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a future without light.

Chapter Text

 

 

Takemichi did it.

 

He saved everyone.

After try and try, fail after fail, he finally did it. 

Everyone he loved was happy, finding respectable jobs, marrying the people they loved, no death, no murder, no suicide. 

This- this was the future Takemichi had longed for, the future he tried so hard for.

 

He was supposed to feel relief, supposed to be happy, proud of himself that he finally did it- but…

Why can’t he feel a thing?

Ah.

Their happiness had cost him his own.

 

It was alright, he thought.

This was way better. 

He had no right to be selfish, not after causing so many deaths.

If this was what it would cost for them to be happy, he would gladly accept it.

Takemichi wouldn’t complain.



The nightmares would plague his mind every night. Waking up screaming, being doused with cold sweat was a feeling he was getting used to. Strange, he never had night terrors until now, even before he didn’t have this problem. Seeing the dead bodies of your friend could do that, the thoughts would sneer. He’d ignore it.

 

Time felt distorted. 

Takemichi would more often than not check the date on his phone almost every morning he would wake, marking down with red X’s on his calendar each day that passed. Sometimes he’d feel anxious ( scared scared scared scared ) that he would randomly wake up and this would be all a dream ( you changed nothing this isn’t real ) but seeing the faces of his best friends would calm him. They were safe, happy, he did it.

Imposters. They are imposters. They don’t exist. They are dead.

 

The scar on his hand would be comforting. Sometimes people would look at it, wince and ignore it. Most people thought it was a painful memory, but to Takemitchi, it was proof that everything he went through counted towards something ( nothing nothing you suffered for nothing ).

 

“Takemichy?” Head snapping up, Takemichi looked at Mikey, who was staring very intently at him. “Sorry- what’d you say?” Smiling sheepishly, Takemichi rubbed his neck. 

“I said if we could go another day to the mall, I have a therapy appointment later today.” Mikey said as Takemichi nodded.

After finding out about his dark impulses, he’d tried so hard to get Mikey help, and eventually Mikey finally started seeing someone. A tall, black-haired woman called Ryouta who Mikey loved to talk with, she was a serious woman but also was a perfect fit for Mikey. 

“Yeah! That’s fine! I was planning on covering a shift for my friend anyway.” Takemichi would smile as Mikey pouted. “You’ve been taking on so many shifts lately! What happened to the whole ‘I hate my job!’ thing.” 

Takemichi awkwardly laughed. Sure he had been taking on a lot of work lately (stupid DVD place, no matter how much he tried he still couldn’t change jobs, maybe it was a set in stone type of thing) but he didn’t mind, he wouldn’t reject the chance for more money.

liar liar liar you’re just trying to distract yourself coward coward coward 



The thought of needing help terrified him. It’s not like Takemichi completely lacked self-awareness ( your ignoring us you can't face us coward coward ) he knew that having nightmares, random flashbacks of his friends dying, or being terrified of any type of firearms or loud noises that it would send you into a frenzy, probably wasn’t a good sign. 

But he knew the limits of what he could say, if he went to therapy and talked about how ‘ oh yeah I travelled back in time to save my ex girlfriend and then my friends and ended up seeing my friends die right in front me and almost killed myself numerous times ’ was a straight ticket to no man's land. As much as he wanted to ( needed to) Takemichi would never. He didn’t want to get called crazy and delusional. 

you are delusional, you're crazy, you're slowly going insane. every time you look in the mirror do you see yourself? every time you look at your friends do you see them? you’re breaking, you won’t be able to keep up the act much longer.



Takemichi felt a hand on his shoulder. Suppressing a flinch, he turned to see the worried look of Chifuyu. “You alright? You zoned out for a while.” Pressing his lips into a tight smile, Takemichi nodded. “I’m alright! Been tired from work.” “Yeah no kidding, you work even more than me, and that’s saying something.” Draken added, also giving him the worried side eye, though he was better at hiding it. 

 

Takemichi stared at Chifuyu. “Did you change your hair?” He asked as Chifuyu raised his eyebrows. “No? Does it look different?” 

imposter he’s an imposter this isn’t him he isn’t him he died he’s not here he’s an imposter he isn’t real hes not- Takemichi blinked. 

“Huh. Might’ve imagined it.” Shrugging they went back to watching TV, the only moments they truly had to see each other. you’re ignoring the signs they aren't real you’ve changed nothing wake up

 

“Do you think Takemichi is acting strange?” Chifuyu asked Draken after he had left, the two being left alone together. Draken sighed, already having his own suspicions that everything was not as alright as Takemichi made it seem. “Wouldn’t be easy coming back to a new life after a second passed, but Takemichi is strong. If anyone could manage it, it would be him.” 

“No doubt about that, it’s just…” Chifuyu seemed to be in deep thought. “He’s been zoning out, checking time like a hawk, he looks tired!” Chifuyu ran a hand through his hair, he swore he was going to die from stress caused by Takemichi one of these days. “It’s like I said-“ “It’s been months since he came back, he’s been the same ever since. He…” Chifuyu’s face looked dark, as he shuddered in a breath. “He asked me what year it was one morning. He called me frantically, I went over and-“ Pressing his lips together, “it looked like he didn’t remember a thing! Takemichi he- he looked like he didn’t even know me.” The memory pained him, seeing Takemichi’s usually strong fierce eyes being overcome with fear- with terror was a sight he’d never forget. Takemichi was shaking, the Takemichi he knew looked unrecognizable. 

Draken seemed to take Chifuyu’s words heavily, a part of him wanted to think everything was alright; that he could ignore the very heavy issues but, the truth was that not everything was fine as it seemed.

Everyone was happy, but at what cost?

The cost of their beloved crybaby hero.

