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did you sleep the day away?

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When Satoru Gojo was born the world couldn’t have known it would fall to humans’ favor. He’s too enigmatic a boy to tell- good or bad? Children are both and none, just like how they are quiet but loud, and they are curious but also uncaring for what follows their footsteps through corridors and open doors. Of course being born in the Gojo-clan gave him the ‘benefit’ of being somewhat ‘good’- but it was still a chaotic sort of good, leaning towards a chaotic-good selfishness that presented itself in a sort of “I will share my toys, but you cannot touch them” manner.

And in that way, Satoru is a normal child with abnormal gifts. The Six Eyes of the Gojo clan is one such blessing, bestowed upon his soft white hair and his calm indifference to such a fact. The Gojo clan’s Limitless technique is another, and even as his fleshy feet pad along doorways in some childish naivety, the maturity of his spirit shows through a blooming aura set to burst when the time comes. He blows bubbles through his fingers, plays frivolous games with the house servants, wanders aimlessly through the Gojo clan’s many rooms looking to find new toys to play with. He exorcises a second-grade curse at the sweet, single-digit age of 6: it had stolen away his little chiming doll, and his rage brew into a furious storm that lasted a fortnight. He tried a cursed tool- it wasn’t to his liking. Things were better resolved with hands and cold stares, and low-grade spirits vanishing without so much as a touch.

There are many other strange instances in his life, intertwined just as tightly with the mundanities of growing up with a family that harbored too many expectations. If Satoru Gojo bears Six Eyes, then for every single one there was a pair to match it with scrutiny, with an oppressive gaze that was too overbearing to deem protective, with a sort of fear inlaid with awe inlaid with jealousy and greed and other things that Satoru wished he didn’t understand because it was tiring to think about. 
 

“I can’t sleep.” Satoru tells the servants of the Gojo Household one day. The sky is clearer than spring water, the morning is newly aglow. He wishes he looked as well rested as the radiant sun.

“That is new.” One of them combs his hair, and the other picks his clothes, and the third cocks her head in amusement like he’s telling a funny joke. “So there is something the Young Master can’t do, after all.”

“Bad dreams, Satoru-kun?” one of them hums. “We can play them away before your lessons start.”

“No. Yes. I don’t know.” Satoru  says, little fingers fumbling with a button at his chest. “It’s like I am floating in nothing, and nothing is floating in me.”

“Young Master has such interesting dreams.” His hair is combed into soft wisps, cupping the nape of his neck. The robe falls, tucked in neatly. “Share them with Gojo-sama. Maybe you have hidden talents that lie beyond conscious thought.”
 
When he closes his eyes again that night, he falls. Deeper and deeper into dusk, into a sweeping silence and a persistent ambivalence that creeps into the crevices of his mind. Does he force sleep to stay awake, or strain awake to fall asleep? Are his eyes open or are they closed? 
 
He thinks he sees nothing, so he stays in the dark like something that was misplaced in the nighttime, letting itself collect dust until the morning that someone finds it again. 


 

He loses his first fight at ten years old. He remembers the gritty taste of asphalt, the bitter crumbs of debris, the sound of warblers making melodies that coalesce like two musicians fighting for the same crowd. He doesn’t know the feeling of pain until it hits him again and again, and again.

“The Six Eyes must be trained, Satoru.” Gojo-sama says. “Your mind and your body. Take control of what you feel; make it yours and only yours.”

“It has always been mine.” Satoru spits blood into his palms.

“You are wrong.” The training grounds heat with tension. Satoru’s palms boil and thrum, the beat of his heart so loud the sound could be tangible. “Get up. We will do it again.” 
 

Why is it mine? Why isn’t it?
 

Training is over. Lanterns light the Gojo Estate, swaths of yellow and orange dotted like bursts of fireflies dancing between the trees. Gojo spreads his hands out and above his head in the darkness of his room, grasping the air and pressing his nails deep into the heels of his palms. Light has faded from the day, now settling deeper into the cool colours of rest. The moon’s light reaches only the top of his feet, sloping over his skin like hills and valleys. 
 
