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“Am I hallucinating?” Yuuji wonders. “I’m hallucinating, aren’t I? Someone pinch me.”

 

Never one to miss an opportunity to inflict physical pain on others, Kugisaki pinches his arm, definitely way harder than necessary.

 

“Ow! Fuck! What was that for?!”

 

“You literally asked for it?”

 

Yuuji scowls. He supposes he did. “Whatever,” he mutters. “Anyways, please tell me I’m not the only one seeing this?” He gestures wildly at the scene in front of them.

 

Inumaki is sitting on a patch of shade in the courtyard, munching on some sort of rice ball. That’s not the weird part of the situation, though. The weird part is Okkotsu lying beside him, chin in hands, gazing up at the shorter boy with a little smile on his face, a stark contrast to the menacing presence that had sent Yuuji running for his life on the scariest Halloween he’s ever experienced.

 

Kugisaki wrinkles her nose. “I get it. I also hate it when men are happy.”

 

“That’s not it!” Yuuji hisses. “Er -- it’s part of it, I guess.” Seeing Okkotsu with that bright, sunny disposition is giving him severe mental whiplash; he can almost see little flowers circling his face. “I mean he’s like a completely different person -- you weren’t there when he flipped out and tried to kill me in Shibuya. His aura was fucking terrifying, even scarier than Gojo’s.”

 

Kugisaki furrows her brow. “Well, he doesn’t feel very threatening right now.” She returns to her book, clearly disinterested in whatever the upperclassmen are doing.

 

Yuuji continues to watch in wild disbelief as Okkotsu laughs at something Inumaki just said -- how does that even work when his entire vocabulary consists of salmon and kelp and bonito flakes, he wonders. As Yuuji is pondering the mechanics of Inumaki’s limited rice ball jargon, Okkotsu brings a hand up to his classmate’s face and gently wipes away stray grains of rice lingering on his curse seals.

 

Yuuji gasps and smacks Kugisaki’s arm impatiently. “Are you seeing this?!”

 

Kugisaki tears her attention away from her book with a growl. “What.”

 

“He’s cleaning the rice bits off of Inumaki’s face! So gently, too -- holy shit,” Yuuji whispers, eyes wide, as Okkotsu brings back his fingers to lick the rice grains into his own mouth. Kugisaki simply looks nauseated.

 

“What are you two doing?”

 

Yuuji definitely doesn’t squeak or jump, well, fine, maybe he squeaks just a little bit. Kugisaki, on the other hand, instinctively brings out her hammer and nails, but she lowers her weapons upon seeing that it’s just Fushiguro.

 

“Nothing! Nothing.”

 

Fushiguro raises a brow at Yuuji’s hurried response, looks beyond at the sorcerers sitting in the courtyard, then narrows his eyes at his two classmates.

 

“Are you guys spying on them?”

 

“No!” Yuuji protests. “We were just -- observing.”

 

Kugisaki glares at him. “No, you were ‘observing’ and then you dragged me into it --”

 

“You have to admit, it’s pretty weird --”

 

“What’s weird?” Fushiguro cuts in, soundly slightly irritated at the conversation steamrolling forwards without him.

 

Yuuji blinks, then comes to a realization. “Ah! Fushiguro, you knew Okkotsu before…” Yuuji decides not to bring up Shibuya at the last second. “You know him, right? What’s up with him?”

 

Fushiguro squints at their upperclassmen in the distance. “What do you mean?”

 

“You know! Why is he so… chill, now, but the first time I met him, he was all,” Yuuji waves his hands frantically, as if to illustrate the pure chaos of his aura, “like. Homicidal?”

 

Fushiguro frowns. “Did you piss him off or something?”

 

“I don’t know!” Yuuji wails. Once again, he curses the stupid curse living inside him, taking control of his body and inciting massacres on a whim. “I know he was assigned to execute me because of Sukuna, but it felt… really personal, you know? I don’t get it! I’d never even met the guy before.”

 

Something seems to click in Fushiguro’s mind. “Itadori. Was Inumaki inside the curtains at Shibuya?”

 

Yuuji’s face falls. “Yeah,” he mumbles. “He lost his arm because of Suku -- because of me.”

