"You know there are more stars in the sky than there are grains of sand on all of Earth's beaches?"

The sudden onslaught of words elicited a jolt from Gilbert, who had been lying down just seconds before and who now rested on his elbows, head cocked at the usually mute Kiku. His old friend never spoke much to being with, that prerogative belonged to only close friends and family, and with the night air so still and quiet his voice nearly boomed though he spoke only in a whisper.

Still, it was Gilbert's duty as best friend to be annoying. He groaned, "Kiku, please, don't complicate stars for me too!"

When it came to Kiku, knowing random facts about everything was one of his amenities; no matter what it was, Kiku was known to transcend whatever boundary Gilbert thought humans should have. From the most lurid of subjects to what could actually be considered interesting, Gilbert knew first hand how tedious and boring some of his facts were.

(He, of course, secretly loved Kiku's completely useless knowledge, especially when he had two ridiculous facts that correlated with each other - that was always fun. Not like he would ever tell him that though, that would hurt his pride just a bit too much for comfort.)

Kiku muttered, "Oh please, just because I say one thing does not insinuate that I will keep going." He turned to Gilbert, "Though, now that you brought it up, I do have some more."

The albino groaned again, "I just had to say something, didn't I?"

Kiku huffed a quiet laugh, "Why yes, apparently, you did."

Gilbert blushed and quickly looked away, the sound of Kiku's audible mirth sending a swarm of butterflies to collect in his stomach. He and Kiku had been friends for years now, though they only met through Gilbert's little brother's friend (though Gilbert was still betting on his little Ludwig asking out the cute Feli). At first it had been a mutual 'I don't want to be the third wheel' feeling that brought them together, but as they grew up they also grew closer as each one shared more and more of their interests with one another.

Somewhere in between all the crappy anime and really loud German rock music, Gilbert had fallen pretty hard for his Japanese friend. Not like he'd ever tell Kiku, of course not, not when their friendship was something he cherished so much. With that love came a prominent want to know everything Kiku found interesting enough to share, even if that meant sitting through another round on why avocados could save the planet.

(Gilbert could have been high for that one, actually. Kiku doesn't care for marijuana, but Gilbert's pothead friend Matthew does. In exchange for not telling Kiku, Gilbert had been sworn to secrecy if Matthew's brother ever came snooping. Gilbert still thinks it's the best promise he's ever made.)

So, in lieu of entertaining one of Kiku's weirder quirks, Gilbert rolled over onto his stomach and looked up through his lashes at his friend, the albino's entire posture made to simulate Kiku's own. His friend snorted at his behavior, "Now all you have left is iniquity, I do hope you know. One teenage boy should never be as ridiculous as you; truly, it is unfair to everyone else."

Gilbert copied his brother's infamous eye roll, "If you're going to stop talking like a professor any time soon, I'd like to get 'Kiku's Fact Time' over with."

The smaller of the two stuck his tongue out at him in a rare display of childishness, but conceded to Gilbert's request nonetheless. Kiku usually gave in to Gilbert, though most would only say he was being polite or he was too much of a push over. And since Kiku gets his way, Gilbert thinks this too. The Japanese man would never have the courage to tell Gilbert that he'd do just about anything Gilbert asked him to, simply because it was Gilbert who was asking.

Kiku was highly aware of everything that went on around him and was practically known for saying no to everyone - if he could get away with it, that is. When it came to Gilbert, however, it was a completely different story. The Kiku his classmates knew nearly disappeared around Gilbert, the albino's eternal energy and recklessness transforming Kiku's own introvert self into a more open and child-like version.

(If anyone were to ask, Kiku would of course say they were friends and that friends rubbed off on each other. That only held the truth that Kiku cared far too much for Gilbert to let his own shyness get in the way of keeping his 'awesome' friend truth, when it came to Gilbert, Kiku always cared too much.)

Before the so-called 'Kiku's Fact Time', the two of them had been lying languidly as they took a break from their school work (Kiku's way with words did come in handy anytime he interceded on Gilbert's behalf whenever his dad got on his case about not finishing his papers), but now the hill filled with the subtle sound of Kiku's quiet voice as he spoke like the stars could listen in if they tried hard enough.

There, under the cloudless night, Gilbert became enthralled in the knowledge of one of his many favorite subjects. The stars they looked up to now, according to Kiku's murmurs, had already submitted to decadence and were already gone. Before Gilbert could get worked up about his friend's optimal ruining skills, Kiku carried on: that even though the stars they reached for time and time again had long since been dead, the matter that birthed them in the beginning began a coalition, a combined star from the dead ones. While it took thousands upon thousands of years for this to happen, Gilbert still found wonderment in its possibility.

By the time Kiku finally finished, the moon had moved across the sky, already so close to dipping back to sleep. The two couldn't bother themselves into getting up and actually getting any rest: It was, after all, a Friday night. Sure, they had work that needed to be done and chores that had to be finished - eventually. For now, the two were all too happy to simply be and revel in the knowledge that great things happened all around them, even if they are so far away and so large in scale that they cannot see them.

So, when the time came that they had to leave, when the sun began to blink its eyes open for the morning, when the stars finally faded from the sky to make room for the one closest to them, the friends stayed motionless.

That was, until Gilbert turned his head towards Kiku and whispered, "We are in so much trouble, aren't we?"

"Yep," Kiku replied, for once not worried about his strict brother. "Bit worth it, don't you think?"

Gilbert turned back to the sky, his own brother far from his mind, his attention now on the burst of colors that dyed the sky like a rainbow, and said, "Totally worth it."