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When it All Breaks

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Yuuji was a beta. He was certain of this fact, for as long as he had lived. His grandfather was a beta and almost all of the students at his school were beta as well. The number of alphas and omegas in the world was such a small number, barely a notable statistic, that it was rare to see someone who wasn’t a normal, average beta. 

Yuuji could count the number of alphas and omegas in his year on one hand. There were less than twenty in the entire student body, and the principal of the school was the only alpha among the faculty and staff. 

But this didn’t hold true in the world of curses and jujutsu. Among sorcerers, this number was starkly higher, inverse to the extent that it placed betas in the severe minority. 

Things were difficult to adjust to, generally, but among the students and staff of the school, few treated Yuuji that much differently for being a beta among alphas. Being Sukuna’s vessel was the only thing that gave anyone pause, even from the first day. 

But there were still times when Yuuji felt out of place.

Fushiguro was an alpha, as was Kugisaki, Gojo-sensei, and even Nanamin. Yuuji had only theories about why there were so many alphas in one place, and how they avoided killing each other with so much aggression in one place. Megumi had only snorted, quietly amused, when Yuuji asked. It was as if he thought it was just Yuuji making a joke. 

However they managed it, it still begged the question. Yuuji was dying to know why betas were so rare among sorcerers, and why alphas in particular were so prevalent. Maybe it was something about the exposure to cursed energy, or using jujutsu sorcery, or maybe even the long history of family clans and careful cultivation that came from ensuring the inheritance of family abilities. 

He didn’t often think on things like this, but in the quiet moments, there were certain things that brought his mind back to his unvoiced questions. For now, Yuuji sat in the darkened room letting the questions turn over and over in his yead. Yet another movie played out before him.

In times like these, he found himself missing the fond but slightly overbearing natures of Fushiguro and Kugisaki. He’d never had alpha friends before, and he’d never realized the subtle difference that a secondary gender made when it came to behavior. He missed the way Kugisaki would rib him, how Megumi would keep an almost sullen silence watching them squabble like siblings. 

Underneath that veneer of distance, they put out soft, pleased alpha pheromones that Yuuji could almost pick up on. As a beta, he couldn’t pinpoint any kind of real scent or identify it at a sniff, but he could feel the effect of it like a warm blanket on his shoulders. It was subtle, pleasant, and it certainly made Yuuji feel welcomed in a way he couldn’t remember ever feeling before. 

But they thought he was dead.

Yuuji sighed, bringing another handful of popcorn to his mouth. He didn’t even care about the movie, his mind a thousand miles away. His guilt was almost overwhelming, remembering the way Junpei had suffered so much, remembering the way that Mahito had slipped through their fingers and vanished into the sewers. He would give almost anything for the warm comfort of his friends’ reassuring presence. 

“Yo!” Gojo-sensei called. Yuuji could hear footsteps approach from behind him, the only warning that his sensei had arrived.  

Kugisaki had said Gojo’s scent was a bit like burnt sugar, and it was annoying enough to be smelled from across campus, impossible to be missed. Yuuji couldn’t smell anything but the soft fragrance of the campus fabric softener. 

Maybe that was one upside of being a beta in a world of alphas and omegas: you never had to smell random people from great distances away. Fushiguro insisted it wasn’t like body odor, and it wasn’t about smelling someone, per se, but more about getting a sort of bead on how someone was feeling, or an insight into their thoughts. Kugisaki called it an olfactory vibe check. 

It was beyond Yuuji, and he was fine with that. His curiosity could only go so far when he’d never experience it himself. 

Yuuji smiled up at Gojo-sensei, sitting up eagerly enough that he almost knocked over the popcorn bowl. He desperately needed out of this dark hole. The school exchange event was still two weeks away, and Yuuji was burning with impatience to reunite with his friends already. “Hi! Are we going on another mission?” He’d take any excuse he could get to take his mind off things. “Or maybe we’re training today? Maybe you can teach me a new move!”

“I was talking things over with Nanami-kun, and we’ve decided on what to focus on before the exchange event,” Gojo-sensei said, clapping his hands with a grin. “All of your experience so far has been in life or death situations. You’ve had to grow too fast, and both times, it was only Sukuna that got you out of worse situations.”

Yuuji lowered his head. Gojo was right. His reliance on Sukuna was dangerous. But it had meant saving the lives of others, and Yuuji could only be so sorry about it when he knew that Fushiguro, Kugisaki, and Nanamin were all alive because of it. 

They were far more fortunate than Junpei had been. 

“Come on, I’m not scolding you. I’m Gojo Satoru, the best teacher ever! Almost dying is the best lesson you can get, because now you know how to not die like that the next time! But what you need is something straightforward to polish your skills and refine them before the event. You just need a bit more… finesse.”

“So… more training?” Yuuji guessed. 

Gojo shrugged. “Yes, but the higher ups are being a pain in the ass right now, so Nanami-kun is going to be helping you today. More to the point, I need to make sure that no one can find any trace of you anywhere near here for the next couple of days.”

Yuuji cocked his head, confusion rising higher inside him. He frowned at Gojo-sensei in the gloom, when the light suddenly flicked on, leaving Yuuji blinking and blinded. Nanamin tsked in disapproval. “The dark is bad for your eyes, Itadori-kun.”

“Nanamin!” Yuuji called, waving his hand. He couldn’t stop smiling at Nanamin when he saw him. “Wait, what do you mean, no trace of me? I can’t stay here?”

“Just for the next two or three days, I think,” Gojo said. He grinned back at Nanamin. “Luckily, I was able to call in another favor or two and get you set up with somewhere to stay. There are some preparations for the exchange event that will be taking place, and I don’t want anyone getting any residuals if they go snooping.”

“Would they really go snooping through your apartment?” Yuuji said. Though they were technically still on the campus, the rooms Gojo had laid claim to were on the outermost edges of the property and tucked away enough to make it easy for Yuuji to continue training. Rarely, did anyone come this way. 

Gojo grimaced, and Nanami frowned. “Normally, no,” Gojo said. “But see, even though most of the higher ups are fully convinced of your death, a few are cagy enough to know I’ve still got some more cards up my sleeve. Which is completely correct, by the way, but we need to make sure they don’t catch on. That’s where Nanami-kun will come in.”

“It helps that you are a beta,” Nanamin said briskly. Unlike Gojo, there was no meandering. He went straight to the point. “There is no scent to scrub or clean from the basement, and the residuals of your cursed energy should dissipate with enough effort. Once you’re off campus, it can be done before anyone arrives. You and I will continue your training from far enough away, and we will return when all matters have been settled and it is safe.”

“That’s annoying, but if it’ll get me out of here, I’m willing to try!” Yuuji said, hopping to his feet. He stretched, flashing Nanamin a huge smile. Nanamin said nothing, only turned away and walked toward the door. 

“Time is short, Itadori-kun,” Nanamin said. “There is a very brief mission we need to attend to before six, and then Gojo-san has left me with a collection of films he said you need to finish up over the next few days.”

Yuuji chased behind with a groan. “More movies? Nanamin!”

The mission itself was nothing spectacular, but it was a refreshing change of pace from endless movies and regulating the flow of cursed energy into that damn bear. It was nice to let loose on a large cluster of curses without having to truly fear for his life. It was hard work, but it was straightforward and gave him the chance to hone his skills the way Gojo had told him to. It helped that fighting beside Nanamin was already getting comfortable. 

It was something Yuuji noticed during their fight with Mahito. Nanamin seemed to fit himself into the gaps between where Yuuji would go next, anticipating his next moves, and Yuuji found himself doing the same in return. He let himself adjust to the presence of another skilled sorcerer. It was like a dance, darting in and out of melee range to keep their enemy guessing, and pressing their advantage on a series of larger foes. 

In the depths of the sewer system, there were plenty of lurking creatures to be found. It was the effort of several hard hours to clear them out. It was ten til six when the last curse dropped. They were both breathing hard, but Nanami still looked mostly unruffled. Even his suit still looked neat and tidy, while Yuuji’s uniform was splattered with sewer grime and whatever sludge didn’t vanish with the death of the curse. 

Yuuji grimaced at his clothes. Nanami sighed. “At least they aren’t torn. Come on. My home isn’t far from the next station, and no one but us will see most of the mess. I have a small washing machine that will be able to hold your uniform. Did you bring any spare clothes?”

Yuuji stared blankly. “Oh. Sorry, Nanamin! I was so excited to do something other than sit down there that I might um… forgot to bring anything. Can Gojo-sensei or Ijichi-san bring by some pajamas for tonight while my uniform is washing?”

“Both of them are going to be late dealing with the exchange event preparations, but I will let them know. For now, I will loan you some extra clothes. I want to avoid drawing attention to us if possible, so we should try to launder your clothes for now.”

 “Sorry for the trouble,” Yuuji said sheepishly. 

Nanami rubbed the bridge of his nose just above the nosepiece of his glasses. “Please do not worry about it, Itadori-kun. For now, let’s just head back. It’s already six.”

There was a warmth in Yuuji’s chest as they emerged from the sewers. The late afternoon sunlight felt good on his skin. As they walked, he cocked his head to look at his companion from the corner of his eye, trying to hide just how much he envied Nanamin’s ability to stay neat and tidy while fighting. 

