His days had been rather agitated lately. Ever since Itadori came back from the dead, Fushiguro constantly felt the need to check that he was alive, and that he was not just some ghost who appeared in the sole purpose of tormenting him until he himself passed away, either killed by a curse during a dangerous mission or (in a perfect world) peacefully dying of old age in a few decades.
Now, whenever they had days off and their beloved teacher wasn’t around to annoy him, he would randomly pass by Itadori’s room and have a quick peek inside to make sure the boy was there. Sometimes, because their rooms were so close (courtesy of Gojo Sensei), he’d hear him laugh out loud, probably reading some comics or watching a funny movie. His heart would skip a beat and a small, fond smile would find its way on his lips more often than he’d like to admit.
It was another issue at night, though. His dreams weren't as lenient as the thoughts plaguing his mind during the day, thoughts he could obviously control and get rid of, should they become too grim or overpowering. Sometimes Fushiguro would wake up in a cold sweat and he would swallow back cries about to spill out of his lips. The tears would often come after, heavy and uncontrollable. It usually lasted around twenty or thirty minutes, and then, even though it was very hard to do so he would fall back asleep with a nasty headache pounding against his temples, his cheekbones sticky with tears and his hair uncomfortably plastered on his sweaty forehead.
Thankfully it didn't happen every night, he couldn't have handled it otherwise ; there were nights where he actually managed to sleep like a log. He remembered that pleasant dream he had, just a few days ago, where instead of seeing Yuuji dying again and again in front of him, he just saw his smiling face, lulled by his loud but oh so comforting voice and his cheerful laugh. It was just the four of them, him, Yuuji, Nobara and Gojo Sensei, the latter actually shutting his trap for once and dozing off against a cherry tree.
How perfect it would have been if his nights were that tranquil all the time. Sadly, life isn't perfect, and nothing is.
Not less than a week after that peaceful dream, Fushiguro woke up with a start at 2 in the morning, covered in sweat and with the echoes of Yuuji’s last words ringing inside his ears. This time he wasn’t able to contain the sobs that threatened to burst out of his lips and he started to cry silently, his windpipe straining under the effort of keeping as quiet as possible so that he wouldn’t take the risk of waking Yuuji up ; because their rooms were so close, courtesy of Gojo Sensei.
Still, he had the unpleasant feeling that it will be impossible for him to fall back asleep if he didn’t check on his friend and actually exchange words with him as soon as possible because what if, what if what if he’s truly dead what if Fushiguro couldn’t cope with the fact that he’ll never see Itadori again so his brain decided to cram itself with the belief that he was still there, alive and well, but then all those times he saw Yuuji before had been hallucinations or something and—
Fushiguro violently shook his head and tried to pull himself together as best as he could ; he won’t let these thoughts get to him.
Wiping his eyes and face sluggishly, even if it was pretty useless at this moment because anyone who wasn’t blind would’ve figured he’d been bawling his eyes out just a few minutes ago, he left his bed almost reluctantly and dragged himself to his door.
Once he found himself in the middle of the corridor, the need to see his friend was still stronger than ever and he started to walk the short distance between his and Itadori’s room.
In front of Yuuji’s door he noticed that his light was on. Thank god... Megumi thought, because he really didn't want to feel guilty about waking Yuuji up in addition to the extreme emotional distress due to his nightmare.
He stood indecisively in front of the door, tempted to turn back because he was starting to feel a bit embarrassed now that that he had more or less calmed down.
Before he could even think of taking a step back and locking himself into his room, the sound of two distinct but hesitant knocks against a wooden door broke him out of his trance.
Oh well, guess there's no turning back now that his body betrayed him and decided to go and knock on Itadori's door on its own. Fuck.
From the other side of the door, he could make out faint footsteps getting closer and cheerful humming. Ah, yes. Sometimes, when Itadori couldn't sleep, he would put on some music to help him clear his mind and get rid of bad thoughts, Fushiguro remembers. He told him a few days ago when they stumbled upon each other in the common room in the middle of the night. Maybe Fushiguro could do that, he'd have to ask Itadori to send him a playlist or something.
His thoughts were interrupted by Itadori swiftly opening his door. Megumi sharply raised his head and was greeted with Yuuji's bright but confused face.
He's probably wondering why the hell you came to knock at his door in the middle of the night, moron.
"Hey man ! Can I help you with something ? Oh and just so you know, if you need some sleeping pills I ran out of it, Kugisaki took them all yesterday, 'm sorry.." He said with a pout. Fushiguro was about to reply, but his mouth clamped shut.
Okay, this is real. There's no way I am hallucinating this seems too real.
