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“Get up,” says Kugisaki one sweet, sunny morning as she slams Yuuji’s door open and marches in. Her smile stretches from ear to ear, gleeful. “You’re going to be my pack mule today.”

They don’t have any missions at the moment, so they’ve been given time allocated for rest and training. It’s been a blast so far: Yuuji’s been able to put a dent in his massive pile of unread manga—he has, like, three volumes to catch up on!—and finally put his clothes away (since he’d been a little too busy wrestling nightmarish, supernatural entities to take care of his laundry, or recovering from the wrestling of said nightmarish, supernatural entities) and he’d been planning to practice his martial arts out on the training grounds, maybe chat with his teammates and the second years, and possibly even be able to bake something, at the end of the day! 

Kugisaki’s face, however, tells him that he will be doing precisely none of what he has planned.

“We’re going to Harajuku,” she declares, “where I will be using my measly little stipend to bring myself joy in this disgusting world. You will be carrying my bags.” She says this very confidently, and this might be because she is holding Yuuji’s hoodie hostage, smiling unpleasantly at his pleading face, or because she remembers that during their last mission, she rescued him from a slobbering third-grade curse that he’d somehow missed, and is now following up on her debt.

“You owe me,” says Kugisaki. “I’m following up on my debt.” 

“Okay, okay!” Yuuji yelps, at last sliding off his bed. Kugisaki’s eyes gleam, and he shivers. She gets really scary when she wants to go shopping. Actually, she gets really scary all the time. Yuuji has never known anyone with so much rage contained within them. Though Fushiguro can come pretty close. 

Kugisaki nods in approval as Yuuji slides his shirt off. “You’re making good time. Anyway, we leave at 9:15. Remember to brush your hair. I’m not going anywhere with you if you look like a hobo!” 

 


 

The situation is this: Nobara takes Itadori shopping. They make it a regular thing. 

He is a very convenient mall pal because he will enthusiastically carry lots of things if Nobara is nice to him, or phrases her demands like, “don’t you want to help people?” or “come on, let me have something to be happy about, alright?” and sometimes, when Itadori is all smiling and flushed with his own simple pleasures, they even get discounts. Especially at ma-and-pa shops, because the old people who run those shops think Itadori’s cute. It’s very convenient. 

What is totally not convenient is the collective aneurysm that all of the surrounding men in Jujutsu Tech seem to have. 

“It looks like you spent a lot of money while you were out together,” says Fushiguro dourly. “Was it for a good cause?”

He is the first to bring it up, because of course he is. When it comes to Itadori, Fushiguro sure likes to be first: first to meet him, first to watch him die, first to heckle him about spending money as an extremely terrible disguise for his jealousy about Itadori spending time with people other than him, even though he’s kind of emotionally constipated and objectively terrible at actually saying that. 

Gotta cut him some slack though; everyone in the Jujutsu world is messed up with emotions—fucking look at Gojo-sensei. Shoko Ieri. Principal Yaga. Poor Ijichi-san is basically a ball of anxiety that has responsibilies. Fushiguro’s just another case study in being messed up, and Nobara isn’t delusional enough to to deny that she’s not the best with that stuff either, is sometimes too callous, too cold.

Also, Itadori’s incredibly stupid. Nobara cannot fathom why anyone would ever try to pursue him in any kind of way except the kind that involves murder.

“The amount of money we get every month is absolutely pathetic,” says Nobara in response. “How much are we even spending, really, if we aren’t even given that much?” Fushiguro frowns at her, and then at the dozens upon dozens of bags hanging on Itadori’s arms. Or maybe he’s actually looking at the arms instead. Who fucking knows.

“Don’t be a wet blanket, Fushiguro!” Itadori chirps, bounding over to him like the literal, actual puppy he is, restless nature and total adoration of everyone included. “Look, we got you something! It’s a phone charm, haha, like your shikigami!”

With a lot of disgust, Nobara watches the other boy’s stiff posture ease, his eyes soften and his mouth relaxes from its stern (read: sulky) shape into an almost-smile. He tilts his head to look at the fluffy black dog that Itadori bought for him, shoulders sinking down and everything, leaning forward slightly into Itadori’s space.

