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To appreciate a robot

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They seemed indifferent to his question. Saihara furrowed his brow. "Really? But he was the one who said we should meet here every morning." He looked around at the faces of his classmates, who continued to eat the food Toujou was serving. "Maybe he just needs to charge himself for a little longer." Shirogane offered, waving it off. The students nodded in agreement. Saihara shook his head and began to walk to the dining hall door. "Shuichi? Where're you going?" He heard Momota call out to him. The black clad boy didn't bother looking back at his classmates. "I'm just going to find Kiibo. No worries" He pulled open the door and walked out of the room.

Just where would Kiibo be in the morning, besides the dining hall? Saihara had already looked in the dorms, finding the place vacant. He walked along the long vines in the halls and thought to himself aloud. "Not the dorms...courtyard? No...Research lab? Still no...Library?" He put a hand to his chin at that option. "Hmm...Maybe." Saihara redirected his route and made a beeline for the library. Minutes later, he saw his destination in sight. He tried opening the doors, only to be stopped. "Huh?" Saihara tried jiggling the door knob again. He clicked his tongue. "Locked..." The black clad boy knocked loudly in the door, calling out. "Kiibo? Are you in there?" His calls were responded with silence. After a minute, Saihara repeated himself. "Kiibo? Open the do-"

He was interrupted by the library doors yanking open. Kiibo stood there, looking up at Saihara. "What did you need?" His tone was different than usual, the detective noted. Shifting his balance, Saihara cleared his throat awkwardly. "I just wanted to know where you were. You didn't come to the dining hall after all..." He said. Kiibo nodded, looking away from the detective. "O-Oh, yeah. I just..." The robot looked apprehensive. "I just didn't feel like going this morning." Saihara tilted his head slightly, a bit shocked. "Why?" He asked. It was all he could think of. Why wouldn't he want to come to the dining hall? Kiibo noticeably gripped the door tighter, suddenly looking nauseous. "I-I didn't feel like it." He repeated. Saihara stepped forward, watching the robot take a step back in response. "Kiibo, what's wrong?" The detective asked. The robot shook his head. "Nothing." He answered curtly.

Saihara stared at Kiibo in worry. The white haired boy kept his gaze to the ground, not speaking. "Kiibo..." Saihara began. The robot took another step back and started to close the door. "Bye." He said, not waiting for a response. "Wait!" Saihara stopped the door with his foot, jamming his shoe in the small crack. He heard a huff and the door opened again a moment later. "Someone's persistent..." The detective heard Kiibo mutter to himself, acting a bit out of character. The robot crossed his arms and looked back up at Saihara. "What did you want?" He asked. The black clad boy didn't let himself waver under the hard stare directed toward him. "What happened, Kiibo? Did someone do something? Please, tell me." The boy in question shook his head, ready to close the door again. Saihara noticed this and reached out, wrapping his hand around Kiibo's wrist. The robot flinched, looking frazzled at the contact. He tried to pull away, but Saihara wouldn't let go. "S-Saihara, why won't you leave me alone?" He asked, his voice sounding desperate. The detective felt his heart start to beat faster, suddenly nervous. "Just tell me what's wrong!" He raised his voice at Kiibo, almost immediately regretting it when he saw the miserable look in the robot's face.

The doorway was silent for a moment. Neither of them spoke. "...tion day."Saihara looked at the robot, having not heard him. "What?" The robot chewed his lip, looking anxious. "My creation day." He repeated. The black clad boy released Kiibo's wrist, surprised. Creation day? "So...your birthday?" He questioned. Kiibo nodded hesitantly, looking off to the side. "I guess..." The robot said, sounding unenthusiastic. "Y...You don't sound very happy about that..." Saihara noted. Kiibo sighed, which was odd coming from a robot, but the detective wouldn't say that. "It's just... It only reminds me that I'm different from all of you..." Kiibo admitted, looking crestfallen. After a moment to process the comment, Saihara couldn't help the small smile that graced his face. He put a hand to Kiibo's head, feeling the robot jump slightly. "S-Saihara?" Kiibo asked, heat rising to his cheeks. "A birthday's not different from a creation day, you're just like us Kiibo." After a moment of shocked silence, the robot's eyes turned watery, startling the detective.

"K-Kiibo? Please don't cry..." The robot sniffled in response, rubbing his eyes. "I'm s-sorry, I'm h-happy!" He wrapped his arms around Saihara and buried his face in his chest, whimpering. The black clad boy seized up at the contact, carefully placing his hands on the robot's back after a couple of seconds. Kiibo let out a small cry, wetting Saihara's uniform. "Thank y-you, Saihara!" The two stood there for a few minutes, although it felt like an eternity. Kiibo finally calmed down, now just sniffling every minutes. They stayed like that for a bit longer, not wanting to let go. Saihara stroked Kiibo's hair lightly, which was surprisingly fluffy. "I expected your hair to be more metallic..." Saihara muttered to himself. Kiibo pouted, finally pulling away from the detective. "I'll let that slide, since you were so nice to me just now." The black clad boy chuckled. "Sorry." He though for a moment and gripped Kiibo's arm. "Saihara?" The robot questioned. Saihara shook his head, remembering the events from the dining hall. "Let's go to the dining hall. We need to tell everyone it's your birthday."

Kiibo let himself be dragged across the grassy halls by Saihara. The detective's expression was scary. The pair reached the dining hall's door after a fast trip. Saihara checked the time. "Eight forty two. Everybody should still be in here." He declared. Saihara pushed open the doors, Kiibo right behind him.

"Oh! Hey Shuichi! Looks like you found Kiibo in the end, huh?" Momota grinned at Saihara as he said that, a stark contrast from the detective's serious aura. The black clad boy nodded and held Kiibo closer, wrapping an arm around the robot's waist. Kiibo squeaked but stayed silent. "Yeah. And you know what I found out?" The dining hall went silent as they looked at the detective, questioning looks on their faces. "It's Kiibo's birthday, And nobody bothered even looking for him." The atmosphere suddenly grew uncomfortable at Saihara's declaration. Kiibo squirmed nervously, looking up at The detective. "S-Saihara, you don't have to do thi-" The robot was interrupted by the screech of a chair. Kaede rushed over to the pair and held Kiibo's hand in her own. "Kiibo, I am so sorry! I should've known." Kaede beamed at the white haired boy. "Happy birthday!" She squeezed his hands once more and hugged the robot tightly. Iruma got up from her chair and scrambled over to the trio. "F-fucking idiot! You should've told me yesterday! Happy birthday!" She lunged at Kiibo, Kaede 'oofing' at the impact. More people got up from their seats, some casually patting Kiibo's shoulder and others going for the hug pile as well, all wishing the robot a happy birthday. Saihara smiled to himself as he saw the delighted look on Kiibo's face. "Happy birthday Kiibo." He said to the robot. Kiibo blushed and smiled at the detective. "Thank you!"