Oof, where in the hell was he?...
Kokichi opened his eyes slowly before squinting up at the ceiling. He was lying in a familiar bed in, what felt like, a familiar space… Hell, it almost looked similar to his room back in D.I.C.E's headquarters but there were very obvious differences that made him… nervous. He sat up and frowned. He was sure he was bunking with Shuichi though, how'd he get to… wherever this place was?
Kokichi hopped off the bed and sprinted for the door. Huh? He was in his casual clothing too? Ok, something was definitely wrong here. The leader wasted no time, pushing the door open and running out into… nothing?
Well not exactly.
It was more like a big, open field of pink camellia flowers and nothing. Calming yet terrifying at the same time.
Ah. He was dreaming. Quite vividly at that.
Kokichi raised an eyebrow before shoving his hands in his pockets with a little pout. Well, so far this was the most boring dream he's ever had. Just a field of flowers? No giant horses or Godzilla himself around for him to ride around on? Boo.
Looking back he noticed the door seemed to have disappeared. Great, he couldn't even go back to the room-that-was-his-but-also-not. He huffed before he started wandering the field. Maybe this was his brain trying to calm itself enough to think thoroughly… Learning you fell in love with someone in a matter of weeks can be pretty whiplash inducing…
Giggling and voices from close by snapped him out of his internal musing.
"Oh my god , really?! What a fuckin' creep!"
"I know, right?~ It's cool though I have receipts if he tries to mess with Kouzai again~"
Wow, that sounded remarkably like his own voice. Talking to each other. What.
Kokichi narrowed his eyes in confusion as he spotted 2 other figures a few feet away, chatting it up. One wore a oversized purple hoodie and whitish blue basketball shorts while the other wore a tight pinkish purple shirt with the name 'Kouzai' bedazzled onto it and white booty shorts, both wearing that familiar checkered scarf. But what made Kokichi really confused was the fact that they were both… him ?
Ok, maybe this dream wasn't gonna be as boring as he thought.
His clones(?) didn't seem to notice him right away as they continued rambling on about whatever. So he weighed his options. This was his dream so he could just ignore them, especially if this was some strange subconscious message he was trying to give himself (though he couldn't figure out what his brain could possibly be trying to tell him with the clone in the revealing clothing…. He, himself, would never wear something that… showoffy ….) or, he could interact.
Kokichi shrugged one shoulder before skipping over towards the clones. Might as well grab the bull by the horns right? As he got closer, they both turned their attention onto him with a smile and that's when he noticed they were also... taller than him? By a few inches but still!
"We were wondering how long it would take you to finally come over," Clone 1 (the one in the hoodie) said with a snicker.
"Wow!~ He's so smoll and adorable oh my god??" Clone 2 (the showoffy one) squealed with stars in his eyes.
Clone 1 rolled his eyes though he looked very amused. "Bottoms…"
Kokichi blinked and pointedly ignored the 'small and adorable' comment. "Ok. I'll bite. This is a dream after all, so you 2 must've been made to grant me with some powerful realization or wisdom or something that I knew already deep down. Soooo~ What is it?"
The 'clones' watched him carefully for a bit before they started laughing. Kokichi wasn't sure what was so funny. Also was he really laughing at himself? Sure, he had a bit of self hatred but damn.
"Well, you are half right! This definitely has to be a dream!" Clone 1 said holding up one hand. "But this isn't just your dream."
Kokichi stared. That made no sense to him.
Clone 1 sighed. "The last thing I remember is going to sleep last night. Then I woke up in some weird room and ended up here."
"Yeah, same! Though I think I blacked out rather then fell asleep but, eh, details." Clone 2 stuck his tongue out with a small pout.
"So you're trying to say this is a shared dream?" Kokichi frowned. "But you 2 are like… weird copies of me."
"Jeeeeez~ just gonna go and call yourself weird like that?" Clone 2 whined.
He whined louder.
