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When Your Demon Comes Out Of A Thousand Year Slumber Make Sure You Feed Him At Least Once A week, Buddy

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Brat.

Yuuji’s eyes snapped open. His dorm was dark thanks to the blackout curtains he had bought earlier in the week, the light bothering him more and more with each passing night. For some reason, it was getting harder and harder to sleep, his body aching in ways he’d never experienced before.

It was silent around him, silent and dark enough that Yuuji knew he could fall back asleep if he wanted to, knew he could just roll over and slip his eyes back shut without having to be awake. Again. What time was it this time? Why did this keep happening? Yuuji was doing his best here, but it seemed like his best wasn’t enough these past few days. Jujutsu Tech was a whole new world. A few weeks ago, Yuuji had just been just a regular teenager living a regular life. And now?

He was a complete disaster thrown out of his element and he was doing a terrible job at getting his shit together.

Great, more negativity. Cause I don’t get enough of this from Sukuna already. Yuuji’s thoughts were punctuated with a low grumble in his stomach, a pang of hunger making him groan. Again? He had eaten four solid meals today including most of Megumi’s snacks between classes, so why the hell was his stomach growling? His appetite had doubled over the past week, weird meat cravings popping up out of nowhere while he never truly felt full anymore. Sometimes when he ate too much, he’d get both the pain of overeating while also suffering a deep dull ache that still hungered for more.

It’s your own damn fault, brat. You earned my negativity, so deal with it. Sukuna chided. He was awake, always awake. Always awake, always talking, always spewing out his cursed words and ideals. Yuuji didn’t really trust him, but Yuuji had come to understand him. There was a pattern to Sukuna’s behavior already, an easy way to anticipate Sukuna’s desires based on his selfish, horrible, personality.

Sukuna had his eyes on Megumi for some reason and had a personal stake in Yuuji’s well-being. So while Sukuna might be a risk to all of humanity, humanity had figured out a way to suppress him. To mute him. Trap him. Yuuji had learned to trust that Sukuna would always put his – and therefore their – well-being first now. Sukuna’s desire for Yuuji’s self-destruction had lessened over the weeks, a possessive claim over Yuuji’s body and emotional well-being emerging instead. Where Sukuna once refused to heal Yuuji’s missing hand, Sukuna now made sure that every piece of Yuuji was in its proper place and working. Yuuji was Sukuna’s temple, and Sukuna wouldn’t settle for rubble. Skulls? Yes. Rubble? Absolutely not. Anyone who made Yuuji feel down deserved a taste of their own damn medicine, because Yuuji was Sukuna’s to demean, and only Sukuna’s.

Yuuji couldn’t say he hated this turn of events. In a way, it was oddly endearing.

But these past couple of days, Sukuna had been hungry.

What the hell is wrong with you? Yuuji asked Sukuna. He threw an arm over his face, wondering if he could ignore all of this and go back to sleep. He was so tired. So, so, tired. His eyes were sore from being awake, grogginess impacting his test scores and his judgment in physical training. The black bags under his eyes had garnered attention from both his friends and his teacher and Yuuji worried how long he could play this off for as just minor stress. He had been eating more, had been trying to quell the permanent hunger to no avail. Why wasn’t it working?

What do you mean, what’s wrong with me? What the hell is wrong with you? Sukuna barked back. He was aggravated. Testy and riled up again. Yuuji may have only known him for a month, may have only consumed three fingers so far, but Yuuji’s progress as a Sorcerer had been swiftly developing, Sukuna’s nasty nature taming.

Until now.

Don’t turn this back on me. I’m trying to sleep, you know? We humans have to sleep unlike you demons and your continuous plotting. Can you be quiet? Yuuji snapped back. He was tired of this. How many days had it been? Only a couple, right? Sukuna’s temper lately had been worse than Nobara’s bad weeks, and Nobara could be really nasty when she wanted to be.

Sleep is a weakness, brat. Sukuna snapped. Humans need sleep. Curses do not. That makes us higher on the food chain.

Well, sorry, Mr. higher-on-the-food-chain, but I’m not the one starving in the middle of the night and bitching about it, now am I? Yuuji snapped back.

Feed me. Sukuna growled decisively.

Yuuji scoffed, low and long before rubbing a hand over his eyes. He groaned loudly for a split second, frustration overwhelming him before he sat up in bed, leaning over for the lamp on his nightstand. “Sure, thing, your highness.”

“Don’t belittle me.” Sukuna snapped, his voice loud in the small dorm room. He had appeared on Yuuji’s hand which was really dumb of him. Yuuji needed to use that hand in order to be able to grab the basket so could feed the damn curse.

“Can you wait a second?” Yuuji snapped as he leaned over the edge of the bed, dangling his head down to see where everything was underneath. Yuuji didn’t care if Sukuna’s mouth was right there when he grabbed the little basket of snacks he kept hidden out of sight. Sukuna scoffed, half internally, half externally, as Yuuji pulled the basket out. He grabbed a chocolate protein bar out from the bottom of the stash before rolling over properly in bed, tearing off the corner of the wrapper.

“Can you hurry up?” Sukuna asked.

“Sukuna. We ate so much today. How are you still hungry?” Yuuji groaned. He pulled away the wrapper before taking a bite. In his hand, Sukuna growled. So needy.

“I’m starting to think your stomach and my stomach are not one and the same.” Sukuna said. “Which really sucks for you, ha! Now give me that. I want it. Bring it over.”

“You mean it really sucks to be you.” Yuuji said. “What? You want to physically eat something? I thought all you ate were your own fingers.”

“Just put that bar in my mouth before I come out there and do it myself.” Sukuna said. “If I got out there, I’m not just eating a protein bar. Maybe your little lady friend with the nasty attitude.”

“Says the kettle, calling the pot black. Alright, moody-pants, it’s snack-time.” Yuuji rolled his eyes but obliged, aiming the protein bar towards Sukuna’s mouth on his hand. If Sukuna needed to be physically fed then fine. So be it. Anything to get the King of Curses to stop complaining and disturbing Yuuji’s sleep. And maybe feeding Sukuna separately would grant Yuuji some peace himself. It wasn’t like Sukuna could starve to death. It had already been a month after all.

Unless curses can go a long time between eating?

Sukuna latched onto the bar, snapping a giant bite out of it, tearing some of the wrapper away, and swallowing it whole in his haste. Sukuna didn’t even bother to chew, ingesting the whole chunk in one go before choking on it for a second. He bared his teeth in what could have been annoyance or impatience before lolling his tongue out for more.