Fushiguro reaches out and holds the charm carefully in his hands. What a simp. Fushiguro would probably love being a wet blanket, as long as he was draped over Itadori’s dumb body, all muscle, no brain, full skin-to-skin contact. 

“....Normally, I’d be pissed,” says Fushiguro, ignoring Nobara saying that he is pissed 24/7 and tucking the charm away in his pocket. “But I’ll let it slide this time. Thanks.” 

It’s really magical, in a gross, pining teenage boy kind of way, how Fushiguro is suddenly all pleased after getting confirmation that Itadori was thinking about him, and Nobara desperately does want to gag. Or vomit. Whatever will stop her from suffocating from this overly-cute scene. ‘I’ll let it slide this time.’ Huh? What’s he doing, trying to be cool? The only cool one here is Nobara. 

Itadori isn’t completely stupid, by the way, because he notices that Fushiguro is acting slightly different than he usually is. “Why don’t you join us next time?” he offers. “That way, you can pick out something for yourself.”

Hearing this, Fushiguro looks slightly bashful, as if he’s been caught red-handed in his subtle-only-to-Itadori and obvious-to-everyone-else potential development of yandere tendencies. His brows furrow, and he glances over to Nobara, like some plaintive, limp-wristed noodle. She casts him a derisive look.

“...Would I be interrupting anything?” 

While Itadori laughs and tosses his head back and casually dismisses the statement, it takes a moment for Nobara to realise what Fushiguro means. She twitches. 

No. That’s definitely wrong. It’s not like that at all.

“No.” she grits out. “You wouldn’t be interrupting anything.” 

She locks eyes with Fushiguro, who winces at her furious and affronted stare. Good. Let him fear. Damn fucking city boy, jumping to conclusions, she spends one afternoon with Itadori and he goes all, ‘oh no, my crush is dating someone else, time for me to be heartbroken and sullen as we re-enact a corny romantic-drama love triangle, so maybe I can feel even a semblance of the sensual tension I wish I could impose on the moron my heart goes doki-doki for’ and starts pining even harder. Yuck.

“Anyway, see you,” she says pleasantly, and way more pissed off than Fushiguro could ever be, “we have bags to unpack.” 

In hindsight, Fushiguro is the last of her concerns.





The second pest is Gojo-sensei, who has left them to their own devices for at least a few trips. This is obviously because he has been busy with missions—courtesy of that wave of power he likes to mention every now and then—and not because he is a considerate and mature adult, or even an adult, actually, since his brain clearly stopped developing at five. 

Nobara is certain that the only reasons he even uses it is to think about what sweets he wants to buy, how to annoy all the other sorcerors on the grounds of Jujutsu Tech, and to accost Itadori. She’d feel sorry for him, if only he weren’t so infinitely tolerant and naive. Stop perpetrating the country bumpkin stereotype, moron!

“Yuuuujiiii-kuuunnn,” their teacher whines. “Yuujii, Yuuujiiiiiiii, why won’t you go shopping with meee?” 

“Sorry, Sensei,” Itadori says blithely, “but the only regular timeslots I have for free time I’m already spending with Kugisaki. Or Fushiguro. He’s wanting to get better at hand-to-hand, so we’re sparring.” 

Nobara would like to say that what this truly means is that Fushiguro has finally decided that maybe lurking about in the shadows is not the best way to get Itadori’s attention, and that maybe, just maybe, punching him in the face will garner better results. This, Nobara is sure, is probably the most likely way anyone could ever get Itadori to like them. Though there may be exceptions—Itadori had told his classmates that he liked Yuko for her elegance and nice hand-writing, even though his type was apparently tall girls with big butts (that reminds her that she still has to kill him for saying that) so in the end, it’s kind of a free-for-all with Itadori’s affections. 

