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Kokichi and Shuichi sat on the former's bed, surrounded by papers and evidence scattered across the floor and mattress. It was late in the night, and the pair had just closed up another long session of theorizing about the mastermind, and the killing game's true purpose.


Still no solid answers...


It was hard at first. Hard for Shuichi to stop seeing Kokichi as anything but a villain with no real intentions other than making everyone else despise him. Shuichi did not understand him. But something in him wanted to. He was too sympathetic, or just wouldn't accept that Kokichi wasn't more than a psychopath who enjoyed the killing game and thought it was "fun". Part of him believed it, but the other part saw that there were just too many inconsistencies and complexities in his character for that to be true.


It became apparent to the detective as time went on that there was a method to Kokichi's madness - sometimes he would say things that made it seem like he knew so much more than he was putting off, but at the same time he would act so childish. He was a puzzle to Shuichi, and they wound up spending quite a bit of time with each other.


All the inconsistencies and lies drew Shuichi in even more, to learn his true intentions, to determine if he was really a threat or not, and to just learn more about him as a person. After a while, Shuichi could deduce that the other refused to let himself put any faith in other people. Everyone had instinctively reacted to their situation differently, and part of Kokichi’s method was to never trust anyone else.
Kokichi was always on edge in this game. Picking his words wisely and manipulating the others around him to feel in control in a place he had no control over. His need for control and reason, along with his trickster personality seemed to always present itself as evil in the eyes of the other students, when really, Kokichi feared and despised the meaningless deaths, and did whatever he could to destroy the killing game completely on his own.


Shuichi was taken aback the day Kokichi showed him his room - his own sanctuary, full of past evidence, boxes of who knows what, his whiteboard with his opinions of all the remaining students, Papers ranging from important looking documents to crossed out messy writing or scribbles, and just random items he had found around the academy. It made sense, really. No one was particularly fond of the supreme leader, thus he had lots of time to himself and his own curious, mischievous brain to wander around their unique prison and discover all its secrets.


Kokichi had shown Shuichi something crucial to be kept away from the eyes of the mastermind or anyone Kokichi had deemed untrustworthy, and Shuichi couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment and joy rise in his chest when he realized this. He figured out Kokichi, and Kokichi had given him the gift of his trust.


As the dreadful murders and class trials went on, the two became more desperate as they bounced theories between one another. Their relationship was something that could distract them both from the true despair in their situation.
Kokichi manipulated people with his words almost subconsciously, and presented himself as a lying trickster, but around Shuichi, he felt pushing those aspects of himself was unnecessary. That keeping his guard up like that was unnecessary. Shuichi was kind and intelligent, without posing as a threat to Kokichi. In fact, Kokichi couldn't help but admire him. He turned on someone like Kaede, the person he had been closest with, because the truth had been against her, as well as proving his value of justice and truth over all else many times before.


Shuichi felt as though he could trust Kokichi, too. In fact, he could trust him more than most of the other students. At this point, They were partners of sorts. And Shuichi was glad. He genuinely had begun to love his time talking with Kokichi. He always kept Shuichi smiling. Not to mention that the Supreme leader was incredibly smart, it was kind of scary sometimes how much he knew.


They spoke a lot about the mastermind and the killing game, and Shuichi began to realize just how much Kokichi had deduced on his own about their situation. Sometimes Shuichi thought Kokichi would be better as the Ultimate Detective then himself.



♖♜♖♜



Shuichi let his eyelids fall over his vision, sleepiness washing over him. Even Kokichi, who sat next to him, drawing another colourful contraption with his childish crayons seemed fatigued since he hadn't said anything in a while. But Shuichi could tell he was thinking about something. He was always thinking. Shuichi recalled one time when Kokichi mentioned he liked comedy movies vs any other genre, because it doesn't require any mental effort to watch them, and it was like a break for his mind.


Suddenly, the scribbling came to a stop and the purple haired leader turned to face the detective.


"Hey Shuichi" Kokichi spoke softly, as if mindful of Shuichi's worn out state.


"Hmm?" Shuichi hummed a response, keeping his eyes closed to reserve his sleepiness.


"Can I kiss you?" Kokichi asked in his usual chipper tone, like he had just asked for Shuichi to pass the salt.


"H-huh?" Shuichi's cheeks instantly took on a deep pink, embarrassed and surprised by the sudden question.


"I asked if I could kiss you, Shuichi. Do you not wanna?" Kokichi said this so confidently, yet Shuichi could see that Kokichi was blushing as well.


"K-Kokichi...that's…” Shuichi's voice seemed to get smaller as he spoke. Kokichi could be joking...he does do that a lot. But something told him that he wasn't. Maybe it was the way that it was worded, or the fact that he asked him twice. Or maybe it was that Kokichi could probably tell how much the detective has begun to really like his time with the other, and it would be too cruel of Kokichi to toy with his feelings like that. Or would it? But all this consideration was in vein, since the only word Shuichi could think of saying at that moment was yes.
He had never felt so out of control of his own words before. is heart raced faster the more the word tried to force its way out of his mouth. It was like no other words existed, because he didn't want to say anything else.


