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between the shadow and the soul

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i.

 

 

Sorcerers never die without any regrets.

Nanami Kento sighed out loud—a short, labored breath escaping his chapped lips as he tried to even out his breathing.

He looked up, somehow dreading the feeling of knowing that his remaining eye would only meet the boring white tiles of the train station instead of the shimmering night sky that stretched far beyond the horizon, and momentarily stared at the void that was waiting for him, simply letting his subconscious take over.

His mind took him back, way back, into the past. Back to Okinawa, back to Haibara, and back to everything in between. His memories traveled to the first time he had discovered that he was a sorcerer, the first time he had stepped foot in Tokyo Jujutsu High, and the first time he had stared into those vivid blue eyes that looked like the early morning sky.

When you’re on the verge of death, what will be your final regret?

In all his years of experience, both as a sorcerer and as a salaryman, Nanami could safely say that he has had his fair share of regrets. He regretted Haibara’s death, he regretted everything that came after Haibara’s death, and he regretted returning to the life he had sworn to never go back to.

It was an exhausting cycle that thrived on endless regret.

He had been a coward, for the most part, turning away from his responsibilities only to come running back to them as soon as he found himself missing him.

A wave of still images flashed in his mind. White hair, long limbs, and those same bright eyes that managed to ingrain themselves deep in the corners of his brain. There was a series of images containing the man in his plain clothes, in his usual attire, and in that ridiculous summer outfit that he had seen him wear once.

Nanami’s mind recounted the times he had spent with the man—all the countless sighs he had let out just from hearing the things that came out of the sorcerer’s mouth, the money he had spent on buying the ridiculous food that the man had recommended, and even the times when he felt his own heart skip a beat just from the man’s playfulness.

He couldn’t help but huff out a humorless laugh.

The man in his memories waved at him, seemingly trying to get his attention as usual, but the only thing that Nanami could only focus on was the pair of sky-blue eyes that made him feel like he was finally home.

Gojo Satoru,” he whispered to the empty space in front of him. “You really are something special.”

Nanami opened his right eye, not realizing that he had closed it, and used his blunt sword to force himself to stand up. He could already sense all the cursed energy coming at him from every direction.

He sighed.

Even with all his years of experience, he only had one final regret… and it was not being able to tell Gojo Satoru what he truly felt for him.

The floor beneath him creaked and he looked at the crowd of disfigured humans swarming towards him, letting the last of his curse energy flow out of his body before slashing and cutting his way through every last of them.

Malaysia would’ve been nice, he thought to himself. He could’ve built himself a nice house in Malaysia, read the books he had bought but never read, and go through them page by page as he reminisced about the forgotten memories that never existed.

He could’ve set himself free.

You’ve done enough, Nanami. It’s time to stop.

A cold hand pushed against his chest, effectively pulling him out from the murky thoughts that clouded his mind and forcing him to lift his head just so he could see who it was.

Mahito.

The cursed spirit grinned at him, patting the space on his chest just above his heart. Mahito looked less human up close, he noted, and the surge of his curse flowing all over the place felt too potent to ignore.

He knew then that he wouldn’t be able to survive the cursed spirit’s blow even if he tried.

“I didn’t know you were here,” Nanami said, voice raspier than before. He barely had the energy to speak.

“Yup,” the cursed spirit replied with a dark chuckle. “The whole time. Do you wanna chat? We go way back, after all.”

Nanami’s vision blurred for a second and Haibara suddenly appeared where Mahito was standing, face devoid of emotions but still seemingly at peace. He felt his heartbeat anew.

It had been a long time since he had seen his best friend’s face.

Yu, Nanami silently asked him in his mind, seeing the figure of his old friend a lot clearer now than he had ever seen him in his memories, just what the hell am I trying to accomplish here?

He watched as Haibara slowly raised his left arm and pointed a finger without a word, guiding Nanami’s gaze directly at the kid who changed his entire perception of being a sorcerer.

No.

He did his best not to let his emotions get the best of him, holding everything in to spare himself and those around him with the added burden of carrying his dwindling morale—but the horrified expression on the young sorcerer’s face made his heart break into a thousand different pieces.

“Nanamin!”

Everything he had done so far had been out of his own selfish reasons, but no matter how empty and hollow he felt, he wasn’t going to curse the only person who had made an effort to save his life.

He owed the kid that much.

