Miu is too hungry, too sleepy, too anything to be doing much right now. But even so, she wants to work on her projects. So she heads back into her lab, hoping that no one kills her as she does so (because really, she's in here, like, all the time) and that she can just sit down at her work table without incident.
It was too hopeful of a wish. When she gets into her lab, someone is already there before her. Normally Kiibo would drop by for some maintenance or something, so that wouldn't have been too unusual. And although she doesn't like him that much, Shuuichi's presence would have been welcome, too.
Instead, it happens to be her least favorite person in this school, right next to Monokuma himself. Just seeing the gleam of the color purple is enough to send her into a frenzy. She channels her irritable energy from being too everything-at-once, and yells at him. "Hey, dumbass! Who gave you permission to be in here?" Miu's eyes narrow down to angry slants, and she stomps her way over to him. "Get the fuck out!"
"Don't be so stupid, you floozy," Kokichi returns equally bitter words in her direction. "Just because it's your lab doesn't mean I can't be here. These are public places, y'know."
"Well, I don't want you here, anyway! So who cares about the rules? This lab is fucking mine, I get to decide who goes in and who d-doesn't..." her tone has softened from the initial biting anger, and she blames her hunger, fatigue, and everything else that stops her from going all out. It doesn't help that his words are acidic enough to burn her, and that he is just as—if not more so—clever as she is. With all these factors in mind, Miu feels like this situation would fall out of her hands quickly enough.
As such, she tries to reassert her authority in every way possible. This is your lab, Miu thinks to herself, and that fuckin' loser is the last person that gets to be here. Show him what's up.
"You say that, but I've seen that dumb robot come in and out like he pleases." A thoughtful pause on Kokichi's end. Then his face morphs into a wicked smirk. "Oooh, is that how it is, Iruma-chan? You'll only let people that sexually exploit you enter your lab?"
"T-That's not it!" she blushes, but the thought of what he just said wasn't too unappealing, in all honesty. In fact, she thinks a bit too hard about it, and unintentionally drools. He scowls at the sight of it.
"That's definitely it, judging by your reaction. Are you sure that you're the Ultimate Inventor? How come you're not the Ultimate Prostitute, instead?" He tilts his head in genuine confusion, the very notion of which mocks her to the core. "You're probably way better at breaking mattresses than you are at building stuff."
"Y-You're so mean," she finally whimpers, closing in on herself. It isn't the first time he verbally tears her to shreds, but it's somehow different from before. This one hurts, a lot. "Y'know, I-I usually tolerate you when you say such awful stuff to me, b-but when it comes to my talent, that's—that's my pride! It's my everything! S-So, I don't need you or your approval of what I do to get in the way, Cockichi."
"Oh? Even if that's the case, I'm sure you're devastated by what I just said. Which was the truth, by the way!"
"...Ugh!" She groans, and turns her back on him. Doing such a thing is dangerous, she knows ('cause maybe he'll actually kill me now that my back is turned) but it hurts less when she doesn't have to be face-to-face with him. If Miu was ill-suited for her talent, then Kokichi certainly wasn't. The Ultimate Supreme Leader knew how to craft words to build people up and break them down in the same vein. The way he spoke with such cruelty yet such easiness was also unsurprising, given his talent.
But it pained her all the same.
Maybe he's right, a small voice in Miu's mind echoes to her. Maybe I should just give up—
"...That's a lie, also. Have some pride in yourself, will you?" His voice is sudden, but sincere. She turns on her heels, and sees that he's waving a disappointed finger in her direction. What?
He rolls his eyes. "Guess I'll have to explain it, huh? You know our fights are only fun if you put your best into it! You should've said something back to me, like, 'at least my talent is helping us survive, what's your talent good for in a situation like the killing game?' or 'hey, people actually come to me for help! What does that say about you?' followed by one of your stupid nicknames for me. Like, come on, Iruma-chan!"
"W-What?" Shocked by the drastic change in tone, she blinks to make sure that the Kokichi she sees in front of her is the real one, and not a hallucination caused by too little sleep across too many nights. "What did you say?"
"Oh, so in addition to being stupid, you're also deaf." He smiles, and she's not sure if she should trust that smile because she knows the uncertainty of the person behind it. In fact, she's not sure of anything right now. But he continues in spite of her. "I said I was lying. Don't you know that I'm a liar?"
"I know that," she insists, placing one of her hands on her hips. "But even then, why go so far for a lie? That was fuckin' uncalled for!"