"You ever heard of the multiverse theory?" Clone 1 said suddenly, raising a hand to silence the other clone before cupping his chin and tilting his head in a very familiar manner. "How there's possibly millions of you out there living in different worlds in different universes with different lives?"
"...." Kokichi stared. "So now you're saying you 2 are just other me from different Universes?"
They both shrugged as they balanced themselves on one foot and gave Kokichi a lopsided smile.
"...This is the strangest dream I've ever had."
They all nodded in agreement.
Shuichi yawned as he blinked his eyes open. He sat up and rubbed at his eyes a bit before slipping off the bed. He felt like he was forgetting something important…
Oh, right, he and Kokichi shared a bed… Where was that little self proclaimed leader? Did he leave early? It was possible, considering the last time he stayed over… But what if he didn't and he just went to the kitchen or living room? Kaede knew he was here but Kaito and Maki didn't, they might think he broke in again.
And Kokichi, the little goblin he was, would just roll with whatever accusations they threw at him.
Shuichi sighed as he headed for the door. Once he opened it and stepped out however, he realized real quick that he wasn't in his shared home like he thought. In front if his was a beautiful crystal lake oasis surrounded by freesia flowers.
Huh? How'd he get here??? Shuichi turned and saw the door he walked out of completely disappeared on him, not to mention he was in his casual street clothes... Hm… So this was some kind of dream… That was the only explanation for all this.
But what an odd vivid dream. Waking up in your room only to walk out into an oasis surrounded by flowers? What did it mean? Did it even have a meaning? Shuichi frowned and furrowed his eyebrows as he tilted his head slightly, deep in thought.
"Don't think too hard, you'll give yourself a headache."
Shuichi just about jumped out of his skin when the familiar soft voice spoke behind him. He yelled as he spun around quickly, eyes wide.
"Ah! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you!"
Shuichi came face to face with 2 other versions of himself. Though, they seemed slightly… older? By like, maybe, 5 to 6 years?... They both look a little sheepish, one wearing a white button up and baggy faded jeans while the other wore a loose black top and grey sweatpants as well as a black choker with amethyst embedded into it. Gosh, that choker was so pretty….
"Uhm… So are you 2… dream versions of me?" Shuichi asked tilting his head.
"Well… No?" Black shirt Shuichi said rubbing the back of his own head. "Uh, I know I'm me but…"
"This has to be some kind of dreamscape though…" White shirt Shuichi mumbled, crossing his arms and furrowing his eyebrows.
"Yeah, the last thing I remember is going to sleep last night… then I woke up in some room and ended up here?…" Black shirt said in a soft, confusion filled voice.
"Same," the other 2 said in unison before White shirt added, "though it's more like I passed out rather then fell asleep but. Tomato, tomahto I guess."
They all took on a quizzical, thoughtful expression.
"So we are all from different… worlds? Universes?"
"It would seem that way?"
"Ok." It was weird, but he was strangely ok with this. "But why are we here?"
The older Shuichis shrugged. "Your guess is as good as ours."
"Technically, yes since we are all the same person? Kinda?"
And there was the headache settling in.
"We can't all call each other our own names, that would be super confusing."
The trio of Kokichis wandering across the field with no real goal in mind other than to not be in one spot for too long.
"Oh! You can call me by my stage name!~ Kouzai!~" Kouzai sang and hopped around a little.
"Stage name? And why is it Kouzai ?" Honestly? Kokichi had to admit, flashy outfit aside, he wasn't that much different. Though he did tend to be wayyyyyy more hyper and perky to the point he was almost positive it was an act.
"Yeah! I'm an idol back home!" Oh, he suppose that would explain the cutsey act. "And~ I chose that name cause it fits~" he winked then grinned mischievously. "Plus hearing literally everyone chanting 'Kouzai' is the funniest thing." He giggled.
Kokichi snorted. That would be pretty funny.
"Uhm~ I guess I can just go with Kichi. My beloved calls me that," Kichi shrugged with a smile.