“Itadori,” Nanami called out, mustering the courage to look at the young sorcerer with one, last smile. “You’ve got it from here.”

This is also my goodbye to you, Gojo.

He didn’t bother turning back to the cursed spirit. There was no point in doing so, after all. Instead, he decided to give himself even just a second of pure bliss before he felt his heart explode inside him.

Live well.

And then everything around him faded to black.

 

 

ii.

 

 

Nanami Kento was floating.

A continuous stream of fast and heavy currents moved against the dark path that he was carefully treading on, seemingly determined to put his body under their control and pull him down deeper into the abyss of nothingness with each wave that washed over him.

He couldn’t feel his lungs, he couldn’t move either of his legs, and he couldn’t even properly see where he was supposed to be headed. All his mind could conclude from his little escapade down to the nether was the giddy feeling of him floating on top of a soft, cloud-like bed.

Wake up.”

There was a finger that poked incessantly on the right side of his body, tickling him from the center of his stomach down to the far side of his abdomen as it etched a series of incomplete stick figures onto the cloth that covered his skin.

The touch wasn’t intrusive in any way. If any, it only made his skin prickle. Each flick and swipe was done rather gently and with caution, as if the person doing it was worried that he would get hurt once they put pressure onto his skin.

Will you stop pestering him?

He could clearly hear the echo of familiar voices reverberating inside the hollow room, clashing against each other to create a harmony that sounded like an instrument playing right next to his ears.

“Oi, Nanami. Oi, oi, oi,” the voice of a man that came from above him chanted, the cadence of his tone matching the movements of the finger on his abdomen. “This isn’t funny anymore, Shoko. I’m going to put my serious face on and exorcise every fucking special grade out there if he doesn’t wake up right now.”

“His body’s been through a lot of reversal,” another voice countered. “If you have something else to do, then just go and let him rest in here for a while. I’ll ask Kusakabe and Panda to stay on guard.”

“I won’t be able to rest until I know he’s okay.”

He then heard the soft click of a pen which was followed by the sound of heels clacking as they approached his direction. “I told you to let him rest. Not for you to rest, you idiot.”

“But I also need to rest.”

“Then why the hell are you even here, Satoru?”

The banter went on while Nanami pulled himself together. He tentatively moved his body, somehow managing to sit up straight on the bed even though he felt as if he had been hit by a truck, and placed a hand on his forehead to shield his eyes from the brightness of the room.

“Please stop talking.”

“Nanami,” a woman’s voice—Ieiri, his mind supplied—said in the form of a greeting. “You’re finally up. Welcome back.”

He blinked, letting his vision adjust for a brief moment, and stared blankly at his two seniors who stood on either side of the bed that he was sitting on. His gaze inevitably wandered to Gojo, immediately noticing those piercing blue eyes staring right at him, and saw that the man’s overall composure shifted as he quickly pulled back the finger that was frozen mid-air.

Nanami shook his head, trying to process what was going on as he recounted the events in Shibuya.

He was supposed to be dead.

He remembered Mahito finishing him once and for all, blasting his heart and the rest of his body along with it, and yet both of his eyes seemed to function perfectly. The realization prompted Nanami to look down at the rest of his body, already expecting it to be severely burned and mangled, but he only managed to blink once he saw the state of his left arm.

He was good as new.

“What happened?” His voice came out hoarse and his throat felt raw as if he hadn’t had water in a week. It made his skin itch.

“Itadori made a binding pact with Sukuna,” Ieiri answered as an explanation, seemingly taking into account the visible confusion that painted his face.

He looked at her with a brow raised slightly in question. “And Sukuna just accepted it?”

“You wouldn’t be here if he didn’t,” Ieiri said with a small smile. “Itadori must’ve been really persuasive in convincing him. That kid seems to admire you a lot, Nanamin.”

The nickname made his stomach drop.

He could vividly remember the alarmed look on Itadori’s face, the tremble in the kid’s voice, and how Nanami had considered the nickname to be the last word that someone would ever say to him.

“This is the second time he’s saved my life,” Nanami sighed, voice barely above a whisper. “I have to make sure to give him my thanks.”

“Well, your reunion with Itadori can wait. Go get some rest first.” The doctor tucked the clipboard that she was holding under her arm, evidently preparing for her leave, but made one last snide comment at the other sorcerer in the room. “Satoru, I need you to stay with Nanami. When your tongue finally decides to start working again, find me and give me an update on his progress, got that?”

