His surroundings are quiet, wherever Shuuya is. It's been a while since he’s been surrounded by silence like this.
He walks forward, hands in his pockets, enjoying it. He can hear every step he takes resonate throughout the seemingly endless hall of white. Simple, quiet, beautiful. Peaceful, even. How long had it been since Shuuya had been at peace with himself? Not even just himself- the Mekakushi dan was always so bright and loud that Shuuya had briefly forgotten what darkness looked like.
...Darkness? That wasn’t right. Why couldn’t he see in front of him?
And the peacefulness that he had felt originally- where did it go? Why was it leaving him?
There are muffled sounds. Shuuya takes a step forward, and the sounds get louder.
“Hello?” he calls. “Can anyone hear me?”
No one can hear you , the sounds become clear. No one cares.
Shuuya takes another step forward, and the voices increase still.
No one can see you. No one cares.
“Stop it…” he begins to walk, quickly, his steps covered by the voices that tortured him.
No one can help you. No one cares.
“Stop it!” he breaks out into a run, covering his ears only for the voices to push through his fingers.
No one can save you. No one cares.
“Leave me alone!” he stumbles and trips, collapsing onto the floor and curling up into a ball, crying, begging, and everything is dark and he is alone but the laughter chases him still, surrounding him, mocking him, telling him that he’s worthless and a waste of space and it’s all-
He startles awake.
There’s too much to take in- something wet is on his cheeks and he can see a figure in his blurred vision, his breathing is harsh and his chest feels like it’s being pressed in a vice-
“Shuuya, look at me. Breathe.”
Shuuya blinks, then breathes, before his eyes adjust to the dimly-lit room and his boyfriend’s concerned face.
Shintaro brings Shuuya up to sit with him, running a hand up and down the younger’s back as he trembles. Shuuya hugs his arms to his chest, blankly staring down at the mattress.
“Do you want water?” Shintaro asks. “Anything?”
Shuuya shakes his head, his hand moving to grip Shintaro’s arm. Don’t leave, Shuuya wants to say, but Shintaro seems to understand and covers Shuuya’s hand with his.
It wasn’t dark. He wasn’t alone. No one was laughing at him.
He was safe. He wasn’t at peace, but he was safe.
Shuuya continues his breathing, trying to expel the demons that had made their home in his head. He focuses on the hand covering his own, the warmth against his back, and finally feels himself come out of his nightmare.
He turns and presses himself against Shintaro’s chest. “I’m sorry,” he mumbles. Shintaro wraps his arms around Shuuya, gently rocking them.
“It’s fine. I understand.”
Shuuya almost gives a sarcastic answer, but it occurs to him that he was likely talking in his sleep, and Shintaro is smart enough to figure out what he was dreaming about. He was at least worried enough to wake him, and Shuuya couldn’t have been more grateful.
“What time is it?”
Shintaro shrugs, moving his hand so he could comb through Shuuya’s hair. “Early. It doesn’t matter.”
Leave it to Shintaro to give the most comforting vague answers.
With a sigh, Shintaro lays down, gently pulling Shuuya with him. Shuuya readjusts so his ear is pressed against Shintaro’s heartbeat- he feels a little guilty about how fast it’s going since Shuuya’s nightmare was most likely the cause.
It’s silent for a while, and Shuuya assumes that Shintaro has fallen asleep until he speaks: “Hey, Shuuya?”
“Yeah?” Shuuya calls back.
“I love you.”
Shuuya feels his eyes water for the second time that night and buries his face into his boyfriend’s shirt.
“...Love you too.”
Shuuya falls asleep, dreaming of a hero who shines a new path for him.