Kaito may have just learned so much in one day that his mind was starting to melt. No it wasn’t because of all the material he was studying with Hakuba in preparation for the upcoming tests. It was actually because of the many things he had discovered upon visiting the detective’s house for their study session. More specifically upon being in Hakuba’s room for the first time since he had already seen the rest of the house during previous visits.
The first thing he noticed was how immaculate the room was for the average teenage boy. But that was hardly surprising considering this was Hakuba he was dealing with and the little fact he was by far no average teenager, it was part of why Kaito liked him. He had even expected the large size of the room complete with various furnishings and book shelves given what he observed of the rest of the house. What really caught his eye was the cute and clearly well loved, plush sheep that sat propped up against the pillows on the queen sized bed. It was a slightly discoloured white and worn, but clean and still in good shape, about half the size of a cat. It looks like Hakuba has owned it for several years, probably since he was a child, and is fond of it. Kaito wasn’t expecting to find something like this.
He didn’t pause in following Hakuba to the square floor table where they sat down and began getting out their study material as he scanned the room. But the detective didn’t miss the way his eyes had lingered for slightly longer on the plushie that sat upon the bed.
“Baaya gave it to me when I was four years old,” His classmate began casually as he looked down at the textbook he opened, “Something to help comfort me since I started to have nightmares after…”
Hakuba didn’t need to say, Kaito knew from some of their previous talks that like him, the blond sometimes had nightmares. Unlike him, they were about the things he encountered and learned from being a young detective and the son of the superintendent general of police. Hakuba had the bad luck to witness his first death at a dinner party he had attended with his father. Normally he wouldn’t be invited to these gatherings at such a young age but since it was supposed to be a more casual gathering and the hostess had wanted her own daughter to meet Hakuba, the young boy went as well. Unfortunately one of the guests had plotted the death of another guest and was successful. The terrible sight had traumatised the young Hakuba who took about two months to be able to start eating properly again, consuming more than the bare minimum and without frowning or tearing up. Although the experience had been scary, there had also been a part of the boy that had discovered an interest in finding out why. Why people would do such a thing and how. This incident combined with the boy’s growing love of the Sherlock Holmes stories he had begun to read, was how Hakuba Saguru started to become the brilliant detective he is today.
Kaito gave a hum of understanding at Hakuba’s pause, indicating he could continue without verbalising that part.
His friend cleared his throat, “She gave me a soft sheep because ‘I’m her little lamb and it’s sweet looking like me’,” at the next memory he gave a fond chuckle, “Also because she is my baaya.”
Kaito couldn’t help softly smiling along with Hakuba. But the blond’s fond expression was soon replaced by slight anxiousness as he glanced up for a moment before returning his gaze to the textbook in front of him, “You don’t find it odd that I’m still attached to a plush animal at my age do you?”
He couldn’t answer fast enough to assuage his friend’s needless anxiety, “Of course I don’t.” Hakuba looked up at him again as he immediately relaxed.
Giving a small shrug, “Sure I wasn’t expecting it since the thought never crossed my mind but it’s a nice surprise.” Slightly leaning forward to prop his cheek against his fist, he added with a smile, “Plus I think it’s cute, it’s nice to see this soft side of the oh so cool detective.”
Oh, he also wasn’t expecting to learn how cute Hakuba’s soft and grateful smile could be, so cute that he’d find himself wanting to blush as well. “Anyways!” He quickly sat up, “Enough chit chat.” With a flourish the magician summoned a pencil and opened one of his textbooks, “Time to get to work, that's why we’re here.” Right he was here to study for the test with his classmate, not get distracted by the admittedly handsome boy.
Hakuba nodded, humming in agreement, and began to study as well.
They managed to study for the next hour without any interruptions, only breaking the silence to ask questions about the material and compare answers . Then Hakuba's baaya knocked on the open door bearing a tray of delicious smelling tea and cookies. “I thought you boys might enjoy a snack break.”
Hakuba smiled gratefully at his baaya, “That sounds wonderful. Thank you Baaya. Please leave it on the table,” he gestured to the coffee table in front of the couch, “We’ll take a break after finishing this problem we’re on.”
She nodded, placing the tray where indicated and bid them to keep up the good work as she left.
It only took a minute for them to finish the current math problem they were on. Kaito dropped his pencil, stretching his hands towards the ceiling as he leaned backwards onto the floor where he wiggled a bit, satisfyingly popping his spine.