“Relax, man.” Yuuji almost laughed. Almost. He tore off the rest of the wrapper, tossing it to his nightstand before raising the snack to the palm of his hand again. Sukuna devoured the rest of the bar in two large chomps, wet tongue slapping desperately at the palm of Yuuji’s hand for crumbs when he was finished inhaling the food.

“I want more, even though it was disgusting.” Sukuna demanded.

“No.” Yuuji said firmly. “I don’t know how this will affect me and I don’t want to wake up sick tomorrow morning. I’ll give you something else at breakfast. Just wait.”

“And if I bother you all night?” Sukuna asked.

“You still have to wait until the morning and then I might just have to sleep in later.” Yuuji said. He reached over for his lamp, flicking it off definitively. “Now shut up. I need to sleep.”

At the crack of dawn, Yuuji woke. The room was still pitch black and he still had a few hours before his alarm would be going off. But between Sukuna humming an odd, unfamiliar tune annoyingly and the pang in Yuuji’s belly, he knew he wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. His stomach hurt for multiple reasons, his body distressed in general. He felt sick, gross, like that one time he ate six chocolate bars with the occult kids before downing a carton of chocolate milk.

Groaning, Yuuji rolled out of bed and found himself a sweater to crawl into before leaving his dorm.

In the cafeteria, Yuuji helped himself to his own breakfast. And by his own, Yuuji really meant Sukuna's.

I want those eggs. Sukuna said

Yawning, Yuuji couldn’t help but think how damn lucky Sukuna was that Yuuji knew how to hard boil an egg. He threw six of them in the pot, almost drifting off where he stood at the stove.

When the eggs were done and peeled, Yuuji didn’t even bother to go sit down. He bit into one of the hard-boiled eggs before turning his hand palm-side up, offering Sukuna the other half. The curse sucked the remaining egg back in one bite.

“More.” Sukuna said.

Yuuji didn’t argue. Didn’t have the energy too. He plucked another egg from the counter, offering it to the curse, watching idly as Sukuna sucked the egg back whole. Sukuna licked at Yuuji’s palm, teeth flashing in a grin.

More.” Sukuna said.

“Wait a second.” Yuuji yawned again, wiping the shells from the counter into his palm so he could dispose of them. “I don’t want you puking out of my hand-”

Sukuna’s tongue lapped at the eggshells, eating them too.

“Or just eat everything. What are you? A dog?” Yuuji asked. He grabbed another egg.

“Call me a dog again,” Sukuna warned.

“If the puppy wants eggs, he’ll listen.” Yuuji threatened. Before Sukuna could retort, Yuuji offered Sukuna the egg anyway, and Sukuna sucked it back just as fast as the first. It was fascinating to watch. Yuuji didn’t understand how this worked, how Sukuna could eat from anywhere on Yuuji’s body, but Yuuji also didn’t understand how a mouth could appear on his face to start with. Maybe this was a conundrum he didn’t need to worry too much about.

Yuuji fed Sukuna the rest of the eggs before cleaning up his little mess. He yawned again as he washed out his pot, wondering if he could go back to bed for a couple of hours again. The second the pot was in the drying rack, Sukuna decided he wanted more.

I want more.

“No.” Yuuji complained out loud. He meandered away from the kitchen area and back out into the hallway. More sleep sounded nice.

“Yes.” Sukuna said.

“No.” Yuuji said. He slapped a hand over his belly, realizing that the hunger had dissipated a little. Weird. This was all so weird. Can you just be straight with me for a second? Do you have any idea what’s going on right now?

I’m hungry. Sukuna complained. Yuuji didn’t doubt it. He could feel it, could hear it in Sukuna’s voice.

I know that, now. But I’m asking if you know why. I just assumed you were, like, self-sustainable or something and didn’t need to eat. Yuuji thought, shoving through his bedroom door to get back into bed. Are you feeding off my nutrients or do you need your own?

Sukuna was quiet. Sukuna’s silence usually meant one of two things; Sukuna didn’t know, or Sukuna knew, and keeping the information to himself was for his own benefit.

Yuuji huffed, flopping back into bed. I’m asking because if I need to feed you, I’ll make sure to do it. But if you don’t know, then we should probably figure this out sooner rather than later. Just between the two of us. Our secret, okay?

Sukuna chuckled. He conceded after a moment of hesitation. Let’s figure it out then, brat.

Right! Yuuji smiled before sleeping until his alarm went off. And later at second breakfast with Megumi and Nobara, he fed Sukuna a few more eggs and the leftovers from their plates. And when Nobara and Megumi glanced to him in question, Yuuji only shrugged.

“Better Sukuna’s stomach than the garbage can, right?”

Nobara laughed, but Megumi only frowned.

It wasn’t enough.

Sukuna might have taken to animal crackers and became significantly more tolerable when he was treated to them, but it didn’t matter how many of those little cookies Yuuji poured down the King of Curses’ throat, it wasn’t enough. The hunger didn’t go away. Vegetables, meat, fish, high-calorie snacks, junk? Nothing sated the hunger. The meat and fish helped, Yuuji noticed, along with certain vegetables suggesting a need for high protein, but it was impossible for Yuuji to get his hands on enough food to quell the desire.

Yuuji tried to match Sukuna’s appetite, thinking they both needed to eat high quantities. Yuuji only made himself sick, realized that it didn’t matter how much he ate, because the hunger was always there now, a little insistent knot in his stomach. It was Sukuna’s. It had to be Sukuna’s. For a couple of days, Yuuji only fed Sukuna through the palm of his hand while Yuuji’s stomach recovered from the onslaught of the meals he had consumed. Six eggs for Sukuna in the morning turned into a dozen eggs at once, along with all of Yuuji’s daily meals. It still wasn’t enough. Why wasn’t it enough? Yuuji hadn’t eaten a single thing and it turned out that what Sukuna was fed didn’t seem to impact Yuuji at all, like there were two separate entities living in Yuuji’s body.

Yuuji simply gave up on feeding them both completely. After a week of exhaustion and trying this and that, Yuuji found he didn’t even want to eat anymore, wasn’t even bothering. He’d just be hungry afterward anyway, still. But Sukuna was starving, and it was starting to severely sour the Curse’s mood. It sounded like Sukuna was getting desperate, and Sukuna’s desperation only made Yuuji anxious.

“Take your dirty Sorcerer hands off him.” Sukuna snapped out of nowhere. He’d been quiet all day until now, just an ominous presence festering in Yuuji’s soul. He appeared in Yuuji’s cheek, cackling a high laugh before baring his fangs at Gojo, of all people.

Gojo’s hand, which had been on Yuuji’s shoulder for half this conversation already, jerked back in surprise. But that only made everything worse, even if it was just surprise.