Like Gojo, everything Nanami did looked effortless, with barely a hair out of place. Perhaps it was simply the power of a high-ranking sorcerer, to stay so cool under pressure. Under the suit, Yuuji could see the subtle flex of muscle that came from the hard work that went into staying fit and combat ready when the need arose. 

He quickly looked away, his cheeks feeling hotter than usual. Only a few people even glanced his way as they walked to the train station. As Nanamin had suggested, it seemed that nobody cared much about his muddy school uniform. They moved into a crowded car, full with businessmen and women heading home from a long day at the office. 

Nanami blended right in with them, but Yuuji wasn’t quite used to just how busy the trains could get in Tokyo. He stumbled and was bumped around by people until Nanamin reached out. He kept a hand on Yuuji’s shoulder, steering him to a spot near the door. His body interposed between Yuuji and the mass of people crowding around them, and the close quarters meant Yuuji could feel the heat from Nanami’s body through the fabric between them. 

Something in his stomach felt funny. Nothing about that was new- it was a problem that had been plaguing him for more than a week. He couldn’t explain the feeling, but it wasn’t unpleasant at all. In fact, there was a kind of excitement that thrummed through him when he felt it. Usually, he felt it when he was near Nanami. 

It had started not long after their battle with Mahito, quiet and private and unknown. It was only getting worse with time. The mystery remained without an answer, and it burned at the tip of Yuuji’s tongue more and more with every passing day. But something about the feeling made him keep his mouth shut. He didn’t want to ask. Maybe he didn’t want an answer as much as he thought he did. 

Yuuji kept his breathing slow and steady as the train eased out of the station. The ride felt longer than it should have been, and everything burned under his skin. It felt like he couldn’t truly breathe until they had left the underground and walked the final block to Nanami’s home. 

Yuuji wasn’t sure entirely what he had expected of the place, but it suited Nanami, Yuuji decided. The place was sleek and modern, as well as spotlessly clean inside, with not even a single bit of clutter or excess decoration. If Gojo’s home was lived in and comfortable, then Nanamin’s was more of a stark movie set by comparison. 

Nanamin left his shoes by the door and gestured for Yuuji to do the same, indicating a small shelf where there was room to stack them. Nanami hooked a finger into his necktie, already loosening it as he stepped into the living room. “There’s only one bathroom, so I’ll allow you to take the first shower. Towels are right through here,” Nanami said without much prelude. 

He showed Yuuji into the bedroom, pulling out a soft, white towel. He gestured toward the door to the bathroom, where the shower waited within. 

“Take as long as you need. I’ll start dinner in the meanwhile.”

Yuuji smiled up at him, his chest feeling warm again. “Thank you, Nanamin. I’ll try to be quick.” He couldn’t read the stiff expression as Nanami nodded once and turned, walking back out the way he had came. Something in the way he was acting felt off, but Yuuji couldn’t quite put his finger on it. 

He let Nanamin be, stepping into the bathroom. It was clean and white, like everything else in the home, with a line of bottles on a small shelf. Yuuji could see shampoo, conditioner, bodywash, shaving cream, and aftershave all with a distinctive brand that Yuuji had never heard of, but looked nicer than Yuuji’s usual 3-in-1. 

Yuuji uncapped one of the bottles and breathed it in. The fragrance was an inoffensive, mildly citrus scent. Yuuji stripped down, leaving his clothes in a roughly folded pile by the door and making quick work of the grime and sweat from the day. He shut the water off with a hum. 

His muscles, a little tight after the train ride, felt loose and pleasant after the hot water. He grabbed the towel and buried his face in it. As he inhaled, he could smell something different on the fabric, something deeper and warmer and unlike any detergent Yuuji had ever smelled. 

He closed his eyes, breathing in the scent one more time before he started to dry himself off. It surpassed the school’s detergent by miles, and handily beat up the suds his grandpa had often used while Yuuji had been growing up. It was the kind of smell that seemed to wrap him up in warmth and made him feel like he was at home. 

He moved to open the door and realized that his dirty uniform was gone, replaced with what appeared to be a simple, white, short-sleeved shirt and a pair of grey sweatpants. His cheeks grew warm when he remembered he had tucked his red briefs under the jacket. 

Yuuji was drowning in the borrowed clothes. He pulled the drawstring tight on the pants and rolled the ankles a few times until they were short enough to keep from tripping over them. There was nothing to be done with the shirt, so he just let it hang loose off one shoulder. 

Yuuji knew that Nanami was a bit bigger than him, but he had never realized quite how much of a difference there really was. He was like a kid playing dress up. It was funny to see, considering how Yuuji hadn’t exactly considered himself to be small in the first place. 

The clothes had the same warm fragrance as the towel did. Yuuji was practically humming as he rubbed the worst of the water from his hair and padded out to the living room. He felt warm and sleepy. He didn’t think he would be staying up too late tonight. Maybe Nanamin wouldn’t even turn on the stupid bear and make him watch a movie after dinner, and Yuuji could just relax. 

Yuuji followed the sound of clatter and sizzle to the kitchen. Nanami had taken off his suit jacket, leaving it folded and draped over the back of a chair. The tie was folded as well and laid atop it. Nanami had tied an apron on to protect his shirt from cooking, but even that looked as immaculate as the rest of it. The smell of cooking food was like heaven. 

Yuuji peered around Nanami’s shoulder. If he had felt warm before, then being close to Nanami was cool and refreshing, like a cold slice of melon or the underside of his pillow. “I didn’t know you cooked.” 

“I don’t do it often,” Nanami said. “Usually I bring back takeout, but I thought this would be easier tonight for both of us, since you’re supposed to be dead.”

Yuuji grinned. “I can’t wait to try it, Nanamin. Is there anything I can help with?” 

Nanami shook his head. “Gojo-san mentioned your cooking abilities, but I already have almost everything finished here. If you want to grab plates, they’re in the cabinet to your left.”

Over dinner, Nanami lectured Yuuji about his observations during their mission. From the first meeting, Nanami had been insistent on one thing— that he would neither praise nor criticize Yuuji. His observations were still often stated in a purely objective way. 

But despite Nanami’s efforts, Yuuji liked to think he could hear a bit of both leaking in. Nanami even looked a bit pleased when he mentioned Yuuji‘s adjustments on the fly while they fought together. 

“Fighting as a team is different than fighting alone. Even in the group battle event, most of the time, students will eventually splinter into smaller groups and fight opponents one on one. It’s easier to track one opponent and nothing else. But knowing how to fight with others by your side is an asset that can prove useful when dealing with larger numbers or stronger enemies, as you might remember from our fight with the special grade at the school.”

Yuuji nodded, trying hard to push the stitched-together face from his mind for one peaceful night. “I noticed today that it got easier when I watched where you were going and then planned how to move to work around you.”

Nanami nodded, and the corner of his lip betrayed the hint of a smile. “Yes, exactly. Trusting your partner and knowing them well enough to anticipate their next move can make for a far more effective and cohesive team than two people working together might otherwise be. When you are able to coordinate your movements automatically, it makes it easier for you to adjust to changes on the battlefield faster.”

Yuuji closed his teeth around the tines of the fork, nodding. The words rolled around in his head. Already, he could see the way his fighting styles would shift when he was working with Kugisaki or Fushiguro. Both of them had more range than Yuuji, but lacked the raw hand to hand power that someone like Nanami had. The way Yuuji would move, the way he would attack, it would change entirely. 

He felt a pang in his stomach and he winced. It felt like a knot suddenly curled up above his pelvis, sending a stabbing wave of pain through him. Nanami put down his glass, frowning. “Is something wrong?” 

“Nothing, nothing,” Yuuji said, smiling. “Just a weird stomach ache.”

Turn down the heat, brat. 

The thought echoed through his head, unbidden, in a voice that wasn’t his own. 

The room did feel hot, but Yuuji chalked it up to the shower and their mission leaving him running a bit warmer than usual. He ignored Sukuna‘s grumbling. 

You little shithead, I know you can hear me. If you don’t do something about the heat, I will. 

It wasn’t even that warm. Whatever Sukuna was bitching about, it wasn’t worth the hassle. A divot had formed between his brows, and he forced himself to straighten it out. 

“Sukuna?” Nanami said. 

Yuuji nodded. In a small voice, he admitted, “He says it’s hot in here.”

Nanami looked at Yuuji questioningly. “I didn’t realize it was warm. Do you need me to turn on a fan?”

“No, I’m fine,” Yuuji said. “I honestly don’t know what Sukuna is complaining about.”

“It’s hot in here, brat, that’s what I’m complaining about. I’m inside you, and your body is insufferably warm. Whatever you’re doing, stop it!” A mouth and a single angry eye rolled about on Yuuji’s cheek, trying to find the source of the heat. 

“Warm inside… Itadori-kun, lean forward,” Nanami said. Yuuji tipped his head closer and felt the back of Nanamin’s hand brush his forehead. It was cold, and it made him shiver. “You feel warm. You might have a fever, but I’ll get the thermometer to make sure,” Nanami said, standing up. 

