Yuuji could see the swift puncture of a lung, the last gasping breath of air through bloodstained lips. Death would come swift from that alone, but it wasn’t enough. He could hear the screams rasp against his ears. He could feel the sheer, visceral glee of the murderer as he stabbed the body again and again, brutal and mindless and almost childish in his desire for blood.
It was all-encompassing. The kill was a high and the murderer couldn’t get enough.
Yuuji gasped as he felt himself crash back to reality. The bloodlust left him in a rush, his eyes nearly rolling back in his head as he tried to stay upright. He coughed until his breathing was under control again.
He reached out. Gojo steadied him with a firm hand on his shoulder. Yuuji appreciated it, his body shaking so violently he could barely stay on his feet.
“Well?” Gojo asked, cocking his head. The signature black shades were propped low on Gojo’s nose, revealing too-blue eyes that gleamed with curiosity. “What did you see?”
“Childish,” Yuuji rasped. He cleared his throat and shook his head hard. His voice was clearer when he finally managed to say, “The killer has a very childlike attitude to killing. I don’t quite have a bead on how or why he chooses them but… he definitely enjoyed it. Killing someone, for him, it’s like a kid with a new toy. He hasn’t been killing for long, but he’s already got a taste for it.”
Beside them both, Nanami nodded, coming to a stop beside the woman’s mangled corpse. There was a trace of sadness in his eyes. Yuuji knew exactly what he felt, and he didn’t need to have his unnatural empathetic abilities to feel the same regret, the same hollow pain. The woman didn’t even look human anymore. She was just a mess of flesh and bone.
They’d be lucky if the coroner managed to even get a read on the dental records.
“He’s evolving quickly,” Nanami said. “If it’s the same person behind the last two deaths, then he’s going to continue evolving. I wonder, is the brutality a forensic countermeasure?” Nanami rubbed his chin, eyes narrow.
Yuuji shook his head and he had to look away from the body before he threw up. “No, I don’t think so. Any forensic countermeasures aren’t his doing. He doesn’t care about that. He just wants the kill. Once he starts, he… he gets carried away. He can’t stop himself from tearing them to pieces.”
“We need to find out how he chooses his victims before he claims another,” Gojo said. He stepped back and stretched, yawning into his hand. He looked like he was stepping away from paperwork instead of a brutal murder scene.
“Well, that’s easier said than done,” Nanami retorted. He gestured to the team waiting beyond the police tape. They hurried forward and started work on the forensic work. Yuuji stepped back. “Wait, Itadori,” Nanami said sharply.
Yuuji glanced up. “Hmm?”
“You said something, that the forensic countermeasures aren't his doing. Do you think someone else is involved?”
“Maybe,” Yuuji said. He shook his head, still struggling to breathe through the visions his imagination had conjured up. “Someone like this, they wouldn’t bother destroying anything that might identify the victim. They probably wouldn’t think that far ahead. Someone else must have taken her wallet out of her purse so we wouldn’t identify her as quickly.”
Gojo’s eyes sharpened, raking over the crime scene again. “A duo, instead of a single killer. One who does the job, one who keeps the killer out of trouble. That changes a lot.”
“Glad I could help,” Yuuji said wryly. “Can I go back to my lectures now?”
Gojo grinned wider. “Not yet, I need you for one more thing.”
Yuuji groaned. “Another case?” He rubbed his face. He was going to need a long night’s sleep more than ever.
He could stop all this. He could end it all with a word to Nanamin, a single sentence: ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ The higher ups didn’t fully trust him, anyway.
But if Yuuji didn’t help, if Yuuji didn’t devote his energy towards catching these monsters, who else would? It was his burden to bear. He alone was cursed with this unholy combination, his extreme empathy and extremely vivid imagination allowing him to almost see the scenes of the murders as they played out.
Gojo shook his head. “No bodies for now, don’t worry about that. We just got the last piece of info on the Ripper case from a few months ago, the mystery victim from that case was finally identified. I hope this victim here doesn’t take as long to put a name to,” he added, nodding toward the body.
Yuuji grimaced and sighed. “Alright. I’ll take a look at the files before I head home.”
Gojo flashed Yuuji a broad grin. “Perfect. Let me know what you think, okay?”
The Chesapeake Ripper was becoming nearly as infamous as the one of London fame. Killing in sounders of three, he would combine eerie precision with an almost animal savagery to kill his victims. And each time, after his third victim, he would inevitably cool off, letting the trail go cold until his appetite demanded he kill once more.
Yuuji couldn’t get a bead on him. Oh, he drew Yuuji in. There was a lurid carnality to the scenes, almost a beautiful brutality. Yuuji glanced over the case file only briefly, but that alone was enough to bring the crime scene to mind once more. It haunted his mind for hours, even as he found himself driving down a familiar, desolate road.
Entirely without thinking, he found himself outside of a grand manor, standing awkwardly at the door. He hadn’t meant to drive here, but there was a comfort that came from the reassuring presence of— well, a man who was not quite his friend, but not quite his psychiatrist, either.
Yuuji sighed and, after a moment’s consideration, he knocked. He was already here. Sukuna had told him a place would always be open for him should he like to have dinner. It had been too long since he’d last taken him up on the offer. The lure of a magnificent meal was almost too much to withstand.
After Yuuji rapped on the door, he stepped back, waiting for it to open. A blade of yellow light cut through the evening’s gloom, revealing the tall, muscular figure of Sukuna Ryouman standing just within. He was dressed simply by his standards, with only a pair of pressed slacks, a fine button-up shirt, and stays around each massive bicep to keep his sleeves carefully rolled back from his hands. A spotless apron over it all completed the look.
“Well, this is a surprise,” Sukuna drawled.
“Sorry, I know I probably should have texted. I just kind of… found myself here.” He was rambling. Yuuji closed his mouth.
Sukuna’s lip pulled up at the corner. “I did say you were always welcome. Come on in. You’re in luck. I was preparing extra tonight, but my original guest just called to cancel on me suddenly.”
“That was rude of them,” Yuuji said, frowning.
Sukuna hummed, nodding slowly and welcoming Yuuji into his home. “Quite rude. I might have to reconsider extending any future dinner invitations.”