“What? Feeling guilty, Teach? Having some bad thoughts with that touching hand of yours?” Sukuna baited.

“Sukuna.” Yuuji hissed. His face flushed in embarrassment and shame. He had lingered behind in the courtyard after training to ask Gojo some questions about weapons and his diet. He was trying to be discrete! It was for Yuuji’s own good because his body was weakening, as well as something inside of him.

He hadn’t come out and told anyone yet about what was happening to Sukuna, was trying to take care of this hunger discreetly, just in case the higher-ups wanted to use this to their advantage. It wasn’t that Yuuji was trying to withhold information, he was just trying to fix a problem quietly. No biggie. He didn’t want to mention it to Gojo yet, so he was trying to be stealthy.

But it was hard to be stealthy when Sukuna was chatting up a storm. “You touch the other little kiddies like this too?”

“Someone’s been feeling testy these past few days.” Gojo laughed. He kept his hand to himself though, shoving them into his pockets. “You got a personal vendetta against me, Sukuna?”

“As the strongest? Yes.” Sukuna snapped. “Better keep your hands to yourself or I’ll start barking about your touching habits to the other kiddos. We both know how gossip spreads in this building and you? The Strongest? Well, who would speak out against you?”

Gojo tensed. That seemed to strike a nerve.

“Sukuna, relax.” Yuuji said. “Gojo-”

“You think these kids don’t notice a bad touch when they see it? Experience it? You think I haven’t done it myself? I know what’s up.” Sukuna said suggestively just before Yuuji slapped a hand over his cheek to shut the curse up.

“I’m sorry. He’s just been so, so…” Yuuji shrugged, looking away. “He’s just being awful lately. I don’t know what’s up. But he’s just stirring up trouble.”

“Your teacher’s got something up, that’s for sure.” Sukuna cackled, appearing on the back of Yuuji’s hand.

“Sukuna, stop it!”

“Yuuji?” Gojo asked. There was something uncharacteristically serious in his tone that had Yuuji glancing up to him. Gojo was still smiling, but there was something else there, something else in his face.

“He’s just bickering. He’s being a baby today.” Yuuji squeaked. “Don’t worry about it. I apologize he’s being a nuisance.”

“Do I make you uncomfortable?” Gojo asked. There was a hint of severity to his tone and Yuuji’s blood ran cold, realizing that this would change the way Gojo approached him forever. That this might be an accusation that would stick in their relationship until Yuuji was inevitably executed.

“What? No.” Yuuji said quickly. Too quickly.

“You do.” Sukuna said.

“He doesn’t. Stop saying that.” Yuuji snapped back to Sukuna. “What the hell is your problem today? Just shut up.”

“You know what my problem is.” Sukuna barked.

“I don’t!”

Gojo’s smile changed. Widened. But it wasn’t amused. “Yuuji, is there anything else I can help you with?”

“No.” Yuuji said defeated. He excused himself quickly, fleeing back to his dorm. He wanted to cry. He was so frustrated. His body was so desperate for something, yearning.

What the hell is wrong with you? Yuuji snapped, storming down the hall. I’m trying to help you!

You’re doing a real shitty job! Sukuna snapped back. I’m hungry. Feed me.

I don’t know how! Nothing has helped! Yuuji snapped. Tears burned in his eyes as he rushed back to his room, shouldering past Megumi on the corner to the hallway. Megumi gasped in surprise, but Yuuji didn’t even apologize as he rushed.

“Yuuji?” Megumi called. But when Yuuji rushed off, Megumi didn’t follow after him. Let him be. Yuuji didn’t know why he was so emotional, so desperate. But at the same time, he also knew. There were a lot of things to worry about here, a lot of things that were going wrong and could continue to go wrong.

In his room, Yuuji locked the door before slipping into the bathroom, locking that door too. With hot tears leaking from his eyes, he slid down the door to the floor, gasping into his hands.

Why are you crying? Sukuna asked. His tone wasn’t sharp anymore, was exasperated instead.

I don’t know what to do! I don’t know how to help you! Yuuji sniffled, wiping his face off with his sleeves. And Gojo’s probably upset about what you said, you idiot!

Sukuna scoffed, grumbling. But he conceded with a sigh. Listen. Kid. I don’t know what the problem is, okay? I’m hungry. I’m ravenously hungry and you’re not going to like this, but I want raw meat. I need it. I need.

“No.” Yuuji whispered out loud. He sniffled, rubbing at his face harder. How the hell was he supposed to feed Sukuna raw meat? That sounded a hell of a lot harder and more suspicious than regular meat.

Just crack me a raw egg, kid. It’s not hard. You don’t even have to think about it. Sukuna said. But there was an edge to his voice, something almost desperate.

Yuuji ended up conceding that night. It wasn’t hard after Yuuji’s stomach had started to growl, hunger pangs driving him out of his room and stealthily past Megumi’s. In the kitchen, Yuuji fed Sukuna a raw egg, shell and all, before digging through the fridge. He ended up feeding Sukuna a package of raw pork in the shadows of the cafeteria, eyes locked on the squishy, squelching meat as it disappeared into the palm of his hands. Mesmerizing. Disgusting. Yuuji drew back his lip in disgust, his eyes on the tongue licking up the blood from his hands.

“Better?” Yuuji asked. His stomach was roiling. He might vomit, might not be able to feed Sukuna like this.

Sukuna smacked his lips. “We’ll see.”

It helped. A lot. But once again, it wasn't’ enough.

Let me eat him.

What!? Three days later, Yuuji stood frozen over the dead man. The curse they were here to exorcise had already killed off three men, was off in the woods somewhere, threatening more. But Yuuji stood in horror in the middle of that dark forest, his eyes locked on the dead body beneath him. There were pieces of the man already missing from the attack, limbs and gouged wounds gaping open. His intestines were spilling out of him, mouth gaping open in a silent, pained scream. The curse had searing hot skin, had burned and boiled half the man’s body from simply charging into him, the muscles below the torn fresh sizzling and steaming like a steak on a grill.

Sukuna’s bites wouldn’t be noticed. There was enough damage to the body that Yuuji could get away with letting Sukuna eat it. If Sukuna was quick, no one would have to know.

Kid. Yuuji. I need it.

Was that… Sukuna begging?

Yuuji’s mouth opened, but nothing came out.

Yuuji, I’m starving. I need it. You have to let me. For both our sake. Sukuna said, his voice nothing but a flurry. Kid, I don’t beg for just anything but please, please let me have this. Please.