"Your beloved?..." Kokichi blinked twice.
"Ooh, mine calls me Ko! He's so adorable when says it cause he gets this blush on his cheeks and acts all bashful~" Kouzai cooed.
Kichi laughed. "My darlin' Shumai can be just as bashful, it really is the cutest thing~"
Kokichi's face flamed. Shumai?
"Maybe it's just a Shuichi thing?"
Kokichi turned towards them both and raised both hands, causing them to stop and look at him questioningly. "Wait. Both of you are… dating your Shuichis?..."
"Yep!~" They smiled.
Huh. Maybe this is why they all got astral projected here? Kokichi ran his fingers on his soulmark while gnawing his bottom lip. Should he ask? They seemed pretty fond of their Shuichis.
"Oh, I've been wanting to ask what that bruise on your forehead is," Kichi blinked and tilted his head.
Kokichi hesitated. Well they were both him and this was a dream so he could…. ease up just~ a little… "It's... my soulmark."
They both stared at him, the confusion evident on their faces. Right, different universes and all that.
"In my universe, when you touch your destined soulmate it leaves a mark behind. I kinda… bumped into mine."
"Ohhhh~" Both Kichi and Kouzai made a perfect O with their mouths before Kichi snickered playfully. "And this soulmate of yours is?~"
Kokichi just huffed, an embarrassed blush covering his face.
"Nishishi~ You really are just adorable!~" Kouzai giggled.
Kokichi frowned before pulling off one of his creepy faces. "Really?~ Am I still adorable now?~"
Kouzai smile widened unnaturally as he grinned maniacally. "The cutest !!"
Kichi giggled a bit himself before sticking his tongue out. "But~ being serious for moment here," he started before looking at his younger self wides eyes. "You looked conflicted when you were touching that soulmark of yours. Is there a problem?"
"...The problem is…uh," Kokichi took a deep breath, "I fell for him too easily!!! I was really hoping my soulmate was someone I wouldn't give any fucks about so I can just ignore it! But no, fate had to go and give me someone whos cute and thoughtful and very smart yet so… god damn dumb and oblivious at the same time!!" He slapped his hands over his own face in an attempt to hide himself as much as possible at the moment.
It was quiet for a few heartbeats before heard humming.
"How dumb and oblivious are we talkin' here."
Kokichi peeked from behind his hands. "The Kaede from my world had a crush on him and he never noticed, even when she went out of her way to make a custom newspaper and literally handed it to him. She had to be brutally blunt with him before it registered."
"Yikes," they said in unison with a cringe.
Kokichi dropped his hands with a heavy sigh.
"So he doesn't know your his soulmate?"
"Well… why not just be blunt with him then? If he's that fuckin' blind…"
"He kinda turned it into a personal case for himself? He is a detective so his brain probably locked onto figuring out the answer he wants to find. I don't wanna just give him the answer…"
Kouzai and Kichi hummed a little tune.
"I kinda gave him a clue though…"
"What kind of clue?" Kouzai asked.
"Shuichi's been backtracking to all the places he's been to see if anyones been bumping into him. Other than me of course," Kokochi shrugged. "Recently, we checked a bookstore he stopped by and watched one of the security videos. I show up in it briefly but," he held up one finger, "I don't have my soulmark. Because I hadn't met him at that point yet."
Kichi held his hands behind his head. "That's a big clue… but the issue with it is he might have, sorta, kinda missed it," he sweatdropped. "My Shuichi may not be that oblivious but he does tend to fixate on only specific things that'll help his cases. Your Shuichi was watching to see if anyone had bumped into him. So while he might have noticed the lack of soulmark, the little chibi Shuichi in his head is probably like," Kichi placed a hand over his own mouth and furrowed his eyebrows in a very Shuichi like manner, " 'I feel like I'm missing something very important in that video, but I can't quite put my finger on it...' "
"....That was a spot on impression."