“They’re missing out,” Yuuji laughed. He smiled warmly at his psychologist-turned-friend. Yuuji was always fond of cooking, but Sukuna elevated it into an art form. “Anything I can help with?”
“I always welcome your assistance. Come with me. I’ve already got the entree in the oven, but the dessert needs some attention. I have the dough nearly ready. Think you can slice up these berries for me?”
“Absolutely,” Yuuji said. He slid the bowl toward the cutting board, moving with practiced ease. So many times they had done this dance, with Sukuna passing Yuuji a slender paring knife and watching him begin to slice into each one.
At first, Yuuji had thought Sukuna distrusted him with knives. He wouldn’t be the first to consider Yuuji’s stability to be in question. But it was never out of concern for their lives, or fear that Yuuji would do something to himself or others. There was more of a rapt, almost fascinated kind of attention.
He claimed he enjoyed watching Yuuji work, and for Yuuji’s part, he could partially understand. Watching Sukuna cook was like watching one of the Renaissance masters paint. Every motion was deliberate and practiced, exacting nearly to a fault, but effortless in appearance. Yuuji might not know what Sukuna saw in his own cooking skills, but he could certainly sympathize with the desire to watch someone else work.
Their conversation ebbed and flowed comfortably. Sukuna poured Yuuji a glass of wine, as well as one for himself. For a time, their conversations were of lighter things, carefully avoiding any mention of their respective professions. Dinner was set on its final course, and they sat down to eat.
It was only after a few more glasses of wine, as the appetizer was nearly finished, that Sukuna finally said, “You seem tense. Usually you relax by now, but you haven’t tonight. Was work more… difficult than usual?”
Yuuji looked at his plate. Sukuna was too good at his profession by half. “You could say that. This new killer is evolving quicker than we can track him.”
“Something’s weighing on you, though,” Sukuna remarked. He cocked his head. There was something piercing in his gaze, something that seemed to see down to Yuuji’s very soul. “Something more than just that.”
“You’re right,” Yuuji confessed. “I don’t have any evidence to prove it. It’s just a feeling I have, and I don’t want to worry the others more than they already are. But I can’t help but think that, if we don’t catch him soon, he’ll go on a spree.”
Sukuna hummed. “No, that doesn’t sound good. But what makes you so certain, if you lack the evidence?”
“The way that he thinks, the way that he feels as he claims each victim. At some point, he’ll lose all sense of himself, like an animal. He’s growing more confident in his kills and more satisfied with each one. But he’s also losing a piece of himself each time, a part of his humanity is dying away. There’s less remorse, if he had any to begin with. Less hesitation. There’s only…” Yuuji shuddered. “There’s only ecstasy.”
“He’s overfond of killing? More bodies means more chances for mistakes, though. And being hasty makes it easier for him to slip up.”
“He has someone working with him, someone cleaning up behind him,” Yuuji said. He rubbed his face. “Someone who enjoys killing by proxy, because… because it serves a purpose. I don’t know what that purpose is, but it’s enough for him to watch and keep their trail clean. They’re too careful. Even if we catch the killer, there’s no guarantee we’ll catch his partner.”
“I know you have it in you,” Sukuna said. “Is that other case still bothering you, as well? What was the name of it…?”
“The Chesapeake Ripper,” Yuuji confirmed. “Yeah, more intel back on a previous victim. We finally ID’d her. But I’m almost certain the trail has gone cold for now. I don’t think we’ll see him again for a few more months at least. Not unless something spurs him on to change his tactics.”
Sukuna shrugged. “Well, people are mysterious creatures, prone to behaving in mysterious and unpredictable ways. One of your cases is bound to have a break sooner or later. Oh, one moment, I need to retrieve our main course.”
“Of course,” Yuuji said. He smiled as Sukuna disappeared into the kitchen for several moments, re-emerging with a pair of beautifully plated cuts of meat, each one nestled in a soft bed of perfectly roasted vegetables. “What’s for dinner tonight?”
“A particularly gregarious pig from a local butcher’s farm, with a bit of a tendency to inconvenience its fellows. But it shouldn’t bother the other pigs any longer, I should imagine,” Sukuna said. Mirth glittered in his gaze.
Yuuji cut into the meat, moaning at the tenderness of the cut, the juicy and flavorful profile of the pork mingling with the absolutely divine sauce that topped the plate. He closed his eyes and savored the taste. “Mmm, your cooking is always to die for, Sukuna.”
“Quite. I’m glad to have someone over who can actually appreciate my talents. More wine?”
“It’s a long drive,” Yuuji murmured mournfully. Many miles stood between him and his quiet family home. An empty cabin awaited him, with a lonely bed and the promise of an early morning to follow.
Sukuna poured more into his glass. “Nonsense. You know you’re welcome to stay the night.”
“I would hate to just assume. I promise I didn’t come here just to intrude on your hospitality and steal your food and spare room.”
Sukuna snorted, amused. “You’re overly courteous. I wouldn’t offer if I didn’t intend to let you stay, and you’re certainly not putting me out by your company. Drink, enjoy yourself. I certainly am. And who knows, it wouldn’t be the first time you offered more than just your company for the evening, if you’re willing.”
Yuuji choked on his food and flushed red, his face burning hot. He quickly took a large drink of his wine before clearing his throat. “That was— I mean to say, I didn’t expect you to—”
Sukuna steepled his fingers beneath his chin, gazing at Yuuji through darkly hooded eyes. The desire in his gaze was impossible to misunderstand. “I won’t presume that evening was anything more than a drunken transgression between two adults. But I also won’t lie and say that I haven’t been hoping for a repeat performance from you, my dear.”
Mortification burned inside him, but so too did the twin fires of desire and curiosity. His memories of that particular night were hazy at best. Though he’d had barely enough tonight to risk impairment while driving, he certainly wasn’t drunk enough to forget anything that came next. If they did anything tonight, it was guaranteed to be engraved permanently on his memories.