 

Fushiguro’s face twists. “He’s healed up now, at least, thanks to Mechamaru’s spare parts. And you can’t keep blaming yourself for things you didn’t do, Itadori.” Yuuji opens his mouth to protest that yes, I can and I will, but Fushiguro keeps talking. “Though, knowing about Inumaki, it makes sense why Okkotsu reacted the way he did.”

 

“Huh, what does Inumaki have to do with it?” Yuuji asks, confused.

 

But apparently Kugisaki understands, because she gasps and whispers conspiratorially, “Are you saying… It’s like that?

 

Fushiguro nods, serious and solemn. “Yeah, it’s like that.”

 

Yuuji is on the verge of pulling his hair out. Why do his friends talk like this? “And what exactly is ‘that’ supposed to be.”

 

His query goes ignored as Kugisaki scrunches her nose and addresses Fushiguro. “Huh, I mean, it makes sense I guess, now that I look at them. But still, stabbing someone in the chest feels a bit overkill.” She snorts. “Ha, overkill.”

 

Fushiguro sighs at the tasteless joke and shakes his head. “If you knew Okkotsu, you would understand. He’s very loyal to his friends. Especially --”

 

“Can someone please explain what’s going on, please,” Yuuji rasps, head spinning trying to keep up with a conversation he can’t comprehend.

 

Kugisaki flicks his forehead. “The guy’s madly in love and your inner curse maimed his boy toy.”

 

Yuuji laughs. “Okkotsu is? With Inumaki? No way, you’ve gotta be…” his laughter trails off as he watches Okkotsu stand up and offer a hand to Inumaki, pulling the sorcerer up into his arms for a passionate kiss that’s definitely not PG-13. “...joking,” he finishes weakly. “You weren’t joking.”

 

Fushiguro looks at him oddly. “Why would I joke about that?”

 

“Oh, it’s almost four,” Kugisaki exclaims, and starts getting up. She doesn’t look nearly as shocked at the latest romantic revelation as Yuuji feels, but then again, Kugisaki had never been subject to the second year’s overwhelming murderous intent.

 

“Where are you headed?” Fushiguro asks.

 

“Maki said she’d spar with me.”

 

“Sparring,” Fushiguro repeats.

 

Kugisaki scowls at him. “Yeah, sparring.” She sticks her tongue out as she leaves; Fushiguro rolls his eyes.

 

Yuuji’s not really sure what all that was about, but he’s still too focused on Okkotsu and Inumaki to care. “So, those two, they’re really --”

 

“Yes,” Fushiguro replies, before Yuuji’s even finished speaking.

 

“Damn,” Yuuji mutters. He’s still having a hard time reconciling the emotionless Okkotsu who stabbed him in cold blood with the smiley Okkotsu who cuddles and smooches his boyfriend(?) in broad daylight.

 

“They aren’t usually this bad, at least not in public,” Fushiguro admits, watching Okkotsu pepper Inumaki’s face in what must be a thousand kisses. “I think he’s feeling clingy after being away for so long.”

 

Yuuji chokes on air. Clingy is the last word he’d have chosen to describe Okkotsu when he first met him, but looking at him now… It fits, it really fits.

 

“Well,” Yuuji sighs, “he won’t try to stab me again, will he? Inumaki likes me, right? He wouldn’t let his boyfriend stab me.” Even to his own ears, it sounds like he’s just trying to convince himself.

 

Fushiguro chuckles at that. “No, you’re good, that was a one-time thing, I think. Just don’t try to come onto Inumaki or something and everything will be fine.”

 

Yuuji blanches and internally makes a binding vow with himself to avoid any of his usual overly affectionate behavior around the cursed speech sorcerer.

 

***

 

Yuuta’s been gone for a year, but he and his friends fall back into old routines so smoothly it’s as if he’d never left in the first place. He trains with Maki and Panda, accompanies Toge on his shopping trips for cough syrup, takes on exorcism missions as ordered by Gojo. No longer does he pass lonely nights scrolling through his friends’ various socials and longing for company as he often did when he was abroad; now they’re replaced by shared meals and movies and overly competitive Monopoly matches with his favorite people.

