Himiko sighed as she slung her purse over her shoulder, taking her time to adjust the straps before walking out of the club and into the road. Normally in clubs, minors weren't allowed in, but this spot was one made with rebellious teens in mind – no alcohol, and better security, but all the same feel and atmosphere of a grown up club. Himiko came here often at night, sometimes with her gang, and sometimes by herself.
Today was one of those days she went alone, and Himiko chewed her lip. If the text she sent a few minutes ago had reached him, maybe she wouldn't have to walk home in the dark alone...
Her home was only two blocks away, but Himiko was always cautious when it came to nighttime. This was a big city, and that meant danger; what if someone kidnapped her and forced her to participate in a killing game?!
Himiko snorted at her own thoughts. Alright, that idea was a bit ridiculous; the kidnapping thing was possible, but for a killing game? Himiko didn't think those even existed, and if they did, she doubted a high schooler would be a participant. So she leaned on a bench under a streetlight, checking the time on her phone before stretching and yawning.
Well, she'd give it two more minutes before walking home herse–
"Himihimi!" Ah, there he was. Himiko turned her head, and there was Kokichi, grinning at her just a few feet away like he'd just won the lottery. He dug in his pocket for something, before presenting it to her with a gleam in his eye. "I got you your favorite lollipop flavor!"
Himiko smirked. "Wow, you managed to sneak up on me again, huh?" She took the lollipop smoothly, tearing off the wrapping before taking a long lick. "And how sweet, you remembered something so small about me. You just might make gang follower material yet."
Kokichi squeaked, already flailing his hands in his defense, but Himiko put a finger up to his lips before he could speak a word. "That was a joke, poppet."
"Ah." Kokichi's shoulders dropped, and his hands relaxed. "That makes sense," he whispered against her finger, and it made Himiko marvel just how they were so close that he didn't mind a weird action like speaking while her finger was on his lips, but so distant that he couldn't tell her jokes about him joining her gang were just that – jokes.
Ah, well. All part of the dance of Romeo and Juliet; of the gang leader and the goody two-shoes, she supposed.
Himiko lowered her hand, beckoning him over as she began to stride confidently down the sidewalk. "Come on, you can stay at my house tonight."
"Yay!" Kokichi hurried to walk next to her, and Himiko glanced over at him as she walked. His small, breath-stopping smile was back, and Himiko felt warmth spread in her chest. She hurridly glanced away; she wasn't ready to face any of those feelings just yet.
... Of course, she'd been telling herself that for two weeks, and she really should just get it over with already, but Himiko pushed those thoughts away and just shoved her lollipop in her mouth.
Before the silence could turn from comfortable to awkward, they reached her apartment, and Himiko unlocked the door near silently. She nodded to Kokichi as she led the way inside, taking off her boots. He followed, taking off his sneakers as Himiko moved to the kitchen, opening the fridge to take stock of what snacks her dad had. "Want a cinnamon cake?" she said quietly.
"Yeah, sure," came the just as quiet response, and Himiko closed the fridge door before meeting Kokichi at the kitchen island, miniature cakes in hand. She placed her lollipop on the box; she loved the taste, really, but those hours dancing and rocking had left her starving.
Kokichi, unsurprisingly, was the one to continue the conversation. "So how's your gang? Haru getting settled in?" he asked. Himiko shrugged, swallowing a bite before answering.
"Haru's fine, but I'm thinking he's not serious about being in a gang," Himiko said with disdain, rolling her eyes. "He won't last, mark my words."
"How's the baking club?"
"We baked cake pops recently."
"What?! And you didn't offer me any?!" Himiko mock gasped, and Kokichi lightly smacked her on the head, though he was chuckling.
"I saved some for you at home! Where did you think I got the idea to get you a lollipop from?"
"The goodness of your icy stone heart."
"You're a jerk."
"You're a pansy."
Kokichi laughed, a little louder this time, and Himiko let herself laugh along with him. Shaking her head, Himiko wiped her mouth with her sleeve, picking up her lollipop as she took the box to throw away. "What time is it? I've forgotten."
Kokichi checked. "Ten forty two pm."
"Damn." Himiko pulled out a plate from the cabinet, putting her lollipop on it and sticking it in the fridge so it wouldn't melt. "Guess it's time we went to bed."