His mouth watered, and not from the savory, delicate flavors carried on the air. Yuuji took a slow sip of the freshly poured wine, rolling the taste over his tongue. He looked away, suddenly overcome with shyness. “Well… I can’t lie... I have considered it…”
“My bed is as open to you as my kitchen is,” Sukuna said, grinning wider. He leaned in close, fingers caressing Yuuji’s jaw. His touch almost seemed to burn Yuuji’s skin, tipping Yuuji’s head to look him in the eye. “Will you stay?”
There was a beat, his heart hammering out of his chest so loud it had to be audible. “Sure,” Yuuji whispered. The deal with the Devil was sealed, but Yuuji was not as concerned as he thought he would be. Sukuna was someone Yuuji trusted, an unshakable force, a pillar of stone amidst the turmoil of stormy ocean waves. The grounding effect of his presence couldn’t be overstated. “Yes, I’ll stay.”
A warmth settled in his belly at the thought. A night with Sukuna. He could only imagine the things that might happen. Anticipation felt bubbly, almost dizzying.
Yuuji drank more wine, savored the delectable morsels of each course Sukuna brought out. When the food and dishes were at least cleared away, it was just them and the emptiness of Sukuna’s private manor. Sukuna extended his hand to Yuuji. “Shall we?”
Yuuji laid his palm atop Sukuna’s open hand. He expected their fingers to twine together, but instead, Sukuna pulled him forward, close enough to feel the warmth of their bodies bleeding through their contact. They kissed like they were coming home.
Maybe he was. Sukuna felt familiar to him in a way no one else ever could. Their mouths mapped out the journey between them, and Yuuji took the time to memorize the way Sukuna’s lips moved against his. A warm swipe of tongue begged entrance. Yuuji allowed it with a sigh of bliss. He melted into the touch.
He felt hot and languid, maybe a bit drunk, but entirely intoxicated by the feeling of Sukuna’s skin against his own. Sukuna led him up the stairs, their bodies barely parting long enough to shed clothing as they fumbled past the entrance. Yuuji moaned into Sukuna’s mouth.
“I’m going to make you feel good,” Sukuna whispered intensely. He grabbed Yuuji and suddenly lifted him. Yuuji yelped and wrapped his legs around Sukuna’s hips, trying to hold on as Sukuna carried him to the bedroom. Their lips met along the way. Yuuji moaned as he was gently laid back onto the bed.
Sukuna ravished his throat, kissing and biting down Yuuji’s collarbone. His hands cupped Yuuji’s chest. Errant swipes of his thumbs teased against Yuuji’s nipples, soft strokes becoming firmer twists and pinches that left Yuuji keening. His head fell back, neck exposed. Total submission to a greater beast. The pleasure only grew when Sukuna sucked a dark bruise against his pulse.
“You’re never going to want to leave my bed,” Sukuna breathed, whispering dark promises that left Yuuji’s toes curling. “You’ll be so wrapped up in pleasure that you’ll forget all your struggles, all your pains. There is only you and I. Let it consume you.”
“Yes, yes, ahh,” Yuuji exhaled. “Sukuna… feels good…” He sighed as his eyes fluttered shut. He didn’t feel shy or embarrassed about being so exposed. Sukuna’s hands never left him bereft of touch, and the warmth of his palms was incomparable. His shirt and trousers had been discarded somewhere on the journey up here.
Sukuna grinned. “Wearing a jockstrap again? You’re not planning a trip to the gym, are you?” His hand cupped Yuuji’s bulge, a note of fondness in his voice.
Yuuji exhaled with a soft sigh. “Way more comfortable… You should try it. Better than boxers or briefs, since it actually keeps everything in place. And it’s nice and breezy.” Thin, elastic bands held the soft, grey cotton fabric gathered in a soft cup around his cock, holding his stiffening cock and balls comfortably in place. Everything else was naked, with no extra fabric to gather and chafe and get sweaty.
“I don’t think I mentioned last time how much I enjoyed seeing you wear one,” Sukuna purred. His free hand moved to stroke his thumb over the exposed span of skin, the soft pour of muscular, meaty ass. A finger slipped under the elastic, giving it a snap that left Yuuji moaning aloud.
He whined low, sneaking his hand down to rub his stinging skin. “Sukuna… are you just going to tease me?” He batted his eyes, unable to hold back a flirty grin.
“Mmm, maybe. Unless there’s something else you want?” Sukuna replied. His silky voice rose with the question.
Yuuji could feel his heart beating faster in his chest, thrill and arousal competing for his attention. Sukuna was a handsome man, but even more than his attractive features, his entire demeanor drew Yuuji in, made him feel like he didn’t have to be the one constantly saving everyone.
With Sukuna, everything was unreadable except for what stood on the surface, and it let Yuuji pull himself away from the prison of his own mind. Yuuji could just be Yuuji here, not the weirdo with the ‘gift’ of pure empathy. Sukuna was normalcy. He was a breath of fresh air.
Yuuji hummed softly, but his desire slipped through into a breathy moan. “I… I don’t know...”
“Don’t be so shy! We’re both adults here, you can tell me. Come on, come on, you can do it,” Sukuna cajoled him.
Yuuji groaned, his face flushing a darker red than even before. He tore his gaze away from Sukuna’s, unable to look him in the eye as he muttered, “I… I really want to taste you… Can I suck your cock?”
Sukuna grinned at him, then rose onto his hands and knees, shifting across the bed to lay at the top. He settled with his back against the headboard, his legs spread apart to leave room for Yuuji between. He crooked his finger with a hungry smile. “Was that so hard? Come on, then, baby boy. Have a taste.”
Yuuji shuffled up, flopping down between. He made short work of peeling back the silky, skin-tight boxer briefs, exposing the hard length of Sukuna’s cock. Immediately, Yuuji kissed the tip and dragged his tongue along the underside from base to top. He closed his eyes and groaned. “God, you have no idea how long I’ve been thinking about this,” he confessed.
“All you had to do was ask,” Sukuna murmured. He stroked Yuuji’s cheek, indulgent to the last. “No one has to know what you do in private. The things you do, the things you need.”
Yuuji let out a gutless sound, his whole body going boneless into the bed. He let his lips greedily encircle the length, not hesitating for a moment. It was like heaven to sink down. His mouth was full of cock, the taste of it, the size, the weight on his tongue. He moaned around it, taking more than he could manage in one go.
