Megumi hates being a sorcerer nearly as much as he hates the heavy feeling in his chest that just won’t let go. It’s not a life many choose willingly and he is no exception. Some days he wishes he were not a son of a deadbeat or Gojou’s charity tax deductible each new year. Perhaps if he’d been lucky to be born average and unimpressive, things would have been better off.
Being a sorcerer comes with many regrets, and Megumi knows he will die with more than his fair share. They were curses in and of themselves, a reminder of what could have been done and what shouldn’t.
He’s found that the regrets he will take to his grave are ones that manifested and festered alongside pink hair and rotting fingers. Ever since a short trip to Miyagi they’d doubled, tripled, and quadrupled ten times over.
You should have been faster and gotten to the shed with the finger earlier. You should have tried to keep Itadori out of it. You shouldn’t have left him behind in the detention centre. Why did you not try harder to fight back? How many times will you let him nearly die?
Megumi knows he will die with thoughts of bright smiles and double sets of eyes etched onto his eyelids - his last moments of consciousness filled with nothing more than longing for the unknown.
He doesn’t regret saving Itadori and never will, but he will regret not being able to give him a second chance at life and bringing him into a world Megumi didn’t even want to be in in the first place.
Megumi does not regret asking Gojou to keep him alive and he does not regret moments spent laughing and smiling as his heart swells with joy.
What he does regret most is knowing he will never get to see Itadori grow old. Megumi knows he’ll die young, it’s part of the job description after all, but Itadori has no say in his fate. While he can run and hide from his reality like a child afraid of the dark, Itadori is an unwilling participant in the grim reapers game of life where he is fated to die as he stares death and evil and all the things Megumi cannot shield and protect him from right in the eyes.
He hates being a sorcerer because of what it’s done to him, but he hates it more for what it’s done to Itadori. The sound of sniffles and sobs muffled by the wall between their dorm rooms is as familiar of a sound as the very same laughter Itadori seems to be made of.
While Sukuna is the two-faced spectre, Itadori lives his own double life.
He wishes that he’d at least had a choice in his cursed technique because for all Itadori loved his divine dogs they couldn’t heal the cavernous cracks in the other boy’s facade. No amount of shadows and false creations could erase the memory of whatever had happened to itadori during his temporary death.
They never talk about the bad things that happen as much as Megumi wishes they could. It feels wrong to watch someone suffer and agonize over death and loss as much as his best friend does without ever being able to tread that territory. Itadori locks it all away in the same cage that incases his heart and even Megumi is not allowed in.
(He holds the key to his own cage close but it’s still in reach of Itadori. It’s an invitation and he’s the only one with that privilege. He’d long since decided that if anyone were to wreck him and rip his heart to shreds, it was Itadori.
The other boy owned his life, heart and soul. He’d signed them away to him the first time smiling eyes had met his. It was a transaction made in the moment and worth every penny it had pried from his cold, calloused hands.)
“Fushiguro,” Itadori’s voice pulls him from his thoughts. He glances to his right and locks eyes with the other boy as he tugs the blanket draped over his shoulders closer. They’re sat together on the grass outside their dorms having snuck out long after curfew.
Nightmares are something they both suffer from relentlessly, though Megumi can imagine the contents of their dreams are far different.
While Itadori is haunted by his grandfather and the oozing puss that clings to curses, Megumi fears the blood that stains his hands and the gore that follows. Itadori fears that which he does not understand - Megumi is scared of what he does.
He hums quietly in response, nodding his head in acknowledgment as he turns his gaze back up to the stars.
“What do you want to do after you graduate?”
It’s an innocent question with an easy answer, but the words he knows he should say feel like acidic lies on his tongue. He’s expected to work as a sorcerer until he’s beaten and bruised beyond repair to pay back a debt to Gojou that he’ll never be able to afford.
It’s worse than being a salaryman, and while it’s his default long-term plan, he wants nothing to do with it.
The wants of a shaman come second to the needs of the many. The good of the masses at the expense of the individual. What Megumi wants is not something he can have, and what he will have is not something he’s certain he can live with.
“Why are you asking?” He counters, letting his eyes trace the lines of the big dipper.
He can feel Itadori shrug beside him and he hears the sound of the other boy’s jacket as he moves. The words don’t need to be said for Megumi to understand.
‘I won’t be here to see.’
Life is cruel and unfair. It makes him want things that are impossible to obtain and answer questions that hurt more than any wound he’ll ever get. He wants to run away far from this life and hide amongst the stars. He wants to bring Itadori with him, so they can create a home together on an alien planet where curses are nothing more than myths and legends.
“What I want and what I’m obligated to do are two completely different things,” he sighs, “I don’t have much of a choice in what happens once I’m done school. I’ll probably end up dying to a curse in my twenties or something,”
As the words leave his mouth he knows it’s not an answer Itadori likes. He can practically feel the other’s eyes burning holes into him as he tries to memorize the feel of cool grass beneath his fingers and the way the moonlight looks behind closed eyelids.