"If you're so maaad about it, then how about proving me wrong?" he asks this teasingly, but there's something in his eyes that offsets the negativity of it all. Then he reaches into his back pocket, and pulls out a small journal.
Stepping closer to Miu, Kokichi flips through the pages until he finds the one he wants. Then he takes out a pencil from behind his ear, and points to it. "Think you could come up with something like this?"
Miu's curiosity takes over before anything else, and she glances at the sheet. It's a rudimentary design compared to anything she can come up with, but it's not bad at all. From the gist of it, it seems like Kokichi wants her to make some sort of device that would terminate nearby electrical signals—something that would stop a machine in its tracks entirely. Strange, but not unheard of. She quirks a brow at him.
"What the hell do you need this for?"
"For the Exisals, obviously. What, is it too hard for someone like you to do?"
She can't see through his ruse, and she doesn't know that he's annoying her on purpose, but none of that matters. It's like he said, how she had to have some pride in her work. She'll show him what it means to be an Ultimate Inventor! This resolve flooded her head like water, and her face lifts into a confident smirk.
"Nothing's too hard for me! I'm the Ultimate Inventor, after all! Stuff like this is nothing more than foreplay." She lifts her head up, and makes sure to look down at him with the most pride she can muster. But it's all for show, because she speaks with a neutral tone afterward. "What's in it for me?"
"Everything, obviously." He doesn't back down either, his eyes are as determined as hers. "What's in it for you is your reputation, your credibility, any last shreds of respect I have for you…"
"Bullshit," she snaps, "you've never respected me!"
"If I didn't respect you to some degree, would I be asking you for a favor right now? Why don't you pay attention to anything I say? Come on, Iruma-chan, you can't just be thinking about getting laid all the time!" He points this out to her, sounding accusatory but mostly just annoyed. She huffs.
"Just spare me your horseshit already! How can I think about getting laid if you're here? As long as you're in the vicinity, then I'm just, like, instantly turned off." She's not even joking in the slightest, as the warmth and tingles she felt from earlier have faded by now. She burns this honesty from her sky-blue eyes to his bruise-violet ones.
The bruise contracts as he blinks. "Oh, please. Just 'cause I'm not your type doesn't mean I'm a turn-off!" Kokichi enunciates his words carefully, because he wants her to fall for his bait.
And she does. "My type? And how would you know what my type is?"
"Seriously? I know you and Kiiboy do some 'maintenance'—" he curls his fingers into air quotes, and chortles at her angry stare— "in here. I'll also never forget that time where you walked around half-naked for Gonta's sake and nothing more. Your type," he decides, "is the submissive type."
She blushes. "H-Hey, that's not—"
"—But it's too bad. You could have been fun to play with, if you didn't have, like, ten STD's and zero personality." he inspects his fingernails, making sure to shoot her an indifferent glance when she sputters at his offhand comments. "Anyway, how long are you gonna just stand there, doing nothing? Are you waiting for someone to get killed before you start working on the stuff I asked you to?"
"Shut up, you limp-dicked virgin! Like I said, there's nothing I can't do! I'll have your dumb shit ready for you in no time!" Her usual fire ignites, and he doesn't seem too offended by it this time. She feels a sense of relief in seeing that, but then quickly denies it. What the fuck, Miu, she thinks to herself, since when the fuck do you care about his feelings?
"That's what I like to hear," he chirps, lips curling into a wondrously glee smile. It's like the animosity he had towards her was never there to begin with. Miu feels dizzy thinking about how quickly he can change face. "Then, I'll leave you to it, Ultimate Inventor." He spins on a dime, arms outstretched in the most childish way, and he leaves the lab just as soon as he might have entered it.
Before Miu realizes it, Kokichi is gone and everything is quiet. It is just like him to cause a scene but quickly leave it, though. She sighs to herself, and heads back to her workbench to get started on his request.
"Oh?" She sees something that was not there previously. There, bundled on her desk, was food. Or the semblance of food, but based on the wrappers, it was definitely food. It looked like someone's lunch that never got eaten. There was rice and some hotpot from today's breakfast that she had forgot to attend, as well as a water bottle and—score—some of that sukiyaki caramel she likes.