 

this isn’t reality

Takemichi looked at his ceiling, the heavy haze he’d been feeling these days seemed to grow each day. One moment he’d snap back into consciousness and realized the day had already passed, even if he had no recollection of it. Some days, the haze wouldn’t be as strong. He could still remember doing things but, it was like he was in the back seat of a car, just watching the road, his mind completely on autopilot. Takemichi felt like a doll on strings. 

wake up

Eyes growing heavy; he sighed. Exhaustion ran deep in his bones, even after months of coming back he was still on edge, waiting for something to go wrong, he was always prepared to jump into the past to fix up everything again.

fix everything? you’ve fixed nothing. this is a dream, a simulation. this isnt real.

Tired and having work tomorrow, Takemichi yawned, getting ready to sleep. Even if he knew what horrors awaited him on the other side. 




Takemichi found himself wandering outside at night sometimes, when the nightmares would leave him hyperventilating, gasping for air and disoriented he would come out. It was nice to feel the cold breeze pass by him, the silence and calm he felt. He’d look up at the sky and smile at the stars, thanking the universe for giving him a chance at this, a chance to see his friends laughing and smiling, a chance for giving them life. The cold air would pass by him, he’d shiver but- it felt warm. 

He’d dangle his feet on the edge of the roof, enjoying the silence, he truly wished for no future other than this-

jump

 

Ah. There they were. 

 

you don’t belong here you were never meant to exist

 

the thoughts seemed so loud, maybe it was because it was so quiet right now that they boomed in his ears.

 

you aren’t needed anymore just die

 

Takemichi smiled to himself painfully. He was no longer needed, everyone had found their own happiness. It was getting easier to distance himself. A part of him thought that it was because it was work keeping them busy but the truth was that Takemichi no longer had a place here.

 

you need to die you’ve done your part

die

die

die

you’ll never live the same 

give up 

you can give up now 

 

As much as it hurt, they were right. He no longer had a purpose. Takemichi didn’t have to keep trying, he could take it easy. 

easy?

nothing will ever be easy 

just disappear  

 

Thinking this was enough for the day, his teeth already clattering he stood up looking down at the ground, ignoring the thoughts that would urge him to jump. 

Maybe another day, he couldn’t die yet, he had to make sure nothing went wrong.

you’re stalling.

 

 “Hakkai! You’re finally back from London?” Takemichi's eyes widened at the sight of his friend, not having seen him in a while as he was always busy, they always did try to FaceTime but given his hectic schedule that wasn’t always an option. “Yeah! I’m super jet lagged though, god it was an experience. So many people.” Hakkai shivered.
Although he had gotten better at talking with women, he still looked like he had trouble communicating with them, a problem he was working out after seeking help. The abuse had already come to an end, but it was never forgotten, not by him or Yuzuha. Being a celebrity and all, Hakkai had to work on himself first than to ignore all of it by overworking himself to death. He was lucky to have a caring sister by his side.

 

you wish you had someone too you’re all alone, no one even bothers to look after you.

Takemichi shrugged off the thought, fine by him. He didn’t need people to worry about him, he was satisfied with how things were. It was alright, he’d repeat to himself. 

Takemichi smiled, he really wished for no other future than this.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIAR.

Chapter Text

It hurt.

It hurt so much.

The pain was still so real .

 

Gasping for air, Takemichi curled against himself, chest heaving.

He had woken up from a dream- Kisaki. The gun felt so cold as it was pointed at his head. 

As then it turned and pointed to Chifuyu.

A loud bang filled his ears. 

 

Chifuyu was dead, his lifeless corpse fell to the ground, a smile on his face, he trusted Takemichi, even till the end. Blood pooled on the ground. ( chifuyu’s blood. his blood. he’s dead dead dead he’s gone he’s here chifuyu was dead)

the blood on his face felt so warm

 

Trying to control his breathing he tried to reassure himself. It was over, he was okay, everything was fine.

He’s safe, his friends are safe, everyone is safe.

No one was dead, no one was involved in anything questionable, no one was suffering anymore. Takemichi did it.

 

the pain is still there

Takemichi grew even smaller. 

 

you’ll never live peacefully 

someone will come along and destroy the peace

it’s inevitable 

they’ll all die

 

Takemichi shook his head, eyebrows furrowing. No, he made sure everything was alright, he made sure he oversaw everything, there was nothing he didn’t foresee. It was safe.  

 

but you didn’t foresee baji did you? or izana? or emma? or kisaki?

did you takemitchy?

 

Taking a shuddering breath, he places his hands over his ears, hoping to stop the thoughts. They were right , Takemichi failed them over and over again because he was too weak- too weak to...

 

too weak to kill kisaki

 

Takemichi sniffled, rocking himself, hoping to console himself. He couldn’t kill- no matter how much hatred he had for the boy he couldn’t kill him, he had no right to take Kisaki’s life away. 

 

take his life just as he took theirs?

 

No. Kisaki was dead, he’s gone. Kisaki couldn’t take any more lives away. No one would suffer. 

 

are you happy he’s dead?

you’re sick

you’re just as bad as him

he had a chance at happiness too

 

and you took that away

 

you took so many people's happiness away

 

a hero? 

what a joke.

 

The feeling would become too much, the guilt was eating him alive. He did this, he caused this, he was to blame for everything that happened. Chifuyu still would’ve had his best friend, Kakucho would’ve still had Izana, Mikey would’ve had his sister still there for him. 

Hanma….Hanma still would’ve had Kisaki.

 

His breathing became ragged, his chest felt like it would cave in, it hurt

it was so painful,

painpainpainpainpainpainyoudeservethispainyoudeservetohurtliketheothersdid-

It was so overwhelming- he couldn’t do this, he can’t he can’t he- Takemichi shutdown.

 

Instantly his shoulders slumped, the only proof that he’d been crying were the tears strains and bloodshot eyes. His hand went to wipe his eyes, he felt as though he wasn’t the one moving. Everything seemed to move so slow, everything suddenly became so dull .

The numbness filled him to the brim. 

 

This was fine. 