He does not lose another fight for a long, long time. 

 


 

Satoru Gojo makes his first friend at sixteen and it is through curses and quips, and peculiar habits foreign to his household familiarities. Suguru Getou eats the curse and licks his fingertips: he is hawk-eyed with a tight-lipped smile, black hair reaching shoulder length. He is as enigmatic as Gojo counts himself to be- two strange strangers dancing to the same exorcism, all the little devils under their fingertips.

“You call yourself a shaman,” Getou wipes his mouth with a pale hand. “But mistake your duty for chore.”

“What can I say?” Gojo stretches his arms back as they head back to the Jujutsu High. “It’s a pain, looking out for the weak.”

“It’s our duty to protect those who can’t protect themselves.” Getou replies. “Its the honourable thing to do, don’t you think?”

“Honour? Duty?” Gojo hears himself laugh as the clouds above him part for the sun that hangs in the sky. ”What makes this our duty? Your so-called righteousness? The selfish part of yourself that makes you think you are entitled to the higher powers you posses?”

“Says the bearer of the Six Eyes.” Getou’s glower is gleefully entertaining. As is many things to Gojo at this age, like the way his classmate curls his lip in displeasure, knuckles white from clenched fists and a brawl-ready stance too eager to lay down the law. 
 
So maybe they aren’t friends yet… only time will tell. 

 


 

Six Eyes can’t solve insomnia, and Gojo reasons they might be the cause of it.
 
“How interesting.” Shoko doesn’t look up from her magazine, clearly disinterested. “Take some Ambien.”

“Ambien…” Gojo muses. “I’ve got a headache, too. How do you solve that?”

“You have to,” She squints her eyes, dropping the magazine. “Get yourself up against a wall, any wall. Close your eyes and /really/ concentrate. Smash your head against it until the pain goes.”

“Don’t play with me, Shoko-chan.” Gojo pouts. She laughs and resumes reading. 
 

Maybe it is the all-knowingness of them, the subconscious understanding of the cursed energy that spreads throughout his body. This strange world in which evil fights evil like fire fighting fire, burning through seals and words and Shikigami, a sort of saving grace even though such talents are born from the darkness it is supposed to destroy. The balls of his heels are rocking back against an iceberg that thaws over millennia as he peers into the bottomless depths of the ocean that it pierces through. Maybe it is the every beating second that colors this cursed world in human life, protecting, defending, risk saving. Maybe it is the sound of a butterfly beating its wings against his nose when it’s sits atop it, the flutter of sound to herald crashing tides on the other side of the sky. 
 

“Gojo.” Shoko sits up. She looks alarmed, and dark, and darker, and darker. “Satoru, are you alright?” 
 

Full of life and full of death. Are shamans meant to pursue noble cause? Does the evil in this world create the existence that wipes it out? Is the sun what makes a man a man? Can you hear the beating of your heart, and the rivers of your blood, and every crevice of your mind screaming out the name that you call yourself, that others call you by, when you are just signals and synapses and energy? Can you feel the beating of her heart, Satoru Gojo? Can you see the cursed energy that flows through her veins, and her hands, and the power that brings her to her feet, can you see? 
 
“Satoru.” Shoko is shaking him. She is black hair crowding a worried frown. “Satoru.” She is a murder of crows, the sun and the sky and the stars. She is breathing, as is Gojo. 
 

The world rotates slowly on axis as he topples to the ground. Into nothingness or out of it- he will not know which it is for a long, long time.

 


 

Riko Amanai had wished she were human. This is true, Gojo thinks, and Getou had likely wished the the same just judging by the way he looked at her- even if he didn’t know it himself. Maybe back then when the vessel had spiralled towards the ground floor to floor to floor - when Getou caught her in his arms, handling their precious delivery as easily as breathing air - maybe back then they had all wished it to be so.
Her body crumples like a doll in Gojo’s hands. He smells her blood, sharper than the salt of the sea, shards of her shattered skull-bone like the fractured shells lining her collar bone in pretty little colors. He supposes, faintly, that she had gotten her wish in the end. There is applause behind him louder than thunder and it is drowning him.