It’s looking to be a pretty tense free-for-all. At the thought of his own student trying to monopolise his other student’s attention, Gojo-sensei pouts, his eyes curving into sad little lines behind his blindfold, loping up to them (read: Itadori) on long legs. Nobara scrunches her nose. Damn creepy old man for coming near her. She discretely applies disinfectant where their teacher had brushed her elbow.

“Megumi? He’s very strong already. What have you been helping him with?” 

“We’re working on dodges and stuff right now. I only realised a while ago, but Fushiguro gets tackled a lot, doesn’t he?” says Itadori, totally unfazed by Gojo leaning further and further into his space, backing him into the wall. And get this: he sets down the bags he’s carrying, and that actually makes it even easier for Gojo to crowd him against the hard surface. “Even still, he’s really good, and to be honest, I don’t get why he says he’s not, but he says his reflexes could be faster. I guess it checks out—I’ve probably crashed into him at least a dozen times by now.” 

“Ah,” says Gojo, who is now smiling, though the slanted line of his mouth is rather tight. “I see, I see!” 

“Mm-hm! Man, Fushiguro’s not a bad landing mat. I feel super bad for the bruises though.” He shouldn’t. If Nobara is right (and of course she is) then Fushiguro’s the kind of messed up guy to think of bruises from Itadori as memoirs of his touch. 

Either way, it does not check out, not really. Sure, he isn’t as insanely skilled as Itadori in terms of physical prowess (seriously, who even is, and how did that even come by him naturally?) but Fushiguro can easily hold his own in a fight, he was a delinquent in his junior high for god’s sake. And if he were looking for a proper teacher, he’d go to Maki-senpai first, since he’s already working with her to better his proficiency with cursed weapons. Nobara wants to sigh.

She bemoans the situation she’s found herself in, and curses Fushiguro’s totally unsubtle method of communicating his undying love by deliberately letting Itadori tackle and fall on top of him, which is actually kind of cute, but actually not, because it’s gross and way too corny, plus Nobara’s read enough shoujo manga to know that Itadori is the oblivious, manic-pixie-dream-girl kind of character who would never understand the hidden meaning of Fushiguro’s touch-starved plotting.

As she does this, Gojo’s eyes darken with something that looks a lot like jealousy, and feels a lot like jealousy as it hums in the air. Why are boys like this? Why are her boys like this? Kind of hot to watch though, as Itadori beams up with pink cheeks at the white-haired man looming over him. She just wishes they could have done it after she’d put her purchases away.

Then suddenly, Gojo spins round and faces her. Nobara almost blanches, but she’s able to hold it back enough to scowl back at his grinning mouth and paint-brush puff hair..

“What?” 

“You’re done for today, aren’t you?” Their ‘teacher’ croons. Nobara nods slowly with narrowed eyes, and he lights up obnoxiously. “Great! Okay Yuuji-kun! Let’s go!” 

“Wait, wha—” Nobara starts, but Gojo-sensei’s already tucked Itadori up under his arm and is sprinting away, leaving Nobara and all her bags—the ones that Itadori was supposed to carry for her!—in the dust. Said packmule is hanging from their teacher’s side like a soft toy, eyes as large as dinner plates, and he’s laughing with some disgusting mix of surprise and delight as the two of them skitter across the floor like the fools they are. 

“Let’s go out to eat, Yuuji-kun!” a voice shouts happily in the distance. Itadori whoops his joyous agreement. Nobara scowls. Damn old man. Where’s her free meal? 

 


 

“So like, what’s the deal?” Nobara asks, leaning over the lacey tablecloth at the charming little cafe they’ve stopped at. They’re having a short coffee break before Nobara takes a stroll (despite what Fushiguro says, she does not ‘decimate’ the shopping districts) through the clothing stores and Itadori, who is a child, has decided to order hot chocolate. 

“Huh?”

“With that guy Todo?” she clarifies, as Itadori bites down on a pastel pink marshmallow. “You were pretty buddy-buddy with him after the Goodwill Event. Did you start a bromance?” 

“Uh, maybe?”