“I don’t-”

Yuuji-

Yuuji moved on autopilot. His eyes were still locked on the man’s face as he knelt down beside him, reaching his hand out slowly. The man didn’t even look dead yet, just like he was lying in the underbrush, eyes closed like he was having a nap. There was no discoloration on his skin, no signs that he was dead. But there was a gaping wound ripped open in his neck from the Curse’s attack, and when Yuuji placed the palm of his hand close to the edges of that wound, Sukuna desperately reached out, sinking his teeth into the flesh. Yuuji’s hand pressed flush into the man’s neck, his skin still warm like he was alive, as Sukuna desperately choked down mouthfuls and mouthfuls of human flesh. Sukuna’s mouth made slick sounds as he scarfed back his meal like a dying animal, the muscles in Yuuji’s own hand shifting and twitching with every single bite like Yuuji was consuming the flesh himself.

If Yuuji thought hard enough, he could feel the flesh choking down Sukuna’s throat in his arm.

He’s already dead. He’s already dead. Yuuji’s stomach rolled uncomfortably, eyes closing as Sukuna scarfed back his fill. When Yuuji felt the mouth disappear, he pulled back his hand, staring at his bloody palm in wonder. He stared at it so long and so hard, that he startled when Gojo appeared at his side. A flash of white was all Yuuji saw before he jumped away from the man, wide eyes turned up to Gojo.

“Yuuji? You okay?” Gojo called. He didn’t reach out, hadn’t placed his hand comfortingly on Yuuji’s shoulder since Sukuna’s outburst, and right now, Yuuji missed the contact.

“Y-yeah.” Yuuji said. He stood up, his hand outstretched like he had touched something gross. Wait. He had touched something gross. “He’s- I tried to help- but- they’re all dead-”

“Come.” Gojo said. He reached out, grabbing Yuuji by the sleeve of his sweater like he didn’t want to touch Yuuji anymore than he had to, dragging him away from the body. “Megumi and Nobara got the curse. We lost you. Do you remember getting lost?”

Yuuji stared at his teacher, eyes wide. What? Lost? How long had he been here? How long had Sukuna been scarfing back human flesh? How long had Yuuji been sitting over the body, staring at his hand in wonder?

“I-” Yuuji stuttered. He glanced up to Gojo, the confusion obvious on his face.

Gojo smiled gently. “Let’s get you home, Yuuji.”

“Okay.” Yuuji said. He trailed after Gojo, eyes wide.

When he got back to his dorm, Yuuji scrubbed his hands and nails and arms clean of blood in the bathroom. He offered Megumi a pleasant smile when Megumi came by to check on him – he was okay, he was totally great – before crawling back into bed. He’d skipped out on dinner, would probably wake up in the middle of the night to feed Sukuna some more eggs and raw beef, but curling into his blankets, Yuuji’s eyes remained wide open. He could still see the man, could still see the man’s flesh bubbling beneath his skin as he cooked from the inside out.

At least the deep, dull ache that hungered was gone. Sukuna was content for the first time in months.

The raw meat helped. But weeks after the incident with the bodies in the woods, Yuuji realized the raw meat wasn't a cure-all. Sukuna was getting restless, had been asking for more and more because he was getting hungrier and hungrier again, and at this point, Yuuji was beyond exhausted.

“Why are you so hungry?” Yuuji complained. He was in his bathroom, splashing cold water over his face. He’d just fed Sukuna two packs of bloody ground pork, wondered when the meat consumption would be noticed by the staff and other students, if it hadn’t already been noticed. There were only a few students in this dorm, only a few mouths to feed and at this rate, Sukuna was eating everything. Anything that had a high protein content was poured down Sukuna’s throat, the curse’s appetite insurmountable. Anything that didn’t have a high protein content? Down the hatch too. Yuuji didn’t care. Sukuna didn’t care either. This was like treating human hunger by simply giving them more water.

It seems to be a curse, kid. Sukuna chuckled. I can be hosted in a vessel at the cost of starving us to death. Looks like we’re going to have to get crafty for my next meal.

“Right. Before you turn into a real bitchy nuisance.” Yuuji muttered under his breath.

Hey, like you’re any better. You’ve been one ray of sunshine since you stopped eating properly. Sukuna bit back.

“And whose fault is that?” Yuuji snapped, splashing more water over his face. He had a headache. He was so annoyed. It was permanent now, the annoyance. It never seemed to leave him these days.

Yours. It’s your fault, brat. Sukuna said surely. You’re the idiot not eating. You do you, but when your body gives out on you and I take over, don’t cry about it.

“Well I’d eat if I didn’t-” Yuuji scoffed. Every time he looked at meat now, he could just see Sukuna, teeth emerging from the palm of Yuuji’s hand to sink into the raw, bloody flesh of the dead man. Human flesh. Human. That tongue extended, teeth covered in blood and sinew. Yuuji still poured most of his meals down Sukuna’s throat, could only eat the snacks underneath his bed, free of the stench that came from cooking. Free of blood, and that soggy, wiggly, fleshy visual that had Yuuji gagging just thinking about it.

It’s not like I knew in advance kid. Sukuna said. I have no idea if you need to eat human flesh too. I doubt it and as funny as it would be to see you succumb to the experience, your crying after would only be annoying.

“How did you not know this from previous experience?” Yuuji asked. He let the annoyance seep into his tone.

The hosts didn’t live long enough for me to find out.

Yuuji clicked his tongue. He stood up from the sink, eyes locked on the mirror. Of course. Of course this was happening to him, and of course Yuuji didn’t know what the hell to do about all of this. He sighed before slapping his cheeks like it might jostle his brain, eyes closed. “So, let me get this straight. You’re getting hungry again and you turn into a real nasty bitch when it gets too bad. I can’t keep feeding you the cafeteria's raw meat without someone complaining and it’s not like it’s keeping you full anyway. And I’m not exactly going to go out and kill someone for you or turn to grave robbing. So, why aren’t we doing the obvious?”

And the obvious is? Sukuna asked. He sounded curious now and Yuuji hated that he was about to make such a wild offer.

Yuuji huffed. “I’ll make you a deal.”

Sukuna made an excited noise, clearly intrigued.

This is just between me and you, Sukuna. Our little secret. Yuuji thought, eyes locked on his own in the mirror. He felt the King of Curses’ perk up at his words. If you blab out loud, we both get into a lot of trouble, okay?

What are you thinking? Sukuna asked.

And just remember, if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain, I have the power to never offer again. Yuuji said seriously. If you promise me that you’ll heal me, I’ll offer you my body.

Sukuna was silent for a second. Dead silent like an empty street in the middle of the night, before he started to cackle. You’re going to offer me your body? To eat? Are you completely out of your mind, kid?