Yuuji smacked a hand over the extra mouth, only for it to bite him. “Is a fever really enough for you to act this annoying?” Yuuji goaded. “It’s hot. Really?”

“You’ll feel it soon,” Sukuna spat, annoyed. “We’ll see who’s laughing when you die a mortal death and I live on through my other fingers.”

Nanami presented the thermometer without any flourish. Yuuji stuck it under his tongue, grumbling, “But I feel fine.”

“You complained of a stomach ache a moment ago as well. If something is wrong, I’d prefer to know.”

“I really do feel fine,” Yuuji insisted. “It’s just a little stomach bug, I think. I should be better by tomorrow.”

Looking supremely unimpressed, Nanamin clicked his tongue and turned. He pulled out his phone and called someone. 

“It’s me. Yuuji might be ill. Mmhmm. It’s minor, but I’ll monitor the situation. Any word on how long until preparations are finished? Well, if it goes any longer than that, tell Gojo-san he’s going to start owing me. I don’t mind letting Itadori-kun stay here for a few days, but he can’t hide out here until the event starts. Alright. I’ll stay in touch. Thank you, Ijichi.”

Nanamin hung up. “This way it’s Gojo-san’s fault,” he said simply. Yuuji could help but frown, feeling a bit like a kicked puppy. “Don’t feel bad, Itadori-kun. I don’t have an issue with letting you stay here, and it isn’t your responsibility to worry about such things anyway. I just don’t want him thinking he can worm his way out of our agreement if he suspects I don’t hate this as much as he thinks I do.”

“I don’t think I understand,” Yuuji said. He scratched his head. “But I guess, if you really don’t mind, then thank you for taking care of me.” He bowed his head. The fabric scent from before seemed to catch on the air, warmer and more comfortable than even before. Nanami took the thermometer away and checked it before washing it. 

“Well, it’s a slight fever, but it isn’t terrible. Let me know how you’re feeling in a few hours. I can look for some kind of medicine if you need it.”

Yuuji smiled wider. “Thank you, Nanamin. I am pretty tired. Maybe I’ll just lay down for a while.”

Nanami nodded. “The couch should unfold into a bed. Let me see if I can get it to work.” Yuuji, stood, his head swirling from the change in position. Now it seemed he was dizzy on top of everything else. Frustrated with whatever weird illness he must have contracted, he followed Nanami out to the living room once more.

The room itself was bright with natural light filtering in. Large windows let in the early evening glow of the setting sun, more than enough to silence any comments about watching television in the dark. 

For several minutes, Nanami yanked and tugged at the couch, but it seemed to be stuck. He stepped back, raking his fingers through his hair with a frustrated sigh. “Give me just a moment, Itadori-kun. I’ll get this figured out.”

“It’s okay, Nanamin,” Yuuji said sleepily. “I can just lay across the couch.” He staggered as he moved closer. His legs seemed to give out, and he slumped against Nanamin, breathing in the warm smell of the fabric. His cheeks went hot and he righted himself, fixing the couch back into its folded, compacted form. “Sorry…”

Yuuji sank into the couch with a soft sigh. The oversized clothes were so comfy. Nanami offered him a pillow and a blanket, and Yuuji made himself comfortable on one end of the couch, still sitting up.

Nanami turned on one of the movies, but didn’t bother to get the stuffed bear out. Yuuji appreciated it. His emotions felt more volatile suddenly, as Nanami circled the room, turning on the sound system, putting away the excess movies, and, when the small washing machine finished its job, disappearing briefly out of sight. 

Yuuji felt sleepy, content watching Nanami make his rounds, only for his chest to clench tight when he couldn’t see Nanamin. Silly, senseless relief overwhelmed him when he could see Nanami return around the corner with Yuuji’s uniform in hand, already hanging the jacket to let it air dry. 

Yuuji could smell the warmth and sweetness again. He let his head rest on the back of the couch, watching Nanami follow up by hanging the trousers on another hanger. His cheeks heated up as Nanami finished with folding the briefs over the final hanger. He looked away, back toward the hanger with the jacket. 

“The fresh laundry smells so good,” Yuuji murmured. “I wish I knew what kind of soap that was, it smells so much better than what’s at the school.”

Nanami cocked his head. “What do you mean, Itadori-kun? My detergent is the same brand that the school uses. It works the best for removing cursed stains that normal soaps don’t quite handle. I grab an extra bottle whenever I run low.”

It wasn’t a different soap? Yuuji’s confusion was almost too much. “Are you sure? I could have sworn it smelled different.”

“No, it should be the same,” Nanami replied, slower this time, just as confused about the issue as Yuuji. “I can get the bottle if you want.”

“No, no, it’s okay, I believe you,” Yuuji said. “I’ll just… watch the movie,” he added quietly, turning back to face the front. His cheeks were burning hot with embarrassment. He didn’t want Nanami thinking he was an idiot, at least no more than he already probably did.  

Nanami hummed. “Sounds good. Do you mind if I join you after I shower? I’ve never seen the conclusion of this one.”

“Please do!” Yuuji chirped. Nanami smiled, more fondly than expected. It left Yuuji flushed and happy as Nanami walked away. 

“Hey brat, I thought you were a useless beta,” Sukuna growled from Yuuji’s cheek. 

“I am,” Yuuji replied icily. He tried to focus on the film. 

“Then why are you sniffing all these pheromones all of a sudden?” 

Yuuji froze in place at Sukuna’s words. “What do you mean?”

Yuuji could feel a wave of irritation drift between them, burning at a level beyond words and thoughts. Sukuna’s voice was barbed as he spat, “I mean I didn’t fucking notice until you said something about the laundry, but you’re not sniffing the soap, you moron. Those are pheromones. That’s why it doesn’t smell like a real scent.”

“But I’m a beta, I can’t smell pheromones,” Yuuji said. He screwed up his face, trying to force Sukuna back. 

Their wills clashed, wavering for a moment. “Your control is too weak,” Sukuna retorted. “No one stays beta with all this cursed energy around, anyway. Which is good for me, it’s downright embarrassing for the vessel of the King of Curses to be a damned useless beta.”

Yuuji’s annoyance surged, and he finally pushed Sukuna back into the quiet place in his mind. Satisfied that Sukuna’s barbs were silenced for now, he sat back. His mind was reeling. 

Cursed energy having an influence on secondary gender wasn’t entirely unbelievable. Yuuji had considered it before as one of the catalysts for there being so many alphas among sorcerers. But the idea that it could change him? Was it a step too far to think he was going to present?

His eyes raced between the television, the movie still playing out with some contrived plot Yuuji couldn’t focus on, and the door to the bathroom. Any minute now, Nanamin would emerge. If Sukuna wasn’t full of shit, if it was truly pheromones he was smelling, could his body truly be changing?

Exhaustion, heat, cramps… What were the other symptoms? Schools didn’t usually cover secondary gender too deeply, but the signs of a presentation were usually taught to students, if he could only remember. 

Alphas would show signs of aggression, becoming more territorial or possessive of their things. Omegas would seek out safer places and surround themselves in comforting scents. For younger omegas, it meant familial scents, while older omegas would seek out the scents of those they were sexually interested in.

Yuuji held the blankets closer to him, his stomach sinking slowly as he breathed in the comforting, musky scent. 

He’d briefly been hoping to be alpha, like Fushiguro and Kugisaki. He was starting to suspect he might not get his wish. 

Nanami scrubbed his face with a scowl. Gojo was a bastard, truly an asshole in every way, shape, and form. This was torture from the blackest pits of hell. 

Adulthood wasn’t facing death in the eye. Any sorcerer did that without question from the age they were old enough to first see the curses at the edges of their vision. They protected those that couldn’t help themselves. Those major events were simply life. 

Only the weight of countless, menial sufferings could ever measure the progression of maturity. Only taking each new disappointment in stride could you ever hope to learn the value of each one.

All of this was to say that Itadori-kun, no matter the situation, was a child. 

He was a child, unversed in the small sufferings and pains in the world. He had never had his heart broken by a relationship that failed, or felt the fire of a new one beginning. He didn’t know the weight Nanami felt every time he walked off the campus toward another curse, and the way his shoulders lightened when the deed was done and the curse was gone. 

Itadori-kun certainly didn’t know that a warmth had settled into the pit of Nanami’s stomach and stayed there, ever since the first time he had said, “Nanamin!” in that sweet voice. More than anything, Itadori-kun didn’t know the way that warmth swelled inside Nanami’s stomach every time he looked up to his ‘Nanamin’ with those wide, golden eyes, his messy hair begging to be tousled.

He was hungry for praise in a way he would never admit, feeding off a single word of kindness and blossoming from it, and letting the criticisms sink into his skin and shave away the rough spots in his technique. 

He was bright, curious, quick to learn and even quicker to master new skills than Nanami could have ever expected, regardless of Gojo-sans effusive praise. 

Nanami had only grudgingly accepted to help, thinking Gojo was all talk about his students, like usual. He hadn’t expected to feel this dark streak of joy when he saw Yuuji succeed, and the twin weights of frustration and savage pride when Yuuji made dangerous but effortlessly pragmatic decisions. 