Gojo cleared his throat but only nodded at her in return, letting Ieiri walk out of the room without another glance and leave them with an awkward silence hanging in the air.

The man still hadn’t said a word to him since he had opened his eyes, Nanami remarked, and he didn’t know why it was starting to make him feel antsy.

“I’ve never seen you this quiet before,” he murmured, keeping his voice low and only audible enough for Gojo to hear.

“Sorry,” the man answered apologetically as he rubbed a hand at the back of his neck. “I’m glad you’re back, Nanami. I wouldn’t have anyone to go out for drinks and jaga-butter with.”

Nanami drew out a breath, suddenly feeling overwhelmed and lightheaded, and decided to lay back down, letting his body go lax against the soft mattress. “You don’t even drink alcohol, Gojo.”

“I do on special occasions. So.”

He kept an eye trained on the man, silently watching him as he left his side to pick up the wooden chair near the window of his room before placing it by his bed. The man took out a pocketbook from the waistband of his jeans—The Reign of the Greed, it said on the cover—and took out a dried sakura leaf from one of its pages as he sat comfortably on the otherwise uncomfortable chair.

Gojo looked back at him, eyes peeking through the rim of his tinted glasses. “You heard Shoko. You should get some rest. Forget I’m here.”

Another air of silence surrounded them, a lot more at ease than before, and Nanami gradually let himself go, closing his eyes and breathing through his nose in an effort to calm his racing heart rate down.

“Hey, Nanami,” he heard Gojo call out softly after a couple of dead seconds, causing him to crack an eye open. “Please don’t ever do that again.”

“Hm?”

“Die on me,” Gojo clarified through a whisper just before Nanami’s mind decided to drift off to sleep. “I’ve already lost my best friend. I wouldn’t know what to do if I lost you, too.”

 

 

iii.

 

 

Gojo Satoru was acting… strange.

Well.

Stranger than usual, at least.

It had been two days since Itadori managed to convince Sukuna to reverse the curse inflicted upon him by Mahito, two days since he had been basically resurrected from the dead, and two days since Gojo had started following him around like a lost puppy looking for attention.

Nanami would be lying if he said that he didn’t like the company—especially since this was the Gojo that he was talking about—but he still found the man’s new attitude rather odd.

It was almost as if he was treating him like a baby.

“What do you want this time, Gojo?” Nanami asked as soon as he sensed the cursed energy radiating from the man. He pushed his newly-made glasses up to the bridge of his nose and closed the book in his hand, subtly bracing himself before Gojo could reach him.

It was a good thing that the man didn’t possess the same cursed abilities as Mahito, he thought to himself; otherwise, Gojo wouldn’t stop asking him why his soul seemed to waver whenever he was around him.

“Don’t mind me, Nanami. I’m just here to check in on my favorite zombie,” Gojo replied with a grin, sitting down on the far side of the bench with a brown paper bag in hand, only to scoot closer into Nanami’s personal space after a few short seconds.

The man stayed silent for a bit, perusing through the paper bag that he was holding, and took out two plastic cups and two small wooden spoons before proceeding to hand him one of each.

Ice cream.

“Yours is coffee-flavored,” Gojo told him, a hint of excitement coloring his voice. “The woman from the shop I bought it from also said that it’s made from a family recipe so it should be really delicious.”

He glanced skeptically over at Gojo as the man happily snacked on his ice cream, wondering what had put the man in such a cheery mood—even though it was uncommon to witness him like this—when he abruptly felt the sudden burst of energy that emanated from the man, its sheer intensity practically making the space between them buzz.

Nanami recalled only ever experiencing it once… in Sapporo.

He’s probably already had a lot of sugar in him, he inferred, hesitantly scooping out a small amount of ice cream from his own cup before it could melt any further, and allowed the ice cream’s taste to stay on his tongue before swallowing it.

Huh.

Considering it was from someone with a sweet tooth, his ice cream wasn’t as sweet as he had been expecting.

“This is really good. Thank you,” he told Gojo, making sure to put some depth in his tone so as not to come off monotonous, and looked back at the man… only to immediately avert his gaze when he caught a glimpse of his eyes underneath his blindfold. “Shouldn’t you be teaching right now?”

Gojo, thankfully, didn’t think too much of his reaction and simply shrugged, picking up the book that Nanami had placed on his lap. “I let Ino take them out for a walk.”

“You’re setting up a bad example for your students.”

