Claimer: Niles, in all his retardedness, as well as Dragomir and their servants, are ours X3;
Warnings: yaoi-fluff :D;;
Dragomir was awake very early on the morning of April the eighth, but for once it wasn’t because of his insomnia. No, he’d been planning for a week or so to wake up early today, much earlier than usual—about three hours before he thought Niles would be up, in fact. He pushed the covers back gently, taking extra care not to disrupt Niles, who was still sound asleep next to him. Then, moving extremely slowly so as not to move the bed, Dragomir slipped out from between the covers and placed a foot gingerly on the floor. He padded lightly over to the wardrobe and dressed quickly in silence before heading for the door. As he passed Niles’s peacefully sleeping form, he paused and leaned over him, pressing a light kiss to his cheek. “Happy birthday, Niles,” he breathed, his voice barely over a whisper. Smiling, Dragomir stood and made his way out of the room quickly so as not to wake Niles.
He made his way directly down to the kitchen, where he found the servants already working to put together breakfast. He’d asked them yesterday if they wouldn’t mind starting early so that he could use the space to bake Niles a cake. The arrangement had worked well; it turned out that they were still working on their own gift for Niles. Dragomir was impressed a master could be so well loved by his servants, but he supposed it was easy to love Niles, and he knew that they’d been like a family all of Niles’s life. Upon his arrival, the servants and cooks all picked up their pace to finish what they needed to get done, and managed to clear a space for him to start working. He smile and thanked them, and began searching the massive room for the ingredients for the batter.
By the time he was pouring the batter into its pan and placing the entire thing in the expansive oven, the servants had already finished breakfast and had moved out of the kitchen. With the cake in the oven, Dragomir had just under and hour to prepare his other gift. He left the cake to bake, and went up to one of the sitting rooms where he’d managed to stash the gift for Niles and some paper to wrap it in. Dragomir finished the wrapping just in time, and hurried back down to the kitchen to check his cake. Upon testing it, he was pleased to find that it had backed perfectly, and took it out of the oven to cool while he prepared the frosting and sliced the fruit he planed to use for decoration.
Dragomir considered himself a fairly decent baker, but unfortunately, his decorating skills were somewhat lackluster. It would still taste good though, and Dragomir hoped Niles would find it acceptable. Dragomir than located the cooks and gave them the cake to keep until it was time for it to be brought out and presented to Niles.
Feeling satisfied and very pleased with himself, Dragomir retrieved the wrapped present before returning to the room where Niles was still sound asleep and tiptoed lightly over to the bed. Dragomir set the box down carefully and knelt beside Niles, brushing his cheek lightly with his hand as he pressed a kiss to his lips.
Niles's eyes fluttered open, and he smiled at Dragomir. "Good morning," he murmured, leaning up slightly to press a brief kiss back to his lips. "Why're you up so early...? Isn't it Sunday?" He rolled over slightly, still looking back at Dragomir and mumbled, "Come back to bed, Dragomir..."
Dragomir moved Niles’s legs aside gently and took a seat on the bed next to him. “I got up early because today is an important day.” Dragomir explained, smiling as he ran a hand over Niles’s leg experimentally. He would be content to sit with Niles until he was ready to get up, but Dragomir didn’t think he could go back to sleep after being awake for so long and so excited for Niles and the occasion.
Niles blinked up at Dragomir. "What's the occasion?" he asked confusedly. "It's not a holiday, is it? Did I forget something?" He looked at Dragomir inquisitively, still dazed from sleepiness.
Dragomir blinked down at Niles. Surely he hadn’t forgotten his own birthday? Dragomir began to worry slightly that maybe he’d gotten the date wrong… But no, it couldn’t be that; the servants were all preparing things for Niles, too. “Umm… It’s your birthday, Niles.” Dragomir smiled, bemused.
Niles blinked. "Oh, goodness, it is my birthday." He laughed sheepishly, sitting up and smiling embarrassedly at Dragomir. "I had completely forgotten. I suppose I should get up, I know the servants must have prepared breakfast..." He slid out of bed and stood, giving Dragomir a last smile before heading over to his wardrobe to get dressed.
Once he was fully prepared, he walked back over to Dragomir. "Shall we?"
Dragomir pulled the box over to him and stood with a grin. “First, I have something for you.” He pressed the wrapped box into Niles’s arms and stepped back, looking forward to seeing his reaction. “I hope you like it.” He added, smiling.