Nanami desperately wanted to call these feelings paternal. Yuuji was bright and bold and fearless, and above all, still a child. But no, god no, Nanami couldn’t deny the edge of heat he felt when he watched Yuuji in action. 

Gojo wouldn’t hesitate. God no, if he wanted Itadori-kun, nothing on heaven or earth would stop him from taking Itadori for himself. In fact, Nanami suspected Gojo was coming to his own conclusions, and Nanami was going to have to do something about it. 

Just because Yuuji was a beta and couldn’t smell the scent marks Gojo left, just because the two of them and Ijichi-san were the only ones who know Yuuji was even alive, it didn’t mean Gojo could just mark him up like that. Yuuji might stay oblivious to Gojo’s possessive gestures for now, but the other students would immediately notice.

Not that Nanami could talk. Itadori-kun was currently sitting on Nanami’s couch, wearing his clothes, wrapped in one of his blankets. Just walking past had left him aching deep in his chest, yearning to walk over and add one final piece. 

Nanami ground his teeth together, feeling his cock stiffen between his legs. Fuck it all to hell. Why did he have to be the morally upstanding one? Why did it have to be Itadori-kun, out of everyone Nanami had ever known and met? 

Itadori-kun trusted him, full stop, blind with his own innocence. Nanami was a monster violating that trust and innocence every time his mind conjured images of Itadori-kun looking up at him, eyes wide and wet and desperate for a kind word. He was unforgivable, imagining the tiniest, tightest red briefs tucked between a school jacket and a pair of trousers, falling on the floor when Nanami was adding clothes to the wash. 

Now Itadori-kun was feeling ill, sitting in Nanami’s living room without a care in the world, and Nanami was this close to jerking off in the shower over him. If he could just stop thinking of those wide, golden eyes and the softest smile he’d ever seen… Fuck, even the way he looked at Nanami was softer even than the bakery girl that had put him back on this path in the first place.

Nanami turned the water to ice cold, letting it pour over him until his erection wilted fully. He’d never regretted returning to sorcery until today. 

In the corporate world, he’d be miserable. He would be working a soul-sucking job doing absolutely nothing beneficial to society, and his alpha status would have catapulted him above his peers to a position of management. He probably wouldn’t have even earned it, but would still do his best to do it right. 

Instead he was protecting the vessel of Sukuna from the entire world, including himself. What could possibly go wrong. 

Nanami dressed in comfortable clothes, not unlike the ones he had loaned Itadori-kun, and grabbed the book he hadn’t finished yet on his way to the living room. At the very least, he could pretend to be doing anything other than dwelling on indecent thoughts of his houseguest. 

Itadori-kun looked stiffer than usual, sitting sharply upright, his eyes fixed firmly to the television. He jumped a little when Nanami stepped out. “Oh, Nanamin,” he said, breaking into a smile. He looked paler than before, a little more withdrawn into the blankets, but the smile on his face was just as warm as always. 

Nanami carefully sat down in the furthest chair from Itadori-kun, a stiff-backed armchair with a small table beside it. Itadori-kun frowned at him. “Nanamin, you can’t see the TV very well from there, can you?” he said. 

No, the view wasn’t great. But Itadori-kun was temptation given flesh, and the way he looked, wrapped up in Nanami’s scent like this, was almost more than Nanami could bear. If he were to move closer, he wasn’t sure his self-control would hold. Already, he could feel himself aching to gravitate closer. “It’s fine,” Nanami said stiffly. 

Itadori-kun pouted. “But you said you wanted to see the end. You can sit on the couch if you want…” The soft flush on his cheeks was almost irresistible. Nanami wavered. At the very least, he would need to get close again and check if Itadori-kun was still as feverish as before. That was his paper-thin excuse for standing up and slowly moving closer.

He rested the back of his hand against Itadori-kun’s forehead. It was like an open flame burning against him. A little groan slipped past Itadori-kun’s lips, those golden eyes fluttering and his hands clutching tighter at the blankets. Itadori-kun smelled like Nanami, smelled like- Nanami froze the moment he noticed something foreign and sweet lurked underneath. 

“Itadori-kun…” he murmured. “Do you feel alright?”

Itadori-kun looked up at him. “I… I’m actually kind of scared, Nanamin. I think something’s wrong with me.”

He didn’t pull his hand away, and Itadori-kun didn’t lean back away from him, either. Instead, Itadori-kun held the hand near his face, his eyes fluttering closed. He took a long, slow breath. His nose, so dangerously close to the scent gland on Nanami’s wrist, twitched, nostrils flaring. 

Itadori-kun whimpered, clutching tighter at his wrist. His eyes flew open. He looked scared. 

“What’s wrong, Itadori-kun?” Nanami asked, kneeling down. 

The flush on Itadori-kun’s face darkened even further. His voice was rough as he whispered, “I think… I might be presenting.”

Nanami was motionless from shock. He pulled his hand slowly back, looping his fingers gently around Itadori-kun’s wrist and turning it over. There was a faint shadow on the skin, and in the middle of it was a tiny shimmer of something that looked like a single bead of sweat. Nanami swiped the bead up on his fingertip. 

Itadori-kun shuddered softly. Nanami sniffed at the drop of oil, his guilty feeling growing worse by the second. The pheromones were faint, but present, burning with the beginning threads of heat. No beta in the world had a scent gland, certainly not one that put out pheromones like this. 

“Nanamin?” Itadori-kun said softly. 

“You’re presenting, you’re right,” Nanami said hoarsely. He stood up sharply, already reaching for his phone. Hands flew out, tugging at his clothes. 

“Nanamin, wait- don’t- don’t go far,” Itadori-kun breathed. His voice was shaky and scared. Of course, he had to be terrified right now. It was scary enough to present in the safety of your own home, but to do so in the home of an alpha you barely know? Every instinct in his body had to be screaming out in discomfort. 

Nanami reached out, petting Itadori-kun’s hair. A quiet, almost unnoticeable purr slipped out of Itadori-kun’s chest, and he leaned into Nanami’s touch. Without pulling his hand away, Nanami quickly dialed Gojo’s number once, then again. It rang, rang, and then suddenly cut to the start of Gojo’s voicemail message. Oh, Nanami was going to kill  him when the higher ups were off campus again. 

At the tone, Nanami growled low, “There is a slight problem. Itadori-kun is going into heat. Call me back as soon as you can.” He ended the call, aimlessly frustrated. There was nothing he could do. 

Itadori-kun’s voice broke through the silence. “I’m sorry, Nanamin,” he whispered. Nanami sighed and stroked Itadori-kun’s hair again. It was clean and fresh, fluffing under his fingers like the softest shag pillow. 

“It’s not something you can help. My guess is that it would have happened regardless, and it was only a matter of when. If it could have waited another week… But no, it’s too late to think about that. It’ll be alright, Itadori-kun. We’ll find you somewhere safe to… have your heat,” Nanami forced himself to say. The last three words felt like a death sentence. “One of us should be able to locate a discreet heat hotel for you to-”

“I don’t want to go somewhere else,” Yuuji said firmly, shaking his head. “I don’t want to go out there. I feel safe here, Nanamin, please don’t make me leave.” 

“Itadori-kun…” Nanami groaned. He rubbed his temples, already feeling his stress levels skyrocket. Itadori-kun’s scent still lacked any kind of definition or real substance, but it was already building in the air. The indistinct sweetness of a heat-stricken omega was already starting to fill out before anything else. Nanami’s instincts were rattling against their chains.

Worst of all, Itadori-kun smelled so fertile and fresh, even if the first heat was just a sensory trigger for the rest of an omega’s reproductive systems to start working. Nanami’s mind was already screaming at him to fill this sweet omega full of seed, to see him plump and round with Nanami’s get. 

Disgusted with himself, he looked away, glaring down at the phone that refused to ring. “Damn it all, Gojo…” he muttered, sinking down into the couch beside Itadori-kun. 

Itadori-kun leaned against him, wrapping himself around Nanami’s arm. “I’m scared, Nanamin. I feel really funny right now and I don’t know what to do.”

“Just stay calm, Itadori-kun,” Nanami whispered urgently, using his free hand to pet the soft, pink hair again. “What’s wrong?”

“My stomach feels really weird, but not in the middle, really. It’s hard to explain,” Itadori-kun said. He pushed the blankets back, rolling up the oversized shirt without waiting for Nanami to say a word. Nanami had to bite his lip hard. 

Milky skin peeked out from under the fabric, rippling with finely-defined abs. Itadori-kun’s hand peeked out, skating his fingers low on his abdomen, a few inches below his navel and barely above the waistline of the sweatpants. 

Right where Itadori-kun’s body would be hard at work, carving out a place for one day carrying young, Nanami’s mind supplied. His voice came out cracked and forced as he said, “That is… normal for male omegas, I believe. Your body is…”

“Sukuna says it’s a womb,” Itadori-kun whispered. He let the shirt fall back over his stomach, looking frightened. “I don’t want to get pregnant yet.” 

“It’s okay, deep breaths, Itadori-kun,” Nanami soothed. “You can’t get pregnant from a presentation heat, regardless, and no one is going to assault you while you’re… indisposed. I won’t let anyone hurt you.” No one would get close to Itadori-kun. Now if Nanami could only promise that he wouldn’t hurt the boy, either. “I… I’ll make sure you’re okay.” 