"D-Did Kokichi leave this here? Is that why he was here beforehand?" she asks herself, looking towards the exit like he might jump out at any second. He doesn't, thankfully, and she looks back down at the items. "T-There's no way he would've done this. He's awful and he doesn't even know that I love this kind of stuff...well, the caramel, anyway…"
She picks at the wrappers, and starts taking a bite. Another possibility comes across her mind. "Maybe Kiibo really did leave it here...as thanks for the maintenance earlier?" Shaking her head, she dismisses how the food might have suddenly appeared, deciding that wasn't nearly as important as eating the actual food itself. She has been quite starved lately, forgetting to properly eat and sleep when she's so busy with work.
So while she may never admit it, she appreciates this little gesture done by whoever-it-was. She enjoys it so much that when she's done, she starts working on the next project right away with newfound energy.
"So that ugly bastard needs this done, huh? Better crank it out so I can get to stuff that really matters!"
The lab became quiet again, with only the sound of pencils scratching and metal bending to be heard throughout.
"Ouma-kun...really no like bugs?" Gonta asks in a defeated tone. For a big guy, he sure gets disheartened easily. This is what Kokichi thinks as he sighs.
"Gonta, I told you this already. I was lying about liking bugs before. It was an excuse to get to the motive videos, remember? Don't tell me you already forgot!"
"Gonta is not smart, so he forgets lots of things," he admits, rubbing the back of his head with his hand. "But why Ouma-kun lie about bugs?"
Because I was using you, idiot. "Because they're gross, and you really like insects, and I didn't want to disappoint you or whatever." Violet eyes flicker back and forth between Gonta, his insect cage, and the grass below them all. "Also, weren't you the one that said you couldn't find any bugs in this place? So why bother about them?"
"Is true Gonta no can find bugs, but that only makes Gonta want to find bugs even harder!" his eyes light up, and he smiles down at Kokichi. "Ouma-kun know what I'm talking about, yes?"
"Sadly, I do." He sighs again, making sure to drag out the impossible length of the noise as much as he can. Then he concedes. "And by the sound of it, you really want me to help you."
"Gonta will appreciate it very much if you do! Then he help Ouma-kun with things he need later in return, okay?" His smile is too good, too pure, and too wonderful for the likes of Ouma. But the promise of getting another free favor from the other was too sweet to give up, and Ouma knows that having help from someone as forgetful and slow as Gonta would only help him in terms of keeping his intentions a secret.
Kokichi smiles, softly this time. "O~kay, but a promise is a promise! Don't forget that!"
Gonta nods his head vigorously, then matches Kokichi's grin for his own. "Of course! Gonta forget unimportant things from time to time, but he never forget promise!"
Kokichi is never going to admit it, but sometimes he likes hanging out with Gonta. (Or rather, he dislikes hanging out with other people less than he does with the Ultimate Entomologist.) The guy is so easygoing and so gullible that the situation can never be in his favor, so Kokichi can naturally (and rightfully, in his mind) take the lead. Even if he was the one that needed to be convinced at first, he ended up charging ahead when it came to the laying out the bait.
The two of them set up traps in likely places for insects to appear. Gonta, being much taller than Kokichi, easily puts them in the high branches of trees, atop tall fixtures, and in the rafters of the hallways outside. Kokichi, therefore, finds his place in the tough-to-find spots, and in little crevices where no one else except for him (and Yumeno-chan and Hoshi-chan, he thinks amusedly) could have fit. Then he crawls out each time, clapping the dirt off his clothes, only to be greeted by the smiling Gonta.
That smile is the perpetrator of the truth, a truth which is the fact that Kokichi really does like moments like these where he can just mindlessly hang out with Gonta. Since he's so sincere, naive, and kind, he never bothers insulting Kokichi for his lies, or overreacting to the bitter truth whenever it comes out of Ouma's mouth.
And for that reason alone, he makes quite the companion.
"Did you bait this one already?" Kokichi points to a tiny space beneath one of the courtyard benches, where there is a sizeable dip in the ground that insects—if they were here, that is—would most likely be.
"Not yet," Gonta answers, "too small space for Gonta. Ouma-kun, can you maybe…?"
"Yeah, I got it~" he agrees, and gets down on his knees to crawl under the bench. Although it should have made him feel more self-conscious about his height and size, moments like these actually made him feel better about himself somehow. He can do things that bigger, stronger people can't as easily.
Kokichi places the bait (which is just some sort of food, actually. He asked Gonta if this was a waste of resources but then Gonta brought up the fact that the kitchen and pantry never seem to run out of food, and Kokichi agreed with his statements.) inside of the hole. As he retracts his hand, he miscalculates the exact location of all the jagged pieces of stone, and accidentally cuts himself on one of them.
