.
"If you don't call me Aguero then I won't drink the water or sleep."
And to think Evolet thought she'd never see the day when the usually mature, proud, intelligent, Khun Aguero Agnis acts like a child. Except she was the one who's the most troubled currently at his attitude. She doesn't know if Khun was the type to forget after his hangover passes or is he the type to remember the night before.
If he remembered then that would mean Evolet would have to keep calling him Aguero, which… wasn't a bad thing except then she would be too embarrassed to even look at him straight in the eyes. On the other hand, the bluenette sitting in front of her seemed to have no intentions of giving up either. So like any logical person, Evolet chose the most obvious option– run.
Not that it would work on Khun who's learned to read people's body language from a young age. She didn't even reach the door before Khun tugged her hand and pulled her down to the bed before pinning her down to block any way out. If she survived this, she'll make sure to always monitor the team's alcohol intake instead of letting them run loose. That is, if she actually survived this.
Khun was staring down at her, the smirk never leaving his lips. One would think he wasn't actually drunk if they saw the clear yet amused gaze in those cobalt blue orbs. Evolet was far too gone to notice the clarity and coherence he had over the situation though.
"A-gu-e-ro." He mouthed out the syllables of his name teasingly, utterly enjoying how things were turning out right now while Evolet was steadily getting more confused.
Evolet could only stutter unintelligibly, lost on what's happening and unable to reply properly. Khun just urged her to say his given name in the midst of her mind's chaos. Her palm automatically covered her lips as she looked away, still stammering as she called out his name reluctantly.
Khun's eyes were wide open, undeniably blown speechless from the sight below him. If people saw them right now, they would've guessed that Evolet was the drunk one from how red her face was. Her blue-violet eyes shimmered under the bedroom's lighting, a bright scarlet dusted over her cheeks that showed no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Evolet was still avoiding his gaze, unaware of the shock in his cobalt blue eyes.
Her reaction just backfired to his little plan. Originally he thought he'd be able to handle it without any problems, but it looks like Khun overestimated himself for once. The Lightbearer's heart was pounding wildly, blush creeping up from his nape as he plopped himself on her and wrapped his arms around Evolet's petite figure. He was careful not to crush her, shifting their positions so that he was spooning her.
"Uh… uhm– Aguero?" She needed to stop calling him like that for now, otherwise who knows how Khun'll end up. He could feel blood rushing to his cheeks as he buried his head on Evolet's shoulder. She couldn't see his expression behind her and was left clueless as to how Khun was trying to regain his composure.
Since he hadn't moved for quite a while now, Evolet just assumed that he was already asleep. She started to calm down, relaxing in his hold as she caught her breath. She waited for a while before trying to pry his hands away from her waist only for it to have the opposite effect she was hoping for. In her attempt to loosen his hold, he instead pulled her even closer and nuzzled deeper to her shoulder. On reflex, Evolet shivered at the sensation of his breathing on her neck.
She tried a few times to get out of his hold after that to no avail. He would only respond by hugging her even tighter each time. Not wanting to risk him waking up with how he stirred in his sleep from her last attempt, Evolet opted to stay still instead. She was rather tired from all the activities today since she woke up early to bake the cake. But at least the team seemed to enjoy it fully.
It'll be fine if she just rested for a bit, wouldn't it? In five minutes or so she'll wake up and find a way to escape the hug again. For now, a little shut eye sounds nice…
Eyes drooping from today's exhaustion and sleepiness, the purplette was quickly being lulled to sleep by the gentle warmth enveloping her as her breath evened out. The gift she prepared for Khun was long forgotten in the safety of her Lighthouse, a pair of suspendium earrings with rather special functions left in a neatly wrapped box. But she'll eventually hand that to him someday.
A peaceful smile was spread across her face, hands unconsciously trailing up to grasp Khun's hands that were still hugging her. The owner of said hands who were hugging her was in fact, still awake, and perfectly sober even before his little scheme started. He hadn't been drunk since the very start and everything had played out accordingly to what his brain cooked up until the point where she called him Aguero. He didn't account for his brain to malfunction only from that and was soundly defeated unintentionally by Evolet. But…
At the very least he could clearly feel her warmth in his arms. He remembers her smiles and all the little moments, the new memories made today. He spent the whole day together with her and came back to a surprise party that she had sneakily planned. Here in this moment, she was very much alive by his side and they'll continue climbing the Tower together. He'll eventually figure out a way to make her his, step by step at a time. Khun was an excellent strategist after all, he should be able to manage a feat like that in no time at all. For now, he'll just relish in the fact that she was by his side and take solace in the gentle warmth of the soothing lavender scent.
The next morning– Evolet will wake up and stare dumbfounded at the bedroom ceiling while thinking how she's going to get out of the blanket burrito Khun wrapped the both of them in without waking him up.
Bonus scene (d̶r̶u̶n̶k̶ Khun and his schemes)