“Takemichi!  You put these on the wrong shelf again!” His manager would scold him. 

Eyes snapping up, he looked at her. She looked like she was going to repeat herself, thinking Takemichi didn’t hear her.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Takemichi apologized, bowing. His manager looked at him, her eyes scanning over his entire body.

 

She sighed. Takemichi looked so much worse than when she last saw him, she noticed a change in him acouple of months ago. “It’s alright, just-“ she waved her hand to shoo him away “Maybe go home and rest for the day, you look tired.” 

Receiving only a nod, her eyes narrowed a bit. Takemichi was a resilient one, but how much would it take until he broke? 

She hoped it wasn’t soon.



Mikey, as much as others thought- wasn’t stupid. He knew as much as anyone else knew what it looked like when someone was suffering- he’d seen it in himself numerous times.

He knew the eyes of it, pitch black with no light in them. 

Mikey thought he would never have to see them again so why-

 

why did Takemichi look like that.

 

“Takemitchy!” Wrapping his arms around him, he pretended not to notice how Takemichi flinched. “You’re outta work early?” Mikey asked as Takemichi then turned to him.

 

Mikey’s eyes widened.

 

“Hey Mikey.”

Forcing his lips to turn up ( it hurts hurts it hurts please it hurts ) Takemichi smiled. “My manager got upset at me so she sent me home.”

 

Alarm bells rang in Mikey’s head, he knew how Takemichi’s manager was a strict woman but- even after Takemichi literally dropped all of the DVD’s on himself, she didn’t send him home. His manager had a tolerance for bullshit. 

Something was so wrong. 

“Stupid Mitchy! You should’ve been more careful! I’m surprised they haven’t fired you at this point.” Mikey tried to cheerfully say, trying to so obviously ignore the tiredness radiating off Takemichi. 

 

All Mikey received was a hum. 

“Do you want to go somewhere? The dojo’s getting fixed and I want some dorayaki!”

Some part of him wanted to be with Takemitchy, his schedule was always packed with work that he rarely got to see him. If he didn’t know any better he’d say that Takemitchy was purposefully keeping himself busy to avoid them but- he wouldn’t do that. Would he?

“Maybe next time? I just feel so tired.” 

Mikey wanted to press, but seeing how exhausted Takemichi was, he decided to let it go. This was fine, he was probably just tired and nothing more- Takemitchy was strong. 

Takemitchy could handle anything.




Depraved thoughts swirled in his mind, as much as he tried to shut his eyes, nothing could stop these thoughts from flooding his mind. Once they started, it was hard to stop them. They were relentless, unforgiving as they only had one goal in mind, to make Takemichi go insane.

 

everyone is after you 

at any moment anyone could kill you 

or your friends

you’ll never truly be safe

 

Steeling himself, he ignored them. Takemichi wouldn’t let anyone hurt his friends. Never again. No matter how much blood he had to shed, he wouldn’t let anyone ever take them away ( blood blood blood blood that you spilled your hands are already tainted in crimson die die you coward).

No one, including himself. No matter how much he wanted to reach out to them, to reach out for help- he couldn’t. Takemichi wouldn’t drag them down into his pit of depression, they deserved a happy life. Even if Takemichi wasn’t in it. 

It would be unfair to take their happiness away from them, just because he couldn’t handle being a little sad. It wasn’t their fault, the burdens they held should’ve never been placed on them.

 

this should’ve never been placed on you either

 

Frowning, he clenches his fists. He chose this, he decided to do this, it wasn’t a burden to him to look after everyone else and neglect his own feelings.

Takemichi chose this. It was fine .

Sighing and lazily getting up made himself some food, ignoring the way the thoughts screamed at him to hurt himself with the knife he held in his hand. It was often...these thoughts would try to convince him to hurt himself, to kill himself .

if your dead you’ll be free

free of worry 

free of all your burdens

Snorting he shook his head, ridiculous, Takemichi was needed ( you aren’t needed anymore you did your part you’re scared scared to live without a reason) he couldn’t let these thoughts get to him. 

Even if they were slowly becoming more tempting.



“Hey...Takemichi, you alright man?” 

The haze in his mind stopped him from answering, he couldn’t register the question in his mind. Takemichi looked blank, staring at seemingly nothing as he was increasingly worrying the others. 

“Is he okay?” Chifuyu whispered to them, feeling a bit unnerved seeing Takemichi randomly just freeze. 

They were all together- Mikey, Draken, Chifuyu, and surprisingly Naoto, who was currently in the kitchen unaware of the situation happening. Takemichi seemed to be alright, alright until a series of fireworks had started to set off outside. Almost immediately they noticed a shift in Takemichi, he looked so overwhelmed- Mikey was just about to ask what was wrong until- Takemichi’s shoulders slacked and his expression suddenly dropped, a cold far away look that they’d never seen on him took over. 

 

Those eyes, Mikey hoped he would never see them again. Yet there they were, planted right on Takemitchy. “What’s going on?” Naoto’s voice could be heard as he looked confused as to why Chifuyu looked near to tears, and the other two looked worried like someone was dying. “Takemitchy he’s- he’s unresponsive.” 

 

Takemichi could vaguely make out the figures in front of him, everything seemed so different. Unreal even, almost like he was in a dream. The people around him seemed familiar yet- he felt like they were strangers. 

 

Ah, they must be, because they were already dead. 

 

So then this must be a dream? He was so confused, so lost, nothing made sense anymore. Why was he here? Why was he alive?

 

“Shit he’s dissociating.” Naoto slightly mumbled under his breath, only Draken and Chifuyu seemed to be confused both unfamiliar with the word. Mikey’s expression looked grim. “What? Is- is that bad?” Whenever Chifuyu was worried, his tone became shrill and high-pitched. 

“It’s a trauma response.” Mikey said ever so softly.

Everyone turned to stare at each other. They knew of the horrors Takemichi had to endure but- he always seemed fine. 

