Hawknell Inn A sneaky surprise

She's holding a small cake box with This inside!(the bear is a snow leopard face; its a strawberry short cake covered in whipped cream) and another box that has some hand-rolled (and you can tell it was done by someone who was not great at doing hand rolled sushi) but it would be 12 of a mix of tuna and salmon rolls.

Did Kaly use her power of being able to log into the system to learn when Usui's birthday was? Yes. She felt a little guilty but she wanted to know that important date for her friends that she cared about. Pretty sure she could ask for forgiveness on this front later.

EITHER WAY; she'd gone off to get a personal cake made for him and then tried her hand at making him some sushi rolls; doing this taught her one good thing. She sucked at making sushi. Plating the prettiest of them that she could, she placed them into a box with a small note that said happy birthday on it.

Nice and simple since she felt like he was one to like things mellow and calm for his day.

Going to his room, she'd give a few knocks and waited!
He was, of course, well aware it was his own birthday. Dates and time were some of the few things he could really use to make sure he felt grounded as he learned to live a new life, and he marked the days off on a small pocketbook calendar every morning. Few notes littered the pages, only the simple red line through each day, as if he was a man marking on the wall how long he'd been living on a deserted island alone.

Only he wasn't. And he knew it, and appreciate it. Working at the inn itself had been a good resource for both learning and security, and in the last year alone he had grown a lot.

Not enough that he'd shared the meaning of today's date with anyone, but nonetheless.

The knock at his door wasn't strictly unusual, though the hour made it a bit less expected. He wasn't overdue for any work, was he? He certainly hoped not.

But it was not Erik on the other side, but Kalypso. "Nan desu ka?" he questioned, almost to himself, as he realized she was holding boxes. Then his eyes moved to her face, at the glint of perhaps mischief he could see there. "You need help?" Her hands did seem a bit full.

'What's this?'

Kaly had been practicing and learning the right phrase to say to him today and when Usui opened the door she ACTUALLY understood him and smiled. Her language lessons online were paying off in spades it would appear!

"Usui, O-tanjoubi omedetou, " she told him, not making it too loud but it was loud enough for him as she offered the treats to him. "I wasn't sure how much you celebrated but I wanted you to have something special at least for today, " she told him, hoping he would not be too upset with her finding out his birthday without asking. She just wanted to, at least hoped to, make her friend smile and have a good day at least.

Happy Birthday, Usui!

There was a small noise in his throat as she said happy birthday to him--in a way far more familiar to him. A grunt of surprise--less at the phrase, more that she knew today was the day at all! He had not bothered to tell anyone, but he supposed... had she been snooping? He had needed to give what information he could to Erik when he had become employed here...

In a worse time he would have thought to scold her. As it was... well, she was offering gifts, and he knew better than to be needlessly brusque with a friend. His birthday was hardly consequential information anyhow. Still, it was where his mind went.

Tracking most of what she said as she offered out the boxes, he extended his own hands to accept them. He could smell... a variety of things, for all he could not see them at the moment. It seemed she had covered her bases as food went. Charmed, he smiled, unsure of what to do with himself in light of that.

"Thank you, Kaly." Her shortened name was something he had long since learned was easier for him than her full name. "Do... want to come in?" He could not quite bring himself to leave her standing in his doorway while he retreated, so coming in was the only real option.
Kaly had to hold back her bubbles so that she didn't explode in her normal happy birthday jazz and it appeared to be the right call as he accepted the gifts from her. It made her smile brightly as she let him take them.

"You're welcome Usui, " she told him, truly, she loved to do these things for her friends. Just a little something to let them know that they were important and thought of.

The offer to come in was a surprise and she was about to reply in English when she cleared her throat, taking a second to put the words together, "Chū...ni haitte mitai," she got out after a few minutes of thinking. It didn't sound perfect and the words were not smooth but it was her first real time using them on a person that wasn't a robot on a computer screen.

translate: I would love to come inside

They paused in the threshold as she seemed to be thinking... and he suspected what was coming but it made a glimmer of a smile from him anyway when it did manifest. The effort was sincere. And kind. Somewhere along the line they were meeting in the middle of communication and it was welcome.

He nodded to her and gestured her in. Did not correct her pronunciation because it was a sweet moment and deserved to stay that way. Instead his focus was moving over to the tidy desk he kept beside his bed and moving a couple of items so he could set the boxes down.