 

Today, with the sun out and proud and not a cloud in sight, the second years have taken it upon themselves to have lunch outside under a tall oak tree, an impromptu picnic of mostly rice balls and ham-and-cheese sandwiches, since it had been Toge’s turn to choose. The only indication of the year he’d missed is the topic of conversation shifting to the first years, and Yuuta finds himself a listener rather than participant as the others regale him with anecdotes and stories about the shenanigans that the new students get up to.

 

“Ah, I remember when we all thought Itadori died,” Maki sighs. “Megumi made his meatball recipe for dinner one time and it totally ruined the mood. Felt like we were at a funeral.”

 

“Salmon,” Toge agrees. They were good meatballs, though.

 

Yuuta pouts slightly. He could make meatballs too, if he wanted.

 

“Speaking of Itadori,” Panda remarks, “Is he mad at you or something? He always keeps his distance now.”

 

“Tuna mayo,” Toge responds sullenly, posture slumping. I have no idea. Yuuta instinctively brings a hand up to rub comfortingly at his shoulder.

 

Panda shrugs. “I don’t know either. It’s that or he’s scared of you. Or Yuuta,” he adds, nodding towards the katana wielder. “Or both of you.”

 

“Cod roe?” Toge looks up at Yuuta curiously.

 

Yuuta holds his hands up in defense. “I only stabbed him that one time! And I was trying to get at Sukuna, not him.”

 

Maki snorts derisively. “You morons have the emotional intelligence of a brick. It’s so obvious.”

 

“What’s obvious?” Panda asks.

 

Maki points at Yuuta. “Firstly, yeah, Itadori is terrified of you, kinda comes with the whole stabbing thing.”

 

Yuuta rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “I really am sorry…”

 

“Tell that to Itadori, not us.” Maki rolls her eyes before continuing. “Anyways, because of that, he’s avoiding you,” she points at the cursed speech user, “too, since he doesn’t want Yuuta to get mad at him for like, breathing in Inumaki’s direction or something.”

 

“What? I wouldn’t do that,” Yuuta protests.

 

“Yeah, you would,” Maki drones, “you’re like the poster boy for possessive boyfriend. I still remember when Megumi first enrolled here and every time Inumaki was helping him train you would sit on the sidelines giving off murder vibes. You’re lucky he just thought you were cool and powerful.”

 

Toge had been sipping from a cup of tea but at Maki’s words he immediately spits it everywhere, while Yuuta freezes in abject shock, save for his jaw dropping to the ground.

 

“Gah!” Panda cries, “Hot! Hot!”

 

“Mustard leaf,” Toge chokes out apologetically and offers a stack of napkins, which Panda immediately grabs to wipe the mess off his fur.

 

“Also, Maki,” Panda says, still trying to sop up the tea, “that was stone cold. I actually feel bad for Yuuta right now.”

 

“He deserved it,” Maki scoffs. “Dude has no self-awareness --”

 

“Still, you could’ve said it in a nicer way --”

 

While Maki and Panda bicker away, Toge turns to Yuuta, whose cheeks bear a brilliant flush that grows increasingly saturated by the second. “Tuna mayo?”

 

“Um,” Yuuta stammers. He opens and closes his mouth several times without saying anything, sufficiently flustered by the way Maki had just obliterated his entire personality in thirty seconds. His discomfort must visibly show on his face, judging by the wicked grin she wears when they make eye contact.

 

Toge huffs a little, sounding both exasperated and fond. He gets up and dusts off his pants, turns to face Maki. “Salmon roe, tuna, tuna.” He mimes the motion of swinging a hammer, then points at her with the Mechamaru hand. “Caviar.”

 

She sends an extremely impressive death glare his way. “Watch it, you overrated little twink, I could snap you like a popsicle stick.”

 

“Please don’t do that,” Yuuta says weakly.

 

Toge remains unbothered, eyes crinkling in that way where it’s obvious he’s smirking under the collar. “Cod roe.”