Naoto wanted to punch himself in the face. Repeatedly. Takemichi went through traumatic events, the things he saw- the ones he spoke about to him and the things he didn’t, were of course scarring. He was stupid to not think it didn’t affect Takemichi even a little bit. 

 

Mikey...Mikey felt angry. Disappointment and rage swelled inside him- as well as sadness. Disappointed of what? That his crybaby hero wasn’t as okay as he made himself seem, in a twisted way he saw Takemitchy as a higher being. Someone who was strong, undefeatable, he refused to see any type of weakness in him, even when he was beaten and bloodied. Mikey put him on a pedestal, Takemitchy was different than anyone else- he was supposed to be. If Takemichi wasn’t fine then Mikey’s whole belief of him cracked. 

Takemitchy is a hero. 

So why does he look like that?

Takemitchy has to be alright he has to be- he has to be okay because if not who’s going to be the strong one? 

It can’t be me anymore, I’m weak. I want Takemitchy to help me, to baby me, to protect me- he can’t be not fine.

 

Mikey furrowed his eyebrows. Bullshit. All his brain was spewing was bullshit. He wasn’t disappointed Takemitchy was like this, ( you liar you’re selfish) he was disappointed Takemitchy didn’t trust him enough to rely on him. ( you never gave him a reason to rely on you.)



After a while of quietly talking amongst each other, Takemichi being unresponsive they decided to test their luck and maybe physically try to shake him back to reality. 

“Hey partner I’m going to touch you okay?” Chifuyu warned, a little apprehensive and weary as he didn’t receive any signal that Takemichi understood him. Grabbing his shoulders, he shook Takemichi gently, the other instantly reacting by flinching, putting his arms above his head as it looked like he was trying to protect himself.

Chifuyu never wanted to cry more than he did right now. 

Realizing that he wasn’t getting hit- and that it was eerily quiet, Takemichi slowly put his arms down to look up at an extremely worried Chifuyu, who’s eyes were tearing up. Still feeling a little disoriented ( dissociated? lost? unreal?) Takemichi poked Chifuyu, a little surprised when he was very much solid. 

“Oh, you’re real.” 

The words escaped his mouth before Takemichi had the time to stop them. 



“Takemitchy…”

 

Takemichi turned to Mikey.




“What do you mean by that?”



Chapter Text

“What do you mean by that?”

 

Blinking, Takemichi was at a loss for words. How would someone explain that ’yeah I think you all are imposters and sometimes it doesn’t feel like I’m real’ without sounding crazy.

“Takemichi are you not telling us something?” Analytical as ever, Draken had a knack for being blunt. Takemichi felt a bit nervous, being under the intense stares of Chifuyu, Draken, Mikey and Naoto wasn’t a pleasant feeling. 

Gulping, Takemichi scoured his brain to think of at least some excuse. “I just...sometimes get really disoriented after loud noises.” It wasn’t completely a lie, but not the full truth either, but it’s not like they knew that. 

 

Luckily things seemed to click into place, their expressions now changing to worry to understanding and sadness ( they pity you look at them they are angry at you you let everyone down again and now they are going to die they will all die because of you), forcing out the thoughts he cracked a smile. “It doesn’t happen often though! Sorry to make the mood like this-“ 

“Don’t apologize.” Immediately cutting in, Draken put his hands on his shoulders. Takemichi had to suppress his discomfort as right now he did not want to be touched. “We’re here for you.”

 

Of course they would take a half bullshit truth. They trusted him, never pressing for more answers.

 

The night ended soon, everyone leaving to their places as only Mikey and Takemichi remained, a quiet atmosphere that was unusual took over. Feeling like Mikey wasn’t going to drop this issue so soon, Takemichi knew he had to put on at least a convincing act to fool Mikey. 

“Have you…”

Takemichi startled, turning to look at Mikey.

“Have you considered...y’know. Help?”

Stating the obvious, Takemichi couldn’t help but laugh a bit. 

“Yeah.” He said a bit too numbly.

“But what can I really say?” 

Hopelessness was a familiar feeling by now.

 

The silence continued on, both not knowing what to say. 

“It’s not like it hinders me,” liar you liar “I can function properly” yeah after you vomit your guts out after a nightmare “I’m doing pretty okay.” you coward

Mikey stayed silent, nodding in confirmation that he was paying attention. 

 

“Takemitchy,” Looking over to him, Mikey pulled Takemichi’s hands into his, unconsciously rubbing his scars. “You don’t need to be okay,” ( yes you do, you need to be okay- for you- for me. you need to be okay) “It gets hard always being the strong one” ( its so hard so tough i cant do it so you need to. you need to be strong for me takemitchy) “Sometimes it’s okay to be weak.” no its not he cant be takemitchy isn’t weak he cant he cant he cant he-

He can, Mikey is going to make sure he can.

Because he’d be damned if he didn’t save Takemitchy. 

Mikey this time, was going to make sure he gave Takemitchy a reason to rely on him for once. 

 

“Mikey…” 

Sniffling a bit, Takemichi held in his tears. 

 

“Thank you.” 

 

Mikey pulled Takemichi’s head close, so it rested on his shoulder. 

Takemitchy didn’t have to see the afraid expression on Mikey’s face.



Everything felt so draining. People, cooking, work, getting up. It all felt so heavy ( just give up you don’t need to do this), he was fortunate enough that his manager gave him time to rest a bit longer. Although she was strict- and a bit cruel, she wasn’t that heartless. 

Why did he feel like this? He felt like- he felt dead. Takemichi felt like a corpse. Soulless, just an empty husk of a body walking around with no real purpose. The feeling was so numbing. He felt nothing- but so much at the same time. It was so suffocating.

 

you aren’t real

 

Takemichi blinked rapidly, his heart accelerating a bit, fingertips tingling as he struggled to breathe a little. This was new. 