“Maybe?” says Nobara incredulously. “He was calling you brother and everything. Before the Goodwill Event he bashed Fushiguro up pretty badly, and then he did a whole one-eighty and went around calling us “Brother’s Friends”. There’s something going on there, you can’t deny that.”

“I guess?” Itadori hums. “He started out trying to kill me, I think, and then suddenly he was acting like we were besties. And now we’re brothers? But also, he said something about a honeymoon? I don’t know, Kugisaki, I wasn’t myself.”

“Yeah, cause you were—”

“—I wasn’t drunk! Come on, are we even allowed alcohol in the grounds? And I wouldn’t do anything that would make me stop thinking clearly in that situation...”

“I mean, Gojo-sensei’s not one for rules,” she contemplates. “You could’ve gotten some from him? Some sake, or shochu!”

“Honestly,” Itadori shakes his head, but he’s smiling. “I think you’re the one who wants to get drunk.” 

Nobara laughs. “We could die at any moment. Can’t hurt to try, you know? Anyway, you guys didn’t actually go to junior high together, right? You and Todo?” she presses again. 

“What? No! I seriously don’t know where that came from.”

“Ah, okay,” says Nobara, and then she looks down at her phone. Tap. Tap. “He sure acts like you guys are really close.” 

~

10:34 AM

KYOTO GORILLA 

Hello Kugisaki! 

Brother’s friend.

How have you been?

 

10:38 AM

KYOTO GORILLA

How has your training been? 

 

10:42 AM

KYOTO GORILLA 

I hear that you have been spending lots of time with Brother out in the shopping districts. 

Make sure not to let your guard down.

 

10:43 AM

KYOTO GORILLA 

If you engage with a curse while you are out, please remind Brother to keep a clear head and calm demeanour—a level mind is critical to maintaining and controlling the flow of curse energy.

 

10:44 AM

KYOTO GORILLA 

Brother’s martial arts abilities are impressive on their own. He has more raw strength in his tiny body than even me. If you encounter a curse below first-grade, you may even be able to exorcise it without a Jujutsu technique.

 

10:46 AM

KYOTO GORILLA 

Tell Brother that I am thinking of him, and that I look forward to our next meeting. I hope he is eating well, and continuously growing stronger. I believe that he, Itadori Yuuji, has great potential, and that when we gravitate to each other once more, as is our destiny, he will have grown more into the great and worthy man I know he will become!

 

10:48 AM

KYOTO GORILLA 

Kugisaki, would you kindly tell Brother to pick up his phone? I would like to invite him to Takada-chan’s next hand-shake event!


~

“So your phone’s still broken, right?” Nobara says absently, scrolling through the 100+ messages she has received from Aoi Todo in the past 24 hours. 

Itadori throws back the last of his hot chocolate—and since she didn’t see him eat it, Nobara’s pretty sure he just swallowed his last marshmallow whole—and lets out a sigh of satisfaction. 

“Yeah. After Fushiguro shoved me into the pond, there was no hope of recovering it—” 

He rubs the back of his neck, grinning. God, if it was Nobara that had been shoved into that stinky pond, that guy would be dead. Fortunately, the only person Fushiguro wants to see flushed and damp is Itadori, so he gets to suffer all the fucking weird courting behaviours, and everyone else gets to enjoy the sight of a flushed and damp Itadori knowing fully that there will be no consequences. 

“—good thing I backed up all my photos last week!”

“The pictures of your grandfather, right?”

“Hm? Of course. But actually, I have a couple pictures of us too. And even that one of Fushiguro frowning that he tried to get me to delete, haha!”

“Great,” says Nobara. “Let’s hope you get a replacement phone soon. I’m sick of being the only one that people can call when we go out.”

~

10:49 AM

YOU

if you wanna get into his pants, maybe you should stop calling him brother

read


~


 

Nanami-sensei approaches her in the training grounds one afternoon. Itadori’s been on a mission with him, so he knows the guy, but Nobara hasn’t really gotten to know him at all. She’s heard about his reputation of being cool-headed, so she assumes he’s there to supervise the students. Maybe he’ll lecture them. It’d be more useful than watching Gojo-sensei visibly delight in Itadori’s touchy-feely-ness.