 

“Made up your mind?” Gojo asks.

“If she wishes to stay…” Getou exhales, running a tired hand across his hair. He keeps steady, as always, that unfeeling look about him like a weathered down husk Gojo can tear away with a flick of his finger. “If she wishes. Then we fight for her freedom. And we win.”

“It’s settled then,” Gojo yawns, kicking sand up to his shins as they stroll along the beach shore. “No resetting back to Koromon. Skullgreymon all the way.”

“Satoru.”

The water rises to their naked heels. Gojo’s sandals fill with sand, sink into it like putty as he turns his head. He knows Getou’s smile like the back of his hand: this tired, head-tilting, grateful-beyond-comprehensive-words look. The one that makes his righteous talk more bearable and asks for a sliver more of Gojo’s time. Or maybe it is Gojo that wants him to stay, to keep him rooted fiercely into the sand where white foam flows into the shoreline and the day that isn’t spent on nerves that fight to keep everyone alive. Where Amanai can pick out her favourite fish and bring home a sparkly keepsake. Where Getou can be blunt with him, know him, and make him feel real.

“Are you tired?” Getou says instead.

“No.” Gojo lies. “Lets race back to the beach house.”

That night he does not sleep. That in itself is not unfamiliar to Gojo - he is well-versed about the stars now, and familiar with each shade of sky that flickers from hour to hour. It is a clock that doesn’t tick to tell the time; a moon that dips itself gently into the sea as the sun rises to greet it. He stretches his hand into the darkness, stretches further as his fingertips grasp at the light that curls around his skin. Energy trickles from his body slowly, a leaky faucet feeling.


He supposes, if that is what it takes to keep them all alive, it wouldn’t hurt to bear a little longer.

 


 

Satoru Gojo loses receipt after receipt, after receipt. It’s difficult to keep track of all the little things he buys, after all. These days are busy ones; Yagi-sensei makes him run errands alone more often than not. 


Dr. Pepper. Painkiller. Melonpan. Ibuprofen.

Gojo exorcises curse after curse, after curse. They may share different faces but their ashes burn the same. They may learn to speak a language but are indecipherable near death. They may dance differently to Gojo’s curse technique but ultimately the killing is easy. The exorcism are done with his eyes closed. The day clears itself the moment it darkens, and Gojo feels his neck throb like it is threatening to tear itself apart. 

Lunesta. Restoril.

Whether the sun hangs in the sky or the moon sings to the ocean tides, Gojo runs errands till his legs burn; until he is weathered down to his bones, feels his hands grow sore and his chest heave, feel the beads of sweat on his neck grow heavy like chains around his skin. Until he returns with all the Blues and Reds and Purples washed from his body, a sick taste in his mouth hard to swallow when he breathes.

Onigiri. Halcion. Cold Soba. Benadryl.

Plastic bags fill his room. There is a shelf that decorates prettily with bottles of pills that do not work. There is a bottom drawer with a secret latch where he stores unopened alcohol. When Gojo steps into his room he can feel his heart burn - can feel the skin between his lungs stretch and ache from an outcast Zenin’s hands. He can feel a blade tear through his skin like butter and blow a hole through Amanai’s head as if it were his own.

Dalmane. It’s raining.


When it rains, Gojo will take a seat under the cool outdoor shelter of Jujutsu High’s dorm exterior. There is a small wooden patio that extends just past the doorway, floorboards mottled with age and mould, and scratch marks from sparring scuffles. His knee knocks against an umbrella and it shakes with water, sluices down his pant leg towards the floor.

“You’re killing yourself.” Shoko lights a cigarette.

“Such tasteful irony, Ieri.” Gojo runs a hand through his hair, trembling as it goes.