“I trust you, Nanamin,” Itadori-kun whispered. He snuggled himself into Nanami’s side, tucking his head in. He mumbled in a quiet voice, “I know you’ll keep me safe.”

It did terrible, wonderful things to Nanami’s heart. He looked at his phone, desperate for any kind of distraction from the soft weight of Itadori-kun’s body pressed against his side. He took a slow, shaky breath, and tried to stay strong. 

Yuuji was burning. His whole body felt like it was on fire, inside and out. He’d broken bones before, felt the searing pain of losing a whole hand, of having his heart ripped out of his chest, leaving him to die. This? This was different and almost worse than any of it.

It wasn’t as sharp, but it was just as overwhelming, sinking so deep into his mind and soul that he wanted to sob. There was a kind of agony that couldn’t be put into words, and it yawned inside of him, open and empty and aching for something

Omega whore

Sukuna purred the words, low and cruel. The worse the pain got, the harder it was to hold him back. Sukuna’s biting words made it harder to ignore the emptiness and the pain. 

Back when I was in charge, I had a harem of omega whores just like you who would spread their legs and beg for me. If this is how desperate they all felt, no wonder they begged so frantically.

“Hurts,” Yuuji gasped, unable to hold it back any longer. He could feel his pulse throbbing between his legs. He was hard as a rock, but with Nanamin sitting beside him, he didn’t dare slide his palm down to stroke himself. He chewed his lower lip. Nanami looked fretful, torn between moving away and doing something other than petting Yuuji’s head. He didn’t want either of those things to happen. The musky, warm scent deepened. 

Do you smell that? That stench of sex on the air? Your teacher wants to fuck you. 

“You’re wrong,” Yuuji muttered fiercely, unwilling to say more than that. Nanami gave him a questioning look, and Yuuji managed to give him a small smile. “Sukuna is… being difficult,” was all he said. 

You don’t even want to ask him? Your body is going to burn hotter and hotter. That pain you feel is your desperate need for a knot inside you. Too bad for you, of course. Doesn’t society these days frown upon a teacher taking advantage of his students?

Yuuji tried desperately to ignore him. His free hand snuck under the blanket, desperately grinding the heel of his palm against his cock. It didn’t grant him any relief. It only made things worse, a sharp hiss slipping through his teeth. 

Oh, that’s right. You have a crush on him, don’t you? Your little infatuation is pathetic. Right now, all he sees you as is a hot, wet little hole to fuck. I bet if you asked nicely, he’d fuck you until you screamed. 

Yuuji shook his head harder. Sukuna was making this impossible to bear. Yuuji craned his neck, burying his face into Nanamin’s shoulder. He breathed in the scent. 

Finally, he could pick out the thread of arousal that Sukuna had mentioned, but the cocktail of pheromones was so much more complex than that. So many feelings were buried under the arousal, it was hard to pick any of them out. Minutes and hours passed, and there was no call. The pain only grew worse. 

Nanami growled under his breath. “If he’s not going to answer, then we are going to make do. I’m sorry, Itadori-kun, this is not going to be easy on you, but I’ll do my best to help you.”

Yuuji’s hopes soared, only to crash down immediately with Nanami’s next words. 

“Don’t worry, Itadori-kun, I won’t touch you. But a steady release of alpha pheromones should make it easier for you to… burn yourself out without being in too much pain. I know it will be awkward for you at first, but I hope you won’t be so afraid once it starts. I can sit across the room if you need me to.”

No, no, that wasn’t what Yuuji wanted at all! He was already shaking his head, wordless with pain. Nanami raked his fingers over Yuuji’s scalp, and the delicious feeling burned over every inch of his skin.

“Don’t be afraid. All you need to do is release several times and the first wave will recede. Since it’s your first heat, it shouldn’t take you long. When you’re feeling more like yourself, I’ll talk you through the rest. Do you understand me, Itadori-kun?”

“Yuuji,” Yuuji breathed through clenched teeth. “Please, at least for the next few minutes. It’ll make it easier.”

“That’s hardly proper-” Nanami began, only to break off as Yuuji gasped from pain. 

A fragrant cloud of pheromones filled the air in response, and it went straight to Yuuji’s head, dulling the pain like cotton over a blade. He gripped Nanamin’s arm even tighter. “Please,” Yuuji gasped. “Just while you sit with me. Just say my name.”

Nanamin took a long, slow breath, and he finally conceded with a nod. “Just during the first wave, if that will help… Yuuji.”

Like there were sparks under his skin, Yuuji could feel himself buzzing harder than ever before, every part of him electric and on edge. Yuuji’s free hand ground into his groin again, desperately seeking stimulation. It wasn’t right, it wasn’t enough. He shoved his hand down the waistband of the pants, the lack of underwear and the roomy sweats making it so terribly easy to take himself in hand. 

His head fell back with a groan. 

“That’s right, Yuuji,” Nanamin said. He sounded almost as breathless as Yuuji. “That’s exactly what will make you feel better. You’re doing so good.” 

Praise. Yuuji drank it up like water, his hand jerking himself off faster. It wasn’t enough. It wasn’t right. It did nothing to resolve the gaping, empty feeling inside of him. 

“Not working,” Yuuji gasped. His lashes fluttered heavily against his cheek, his body trembling. “It’s not helping.” He kicked the blanket off him, feeling stifled and restricted by it. His legs spread wide to give him more room to work. 

Nanami made a choking sound in the back of his throat. “You need to go lower. Just… ahem. Just behind your testicles, there should be a small slit. Feel between your legs until you find it.”

Unwilling to let Nanamin’s arm go for fear he would move further away, Yuuji had only one hand to wrestle the borrowed pants halfway down his thighs. He kicked one leg free. His mind was already so hazy that shame felt a thousand miles away.  

His fingers probed between his legs, feeling for any small slits or imperfections along the smooth skin of his taint. “Nanamin, I can’t find it,” Yuuji whined. 

Nanamin groaned softly. There was a long pause, a breathless moment when Yuuji feared that the pain would never find relief. “Let me see,” Nanami at last said gently. With a light touch, he guided Yuuji to lay back on the couch, his legs spread and his head resting on the arm. The position left Yuuji with one leg hooked over the back of the couch, the other leg crooked and left to rest on the floor. 

He impulsively wanted to pull his legs together, and he struggled to keep himself open. The weight of Nanamin’s gaze on him left him shivering. 

Nanami took his hand gently by the wrist. He kept his moments slow enough for Yuuji to relax into them, letting Nanami guide one finger along the crease behind his balls. He was letting Yuuji get a feel for the position on his body, Yuuji realized. 

He guided Yuuji’s finger further down along his taint, perhaps an inch below, where a faint bit of wetness had gathered. Nanami grimaced. “I’m sorry, Yuuji, this might hurt a little the first time. Press your finger inside and it will start to feel good.” 

Inside of what? Yuuji could feel his pulse throbbing between his legs, the emptiness almost more than he could bear. Nanami pulled his hand back and Yuuji lost it— where was the spot Nanamin had told him to push? He frantically rubbed against the wet spot between his thighs, trying to feel for the slit that was supposed to be there. 

It had the unintended effect of soothing the ragged edges of the need. Yuuji whined low under his breath, rocking his hips up into his fingers. The pain melted together with the waves of pleasure, until it was almost more than Yuuji could take. His fingers pressed down, and suddenly he could feel it: a small slit where there hasn’t been one before. 

When the tip of his middle finger probed it, the world seemed to tilt on its axis. Yuuji cried out, a sudden gush of something slick and wet spilling past his finger from the slit at the same time. “Nanamin, Nanamin this feels weird. Is this right?” he cried out breathlessly. 

Nanami sounded choked up, his breathing faster and harder. His hands clenched into tight fists at his sides.  “That’s… that’s exactly right, Yuuji. Stimulate that spot when it starts, and you will be able to ease some of your pain.”

“It hasn’t started yet?” Yuuji gasped. Fuck! It was already so intense, he could barely take it. How much worse could it get? He shook his head, pulling his hand back. His fingers webbed with the sticky, wet slick. “I don’t think I can do this, Nanamin.”

“It’s okay, Yuuji, you can,” Nanami said, his voice almost a low growl. “You are stronger than this. You face down special grades without hesitating, protect those you care about without even thinking. An omega heat is nothing compared to being the vessel of Sukuna, correct?” 

Yuuji sucked in a shaky breath, another violent wave of heat rushing through him. The blistering pain was miserable, but the rasp of Nanami’s voice was enough for Yuuji to hold on. “Yes,” he gasped. This was nothing. He could take on more than this. “Nanamin…”

“I’ll just… step aside and let you-”

Yuuji keened. “No, please, Nanamin. Don’t go!”

Nanamin hesitated. Yuuji pressed his fingers back against the little spot between his legs, his head falling back with a shaky cry. His legs twitched, reeling back and spreading wider in turn. The slit opened wider under his probing fingers. This time, the touch was nearly painless, eclipsing his agony under a wave of bliss. Yuuji shuddered softly.