Opening his eyes, he found Hakuba standing over him with his hand extended, which he firmly grasped as he stood up. When he spotted the cookies Hakuba’s baaya had brought he hummed a couple of delighted notes. They were Jammie Dodgers, as Hakuba had told him, a popular British shortbread cookie with jam that Kaito loved the instant he tried one. They happily munched on the cookies and drank the tea in a comfortable silence, just enjoying the food in peace. With two growing teenage boys, they ate twenty eight of the thirty two cookies in fourteen minutes. Kaito had finished his third cup of tea when Hakuba suddenly reached out an index finger to turn his chin towards him, “Hold still Kuroba-kun.”
It wasn’t like he planned on moving as he found himself held in place by the gaze and warm finger that still lingered on his chin. Hakuba brought up his other hand to gently cup Kaito’s jaw as he slowly rubbed a thumb across the corner of his mouth. Then the warmth of Hakuba’s hands disappeared as he leaned back showing Kaito his thumb, “You had a bit of jam on your face.”
Kaito managed to reply automatically, “Ah, thanks…” He was more focused on watching as Hakuba couldn’t simply brush the jam off on a napkin, he just had to adorably use the tip of his tongue to delicately lick it off his finger.
Kaito quickly jumped up and stretched his arms over his head “Well~ that was a good break!” He placed his hands on his hips, “I’m ready to study some more!”
The slightly surprised look he noticed on Hakuba’s face was quickly replaced by a smile as he nodded in agreement and went to sit back down at their current study table. The next subject they were studying was history. Kaito checked his textbooks to select the one he needed...but couldn’t find it. He looked through them again but it wasn’t there. He must have forgot it at school.
“Here, we can share.” His classmate offered having noticed Kaito didn’t have his textbook. Hakuba moved over to Kaito’s side of the table, and he automatically moved over a little to give the blond room to sit next to him as he set his textbook between them. Kaito managed to read one page before he was suddenly distracted by Hakuba who leaned in a little closer, focused on reading the page closer to Kaito. Kaito learned two more things. Hakuba read about as fast as he did, which was kinda impressive since he was confident in his fast reading speed, as Aoko had once expressed her amazement for how fast he could read. The other thing he just learned was that Hakuba smelled really nice. He wondered if it was a cologne or shampoo. He didn’t think it was a cologne since he couldn’t detect the slight sharp smell of alcohol. Did Hakuba use lotion?
The head of blond locks suddenly turned towards him, “Are you ready to turn the page?”
Next he was learning just how pretty Hakuba’s freckles were. He had noticed in the past that the half Brit had them, but he had only been able to faintly make them out. When this close, it was much easier to make them out. It was like a beautiful painting of stars across his cheeks and nose, but in inverted colours with dark specs spattered across fair skin.
Despite part of his mind suddenly thinking how great just staring at Hakuba’s face, sounded, the saner part of his mind thankfully allowed him to promptly answer the question, although not without a slight stutter, “Y-yes. I think we read about the same speed anyway.” The detective seemed to gaze into his soul for a moment and Kaito started to worry that he had noticed the stutter and could read his thoughts. But maybe he was just overthinking it since the moment didn’t last too long as Hakuba quickly looked away nodding firmly and turned the page, “I see.”
He managed to actually read and comprehend the history material for the next half hour with his tremendous willpower, focusing on the textbook rather than the boy next to him.
After sitting on the floor for so long they started to feel stiff and moved to lay on the bed as they moved onto the next subject, quizzing each other on English. Well it ended up being more of Hakuba coaching Kaito on refining his English pronunciation since they were both fluent in Japanese and English. After about twenty minutes of this, Kaito excused himself to go to the bathroom. When he got back, he found Hakuba had dozed off. Laying flat on his back with a hand resting on the booklet of their English review material left open on his chest that steadily rose and fell.
That’s right, Hakuba told Kaito, when he mentioned how tired the detective looked this morning, he had spent yesterday evening searching for a kidnapped child which they had thankfully found and rescued safely. It was five in the morning by the time the child was safely seen home, and he finally returned home around six, getting a couple hours of sleep. Despite looking a bit tired, Hakuba also looked quite content and by second period was awake enough to continue the day like usual.