"Yeah," Kokichi agreed, and from there, it was as normal a sleepover as ever. Himiko pulled out a sleeping bag while Kokichi brushed his teeth with the toothbrush he kept at her place; while Himiko showered and brushed, Kokichi was preparing his sleeping bag and calling his mom to check in with her. Himiko got out of the shower pretty fast, but her make up took longer to wash off.
"Never thought I'd say this sort of thing, but thank God it's Friday," Himiko muttered, scrubbing at her nails with a cotton ball. Kokichi knocked at the door.
"Hey, Himiko, do you mind if I borrow one of your blankets tonight?"
"Yeah, no problem."
"Also, I wanted to talk to you about something when you get out."
Himiko paused, but she answered a moment later, voice not betraying her nervousness at those words. "Okay, sure. By the way, you gonna shower today, or tomorrow?"
"Definitely tomorrow, I'm exhausted," Kokichi groaned, and Himiko snorted.
"Alright, just give me a minute and I'll be right there," Himiko said, and she made sure to listen to the sound of him walking away before allowing herself to let out a shaky sigh. What was it he wanted to talk about? They didn't have many serious topics unless it came to Himiko's gang getting in trouble... or Kokichi's not-so-wonderful mental health. And she knew it wasn't the former, so...
Himiko realized she was clenching her teeth, and she blinked, shaking her head before the thoughts could get too far ahead of her. She tossed her cotton ball in the trash and swiftly left the bathroom; she could finish fixing her nails tomorrow. She needed to hear this before her "big sister instinct," as her gang teasingly called her friendly concern, got ahold of her.
Himiko knocked once on the door, and slid inside to see Kokichi sitting on her bed. He glanced up; Himiko didn't waste any time, shutting the door behind her before saying, "So what did you want?"
Kokichi glanced away as Himiko walked over to sit on the bed next to him. Her heart pounded, and she tapped her fingers on her leg, shoulders raised. "What is it? Do I need to beat anybody up?"
"I –" Kokichi's eyes widened, and his gaze met hers for a moment before it dropped. He tugged on a strand of his hair, shaking his head. "It's not bad, I'm just..."
Himiko relaxed. So it wasn't something concerning their... Previous talks about mental health. "So?" she prompted, poking him in the arm.
Kokichi seemed stiff, unable to look away from a spot on the carpet. He mumbled something that Himiko couldn't hear.
"What? Speak up, will you?"
"...mlmveu..." he said, and Himiko rolled her eyes.
"I still can't understand you, dumb dumb." She poked him again, eyebrows furrowed and eyes fixed firmly on his face. Kokichi's lips pursed, and Himiko sighed. Maybe she should tell him it could wait or whatever sappy shit it was people did around –
"I love you."
Himiko croaked out her response, frozen with her finger just about to poke him again. Her breath was caught, and little jolts of emotion zipped and sparked in her chest. Kokichi, meanwhile, wasn't faring any better, as he had covered his face with his hands as soon as he'd choked out the confession. From the little Himiko could see of his face, he was blushing hard.
Himiko's brain then began to function again. "You... What?!" Himiko swung her gaze away, arms fumbling before she crossed them. Her face was burning as well, she could tell. "Where'd that come from?!"
In response, Kokichi just squeaked, "I thought I should tell you! I'm sorry!"
Himiko forced herself to breathe, and somewhere in those next breaths, the situation sunk in. Holy shit. Kokichi liked her back. He may have confessed so out of the blue, but that was beside the point!
Joy swelled in her like a dam, and riding on her emotions, Himiko turned back, grabbed Kokichi's hands, and forced them down so she could kiss him.
It was a sloppy, rushed kiss. And Kokichi was obviously shocked at the action, based on the expression he wore. But Himiko wasn't risking letting herself mess up by going with words instead of actions.
Himiko pulled away as quickly as she had moved in. She didn't look in his wide eyes, but rather at the lips she had just kissed. "I... We are never speaking of this with anyone else," she blustered, tripping over her initial sentence to land in a much different one, but Kokichi's open mouth curled into a grin all the same.
"Deal," he said, and Himiko glanced up to meet his gaze as he leaned in; Himiko met his lips once more, grip loosening on his hands til Kokichi was able to link their fingers together.
Huh. Well, this wasn't what she was expecting from tonight, when she stepped out of that club. But Himiko could promise herself one thing, based on the warmth in her chest and the pressure on her lips.
She was never, ever going to let Leiko she was right about how her crush was going to turn out.