 

you aren’t real. you died, remember? 

 

Flashbacks immediately invaded his mind, he clutched his head, trying to block out whatever was being thrown at him. 

 

everything around you isn’t real takemichi

they all died

why can't you remember takemichi?

 

Looking at his arms he shook his head. No, he was real- he was. This reality- it was real. Mikey, Hina, Draken, Chifuyu, Naoto, Hakkai, Mitsuya- he saved them ( you saved no one. you never can win) , he saved everyone! Which is why he could laugh with them, talk to them, see them smile, if this wasn’t real then why were they acting so real?

 

poor you.

you made this world up haven’t you

its all fake 

you can’t accept the truth

 

It- It couldn’t be, his mind- his mind is just playing tricks on him. This all- this can't disappear! He’s real, he-

Takemichi looked at the scar on his hand.

Ah.

 

Bolting up, he grabbed something sharp, immediately slashing it on his arm. It hurt. 

Takemichi grinned.

It hurts! It hurts! It hurts!

It hurts

This pain was real , the blood ( red red red red red ) dripped down his arm. Takemichi was- Takemichi is real. This is reality. Letting out a laugh, he almost mocked his thoughts. This is real, he wasn’t in some dream, he wasn’t making this up- Takemichi saved everyone! This pain he felt proved it! 

Everyone is safe! Because he made sure of it! No one would ever have to suffer again! 

 

This was truly the best future.



“What’s got you in a good mood?” 

Turning over to Draken, Takemichi shrugged, a giant goofy smile plastered on his face. “Don’t know! Woke up feeling good!” Humming, Takemichi resumed helping Draken clean. 

Something was off about Takemichi’s good mood but- after the incident and seeing how Takemitchy was so...down these past few months he was glad that things were starting to look up for Takemitchy.

something is so wrong.

Shaking the feeling as just an intrusive thought, Draken half smiled at Takemitchy. It was nice seeing him so happy. 

 

This was a new feeling- Takemichi felt so...so alive! Maybe, just maybe Takemichi was chosen for this- why else would the world give him a second chance? He was special, maybe this was a reward for saving them all- not that he wanted anything in exchange but, he felt so happy, ecstatic even. After all this self-loathing, wallowing in self-pity and anxiety- he felt so good for once. Everything finally seemed so bright . The thoughts weren’t even coming up anymore!

Grinning to himself, he did a little dance, as he was now in his apartment cleaning up the mess he called a room. 

This happiness- he would make sure it lasted. 

 

this happiness isn’t real you need to wake up you-

A slash to his arm shut the thoughts up.

 

Dangling his feet on the rooftop Takemichi smiled, the breeze passed by him. It was chilly, the winter season slowly creeping up but Takemichi couldn’t feel the cold- he felt...invincible, like nothing-not even the cold could get in his way. His eyes drooped a bit, but he blinked them awake. Takemichi was too good to sleep, he didn’t need it! All this time he felt like he was living in an illusion and now he wanted to live his life to the fullest. Without worry, without stress, without the crumbling thoughts of everything going away. For once, life was going his way! Takemichi laughed a bit, getting up as he stumbled a bit- only barely managing to catch himself in time. Of course he wouldn’t die from such a fall either way! 

Climbing down from the ridiculously high building, ignoring the flashbacks that entered his mind ( he shot you. mikey shot you, you should’ve died. in this very building you should’ve just died) furrowing his eyebrows a bit he shook his head. Takemichi managed to save Mikey! Then went back and fixed everything , everything turned out fine! 

 

do you really think everything is fine?

 

Takemichi stilled, a sense of dread pooling in. 

 

every time you thought things were fine

it always turned out worse 

they aren’t safe

 

Some part of his brain knew the thoughts were irrational- it had been months since he came and nothing had happened. 

And maybe that was the thing, nothing was wrong. 

 

Which made him all the more afraid. 

 

When he thought everything was okay, that he managed to save everyone, things would become so much worse. What's to say it won’t happen again? That this was the calm before the storm? 

Takemichi felt his heart rate pick up, suddenly alert. If anything was going to happen- he needed to be prepared. He had to make sure everything turned out fine. 

 

Takemitchy was their hero, he needed to be. 



Chapter Text

Eyes snapping open, Takemichi gasped, instantly sitting up.

Ah, another nightmare. His breathing only calming down a little, he sighed. To say that this sucked as an understatement. He was doing so well! Takemichi finally felt good! He was happy until….until the paranoia creeped through. 

It was like any other day, yet Takemichi felt himself being watched. All the other times, people constantly were plotting, planning to get revenge, to cause havoc in toman. Not this time. Takemichi wouldn’t let anything catch him off guard anymore.

So what he spent sleepless nights catching up with the news of any illegal crimes happening, so what he constantly started to chat up his friends, to want to know where they were and what they were doing, so what Takemichi was prioritizing them over his well-being. 

Nothing except them mattered, he didn’t even know how he used to live without these people in his life- when his life was so worthless and...lonely. Now, Takemichi had friends he cared about! People who genuinely liked him, ( everyone hates you because youre so weak. because youre a crybaby) finally in his life he was important

If he wasn’t helping others, what was his purpose?

 

“This is like his 50th message today..” Kazutora mumbled under his breath tucking away his phone as he sighed, looking over to Chifuyu- who too seemed to be checking his phone. “What’s up? Got another message from Takemichi?” Walking over to him, he slinged an arm over Chifuyu’s shoulder, leaning in to read what he had on his phone.

 

takemichi: where are you

 

chifuyu: at kazu’s shop

chifuyu: why

 

takemichi: just checking in

takemichi:  ru ok? 

takemichi: just akskig because i havent seen u in a while

 

That made Kazutora’s eyebrows raise, it’d only been a few days since Chifuyu and Takemichi last saw each other. “What a weirdo.” Muttering Kazutora looked to see Chifuyu’s reaction, who looked just as puzzled. “He’s been like this for a couple of weeks, I wonder what’s up.” Chifuyu scratched his head as Kazutora hummed. “It’s kinda reminding me of a guy I knew in juvie, guy had horrible paranoia issues. The guy literally thought the guards were spies from the government. Even though he was not mentally there, had to respect the guy for trying to protect his friends.” He’d chuckle a laugh, only to stop when he saw Chifuyu’s worried expression.