Glancing at the clock hanging on the wall, Kaito saw that it was 6:13 in the evening. He looked back at Hakuba, softly sitting down on the foot of the bed. The hardworking detective must have been tired with only a couple hours of sleep, and had still invited Kaito to study. The magician lightly shook his head muttering to himself, “You are seriously too much sometimes.” A small fond smile sat on his lips despite the complaint. He’s never seen a sleeping Hakuba before, nor looking so serene. He had seen many wonderful faces on the detective; smug, annoyed, frustrated, worried, startled, confused, amused, pleased, and most often pondering, but not such a serene look. Watching the blond lay there with his soft looking hair, which Kaito kind of wanted to pet but didn’t dare for fear of waking him, his fair skin, and his handsome face, made him look a sleeping prince.
Hakuba suddenly started to move in his sleep turning onto his side, the booklet slid off his chest as an arm reached out towards the sheep plushie. When his hand touched it, he drew it into his chest as he curled up slightly into a loose fetal position. Kaito blinked at the adorable sight. So Hakuba apparently slept with the cute sheep plushie, which he should have figured since the plushie was kept on the bed, but more importantly, at that moment Kaito also learned what a cute and soft Hakuba looked like, peacefully sleeping with the little sheep. He also learned it was actually possible to be jealous of a plush animal.
What was that last feeling?
He was jealous? Because...he wanted to be the one held in Hakuba’s arms?
But wouldn’t that mean that he…
Thinking back to what has happened in the past two and a half hours,
What he just learned caused his brain to temporarily overload.
Kaito liked Hakuba. But not in the way he liked other people, but like really liked him. As in he wanted to hug him close and keep spending time with him.
He wasn't sure how long he sat there alternating between blankly staring as he tried to process what this meant and staring at Hakuba because he couldn't get enough of the sight.
He managed not to jump when he was startled by a soft knocking on the door frame and turned toward the sound to find Hakuba’s baaya.
“Kuroba-kun, dinner is ready would you please join us?”
He wasn’t eating at Aoko’s tonight, and something told him he probably shouldn’t be declining this woman’s offer as she looked like she would insist on feeding him. “That sounds great. Thank you for having me.”
She nodded and looked at Hakuba still sleeping, “Would you kindly wake up Saguru-botchama, I know he didn’t get much sleep last night but it wouldn’t do good for him to miss dinner, he can go back to sleep afterwards.”
He nodded his understanding and she gave him a kind smile then walked down the hall.
Kaito turned back to Hakuba about to poke his cheek when he realised he had a good excuse to be able to touch that soft looking hair. And so he did, gently ruffling the golden locks that he was pleased to learn, felt as soft as they looked. And a little to his surprise, even though Hakuba got his hair colour from his European side, the texture was silky smooth from his Japanese side.
His head leaned into the contact for a moment then deep amber eyes opened in surprise staring up at the owner of the hand on his head. Kaito withdrew his hand as Hakuba sat up rubbing his eyes.
“Your baaya said dinner is ready.”
The blond hummed in acknowledgement, smoothing out his ruffled hair, “I’m sorry for falling asleep on you Kuroba-kun.”
“Don’t worry about it,” He sent Hakuba a grin, “It gave me the perfect chance to snoop around the great detective’s room.”
Rather than getting annoyed or maybe embarrassed as Kaito expected him to be, Hakuba’s hand paused on his head as he looked at Kaito in sleepy surprise, “You think I’m a great detective?”
Of course that’s the part he focuses on. Great, now he was the one starting to feel embarrassed, “I mean yeah it’s kinda annoying how you’re more focused on trying to pick my magic apart instead of just enjoying it but I’m not blind, you’re good at what you do,” He gave a nonchalant shrug, “You’re a great detective.”
Hakuba just stared at him for a moment like he was deciding if he should believe him, but soon had a happy smile that lit up his eyes, still half closed from just waking up. “I see, thank you.” He stretched his arms, already looking more awake, “Let’s go to dinner. Don’t want to keep Baaya waiting.”
After an interesting but delicious mix of European and Japanese dishes for dinner, Hakuba waved off Kaito’s concerns about going to bed early, saying the nap had been enough. But Kaito could be stubborn so they compromised, Hakuba promised he would go to sleep after they reviewed some of their science material. So about forty minutes of studying later, during which Kaito valiantly did not make a ‘good chemistry between them’ joke, the magician packed up their study supplies in record time and bid the Hakuba household a good night.
When Kaito got back home, he let himself meltdown, dropping into a crouch in the entry way as he covered his blushing face.
That night, as he lay in bed going back over how much he learned about his detective classmate today, he could feel his face heating up once again and his mind start to go blank at these overwhelming feelings he was now aware of.
Maybe tomorrow he could invite Hakuba out for the weekend, just the two of them. With that last thought, he finally fell asleep.