He couldn’t hold back his voice as a glut of new sensation flooded over him, more sensitive than any part of him had any right to be. The slit spread open wider under his touch. It was hot and slick inside, and when he rubbed against the edge of it, he gasped high and clear. 

Nanami, his glasses discarded after the shower, was watching Yuuji with an expression that was entirely unreadable. Yuuji could feel the weight of it on him. His chest felt lighter than air, desperately pleased. Nanami’s attention on him was better than any late night jerk off session that he could remember. 

His free hand fell to his chest, and where it brushed his nipple, there was a pleasant buzz. At the same time, he pressed his middle finger a little harder against the rim of the new slit, and it pushed inside more easily than expected. It was like a tight little cavern had been opened, deeper than expected, hugging his finger tight. 

Yuuji sucked in gasping breaths. His middle finger pressed in until it was at the first knuckle, then the second, pausing there as he trembled and caught his breath. He twisted the fingers of his other hand, brushing against his nipple again. Oh, good… that felt good. 

The empty feeling in his pelvis pulsed, all at once satisfied and yearning for more. He crooked his fingertip, sobbing in pleasure and unable to stop himself from shoving the finger all the way down to the base. 

It was like touching a live wire, exploding inside him with new feelings and sensations he had never felt before. Combined with a twist of nipple, it was all too much for him to take. His cock pulsed, his vision going dark as he came harder than he ever had in his life. 

“That’s right,” Nanami breathed. “That’s how you do it.” Yuuji’s hips bucked and jerked as the orgasm ripped through him, tearing out a broken cry and sending his mind swirling. 

The crushing feeling of pure pleasure was almost too much for him to bear. And even though the immediate relief soothed some of the sharpest spikes of pain, the burning fire in his belly refused to waver. Yuuji slowly pulled the finger back out with a sob. “Not enough,” he said. “It’s… it’s not right. Why isn’t it helping?” Yuuji could feel distress rising in the back of his throat, and he jammed his finger back inside himself, a desperate cry spilling past his lips. 

Nanami let out a sound of distress. “I’m sorry, Yuuji. Just keep touching yourself and you’ll feel better.” More comforting pheromones filled the air, but it wasn’t enough. It didn’t scratch the itch like Yuuji desperately needed. 

He felt exposed, unpleasantly so. He didn’t have a nest to retreat into, and so he would have to find the next best thing. But, his brain supplied, what was that? His instincts screamed. 

Yuuji jabbed the finger in and out a few times before frustration mounted, and he sat up with a huff, leaning himself against the warmth of Nanamin’s side once more. Tucked up against his arm and shoulder, Yuuji instantly felt safer, more at ease. “Pet me again, please,” Yuuji whispered. 

Nanami hesitated a moment, and then fingers tugged through Yuuji’s hair, bringing a purr bubbling past Yuuji’s lips. He slowed his thrusts a little. It wasn’t enough, but it was on the right track. 

“Thank you, Nanamin,” Yuuji whispered, burying his nose into Nanamin’s shoulder. He pulled his finger out and circled the rim with two fingers, gathering up the messy slick on his skin. He pushed them both inside with a sharp cry. The fingers in his hair turned ragged. 

“Itadori- I mean, Yuuji… Are you… certain you want to sit so close?” Nanamin’s voice was low, the husky edge of it pooling in Yuuji’s stomach like liquid fire. 

He looked up, eyes wet. “Do you… not want me, Nanamin?” he whispered. 

Nanami looked stricken. “You can sit here if it helps you, Yuuji. I just… wanted to make certain…” His words tapered off as Yuuji pushed a third finger inside himself, letting out a muffled cry. 

“Hurts, Nanamin. Need more, it’s not enough,” he sobbed. 

“I know, I know,” Nanamin soothed, trying to pet Yuuji harder. “A solo heat is a difficult thing. But you can do it, Yuuji, I know you can. Just… stay strong.”

Yuuji used his fingers, bringing himself dangerously close to cumming once more. It slipped through his fingers with an agonized cry. 

He could feel it. He wasn’t close enough to Nanamin. Why wasn’t he allowed to be closer? His Nanamin smelled so good, all protective and strong like an alpha should. Yuuji rubbed his cheek against the soft fabric of his Nanamin’s shirt. 

Everything was hazy. Only minutes ago, Yuuji had felt so scared, but now it all felt right. Well, close to right. So close, with his Nanamin sitting close. Yuuji purred. 

“Wait, Yuuji, hold on!” Nanamin said, his voice dangerously close to a startled yelp. Yuuji looked  down. He had half climbed on his Nanamin’s lap without even realizing it. He finished the job, fending off the gentle push that tried to unseat him. 

Content now with this new level of closeness, he draped himself over his Nanamin, his chest flush with Nanamin’s, and his ass grinding down into something hard beneath him. He nosed his way into the warmth of Nanami’s neck. He couldn’t help but slowly rock his hips to feel the hardness against the sensitive new hole. 

“Yuuji, we can’t,” Nanamin said urgently. 

“Nanamin, please,” Yuuji whimpered. He pressed a soft little peck of his lips to the spot where Nanamin’s jaw and throat met. “Please, please.”

Nanamin’s voice was gentle but firm, but his touch was so deliciously hard as he grabbed Yuuji by the hips, preventing him from grinding down anymore. “We can’t. I’m an adult. You’re a child-”

“‘Mmm not a child,” Yuuji sulked. “Please, Nanamin. It hurts so bad. I want you.”

Nanamin made a desperate sound. “You aren’t in your right mind. You can’t consent. You don’t actually want this from me. You only think you do.”

“But I need you, Nanamin,” Yuuji begged. “Nanamin, my Nanamin, please. Only you. I want you. Don’t wanna pretend I don’t wanna do it.” He felt delirious with need. He tried to fight the grip on his thighs, but the fingers holding him in place were like iron. He peppered more kisses to his Nanamin’s throat and jaw, breathing in the scent of desire. “Nanamin… Nanamin…” he whispered. 

“Yuuji, please don’t do this to me. I’m trying so hard to hold myself back right now and you’re making it incredibly difficult to-”

Yuuji bit down on the soft skin, annoyed. “Nanamin,” he whined. “I just wanna feel you touching me.”

There was a moment of heated silence, their breaths the only sound in the air. “Just… touching,” Nanamin exhaled, his lips set in a thin line. “That’s it. I’m just… helping you. Nothing more than that, do you understand? I’m just… helping you.” Yuuji felt the iron grip on his hips release. The skin tingled deliciously, like it would bruise in the shape of hands around his waist. One hand cupped Yuuji’s backside, easing him up onto his knees. The other slipped between Yuuji’s legs, caressing the skin at the crease of his thigh. 

His touch moved behind Yuuji’s cock, behind the weight of Yuuji’s aching balls, to the soft, wet skin. A strangled sound broke through Nanamin’s chest. 

Yuuji’s eyes fluttered shut. “Nanamin, Nanamin, please, please, I need it, I need you…” He could barely understand himself anymore. His words came without a filter. There was a moment of hesitation, and then two fingers, each one thicker than Yuuji’s and slightly callused, pressed inside. 

Yuuji’s hands flew to Nanamin’s shoulders. His legs trembled, almost giving out beneath him as Nanamin rubbed his inner walls. Those new fingers felt like a dream. What a good alpha Nanamin was, stroking and petting his omega inside until he was melting against him. Yuuji wanted to fall into his touch. 

His hips rocked, chasing the fingers as they pulled out and trying to slam down on them when they pushed back in. His legs trembled and finally surrendered. He collapsed onto Nanamin’s lap with a breathy cry, the fingers reaching deeper than they had before. He was almost crying. 

“So good, Nanamin, more, please, Nanamin, my Nanamin, I need more.”

“I can’t give you any more,” Nanamin said. He sounded broken, trying to make up for it by stroking Yuuji’s cock in time with the thrusting of his fingers. It felt good, but not good enough. Not when Yuuji was so close to his prize he could almost taste it. 

Yuuji looked at him with watery eyes, begging. He could feel how badly Nanamin wanted to mate with him. So why didn’t he? Why was his alpha being so stubborn? “Don’t you want me, Nanamin? Please? I can smell it… I know you want to f-” his voice broke, stumbling over the word before he managed to push it out, “fuck me.”

Nanamin let out a punched-out groan, his hands flying back down to hold Yuuji’s hips painfully tight once more. The smell of arousal surged around them both, and Yuuji almost moaned. “Don’t… say that… please, Yuuji,” Nanamin begged.

Yuuji could see a weakness. It was easier to say after the first time, new pleas slipping out of him like rain. “Fuck me, Nanamin, please, fuck me. I want to feel you inside me. I need it so bad! It hurts, Nanamin, please, just give it to me.”

“You don’t even know what you’re asking for,” Nanamin growled. His eyes were closed, resolve shaking. Yuuji fluttered kisses over the skin, his cheeks unbearably warm. 

He looked at Nanamin, lower lip trembling. “I want your cock inside me, Nanamin. I want to feel you, Nanamin, please, I want your knot, I want you to knot me!” his voice rose louder, until he could feel Nanami snap beneath him.