“We’re shamans.” a puff of smoke curls into the air between them. “Death is normal.”

“Did you hold her in your arms?” Gojo says. The umbrella falls between them.

“Lets get stronger.” Shoko replies instead and lets the cigarette fall loosely between her fingers. “Your favourite thing, how about it?”

“Will you stop smoking if we do?”

“If that is all it takes.”

It is raining, still. The hem of Shoko’s dress glitters with water, the cuffs of Gojo’s pants stained darker than blue. Their heels knock against each other, mud sticking to leather and plastic, the rain that descends around them as loud as the oncoming storm. 

 


 

Gojo goes to the morgue a few days after Haibara dies - it is customary for Jujutsu High to inspect shaman corpses that have been struck by special grade spirits. He brings the curse that killed him in his clenched fingers, letting it breathe, letting it taste its last gulp of air where Haibara’s soft, glassy eyes meet Gojo’s. As it withers and dissipates Gojo pretends that it is Haibara that forgives him and not Nanami - Nanami who leans against the wall like it’s a crutch, the energy sapped from his bones, tired red eyes and sore hands and knees that carried two bodies all the way back home.

 

“I liked him a lot.” Nanami says. More apt to say he trembled it a little, let his fingers curl around his mouth to push those words back into his throat. It would be better described as a choke, a stifling sob, like he had breathed in the overwhelming smells of disinfectant and chlorine and it had stolen his voice away. Usually Haibara would be there to counter his pessimism - an overbearingly cheerful voice in the face of a miserable ex-salaryman. Fleeting hand touches- the sort of intimacy that came from two people who wanted all the time in the world. A butterflies thing; a burst of colour in the darkness. A sort of red that didn’t dry on clothes and splatter on skin, and smell like cold iron on a body tray.

“I thought so.” Gojo says and then, “I’m sorry.”

“Did you speak with Getou?”

“Of course,” his hand hovers over Haibara’s eyes. He closes them gently. “He killed his parents.”
 

Nanami takes a few steps forward, stumbling a little from the limp in his left leg that Shoko couldn’t heal. He lays his fingers across the damp hair on Haibara’s forehead and strokes the stray locks out of his eyes, careful and deliberate. His face is obscured by the glaring fluorescent lights that burn brightly into his skin.

“What use are your Six Eyes, Gojo?” He says quietly. “What do they do?”

 

What does it do?
 
Later in the evening, Gojo sinks into his bed like sand. He stretches his arms high above him, fingers numb as the cold air settles. The artificial glow of streetlights dot the campus grounds in uneven scatters, green and purple shadows rising between unoccupied spaces. He feels like a boy again. 
 
Why is it mine?
 

He wills himself to cry. Between his fingers, only the heavy rhythm of his breathing marks the silence.

 


 

Gojo meets the outcast Zenin’s son when the time is right. To be honest there’s no particular ‘right’ time to be meeting a grade-schooler… but Gojo likes to know that he’ll look and feel presentable, at least, to a boy whose father tried to sell him off like a weird sort of treaty gift. There are other things that make him hesitate before setting up their first impression - simple things like waking up at a decent time, brushing his teeth, combing his hair. Letting Shoko wash his clothes, and Nanami push him into the sunshine. Eating at the proper hour. Knowing how to read a clock again.

“Who are you?” The boy says. “And what’s with that face?” 

Megumi Fushiguro has his father’s eyes, Gojo thinks and then corrects that to: his father’s dying eyes. Soft and round and bitter, long and fluttering lashes. There is a hostile look about them too, not well-suited to the rest of his body; it is as if he’s seen too much and knows more than he should, and thinks wiser than most. Eyes aren’t honest tells, however. Gojo should know that well enough, and that spikes the intrigue in him as he watches Fushiguro through his tinted shades shift his backpack around on his shoulders.

Who are you?

Gojo wants to know as well.