Niles blinked at the box now in his arms. "F-for me?" he asked, surprised. "W-why? I mean, you got something for...for me?" No one had ever given Niles a birthday gift before, besides his servants, and Niles was shocked. Though he had gotten used to Dragomir being there for him, he still hadn't adjusted to the fact that now, all the time, there really was someone who cared enough to want to make him happy. "Oh, goodness, Dragomir..." he managed, tears forming behind his eyes and spilling down his cheeks. "Thank you so much...I...I love you."
“I love you too, Niles.” Dragomir smiled, feeling a little awkward. It was just a birthday present, after all… But Dragomir was glad Niles was so touched, and was even more anxious now to see what he thought of his gift. “I had to get you a present, you know. It’s customary.” Dragomir explained. Maybe Niles really wasn’t familiar with the tradition? After all, Niles had lived by himself and apart for so long… Dragomir felt a twinge of sympathy and strengthened his resolve to make sure this birthday would be good enough to at least partially make up for all the ones he’d spent alone.
Niles sniffed and wiped at his eyes, smiling at Dragomir. "I-I know, but...well, no one's ever gotten me anything for my birthday before. They-they used to mock me at work because no one cared about me enough to give me a gift." He eased himself back into a chair with another sniff. "Th-thank you, Dragomir...I...I love you so much."
Wiping his eyes on his sleeve again, with a lingering smile to Dragomir, he set about opening the gift. He peeled back the paper and set it aside, revealing a box. Opening it up, he gasped. Inside, Niles found the most beautiful rapier he had ever seen. It was an elegant, spiral-styled swept hilt rapier, with a basket styled hand guard that had three half-moon shaped tiers. The first half moon closest to the blade had the smallest radius, and the next two got gradually wider in an elegant pattern. The knuckle guard was three sweeping pieces of metal that met together about a centimeter away from the pommel in a little knot; the pommel itself was crown-style, etched with detail. Niles gingerly lifted it from the box and held it out to get a better look at it, and realized that it was very well balanced, yet lightweight at the same time, which would make it especially easy for him to use, since he was so deficient in swordplay.
It was a moment before he was able to find his voice, but when he managed, he looked up at Dragomir in awe. "Thank you so much. It's absolutely beautiful!"
“I’m so glad you like it, “ Dragomir smiled, relieved. He’d traded in quite a bit of his collection especially to get a blade that was perfect for Niles, and he really hoped he’d found him something special that he could appreciate for it’s aesthetics and for it function. It had a reinforced layered steal blade, and Dragomir had made sure he invested only in the highest quality weapon he could find. The weight, he hoped, would accentuate Niles’s natural speed and give him an edge in future duels. “I hope you won’t have to use it beyond decorating your uniform.” Dragomir laughed and folded his arms. “But just in case, I picked something out that I thought would be really helpful for you. Since it’s a spiral pattern, it will be easy for you to disarm your opponent, so hopefully you can avoid a duel altogether.” He had it all figured out, and was excited for the blade’s potential in Niles’s hands.
Niles laughed embarrassedly. "Yeah, it would be good if I could disarm them without having to fight." He smiled. "Thank you so much, Dragomir. I love it." Setting the rapier gently back into its box, he rose, leaning up to press a soft kiss to Dragomir's lips. "It really means a lot to me...I love you." He sighed as he pulled away, hesitating a moment to smile contentedly at Dragomir, before taking a step back, grinning. "So, breakfast now? Or do you have any more surprises for me?"
“Nope, that’s all,” Dragomir nodded, then added, smirking, “for now.” They made their way down to the dinning room and took their seats together at one end of the table, which was slightly less full than usual. Dragomir was pleased the servants had taken his cake into account, and had generally planned breakfast to accommodate the dessert at the end.
As they both finished their meals, a servant arrived and cleared their plates hastily, replacing them with smaller clean ones. Dragomir smirked at Niles’s look of confusion, and turned to the door to the kitchen, from which one of the cooks had emerged, carrying the cake reverently on a platter. There were lit candles set into the sloppy frosting, and Dragomir smiled with satisfaction as the cook set the dessert down in front of Niles. “Happy birthday,” Dragomir reiterated, practically bubbling with excitement for Niles.
Niles gasped. "Oh, Dragomir, you made this for me? It's gorgeous!" He had never had a birthday cake before, and he was touched that Dragomir would go to such trouble to make something so nice for him. He stared at the cake with admiration for a moment before looking back to Dragomir. "So...um...what do we do with the candles...?"