Yuuji slapped his right hand over the meat of his left forearm, palm over the fleshiest part of his muscle, his eyes still locked in the mirror. He didn’t explain to Sukuna what he wanted Sukuna to do, just waited.

Sukuna understood. He laughed for a moment, the silence echoing in its wake. Can you handle this, kid?

Does it matter? Yuuji asked. If you don’t eat, what happens then? If you starve, what happens to me? I have to look out for myself just like you’re looking out for yourself.

Surprisingly, Sukuna hesitated. He hesitated long enough that Yuuji thought he was going to decline, which didn’t make any sense at all. Why would Sukuna decline? But Sukuna was hungry. With a small laugh, Yuuji felt sharp teeth part against the flesh of his forearm, canines digging in gently. Yuuji swallowed staring into the mirror.

Sukuna bit down, canines sliding into flesh like needles and easily parting the muscle in a way that was horribly intimate and terribly disturbing. Yuuji gasped, pain burning up his arms. Sukuna’s tongue touched his skin, writhing against it for a second before Sukuna chomped down, teeth meeting. Yuuji’s moan was shaky, eyes wide open at the odd sensation, feeling Sukuna swallow a part of his arm. Yuuji briefly pulled away before slamming his hand back down onto his arm with a whimper, gripping his arm tight.

Sukuna ate greedily, but he didn’t eat as viciously as he had been when Yuuji hand-fed him, like he was trying to gauge the best way to do this without causing Yuuji excruciating pain. There was no way to make this easy, no way to be gentle about this. Sukuna was starving, and this was a small price to pay for controlling the King of Curses.

Yuuji turned into his shoulder, his teeth sinking around the hood of his sweater to stop himself from screaming. Sukuna had his fill, licked the excess blood off Yuuji’s hand, before healing him back to new.

Just like that, Yuuji’s arm was back in one piece like nothing had happened. With tears streaking down his cheeks, Yuuji smiled into the mirror. It was a solution that benefited everyone. But he sunk to the floor and cried, his body exhausted from blood loss and pain.

Kid, you need to eat too. Sukuna had been on Yuuji’s case all day, ever since skipping breakfast. Well. In all honesty, had been on his case ever since a few days ago, but Sukuna hadn’t kicked his pestering into gear until this morning. It had been over a week since they had started their little feeding routine, over a week since Yuuji had first offered himself up to save himself a whole lot of trouble. In Sukuna’s opinion, it was nice. Sukuna had more energy, wasn’t sucking as much from Yuuji, and it didn’t cost Yuuji anything because Sukuna always healed him afterward.

So then what the hell was the brat doing? Earlier that morning, Yuuji had been sitting at the breakfast table, pushing food around on his plate when he had suddenly just turned to his hand. I wonder if finger bones really break like carrots? The kid had swallowed enough of Sukuna’s fingers that when Yuuji had stuck his thumb into his mouth without even thinking about it, Sukuna hadn’t doubted he would bite.

Kid, what the hell are you doing?

Yuuji froze. He reached out, and without even acknowledging it, he ripped up his toast to feed to Sukuna and Sukuna opened his mouth obediently, unsure why Yuuji still fed him real food too.

Yuuji disappeared into his bathroom after with the door locked, silently or moodily offering Sukuna his arms or his thighs. It didn’t sit right with Sukuna this week, but who was Sukuna to complain? Sukuna’s healing powers were limitless, but Yuuji’s arms were starting to scar anyway. Certain patches of skin that had been eaten through too many times now.

Gee, Sukuna. It sounds like you’re worried. In the middle of the bathroom floor, Yuuji sat down cross-legged on top of a dark towel. It was easier to clean like this. For Yuuji, Sukuna wasn’t a messy eater anymore, not that the brat knew. He tried not to shred the boy too badly every time he fed because a little bit of understanding earned Sukuna trust he could manipulate later. But this was messy business, and if Sukuna wanted his fill, he’d have to eat deep. They had agreed to feed him every day because smaller meals would be less of a risk for Yuuji rather than a huge one, but still. When Yuuji placed his hand to his thigh, Sukuna hesitated.

What’s the problem? Yuuji asked.

Sukuna hated that he couldn’t see Yuuji’s face. He was just a mouth in the palm of Yuuji’s hand, just some teeth and a tongue trying to get their fill. Yuuji’s body had been withering away beneath him for the past week, the teen gagging at certain smells in the kitchen if not outright throwing up his dinner after he ate it. Something was horribly amiss, and Sukuna had no idea what it was.

Sukuna reached out, sinking his teeth into Yuuji’s leg. What did he care if the brat wasn’t taking proper care of himself? He ate leisurely, well-fed these days. It was enough to make him agreeable and, in the loosest sense of the term, considerate. As Sukuna fed, Yuuji sunk his teeth into the hood of his sweater.

That’s why later, when Yuuji tapped out to take a break during their weapons training class because he was dizzy and not tired like he claimed, Sukuna started to pick at him. The kid was just one excuse after another today.

You wouldn’t be so dizzy if you actually ate, brat. You humans are so weak you guys can’t even skip meals. Sukuna said, prattling off like he didn’t care. Which he didn’t.

It’s fine. Yuuji flopped back in the shaded grass underneath a tree, a hand over his face. Sukuna had no idea what the brat was thinking these days, no idea what could be going through the idiot’s mind. He’d caught the kid staring at his hands lately in wonder even when Sukuna was in his palms. Sukuna couldn’t read the kid’s mind, could get a general feel for his mood and the like. But Yuuji was mysterious right now.

Is it fine? Sukuna asked. And when your leg is too small for me to eat?

It won’t be. Yuuji said, and he sounded so damn sure that Sukuna cackled.

Maybe I’ll stop healing you. Sukuna threatened.

Yuuji sat up so fast that his head spun. He glowered before running a hand through his hair, shakily trying to disguise the light flutter from moving so fast. That wasn’t part of the deal.

It’s part of the deal now. Sukuna said. You humans fatten up your cows for the slaughter, don’t you? You think I want to eat your little chicken legs?

They’re not chicken legs. Don’t be picky. Yuuji stood up, stretching like his head was in the game, like he wasn’t losing an argument against a trapped curse.

Chicken legs, chicken legs. Sukuna barked.

“Shut up!” Yuuji snapped. His teeth clicked when he shut his mouth after, eyes wide in surprise.

Across the field, Megumi glanced up. Shyly, Yuuji waved at him before running over, pretending like nothing had just happened. He would keep telling himself that he was fine, Sukuna knew. Would keep lying to everyone he loved. Sukuna loved it. But it was also a hassle.

“Are you okay?” Megumi asked.

“Yeah! I’m great!” Yuuji said.