 

What an interesting turn of events. It’s not as if his whole life isn’t built on twists and turns but in this winding path of a shaman career Gojo had least expected himself to be the someone’s guardian. Shoko thinks it’s good for him at least: she tells him to make this his priority, to push it towards the front of his mind like alcohol dangling between his eyes impossible to lose sight of. He tells her it’s a terrible analogy and she knows him too well - well enough to shop with him for household paraphernalia, little kid clothes, notebooks and pencil cases and things Gojo can’t seem to find familiar at all.

That is all in their future of course. The current Gojo that looms over the slouching figure of Megumi Fushiguro still chokes on his words when he thinks of the beach; still finds it difficult to look Nanami in the eye; still feels a scorching pain burst through his chest when he looks in the mirror, when he stares coldly between air so tense that it freezes up and tries to thaw. The current Gojo looks at Megumi Fushiguro and wishes too desperately for the new thing in his life to stay. The new thing that knows nothing of the man called ‘Satoru Gojo’ but his voice.
 
He hopes the promise that lingers between his lips - the smile that forces itself into a temporary sunshine - will last. 

 


 

It takes five years but soon, spring is spring again. Tsumiki likes to tell him that the season represents new beginnings - flowers blooming pretty colors, the unabashed warbling of hatchling birds, the soft breeze that catches in her hair and plays soft, black locks away into the sky. That is true for the most part - and it is definitely true today, as he tucks a daisy into her hair and sends the Fushiguro siblings off to their first day of the new school year.

Fushiguro on the other hand, tells him nothing. He is sharp and soft angles, baby fat curving his cheeks and thick black hair tapering his neck. He is as hostile as he was the day they met with only a few exceptions that cause his mask to slip - drowsiness, hunger - and those are few and far between. Something about that only makes him more interesting, however, and Gojo knows his heart flutters proudly in his chest whenever Fushiguro’s emotions waver from stoic and aloof. Like he had been the one to sway his tiny beating heart- like the stifled laughs Fushiguro tries to hide sometimes are all his doing.

“Megumin…” he beams, crouching down to Fushiguro’s height. ”Have a good day at school.”

“Good bye.” the boy turns on one heel and leaves without look back.
 

Fushiguro grows and grows and grows. Sharp angles and angry stares. Curled fists, broken, beat-up, pyrrhic victories in the pupils of his eyes after-school when Gojo picks him up quite literally among a mountain of bodies that pile like a misshapen throne around his waist. It would be a comical thing if Fushiguro didn’t take it so seriously, Tsumiki no longer around to object, and Gojo will ask if he needs assistance and Fushiguro will always say no. No, he doesn’t need the Six Eyes, the all-powerful guardian who bought him out of the Zenin clan for millions of yen, exorcised curses in record breaking time, killed his father, tucked him in into bed, pats his hair down in the morning and sends him off to school, he-

“No?” Gojo asks, turning a corner.

“No.” Fushiguro says.

He says this all the time. Gojo is used to his rejection, the beat and rhythm of his voice when he turns away. He’s too familiar with the curve of Fushiguro’s lip, and the stubborn brow, and the crossed arms that fold neatly against his sweater like a candid photo taken and retaken again.

“My boy is damn strong.” Gojo muses out loud. The day shifts to dusky evening. “Isn’t he?”

“I’m not your boy.” Fushiguro says. Gojo turns to him as the light ahead blinks red. 
 

“Then what are you?” 

 

One month goes by like a second in the dark. 

Gojo is running, and running, and running in and out of shadows that fight like swordsmen and flashes of lightning set off in signals and hand-signs. Its not something to be scared of. Just a hindrance to the plot of his life, that seems to unravel like a ball of string a cat has clutched in its claws. Chaotic as the storm that rages around him, spilling blood, fluttering hakamas setting the scene of this shitshow Gojo calls a ‘rescue operation’. Bodies pile like stuttering statistics- in and out of life, zero to one to zero again. A scattering of single digits litter the floor, an overturned waste-bin of desk trash. 