"Been with mine for 4 years," Kichi grinned. "But yeah, It may~ take a bit for it to register."
"I guess I can go by Shu," White shirt shrugged.
"Uhm… Kokichi calls me Shuchi sometimes? You can call me that," Black shirt shrugged. "I can't tell if he's just dropping the I in my name or if he's mispronouncing 'Sushi' on purpose though..."
"If yours is anything like mine, it could be either or with him."
Shuichi blinked at the fond expressions on the other's faces. "Are you 2 really close with your Kokichi?"
They both blushed shyly, Shu rubbing the back of his own head while Shuchi fiddled with the ring on his choker. "Yeah, you could say that…"
"Are you close with yours?" Shu asked.
"W-well... he's a really good friend…" Shuichi started, blushing a little as he played with the crescent charm on his own choker. "Yeah, he's a bit tough to figure out sometimes with his lies and pranks but he can be very sweet… He doesn't seem nearly as bad as Kaito and Maki make him out to be… He's been trying very hard in helping me out with finding my soulmate these last few weeks…"
"Oh, do you not have soulmarks in your universes?"
The confused looks was enough of an answer.
"In mine, when your soulmate touches you it leaves a mark behind. Mines on my back so you can't see it but uhm… Mine kinda bumped into me… But I don't know who it was exactly, I got bumped into a lot that day haha…" Shuichi sighed.
Shu cupped his own chin while Shuchi hummed then asked, "Did you find any if the people who happened to bump into you?"
"Not really… Well, I thought Kokichi bumped into me in the coffee shop but it turns out he just poked at me that day to skip ahead of the queue."
Shu raised an eyebrow. "Really?"
"Uh… How do you know he wasn't lying about that?..."
"Well, I don't I guess… But he already had his soulmark before he met me," Shuichi answered.
They stared at him expressionlessly.
"Did he tell you that too?"
"Uhm, Yes?" Shuichi blinked owlishly. "I tried asking Kokichi what his soulmate is like and if I can ever meet them but he said they are on the run from some rival organization or something. Pretty sure that's a lie but he seems keen on sticking to that story. I honestly wouldn't mind meeting his soulmate. They are probably really interesting considering what Kokichi himself is like."
Shu and Shuchi glanced at each other before directing their attention back on the younger alternate.
"Hey, uh, where is your Kokichi's soulmark?"
"On his forehead."
"So, you know that your soulmate bumped into your back-"
"-and you thought Kokichi could've been one of them, but he said he didn't actually bump into you. Just poked you and that he had his soulmark before meeting you."
"And you've never seen him before that day?"
Shuichi frowned in deep thought. Not really… It was absolutely possible they passed each other a few times but in terms of really seeing each other…
Was he forgetting something?...
"...No. That was the first time I've seen him…"
Shu and Shuchi frowned before they whispered among themselves a bit then gave Shuichi a small smile. "Well good luck figuring it out," Shu said simply.
"Aw, you guys don't have any advice or clues?" Shuichi pouted.
"Actually," Shuchi pressed his finger against his cheek with a slight tilt of his head. "I'm pretty sure we already know who it is."
"Huh? Really? But-"
"It'll come to you eventually I'm sure," Shu sweatdropped.
They hoped so anyways.
"I've known my Shumai since high school, but we didn't date 'til after we graduated."
"I didn't meet my Shumai until I was pursuing my career. He's my manager!"
"At least your Shuichis aren't as socially blind as mine…"
"Well~ No but my beloved was a bit naive in high school. He could be slow at times but not that bad… you got your work cut out for you, younger me," Kichi snickered.
Kokichi grumbled. "Yeah but… it'll be worth it…" He said that more to reassure himself. Even then he couldn't stop the fearful expression that took over his face. "....It will be worth it right?..." Kokichi himself found himself falling hard but he had no clue how Shuichi felt about him. Other then seeing him as a friend and 'the guy that likes to break into my shared loft'. He was more scared he would be rejected.