“Dude, don’t say that. That’s morbid,”
“If you can’t take the truth don’t ask about it,” he snorts. He opens his mouth to ask Itadori the same question before stopping himself. He’s not one to rub salt in a wound.
“What do you want to do then? I don’t care about what you’re expected to do,”
Megumi wants to do a lot of things, even ones that don’t involve escape and cowardice. He wants to travel, to see beaches and mountains and cities that aren’t crawling with monsters and curses. He wants to get married and raise children without having to worry about repeating his father’s mistakes - without having to fear that every goodbye in the morning would be his last.
He wants to wake up each morning to see pink. He wants to feel the cool steel of a wedding band each time he summons a shikigami and the heartbeat of a boy who is nothing but normal beneath his palm.
He longs for a life of love and peace but has been left with nothing but scraps of one full of hatred and anger.
“If I told you, you’d laugh,” He says, chewing on his lip. They’re getting chapped, and his habit of biting at them is only making his problem worse, “If I was completely honest and transparent, you might punch me too. Maybe.”
“I won’t punch you, I promise,"
“I don’t trust that,”
“I swear! I’ll even tell you mine if you want,”
“You first, then I’ll do it. You better make it embarrassing, too.”
Itadori stretches out until he’s lying flat on his back. The moonlight smooths his skin and Megumi wants nothing more than to reach out and touch it. Itadori draws him in like they’re magnets of opposite poles. He’s enchanting and an angel trapped in a devil’s world.
After a moment, Itadori finally shares, “I’d want to own my own house,” he begins, “it doesn’t even need to be big, just somewhere that feels nice and warm and welcoming. I’d want it to be a nice place for pets too, with a big yard for them to run around.”
He notices the use of past tense but swallows the lump in his throat and doesn’t comment on it.
Itadori watches him expectantly, “Your turn, no flaking out now,” he grins, “a deals a deal.”
Megumi sucks in a breath. He imagines suburban homes and a picture-perfect family. He thinks of gardening in the spring and sipping on lemonade in his backyard. He thinks of barbecues with his friends where he gets to introduce Itadori as his husband and have the ring to back up the claim.
Megumi thinks and he dreams. He wishes and he yearns. He begs and is willing to be stripped of everything to get it, and yet, his efforts are fruitless.
“I want to get married,” He begins, the words quiet as they leave his lips.
“That’s not weird, why would you think I’d punch you over that-“
“Married to, uh, someone like you, ideally,” Megumi finishes, face heating up as he stares ahead, “It’d be even better if it was you, too, I think.”
The sky is too dark to see much of the creatures of the night even with the clear skies and bright moon, so he settles on fireflies near the bushes dancing amongst the leaves. It’s much easier to ignore the feeling of his heart pounding in his chest or the nauseating churn of his stomach in the wake of his confession.
“Yeah,” Megumi pulls his lips into a thin line, ready to pick his blanket up off the ground and make his way back inside. He’s becoming an expert at running away already.
It’s not a rejection but it feels like one. It doesn’t hurt as much as it did to hold Itadori’s corpse in his arms, but he doesn’t enjoy the feeling nonetheless.
“Let’s not skip the good parts, though. Dating is what makes getting married fun,” Itadori says, but his voice is lacking the confidence it usually does. Megumi swears he can see the dust of pink across the other boy’s cheeks.
They don’t move. Instead, they let their words sink into the air between them. They both know it’s not something that’ll ever happen, but perhaps a little bit of hope is what someone like Megumi needs in his life. Perhaps the dread and fear and hate can be momentarily forgotten amongst undercuts and strong arms.
Megumi doesn’t regret saving Itadori, and one of the many reasons he has come to love about that is the joy the other boy is able to bring even in the bleakest of moments. Even with the future looming on the horizon, Itadori pulls wide smiles from Megumi’s lips under the glow of a full moon. He lets Megumi live a life he never thought he would while simultaneously making the most of his own limited time left.
It’s not a confession like the ones in rom-coms or the manga Kugisaki likes to read. It’s unconventional, but perhaps that’s why it works so well for the two of them. They’re unconventional. Their lives are messes of regrets and fears and nightmares that won’t go away. They’re stuck in an endless loop of predictable, unsavoury work, so maybe a marriage proposal before the first date is something that was meant to be.
He lets the laugh bubbling in his chest leave him, the corners of his lips pulling up into a smile, “yeah, I think you’re right. We’ve got time.”
Megumi hates being a sorcerer, but he’s beginning to think that not everything about it is all that bad. Love may be a curse but it is also what makes you human. As a shaman he met Itadori, and as a human being he will watch him die.