Dragomir was stunned and quite thoroughly taken aback. Niles really was new to the whole birthday thing, and Dragomir hardly knew what he could say. “Ummm…” Dragomir bit his lip. He’d never explained what to do with birthday candles before; it was something so innate, he almost didn’t know if he could do it. “Well… you make a wish and then blow them out.” He explained, with a small smile. Now that he thought about it, it really was a rather silly tradition, and it didn’t make very much sense at all, but hopefully Niles would understand.
Niles blinked. "I just blow them out...? Okay..." He hesitated a moment, feeling a little foolish as he tried to think of a wish. After a moment of cogitation, he broke into a grin. Taking a deep breath, he announced, "I wish I can make Dragomir as happy as he makes me!" before blowing on the candles. Three went out, so he blew again, and again, and quite a few times more until all twenty-one candles had been blown out. Grinning sheepishly over at Dragomir, he asked, "Did I do it all right?"
“Generally, people try to do it all in one breath, but it doesn’t really matter.” Dragomir laughed, reflecting on how adorable Niles managed to be. “And, some people think that if you say your wish out loud, it won’t come true, but I can assure you that’s not that case.” Dragomir smiled and leaned forward across the table to place a kiss on Niles’s lips. “Because I couldn’t be happier.” He cooed, returning to his seat.
Niles blushed as Dragomir returned to his seat, smiling. "I'm glad that you're happy... and I'll try to do it better next year," he promised. "I mean, if you don't mind going through the trouble again next year, and all, I mean, I wouldn't want to trouble you or anything..." He blushed, realizing he was being silly again, and quickly motioned to one of his servants, who arrived to cut the cake. "Would you like a piece?" he offered to Dragomir, putting a smile back on his face.
“I’d love to bake another cake for you next year.” Dragomir smiled. “That is, of course, if you like this one enough.” He laughed, running a hand through his hair. “The frosting didn’t turn out nearly as well as I had hoped, but hopefully it will still taste as good.” He accepted his piece and waited for Niles to try it first. “Let me know if there’s anything I need to work on for next year. “ Dragomir prompted, hoping the dessert would get a positive reception.
Niles carefully took his desert fork and tasted a bit of the cake, then looked up to Dragomir brightly. "It's delicious!" he exclaimed. "And I think it's pretty, too. Thank you so much, Dragomir, I love it. It's absolutely perfect." He took another bite, savouring the taste of the sweet. He was really very moved by everything Dragomir had done for him, and there was nothing, in his opinion, that would make it any better.
“I’m glad you like it,” Dragomir grinned, picking up one of the many forks at random and tasting the cake himself. It had turned out quite well, actually, and though he still thought he frosting made the whole thing look sloppy and haphazard, he was satisfied that the flavor made up for the appearance. Besides, next year when he baked it again, it would look even better.
Niles finished his cake slowly, appreciating each bite and feeling overwhelmed with love for Dragomir. As he finished his slice, he noticed three of the servants approaching and smiled warmly. Each year, since he was a child, his servants always gave him something trivial for his birthday, and it was usually the highlight of his day. Though he was already delighted by everything Dragomir had done for him, he wasn't going to let that overshadow his faithful staff. He smiled as they presented him with a parcel, thanking them courteously.
Opening the box, he withdrew a large quilt, which he knew was handmade. He admired the skill, and smiled to the servants. "Thank you so much. It's lovely."
“Oh wow, that’s really nice.” Dragomir commented, leaning in his seat to get a good look. Turning to Niles, he grinned. “It worked out really well this morning. They let me use the kitchen for your cake while they finished this up for you.” One of the servants nodded in confirmation and Dragomir sat back. “We’re working on a system sometime so that I can cook for you every once and a while,” he explained. “Hopefully you won’t mind.” Dragomir added with a smile.
Niles sighed contentedly. Everything just seemed so wonderful; he felt loved and wanted, and everything had been so nice for his birthday. He felt a wave of thankfulness wash over him, and suddenly, he got to his feet and went over to where Dragomir sat, moving, without warning, to sit on his lap. "Thank you so much for all of this...it's just been so lovely, more than I ever could have dreamed for..." he breathed happily. Turning to look Dragomir in the eye, he smiled before pressing a kiss to his lips. "I love you so much. Thank you."
At first Dragomir was a little suppressed by Niles’s actions, but he quickly kissed back and wrapped his arms around Niles, holding him close. “I love you too,” Dragomir breathed, “I’m so glad I could do something special for you’re your birthday.” Dragomir pecked Niles on the cheek lightly and grinned. “It’ll be the first of many to come!”