"Kyouya-senpai?"

Kyouya smiles as he looks up, leaving his wine glass on the table, smiling at Kaoru with a much warmer smile than he'd give to most people. But Kaoru is a friend, and there's no reason why to take out his frustration on him.

"I've not been your senpai for years, Kaoru."

"Habit," Kaoru says with a shrug and half a grin. Kyouya offers him a chair with a hand gesture, lest they keep on talking like that; Kaoru takes off his leather coat and giving it to one of the waiters in one fluid movement before he does. "Are you expecting anyone, senpai? I just thought I'd say 'hi', but I can leave--"

Kyouya shakes his head a little and he takes another sip from his glass, smiling as he hopes that his face isn't doing that pinched look that Tamaki keeps telling him will cause him wrinkles.

"I got stood up."

The intrinsic quality of silence is that there is no noise in it. And they are in a pretty full restaurant with the chink of china and silverware and glasses and gentle murmurs from the guests, as well as the violinist playing La Resercada.

Kaoru's silence, for the whole minute that it lasts, is loud and grating to Kyouya's already tried patience.

"... you kidding?"

Kyouya takes another sip from his wine, longer this time, before he puts it down. He pushes his glasses up his nose, barely resisting the urge to pinch the bridge of his nose. It's not Kaoru's fault, he tries to remind himself.

"Duke Charles Beaumont asked me if I could, perhaps, entertain his daughter if I had the time to spare. Miss Clarice, my date, wasn't that interested."

Or she had agreed because daddy dearest had made her agree, but she had looked absolutely miserable when they were at the opera, so Kyouya had pretended not to notice that when she said 'she'd go to powder her nose', she actually had sneaked outside. Sure, he's already expecting gossip about this, and that would be mildly annoying, but her father is, most likely, going to feel embarrassed by his daughter's behavior and he will, most likely, finally agree to sign the damn contract.

Knowing that makes the whole waiting he has to do in the restaurant to be seen a little bit less annoying, but not by much.

Kaoru still looks at him as if Kyouya had told him him that he had actually owns the sun now, so Kyouya decides to change the topic.

"And you? A date?" Kyouya nods towards the waiter, and another glass is brought, Kaoru nodding to Kyouya's wine selection with a nod.

"Not exactly. Dinner with a model we're trying to get to sign with us," Kaoru says with a shrug. "Hikaru was here, too, but he's escorting her to her hotel."

"Will you go and meet with them, then?"

A shrug that, Kyouya knows, means 'no'. "Hikaru kinda fancies her."

"Won't that affect the deal?"

And a hand wave, dismissing that thought as if it was absolutely silly, taking a sip of the red wine. "There's models a dozen. And she's got the wrong complexion for this collection."

Still protecting his brother. Kyouya supposes that it won't ever really change, that, for all the things the twins had changed about them. It works, though, so he can't really blame them for this balance they have found.

"Senpai, have you had dinner yet?" Kaoru asks then, still holding his wine glass. "Because I'm actually starving. You know, models."

Kyouya smiles at the way Kaoru rolls his eyes, but then he considers. He hadn't actually thought about eating at the restaurant, more or less deciding that once he was back at his apartment he could order some food. But if he and Kaoru were already there, then, it'd be a waste just to go away.

"I was told the Coq au Vin is truly divine," Kyouya says with a soft nod, his mood improved.

Kaoru grins. "Then let's find out if that's true."