From the glaring slits in Yuuji’s cheeks, it didn’t look to Sukuna like Megumi believed him. And the next morning when Sukuna ate his fill, he didn’t heal Yuuji just like he had threatened. He was a King of his word, after all. If Yuuji wanted to be a brat, then he would be treated like a brat.

“What the hell, Sukuna?” Yuuji hissed quietly. Blood was running down his arm in rivers, the wounds deep enough that if Sukuna didn’t heal them, they’d require stitches if Yuuji didn’t bleed out first. And then what? It would ultimately be Yuuji’s decision on what he planned to do about the wounds, to give up their little charade and ask for medical attention or to lie and claim he had done it himself, but Sukuna was placing his bets that Yuuji would be a good boy and finally listen.

“Eat.” Sukuna said. It was a simple command, one that Yuuji just couldn’t seem to wrap his head around anymore.

“I can’t.” Yuuji said. He sighed, sinking further into the towel, his hands covered in blood now that he was trying to stop the bleeding with his palm, trying to slow the river of blood.

“Why not?” Sukuna asked.

Yuuji shrugged. He shrugged before he sniffled and Sukuna already regretted asking. Sukuna let Yuuji cry miserably for a couple minutes. What could he do or say? He didn’t even want to be supportive, if he was going to be honest. But he had the patience of a Curse who had been trapped for a thousand years, so he waited Yuuji out because the kid was going to talk. Eventually. He was pathetic like that.

As expected, Yuuji eventually shuddered a breath. “I don’t know. I think about that guy in the woods and then I think about the meat I was feeding you by hand and now, all of this, I-”

Great, I traumatized him and now he’s being even dumber than usual. Sukuna rolled his eyes from his throne, tried not to scoff too loud lest Yuuji hear him.

“I can hear you anyway.” Yuuji said. He laughed though, chuckled lightly. “I know it’s really dumb. And, I don’t know. I guess you disrupted any good eating habits I had like the King of Curses you are.”

Sukuna supposed he understood. You’re saying this is my fault?

“I’m saying I’m disgusted and confused and I don’t really know what to do with myself and you’re not really helping.” Yuuji said.

“Good.” Sukuna laughed out loud. “Very good.”

Sukuna healed him. The boy could starve.

The conversation was three months overdue.

Yuuji wasn’t surprised when Megumi brought it up, had been expecting the topic to be breached for some time, if he was going to be honest. But a nervous shiver did enter his fingertips as he sipped on his drink, a shudder so fine that it was invisible to Megumi across the booth from him, just as it should be. Ice flashed through Yuuji’s veins for the briefest of seconds at the call out, silently chilling him to the bone, wondering if he even wanted to have this conversation, wanted to be enlightened to whatever the hell this was. He continued to push the ice cubes around in his drink, eyes like warmed caramel chocolate flicking up to Megumi frowning across from him. Yuuji’s voice didn’t waver, the smile on his face still bright despite the dread.

“What do you mean?” Yuuji asked.

Megumi frowned, glancing down to the plates between them like Yuuji had just asked him to explain quantum physics. Megumi’s plate was empty, Yuuji’s still full. He couldn’t remember the last time he had eaten a full meal, let alone meat, but even now, everything else was too much. Vegetables. Bread. Sweets. Especially that smell.

Around them, the restaurant was quiet. An old couple here, a small family over there. It wasn’t busy so they weren’t being rushed out so another family could take their space. They had been seated by a large window where the afternoon sun warmed Yuuji’s left side, the heat tingling his skin. It reminded him that he was living on borrowed time, that one day, he wouldn’t be able to sit in the sun again. Wouldn’t be able to just stand outside and smell the breeze, to enjoy the most basics of being alive. He really wished he could be happy before he died. Maybe keeping quiet had been a mistake?

Megumi took so long to arrange his thoughts that Yuuji had time to glance out the windowpane, to watch the other people walk by. He could also see his own reflection, the exhaustion clear on his face, the clean cut of his jawline. Yuuji was doing the right thing. He was doing his best. He was just trying to survive a really shitty circumstance.

“I mean, I’ve noticed, and Nobara has noticed too. We’re a bit worried.” Megumi said. “Have you talked to Gojo-sensei about it? Or Ieiri? Or, if you don’t want to tell Gojo for whatever reason, Nanami?”

Yuuji pried his eyes from the window, glancing back over to Megumi. Megumi was his best friend. They shared secrets now, snuck into each other’s rooms in the dead of night to confide in each other. Megumi had been born into this cursed world but Yuuji hadn’t, and while Megumi was more reserved with his grievances and secrets, Yuuji had always been open. Honest. Curious and questioning. Yuuji was an awful liar and they both knew this. Yet staring at Megumi right now, Yuuji hesitated to confide, hesitated to admit what was going on.

“Noticed what?” Yuuji asked. Playing dumb was the stupidest thing he could do, but he was doing it. Deep inside of him, Sukuna scoffed in response. But the King of Curses didn’t just pop onto Yuuji’s cheek and give away his secrets. They were in this together now.

Megumi stared at Yuuji hard enough that Yuuji turned to look at him, eyes boring holes into Yuuji’s soul. The other boy looked like he couldn’t believe that Yuuji wasn’t making this easy for him. Megumi swallowed, eyes narrowing slightly in thought. He was still sitting back in his booth neutrally, wasn’t leaning in or asserting any kind of dominance over the conversation. But he was annoyed. Yuuji could tell.

“You’re looking thin, Yuuji. But you’ve been eating like you’re starving every time I’ve taken you out. It isn’t normal.” Megumi said. “We’re worried it’s a medical condition and you’re ignoring it.”

Yuuji nodded in understanding. He knew this, wasn’t oblivious to his own actions, had known for a while. In the back of his mind, Sukuna scoffed again without further comment. As it should be. Yuuji and Sukuna were just enemies on the same team, working towards a common goal before destroying each other afterward.

Yuuji played with the straw in his cup, wondering if now was the time to start getting honest about a few things. He didn’t know why he was holding back, why he just couldn’t bring himself to explain. He trusted Megumi, but he didn’t want Megumi to know. Why? He wasn’t sure.

“Is it Sukuna?” Megumi tried again after a moment.

Yuuji shrugged. He didn’t know what he wanted to say, didn’t know what he could do at this point. But this wasn’t the first time Megumi had cornered him, and Yuuji doubted it would be the last.

“I think…” Yuuji took a sip of his drink, eyes cast down. He mulled over his choice of words for a moment. “I think it was that mission we did a few months ago. With the curse that was shredding people. It killed three men and its skin charred them, remember? And you and Nobara saved a woman and her daughter.”