“What’s wrong?” Kazutora instantly asked as Chifuyu looked like he was connecting pieces together in his mind. “That- that just reminded me of something Takemichi said once- he was all disoriented after a couple of fireworks and when he finally snapped out of it- he was surprised I was real when he poked me.” 

“Surprised? Like he thought you were an illusion or something?” Kazutora’s eyebrows raised, recently Takemichi had been talking to him more- they were never close, in fact it almost looked like Takemichi kept his distance from him sometimes. So it was a surprise when Takemichi suddenly started to text him more like-

like he was afraid Kazutora was going to run off somewhere.

Or like he was testing if Kazutora was really here.

“Yeah…I’ve honestly just been really concerned. I haven’t told anyone but- while at his house Takemichi just- he seemed so off . A few weeks ago he looked like he had just won the lottery, and well…even then he looked so tired. ” Frowning, Chifuyu continued. “What really got me worried were the ripped off calendars.” “Calendars?” Chifuyu nodded “Ever since he got back he’s been crazy about time, we all just thought he was being a little weird like he’s always been so we got used to it but- I should’ve known something was wrong! I-“ Biting his nails he looked in deep thought, “I don’t know what’s wrong, I know something is off!” Exasperated and a little irritated, Chifuyu felt helpless.

 

“Well you know what they always say, drunk words are sober thoughts.” Chifuyu turned to glare at Kazutora. Kazutora was never the type to give good advice.“You want me to get him drunk so he can spill out stuff?” Kazutora just shrugged his shoulders. “It’s Takemichi you’re talking about, who knows what goes through that guy's head.” 

Having really no other ideas, and against his better judgement Chifuyu was already too defeated. Maybe it wouldn’t be that bad, what could go wrong? 

 

Rubbing his temple, Chifuyu huffed as he turned to scowl at a very disappointed Draken. “Are you seriously hearing yourself? Get him drunk so he can unknowingly tell us his feelings? When Takemitchy wants to tell us what's wrong he will!” 

“You know what he’s like! Do you really think he’ll dump out his heart to us if we ask nicely?!” Chifuyu glared as Draken could only shake his head. “It’s better than forcing it out of him, god- I need a talk with Kazutora, he's such a bad influence on you. I would think after all these years he finally learned some decency.” He muttered the last part. At that, Chifuyu rolled his eyes. “Fine! We won’t force him to drink, we can just have a lovely night where we all get together and bond. How about that?” Chifuyu proposed as Draken was ready to snap at him before- “Bonding time? That sounds exciting! We should totally do that.” 

Chifuyu and Draken looked over to Mikey, who smiled cheerfully. “ No we really shouldn’t-“ “Why? It’ll be fun!” 

Knowing a losing battle when he sees one, Draken wanted to rip his hair out. “Okay! Fine! Go message him or something! I need a break.” Stammering off, Draken huffed, he could never relax around here. 



Gripping his hair, Takemichi’s panicked eyes looked around his room. Something was watching him, something was there, something was going to happen. It was just a matter of time. 

His posters, pictures, calendars- everything was ripped apart, they felt too full in his room- it felt like it was suffocating him. Why did things have to go so wrong? Why couldn’t anything ever be fine? 

 

Takemichi knew he was slipping, and he was falling fast, these thoughts- they were messing with his ability to think rationally. The fact that he couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t, was scaring him. 

theres blood on your hands

Takemichi forced himself not to look, he couldn’t look because then his mind would trick him that it was true. There was no blood, there was nothing watching him, he was safe because nothing was wrong. 

Feeling his nerves wash away a bit, but still not feeling completely safe. This was bearable. It was often he’d have to talk himself down from fully breaking down. For a while he would calm, then it would start all over again.

 

Reaching for his phone, Takemichi looked at the text Chifuyu texted him. 

 

chifuyu: lets hang out friday

chifuyu: at drakens

chifuyu: ill bring the beer

 

takemichi: beer? isnt mikey gonna be there

takemichi: he doesnt like it

 

chifuyu: yeah thats why im bringing him apple jusice

 

Takemichi snorted a bit, smiling at his phone. At times like this he felt at peace, texting like this- was truly a dream. 

Looking down at his arms he felt a headache coming in. Once he was a bit…more stable and realized what he did to his arms, Takemichi felt like he was losing his damn mind. Out of all the ways to cope, cutting was apparently something that worked out for him. Sure, guilt ate away at him, his friends would be more than upset to find out that he’d been mutilating his arms but- what they didn’t know wouldn’t hurt them. 

There were a lot of things they didn’t know, besides it wasn’t going to be a permanent thing. Once everything was fine again, Takemichi could go on and live his life! 

everything was fine until you came in

you should just die

 

Going outside felt like a nightmare, people were everywhere . It was overwhelming, having to interact with people, act like nothing was wrong, it was strange. People looked so strange, but he was a person too. 

Did that mean he’s strange too? Takemichi was human yet, this body didn’t feel like his- was it normal to feel this disconnected from your own flesh? 

A part of him felt like he robbed this body- it was his…but did this mean his younger self just disappeared? A part of him felt like he snatched his own future. 

Strange. 

The knife felt so cold, his fingertips tingling, the droplets of blood slowly becoming soothing. Why did everything feel so strange?



Shuffling nervously, Takemichi pulled at his sleeves. Was it a really good idea to drink while he was feeling so strange ? He wanted to just lay in bed, rest ( you’ll never escape, we will always follow you ) and forget about everything. 