The iron grip on his hips pulled him down hard into Nanamin’s lap, his lips caught in a kiss so hot that it took Yuuji’s breath away. He blinked away tears, grinding down against the bulging sweatpants beneath him. Nanami tugged them out of the way, his cock at last springing free. 

Yuuji held his breath, finally taking in his prize. It was long, thick, and the slight swell at the base told Yuuji that the knot would feel like a dream. He barely had a moment to look before Nanami growled low, tilting his hips and guiding Yuuji down onto him. 

Yuuji squeaked in shock as the blunt head pushed against the newly formed opening. “Nanamin, please,” he gasped. 

Nanamin’s hips tipped, and the first inch sank in as easily as a dream. Yuuji sobbed, either from pleasure or pure overwhelming sensation, he couldn’t tell. All he knew was that his whole world seemed to narrow down to this. He was pulled down, little by little, forced to gasp and huff and moan as Nanamin drove deeper and deeper inside him. 

In his lungs, there was only the heavy breath of Nanamin’s scent, comforting and claiming and burning with desire. On his lips, there was only Nanami’s name, wordless pleas and cries as he felt himself slowly being split open on Nanamin’s cock. In Yuuji’s heart, this was nothing short of perfection. 

Wild, animal, and hungry, his instincts begged him to lay claim to the alpha beneath him. He sucked desperately at Nanamin’s neck, leaving deep, bruising marks. He could feel the low rumble of approval in Nanami’s chest, and he could tell his alpha was pleased. 

“So good, so good,” Yuuji sobbed. He could feel the thickness carving out a place inside him, as if it were splitting him in two. Nanamin lifted Yuuji off his cock for a moment, letting Yuuji take shaky, shuddering breaths. His body clenched around new emptiness. 

“Yuuji,” Nanami breathed, his eyes unfocused, and his voice low. “I’m sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m not strong enough. I’ve failed you.”

Without the suit and tie, Nanamin radiated a different kind of energy, and in the soft light of the television set, he was so beautiful it hurt to look. The hard edges of his face were severe, like they were chiseled from marble. It gave the impression of deep pain and suffering, of something tragically beautiful and full of longing. 

Yuuji cradled Nanamin’s face in his palms, smiling like an angel. “But Nanamin, it feels so good,” he crooned. He let out a breathy cry as his hips sank back down, his eyes fluttering in bliss. He tangled his fingers through soft, slightly damp blond hair. 

Deeper, deeper, every inch of Nanamin’s cock drove inside him, until at last their bodies were flush. Soft, blond pubic hair tickled the underside of Yuuji’s cock, making him giggle. Yuuji had never felt so connected to anyone before in his life. 

They stalled there, taking slow breaths as his body adjusted to this new feeling of fullness. He adjusted his knees, pushing up to feel the slow, sweet slide of Nanami’s thick length inside him. His heat was burning inside him, so hot he could barely take it. Only Nanamin’s touch could soothe it. 

His sweet, stern teacher Nanamin looked at him with eyes wet with tears, shining with guilt and lust and love. He held Yuuji like a treasure, his body more honest than his words. Even his hips betrayed him, snapping up to meet every roll of Yuuji’s own body. 

The wet slap of skin was buried under the sound of their own moaning, their greedy gasps and touches as they reached to hold each other closer. Yuuji loved Nanamin. He felt safe, respected, but cared for. Nanamin trusted him. 

Yuuji’s head fell back with a cry as a new twist of his hips hit some new spot inside him. “Right there Nanamin, please, please.”

Nanamin drilled his hips up, steady as a machine. The light flush on his face was almost too much to take. The heat was too much for Nanamin to resist. He was only mortal, Yuuji was pleased to see. The hazy, lust blown part of his mind preened in satisfaction, at a victory well won. 

“So good for me, Yuuji,” Nanamin praised, and Yuuji sobbed. He was already close again. “My good boy, my beautiful, good boy. Do you want my knot?”

“I want it, Nanamin,” Yuuji begged. “Want your knot.”

“Yuuji, my Yuuji,” Nanamin said, every breath ruined with lust and desire and the same animal hunger burning through Yuuji’s veins. “Close… my sweet Yuuji… darling boy…”

Yuuji was lost to the world. It was all he could do to keep a frantic pace, chasing his pleasure as he rode Nanamin into the couch. This was so much better than late night jerk off sessions staring at the posters on his walls. His body seemed to know what he wanted better than he knew himself. He held on as he let his Nanamin rearrange his insides with every powerful thrust, reshaping his body and molding it into something made just for his Nanamin’s cock. 

Yuuji wanted to cry. His body was made for his Nanamin, shaped by his Nanamin. He would never be able to forget the feeling of that fat cock driving into him, touching virgin skin for the first time. Yuuji sobbed in delight. He was ruined for anyone else, and he knew it. 

When Nanamin pulled his hips back, there was a tiny tug of resistance, and the base of his cock felt a little bigger than before as he stuffed it back into Yuuji. 

“Knot me,” Yuuji breathed. He wanted it so bad, it hurt. “Nanamin’s knot… feels so good.”

He heard Nanamin grunt beneath him, pulling out one more time. There was even more resistance this time. And when Nanamin slammed his hips up, Yuuji could feel his body fighting the size of the intrusion at the base of the cock. He could feel Nanamin’s mouth brushing the base of his neck, right where a bonding mark would go, sucking a dark kiss over the spot. 

Bonding. Permanent, eternal, mates for life, beyond even the bonds of matrimony. 

“In me, in me,” Yuuji begged. “Bite me, Nanamin. Make me yours. I want to be yours, Nanamin. Please, please, bite me,” he babbled. 

Nanamin pulled back his lips and bared his teeth. Yuuji was in ecstasy. He sank down. The knot popped inside, suddenly swelling even larger as Nanamin came. Yuuji screamed. His whole world trembled and split in two. A hand smacked over his bonding mark just as Nanamin bit down. 

He’d never felt anything so massive inside him, big enough to keep his body locked intertwined with his Nanamin’s. So big, so good. He sobbed and came, and he couldn’t stop. Nanamin stroked him as his cock spat out pathetic little spurts of release, while the new hole clamped down on the knot and milked it for all it had. 

Yuuji could feel Nanamin’s thick alpha seed flood his body. Thick jets of liquid warmth painted his insides white. Yuuji sobbed as it kept coming, more and more, pent up for too long and finally released. Yuuji came again. It was only moments after the last, and he was unsure if the previous had ever actually finished. His neck wasn’t marked. He wasn’t bonded. 

All Yuuji knew was that he could feel pleasure in every bone in his body, exhausted and content and viciously smug to have his alpha’s knot inside him. Nanamin purred, petting Yuuji’s hair and pulling his hand away. The back of it was bleeding where his teeth had sunk in, the kind of bite that was deep enough to potentially mark Yuuji forever. 

Yuuji whined low in the back of his throat, feeling the last orgasm clear away a little bit of the fog. Nanamin was right— the first wave was short, and clarity was returning quickly enough. “Nana…min…” he croaked. 

“I’m sorry, Itadori-kun,” Nanamin said, his voice ruined. “I failed you, I didn’t protect you—”

Yuuji let himself curl bonelessly against Nanamin’s chest. “But you helped me,” he said, wide eyed and trusting.

“I almost bit you,” Nanamin spat, holding up his bleeding hand. There was a frenzy in his eyes, despair and pain that made Yuuji burn not with heat, but with guilt. “I would have ruined your life.”

Yuuji reached out, carefully taking the bleeding hand in his own. He kissed each of the fingertips in turn. “But you didn’t,” Yuuji said softly. “I’m sorry I upset you, Nanamin. But you protected me when I needed it most and that’s all that matters to me.”

“I violated you,” Nanamin said mercilessly. “You only came to me because you were in heat.”

Yuuji looked away, his cheeks flushed dark. He had never wanted to confess this, but he couldn’t stand to see Nanamin suffer like this, thinking he had done something Yuuji didn’t want. Nanamin was too good to suffer from this. “Nanamin, I’ve… actually had a crush on you for a while. What you did was… nothing I didn’t already want.”

Nanamin made a confused sound. “When? Why?”

“Since… I don’t know. I didn’t really notice until after the fight with Mahito. When I’m with you, it feels like you care about so much more than just my strength as a sorcerer and my ability to survive. You care about my feelings. You didn’t make me confront those… things that used to be humans until I was ready. You trust in me, and that… feels really good, Nanamin. I like feeling trusted.”

Nanamin’s head dropped, their foreheads touching. Yuuji combed his fingers through Nanamin’s hair. Yuuji felt choked up. 

“I don’t want to lose you, Nanamin. When you were in Mahito’s domain, I was so scared…”

Nanamin soothed him, shushing the worries away and stroking Yuuji’s back. “It’s okay, Itadori-kun. I’m here. But even so, I still violated your trust in me. I swore to protect you, and I took advantage of that.”

“I am not a child, Nanamin!” Yuuji said. “I’ve seen people I care about die in front of me. I have to hold back the spirit of an all-powerful curse that no one else can stop. So what if I’m still learning some things? So what if I’m idealistic about trying to help others? I know what matters most to me, and I’m not going to make a difference if I don’t try.”