Finally, he gave in.


"Y-yeah...yes..."


Kokichi's blush seemed to deepen at his words, but somehow he still retained that confident smile as he brought his hand up to cup the detective's face.
His hand was surprisingly gentle, though Shuichi couldn't help but tense up at the mercy of his nerves as he sucked in a breath.


I’ve never done this before. I hope I’m not doing anything wrong.


Has Kokichi ever done this before?


I gotta stop thinking. I should just focus on Kokichi.


Shuichi’s heart was pounding.


Maybe i’m making too big of a deal out of this


"Relax Shuichi! I'm not gonna bite ya!" Shuichi seemed to gain a little confidence with this, but still lacked to contribute to closing the space between them. Finally, Kokichi closed his eyes and pressed his lips softly against Shuichi's.


His lips were so warm and gentle. Shuichi had no idea what he was doing but he felt like he was gonna melt. Despite how nervous he was, he never imagined it would feel this nice.


He could feel Kokichi's hand on his cheek ever so slightly shake with nerves as well, despite how confident he seemed a moment ago. As they both sank further into the kiss, Shuichi felt Kokichi tenderly stroke his jaw and ears with his thumb, handling him like he was he most precious thing in the world. He even took a piece of Shuichi's silky deep blue hair and weaved it between his fingers gently. Shuichi's heart was fluttering like it would fly out of his chest as he let out a shaky breath. Kokichi finally pulled away after landing an exaggerated smooch onto Shuichi’s cheek.


"My beloved Shuichi is blushing so much! Who knew you were this cute when you're nervous!" Kokichi teased.
This only made Shuichi's cheeks burn more.


"And man, you're such a good kisser, too!"


"I-Is that a lie?" Shuichi struggled to get his thoughts together.


"Who knows~" Kokichi's smiled as he said this, a smile Shuichi could only describe as bright and genuine. He had seen this smile before. It's different than the trickster grins he shows around the others. His cheeks were dusted with pink as he shut his bright purple eyes and let out a small laugh. This smile was beautiful and rare, and before he knew it the corners of Shuichi's mouth tugged at the sight.


No matter the situation, Kokichi made him feel more safe, even if he was a little on edge or confused talking to him sometimes.


The navy haired boy was suddenly hit with his exhaustion once again after his heart beat fell back into a (slightly) more normal rhythm. Although, his cheeks still felt warm.


"K-Kokichi...it's late, so I think I'm going to head back to my own room now." Shuichi said, trying but struggling to keep eye contact with the boy who had just kissed him.


"Ah, my beloved Shuichi doesn't wanna sleep in here?"


"Well...there isn't much space for both of us to sleep, especially considering your floor is covered in things..."


"But what if someone comes in the middle of the night to murder me? What will I do without you to protect me?" Kokichi sounded sad, and as well as he knew Kokichi could fake emotion, it still tugged at Shuichi's heart.


Is he really that afraid of being killed in his own room?


With someone as complicated as Kokichi Ouma, it's hard to think he could want something so simple as Shuichi just staying with him longer, with no other ulterior purpose.



But that was it.



He just wanted Shuichi to stay.


"Alright. I guess I can stay..." Shuichi was embarrassed by his own confirmation.


Kokichi immediately started messily shoving papers off the bed and onto the floor. Shuichi watched Kokichi hop up and flick off the light. As the room went dark, Shuichi noticed a dim nightlight on the back wall shaped like two dice, the light calmly shown through the white parts of the cubes.


For some reason, the sight calmed his heart.


Suddenly, a hand took Shuichi's own and pulled him towards the bed.


"W-wait- Kokichi, are you sure both of us can fit on your bed?”


"Ah but of course we can, Shuichi! Don't worry just lie down!"


"O-Okay."


Shuichi climbed under the soft covers on his side as his body sank into the comfortable bed, and shut his eyes. He felt Kokichi's body press against his back, and drape his arm around Shuichi's waist. Shuichi's cheeks flooded with warmth once again.

Shuichi could faintly feel Kokichi's heartbeat against his back.
As embarrassing as this was, Shuichi felt really nice. For the first time in a while, he felt truly safe and comforted since he woke up in that locker a few weeks ago.


After a few moments with no sign of protest from Shuichi, Kokichi hugged his arm around the detective, and pulled him closer.


"Night, Shuichi." Kokichi said in a playful whisper.


"Goodnight."


Shuichi finally let his sleepiness take him over, as he drifted off, comfortable with Kokichi hugged around him. He had gotten used to the nights alone in his room, sometimes lying awake for hours just stuck thinking. He was able to stay pretty level headed a lot of the time, but without others around him, it was easy to let his negativity overcome his mind and keep him awake at night. But with Kokichi next to him, it was easy to drift off to sleep. He felt...warm.


When they get out of here, Shuichi thought, he would play all the games Kokichi used to entertain himself around the academy. He would listen to him talk more about his supposed secret organization. And maybe one day he could get the others to warm up to Kokichi.


He promised himself it would happen. He and Kokichi would find the mastermind, and they could save everyone.


Shuichi's heart was filled with hope.