The man flipped through a couple of pages, even reading a line or two from each, before finally setting Nanami’s book back to its original position. Gojo then turned to him with a pout. “I don’t think you see my vision here, Nanami. If I’m shaping my students up for greatness, I also need them to know how to work with other sorcerers when I’m not around.”

He remembered what Ijichi had told him back then in his drunken stupor. Gojo’s dream is to start a revolution, the assistant director slurred, I hope you help him achieve it.

“I guess that makes sense,” Nanami said with a nod, finishing the last of his ice cream so he could set the plastic cup aside. “How is Ino doing, by the way?”

“Still a bit shaken up,” Gojo answered with hesitation. The man beside him leaned casually against the bench, splaying his left arm out on top of its backrest without touching Nanami. “You made us all worry with your little stunt, you know?”

The butterflies in his stomach suddenly went into a frenzy, consequently making his heart pound wildly against his ribcage. Nanami could feel the man’s eyes boring into him, almost as if Gojo was trying to figure him out, and it took him approximately three seconds to gather every ounce of his willpower and stop himself from leaning in and capturing the man’s lips in his own.

Nanami drew out an inaudible breath, trying to dispel the spell that Gojo had managed to trap him in. “Gojo.”

“Yes, Nanami?”

“I really appreciate it, but you don’t have to babysit me all the time,” he said through gritted teeth. “My body’s all healed up. I’m sure I’ll be able to hold up a fight on my own.”

Gojo gaped at him as if he was either taken aback or offended by what Nanami had just told him. The man seemed to take a couple of seconds to process his words, but before he could give Nanami a reply, the sound of a phone ringing loudly interrupted him.

The man frowned and raised a finger. “One second.”

Nanami’s eyes followed Gojo as he stood up and walked away with his phone up to his ear.

Despite their one-year age gap, the man carried himself well. Too well, in Nanami’s opinion, that he couldn’t help but let his mind wander back to their quick adventure up in Hokkaido.

It had been the only time he had seen him somewhat vulnerable.

“That was Yaga,” Gojo informed him as he walked toward him, chucking his phone back inside his pocket. The man’s expression looked more reserved, he noted, and it left a bitter taste at the back of Nanami’s mouth. “I have to get going. Call me if you need me.”

 

 

iv.

 

 

“Do you never run out of suits to wear?”

Nanami pushed his glasses up, glancing sideways with a nod to acknowledge the doctor who had managed to catch up with him. “Ieiri.”

He distinctly remembered passing by her and Utahime on his way to the shop that Gojo had bought his coffee-flavored ice cream from, unconsciously picking up their fleeting plan of going out for a drink, but he recalled Ieiri’s knowing look—as if she knew something she wasn’t supposed to know.

The doctor had always been perceptive, he thought to himself, and if Gojo was oblivious to whatever his true feelings for him were, Nanami was a hundred percent certain that Ieiri Shoko wasn’t.

Ieiri simply hummed beside him, effectively catching his attention and pulling him out of his thoughts. The doctor’s curious eyes wandered about him, somehow making him self-conscious with the way she dragged her eyes up and down the length of his body. “Where’s your designated bodyguard?”

Nanami only looked back at her with a raised brow, not exerting any effort to answer her question even though he knew exactly who she was talking about.

“Satoru,” Ieiri supplemented immediately, the sides of her lips curling to form a mischievous smile. “A little bird of yours told me that he’s been ditching his students just to hang out with you.”

Ino.

Nanami clenched his jaw.

“I haven’t seen him since last week,” he told her. It was the truth. Ever since Gojo had the phone call from Principal Yaga, the man disappeared on him without another word. “I think he’s been sent out by the higher-ups for a few days now.”

“That’s odd,” Ieiri commented as she took out her phone. “I’m pretty sure I’ve seen him wandering around the campus by himself. All of us thought he’s been secretly visiting you.”

All of us.

Nanami glanced at her but said nothing in return, trumping down the heavy feeling in his chest as both the pit in his stomach and the ground seemed to one-up each other on which would be the first one to swallow him whole.

His avoidance seemed more obvious now that he had thought about it.

Gojo must have taken into consideration what he had told him a week ago, Nanami deduced. After all, if his past actions around him could be taken into account, the man would never willingly steer clear of him. He’d seen Gojo pout, throw a tantrum, and pull enough pranks on him to know that the sorcerer was not the one to easily back down from trying to get under his skin.