It took Fushiguro all the self-control in the world not to throw himself into his friend's arms right now, and, deeply relieved, his face scrunched up and he had to bit his bottom lip to keep it from wobbling. He's alive he's alive he's-
Upon seeing Fushiguro's pained expression, Itadori's features softened instantly and he quickly ushered him inside his room. He didn't even need to ask him what was wrong, as he knew very well the emotional and psychological damages nightmares could bring. He's had his share of it during the two months following his "death" that he spent without his friends, and after Junpei and his confrontation with Mahito, they only got worse.
Itadori took his hand and led him towards his bed, on which they both sat at the edge of side by side, their thighs and shoulders brushing gently.
Megumi really looked like he was on the verge of breaking down in tears, though he stubbornly tried to keep his strong and steadfast composure.
His posture and his tormented face screamed please help me... hold me tight and don't ever let go, but he remained silent out of pride and that kept hurting him further, Itadori could see it clearly. So he did the only thing he could think of at this very moment.
Exhaling softly, he pulled Megumi against his chest and wound his arms tightly around his torso, determined to give the boy the comfort he so desperately needed. Megumi tensed, not expecting (and certainly not used to) the sudden physical display of affection.
His first reflex was to pull away, but eventually he decided against it. Because he needed that embrace, he needed that reminder that Yuuji was alive and well and warm against him, and because it was Itadori, the one he trusted the most in this ruthless world ; maybe, Fushiguro thought, maybe showing him a bit of weakness won’t kill me.
It felt really, really good to be held protectively like this, cradled against his friend as if he was something extremely precious.
Closing his eyes slowly, he let himself relax and hesitantly wrapped his arms around Yuuji in return, crawling onto his lap and wedging his chin over his shoulder. He let out a relieved sigh he didn’t know he was holding in and, to his horror, an unexpected sob rattled his whole chest and throat. Embarrassed to the core, Megumi buried his face into the crook of Yuuji’s neck, his cries muffled by the soft fabric of his T-shirt. Itadori ran reassuring fingers through his messy hair while his other hand rubbed soothing circles between his shoulder blades, his forearm resting across the length of his back.
Itadori started to gently rock them both back and forth, all the while murmuring soft words of comfort into Fushiguro's ear and stroking his back, the latter's sobs subsiding gradually.
After a few minutes of soothing whispers and two or three kisses on the forehead (exclusively for comforting purposes), Fushiguro was drained.
He felt like he cried more in the last few weeks than he ever did during his whole life, and even though that was an attempt at exaggerating, he wouldn't even be surprised if it turned out to be true.
Both of them were starting to doze off, the need to sleep slowly getting to them in addition to their warm and comfortable position. Itadori kindly suggested they lie down and rest, which Fushiguro accepted gladly given how exhausted he felt. He reluctantly let Itadori go just long enough for him to settle against the mattress, then the latter opened his arms wide and nodded at Fushiguro, a tender smile gracing his weary features.
The dark haired boy didn't need to be asked twice and he almost immediately fell into his friend's arms, one arm curling around his shoulder, the other folded against him and trapped between their torsos. He felt Yuuji nuzzle his head against the top of his before timidly pressing a kiss to his crown, then he spoke quietly.
"Hey.. do you want to tell me what your dream was about ? Maybe I can help, to... I don't know, make you feel better and stuff." His voice trailed off, as if looking for something else to say and visibly struggling. "It can help to just... talk about it, you know." he added with a more confident tone. "When my nightmares were real bad and you guys weren't around to, um.. comfort me or something I used to go to Gojo Sensei to get it off my chest and stuff... and sometimes he’d find me bawling my eyes out in the kitchen, 'cause.. well, talking's just not enough and there are days where you need to have a good cry to feel a bit better..." As Yuuji spoke he had absentmindedly started to stroke Megumi's face and hair, wiping off the drying tear tracks on his flushed cheeks in the process.
Fushiguro remained quiet for a few seconds after that, carefully considering Itadori's words and enjoying the feeling of the back of his fingers tenderly brushing against his cheekbone. Tightening his hold on Yuuji he took a sharp intake of breath, before answering in a hoarse voice.
"I... I saw you die. I see you dying in my sleep over and over again, and there's nothing I can do about it, just like that day. But it's just way worse.. I always see you bleeding out on the ground and it's... It reminds me of how powerless I was that time and... I don't know, I'm such a mess I just wish I could forget the feeling of holding your.. your corpse against me and I'm sick of going through that again almost every night."
Fushiguro never dared to look up at Itadori's face after that, too busy keeping his tears at bay and definitely not wanting to see his shattered expression, given how taut he felt under him and how his hand was trembling slightly against the soft skin of his nape.