"Ow!" he yells out with genuine surprise, and tries not to jerk his body but he can't fight the urge. His head bangs against the bottom of the bench before he knows it, and he groans painfully.
"Ouma-kun!" Gonta calls out, and gets down on his knees to try and see under the bench. He's much too big, though. "Are you okay?"
"Just fine," he mutters, and tries to squeeze his way back out from under the bench without incident. This time, he succeeds, and when he has more freedom to move around, he jumps up to his feet. Then he rubs his hand at the back of his head gingerly, hiding the scowl that wants to form on his face because he's hurt.
Gonta doesn't quite see through this, but he's so worried about the pain Kokichi just went through that he doesn't care. "Gonta is sorry! He should have bait the spot himself so Ouma-kun wouldn't get hurt! So you wouldn't get hurt!"
"It's alright, sheesh. It's not like I died." He blinks once, twice, then asks in a funny voice: "Although if I did die, would you be the blackened or would it be me? Would it count as a suicide since I volunteered to do it?"
"Aw, but I was just kidding!" he jokes. But that's good enough for Gonta, because his worries have migrated elsewhere. Ruby red eyes scan over Kokichi (which doesn't take long, there's not much to look at in terms of bodily real estate) then widen.
He gently reaches outward, and grabs the hand Kokichi used for placing the bait. There is a medium-sized cut running alongside it, and blood leaks out carefully in practiced drops—almost as if it was a self-inflicted wound, instead. The thought of the injury (and what it might have looked like if it really were self-inflicted) becomes too much to bear.
Gonta's heart drops. "Oh no, blood!"
"It's nothing," Kokichi insists, slowly pulling his hand back to his side with Gonta's permission. "Seriously, don't freak out over everything! Especially this, it's just a little blood! What if there was a body announcement right now? You might just faint!"
"Gonta has bandage for this," Gonta says, ignoring all of Kokichi's japes. He takes out some from his pocket, and reaches for the injured hand again. Only this time, Kokichi really does pull away, and moves an entire step back from Gonta. The latter looks hurt—but not necessarily offended by—the former's action.
He gulps the hesitation down his throat. "Why pull away from Gonta?"
"Because it's fine, like I said. And besides, you don't have disinfectant so even if you wrap it up, it might still get infected anyway." That has definitely got to be one of my worst lies yet, he thinks to himself, thank God he's so dumb, otherwise, he might not—
"—Bandage already have medicine on them! Gonta forget until now, but Angie-san tell Gonta it more effective to premeditate them!"
Kokichi blinks, confused by Gonta's words before he makes sense of them. "Do you mean premedicate them?"
"Yes, yes! Gonta is not smart, so he forgets word, sorry." He looks down in shame, but then remembers the situation and maintains eye contact with Kokichi. "So, please no worry about infection. Gonta take care."
"Ugh, this is really too much. You're too soft, Gonta." Kokichi says this, but he finally allows the him to grab his hand once more. Although he finds this whole situation to be fussy, and awkward even, he knows it's better to accept the help rather than refuse it. Because an infection might actually kill him, and that's the last thing he wants right now, despite implicating otherwise.
He is totally still as Gonta works with the bandage. And surprisingly enough, he does a decent job of dressing it up. For a moment, Kokichi fears that the other's hands are too clumsy, too big for delicate work like wrapping bandages. But his hands are firm—knowing, even, as they loop the bandage over itself, and securely fasten it with tape.
When he is all done, Kokichi inspects his work, and smiles at the sight of a clean, bloodless limb. Then he gives a thumbs up with the same hand that he got hurt with. "Hey, not so bad, Gonta! I always prefer not being injured to being injured! I guess I really can't kill ya now, huh?"
"Gonta wishes you no joke about killing, is serious business," his smile falters, but returns at the thought of a nice recovery from what just happened. "Still, Gonta is happy that Ouma-kun is no longer hurt."
"And that's the part of all this that I just I don't get," Kokichi says. "You do know that was your big chance to kill me, right? I was vulnerable for a second, but even when I'm not, you could totally just slit my throat or something." He runs a finger across his neck, and sticks out his tongue pretending to be dead. Gonta flinches, and Kokichi apologizes in his own way by ceasing the act.