“Sensei,” she greets, standing to the side as Maki-senpai flies through a series of movements that make the spear she’s practicing with look like a weightless blur in her hands. 

“Kugisaki,” he nods back politely. He fiddles quietly with his glasses, which are sliding down the bridge of his nose. Huh, Nobara thinks. Look at that, even Nanami-sensei sweats sometimes. Kind of a weird time, since it’s not a very hot day, but it’s always good to get a sign that even the top Sorcerors are human. And a nice, innocuous sign of humanity too. Not the freaky kind that Gojo-sensei presents sometimes. 

“Kugisaki,” he says again, staring firmly out onto the training field, and now it’s starting to get weird, because he wants to say something, but he’s stalling, not obviously, but obvious to Nobara, because she’s devastatingly pretty and also very smart. Graciously, Nobara gives him the benefit of the doubt and not a deadpan look. Perhaps he’s stunned at her glorious presence, and is just unable to articulate it. City people don’t have manners, after all. 

"…You spend a lot of time with Itadori-kun, don't you, Kugisaki?" 

Nobara tracks his gaze out into the distance and finds that it is fixed on Itadori, who has proudly sprung up from the series of backflips he has just done in one go.

Ah. Nobara wants to scream. She really wants to scream. She takes it back, Nanami-sensei is super crazy, this is horrible, this is the sixth time that she has been asked. 'Itadori this' and 'Itadori that' and 'Tuna Salmon' meaning 'Itadori asked if I wanted to make onigiri with him, Kugisaki, do you happen to know where he is right now?' and even 'since the two of you spend so much time together, Kugisaki, can I ask if the two of you are dating?' 

Even Maki-senpai asked. Maki-senpai. Nobara wants to kills something. Maybe Itadori.

No. No no no no no, they are not dating. Absolutely not. Nobara is not dating anyone. It sucks that she isn’t, but at least Itadori isn’t dating anyone either. 

But wait. That’s kind of untrue, isn’t it? Itadori has a whole entire harem and Nobara wants to scream very very loud, she wants to toss Itadori off a cliff so all these bastards that keep asking her about Itadori's relationship status can go after him themselves, and then she will scream some more because Itadori's fucking harem will actually do it. 

There’ll be a choked, dramatic, “Itadori.” And then,“BROTHEERRR!!!!” echoing all the way down to the bottom of the great big cliff. Gojo-sensei appearing out of thin air to sweep Itadori into his arms and out of the maws of encroaching death. 

"You can say that if you want," Nobara murmurs, extremely politely. There is movement behind the glasses as Nanami-sensei’s eyes dart to her hands, which are most certainly not squeezing the handle of her hammer into a mass of splinters, and her lovely, polished nails that are definitely not digging into the flesh of her palm. “But I’d call it a friendly thing. Itadori carries my luggage for me. He’s like a puppy, you see. Pretty well-behaved as long as you praise him every now and then and instruct him firmly.”

“A fitting comparison,” says Nanami-sensei. Part of Nobara is impressed at the power of Itadori’s animal magnetism (by this she means how endearing his puppyish demeanour is, but seeing how he is with Fushiguro’s shikigami, the usual definition of animal magnetism could work as well). Another part of her is furious at the fact that Itadori is so much closer to living out a shoujo manga than she is. The final part of her knows that all these men are too stupid for anything to happen, and also wants to vomit. 

“He is sometimes almost as careless,” the man adds.

"Itadori and recklessness go hand-in-hand," Nobara sighs. Nanami-sensei nods, the corners of his mouth creeping upwards. She’s lucky he's so chill; if she'd said that in front of Fushiguro, or even Gojo-sensei, she thinks they might actually have tried to compete for Itadori's hand with an actual—Nobara stresses—a literal word. She can imagine it now. 

'I would be stronger than Recklessness,' says the lovestruck Fushiguro caricature in her head. 'It's literally a word,’ Nobara replies. 'This is the stupidest thing to fight about. Itadori is the stupidest thing to fight about. Oh my god.'

