He's only taken two whole steps into the dining hall when he finds himself being immediately accosted by an overexcited Hina. She bounds up to him, shouting his name, and he yelps and freezes in place instinctively, grip automatically tightening on his unopened can of coffee. He thinks she's about to tackle him to the ground, and, well, it wouldn't be the first can of coffee he lost to Hina's excitability. Thankfully, his instincts are wrong, as she skids to a stop inches away from him and does a little hop in place to steady herself.
"Makoto!" She shouts his name again with a grin plastered across her face, and part of him wants to point out that she really doesn't have to yell, he's standing right in front of her, but before he can even begin to think of the politest way to phrase that, she continues, "Just the guy I was hoping to see!"
That catches his curiosity, and any thoughts he has on trying to correct Hina's volume level disappear. "Me? Is something wrong?" It's his earnest nature that makes him think that something must have happened first, before common sense kicks in and he realizes this could just be another one of those, "rope Makoto into doing a favor for you that he really doesn't wanna do" ploys that seem to be so popular among his classmates. He's already asked now, so there's no going back, but he feels his gut sink as he realizes that this is the exact kind of thing that Junko teases him about when she says that he's so gullible and calls him a "herbivore boy".
"Wrong? Yeah! Something's super wrong!" Hina exclaims as she ushers him over to the main table sitting in the middle of the cafeteria. He's about to take a seat when she whirls around and looks at him accusingly, hands planted firmly on her hips. "You still haven't told anyone what you wanna do for your birthday yet!"
He blinks at her owlishly and finds himself repeating, "Birthday?" But at the same moment, he's drowned out by Hiro's voice suddenly calling him from the door leading back to the kitchen and he involuntarily flinches. "Yo, Makoto!" Hiro strolls up to the table casually with his breakfast tray and plops himself down in the seat directly across from where Makoto was about to seat himself. His tray clatters when it makes contact with the table, the silverware clinking noisily against the plates stacked with his pancakes and toast. He laughs as he says, "We've been looking all over for you, man! Gotta ask you about - "
"I was just trying to tell him that, geez!" Hina cuts Hiro off, huffing and rolling her eyes. "He was just about to answer me before you came along and cut him off!"
Hiro's hands fly up in front of him defensively like he's scared she'll hit him, but his brow still furrows with irritation when he shoots back, "Whoa, hey, c'mon, don't be mean; how was I supposed to know that?!"
"Maybe if you had been paying any attention, you would've noticed we were already talking when you came in! What else would I be asking him about?!"
"I dunno; your horoscopes? The weather? You could've been talking about anything!"
"You knew I wanted to ask him about - "
"Guys?" Makoto's never been a particularly aggressive speaker, so it's hard trying to get his voice to overtake those of his much louder classmates. It doesn't work and he isn't all that surprised, so instead, he just chooses to sink into his seat and wait for them to finish, however long that was going to take. But then, for once, it seems that his "Ultimate Good Luck" wants to work in his favor, when Byakuya also comes in from the kitchen, hot mug of coffee - civet coffee, black, drip brew only, Makoto mentally recites on what must be instinct, seeing as how he's made that coffee himself for Byakuya more times than he can keep track - in hand.
Byakuya walks over, making no sounds aside from the slight clicks of the heels of his shoes against the linoleum tiling, and slides into the chair directly to the right of Makoto without a word. Makoto offers him a mumbled 'good morning', though he isn't sure if Byakuya actually heard him over Hina and Hiro's argument until the blond just gives him a brief nod in return. Makoto supposes that's fair; Byakuya never really has been much of a "morning person".
Neither Hina nor Hiro chooses to acknowledge the newcomer to the conversation, still too involved in their debate to even notice his arrival, not that Makoto thinks Byakuya minds at all. Rather, Byakuya simply takes a long drink of his coffee - which...kind of concerns Makoto, if he's honest with himself; the mug's still hot enough to be steaming, how is he not scalding his mouth like that? - then exhales slowly through his nose. Next, he rests his mug on the table, and then, much more loudly and far more clearly than Makoto would've been able to, he gives a firm, "A-hem."
Hiro and Hina both go silent immediately, and before they get the chance to start asking when he had gotten there, Makoto jumps on the opportunity presented, shooting a quick side glance of gratitude towards Byakuya. "Guys...what do you mean, my birthday? What brought this up?"
Hina groans exaggeratedly as she slams her palms on the table, earning a slight jump from Makoto, another irritated sigh from Byakuya, and more clattering of utensils from Hiro's tray. "It's only two weeks away, Makoto; don't you realize that?" He didn't, if he's honest. He's always had trouble keeping track of how close his birthday actually is until the month of, and seeing as how his birthday is right at the start of February, it ends up sneaking up on him more often than not.
But thinking on it now, that's right, his birthday is right around the corner, isn't it? "Oh..." He mumbles, setting his can on coffee on the table and scratching his head sheepishly. "Right. Sorry, I guess it just slipped my mind."