He doesn't relent. "No, seriously, though. Why bother helping me? I know I agreed to help you set up insect traps, but that's because you promised me a favor beforehand. Otherwise, I'm pretty awful, y'know? It'd probably be better for you and everyone else if I was dead."
"..." Gonta thinks about this, and his gaze moves skyward as if the answer lied with the stars above. After a moment or so, he returns to reality, and nods at Kokichi with a newfound resolution in his voice.
"Ouma-kun lies a lot, Gonta know this, but...but even so, Gonta likes Ouma-kun." A cheesy smile on his end, and he continues with the same sincerity. "Gonta no thinks anyone deserve to die. Gonta want to protect his friends, and that includes Ouma-kun!"
A fuzzy feeling appears. Kokichi doesn't know what it is (oh yes he does) so he just ignores it. But even so, the pure naivety and goodwill radiating from Gonta was nothing short of unbelievable. If anything, he sounds like Kaito a bit, with that hunky-dory "friends are my power" gibe and whatnot. Yet somehow, when Gonta says things like that, it doesn't sound as bad or corny.
It almost sounds like it could be true.
Kokichi knows better than to get his hopes up, however. After all, the mastermind could be Gonta (unlikely, he thinks assuredly) or at the very least, Gonta is close to the mastermind, which could spell the end for Kokichi if he let them know what was going on with him. So he denies his act of stupid purity for now, although he spares him the smallest of signals to let him know that he appreciates the thought.
And that sign comes in the form of a small smile. If Gonta were Shuuichi, he might have seen what lies behind the grin. He might have seen the small shrivel of honesty in Kokichi's eyes, or a new, springy step in his every movement. But Gonta wasn't Shuuichi, so he couldn't have picked up on the nearly invisible signs. Still, Kokichi sent them out, nonetheless.
"That's a dangerous way of thinking, Gonta. But that's so you, when I think about it. So I guess I'll let it slide this time," Kokichi says coolly, throwing his arms back and putting his hands behind his head. His smile still lingers. "Aaaand we're all done with the baiting now, right?"
"Oh, um, yes, that is right. We bait so many places, Gonta have to write them down. And Gonta will check them later, to see if insects come out or not..."
"Good, good." Quickly, the smile fades into smirk territory, and Kokichi relishes the momentary worry that slides across Gonta's face as he speaks. "So, about that favor you promised me…"
"Hey, Kokichi!" Angie calls. He turns around, and gives her a curious look as she bounds her way over to him. The spring in her step is alive and well, and her sun-colored jacket flies out like wings behind her back. Combined with that wide, innocent smile of hers, Kokichi knows one thing for sure.
He's in trouble.
"Angie-chan," he greets her, "what's up?"
"First, I will ask you something. Are you busy right now?"
"Yes," he says quickly, not even lying this time. He's always busy, because he has to think three steps ahead of everyone else at all times. He's always busy, because he has to write and plan and plot and do everything he can to stay alive in this game. He's always busy, because his truths and lies have to get sorted out so he can make some sense of this game, of this life, and of this world.
"Yes," he repeats himself, masking the madness that's going on in his head. "I'm busy."
"Oooh," Angie's face falls, but not into a frown like it should have. It drops into a neutral expression, one full of thought and wonder. "Well, who even cares about what you're busy with? I'm taking you with me, anyway!"
"What are you—"
"—Let's go!" she doesn't give him time to think, and pulls him along by his wrist. Since she is the same height as him, Kokichi figured her to be equally strong and not at all hard to pull away from. But when his protests are met with only an iron-tight grip, he realizes that she's not the same strength as him at all.
She's way stronger.
Minutes later, Kokichi still wonders what Angie plans to do with him. Not that any of her plans would come into fruition easily, because he's not letting her get her way once she lets go of him, but the idea itself is interesting enough. And she has never approached him on her own like this—in fact he is sure that she hasn't approached anyone like this, because she floats on her own so freely, too strange for anyone to truly understand. The only exceptions were the members of the student council, who were less like fellow members of a committee and more like tools to her disposal. So it seems as if she only approaches people when they have a use for her.
(they were nearly alike in that regard)
"Can you at least tell me where we're going?" Kokichi asks, choosing his words carefully so she might actually answer them. He doesn't know her that well, and therefore can't gauge how much joking he can do with her or not. (Although that would never discourage him from joking around with her at all, but still.)
"Guess!" Angie replies cheerfully. "Guess where we're going, Kokichi!"
"Your lab," he answers casually, "since it just opened not too long ago."