He wasn't sure what he'd do if that happened.
He felt 2 hands rest on his shoulders and looked up at his doubles with a troubled look on his face.
They regarded him with concern and compassion in their eyes.
"Hey. If yours is anything like ours, you'll have nothing to worry about." Kichi stated.
"Oblivious moron aside, he's still a kind, caring cutie isn't he?" Kouzai asked with a smile.
Kokichi blushed but nodded.
"Then just trust in your soulmate~" Well that sounded familiar… "And~ maybe one day you'll be proposing to him too~" Kichi giggled.
His blush got deeper before his older alternate's words actually sunk in. "Wait… too?"
"You proposed??? Lucky!~" Kouzai pouted. "I wanna marry my Shu…"
"How'd you propose??" Kokichi asked with legitimate interest, his eyes sparkling a bit.
"Well, I didn't wanna be traditional, thats boring. But~ I also didn't want to make it a big deal in case he didn't feel ready yet," he looked sheepish. "I remember being so nervous… When he accepted the choker though I was so happy!" Kichi held his own face as he grinned giddily.
"You proposed with a choker?"
"Mhm! Much better then some ring in my opinion… So much cuter on my beloved… and functional."
"Functional, wh-?" Kokichi was about to ask what that was supposed to mean, but the sly grin and sparkle in Kouzai's eyes made him stop.
"Ohhhhh~ you're into that kinky shit huh?~"
"Whaaaat~ I don't know what you're talking about~" Kichi smiled innocently.
Kokichi turned away quickly then covered his own face, the blush spreading to his ears and neck.
"Your choker is really pretty!"
"Thank you, I like your too! The crescent charm is a nice touch!"
The 3 alternates sat at the edge of the pond as they talked, Shu and Shuchi keeping their younger alternate distracted from the soulmate hunt. It was soothing and hearing how different yet similar they were was very intriguing.
"Thank you. It's kinda old really… I stopped wearing it because of all the emo jokes," he pouted, "but lately I've been wanting to dress up better…"
Shu and Shuchi gave each other a secret smile before Shuchi said, "Oh I know how that feels... The judgemental side glances… But I just ignore them… This choker is very important to me, so they can judge all they want."
The obvious curiosity on Shuichi's face made him laugh gently. "I guess you can say this choker is my engagement ring."
The other 2 gaped at him.
"Your Kokichi engaged?"
"Y-yeah," Shuchi's smile was bright and filled with excitement. "We're honestly not sure how we would plan a wedding but… just knowing that we are both willing to wed each other is enough."
Shuichi blinked as visions of the short little prankster filled his mind. Marry…
"Was he extra with it when he engaged?" Shu asked.
"He was very modest about it actually. He seemed so nervous… He probably took rejection into account but… I care so much about him, even before we started really dating… I can't see myself with anyone else."
Shuichi tilted his head slightly and he could swear he felt a slight pulse of warmth on his back…
"I think I can honestly say it was the happiest moment of my life when he put this collar on me…"
Shuichi perked at the sudden change of the word. A light pink dusted his cheek. "You…. You meant 'choker' right?..."
"Huh? What'd I say?"
"You said collar," Shu replied simply, a knowing glint in his goldish eyes.
"Uh… Yeah, I, uhm, meant to say choker…….." Shuchi's face turned red.
The mischief in Shu's smile resembled a certain purple shorty.
"Ko would look cute in a… choker , I think…"
"...You're a top aren't you."
"Is it obvious?"
"I, uhm… I can just tell these things…"
Shuichi tilted his curiously. Top? What did he mean by… Wait a minute. And Shuichi's eyes widened as his face, ears and neck turned a dark shade of red.
The Kokichi trio walked through the flower field, each one sharing a story or 2 about their DICE back home before they noticed an oasis in the distance… And 3 other figures standing near the crystal clear pond. Kouzai and Kichi's eyes glittered happily before they dashed off towards them.