In another life, Nanami would’ve been thankful for the momentary bliss that Gojo’s absence provided. He would’ve relished the moments he had to himself, probably even finish a book in one sitting without getting distracted.

And yet…

“Don’t be so hard on him,” Ieiri spoke up from his side, still tapping away on her phone without looking at where they were going. “He was really worried about you. I think part of the reason Itadori asked Sukuna to bring you back was because he was scared of what Satoru might do to everyone. Present sorcerers included.”

Nanami cleared his throat. “He’s a good friend.”

His response prompted Ieiri to raise her head from her phone and turn her attention back to him. She tilted her head to the side, seemingly in disbelief with his reply.

“You know, for someone so smart, you’re denser than a neutron star.” The doctor puffed out a breath as she put her phone inside the right pocket of her lab coat. “I can’t believe you’re both emotionally constipated. No wonder you two found each other again.”

“What does that mean?”

Ieiri threw him a knowing look, the very same one she gave him while she was talking with Utahime. “Figure it out yourself, salaryman.”

Nanami sighed and looked ahead, only to stop as soon as he saw the three first years laughing among themselves in a huddle.

“Oh, and by the way,” Ieiri said beside him. “Satoru’s outside of his old room.”

He watched her sashay away to the morgue, heels clacking loudly against the concrete pavement, and Nanami found his mind dwelling on her last words to him.

Nanamin!”

Nanami whipped his head to the side, seeing Itadori run at him in full speed with his arms wide open, and allowed the young sorcerer to squeeze him into a hug. He looked up just in time to catch the shocked expression on both Fushiguro and Kugisaki’s face, but Nanami only found himself returning Itadori’s embrace as he instinctively looped an arm around the young sorcerer.

“Itadori,” he said softly into his hair, patting a hand on the kid’s back. “Thank you.”

For the first time in years, Nanami allowed himself to smile genuinely.

 

 

v.

 

 

Nanami took at least five minutes to get to Gojo’s old room.

Not because he was lost or anything, but because Itadori simply wouldn’t let go of him no matter how much he twisted his body away from the kid. He even had to lie to his face and tell him that he had a meeting with Gojo and Principal Yaga just so the young sorcerer could finally stop crushing the lights out of him in front of everyone to see.

By the time that Itadori had stopped crying and the first years had politely bid him their goodbyes, Nanami found his feet shuffling of their own accord, seemingly hellbent on taking him to wherever Gojo was.

It came as no surprise to see that the second floor of Tokyo Jujutsu High’s dorms was still fairly abandoned. As far as he could remember, the rooms had been left unoccupied when he graduated and it seemed as though they had stayed unoccupied even after all those years that he had strayed away from the world of sorcerers.

Gojo stood exactly where Ieiri said he would be, leaning against the wooden railings on the balcony across his old room while stared off into the distance as if he was lost in thought, and Nanami felt a knot form in the pit of his stomach at the sight of him, twisting and tightening with every step that he took.

“When I told you that you didn’t have to babysit me all the time,” he said into the empty hallway leading up to Gojo’s old room. “I didn’t recall including that you have to avoid me.”

Gojo didn’t start, only chuckling humorlessly as he hung his head in-between his arms. “I’m sorry, Nanami.”

Nanami stopped at least a foot away from where the man stood, taking off his glasses and carefully placing them inside the pocket of his jacket before leaning onto the railings as well. “You should stop apologizing. It’s unbecoming of you.”

“It’s my fault.”

“What is?”

“All of it,” Gojo answered dryly, curling his hands into fists as he lifted his head to look at the yellow afternoon sky through his blindfold. “If I hadn’t been selfish and reckless, the incident at Shibuya wouldn’t have escalated like that. I could’ve saved a lot of people. I almost even lost you and I couldn’t have done anything to bring you back.”

The man’s last sentence made his heart flutter.

No wonder you two found each other again…

Ieiri’s words from earlier echoed in his mind, embedding their claws in the soft tissues of his brain, and Nanami promptly felt a warm sensation creeping from his neck up to his cheeks.

He didn’t want to let the sliver of hope that Ieiri’s words provided get into his head.

“We’re sorcerers,” he responded neutrally instead, silently praying that his face didn’t look as flushed as he had imagined it to be. “Our deaths are inevitable. We’re all bound to die one way or another.”

“Still,” the man muttered quietly. “I think I’d want to properly say goodbye when the time comes.”