 

Maki shoots up at light speed and hurls a rice ball at the spot where Toge had been standing a millisecond ago, but Toge is faster, having anticipated this exact reaction. He’s already sprinting away with Yuuta in hand, dragged along into his pace not by his own choice -- but Yuuta doesn’t mind, he would follow Toge anywhere.

 

“YEAH THAT’S RIGHT, RUN AWAY!” Maki screams after them. “COWARDS!”

 

Toge briefly turns around to stick his tongue out, fang marks stark against the glistening pink. He unzips his collar, cups his hands around his mouth and Yuuta feels the wave of cursed energy even before he speaks.

 

Hiccup.

 

Maki’s mouth falls open in disbelief and out comes a hiccup. Toge snickers and zips his collar back up. Yuuta quietly prays that his boyfriend doesn’t get murdered tonight.

 

You mother fuck -- hic -- GET BACK HERE, ASSHO -- hic --”

 

Maki unsheathes a sword out of fuck knows where, and brandishes it threateningly as she tries to run towards the now madly giggling cursed speech user. The effect is somewhat diminished by her uncontrollable hiccups and the fact that Panda is holding her back from chasing after them.

 

Toge takes Yuuta’s hand again and keeps running, still laughing, and Yuuta can’t help but join in, and eventually Maki’s hiccup-dotted screeching fades out in the distance. They end up on the outskirts of campus, at the edge of Tengen’s barrier, mother nature their only witness.

 

Toge unzips his collar again, and tugs Yuuta’s own collar down for a kiss, which he eagerly reciprocates. Between the two of them, Yuuta is definitely more predisposed to public displays of affection -- Toge is more reserved in the presence of others, but by no means is he any less tactile. Yuuta loves kissing Toge, would rank it among the top three in his list of favorite activities, alongside hugging Toge and sleeping with Toge -- he just likes doing anything involving Toge, if he’s being honest. He thinks he could kiss him forever, and if oxygen wasn’t a human necessity, he probably would.

 

After a few minutes, Toge breaks away for air, and Yuuta takes a moment to admire the pink staining his cheeks, cursed seal marks standing out even more prominently against the blush. He knows he must look utterly besotted right now, and wonders if maybe he should feel embarrassed -- though he could never be ashamed of how much he loves Toge. Love that’s all-encompassing, single-minded, devoted to the point of obsession.

 

It’s always been like this, for Yuuta -- he loves with every fiber of his being, attaches and fixates on the object of his affections like a romantic parasite -- with Rika, his love had been so powerful so as to create one of the strongest curses in jujutsu history, and that was when he was eleven.

 

Six years later, there’s a hurricane in his heart, and Toge is trapped in the eye of the storm. Yuuta thinks he never wants the tempest to end, wants to keep Toge unattainable, untouchable, have him all to himself.

 

Ah.

 

Yuuta swallows. This must be what Maki was talking about when she called him the “poster boy for possessive boyfriend”.

 

“Does it bother you?” Yuuta asks. Now that it’s on his mind again, he needs to know.

 

“Hmm?” Toge mumbles into his collarbone. Done with kissing, he has now shoved his face into Yuuta’s neck, wrapped his arms around Yuuta’s broad back.

 

“What Maki said,” he elaborates. “That I’m…possessive.”

 

Toge leans back to look up at him, and it feels like those violet eyes are boring right into his soul.

 

“Bonito flakes,” he decides. Not really.

 

“Are you sure?” Yuuta presses, still worried. “I don’t want to -- overwhelm you, or anything,” he finishes feebly.

 

Toge waits a while longer before responding and Yuuta can feel his heartbeat erratically bumping along in anticipation.

 

“Tuna mayo,” he says, finally, and then flushes again. “Cod roe.”

 

He likes it, Yuuta realizes with some astonishment. He likes it when I’m -- “Do you -- do you really?”

 

Toge dives back into his collarbone and the red on his ears is enough of an affirmation even without the ensuing “salmon” mumbled against his skin.

 

Yuuta feels a smile stretch his cheeks so wide it almost hurts, feels the typhoon in his chest swirl even faster. “I love you,” he murmurs against the soft silver locks, breathing in the scent that is so uniquely Inumaki Toge. “I love you so, so much.”