“I remember. What about it?” Megumi asked.

Yuuji hesitated once again because he really sucked at lying. “I saw… the bodies they… I guess, disturbed me? That one man was missing his insides and… then… that sound, that sizzling sound, and the smell. It reminded me of...”

Megumi stared like he wasn’t understanding what he was hearing.

“I don’t know what to do.” Yuuji said, his voice breaking, which was the god-awful truth. He had no idea what to do, didn’t know how to move forward from this. Watching Sukuna eat human flesh from the palm of Yuuji’s hand, just for Yuuji to turn around and sink his own teeth into a burger like nothing had happened? After fucking with his diet for weeks and weeks to try and curb the need, constantly starving despite how much he put back, despite how much raw, bloody meat Yuuji fed Sukuna with his own bare hands? And then just to feel full and sated every time Sukuna ate his fill out of Yuuji’s own arm or leg? Yuuji didn’t know how to sort himself out. His system was all messed up. His arms and legs were covered in scars from feeding his inner demon, his brain and poor choices scarred from his personal demon.

“That’s why I’m asking you what’s going on. To offer help.” Megumi said. “Yuuji, you can rely on me. You know that, right?”

“Yeah.” Yuuji said quietly. He glanced back down.

Megumi hesitated a second, his eyes soft. “Yuuji? Did the dead guy gross you out somehow?”

Yuuji glanced up. He saw an opportunity and he took it, latched onto it like Sukuna had that day with he’d finally gotten the human flesh he needed. “Yeah.”

“Okay, that’s okay.” Megumi said automatically. He frowned, leaning closer to the table. “I want you to be okay. What happened with that man?”

“I…” Yuuji shrugged, trying to piece together a story in his head that wouldn’t make Megumi ask too many questions while also generally explaining his troubles. “There was a man by this tree. He… his flesh was just… burning when I got there. And I saw it bubbling and cooking. And I watched it, because I couldn’t look away. And it made me think of the hotpot we went to a few months back and the steak slivers I was throwing on the burner. You know how it makes that sound? And it… it... And then we were just eating it, no problem. But anyway, I couldn’t help but notice that the dead guy didn’t look any different from the steak or pork we cooked? And then all of a sudden, it just grossed me out. I felt so sick. And then the next morning I was cooking eggs and it just… it could have been like an eye or brain matter and I just felt sick looking at it. And I guess I let the problem get out of hand because smelling it, or having it on the plate turns me off.”

Megumi nodded. It seemed like he understood. “Why didn’t you tell someone?”

Yuuji bit his lip.

“He did.” Sukuna said, popping onto Yuuji’s cheek. He bared a bright smile just as Yuuji slapped a hand over Sukuna’s mouth to get him to stay quiet, but it was futile. Sukuna appeared on the back of Yuuji’s hand, cackling like the devious bastard he was.

“We should go.” Yuuji said. His throat was tight, eyes burning as he slapped his hand over Sukuna once again. They were in public. Sukuna knew better. Megumi nodded, following after Yuuji as he rushed from the restaurant like he needed to get outside five minutes ago. On the street, Yuuji quickly started walking back to Jujutsu Tech, but Sukuna wasn’t done. The second Megumi caught up, Sukuna opened his damn cursed mouth.

“He told that pervy teacher of yours, and Teach didn’t do anything about it.” Sukuna said from Yuuji’s cheek. He really did have a problem with Gojo lately, didn’t he? Why did he keep doing this? Was it some sort of ploy? Yuuji slapped his hand over his cheek again, but he caught Megumi’s stare, eyes wide and unreadable.

“What?” Yuuji asked. He was nervous now. Worried.

“You told Gojo what happened and he didn’t do anything to help?” Megumi questioned.

“Well. No. Sort of. I don’t know?” Yuuji said. “Gojo found me. He was the one to drag me away from the body when I couldn’t move because I was staring at it. And I told him what I was thinking but that was that. He never asked again. It’s not really his fault. I didn’t tell him there was a problem after.”

If anything, it’s Sukuna’s fault. Yuuji didn’t say it out loud, but he wanted to.

It’s not my fault you were starving me, brat. Sukuna said. I was really hungry.

Says the idiot who didn’t realize he needed to eat! If you had told me you needed food sooner, it wouldn’t have been a problem! Yuuji glowered, shoving his hands into his sweater pockets. He missed everything Megumi said, too busy focusing on the Curse inside of him and his own damn red shoes. You’re so stupid? How did you survive being sealed in that box for a thousand years when you apparently need to eat?

Being sealed away is like going for a nap and then waking up a thousand years later, you idiot. Sukuna snapped back. Everything gets put on hold when you’re sealed away. And like I said. All of my other vessels died.

Oh right. This is the first time you’ve been free for longer than, what? Five minutes? Yuuji paused because Megumi paused, the other teen staring so hard that Yuuji wondered if Megumi could hear Sukuna bickering.

“Sorry. What did you say?” Yuuji asked, realizing he was conversing with the wrong person right now.

Megumi frowned. “Is Sukuna talking to you?”

Sukuna. What are we going to do? Yuuji asked. He smiled nervously at Megumi before looking away.

Why are you asking me? You’re the one behind the wheel, kid. Sukuna said, and he must have only said it to aggravate him.

“Yeah.” Yuuji admitted. He walked ahead, leaving the other boy behind. “Let’s just get back to the dorms, okay? I’ll be fine. Please don’t worry about this.”

“Okay.” Megumi said, but Yuuji didn’t trust that answer at all.

Yuuji couldn’t deal with all of this. Not right now.

Yuuji got caught.

At the breakfast table with his plate from the cafeteria, Yuuji picked up a hard-boiled egg with his forefinger and thumb, offering it to Sukuna’s mouth in his hand. The curse parted his teeth before growling in annoyance, sticking out his tongue as far as it would go while Yuuji teased him with the egg. Making train noises like one would coo at a baby during feeding, Yuuji let the egg plop just close enough that Sukuna could lick it before pulling it away. Sukuna bared his teeth in an annoyed snarl.

“Does Sukuna eat all your meals?”

Yuuji squawked, dropping the egg which Sukuna somehow managed to catch between his teeth and swallow back. Glancing over his shoulder, Yuuji’s breath caught. Gojo was suddenly sitting on the bench beside him, looking comfortable like he had been there for a while now.

“Wh-when did you-” Yuuji stuttered.

Gojo leaned an elbow against the table, crossing one leg over his knee. His smile was amused, but then again, his smile was always amused. “Long enough that Sukuna could have warned you thrice. He probably didn’t because you’re bullying him.”

