Author's Notes: This was written (after much egging on from my beta reader) to expand on a single-sentence Sol/Ky scene I'd written for the prompt 'birthday' in a fifty-themed-sentences challenge. Naturally, the original version was posted on November 20, the date Ky's official bio gives for his birthday. Despite increasing the word count by more than a factor of ten, the expanded version is really no less fluffy and gratuitous than the original.

It was late by the time Ky made his way through the IPF entrance hall that night, with the satisfaction of a job well done and a case closed down to the last niggling bit of paperwork. The night air was crisp and cold through his official cloak, each breath producing a little puff of steam, but a brisk walk home would keep him warm enough. Paris, and most especially the IPF – never slept, but this time of night was as quiet as it ever was, the peace quite pleasant after such a long day.

"Yo," called a voice out of the blue, and Ky snapped out of his daze to find himself looking into a small alleyway between two buildings he must have passed a hundred times before walking this route, then had to check himself to make sure he hadn't fallen asleep on his feet and was dreaming the whole thing. Wedged in the narrow gap and leaning casually against a wall not six paces away, there stood Sol - large as life, unmistakable even without the Order uniform he'd worn every day Ky had known him. The Fuuenken stood propped against the wall beside him, white edges glowing guiltily in the dim light in a way that gave the illusion it might be the sole source of what little illumination there was to shed light on the dark alley.

"Sol?" Ky blurted, not quite able to believe his eyes.

"Long time no see," said Sol – and it was definitely him, even if Ky wasn't sure he'd ever seen that particular grin on Sol's face before and wasn't sure what to do with it. "Miss me?"

"You…" None of that had helped convince Ky he wasn't dreaming the whole encounter. The stolen Fuuenken drew his eye a little too easily. "Showing up here, right at the door of the IPF, what are you thinking…"

"Didn't actually come here to fight with you today, if you can manage that."

"Then why would you…"

"Came to wish you a happy birthday."

Ky stared at him blankly, positive he must have heard that wrong.

"It's past midnight, if you hadn't noticed." Sol stared back at Ky's stunned look. "Geez, you did know it was coming? How hard have they been working you?"

Ky could not think of anything to say. Of course he'd known in the general sense even if it had been out of his mind at that particular moment. It was even a part of why it had been so important to have everything done tonight so as to give himself a proper day off the following one, but for Sol to be here personally to remind him… that demanded so many questions he didn't even know where to start – everything from how Sol had arranged to be here to meet him at just this time, to how long he must have been waiting, to how hard he must have hit his head to consider doing anything like this, but the only one Ky could have put words to just then was, Sol knew my birthday?

If Sol thought he could avoid arrest by making Ky laugh himself to incapacity this would be a good start. Yesterday – even an hour ago – news of Sol anywhere in the city would have had him running to the scene in a fury with the full might of the IPF in tow, but maintaining the anger was much harder when Sol was being so ridiculous. "You… surely you couldn't have come all this way just for that."

Sol shrugged. "Eighteen this year, right?" He took a step forward into the light, letting Ky see for the first time that his new attire left his arms bare to the shoulder, the play of shadow over the curve of muscle momentarily very distracting. "That's an important number," Sol was saying. "Used to mean something."

Ky couldn't imagine what, it seemed an arbitrary enough figure to him. Some vague recollection of laws that went back a century or more nagged at him in an unhelpful way. He shook his head. It was quite unfair of the world to expect him to deal with this when he was already so tired, crazy feelings of elation notwithstanding. "Next you'll be saying you brought me a present, and then I really will know the world has gone mad."

"Not exactly," pronounced Sol's strange grin. He jerked his head in an inviting gesture. "Come here."

"Wh…" Ky's legs jerked forward a step of their own accord.

"Just trust me on this."

In all the years of war he'd endured, Ky could not think of a time the sound of his own heart in his ears had been so loud as it was now as he cleared the distance over the road into Sol's alley. Sol took a step backwards to make space for Ky to stand facing him, back to the other wall, and in the narrow gap between the buildings that left them very close indeed. Against the night air in such an enclosed space, the heat Sol seemed to generate just by existing radiated out, warm and inviting. The look on Sol's face – it was fond, there was no other word for it, and that may have been the moment Ky acknowledged exactly what was happening, exactly what Sol was going to do, and how strangely unmotivated he was to do anything that might stop it.

Sol raised a hand, horribly slowly to thread his fingers into Ky's hair at the side of his face; leaving Ky suddenly convinced that surely Sol must have been able to feel his heartbeat through that light contact just as loud as Ky himself could.

"I never imagined this could be how I'd finally meet you again," he babbled, voice reduced to an awkward whisper. "Over a year you avoid me, and now this…"

"Was waiting for the right moment," Sol whispered back, moving his hand very slightly in a gentle caress as he moved in.

"This particular birthday," Ky might have laughed out loud but didn't feel he was getting the oxygen for it.

"Call me old-fashioned," said Sol, and leaned that last little bit more.

The first brush of Sol's lips on his own was too light and fast to feel any more real than the rest of this experience, and yet already Ky found himself moving to try to follow the moment the pressure ceased. The next press was firmer, Ky needing no prompting to part his lips as the kiss deepened; was kissing back almost before he knew what he was doing. Sol went slow, whether to avoid startling him or because he wanted to enjoy the experience or some combination of both; the whole sensation intoxicating – the last thing Ky would ever have imagined Sol could be so good at.

When Sol pulled back at last Ky was faintly dizzy and panting, Sol still grinning like the cat that got the cream. To Ky's mild horror, the first words that came out of Sol's mouth were, "Not done much of that before, have you?"

If Ky had been able to put words together after that his response would have been a protest that of course he hadn't, exactly when was he supposed to have found either the time or the opportunity when there was always so much more important to do, and if Sol had really been sitting on these feelings ever since the war then who's fault was it if even 'not much' was a bit of an exaggeration of the reality? – which would have sounded so pathetic that it was a very good thing Sol cut him off before he could start.

"Didn't mean it like that. All I meant," he said, leaning back in, "is you need more practice…" and then Sol was kissing him again, so much deeper than before, pushing him back against the wall under the press of his body, and somehow only then it clicked with Ky that Sol's comment on his inexperience hadn't been nearly as much an insult as something Sol was pleased about. If it was anything like this he would have happily agreed to as many hours of 'practice' as Sol thought he needed. He let out a soft moan, and Sol responded by trying to get even closer in a move that ended with their belt buckles colliding uncomfortably. Sol broke off the kiss and stepped back, frowning downwards. The only thought in Ky's mind was that the offending items of clothing would have to go, and he'd barely started to think about what else that might imply when Sol looked up again, clearly mirroring some variety of the same thought.

"Damn things," he grumbled. "Want to take this somewhere more private?"

Inexperienced or otherwise, Ky would have had no excuse for pretending he didn't know exactly what Sol was asking – well beyond taking an activity only as inappropriate as kissing away from a public space. It should probably have shocked him – should certainly have been something he took more time to think about whether he really wanted to do than five seconds at such a heated moment. But far from feeling unreal, now the whole experience was starting to resonate as maybe the only thing that had ever happened between him and Sol that had ever made sense, and losing that just when he was starting to get a hold on it… that was unthinkable.

"My house isn't far from here," he heard himself say, though surely Sol knew that, that was hardly the point of the implication.

"Perfect," grinned Sol, stepping back to let him lead the way.