"Wow, you guessed correctly! Atua must have told you the answer, huh?"
"—Even so, you would have figured it out now that we're up here!" She pauses in front of the front door to the Ultimate Artist Lab, which is a lock-and-key door with multiple paint splatters on it. Hers is the only lab with locks on it, although the accessibility should have been as open as all the others.
But ever since her Atua-loving student council-cult started up, he thinks, that's been out of the question. Eyes stop outwardly pondering this and flicker back to her image, which is mostly hidden from Kokichi's view as she faces away from him in order to unlock the door. And she does this so easily, too, like the thought of him killing her in this moment wasn't a worry of hers. Strange.
"Open says me!" Angie yells out, and turns the knob on her lab door. Kokichi doesn't bring up the fact that he can definitely unlock it whenever he wants to. "Come on, then!" she pulls him along again, unrelenting in her grasp.
"Angie-chan, do you always kidnap people and bring them here? Or am I special?" he is half-joking, but mostly he wants to start testing how thick her skin is. The initial caution from before still holds, though, so he keeps his smirk down to a minimum.
She doesn't seem to mind, though, and just laughs at his words. "Nyahaha! I didn't kidnap you, silly! I brought you along with me!"
"Yeah, against my will," he points out. "Can't you feel my squirming? I've been trying to break free this whole time."
"Oh, Kokichi must be really weak because I didn't feel anything." Angie says this with actual honesty, her voice surprisingly free of malice. And even though her carefree attitude isn't anything new, it still fascinates Kokichi when it appears. He puts a finger to his mouth out of thought.
"Eeeh? Angie-chan's the one that's too strong, I've been thrashing around like a fish out of water over here! But anyway, are you gonna let me go now or what?"
"Yes, I'll let you go, but I want you to see something before you leave." Her voice is too earnest for his liking, but she makes good on her promise by releasing his wrist. While he has every right to leave now, he decides to stay and see what the big deal is. What did I get dragged all this way for, anyway?
"Is it a painting? Because I hate art." He points at her accusingly, hoping his words stick to her.
They don't. "Well, whatever, I'm still gonna show you it!" Unfazed by his antics, she speaks without worry.
"I was just lying, Angie-chan," he tells her, anyway, even though she probably knows this. "But wow, you really do whatever you want, don't you?"
"It's all by Atua's will," she assures him, but a mischievous smile on her face says otherwise. "Okay, it's under this sheet. Are you ready for it?" She takes careful steps away from him, and her long, golden jacket flutters and brushes against his fingers as she walks.
He smiles, and follows after her. "Yup, show me what you got."
Angie nods, and grabs the white sheet hiding her work. Then she does a quick count, a "one-two-three!" under her breath, and pulls it off. Even so, it takes a few seconds for Kokichi to be able to see anything, and when he does it's nothing like he expects it to be.
It is a painting of him. Kokichi Ouma, the Ultimate Supreme Leader, stares at a painting done in his honor. And although it is paint, the only thing that gives that away are the obvious brush strokes on the canvas. Otherwise, it looks like he is staring at a large, superimposed image of himself in the mirror—or something like that, anyway. The details are startlingly accurate, as Angie even managed to get the shine on the chain link that sticks out from under his scarf! This is in addition to painted details of the shadows cast by his bangs landing on his face, and the correct color order of the buttons on his shirt.
(and the way his painted smile is so empty yet so full at the same time makes him want to break the canvas into pieces)
It is nothing short of shocking. He loves it when people pay tribute to him, but he had never expected the Ultimate Artist to do such a thing! He looks to her with a starry-eyed expression and widening smile. "Wow, you did this for me? I didn't even have to threaten your life or anything!"
"Oh, so you like it? I mostly struggled with your hair color, y'know. Because even now, I can't really tell if it's purple, black, a mix of both, or black with the ends being purple. It also doesn't help that the lighting always changes and stuff~" she shrugs, still smiling at the praise she had received, though.
"Nishishi! It's an enigma, like me!" Kokichi says only that on the matter of his hair, because honestly he couldn't care less about maintaining it. But he returns his attention to the painting, looking between the creation and its creator. He blinks at her with obvious curiosity, hoping to draw her into his questions with the same feeling.
"So, are you obsessed with me or something, Angie-chan?"
"Huh? What are you talking about?"
"I mean, we don't know each other that well but you still painted a picture of me. Of course it's an awesome picture, but I'm just confused about it."