Sukuna stroked his hair, watching him struggle and finally succeed. Yuuji bobbed his head slowly. His throat relaxed, making everything easier.
Sukuna made a small sound of surprise, his fingers raking pleasantly over Yuuji’s scalp. His voice was barely audible through the weight of his pleasure. “Damn… I didn’t realize you were so talented. If I’d known you didn’t have a gag reflex, I’d have asked you to suck me off ages ago.”
Yuuji’s chest bubbled with laughter, and he had to pull off to fight back a smile before going down once more. He sank into it, floating on the feeling of Sukuna’s cock inside him. It felt good to let his mind drift like this, untethered and focused solely on bringing someone else pleasure. Giving head was something Yuuji had always found himself fond of.
“You like that, don’t you?” Sukuna murmured. His nails felt like heaven, combing through Yuuji’s hair. Every stroke ended with just the slightest tug of his hair, enough to make shivers race up and down Yuuji’s spine.
Yuuji hummed. It sent vibrations up and down his throat, leaving Sukuna groaning in pleasure.
“Of course you like giving head. You’re desperate to feel wanted and helpful, and sucking cock makes you feel like you’re fulfilling a purpose in life, like you’re doing good for one person.”
Yuuji groaned around the cock in his mouth.
Sukuna hissed at the vibration. “I know, you don’t want to be psychoanalyzed. But it’s clear as day on your face, just how much you love this. Fuck, mmmn, god yes, you are good at this. Alright, that’s enough. Come on, off,” Sukuna chided, pulling Yuuji by the hair off his dick.
Yuuji was dazed, drooling slightly as he licked his swollen lips. “Wanted to taste you,” he panted. He was already raspy. “Unless you have other plans?”
“I might,” Sukuna said indulgently. “What would you think of me fucking you?”
Yuuji licked his lips again. “I would think I would want you to,” he said, eyes gleaming in the low light. He could feel Sukuna’s hands on his skin. Every inch of him was so turned on it hurt, so aroused that he was desperate to crawl onto Sukuna’s cock here and now and fuck himself.
Yuuji was just intoxicated enough for the prep to blur a little. He knew he felt Sukuna’s fingers inside him, felt the slickness of a thick, silicone lube painting his insides. His body was hot. Sukuna’s touch made him feel warmer, made the sticky feeling in his belly gather and condense into molten heat.
His cock was hard enough to slap against his belly, pinned to his stomach by the waistband of the jock. His balls were still tucked in the pouch. Sukuna fondled them mercilessly, cupping them in his hands and applying just enough pressure to dance along the edge of pain and pleasure.
Yuuji sobbed. He couldn’t remember when he started crying, but the pleasure gathered in him so intensely that he couldn’t hold himself back any longer. Tears streamed down his face as Sukuna fucked him with his fingers.
It felt better than he could have dreamed, better than words could possibly describe. He knelt on his hands and knees, but his arms soon gave out under the onslaught. He let his cheek rest against the sheets, ass up in the air, chest against the bed.
“That’s it, open up for me, good boy,” Sukuna crooned, teasing almost in the lilt of his voice. His fingers sought out Yuuji’s prostate with cruel efficiency, finding it and grinding the pads of his fingertips against it until Yuuji let out broken, animal sounds.
“Sukuna, Sukuna!” Yuuji sobbed. He rocked back against Sukuna’s hand, meeting each rolling thrust.
He could hear Sukuna breathing faster. There was excitement in his voice. “Yes, good! Fuck, you’re stunning. But you want more, don’t you? Greedy, lovely thing.”
“More, yes, please, I want more.” Yuuji panted into the sheets, his voice cracking with the weight of his desire. His memories of the last time were hazy at best, blurred through a cloudy lens, but he could remember this heat, this stretch, this voice. He could remember how it felt to have Sukuna take him from behind, to hold him tight enough to bruise. Yuuji shuddered. “Fuck me, please, Sukuna!”
Sukuna’s voice seemed to drop with a richer desire than even before. “Such pretty pleas. Always so polite, even when you’re shaking your ass like a trained whore.”
Yuuji groaned, heat flooding through him.
“What’s that? Do you like being my darling whore? My precious little slut?” Sukuna continued. Yuuji gasped, a fresh, broken sob slipping from his lips.
“Yes, yes, yes,” Yuuji said in a rush. The words poured out of him, leaving behind the taste of desire on his tongue. “I’m your slut, please Sukuna, I need you so bad!”
“You’re so hungry for cock. You’ve been denying yourself too long, haven’t you? Burying yourself in work and lavishing in a sea of death so massive, you can’t see the opposite shore. You just want to escape for a few precious moments. I can give you what you want, what you need.”
Yuuji clung to the sheets. Another broken sob escaped him. “I need your cock, please Sukuna. Fuck me, I need you so badly.”
Yuuji felt lips against his spine, then the glance of teeth as Sukuna bit down, hard enough to make Yuuji cry out. His cock twitched hard, threatening to spill. Sukuna soothed the spot with the flat of his tongue.
The bed shifted as Sukuna climbed onto his knees. “I’ll give you everything you need and more.” He climbed up behind Yuuji, cupping a cheek in each hand. Yuuji’s messy, lube-slick hole twitched. Sukuna let out a slow breath, like he was savoring this moment.
Yuuji let out breathy sounds with every exhale. Anticipation had him on edge, wound tight like a cord about to snap, until he felt the blunt tip of Sukuna’s cock grind against his body. He let out a punched-out groan.
“You’re practically gagging for it,” Sukuna whispered. There was a dark, possessive edge to his voice that left shivers racing up and down Yuuji’s spine. “Don’t worry, I’ll fill you right up, darling boy.”
He slowly pressed in. The stretch was like nothing else in the world. For a moment, it was all too much. Yuuji wheezed at the first push, the pain pricking faintly at the corners of his eyes. But Sukuna kept him soothed, stroking his cock and shushing his cries as he let Yuuji open up around him. Yuuji’s cock barely flagged as Sukuna worked himself deeper and deeper.
