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Snuggling with Kokichi was easily one of Kaito’s favorite pastimes. There were countless things he loved about it, from the comforting warmth to the physical intimacy. One perk, however, may have outshone all the rest.

Barely visible tells, hints of honest emotion, unspoken sentiments. Kokichi always concealed them with expert care... except in times like this. It felt like a show of trust that only Kaito was allowed to see, and it made his heart swell with affection. 

“You’re so cute like this,” he couldn’t resist saying. 

That’s when it happened.

For a split second, Kokichi’s eyes widened, and the faintest hint of color appeared on his cheeks. It came and went so fast that Kaito almost missed it. 

Almost, but not quite. 

Interest piqued, Kaito pulled Kokichi closer, making sure to watch his boyfriend’s face as he delivered his next words.

“Hey, Kichi.”

“Hmmm? What’s up?” 

“You’re really adorable.”

Completely caught off guard for once, Kokichi couldn’t keep a blush from rising to his face, coloring his skin a flattering shade of pink.

“Ha, that’s what I thought!” Kaito grinned. “I didn’t think of it before since you always act so cocky, but you don’t get complimented that often, do you?” His expression softened when Kokichi’s eyes darted away. “Guess I’ll have to fix that right now.”

“Huh? What the hell is that supposed to mea-”

“I love you a lot. You’re really precious to me.”

“Wha-”

“When your eyes light up, they rival the prettiest stars in the galaxy.”

“I don’t- What are you-”

“You’re wonderful. You’re amazing. You’re-”

“Kaitoooooo!” Kokichi whined, lifting his arms up to cover his face. “Seriously, what are you even doing?” he mumbled.

“Aww, c’mon, don’t hide! I wanna see your cute face.”

Kokichi’s arms didn’t budge.

“Well, if you wanna do this the hard way...”

Hands suddenly attacked Kokichi’s stomach, tickling him through the fabric of his shirt. He immediately fell into a fit of laughter and reached out to defend himself, exposing his face in the process.

“There we go!” Kaito cheered. “Wow, you really are blushing a lot. You know what, though? It’s a good look for you!”

Beside himself with embarrassment, Kokichi tried to shield his face again, only for the tickling to pick up right where it left off. 

Kaito gleefully squeezed his sides, moving up to his ribs when he continued being stubborn. When that still wasn’t enough, Kaito dug in right under his arms, forcing him to finally lower them. It quickly became a vicious cycle, and Kokichi only blushed harder the longer it went on.

“S-Stahahahahahap!” he giggled helplessly, cheeks burning as Kaito kept showering him with praise. To make matters worse, his shirt had ridden up during their struggle, exposing a patch of bare skin. “Nohohoho! Thahahat’s cheheheating!” he protested when fingers began tracing patterns on his belly.

Belatedly, he registered those patterns as constellations... with a few hearts thrown in for good measure.

“Since when has a tricky bastard like you ever cared about cheating?” The statement might’ve sounded accusatory had Kaito’s tone not been so fond. “Honestly, it’s stunning how clever you are. It’s one of the most impressive things about you. I’m not just saying that because you’re the love of my life either.”

The only response Kokichi mustered was another drawn-out whine.

Eventually, Kaito stopped tickling him in favor of pinning his hands down beside his head. As Kokichi caught his breath, Kaito admired the sight of his flushed face, noting that even the tips of his ears had turned red. 

To Kokichi’s relief, Kaito didn’t comment on it, wordlessly pressing a kiss to his forehead before pulling him in for a hug. The embrace was tight enough to feel secure, yet loose enough that Kokichi could have pushed Kaito away if he wanted. There was no doubt in his mind that this was intentional.

After a brief moment, Kokichi leaned forward and buried his face in Kaito’s chest.