Hiro laughs and shakes his head like Makoto's just told an amazing joke. "Man, how do you forget your birthday? It's like...y'know, your birthday! It's part of your being, dude; gotta keep track of these things, y'know!" Makoto's stuck between questioning just what Hiro means by his birthday being part of his "being" and pointing out that Hiro's forgotten much more important things in the time that they've known each other. However, the latter seems too mean, so instead he keeps it to himself, and the former he doesn't think he has the mental energy to keep up with this morning, so he chooses to keep quiet.
Thankfully, he doesn't have to respond as Hina immediately continues the conversation for him. "The point is that it's almost your birthday and you haven't told anyone how you wanna celebrate!" He wants to apologize and answer that he hasn't given much thought to it yet, but then figures that much must have been obvious, seeing as how he just said that until minutes ago, he'd forgotten about his birthday entirely. Rather, he just shrugs and gives a sorry smile.
Though, now that the issue's been brought up, he still doesn't have any idea what he would want to do for his birthday. He's never been particularly picky about celebrations. In fact, as far as he can recall, all of his birthdays before were just small parties with his mom, dad, and sister, with maybe a few friends from school or the neighborhood invited. Nothing anything big or flashy, just...completely average parties for a completely average kid.
But that's not really possible this year, seeing as how he's at a boarding school away from home. And well...he's not really average anymore, is he? He's an attendee at Hope's Peak Academy, and while he doesn't feel like he's changed all that much, or at all really, maybe it is about time he stops seeing himself as hopelessly average. A change of pace with his birthday might be good for him. But even saying that...he's still not really sure what to tell Hina. What kind of "un-average" things did people do on their birthdays?
He casts a glance to his right and entertains the thought of asking if Byakuya wanted to make plans for his birthday. After all, that was a thing that couples did, right? Birthday dates? He didn't really have all that much experience knowing what kind of things couples did, but birthday dates definitely sounded like one of those kinds of romantic prospects.
He ends up dismissing the idea for a number of reasons, though. Hina had been the one to express interest in celebrating his birthday and had even been the one to remind him that his birthday was coming up, so to then answer her question by shutting her out and saying he'd much rather celebrate with a private date seemed...rude. On top of that, even if he did choose to spend his birthday with his boyfriend, that would just lead to the same situation he was already in, only with Byakuya asking what it was he wanted to do instead of Hina, and answering with, "Surprise me," didn't seem like a good idea. Knowing Byakuya, he would take it as a challenge and find the fanciest, most expensive restaurant that Makoto would no doubt feel entirely outclassed in.
He could practically hear Byakuya now: "Well, you said to surprise you."
Right, definitely not a good idea to ask Byakuya.
His thought process is broken when Hiro speaks up through a mouthful of toast. "If he doesn't have any ideas on what he wants to do," the older man starts, a few crumbs falling from his lips and dribbling down his chin, "couldn't we just like...throw him a surprise party?"
"Well now we definitely can't, since you announced it right in front of him." Hina answers with a sweep of her arm in Makoto's direction. Hiro shifts his eyes between both of them for a moment before the realization settles in and he tries playing it off with a simple, oh, right, followed by a round of nervous laughter. Makoto expects Hina to be angrier, but instead she just sighs and crosses her arms. "Besides, don't you think I would've thought of that already? We couldn't have done a surprise party anyway."
"Why not?" Makoto asks before he knows what he's saying, his curiosity getting the better of him. As he does, he can't help but feel a twinge of disappointment. If Hiro hadn't have inadvertently ruined the idea of the plan, Makoto might have liked a surprise birthday party. He'd never had one before, sure, but that just made him more interested. And on top of that, the thought of all of his friends coming together, all on their own and without any input from him, just to give him a party...the idea made him a little giddy and maybe even a little emotional.
Besides, Makoto liked surprises. Well, so long as they weren't surprises like taking him out to dinner at the fanciest restaurant in the city while he's dressed in a hoodie and jeans.
"Oh, well, a surprise party was actually my first plan, but then when I brought it up with Kyoko, she said it probably wasn't a good idea." Hina pauses and rubs the back of her neck with an apologetic laugh and smile, before finishing with, "Since you're so...y'know."
A silence then settles between the four of them, only interrupted by the sounds of Hiro eating and the crack of Makoto opening his can of coffee. He waits for Hina to finish, but she never does, just giving him that awkward, sorry look. He looks to Byakuya, hoping to find some sign that his boyfriend is also upset that Hina hasn't finished her thought, but instead of the confused impatience he's looking to see, all he finds is indifference tinged with a hint of understanding. Even Hiro eventually starts bobbing his head as Hina's words linger in the air as if he's starting to catch onto the hidden meaning behind them, and Makoto's shoulders and heart both sink.
He tries not to let the hurt slip into his tone too much when he asks, "...Since I'm so what?" Even still, he knows the look is evident on his face, he can feel it in the way his eyebrows turn upwards and scrunch. His thoughts are confirmed when Hina's eyes widen and she shakes her head like she's trying to assure him that it's nothing bad, really.