About his feelings, his worries, his future. 

Sighing, alcohol was always the best remedy for a heavy heart. 

What could go wrong?

Chapter Text

Finally arriving, Takemichi felt his nerves all over the place. Usually he’d be excited to meet his friends but lately, everything put him on edge. “Takemitchy!” Instantly greeted by a tackle by Mikey, if he didn’t have enough leg strength, Takemichi for sure would’ve fallen over. “Mikey!!” Flailing a bit Takemichi stumbled. “I almost fell!” Takemichi bantered as Mikey grinned. “Stop being so dramatic! These muscles of a thigh could never-“ “Please don’t finish that sentence.” Cutting him off Draken held in a sigh, but it quickly turned into a light smile. 

 

“Takemitchy how’ve you been? You still working all those shifts?” Taking a seat on the sofa near, Draken turned on the TV. “I’ve been taking more breaks lately, I’m surprised my manager allowed it! She’s stingy with that typa stuff.” Grabbing a few chips, Takemichi instantly began munching on it. “No joke! You’re manager is a scary woman, wouldn’t wanna mess with her..” A shiver ran through Mikey, never again would he fool around at that place. 

“The refreshments are finally here!” A loud cheer could be heard as Chifuyu entered, beer and a whole lot of alcohol in his hands as he approached. Takemichi startled a bit, not missing the glance Chifuyu sent him as he carefully placed the drinks down. “That’s…a lot, you don’t like bitter stuff, are you sure you’re gonna finish all that?” Takemichi pointed. “ You’re going to help me finish all of it! This is a special occasion!” Nudging him a bit, Chifuyu gave him a grin. “What’s the occasion?” Takemichi’s eyebrows raised, Chifuyu stuttered a bit trying to come up with a good enough response before Draken cut in. “Hanging out is a special occasion.” Thankful for his save, Chifuyu gave him a thumbs up while Takemichi wasn’t looking. Draken just let out a small sigh.

 

Still uncertain, Takemichi took his drinking a little slow, not noticing the watchful eyes calculating him when he took small sips. 

They all fell into conversation, laughing amongst each other as Takemichi lost track of how much he drank, not noticing when his words would start to slur, and how his face became flushed, how words would involuntarily start to spill out. 

 

Sweat dropping a bit, Chifuyu had no idea how to continue from here on out. It was obvious the alcohol had gotten to Takemichi, he was probably the only one drunk as Draken had a freakishly high tolerance, Mikey didn’t drink, and he himself was tipsy at best. Part of him felt guilty- Kazutora always said the darndest of things, and it wasn’t like he was always the most reasonable…

They were all having a great time, it seemed like Takemichi was enjoying himself ( he's too quiet why isn't he talking) , they all were. 

Just as Chifuyu was ready to call off the interrogation plan, Takemichi spoke. 

 

“Ah. I should’ve died.” 

 

Just like that, everything froze.



Slowly turning to face Takemichi, Chifuyu flinched to see Takemichi already staring, a cold set of dead eyes staring right back at him. “W-What? Buddy are you-“ Stuttering out his words, Chifuyu glanced back at Draken and Mikey, who both had a mixture of ‘what the fuck’ expressions, but mostly laced with concern. Clearing his throat a bit, Chifuyu felt his throat go dry as he prepared himself to try and smoothly talk answers out of Takemichi. 

“What do you mean?” Trying to keep his tone passive and steady, Chifuyu tried not to let his panic show. Draken and Mikey stayed quiet, probably not too sure if they should say anything at all. 

 

“There were so many times I should’ve died- I should’ve…” Takemichi hiccuped. “But instead! Everyone else around me died!” Throwing his arms up, Chifuyu resisted a flinch. But as quickly as the flash of emotion bursted through, it was put out. 

Trying to comfort him, Chifuyu tried to console him, though it seemed like it wasn’t getting through to him, Takemichi drowned all of it out. 

 

Takemichi didn’t look like Takemichi.

 

“I saw you die.” Takemichi looked at Chifuyu. 

“I saw you die.” Takemichi looked at Draken.

“I saw you die .” Takemichi looked at Mikey. 

 

“But- Takemitchy we- we’re here. You did it, you saved us-“ Mikey tried to speak up,

Why are you here ? I saw you die! You shouldn’t exist!” Takemichi yelled, a contrast to how he was just moments earlier. Tears spilled out as Takemichi suddenly started to pull on his hair a bit, stressed as he looked at Mikey. 

“You were in my arms you- you wanted me to kill you to end it all. It was my fault, all my fault. I should’ve never left toman- left you . I should’ve been there!” Chest heaving, Chifuyu was seriously worried he was going to have a panic attack, cringing a bit as Takemichi pulled on his strands of hair even more. 

“Takemitchy- you can’t blame yourself for that- you never knew what would happen…you can’t blame yourself for all of that.” Trying to place a hand on Takemichi’s shoulder, Draken just barely missed the punch that swung his way. “Don’t touch me! You aren’t real! Stop- stop trying to trick me!” 

 

They all looked at each other baffled, unable to comfort Takemichi who looked like he was seconds away from running out the house. “Chifuyu you fucking idiot after we get this situated I’m strangling you and Kazutora.” Muttering under his breath, Draken kept a watchful gaze on Takemichi. “Now isn’t the time to make threats.” Chifuyu whispered. “So this was the bonding time you guys were talking about.” Both flinched as Mikey’s dark tone sent shivers up their spines. 

 

Sighing, Mikey sat across from Takemichi, who was still crying and refusing to look at anything but the ground. Okay this’ll have to do . “Takemitchy.” Mikey

said loudly, the only sign that Takemichi had heard him was when he tensed his shoulders. 

Whatever they expected of Mikey, it sure wasn’t the words they expected him to say

 

“Do you want my forgiveness?” 

 

Draken looked down at him, ready to yell at Mikey- what the hell did he mean to forgive Takemitchy?