Gojo is looking for a boy, half his height, eyes blacker than the absence of a sun and sky. He is thin faced, sharp around the edges, careful with his words and frugal with his money. He finds him piled in dead bodies like mannequins, in blood that showers his body like silk curtains, and ribbons of it extending below the floorboards that stink of sweat and steel and suffocating, acrid death. He breathes steadily but cries in spite of himself, curls his hands against his chest and finally looks his age, for once. 

Gojo doesn’t gather him in his arms. He is not Fushiguro’s parent, not a savior, not a godly thing that showers light into the dark abyss that the shaman world calls the Zenin clan. Unfortunately, what Fushiguro needed most was gone before he could even ever want it- and now all they have left is lingering half gazes and a promise that threads their skins together like fated red string. 

 

“Satoru-san.” Fushiguro’s voice is weakened to a rasp. On the brink of death, he is picturesque. 

“Come with me.” Gojo says. 

 


 

It occurs to Gojo sometime after Yuta Okkotsu’s mild mannered introduction into Jujutsu High’s first year class, that he had never thrown out his expired pills. 

Painkiller, Ibuprofen. Lunesta, Restoril. it’s a game, remembering the names of each without looking at their labels. Gojo can’t remember the last time he’s tried to take one, or more than one, in futile attempts to sleep a day away. His waste-bin rattles with metallic noise with each expert throw, summer’s boiling fervor muting the sound. 

Halcion, Benadryl,

 

Dalmane. Is it raining again? 

 

The air is thick with the smell of alcohol, sinking into cotton and leather and jeans, a sort of damp that prickles Gojo’s skin and leaves it speckled with teardrops. He takes a seat and the sound of absent thunder crackles in the distance.

“It will soon.” Shoko says. She kicks the floor without much reason, scuffles of scattered leaves push and pile across the ground.

“Will what?”

“Rain.” Shoko passes him a beer. “Are you sleeping well?”

“I’m sleeping.” Gojo says simply. That is all she needs to hear. 

 

Shoko wants to light a cigarette, but the motion is only muscle memory ghosting her fingertips.

“Are we strong, Ieri?” Gojo asks, taking a sip.

“I’m not sure. But life has been peaceful.”

“For now.” He says.

“Don’t jinx it.” She replies. 

 

Little else passes between them but the tilting of beer cans and sloshed contents emptied languidly. Far away from here, weapons clash in the Jujutsu High training grounds.

 

One good day, Gojo thinks. It is a good day today. 

 


 

They run out of luck that year. Gojo makes a note; the next time that he drinks with Ieri Shoko, never to doubt a sentence, never to doubt a word. 

Is there much to say about Getou? A million lies run through Gojo’s head as he kills him. A beach song, a high-five, a girl leaping through a window and falling into safe arms. Promises they never kept together. 

Gojo doesn’t weep- at least, not before his students. They’re too starry eyed to pay attention as Gojo slips his blindfold back over his face, lets the rest of the day cloud over his memory of Getou’s broken smile- the one Gojo knows like the back of his hand: the tired, head-tilting, grateful-beyond-comprehensive-words look. The one he is now so tired of seeing because it had lied and burrowed its way into the core of his chest, and now he had to dig out the forceful claws of its hidden sentiments like shoveling out the peaceful dead. Suguru Getou is not laid to rest among other honorable Jujutsu sorcerers which is a shame, Gojo thinks, there’s an empty spot in their cemetery that could use some fresh flowers. 

He wanders aimlessly on an empty road that leads to his apartment, inexplicably finding his way despite the buzz of alcohol short circuiting his brain. When he collapses onto his couch, Fushiguro shouts a complaint through the thin walls of their accommodation. The silence answers back and a head slips out of the ajar door, hesitant and concerned.

“You brought this onto yourself.” He says, wrinkling his nose at the heat rising from Gojo’s body and the smells that dissipate as cool air circulates the room. His bare feet make a soundless noise across the apartment, appearing as a silhouette contoured in harsh light as Gojo switches on the TV.