"No, no, I just meant, like..." Her voice is even a little bit frantic in her explanation, which makes him feel a little bit better, that she really wasn't trying to hurt his feelings, but then he just feels guilty for getting so emotional. That guilt, however, goes away, when she finishes her sentence. "Since you're so jumpy, you know? That's all!"
It takes just a moment for him to comprehend what she's saying, and as he does, he feels a little bit of heat creeping up the back of his neck and tinging the tips of his ears. "Wh - no, I'm not!" She thought he was jumpy? And, Kyoko had been the one to shut the surprise party idea down; Kyoko thought he was jumpy? Not only that, but he realizes as he scans the faces of the other two men in the room, they had no protests to the thought either. Hiro and even Byakuya, too? They all thought he was jumpy!
He feels the hint of anger and embarrassment start burning in his gut when Hiro snorts and says, "Uh, yeah, you are, dude. And that's coming from me, you know?" Makoto did know; it was no secret that out of all of Class #78 of Hope's Peak Acadamy, Yasuhiro Hagakure was the biggest coward and scaredy cat of all of them. Even Chihiro could claim to have more bravery than Hiro.
Which is why when he of all people said that Makoto was jumpy, Makoto couldn't stop himself from feel a little bit offended. Okay, sure, fine, maybe he wasn't a paragon of courage, but the way Hiro was talking made him sound like he was a timid mouse that yelped at any little sound! "Come on, you're not being fair! I'm not that bad!" He looks to Hina for support, because she had to know that he wasn't nearly as bad as Hiro, right?
But she just looks at him with a quirked eyebrow and crossed arms as she says, "Literally the first thing you did when you walked in the dining hall this morning was scream."
"That - that's not - I mean...you ran at me! I was surprised! That's a normal reaction!"
"What about last week, when Mondo was just trying to borrow a pencil and you yelped when he tapped your shoulder?"
"He grabbed my shoulder! I thought he was gonna, I dunno, beat me up or something!"
"How about when Celeste wanted to look at your notes for Literature class and when she said your name, your immediate response was to scream in her face?"
"Okay, that's just because there was no one there when I looked down at my phone, but then I looked up and she was right there in front me!"
"Ugh, you can keep making excuses all you want; just admit it. You scream a lot." As she speaks, Makoto tries to hide his embarrassment and frustration by sipping his drink. He wasn't...he wasn't really as bad as she was making him out to be. In all of those situations, he was justified in his reactions. He was no more jumpy or skittish than any normal person. He plans on making that argument as soon as he swallows his drink, and that's when Hina says, "You're such a...you're such a screamer, Makoto."
And that is when Byakuya finally decides to add his input to the conversation. He chooses to mumble his first words of the morning into his coffee mug and says, in a complete deadpan, as if it was the most casual thing in the world to mention, "Oh, yes, he most certainly is."
Now Makoto's sputtering and coughing, with the coffee that was previously in his mouth now sprayed directly all over Hiro's tray and his half-eaten breakfast. Between bouts of coughing, he can see the completely crestfallen look on the clairvoyant's face and hears the disappointed whine of, "I...was eating that..."
He waves his hand at Hiro to try to wordlessly apologize while using the other to wipe away the coffee that's dripping down his chin and from his nose - oh, god, coffee went up his nose! - and in the process of trying to hack up all the liquid that he accidentally inhaled, he turns his sights on the boy sitting next to him.
And he knows instantly that Byakuya isn't even sorry. There isn't even a hint of apology in his face as he sits there and watches Makoto choke with a look of amusement and affection that is most definitely not appropriate at the moment. And to make matters even worse, not only is he not sorry, he isn't even embarrassed in the slightest, which just makes Makoto all the more upset, because he can already feel the heat that had crept up the back of his neck moments ago spreading through all of his face like a wildfire!
He's upset and flustered and ridiculously embarrassed, and that's why when he can finally breathe in without instantly dissolving into another coughing fit, Makoto turns his full attention to his boyfriend and shouts, "Wh - No! You can't just say things like that!" His throat's already burning and he's out of breath from nearly dying a coffee related death first thing in the morning, but despite both of those points, he still puts everything he has into his outrage, and afterwards, his chest is heaving as he gulps down air and he knows his face has to be bright red...
And Byakuya just looks at him and smiles. He just smiles in that cocky, knowing way that he's so good at, and leans forward to bridge the gap between them. Byakuya kisses him, despite the fact that Makoto's sure that he's still got some gross iced coffee spittle mix left on his mouth, and when the blond pulls back, he's still wearing that obnoxious smile that Makoto should be angry at, but already the anger's seeping out of him because he's never been good at staying angry to begin with and he especially can't do it when Byakuya goes and pulls something like that.
"Case in point." is all Byakuya says next and Makoto has no response, so all he does is pull his hood up to hide his face and put his head down on the table until he can feel his body returning to a normal temperature.
"S-so..." He hears Hina break the silence that he left behind awkwardly, "that's a...definite no to the surprise party."