 

He can feel Toge rolling his eyes, a slight pressure against his neck.

 

“Salmon,” he mumbles fondly. I love you too.

 

Yuuta is floating, soaring with indescribable happiness. He wraps his arms around the shorter teen tight enough to crack ribs if Toge was more fragile; it’s a good thing his boyfriend’s one of the strongest people he knows.

 

“Kelp,” Toge blurts suddenly after a moment of silent embrace.

 

Yeah, Yuuta should probably apologize to Itadori.

 

***

 

“Um,” Yuuji squeaks.

 

When he heard knocking on his door at 10 in the morning, he was expecting to see Fushiguro badgering him about training. Or maybe Kugisaki, demanding he return her volumes of Yu Yu Hakusho that he’d been secretly “borrowing” for the past month. Or even Gojo, springing an impromptu mission (read: grocery trip) on him at the last minute as a thinly veiled excuse for the man to avoid doing his own chores.

 

He was not expecting Okkotsu Yuuta shifting awkwardly at the entrance of his room, sheepishly (since when does Okkotsu do sheepish?) rubbing the back of his neck and eyes darting anywhere and everywhere but him.

 

To be fair, Yuuji is trying to avoid direct eye contact, too. He doesn’t want to piss himself out of fear before he’s even had breakfast.

 

“Can I,” Yuuji winces at the way his voice cracks, “help you?” He is painfully aware that he is still in his juvenile race car patterned pajamas while Okkotsu is dressed neatly in his uniform.

 

“Ah,” Okkotsu mutters, eyes fixed on what Yuuji suspects is a ketchup stain on his sleeve from a disastrous attempt at breakfast in bed a few days ago. He surreptitiously hides that hand behind his back. “No -- I’m fine. Actually, I came here to apologize.”

 

Yuuji blinks. What.

 

Okkotsu continues talking, like he’s reading off a card. “I’m deeply sorry for stabbing you back in October. I was blinded by my emotions and wasn’t thinking clearly. And To -- Inumaki wants you to know that you don’t have to worry about avoiding him because of, uh, me.” His voice gets quieter and quieter near the end, and Yuuji is amazed to see the faintest tinge of a blush on his sharp cheekbones.

 

Yuuji must be silent for too long, because Okkotsu coughs and says, “Uh, I don’t expect you to forgive me, obviously. I just wanted to let you know.” His gaze drops from Yuuji’s unkempt pajamas to where his own shoe fidgets anxiously against the ground.

 

“What? No, it’s cool, man,” Yuuji blabbers nervously, still vaguely fearful of getting on Okkotsu’s bad side even after the guy apologized to him. “People stab each other all the time. No biggie.”

 

Okkotsu gives him a weird look. It takes all of Yuuji’s self control to not smack himself in the face.

 

“I don’t think that’s true,” Okkotsu says haltingly, “but thank you, anyways. You’re very kind, Itadori.”

 

“Ahahah,” he laughs, jittery and restless. “It’s all good.”

 

Another stretch of silence. Then --

 

“Well -- I’ll be going, then. Thank you for your time.” Okkotsu gives him an awkward half bow and turns to leave.

 

“T-Take care! And, um, thanks!” Yuuji calls after him. Okkotsu gives him a little half-grin and Yuuji smiles nervously in return before he closes his door and immediately sinks to the ground.

 

Well, that happened.

 

It’s not April Fools, right? Yuuji shuffles over to his bedside table and unlocks his phone. No, it’s still March, allegedly. He sighs and sets his phone back down, then flops spread-eagle on his bed and stares at the ceiling, too many thoughts swirling in his brain for him to keep up with.

 

He must end up falling asleep again at some point, because an abrupt knocking on his door has him letting loose a high pitched yelp and crashing to the floor in an undignified heap as he’s jolted awake.

 

Yuuji’s nerves rattle like maracas as he tentatively approaches the door again. Could it be that Okkotsu changed his mind and came back to tell Yuuji that actually, no, you suck and I’m gonna stab you plenty more in the future, so watch out? Or maybe he found out about when Inumaki bought Yuuji a tuna mayo rice ball last year and is here to enact his petty revenge.