It was nearly impossible to track the feeling of pain when the pleasure was so overwhelming around him. Every roll of Sukuna’s hips pushed in deeper, deeper, with Yuuji gagging for more and hissing in pain in turns. But god, he loved it, he loved this feeling of letting go, of allowing someone to hold him at their mercy for just a few moments.
Sukuna was the shadowed depths beneath still waters, unfathomable to his very core, and Yuuji could take solace in that. His mind could rest, his imagination could stop giving rise to lurid fantasies when the most vivid and intense fantasy of all was being written into his very core.
Yuuji screamed as Sukuna roughly bottomed out, pulling his hair at the same time. He was so fucking hard it hurt. Sukuna ground their hips together, nearly pushing Yuuji right over the edge. Precum drooled down his cock.
He sucked in ragged breaths, barely holding himself back. “Fuck, that feels so good,” Yuuji gasped. His knuckles were white where they clung to the bedsheets.
“I’ll make it feel better,” Sukuna promised darkly. He tipped his hips back, and the first thrust dragged with sweet friction inside him. The stretch seemed to burn, but there was a smug satisfaction to it, too. Their bodies were impossibly close, deeper and more intimate than the gauzy half-formed memories of that first night.
Yuuji couldn’t stop the sounds spilling past his lips. “More,” he begged.
“Greedy, greedy,” Sukuna purred. “I’m already inside you. What more do you want? I won’t know until you tell me.”
Yuuji muttered softly, cheeks burning hotter.
“I didn’t catch that. Louder, darling, or should I just fuck it out of you?”
“Fill me up, please,” Yuuji repeated, forcing himself louder even as he wanted to die from mortification. “I want… I want you to come inside me.”
Sukuna hummed, low and pleased. His hands curled around Yuuji’s hips, possessive in the way they each claimed a span of skin. “Gladly,” he growled low. Suddenly, his hips started to move, setting a bruising pace that left Yuuji clawing at the sheets.
He moaned long and low, the sound torn from his lips. Every snap of the hips was brutal. There was no mercy, just a relentless rhythm that left Yuuji gasping. Sukuna was skilled with his cock as well as with his hands, grunting and panting in pleasure as he worked Yuuji over.
It was all too much. Blood rushed through him, throbbing with every beat of his heart. Yuuji could feel every inch of connection between them, the heat of sticky, sweaty skin and the firm grip of Sukuna’s hands.
He wanted to touch Sukuna back, he wanted to hold him close. But on his knees, he could only lie there and take it. Just the thought sent a ripple of thrill through him. Animal, visceral fear throbbed like a rolling drum. But the fear wasn’t real. It was only instinctual, prey beneath a predator. Even so, the rush of it was better than any sex Yuuji had ever had before.
He screamed in pleasure, clawing at the sheets as his body was ruined, violated, twisted and molded under skilled hands. Sukuna’s touch was always so practiced, so perfect, whether with a kitchen knife or a cock. He made Yuuji come undone with sobbing cries.
Yuuji could feel his body convulsing with the force of his pleasure. Overstimulation screamed through him, fire through every nerve ending, and Sukuna just kept going. His cock spilled all that it could, and yet the hardness continued without flagging.
“So good,” Sukuna panted harshly, sinking his teeth hard into Yuuji’s shoulder. Yuuji could only howl from sheer bliss. His trembling knees barely held him up. “Fuck, you’re so good for me. I’m going to fuck you until you can’t forget me.”
“Please, please, it’s too much,” Yuuji sobbed. He moaned as his body disagreed, another wave of potent pleasure flooding through him.
“I’m going to fill you up.” Sukuna whispered dark vows into Yuuji’s ears. His breath was hot against the shell of Yuuji’s ear. “Fuck, you just got so tight when I said that— haaaa, fuck. You really like that, don’t you? Mmn, yeah you do. What if I told you I was going to breed you? My sweet little slut, I’m going to fuck you until you’re so full of me that you can’t tell us apart, until we are one.”
Yuuji sobbed. His mind was scattered like dust on the wind, lost under the violent crush of pleasure. There was no reality. There was no logic to tell him that this was impossible. “Breed me,” he gasped.
Sukuna swore softly, groaning into Yuuji’s back. “Beautiful. Stunning. Cum for me, one more and I’ll give you everything,” he promised.
Yuuji couldn’t hold back his voice as Sukuna’s hand went wild. The slow stroking of his cock became a dizzying glut of sensation, every thrust slamming so hard into Yuuji’s prostate that the world ceased to exist. There was only their bodies moving as one.
Yuuji felt himself slip.
He crashed into the most intense orgasm of his life, vision blacking out with a scream. His cock pulsed weakly, giving what little he had left. In exchange, he felt the hot flood of cum inside him as Sukuna spilled. The sound of Sukuna’s own pleasure filled Yuuji with an impossible feeling of satisfaction.
His trembling knees finally gave out. He collapsed onto the bed, Sukuna’s cock slipping out, but the glut of cum still heavy inside him. Sukuna’s hands stroked his body, soothing the ragged, gasping breath and kissing away Yuuji’s tears. Yuuji didn’t see the dark, immensely pleased grin on Sukuna’s face.
“Good, good, that’s a good boy,” Sukuna shushed him. “Sleep, I’ll be here for you when you wake up.”
Yuuji slowly dozed off in the night, content to feel Sukuna’s chest as something warm and solid to steady him.
Sukuna slowly sat up. Yuuji’s breathing was finally slow and even, very much deeply asleep. Still, carefully, he unfolded himself from the bed, leaving the boy alone in the sheets.
What a fascinating toy. What a darling little brat, so easily manipulated, so charmingly desperate for any shred of genuine affection. And yet, beneath the surface, there was a clever mind that could parse through information and quickly find a solution, a mind that didn’t hesitate to come to grips with a situation and do what was necessary. Stubborn, effective, and quite cute. And yet, despite all his canny intuition, he was still just as stupid and gullible as could be.
It was a winning combination. Lucky for Sukuna then that most everyone saw Yuuji as damaged goods, cursed by the burden of his own abilities. His preternatural empathy was extraordinary, beyond fascinating and something Sukuna was keen to puzzle through at a later date.