" SHUMAI!!!! "
The Shuichis had seconds.
Shu turned just in time to get barreled over by Kouzai with a yelp, as he fell back onto the soft grass while Kichi just jumped into Shuchi's arms and rubbed their cheeks together.
Kokichi watched his older alternates being a all cuddly and couldn't help the pang of envy. He wanted that with his Shuichi too… But he had to be patient and… trust that he'll figure it out.
Yeah. Just have faith.
Shuichi looked a little embarrassed. "...Shumai?..."
Kokichi kept his face hidden from the young detective as he fought to keep the blush off his face but he could feel his eyes on him. The little leader took a subtle deep breath before turning towards Shuichi with a smile. "What's with that look detective? You look like you're thinking reeeally hard about something!"
"Uhm…" Shuichi glanced at the couples. They seemed to be pointedly ignoring them, Shuchi and Kichi humming gently to each other while Kichi ran his thumb over the leather on the collar slowly while Kouzai and Shu, now back on his feet after being glomped, shared eskimo and soft little chaste kisses in between.
When he looked back, Kokichi had stepped a little closer and was regarding him with those big eyes of his and they sparkled with an emotion Shuichi couldn't exactly pin down… He felt his heartbeat pick up. This feeling… It felt so nice and warm…
Shuichi opened his mouth then stopped as 3 doors suddenly materialized behind each couple and opened.
"Oop, guess that's this world's way of telling us this visit is over~" Kouzai sang, rocking back on his heels as he held onto his lovers hands tightly. He gave Kokichi a wink over his shoulder. "Bye mini me! GL;HF!!~" he yelled then ran towards the door with Shu letting out a little yelp as he was dragged along behind him. As soon as they entered the door, it slammed shut and disappeared.
Kichi rolled his eyes while Shuchi sweatdropped with a small laugh. Kichi slid himself out of Shuchi's arms before entwining their fingers together. He smiled at the younger supreme leader. "It'll all work out. You'll see."
Shuchi gave the 2 a shy little wave before they walked through the door together, it closing and disappearing as well leaving them alone.
They both took a moment to collect their thoughts before Kokichi spoke up. "One hell of a crazy dream huh…"
Kokichi looked up at Shuichi. "What are the odd we'll even remember all this?"
"I'd say slim to none…"
"I see…" Kokichi fidgeting before turning to face him and shakily taking Shuichi's hands in his own. "Then… I… I'll be 100% honest… Just one more time… For you. Uhm…"
Shuichi watched him with a knowing glint in those soft gold eyes, but he stayed quiet and waited patiently for Kokichi to gather his bearings.
"I… lied about bumping into you that day…. And about the soulmark…. And already having a soulmate… I…" Kokichi looked so nervous...
Shuichi gave his hands a gentle squeeze. ".... It bothered me that I couldn't place what was strange about that tape… But I see now." His gaze strayed from those wide purple eyes to the soulmark on his forehead. "So that means…"
Kokichi made a strained noise before he nodded. "Y-yeah… I'm… I'm your soulmate…" he looked down, real fear taking over his features. He was scared. Absolutely terrified. He jumped a little when he felt Shuichi's arms wrap around him and hold him in a gentle, soothing hug then felt a small kiss on his forehead, on his soulmark . He looked up and saw Shuichi smiling kindly at him, despite the deep blush on his cheeks.
"I'm glad… I'm glad your my soulmate Kokichi," he soothed.
Kokichi felt the tears running down his face before he could stop them. He clung on Shuichi's hoodie and nuzzled against him before looking up into his eyes. "Really?..."
The small leader sniffled before pushing himself up a little and kissing the tip of Shuichi's nose getting a little embarrassed squeak. He giggled and smiled. "Lets go and uh… wake up I guess..."
Shuichi nodded, releasing him from the hug but keeping a firm hold on his hand as they walked through the door together.
This dream may be forgotten but hopefully soon they'll be able to make many more memorable moments like this outside of the dreamscape...