Nanamin was silent. Yuuji wrapped his arms around Nanamin’s shoulders, aching to be embraced. It took a moment before Nanami finally encircled him with his arms, surrounding Yuuji in warmth. 

Yuuji closed his eyes. “I don’t want you to keep looking down on me like that with those excuses. You think Gojo-sensei is a child, too.”

“A child’s answer,” Nanami said. “You will change your mind a thousand times over the next five, ten, twenty years. And Gojo-san is older than me.”

“Will I really change my mind, Nanamin?” Yuuji said. “If you’re so certain, then why are you so afraid to try? Scared you’ll fall in love with me back?”

There was a heavy silence in the air and a broken look in Nanamin’s eyes. Nanamin sighed, long and slow, holding Yuuji tighter. “No. Because I already do.”

Yuuji’s argument died on his lips. Nanamin said nothing else, just held Yuuji close. The silence stretched out between them. He shifted, feeling the knot tug and pull inside of him. He whined as another wave of pleasure ripping through him. 

Nanamin huffed. The scent of a pleased alpha overwhelmed the anxious scent that had permeated the air. “Nanamin…” Yuuji whispered. 

They laid together, their bodies tangled in the quiet darkness. The credits of the film were rolling, long forgotten in the chaos. 

“I don’t want to ruin your life,” Nanamin whispered. 

Yuuji laughed, but he felt like crying. “Nanamin, don’t be silly. After everything that’s happened, you think this would be the thing that ruins my life? Not Sukuna? Not the higher ups and all these curses trying to kill me? Not my friends thinking I’m dead?”

Nanamin buried his head in Yuuji’s neck. 

Yuuji quietly stroked Nanami’s hair, breathing in his scent. It was warmer than before, twisted up with something Yuuji could only place as himself, as them, as their pheromones mixing into a perfect union. 

“I love you, too, Nanamin,” Yuuji said softly. His heat was lapping again at his heels. His throat hurt, and he desperately wanted a drink of water, but right now, the most important thing to him was soothing his mate, his Nanamin. 

His hips slowly rocked, just feeling the sweet, heavy fullness inside him. Nanamin pressed a soft, sweet kiss against Yuuji’s temple, then another to the tip of his nose, his hand cradling Yuuji’s chin with a gentle touch. Yuuji sat in tremulous silence, waiting, looking deep into Nanamin’s eyes. 

They were silent for the span of a heartbeat, not even taking a breath. Nanami tipped his head forward, lips brushing against Yuuji’s. 

Yuuji sucked in a sharp breath, his eyes closing and his body leaning into it. It felt like falling, slowly and then faster, faster, surging to meet one another. Yuuji held Nanamin close. He knew he was clumsy, fumbling against Nanamin’s expert kiss. Their teeth clattered, and Yuuji made breathy, gasping sounds as his hips started to rock again. 

He couldn’t pull off the knot, but he could slowly grind his hips down, feeling the thickness of the knot rub against the rim. 

Nanamin’s tongue pressed past Yuuji’s lips, invading his mouth and drawing the kiss even deeper than before. It was so new, so sudden, and Yuuji was delighted to explore the taste, the shape of Nanamin’s lips and the way their mouths molded against one another. 

One of Nanamin’s hands slipped down, cupping Yuuji’s chest. The thumb swiped over Yuuji’s nipple, the same one he’d been toying with earlier. It was just as sensitive now as it was before, and Yuuji mewled into the kiss. There was a glut of overstimulation, of new things that Yuuji still didn’t know how to make sense of. 

“Nanamin,” Yuuji breathed. He let out a little cry as he came again, this one leaving him exhausted and curled against the warm chest. His cock was limp against his thigh, his skin spattered with release. He tipped his head up, greedy for another kiss. He’d had a taste once, and he couldn’t get enough. 

“Yuuji, my sweet Yuuji,” Nanamin murmured, rolling his hips.  His eyes fluttered with dark ecstasy, and Yuuji could feel the cock inside him give a little twitch, pulsing inside of him once more. The fat knot held them in place, but also served to keep everything inside. It made Yuuji’s tummy feel strange again, but in a different way this time.

Instead of feeling unpleasant, this one felt good, like his Nanamin had left him full and warm. Yuuji liked this feeling much more. How much longer would they be together like this? It was hard to remember obscure facts from a class he took four years ago, and even harder to remember it when his body felt this good, and this exhausted. 

The door slammed open without warning. 

The sudden shock of it nearly stopped Yuuji’s heart, his head whipping up and his instincts flaring. A voice followed the slam, saying “I got here as fast as I… could…” It trailed off, and Yuuji and Nanamin could only stare, stunned to silence. 

Gojo-sensei was standing in the doorway, a shadow in the gloom of a room lit only by the TV. There wasn’t exactly anywhere they could go where Gojo-sensei wouldn’t see them. 

Nanamin growled subconsciously, grabbing the blanket and covering Yuuji with it. Yuuji’s stomach fluttered like butterflies. The snarl was sexy, and it sent shivers racing up Yuuji’s spine in response. 

“It’s just sensei…” Yuuji murmured, already feeling safe again. He let his head droop once more. The distant edges of his heat and his own exhaustion were rivaling against one another. They’d only been held at bay this long through sheer willpower and the need to ensure that Nanamin wasn’t upset. 

Thick, oppressive waves of possession filled the air. If Yuuji had doubted Nanamin’s sincerity before, there was no question now. It was relieving to see. It was silly, too, of course. Yuuji didn’t think he needed protection from Gojo-sensei. But it was nice to see his Nanamin take a bit of a selfish edge, when it came down to it. 

Gojo laughed. “I see. I guess you two have everything taken care of without me. And here I thought this was an emergency.”

Nanamin cleared his throat. He shook his head, and the air changed slightly. Though there was still a possessive aspect to it, the previous smell of sex was already coming back to prominence. Yuuji was starting to understand the subtle ways that the scents could add context. 

“I’m… assisting,” Nanamin said, a bit forced. 

“Uh huh, I’m sure,” Gojo said. He didn’t linger in the doorway. Instead, he stepped inside, closing the door behind himself. Nanami monitored him closely, Yuuji watching his sensei sweep through the room with half-closed eyes. The smirk on Gojo’s face was almost insufferable. He leaned in dangerously close, heedless of Nanami’s growl only a moment ago. “Does your Nanamin feel good, Yuuji?”

Yuuji hummed, nodding sleepily. “Mmmm. Yeah. Feels really good.”

Gojo looked down at the slowly bleeding hand. Nanami glowered. “Don’t say a word.”

“I wasn’t going to,” Gojo said. “Well, maybe just a few. Need a bandage, Kento-kun?”

Nanamin looked like he’d bitten a sour lemon. “If you’re going to be in my home, make yourself useful at least. We’ll be stuck like this for at least another twenty minutes, and Itadori-kun needs water before he sleeps.”

“Hydration is important, I agree,” Gojo replied. He took a pair of bottles from the fridge, offering one each to Yuuji and Nanamin. “I tried to call as soon as I got the message, but no one answered. I think I see why I kept going to voicemail now.” 

Yuuji drained the bottle before setting it gently aside, the cap replaced. Gojo sat beside them, unfazed by the smell of sex and the way Yuuji was still sitting astride Nanamin’s lap, his legs going a bit stiff. He offered Yuuji a roll of bandages. “Hold this for me?” he asked.

Yuuji took the roll, watching as Gojo cracked open a bottle of antiseptic and poured it onto a rag. He tossed it to Nanamin, who mopped up the ring of teeth marks and cleansing away the blood. He didn’t even wince at the sting. Gojo took the bandages back, helpfully pulling out a length of it. 

“See, aren’t you glad I’m here?” Gojo said. Nanamin glared. “Yuuji-kun’s glad I’m here, at least.”

“Mmm, sensei, ‘m sleepy. Can we talk in the morning?” Yuuji mumbled. 

Gojo laughed. “I would, but you two probably won’t be good conversation by then. Alright, I’m going to see what Shouko knows about this and I’ll let you know if she has anything for you to keep in mind. But I’m guessing this isn’t different from any other heat so just… keep him fucked and happy, Kento-kun,” Gojo said, patting Nanami on the head. 

Nanamin glowered. “You’re loving this, aren’t you?”

“I’m very happy that my cute little student is well taken care of. And honestly, Kento-kun, you really needed to get laid anyway, so this is good for both of you. If anything changes, let me know! I’ll have Ijichi bring you some food later, so try not to scare him too much.”

Gojo waved and left them alone once more, and there was a heavy silence in his wake. 

When Yuuji shifted his hips, he could feel the size of the knot beginning to shrink slightly. “Nanamin… the knot,” he murmured. 

Nanamin stroked his hair. He let his head fall back with a long, heavy sigh. “I’m sure you’re exhausted, Yuuji. Let’s get you cleaned up and into bed, okay? Your heat will be back in the morning, and it’ll likely last for a day or two beyond that. It’s important to get your rest when you can.”

“You’re going to stay with me, right Nanamin?” Yuuji said with a smile. Arms encircled him, tucking him in close under Nanamin’s chin. 

“I’m not going anywhere. Don’t worry, Yuuji, I’m here for you.”