But for now, he was sexually satiated, and there was work to be done while Yuuji slept, thinking Sukuna still dreamed beside him. The perfect alibi, one Yuuji would never have cause to doubt, while Sukuna was free to leave his pet a love letter to end all love letters, a gift to cherish in his own way.
His work was bloody, as it always was, but there was satisfaction in his efforts. Sukuna was back home within a few hours, spotlessly clean, and taking care to flush the toilet on his way back to bed to provide sound cover.
Predictably, Yuuji stirred as Sukuna crawled back under the sheets, pulling their bodies flush together once more. “Mmmnn, Sukuna?” Yuuji murmured sleepily.
“Just a trip to the bathroom. Back to sleep,” Sukuna lied easily.
Yuuji smiled and hummed. His breathing leveled out almost instantly. He was barely awake at all. Likely he wouldn’t remember this at all, content to think of this as a normal occurrence. Who would remember an unremarkable trip to the bathroom come morning, when there were distractions to be had?
Sukuna smiled to himself in the dark. His darling boy needed just a single clue, didn’t he? Sukuna was more than happy to supply one.
Yuuji dreamed of a dark forest.
There was only the light of the full moon to guide his steps over the brush. He stumbled occasionally, but it was enough to find his way to a clearing in the trees. He stopped at the edge, gazing out.
A monstrous creature turned to face him. Its body was cloaked in shadow, its ink black flesh dessicated and rotting off its muscles. A massive rack of antlers rose from the creature’s head, twisting like a tangle of thorns and making it even taller than it already was. As if it wasn’t menacing enough already, four massive arms hung from its torso, and four glowing, white-blue eyes pierced the darkness like stars against the velvet night.
Yuuji stood frozen in place. The icy grip of raw terror clutched at his throat, swallowing any sounds he could have made. He couldn’t tear his eyes away from the beast as it took a single step forward. Blood dripped from ivory fangs, slow, fat drops hitting the grass, hitting something on the ground.
Yuuji forced himself to look at the shape at its feet. The body of the Chesapeake Ripper’s last victim stared at him, eyes vacant and mouth hanging open. Her throat was torn out, her chest ripped open and her organs removed. Eaten, most likely.
Yuuji took a step forward, then another. He was spellbound by the sight. The creature lifted a hand, suddenly thrusting it into Yuuji’s chest. He expected to feel pain, but there was nothing but coldness. Emptiness. The void yawned with a feeling of being completely, desperately alone, and that feeling slowly started to ache.
Just as fast, the clawed hand withdrew, bringing that cold with it. Thick, wet drops of blood rolled down its wrist as it prized from his chest the still beating heart. It held the heart out, expectant. Yuuji lifted his hand, and the heart fell into his waiting palm.
Yuuji lifted it to his mouth. His pulse was deafening in his ears, throbbing a violent, rolling beat that left him breathless. The beast looked at him.
He closed his eyes and took a bite.
The harsh ringing was what woke them both, too early in the morning. Yuuji swore under his breath. Sweat covered his skin, leaving him sticky along the span where Sukuna’s naked chest touched his back. His phone rang again, seemingly louder and more insistent.
His hand fumbled over the nightstand, unwilling to disentangle himself from Sukuna or open his eyes. He answered without looking. Only one person ever called at this hour.
“Good morning! Or at least, it could have been, if someone hadn’t been busy last night. Grab a coffee and get over here, I’m texting you the address. I need you up and awake. We’ve got another body,” Gojo chirped, far too awake for the hour.
“Be right there,” Yuuji grumbled, trying to force himself to open his eyes. The sheets were warm and cozy. It was nearly impossible to convince himself to move.
Sukuna yawned. He squeezed Yuuji tighter in his arms, mumbling, “Duty calls?” His lips ghosted up the back of Yuuji’s neck, leaving behind a trail of goosebumps in his wake.
“Mmm, sounds like it. Sorry to wake you up,” Yuuji apologized.
“Don’t worry about it. Your work is important. Finding monsters, catching murderers. I like watching you in action.” Yuuji hadn’t pegged Sukuna for the domestic type, but he was surprised to feel Sukuna’s warm hands stroking soothingly over his skin.
Yuuji hummed and rolled over in bed, letting Sukuna pull him into his arms. They kissed lazily for a moment. Fuck, this was nice. No, nice didn’t even begin to cover just how wonderful this all felt. Years of stress seemed to have vanished overnight.
Yuuji’s phone buzzed, and he groaned. “Ugh, I think have to go. Thank you for… all of this. It was amazing.”
“Don’t thank me yet,” Sukuna laughed softly. “Get dressed, I’ll fix you something to eat before you leave.”
“You’re too good to me. But you’re lucky I work out so much, or you’d make me fat from feeding me so much,” Yuuji said ruefully, kissing Sukuna on the mouth once more. He sat up, stretching and groaning.
Sukuna peppered his naked shoulders and back with kisses bordering on bites, leaving glancing scrapes of teeth that made Yuuji shiver.
“I like having more to hold and bite,” Sukuna said gleefully. Yuuji couldn’t stop giggling, batting Sukuna’s chomping bites away. He finally let Yuuji up.
Yuuji scrounged up his abandoned clothes from where they had been strewn. He would just wear it again and hope no one noticed. As he showered and dressed, he heard the soft sizzle of cooking food rise through the air. The scent of sausage and eggs made his stomach growl. He finished cleaning up quickly.
He grimaced at the feeling of yesterday’s clothes, but Yuuji was already taking five minutes that he didn’t have to scarf down breakfast. There wasn’t exactly time to drive all the way home to change.
He moaned as he ate. “How is everything you cook so good?” Yuuji groaned. “This sausage is amazing.”
“Homemade, with a secret spice blend that has been in my family for generations. I like to keep some in reserve for occasions like this. I’m glad you like it,” Sukuna said. His eyes were tired, and he sipped on his coffee with a sleepy look. Yuuji couldn’t quite muffle his yawn. “Did you sleep well?”
“Amazing,” Yuuji said, carefully finishing off the last bite before he continued. “But I did have a strange dream last night.”