“Fushiguro... I-I'm so sorry, I really am. I had no idea your nights were that bad, I... ” he started with a shaking voice, sounding like he had thousands of things to say but couldn’t get a single word out. Then after several unfruitful attempts at talking, he let out a frustrated sob and carded a hand through his coarse hair.
“Fuck... come here.”
Itadori tucked him impossibly closer against him and pressed a couple of hard, lingering kisses to his hairline. At this very moment, Megumi thought that he would have given anything to feel this safe and loved and protected before, and now that he knew how nice it was, he never ever wanted it to end. Having found Yuuji truly felt like a blessing and he thanked the heavens for allowing him to have him in his life and keep him close despite everything.
No words were exchanged after that, and Megumi couldn’t have been more grateful. Though telling Yuuji about his nightmares did make him feel a bit better and kept him from imploding out of distress and anguish, he was downright exhausted and any additional talk would’ve been too much for him.
A few minutes later, or it could have been hours, Fushiguro couldn't tell, all remnants of the nightmare were practically gone and his mind felt completely serene at last. Lifting his head from Yuuji's chest a bit, he glanced at his face and noticed that the boy was gazing at him with a look so soft it could have brought tears to his eyes.
Megumi wanted to kiss him.
This could be your last chance and you know it. Who knows what could happen tomorrow or the day after that, he thought. And Yuuji was still staring at him with those gentle eyes of his and his smile was so loving and Fushiguro just couldn't resist, so he leaned forward ever so slightly and placed a chaste kiss on the corner of his mouth.
Itadori unconsciously leaned into the soft gesture, then his brain caught up with what had just happened and his eyes widened almost comically. He hastily raised an arm to hide his face against the crook of his elbow and bursted into nervous giggles.
"Megumiii, you can't just do that and expect me not to do anything in return..!"
Fushiguro answered with a tired smile and gazed fondly at Itadori’s face. Then, he gently grasped his friend’s wrist and lowered the arm covering his face. He brought up his free hand to brush the back of his knuckles against a cheekbone, savouring the way the skin started to heat up under his touch ; a far cry from the cold skin he felt against his on that rainy day. He wanted to forget all about it. The endless minutes he spent with Yuuji cradled against him, feeling the warmth seep out of his lifeless body until he felt like he was holding nothing but a human shaped ice block.
Oh how he wished to erase those memories and replace them all with the present moment, with Yuuji’s chest rising and falling under him, his heartbeat thrumming faintly under their thin layers of clothes. Closing his eyes, he brought Yuuji's hand to his lips and pressed them against the back of his fingers.
“Do what feels right, he replied after a few seconds, and Yuuji slid his hand from the sharp curve of Megumi's jaw to his nape and he gently guided his head towards his until their noses were brushing lightly, their lips mere millimeters apart.
"Can I ..?" He murmured, almost inaudible in the dead of night. Fushiguro gave the smallest nod, heart racing with anticipation.
That was all Itadori needed to break the short distance between them, and finally, their lips met. Megumi couldn't help but notice how they fitted together perfectly, as if they had always been sculpted for each other and he sighed into the kiss, tilting his head slightly and bringing Itadori's face closer to find a better angle. Yuuji draped his arms around Megumi's shoulders and he teasingly bit his lower lip, earning a surprised gasp from the dark haired boy.
After a few seconds, they parted with a small smacking sound and Yuuji giggled breathlessly, a radiant smile finding its way on his face and Megumi swore his heart had stopped for a split second.
Brimming with love and affection, Megumi cupped Yuuji's face with both hands and they exchanged soft close-mouthed kisses until they were both smiling too hard to keep going.
"You're such a romantic..." Yuuji whispered against his lips.
"Shut up, we're both just sleep deprived you idiot" he retorted tiredly, unable to repress the smile slowly stretching across his face.
Yuuji let out a low chuckle before suddenly turning on his side, Megumi following suit and tucking himself under his chin.
Only their steady breathing could be heard for the next ten minutes and Fushiguro, feeling warm and comforted right down to the core, was ready to fall asleep at any moment, but there was still the tiniest nagging doubt in the back of his mind, and he needed to get rid of it.
"You won't leave us, you... won't ever leave me, right ..?"
Upon hearing that, Yuuji frowned and looked down at Megumi, who stubbornly remained with his face pressed against the hollow of his neck. Yuuji then grabbed his chin and pressed a tender kiss against Megumi's parted lips.
In a tone that left no room for doubts or contestation, he uttered :
"I’m here now, and I’m not going anywhere, Megumi."