"What's so confusing about it? My muse is ever-changing, even if my heart belongs to Atua." She taps one of her dry paint brushes against her face, and stares off to the side with a dreamy look in her eyes. "You were great inspiration, actually."
"And when exactly did you get inspired by me? Was it in the dining hall where I totally declared the 'student council versus everyone else' war? Or do you have, like, a super-awesome memory that you can just paint people's exact image with?"
"Hmm," she wonders, twirling the brush in her fingers now. Her hands never seem to rest, even when she's not painting. "I want to tell you, but you're Kokichi, you know? It's a bit personal, and you've been at odds with the members of my council, soooo I'm a bit angry at you, too."
"Oh, so you do realize what's going on around you!" he sounds genuinely surprised by this, and smiles at the tiniest hint of annoyance that appears on Angie's face. "Here I was, thinking you were just some airheaded devotee with her head in the clouds...but that's wrong, isn't it? You're actually really clever, Angie-chan. Getting those guys to be on your student council and whatnot, that takes some massive manipulation on your part."
"I am just an extension of Atua's will, and Atua wants peace for the academy and those that live here." She has said this to him before, but it sounds different somehow. He thinks hard about why that is, while she continues speaking regardless of him. "The members of the student council agree with Atua's teachings, and so they get along with me just great! It works out for everyone!"
"But you've been basically ordering them around like your servants," he points out to her. "And despite being a 'council' they haven't had any say on any of the matters you brought up before. I'm pretty sure they're just blindly agreeing with you." Kokichi frowns, and starts welling up fake tears. "And you just ignore them anyway, g-going off a-and d-doing your own t-thing! Waaaaah, you're so mean to them, Angie-chaaaaan!"
He wants the obvious fake crying to dispel any actual anger that might surface from her skin, but it doesn't work as well as he wants it to. Even though Angie smiles brightly at him, her eyes are wearing a dark expression and he feels like he might freeze from staring at the ice-blue for too long. But he stands his ground, anyway.
"They do as they please, and all that. Kind of like you, right? But seriously, Kokichi, let's talk about this painting. I think you're curious, right? Yes, Atua tells me you're dying to know how I got your image down so perfectly."
She speaks the truth, but he would never admit it. He just gives a dismissive wave of hand. "I mean, you looked at a picture of me, right? Or something like that, it's not too hard to figure it out, Angie-chan!"
"Nyahaha! That's totally wrong!" she winks at him, and moves her brush in the air like it was on canvas, instead. "Actually, I had a dream about you, Kokichi!"
"Aw, you're flattering me~ I never knew you fantasized about me this way, Angie-chan!"
"I don't normally dream about things like this, so I actually considered it a nightmare when it happened." she giggles at the fake pout that he gives her, but goes on talking without missing a beat. "No, but I really did dream about you. And in my dream, you were really vivid...so when I woke up, I came straight here to paint what I saw in that dream."
The artist walks forward to the canvas, and strokes her hand alongside the edge. Then she smiles back at the supreme leader again, the slight malice from before having faded by now. "I'll never forget what you said to me, either."
He can't quite think of a satisfactory retort, so he settles for a simple response. "What did I say?"
She lowers her arms which had been moving in various ways just now, and keeps them still at her side. Then she lowers her head, as if in prayer, only to bring her hands clasped against her chest. Angie's eyes flutter in Kokichi's direction, and she speaks in a rich, heavenly voice that doesn't quite sound like her yet sounds completely like her all at once.
Ouma vaguely wonders if she managed to brainwash him, too, when he wasn't paying attention. Or maybe the other student council members are going to bounce on him the moment he breaks free of her reign. Because Yonaga's voice is silkier than it should be, and she recites the syllables in such a way that they leave tiny shivers to climb up his back.
"'I'm afraid I see through you, Angie-chan. You don't fool me anymore.
You claim to love colors, but even so you are completely transparent.
And for someone that is so sure a God guides her hand, you seem so uncertain.
Hey, Angie-chan? Is it possible that you're really lonely?
Hmm? How do I know this? Well, it's obvious, isn't it?
I've never seen someone's smile as empty as yours.'"
She pauses after this moment in the anecdote, and for once Kokichi has nothing to say. A thought lives and dies on his tongue, and he just glances between Angie and his painted depiction wordlessly. He stares at his fake smile on the canvas, and remains silent as she finishes voicing the recollection of the fleeting dream.
" 'Except for mine, of course.' "