“Oh?” Sukuna cocked his head inquisitively.
Yuuji nodded. “It was so surreal. I was in a dark forest, and I saw this… thing. Tall, looking like it was made out of shadows, with antlers and glowing eyes. It…”
“Mmn?” Sukuna hummed, leaning forward.
Yuuji shook his head with a nervous laugh. “You’re not going to try and analyze my dream, are you?”
“Freud’s theories are largely discredited and based on drug fueled opinions without any grounding in fact. I’m not going to pick your dreams apart for you. Was the rest of the dream unpleasant in some way?”
Yuuji sighed in relief. “Not… bad, I guess. I never felt afraid. But it didn’t feel real. There was a woman at his feet, one of the recent Ripper victims. He’d torn her body open and removed the organs. I think he’d eaten them all. Then he… well, he fed me my own heart.”
“Interesting. You ate it willingly?”
“In the dream, yeah. I don’t know why. And the creature was so strange, I feel like it’s something at the edge of my memories, but not quite there.”
“Have you ever heard the myth of the wendigo?” Sukuna asked.
Yuuji frowned. “I think so. The name sounds familiar… it’s a local story, isn’t it? A creature that was once a man?”
“It’s a tale historically told by Native Americans, but it’s been twisted slightly since then. A few shows and movies have referenced it, so it must have been somewhere in your subconscious. It’s been said that it is a creature that arises from the corruption of a person, either due to greed or cannibalism. Descriptions of it are similar to what you’re describing.”
“I see,” Yuuji mumbled. “I know I said not to psychoanalyze it, but it’s pretty weird. A wendigo… huh…”
His mind was racing. “Maybe this will sound stupid, since it was just a dream but… well, I did have theories about why the Ripper would take the organs from his victims, but nothing conclusive. But this makes me wonder if he has a different use for them than organ transplants or trophies…”
Sukuna’s eyebrows rose. “You think your Ripper is a cannibal?”
“I can’t rule it out,” Yuuji admitted. “And the other answers didn’t seem to fit. Oh fuck, look at the time. I really have to go. Thank you again for breakfast, and… well, last night, too.” He scrambled to his feet, hastily pulling his jacket over his shoulders.
Sukuna smiled wider. “Come back any time. By the way, have you ever actually eaten heart?”
“Eat a heart?” Yuuji laughed. “Why would I do that?”
“You’d be surprised. It’s quite nutritious, and prepared correctly, it can be delicious as all. I have a recipe for slow-cooked venison heart, as well as one for a pan seared ox heart that you might mistake for a cut of steak. Hearts are a treat in many countries. You’ll have to let me know if you’re interested, I can procure some fresh from my local butcher.”
Yuuji considered the offer and grinned. “If you make it, it’s certain to be delicious. I’ll trust you, then. Let me know when you want me to come over. I’ll bring wine?”
“Sounds perfect. Best run to work now, though, before the others grow impatient.”
“Right,” Yuuji said. “Bye, Sukuna!” He hurried out the door, quick to start his car. His five minute detour for breakfast had taken longer than that, but he could make up some of that lost time on the highway, provided traffic was good.
Some of his past reservations crept back into his belly as he drove down the empty stretches of Virginia forest.
Relationships had never worked for Yuuji. As he had grown older, they had always been shallow, superficial things. Yuuji was easy to get along with, and he even managed to be fairly popular when he didn’t mention his weird, uncanny abilities.
But the feelings were always empty things, never as deep as Yuuji wanted, and yet somehow always too deep for his own mind to handle. Sex was difficult when you were cripplingly empathetic and couldn’t let go enough to enjoy yourself.
It was wrong to fuck Sukuna. Yuuji knew that, and he knew he was violating countless codes of ethics and propriety besides. He knew that Nanamin would be disappointed in him to know that he was fucking his therapist, but even more so to know that Sukuna had allowed it to happen and continued to serve as Yuuji’s emotional cornerstone.
The higher ups would demand his resignation, and nothing Gojo did or said would be able to stop them. And yet, knowing all this, Yuuji had done it anyway. Even if the first time was a mistake, even if Yuuji barely remembered it, he had allowed this second time to happen. More than that, he enjoyed it.
This was a secret he could never share. Yuuji pulled his car to a stop at the address, eyes lingering on the flashing blue and red lights of the police cars. It was still too early for this, but the breakfast had at least done its job.
Yuuji picked his way past the police tape, over to where Gojo and Nanami stood. The two were conversing in a low tone.
“Sorry it took me a bit to get here,” Yuuji said. He winced at how raspy his throat sounded. Had it been so raspy all morning? He hadn’t even noticed until he was surrounded by his coworkers.
“You look like hell,” Gojo said cheerily. “Rough night?”
“Not as rough as our friend,” Yuuji said, casting his gaze over to a mutilated young man. “What do we know?”
“Same as yesterday, I’m guessing. No one else does something like this to a body. But go ahead and take a look. Maybe you can get something knew off it.”
Yuuji sighed. He’d been afraid of this. Two kills in as many days was a bad sign, and the escalation put them in a time crunch like never before.
He stepped up to the body. Long, savage gashes rent open the skin, the spatters of blood painting everything around them. It hit him in a rush.
Gasping, wheezing, clutching his chest as he suffocated from the force of his own mind, he gasped, “It’s not him.”
Nanami steadied him, looking intently into his eyes. “What do you mean, Itadori?”
“It’s not… haa… not him. There’s nothing… nothing childish about this. It’s not about that. It’s a different murderer entirely,” Yuuji managed to say, coughing and clearing his throat. He looked up warily at the body.
“A copycat?” Gojo said. He leaned down, looking at the body.
“It’s… this body is different, but similar. Close, but not quite the same. When I look at it, it feels like… like everything is magnified. I can’t explain it.”
“Just tell me what you see,” Nanami said firmly. Yuuji latched onto the smooth sound of his voice. He swallowed hard and nodded.
“The other murders, they’re inherently selfish. The killer is enjoying this too much to think about anything else. But this, this one isn’t about personal satisfaction. It’s… it’s… seduction.”