They both fell silent then, probably pondering on the endless what-ifs that ran through their heads, and Nanami let a wave of nostalgia wash over him as he wrapped himself in the flashes of energy that poured from the man.

His memories took him back to the incident at Shibuya, back to the sharp, prickly pain that coursed through half of his body, and back to the last thoughts that flew in his mind as he was standing in front of death’s door.

Gojo Satoru.

He knew that he couldn’t let the man be his final regret again.

“I was looking for you,” he confessed, breaking the silence that hung directly above their heads. He didn’t know exactly where his confession was headed, but his mind kept screaming at him to lay it all out.

Out of the corners of his eyes, Nanami saw Gojo turn to him with a frown. “What was that?”

“Before everything went down in Shibuya,” he tried again, refusing to look back at the man as he gazed out at the scenic view that the school offered. “I was looking for you.”

“Why?”

“Gut feeling,” Nanami offered with a shrug, trying to act nonchalant despite the chaos that he was battling inside him before taking in a deep breath. “I felt like I was going to regret it if I didn’t see your annoying face one last time.”

Gojo unexpectedly huffed out a soft laugh. “Missed me, huh?”

“I did.”

The man beside him fell silent once more, still facing him as if he was studying him, and Nanami briefly wondered if he had miscalculated his approach. Gojo wasn’t exactly the most predictable person and even with his curse, the man was entirely unreadable.

“Was that your only regret?” Gojo asked him in a subdued voice, almost as if he was scared to hear what his answer would be.

“No,” he sighed, evening out his breathing. “I also regret not telling you that I care.”

“About what?”

Nanami smiled fondly to himself and finally allowed himself to look back at the man standing beside him. “About you.”

Gojo visibly froze as soon as he faced him, the man’s Adam’s apple bobbing as he swallowed loudly. “For real?”

“For real,” Nanami repeated, keeping the small smile that was playing on his lips. “Why do you think I always buy you food whenever we go out together? I didn’t know how else to woo you.”

“You—”

The sorcerer cut himself off, gaping openly at him in what he could only presume as a state of shock, and Nanami couldn’t stop the bubble of laughter that escaped his throat.

“Well,” he interjected with a clap of his hands before Gojo could say anything further. A part of his brain screamed for him to leave and move as far as possible away from the man, but the other part of it desperately begged him to stay. “This is a lot less awkward than I thought it would be.”

A beat passed by them, enveloping the short distance between them. Nanami was sure that he would choke from it, but before he could address it, he felt his whole body get spun around, two large hands grabbing possessively onto the sides of his upper arms and pushing at him until his back hit the hardwood walls of Gojo’s old room.

Nanami didn’t even realize they had teleported inside until he saw the old Yu Yu Hakusho posters.

Oh.

Months,” Gojo breathed out, trapping him between his arms. “I’ve been trying to get your attention for months. I thought you weren’t interested.”

He could practically hear his heart hammering inside his chest as the man’s proximity made him lightheaded. Nanami placed a hand on the man’s chest to steady himself, a bit surprised that he had his infinity deactivated, and found that the rhythm of the man’s heartbeat was in sync with his own.

“I am,” he said with certainty. “Since high school.”

Gojo sucked in a sharp, audible breath. “Why the fuck didn’t you say anything?”

“You’re unattainable,” Nanami reasoned out, leaning his head back onto the hardwood. “And I didn’t think you’d be interested.”

The man pulled back from him for a second, tugging his blindfold down to his neck to reveal his sky blue eyes, and Nanami could only stare straight into them, lowering his defenses down in the process. Gojo then leaned forward, breath ghosting on his cheek. “Do I look interested now?”

He didn’t answer, pushing himself up instead, and placed a quick peck on Gojo’s lips, hoping to get his point across. Gojo, on the other hand, only tightened his grip on him, steeling him in place as he chased his lips with his own.

Nanami instinctively shut his eyes and pulled the man closer to him, adamant in taking control of the kiss. He shifted their positions, pushing Gojo backward until the back of the man’s knees hit the edge of the bed, causing both of them to fall down onto the mattress.

Except Nanami only felt like he was soaring through the clouds.

They both withdrew from each other for a moment, panting and gasping for air, and Nanami watched, wide-eyed and full of hope, as Gojo ran a hand through the side of his face with a bright smile that rivaled that of his eyes. “Are you sure?”

“About you?” Gojo asked softly. “Always.”