 

He’s sweating bullets by the time he gets to the door. Yuuji creaks the door open an infinitesimal amount, and sees black hair in the tiny opening.

 

Fuck, I’m too young to die again, Yuuji pleads frantically.

 

“Itadori, the hell are you doing?”

 

A wave of relief crashes over him when he hears Fushiguro’s voice. Yuuji opens the door fully this time -- he feels very silly, all of a sudden; of course Okkotsu isn’t the only one with black hair at Jujutsu High.

 

“Fushiguro,” he says, chipper again, “what’s up?”

 

Fushiguro squints. “Did you hit your face? There’s a bruise on your forehead.”

 

“Huh? What? No.” The bruise is probably from when he fell off his bed, but nobody needs to know that. “I’m fine. Finer than fine, actually. I’m like a parking ticket, that’s how fine I am.”

 

His classmate just stares at him. Yuuji, again, represses the urge to smack himself in the face.

 

“So, uh, what did you want?” Yuuji tries.

 

Fushiguro blinks once, twice before answering. “It’s eleven already, we should start training. We can’t just depend on Okkotsu to win Goodwill for us.”

 

Yuuji internally applauds himself for keeping calm at the mention of Okkotsu.

 

“Gah, fine. I need to eat breakfast first though.”

 

Fushiguro rolls his eyes and thrusts two rice balls at him.

 

Yuuji’s eyes all but well up with tears as he accepts the offering. “Fushiguro! I didn’t know you cared!”

 

“What kinda shitty expression is that?!” Fushiguro snaps, but he’s blushing. “Inumaki gave me some earlier and I had extra.”

 

“Inumaki is so nice,” Yuuji sighs as he bites into one of the rice balls. This one’s got salmon inside.

 

Fushiguro hums in agreement, then scrunches his nose at Yuuji’s race car pajamas. “Go get changed. I’ll meet you on the field.”

 

“Sir, yes sir,” Yuuji barks, salute and all. Fushiguro sighs heavily as he stalks off.

 

Unfortunately, Yuuji finds that he has no clean workout clothes left -- he’ll have to do laundry soon. Fortunately, Yuuji doesn’t care about wearing his sweaty old clothes. Unfortunately for Fushiguro, he’ll just have to deal with the smell.

 

On the field, he passes by Okkotsu and Inumaki helping each other with warm-up stretches. Okkotsu is on the grass, legs outstretched and arms reaching for his feet, as Inumaki sits on the other’s back to deepen the stretch. Inumaki winks at him and flashes a peace sign as he jogs past, and Yuuji feels his cheeks warm despite himself. Even with Okkotsu’s earlier apology and reassurance, he still finds himself feeling grateful that the sorcerer is facing the other direction.

 

He catches up to Fushiguro as the sorcerer’s swinging around a polearm. “Hey,” Yuuji calls out to catch his attention.

 

Fushiguro pauses in his swinging. “Hey.”

 

“Is Kugisaki joining us?” She usually does, but Yuuji can’t see her anywhere today.

 

Fushiguro drops the polearm to the ground and rolls his shoulders. “Nah. She has a date with Maki.”

 

Yuuji has a brief coughing fit, and Fushiguro violently slaps his back; he’s not sure if that helps or makes it worse. 

 

“I’m sorry, she has a what now?” Yuuji asks once he’s recovered his breath.

 

“A date.” Fushiguro narrows his eyes. “You do know what a date is, don’t you?”

 

“Yes I know what a date is!” Yuuji protests indignantly. “I’ve been on dates before! I’ve been on so many dates.” He hasn’t, he’s lying through his teeth, but he doesn’t want to look like some loser virgin in front of Fushiguro.

 

“Uh, okay,” the other teen replies, nonplussed. “Well, they’re at a museum right now or something, so Kugisaki won’t be joining us today.”

 

Yuuji’s mind is still reeling with the news of Kugisaki’s romantic entanglements as he begins his stretches.

 

“When did that even start?” he wonders.

