“What makes you think we are? Know your place, Assistant-kun. I expect you to do better next time,“ he says, but honestly though; neither of them has ever experienced the feeling of friendship before.
When the waitress once again mistakes his order with someone else’s omurice, he nervously looks around for Kuroba with a feeling of deja vu, and even after he finds out the sadistic boy is nowhere near, still pales in anxiety to the point said waitress naturally approaches him again to ask what’s wrong.
Kuroba tends to have those in his eyes in the face of a perfectly-planned-out murder–moreover when the culprit turns out to make a good mastermind as well as they do at being a new plaything–and they are uncharasterically beautiful.
4. Movie Night
One of the downsides of watching mystery movies with Kuroba and Usami, Toiro soon realizes, is that the word ‘surprise’ in ‘surprise element’ easily loses its purpose even before the beginning of the second half of the movie.
“Ah, I’m a little startled that’s all,” assures Toiro when he clearly jumped at the sight of a knife earlier; Kuroba’s smirk grows wide but the other boy knows he has been keeping his knives out of the kitchen since that incident with Toiro’s doppleganger.
While the victim’s daughter is sobbing at the news of her freshly murdered father, Toiro notices how Kuroba looks at her with somewhat longing eyes but makes no movement to comfort the little girl, leaving the job for Toiro alone.
“Love?” Kuroba repeats Toiro’s word in shock, mocking smile plastered on his face as usual while he resumes throwing Nene’s pile of GPS-equipped Valentine gifts out of the window, “are you stupid?”
“This is my White Day gift,” Kuroba says as he hands a suspicious-looking necklace (which also strangely bears many resemblances with a dog leash) to Nene, whom faints in excitement the moment she gets her hand onto said ‘thing’; and upon noticing Toiro’s sweat-laced face, he reckons, “what, owners get to give gifts to their dog too, right? By the way, don’t worry since I bought one for you too, Toiro-kun.”
Toiro arrives to find the black detective burning up badly on the coach and immediately regrets his decision to–for the first and last time–ignore Kuroba’s phone call this morning.
“You’re such a kind person, Usami-kun,” Toiro compliments him with a genuine smile, and Usami has to fight to urge to scream at the top of his lungs: who the Hell is the overly kind person here?! Look in the mirror, idiot!
Toiro really wants to ask Kuroba if he ever missed going to school, making friends, and overall being an ordinary high school student, but between deathly challenges and even more deadly challengers; fake friends and loyal servants; Toiro starts questioning himself his own reason for coming to his classes in the first place.
Lately Usami has been watching the unlikely pair and scowls at how that ‘red-eyed scum’ constantly torments Toiro with various scams and threats; but seeing how the masochist gleams delightfully when Kuroba treats him parfait after yet another case, Usami withdraws from dragging Toiro away, thinking maybe that’s just how those two work.
“Oh… sure, Nene-san. But I’m afraid you’re only hallucinating again at that point,” he says patiently to a chirping female voice on the other end of the line, although recalling how Kuroba snaps at anyone who threatens to ‘steal his servant away’, Toiro believes he, by all seriousness, understands how Nene feels.
Unknown to the sadist himself, long before Toiro’s arrival, Usami, at a few unfortunate occurences, visits Amou’s gravestone the same time as Kuroba does and sees him kneeling before his gravestone; therefore Usami will leave the place immedieately with a promise to return later because no, he refuses to admit that Kuroba is suffering, too.
After W’s death, Usami once again catches a familiar figure kneeling before the same gravestone, still routinely visiting the grave alone without a certain absent-minded boy; this time he without hesitation takes the empty spot next to Kuroba.
“How many times have I told you not to call me that–” Usami, previously dubbed Usacchi, has a very sinister smile Toiro has never once seen on his lips before, “–Youchan?”
Kuroba finds out that he actually needs them long ago, but declines the fact and still purposely avoids every single mirror when he has no choice but to put them on, because their striking similarity and memory that will soon with no doubt follows is sometimes. Just. Too. Much.
“I’m sorry!” Toiro dangles his locked bracelet desperately at Kuroba’s merciless face, then when he sees Usami frowning at his own bracelet he tears up even more, “I’m sorry, okay?! I swear I can’t remember! Usami-kun, I’m truly sorry, so Kuroba-kun please I beg you tell me the passcode–”
“They say Narukami-kun was kidnapped by the ghost of a dead detective in an apartment near here. What if he got killed?” a female classmate whispers in fear, and even though Toiro doesn’t mean to eavesdrop, he can’t resist chuckling nervously; this people should really meet the real Kuroba-kun, but then again, perhaps they’d better not–
The tea Earl serves is far from awful; it in fact fits Kuroba’s tastes perfectly, thick with a tint of sweet–did he research on me about this too? Kuroba briefly thinks–but it doesn’t cease the bitterness of how he knows he will be forced to protect the very person who murdered his father.
“–you must’ve admire this ‘Kuroba-kun’ a lot, don’t you, Arata?” His mother’s sudden comment makes Toiro pauses mid-sentence telling today’s adventure with his so-called ‘employer’, but she only smiles in return and wonders if her son is aware of the unmistakable glimmer in his eyes as he talks.
“Hey, I just gotta crash here for a while,” Usami now doesn’t bother to knock when entering Kuroba’s–no, Amou’s–apartment at nearly 2 AM, knowing the dark-haired will be there reading something and mutter a simple “un” as usual; neither will he question anymore what on Earth Kuroba is doing so freaking late.
Kuroba You hasn’t yet reached his level, but nevertheless he is a highly capable detective, and despite them having opposing perceptions on 'punishments’ given, Asa believes making this kid his assistant is an amazing idea; moreover since he’ll get to pat his head everyday.
“Toiro, drop the ’-kun’ already when calling my name, won’t you, I thought we understand each other deep enough by this point,” Kuroba licks his lips sensually as he towers over the other, and the light-haired boy can feel a chill thrilling down his spine with every syllable, “use ’-sama’ from now on, okay?”
Sanzenin Rui is a very wealthy (and very cute, Toiro has to admit) girl, but he doesn’t miss the quick, sharp glance she throws at him as her lips maliciously delivers a sentence, “just make sure Kuroba stay right where he is, Assistant-kun; you may keep your detective and I will peacefully keep mine.”
“It isn’t like I particularly enjoy inflicting pain to others, it’s just because it is the most effective method to teach crimimals on how to behave,” Kuroba tries to reason right after another abused culprit breaks down crying caused by extreme mental torture; Toiro noticeably flinches but says nothing.
“I hope she’ll be alright,” the detective almost unconsciously mutters, completely void of emotion, after he sent Mikanagi Nene to follow a merciless serial killer who especially targets high-school girls; Toiro chuckles silently concluding that that’s the closest thing to affection Kuroba can give to his stalker.
The three of them are all of the same age, but perhaps it’s due to the fact that Toiro has always been less-knowledgeable compared to the other two, or the silent agreement which is just suddenly there whenever the topic of 'protecting Toiro’ is brought up; that Toiro often considers Kuroba and Usami the older brothers he has never had.
“Why do people kill each other, Kuroba-kun?” Toiro gains the courage to ask on the way home from solving their third murder this week, each messier than the former, each motive more twisted than the preceeding, and Toiro feels as if his heart breaks while his stomach does backflips with each case.
“To challenge a detective like me… and serves me a lot of fun, of course,” Kuroba responds emphasizing the word 'fun’ using a dangerous tone, and Toiro’s masochistic mind is still somewhat thankful for no matter how complicated and tainted the world can be (which will surely be no match for his simple way of thinking), Kuroba-kun will at least forever stay as Kuroba-kun.