“Seduction how? In what way?” Gojo said. “Showing his love for the other killer? Or is it seducing the victim?”
“Neither,” Yuuji said, shaking his head. “Someone else entirely. There’s no regard for the victim. They’re just the vector, the message. There’s so much contempt for the person they’re copying. Every slash is so exact, so precise. None of the initial stab wounds hit anything lethal. They were intended to cause as much blood spatter and pain as possible, to make this scene as messy as they could. But the actual kill strikes went down here and here, one through each of the lungs. Precise, just enough to leave the victim to suffocate themselves.”
“Then who is the message for?” Nanami murmured. He narrowed his eyes.
“I… I can’t say. I don’t know,” Yuuji breathed. Him. Who else would see this for what it was? Who else would see the bloody spatter and understand the meaning behind it? Someone had to know who he was, know what he could see, what he could do. His abilities were no secret, but who would do something like this? Why?
He could feel his heart racing faster in panic. He looked left, right, taking it all in. The torture of this victim was deliberate, but the suffering of the others was just… a game. Cat and mouse. There was something missing here.
Yuuji crumpled to the ground, his legs weak, his eyes wide as he stared at the crime scene. “Oh fuck. I see it. I— I see it now,” he whispered.
It had taken the contrast to see it. The crime scenes were like opposite sides of the same coin, and that stunning relief thrown by the shadows suddenly brought every last previous case into a new light.
The clean-up wasn’t incidental to the murders that had taken place. It was everything. The partner wasn’t following, but unleashing their monster on the world. Every victim was deliberately chosen, and the killer’s relish for death was as much the delight at freedom as it was the gleeful ravaging of his victims. The partner took satisfaction in watching their attack dog go.
“Look into local universities for past students with leadership experience in clubs and organizations. Focus on ones that had exceptional GPA’s but suddenly suffered from some kind of traumatic incident. One of the murderers is a high achiever, but suffered an extraordinary experience that triggered some kind of rage within them. See if the victims had any contact with foster families in the past.”
Gojo and Nanami stared at him. Yuuji ignored them, words pouring from him in a rush. He could see them.
“The other is likely someone he met in the aftermath, perhaps someone who was in a hospital for self-harm. If I had to guess, this one has a juvenile record of animal mutilations, and had probably been in and out of foster care for much of his life. He’s young, but old enough to know that what he’s doing is wrong. He relishes in the feeling of doing something bad.”
“And our killer here?” Nanami said.
Yuuji shook his head. He couldn’t breathe. He could only shake his head, staring emptily at the scene before him. “I don’t know. I can’t see anything. They left nothing of themselves behind, only the echoes of someone else.”
“I’ll get someone to look into the profile you gave us,” Gojo said. “If you figure out anything else, let me know.”
“Did you even go home last night?” Nanami asked. Yuuji shook his head, forcing himself to stand up.
In the following weeks, two men were arrested in connection with the murders. One man was barely 18, aged out of foster care and heavily scarred from countless self-mutilations to his face, arms, and body. The other was slightly older, a college dropout caring for two young girls he’d taken from the first victim.
The girls weren’t even registered to the foster care system. No one knew who they were, nor where they came from. There were signs of past abuse, and they had only been allowed to heal once they were in the care of a violent murder.
They cried to be returned to their captor.
Yuuji felt his heart break for them. But they would be taken to a new family, taken care of better than they were before. There was nothing more he could do for them.
Everything would have been a happy ending after that. But it was a reprieve of only a few short days before three bodies turned up in consecutive days.
A sounder of three.
The Chesapeake Ripper had returned with a bold new flare, and there was absolutely nothing Yuuji could do about that, either. He could feel frustration in his chest, burning brighter as he tried and failed, once, twice, three times to get something, anything useful out of the crime scenes.
Now he sat in Sukuna’s dining room, staring morosely at his wine glass.
“I just wish there was more I could do,” Yuuji sighed.
Sukuna slid a plate in front of him with a tight smile. “You have time enough to find your killer.”
“I won’t, though! The Ripper will vanish again, just like he always has. The trail will go cold again, and I will have gotten nowhere.”
Sukuna settled into the chair beside him. “I told you I would take your mind off it, and I will. Relax, drink some wine. You know that, at the very least, the Ripper won’t strike again tonight. Allow yourself this respite.”
Yuuji sighed. On the plate before him, the cut of ox heart looked more tempting than expected. “You’re right. I’m just worried. I can’t risk letting anyone else die by his hands. That one man’s entire chest cavity was emptied. We couldn’t find the lungs or the heart. How many people will meet a similar fate?”
“Tomorrow will bring a new chance to investigate. But tonight, we eat.”
Yuuji smiled softly. “Thank you for the meal. I really do appreciate it.”
“You’re very welcome,” Sukuna said. He cut into his dinner with a nod.
Yuuji mirrored him, slicing off a bite and sampling the ox heart. “Mmm! I didn’t expect it to be so good.”
“Many don’t consider the potential that offal brings to a dining experience. It’s my hope to change that, at least for the few guests I have at my table. Not only is it delicious, it is incredibly nutritious as well.”
“Well, I’ll happily eat anything you give me,” Yuuji said. “As long as you invite me, I’ll be here.”
Sukuna grinned. “I would love nothing more than to have you for dinner. You’re always welcome.”
Yuuji closed his eyes, savoring the blend of flavors as they crossed his palate. Sukuna’s hand slipped up his thigh. Yuuji moaned into his mouthful of food, eyes fluttering open.
Sukuna’s gaze was heavier than before, rich with arousal and dark promises of what was to come tonight. Yuuji smiled.
For all the stresses and suffering he faced in his line of work, he found solace in these quiet moments. Sukuna was the only feeling of normalcy he could ever remember experiencing.
It was almost as though something was growing inside of him. Sukuna could tease him about their breeding talk, but this was different from that. The feeling in his chest reminded him of the Wendigo of his dreams, its icy hand clutching his heart and holding it tight.
Yuuji looked over his meal, finally eating eagerly. He could worry about the Chesapeake Ripper come morning. Tonight, if only for a few hours, he was ready to surrender to the greed of the wendigo.