 

Fushiguro pauses in chugging his water bottle. “Kugisaki and Maki?”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“Hmm… Well, they both liked each other for months, it was just a matter of time.” Fushiguro frowns pensively. “First date was maybe two weeks ago? I can’t remember.”

 

“What!” Yuuji yells. “Why didn’t she tell me! I could’ve been an awesome wingman.” He crosses his arms, lips downturned in a pout.

 

Fushiguro looks supremely unimpressed. “Full offense, but you are remarkably dense when it comes to these things.” 

 

Well, that’s just rude. “Hey, I figured out about Inumaki and Okkotsu!”

 

“No, you didn’t, we had to tell you and then you saw them sucking face in public because Okkotsu has no sense of shame,” Fushiguro snaps, tone darkening with every consecutive word. Vaguely, Yuuji wonders if he still considers Okkotsu the only upperclassman he can openly respect.

 

“I would’ve figured it out eventually!”

 

Fushiguro snorts. “You wouldn’t know flirting if it punched you in the face.”

 

“Yes, I would,” Yuuji insists.

 

“Fine,” Fushiguro snaps, and here his ears turn a curious shade of red. “I like you.”

 

Yuuji is a bit confused at the sudden change in topic, but smiles all the same. “I like you too! You’re one of my best friends.”

 

“Jesus fucking christ,” Fushiguro yells, throwing his hands in the air. He grabs his water bottle and polearm and starts stomping away.

 

“Wha -- hey, wait, where are you going -- Fushiguro!” Yuuji shouts, hurriedly rushing to follow. “I thought we were training!”

 

***

 

“Cod roe,” Toge muses, as the two of them watch the first years argue back and forth, then as Itadori runs after an irritated Fushiguro off the field. The pairs aren’t exactly close by but Fushiguro and Itadori certainly weren’t keeping quiet. I don’t know why you were ever worried about Itadori.

 

Yuuta groans. “He has no sense of personal space. When I was abroad, all the photos you sent me, he was always all over you.”

 

Toge just laughs. “Salmon, mustard leaf.” He does that to everyone.

 

It’s true. Itadori drapes himself over Toge as much as he does with Panda, with Fushiguro, Kugisaki, Gojo, even Maki on the rare occasion that she allows it. But --

 

“I don’t care about everyone,” Yuuta mumbles, ducking his head.

 

There’s a soft thump of Toge sitting down on the grass in front of him. He pulls down his collar and presses a soft kiss to Yuuta’s cheek. “Salmon roe.” You have nothing to worry about.

 

“I know, I know,” Yuuta sighs, grabbing Toge’s hands in his own. “Sorry.”

 

“Tuna mayo,” Toge adds, smirking. I think it’s cute when you’re jealous.

 

Yuuta huffs. “Yeah, yeah, laugh it up,” he grumbles, but he’s smiling too. Toge does start laughing at that, and after the chuckles subside, he lies down so that his head rests in Yuuta’s lap. Yuuta automatically starts carding his fingers through the platinum tresses, and Toge closes his eyes and hums in contentment.

 

“Do you think they’ll ever figure it out?”

 

“Salmon.”

 

“You sure sound confident.”

 

Toge doesn’t respond, just holds up two fingers.

 

“No way it’ll be two weeks, Fushiguro confessed right there and he still didn’t get it. Two months, maybe.”

 

“Bonito flakes.” No, two hours.

 

Yuuta raises an eyebrow. “You’re really confident.”

 

“Bonito flakes,” Toge repeats. “Kelp.” Not confident, I’m right.

 

“You’re such a cheeky bastard,” Yuuta laughs. “But that’s why I love you.”

 

Toge exaggeratedly bats his eyelashes. “Tuna, tuna.”

 

“You only like me for my body?” Yuuta gasps in mock offense, but the effect is ruined by the grin on his face. “And here I thought it was my charming personality. I’m hurt.”

 

Toge laughs again, and pulls him down for a kiss.






 

 

Two hours later, Fushiguro and Itadori timidly shuffle into the kitchen with matching neck bruises.

 

"No way," Yuuta groans. Down to the minute.

 

“Mustard leaf,” Toge smirks from where he’s lying on the couch, feet propped against Yuuta’s thighs. See, what did I tell you?