"You been practice," he noted. But then, before he could carry on further, he had peeked into the first box, with the cake, and his brows rose in surprise. "This Yukihyō? Snow leopar?" It certainly looked like one, if a bit overly round and cute.
It was hard to keep back the smile as he understood her; she actually was able to be understood! That was truly the best thing that she could have asked for with how much she had been practicing to be able to get it right. She still had a lot to learn but it was proving very much worth it.

Kaly stepped inside, shutting the door and slipping her shoes off at the entryway so as to not track anything into his room; the fluffy socks was enough to keep her feet cozy against the floors here. "Hai, " she said with a nod, a little grin, "It is...not easy but worth it, " she told him as he opened the box with the cake.

"It is! It's a Ichigo no shōtokēki, " she said, having obviously practiced that phrase a bit since she got the cake. "I heard they are popular back at your home, I hope it's good, " she told him, glad the little snow leopard turned out well with its cat face and black tinted spots all over it.

T: strawberry shortcake

It was very sweet. He pulled the box from on top of the other box so he could open it, getting a better look. She had chosen well, if he was honest, in spite of probably not knowing his actual preferences. But it was a good reminder of places he used to frequent, back when he'd lived somewhere he inherently understood. "It very cute," he said, and even from someone who could be occasionally too serious... it was a compliment stated sincerely.

"It... good flavor. Strawberry?" He questioned, looking back at her, to confirm he had that word right. Fruits were a natural list of things to memorize but he still got a few mixed up or forgotten.
Kaly smiled, hearing that made the little surprise worth it. "I'm happy you like it, " she told him, relief in her tone as she enjoyed watching him go through the couple of things. Maybe she should have gotten him a physical gift but she hadn't been sure on what to do and this felt like a decently safe bet to do.

"Aye, strawberries. I was told they are local fresh grown, " she told him with a smile, "Kyō wa yo...tei ga arimasu ka? " she asked, doing her best to work out the correct way to phrase it. It was another familiar phrase and it was gradually getting the hang of it the more she spoke it.

Do you have plans today?

As she was working her way through the Japanese phrase, he was peeking into the next box, a slight dip to his knees like he had to duck to see it. But what he found was both familiar and welcome as well. Had she made these herself? It certainly looked it. But he did not mind that they were a bit of a mess--a gift was a gift.

"No," he answered. "No plan but normal day." Which was to say he was here to oversee inn operations... but as they both knew very well, this was not always the most pressing task.
Watched as he peeked inside the other box to see the hand rolled sushi. Not her best but she had her fingers crossed that they'd taste good all the same.

Thinking for a minute, "After I finish work...would you want to go to the movies then? " her birthday treat to him still, she'd not ask or have him pay. That was if he wanted; she wasn't going to push but she'd happily just put the offer out so that he could maybe get out of the inn for a little bit.
It was unexpected. Not that they hadn't done plenty together in the past, but this was a bit different. It felt very... purposeful. He had not watched a movie in the way she was suggesting in a long time. Here it had never struck him as worth it, as he'd have to work to understand.

But his language skills were getting better. And if she was inviting him it was a good opportunity to take the chance. Not particularly looking to celebrate today didn't mean he was opposed to it...

"Would like," he agreed, patting the top of the sushi box as he closed it again. "But only if share cake also." Perhaps Erik would like some as well. Hoarding the food to himself, even if it was well within his rights, felt strange. Unbecoming.
The fact that Usui, even as he was still learning English was willing to go to see a movie at the theater made her smile a bit. It felt good, seeing him willing to go out and she could almost hug him at that! He always felt on the reserved side of things, so she did refrain from bouncing right into his space like she'd have done with Erik without so much as a second thought.

Nodding, "Great! I can see what's playing and you can pick whichever looks interesting to you, " the offer to share the cake made her melt a little bit, he didn't have to at all but he was willing to just made her and Snowie nearly purr with happiness.

"Sure; want to bring it to the kitchen? Erikku ni kitai ka dō ka tazu..neru koto ga deki..masu, " she worked out, her face scrunching a little with her trying to go between English and Japanse; French was so much easier. "And if he would like a slice? " she suggested, sadly not knowing what the word for slice was yet!

T: We can ask Erik if he wants to come

As usual, longer sentences got harder to follow. Words that he hadn't quite picked up on yet, having to be dragged from context. But he was smart, in spite of how he felt sometimes in the last few years. It didn't matter much that he couldn't have repeated her questions back to her, he felt more confident now in his answer than he would have last year.

"Hai," he agreed to inviting Erik along, as well as offering to share food. It was, after all, a thought he'd already had himself. "Share for lunch?" He supposed about the sushi with a pat of his hand on the box. They could have a little celebration on his behalf. They had been very good allies, friends even, and deserved recognition of that.
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