“I did.” Gojo replies, apathetic and reserved. He looks up and catches the glint of light in Fushiguro’s eye just as noise begins to buzz behind him.

“Maybe I haven’t changed at all.” 

 

Is he so much of a pathetic man, that Fushiguro needs to leave the comfort of his room for the aching thunder in his heart to dwindle down? Better still is the silence that pierces this night like a knife through butter, the soft cleave of Fushiguro’s fingers pushing against Gojo’s jaw, like they had sunk into his skin as they tilted his head up. Better now is the tipsy feeling, bitter to sweet delirium, as blissful a fantasy as the moonlight that hits the edge of Fushiguro’s nose, dusts his other cheek, sets his eyes aglow, shatters an aloof pretense so often masked by shadow. 

“What did you do?” Fushiguro whispers. He is a decade older than the skin he wears. Gojo likes that about him, wants to tell him as much. Maybe when they see better days, all of Gojo’s secrets will come tumbling from his mouth, as natural as fresh water from a spring. For now, one truth clogs his throat in sickness as another climbs onto his tongue.

 

“I love you.” Gojo says instead.

 


 

First kisses are holy things. They are soft, soul-merging, shadow-melding echoes of spring love: a dragonfly hovers above the surface of still water, making contact with its tangible reflection as the world freezes over. Fushiguro is his dragonfly; he lands softly, touches the surface of Gojo’s skin like a holy thing, or they are two holy, intangible noises coalescing in chiming sounds and cathedral hymns, or a beach shore wave or a wet kiss sheltered from the rain. 

But Gojo thinks holy things are boring. They are something out of a movie, taken from a quote in a book a little too pretentious for its plot line and a quote sung a thousand times in a weathered music box. They can’t rip and tear, can’t grab and twist, can’t echo like wardrums in a mountain col. They can’t grab like Gojo is grabbing him now, and plunge him into the fiercest depths of this thing he knows as Love, and scorch every open surface of Fushiguro’s body till they char like blackened branches in a silent forest. 


Is this the natural progression of how things should have went? Gojo doesn’t know or think to care. Curses don’t really make sense; neither do obligations, justice, righteousness, holiness. The sense of way, a ‘good’ and a ‘bad’. He had known these things vaguely, throughout life, and as life had taken him in its talons such words had spun their own meanings, became their own demons, grew as they are growing now into untameable beasts crawling in the dark.

Fushiguro gasps for air the way he had gasped for his life that year on the dim and weathered Zenin tatami. It is one and the same gulp that Gojo tears from his lips, the same kind of soft and ruined sadness he takes from his body. It is a sort of beauty that Gojo can’t grasp in his hands, wishing to be dead, wanting to stay alive. Wanting to be consumed, ashamed to have wanted anything at all. 

Fushiguro lets him have his dance, regardless. It feels like a finally, an echo of relief, a sigh unending as he lets Gojo peel away at his clothes, curls his hand into Gojo’s hair. He watches in trances as Gojo fucks him without reserve; shamelessly and fervently, Fushiguro’s haunting gasps on his body and his hands on his skin. Gojo engraves every stroke of his name into him and inside him, makes Fushiguro’s body remember the shape of his voice. 

Something is spinning- the Six Eyes shrinking back into the recesses of his body, the last vestiges of it’s once seemingly immeasurable hold over Gojo dwindling to nothing but sweaty air and obscenity. He doesn’t think as he kisses the heel of Fushiguro’s foot, to the underside of his thigh, to his bare waist, to his eyes. He doesn’t need to think as he tilts Fushiguro’s legs open- Fushiguro meets his gaze and instincts carry their dance forwards into a feral waltz. Just like how Fushiguro’s soft hand sinks into the mattress as it’s pushed down, Gojo’s heart carves itself deeper and deeper into his chest, carves every pleasure into his newer memories, over a murky past desperately wishing to be wiped clean. 

 

He closes his eyes. 

 

For a moment, he thinks he is dreaming.