"Of course," says Nanami-sensei fondly, looking away from Nobara so that she can't see the way his eyes soften at the thought of Itadori's dumb, stupidly endearing behaviour. It’s in vain. She already knows. 

 


 

The tension peaks when Nobara catches Fushiguro leaning homoerotically over Itadori over near the vending machines, his hair looking sad and deflated as he gazes piteously into Itadori’s wide eyes. He’s trying to do that thing where a guy sexily traps his love interest between his muscled arms. It kind of works. Fushiguro sure has his arm out. No muscles in sight though. This is one of those situations where Mai Zenin's gorgeous summer uniform would come in handy, Nobara thinks.

“Uh, dude, what’s wrong?” says Itadori.

Fushiguro wilts even further, his spiky black head (though it’s not as spiky as usual, right, because he’s sad) coming down to rest on the other boy’s shoulder, burying partway into the poofy looking red hood draped around his neck. He doesn’t say anything, but Nobara’s pretty sure she can hear his heart and soul keening with the sheer pain and frustration of trying to get through to Itadori. 

“Do you want to sit down or something? C’mere.” 

With a gentle hand placed between Fushiguro’s shoulder blades, Itadori leads the two of them out from under the nook where the vending machines are, the tall black form still plastered to his side, heading towards the trees. His voice is rather (surprisingly) comforting. Doesn’t make it any less painful to watch Fushiguro’s terrible self-conflict as he tries to choose between listening to Itadori whisper sweet nothings to him and telling Itadori he wants to nail him so he might actually be able to nail Itadori. 

“You look kind of stressed,” Itadori notes with no small amount of concern, and while his heart is in the right place, his train of thought is not because it totally zooms past Realising-That-Fushiguro-Is-Horny-And-Pining-For-You Station and instead of passionately kissing Fushiguro so he will stop looking sad everytime she takes Itadori to hang out in Tokyo (and so everyone else will bother Fushiguro instead of Nobara when they want Itadori to hero-worship them or do his cute, happy little thing or whatever), Itadori’s brain tells him to pull out his new Gojo-sensei-purchased phone. 

Fushiguro scowls when he sees it. If only men were so eager to buy Nobara new things. If only they fought over the privilege of indulging her desires, and providing for her needs. But no. 

“Maybe this’ll relax you, dude,” Itadori says, wrapping an arm around Fushiguro’s shoulder and completely not noticing how the other boy exhales softly and leans slightly into his touch. “I found a bunch of bird calls on Spotify that reminded me of Nue!” 

Nobara can pinpoint the precise moment that Fushiguro’s will to live leaves his body. Kind of impressive. Mostly pathetic.

 


 


“Alright,” says Nobara. “You don’t have to come with me today.” 

“Huh? Why?”

For a second, Nobara experiences a mind blank. What’s she even supposed to say? ‘You have an entire line of men that want to dote on you and dick you down, and they’re all so messed up that our shopping trips make them insecure and sad and they keeping staring each other down with raised hackles, because you’re an idiot and don’t even notice how thirsty they are’? 

‘People keep asking me if we’re dating, either because they want to date you, or because we have brunch together so often that that’s what it looks like’?

‘All your simps are having a collective aneurysm because our platonic friendship is going infinitely better than all their combined attempts to seduce you’? 

What. The. Fuck. Does. She. Say.

“You’re ruining my vibe. Nobody’s approached me for a modelling gig, and it’s because you intimidate them, Itadori. So you gotta go.”

Itadori frowns. “If that’s how it is, then that’s your own fault. You’re the one that’s too scary, Kugisaki. But okay, if you say so.” 

And then he adds, “Chamise Cafe’s closed today, if you’re planning to go there. I checked on their website.” And dammit, Nobara’s already regretting giving up their shopping time for the Itadori harem. They better make good use of Itadori’s brand new extra time, cause she’s given up a really good mall pal.

