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human touch

Chapter Text

Keebo can’t believe he’s actually about to do this.

He stares at Kokichi, uncertain and nervous, while the other boy looks as unfazed as ever.

“Why can’t I ever be the one examining you?” He’d whined one day, mostly for the sake of whining, having long grown tired of being prodded at like a science experiment.

Kokichi had paused, his hands still against Keebo’s face. “You never asked.”

Who knew asking Kokichi if he could be the one doing the examining was the easy part? Now, amidst all this suffocating silence, he has to be the one to make the first move.

“Um,” Keebo says, a little dumbly. He shakes his head and tries again. “I’m going to touch your face. Okay?”

“What a gentlemen.” Kokichi couldn’t have rolled his eyes harder. “Gonta would be proud.”

“I’m sure he would be.” Keebo smiles fondly, not picking up on the sarcasm whatsoever. “Now, are you prepared? I don’t want to startle you.”

“What am I, a jittery antelope?” Kokichi mutters, torn between laughing at Keebo’s lack of awareness and being annoyed by it. “Yeah, yeah. My face couldn’t be more excited.”

“Good!”

The first touch is feather-light and hesitant. When the boy raises no complaints, Keebo’s touch gains confidence and goes a little firmer, cupping his cheek and squeezing gently.

“It is squishy…” He can’t help but mumble to himself, patting his own cheek for a moment to compare the two. To his disappointment, there’s a definite difference in textures. “Are all humans’ faces of such plush quality as this?”

Kokichi, who’d been watching rather closely, snorts. “Dunno. Why don’t you try feeling all their faces, too? I’m sure Miu would get a kick out of that.”

“I could never!” Keebo sputters, and it’s quite a contrast with how smoothly he went from cheek to neck, fingers prodding curiously near the jugular. He can feel Kokichi’s pulse. It speeds up noticeably.

“Why? You were perfectly fine asking me. Or am I special?” Kokichi leans forward, lips puckered, and flutters his eyelashes. “You sly robot, you.”

“I suppose you are?” Keebo answers rather plainly. Kokichi reels back, surprised. “After all, I would not ask just anyone to touch their body. Just you.”

Kokichi goes red all of a sudden, and Keebo’s left confused, head cocked slightly. Did he say something wrong? Off-kilter?

“Learn to phrase things better, stupid.” Is all Kokichi says, eyes downcast toward the blanket.

“I thought what I said was rather clear,” Keebo huffs, focusing his attention back on the task at hand. His other hand joins in on the exploration, fleeting and gently curious wherever it goes.

Ghosting over Kokichi’s hair, then his earlobe, before thumbing over the ridge of his jaw.

So many different textures for his processors to, erm, process. It’s incredibly fascinating. No wonder Kokichi likes doing this to him so much.

Kokichi, who had seemed rather stiff since he begun, until–

“Hey, you wanna try something cool?” Kokichi asks. He’s grinning. Keebo is immediately very wary.

“What is it?

“Just put both hands…actually, here,” With that, he grabs Keebo’s hands and sets them around the fragile column of his throat. “Juuust like this.”

“Alright…” Keebo looks openly confused. Is this a game, perhaps? “What now?”

“Squeeze. Gently.”

Perhaps the most baffled he’s ever been because of Kokichi, the robot obeys nonetheless. Vague concerns are ringing off in his head, ones about the human body, especially the throat area, being fragile.

He continues, if reluctantly so.

Squeeeeeze.

The longer it goes, the more nervous Keebo gets. The opposite seems to be true for Kokichi, as his closed eyes and smiling, blissed-out expression shows no worry. However, his hands clench around Keebo’s wrists, as if foretelling a struggle that never came to pass.

“What exactly...is this?” Keebo finally asks, once the quiet became overbearing, expression vaguely concerned.

“Oh, nothing.” Kokichi says casually, but his voice is strained. “Just wanted to show you what choking a human being felt like.”

“Ah.” Keebo replies, and then it clicks. “Wait, WHAT–“

He wrenches his hands away with a gasp. What stings more than anything is Kokichi laughing, tipping his head back and giggling gleefully at Keebo’s shock.

“Why would you…?!”

Kokichi’s mirth dissipates enough for his laughter to quiet down, and he shrugs, “I was getting bored.”

“What if I had killed you?” Keebo retorts angrily.

Kokichi is slow to respond. When he meets the robot’s gaze, he looks nearly sincere.

“I knew you wouldn’t. You’re too you, Kee-boy.”

“Is there something wrong with being myself?”

That’s definitely confusing. Keebo doesn’t know how to be anyone else, which is why he isn’t anyone else. Humans continue to be a mystery.

“Nah.” Kokichi says, and then he smirks. “There’s only enough room for one weird robot in this shitty school, anyway.”

“I’m not weird!”

“Sounds like something a weird robot would say, but okay.”

“I do not agree, but we must move on.” Keebo relents, sighing. “It’s getting late. I still have many parts of you I’d like to touch.”

Kokichi’s eyebrows nearly reach his hairline, and he puts his hand over his own face. His own reddening face.

“I swear to god, you’ve gotta be doing this on purpose,” Kokichi mutters, voice muffled. “Yeah. Yeah, okay. Go for it.”

“Thank you.”

He knows he should probably move on to untouched areas, but he still cups Kokichi’s cheek, leaning in close curiously. Still as soft as ever, but also very warm.

Something about his face is so fascinating.

Keebo could examine it all day. Perhaps the entire human race have such wondrous faces, but he isn’t certain. The idea of getting this close to anyone else makes him a bit uncomfortable, if he’s being honest.

“You’re very soft. Did you know that?” He asks, matter-of-fact. His finger edges against the boy’s bottom lip. “Especially here.”

The mood had shifted again. Kokichi is just looking at him silently, a thing akin to interest in his eyes, along with something else that Keebo couldn’t place.

“...You wanna get an even closer feel?” Kokichi says after a lengthy silence. He grins, and Keebo’s thumb strokes over the dimple that forms from it.

“I’m very close already.” Keebo says quietly, distracted with trying to ingrain the feeling of Kokichi’s skin into his memory. “I am not sure I could get any clos–“

Kokichi pulls him forward and kisses him, and the robot forgets about the examination entirely.