Yuuji huffed, but he glanced away defeated. He took his chopstick and started to pick at his breakfast, hoping that if he just changed the topic, Gojo wouldn’t demand an answer for his previous question.

Does Sukuna eat all your meals? It sounded like Gojo was already on to something, and Yuuji wanted nothing to do with it.

You’re not as sneaky as you think, brat. Sukuna teased. Give me another egg.

“What’s up?” Yuuji asked instead, denying Sukuna the other egg for right now.

Gojo’s smile faltered. He straightened from the table, posture proper. “I want to apologize, actually.”

“For?” Yuuji asked, before remembering what had happened months ago with Sukuna, implying Gojo’s hands weren’t where they were supposed to be. God, that had been so long ago already and it only felt like a few days. It had to be that, right? When had everything gone so wrong? Gojo had been keeping his distance ever since and Yuuji hated every second of it. If anyone should be apologizing, it should have been Yuuji. Hell. Sukuna should have been apologizing, but that wouldn’t happen until pigs learned to fly.

“I’m apologizing for letting Sukuna get under my skin.” Gojo admitted. From Yuuji’s palm, Sukuna barked a prideful laugh at the admittance. “It has been brought to my attention that I overlooked something from a mission a few months back, and that it has been hurting you. And I overlooked it because I was wary, which is completely illogical. I’m sorry.”

Megumi told him. Yuuji glanced back down to his plate. He dropped the chopsticks. The act was up, wasn’t it? He sighed, placing a hand to his head like he had a headache, like he was going to cry, like he was going to vomit. “Gojo, I’m sorry-”

“No, no, no. Don’t apologize.” Gojo said. He scooted closer on the bench, leaning in. “Talk to me. You probably already know who told me, but don’t be mad with him. He did the right thing. And I didn’t realize just how much that moment impacted you and for that, I’m sorry. I should have made sure you were okay sooner. What did you see, Yuuji?”

“You know what I saw.” Yuuji said. He turned his gaze back to the plate before him, eyes locked on the egg. “You saw what I saw.”

“I know what I saw. But I want to know what you saw.” Gojo said. “Just humor me?”

Yuuji huffed, turning away. He didn’t want to think about the dead bodies. They were what had gotten him into trouble in the first place, weren’t they? He didn’t want to think about blood, or flesh, or meat, or the dead. “Why does it matter, Sensei?”

Gojo chuckled without amusement, leveling himself to Yuuji’s height when he scooted even closer. They hadn’t been this close in months, and the proximity welled an emotion up in Yuuji’s chest, threatening to overflow.

“Listen, Yuuji. I’ll cut to the chase. Megumi said you haven’t been eating and he said you mentioned the incident with the body. Now, I’m no rocket scientist, but I think I’ve put two and two together. Did something gross you out about it? Are you having weird thoughts now, have somehow paired dead bodies to your food because that man was burned alive and you saw him?”

Yuuji shrugged before nodding. There was no point in lying, Gojo had it figured out. It wasn’t that hard, Yuuji supposed. He had told Megumi the gist of it, after all. Yuuji sighed. Agreeing that the body was the root problem to all of this was the easiest way out, and the closest thing to the truth that could help him.

“I just see meat and… remember. The way it looked. It sizzled like our hotpot and if I didn’t know I was looking at a man, I wouldn’t have realized it was human even though it had this smell. This… I don’t know. It smells different. Our blood and animal blood? Anyway, looking at meat instantly kills my appetite and I guess I’ve been avoiding it now because just seeing it makes me queasy.” Yuuji said. There. Easy-peasy pumpkin-squeezy.

Gojo nodded, his gaze so intense that Yuuji could feel it from beneath the blindfold. “Ever since that mission?”

Yuuji nodded in agreement. It was easier this way.

Gojo hummed in thought, but he didn’t look perturbed. If anything, his smile was reassuring. Yuuji glanced up to him, eyes wide. He didn’t want to live like this, didn’t know why this was holding him back, bearing down on him. He just wanted to feed Sukuna and eat his meals and get stronger. He wanted to take down the King of Curses, wanted to serve a purpose so he could have a proper death in the end. Yuuji wanted to live more than anything, yes, but he also wanted to live while he was still alive, considering how premature his death would be.

“Okay, we can work with that.” Gojo said. He grinned, gesturing at Yuuji’s plate. “Why do you keep taking meat if it grosses you out, then?”

Yuuji didn’t want to answer truthfully, a cold prickle raising the hairs on his skin because he kept taking meat for Sukuna. His answer was another truth instead of the right truth. “Because I didn’t want Megumi to find out and then tell you. But it seems like that happened anyway. It probably would have been smarter of me if I decided to suddenly become a vegetarian.”

Gojo laughed. “You’re always so honest, aren’t you?”

“Yeah.” Yuuji laughed nervously.

“We’ll figure this out, Yuuji. It’ll be alright.” Gojo said. “It’s not actually that uncommon to develop an aversion to food after seeing curses. We see a lot of weird, awful shit in this world, unfortunately, and a lot of Sorcerers have ended up with a lot of weird disorders. I’ve seen it before. A good friend of mine had a power that required him to eat curses. Apparently, curses go down like noodles. We didn’t know he’d associated the texture to eating curses until we took him to a ramen shop a few months after an… incident. He threw up all over the floor. It was really dramatic. But we got him some help and he got better, and that’s really the only important part of the story.”

Well, at least that was relieving. Yuuji glanced up, exhausted but hopeful. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” Gojo said. He reached out, slapping a hand on Yuuji’s shoulder and giving him a nice pat. “So don’t worry about it, okay? We’ll get you straightened out. You’ll be okay. You know you can come to me with things like this, right? This world is still new to you.”

“Yeah.” Yuuji said. But he wouldn’t go to Gojo, not for everything. Especially not for anything related to Sukuna.

And in a month with some help and guidance, Yuuji found the sizzle of meat to be just as meaningless as it had been before. That had been ridiculous. Even if it was human meat, why wouldn’t Yuuji eat it? He’d somehow lost his boundaries, didn’t really see a line anymore, what could and could not be consumed. If Sukuna was daily eating Yuuji’s flesh away, what did it matter?

And when Sukuna started to eat more fingers, started to crave more and more flesh, Yuuji found he actually enjoyed feeding his demon. He started to find pleasure in it. Better than shame, right?

And one day when Sukuna swallowed his last finger, Yuuji knew he would offer himself up in a heartbeat. The Jujutsu Sorcerers might kill Sukuna in the end, but if Yuuji could help it, he’d rather be gobbled up by Sukuna’s sharp teeth and eaten alive.

Sukuna licked his lips. He’d give Yuuji what he wanted, too.