 


 

At first, she invites Maki-senpai, who says, “I guess you and Itadori really aren’t dating, then,” and is afterwards a cool and fantastic partner for the trip, whose conversation is engaged and invested, aside from the fact that she’s just so obviously disinterested in upmarket boutiques and bright, colourful gift and novelty item shops. Because Nobara respects Maki-senpai, she tells her she doesn’t need to come again.

“Sorry, Nobara,” Maki-senpai says with a wry smile. “It’s just not my thing. I’m glad you had fun though.”

Fushiguro, who would have been next, isn’t really an available candidate because he’s busy mooning over Itadori. Speaking of Itadori, he’s been spending time with all those guys that keep clashing for his attention, and it seems to be going well. 

Though he still wraps himself around him like some creepy, white-haired octopus wearing a blindfold, Gojo-sensei’s stopped dragging Itadori away at random times, and now he drags him away on a regular, predictable basis, which he ostensibly calls 'training sessions' . Nobara’s heard Itadori on call with that Todo guy sometimes, and she is pleased to say that it is accompanied by a distinct decrease in the number of text messages she gets from that fucking weird Kyoto gorilla. Nanami-sensei does not ask her about how much time she spends with Itadori, and it’s All Going Swell. All's Swell And Ends Well.

Her attempt at asking Inumaki-senpai to accompany her to town is less swell. Like, sure, Inumaki-senpai made a lot of good points at that one sushi train restaurant, and it was a pretty good experience to be out in public with someone who didn't keep plastering his face into the glass display cases, but it got old very quickly after the third time he said “salmon” when she asked what colour dress paired best with this accessory. 

And Panda? Better not to speak of that incident at all. 

So basically, Nobara ends up roaming the streets by herself, browsing the shining, glittering windows with only her own thoughts for company. She lugs her bags over her own shoulders, and it isn't hard, or heavy, okay, but it's like, peasant work, which she is very much above, and after she finishes up, she walks back into Jujutsu Tech alone, and sidles into her room, and nobody is saying "hey, Kugisaki, can I keep this scarf? Please? C'mon, it matches my hair!" When Chamise Cafe re-opens a week after she tells Itadori to stay behind, Nobara orders bubble tea for one.

Urrghh. Maybe. Maybe she misses Itadori a little.

 


 

“Move,” says Nobara primly, striding through the middle of a staredown between a smirking Gojo-sensei and a bristling Fushiguro, each on a separate side of a confused Itadori. What do they think they’re doing? They were supposed to dick him down, not be dicks. Posturing is not trendy.

“Ah! Nobara, my dear student!” chirps Gojo-sensei. “You finished scouring Ginza rather quickly today. Are you finally bored of the fashion? The flashing lights?” 

Nobara grabs Itadori by his hoodie and marches back down the corridor, dragging him behind her. “Nope,” she says. “Saturdays are mine. You guys will have to work something out.” 

She doesn’t need to turn around to know that Fushiguro’s making sad eyes (again), or that Gojo-sensei is laughing as he waves goodbye to Itadori (probably already planning his own schedule, does nothing faze him?). She also doesn’t need to look down at Itadori’s smile as he stumbles to his feet and bounds along beside her to know that he’s actually looking forward to another day in the city, but she sneaks a glance anyway, because it’s nice to know that Itadori had been having fun too. 

“If you fucking say anything,” Nobara says sweetly. “King of Curses or not, I will force feed you hot sauce until you cry.” 

The gleeful eye peering out from the side of Itadori’s face flickers up to meet her vicious gaze. Nobara is very much tired of men. She is tired of watching them fool around. All she wants to do is spend money with her friend, and if this one man—him being a special-grade curse and feared mass murderer doesn't matter in the slightest in this situation—interferes, then she will raze the city, skyscrapers and irresistible high-end clothes be damned, to the ground. The universe is kind to her for once, because Sukuna cackles and fades away.

“Please don’t shove hot sauce into my cheek, Kugisaki.”

Itadori’s mouth is quirked up into a pleased little smile, his arms swinging at his sides. It’s cute. 

“Fine,” says Nobara. “Since you asked nicely. Now pick up the pace, loser. We’re going shopping.”