But just as Draken and Chifuyu were ready to beat Mikey up for answers, Takemichi looked up, his face twisted into a disbelieving one.

Disbelief that Mikey would be willing to forgive him.

 

A new set of feelings swirled inside of Mikey, yet instead of the dark ones that would usually surface- no it was far from a bad feeling. 

Takemichi was broken, as broken as he was. All this time Mikey was angry, disappointed - at himself..at Takemichi for being so…but that changed. Mikey could forgive himself, forgive Takemitchy for being like this, because now,

They were both destroyed. Minds broken and changed beyond repair. Instead of seeing Takemitchy as a higher being- someone above him, they were equals. Mikey was finally at Takemitchy’s level, the feeling left him ecstatic.

Looking down at Takemitchy, he knew that the other accepted Mikey for who he was and- 

Mikey could do the same for him.

 

“You…you would…?” Takemitchy slurred out as Mikey nodded, carefully approaching him as Mikey got closer. “Even after I failed, even after I- I did such horrible things…I don’t- I don’t deserve-“ Carefully removing Takemitchy’s hands from the vice grip on his hair, Mikey gave him a gentle smile, looking back at the other two that were puzzled by the whole interaction.

 

Pulling Takemitchy’s head close to him, and close enough that Draken or Chifuyu couldn’t hear, Mikey spoke.

“I’ll forgive you; all your mistakes- I’ll forgive them.”

A sob muffled out of Takemitchy as Mikey pressed his head against his shoulder. 



“I’ll forgive them as long as you stay by me.”

Chapter Text

Silence filled the air as Takemichi wailed, hanging onto Mikey like he was his lifeline. It was strange , seeing Mikey’s passive expression as he silently sat there, letting Takemichi sob out apologies. 

Chifuyu shared a glance with Draken, they managed to get him to open up but-

was…was this the best decision to make?

Or did this make things so much worse?

 

After what seemed like ages, Takemichi’s cries died down as he promptly passed out from exhaustion and from how drunk he was, Chifuyu wondered if he would even remember what happened. “Mikey…” Draken was the first to speak up after Mikey had carried him to the bedroom. “He isn’t okay.” Mikey stated a bit too simply, yet there was no concern laced within his tone, it was unnerving. “Yeah no shit,” Draken drawled as Chifuyu could only sigh. “What should we do?” The feeling of hopelessness came back once more, how could Chifuyu even begin to help his friend? Draken stayed silent, mouth pressed as he struggled to come up with something. 

“Should we take him to therapy-“ That seemed like the best option but-

“They’d separate him from-“ they’ll take him away, they’ll take him away from me. “from us, I talked about it to him once.” Mikey cut Chifuyu off. “It wouldn’t be easy to explain his situation.” 

 

It was strange . Why was Mikey so against Takemitchy getting help? Something is wrong, Chifuyu’s mind screamed but he tried to ignore it. The things Mikey was saying were true, it wouldn’t be easy to explain all of that- Takemichi had a high probability of being hospitalized. 

 

Okay, so what should we do? We aren’t professionals, who knows what’s going inside his head right now. You’re in therapy, you should know how helpful it is..maybe that is what Takemitchy needs .” Draken pressed, maybe trying to push for some sort of other reaction than straight out refusal from Mikey. 

 

Mikey’s mind whispered to him, he felt the cold feelings latch onto him, fury bubbling inside him. Takemitchy needs me, he needs me. I’m the only one that can understand him. They are- they want to take him away from me - The rational part of him struggled back, no they didn’t- they just wanted to help, the reason Mikey was here and not somewhere else was because of therapy. 

Yet some part of him couldn’t swallow the thought of Takemitchy being so far out his reach all over again. 

 

“Fine, we should try to convince him once the time is right.” Trying to dissipate the tension, Chifuyu cut the argument he felt was going to happen. Sighing, it wouldn’t be an easy task to get Takemichi help.

Giving a small nod, Mikey’s expression stayed the same.



“How have you been feeling Mikey?” Ryouta’s voice snapped Mikey out of his thoughts. These days he’d been thinking a lot. “It’s been okay, there’s…been a bit going on lately.” Trying to keep his voice steady, Mikey boredly stared at the ceiling. Hearing a small hum, Mikey turned to look at Ryouta who seemed to be looking through her notes. “I assume it’s because of your friend? Takemitchy?” A little bit of anger surfaced at the nickname Ryouta called him but Mikey never really told her it was pronounced any differently. Sensing his silence Ryouta crossed her legs, eyeing him.

“Yeah. A lot of things happened, but I think it’s going to be okay. I’m going to take care of Takemitchy.” His heart felt light, the thought of Takemitchy needing him was a nice feeling. 

“Are you sure that looking after him is what he wants though? Tell me Mikey, how will you take care of him?” Of course Ryouta would ask questions, she always knew of his admiration for Takemitchy. “I’ll let him be vulnerable, I’ll show him that he doesn’t need to hide. I can show him that he’s understood-“

“Are you saying that Takemitchy couldn’t do any of this before?” It wasn’t often Ryouta cut him off, but when she did, she was blunt and always cut-throat in the things she said. “No.” Mikey said in a low tone, looking down in shame a bit. “He couldn’t.” “And why is that?” Mikey could hear her scribbling something down. 

 

“Because, I never gave him a reason to trust me.”

 

“But- but now I have, I can-“ save “help him. I’m different now, Takemitchy can trust me, trust me like I trust him.” Mikey’s tone was certain. “Mikey.” He turned to look at her, her expression was serious as always, but she seemed disturbed. “Do you think seeing Takemitchy’s struggle caused a relapse?” “No.” Mikey replied a bit too quickly. Although Ryouta always had his best interest in mind, Mikey would be damned if he was torn away from Takemitchy just because she was reading this situation wrong. 

Mikey wasn’t a danger, not to himself or Takemitchy. 

are you sure? you’re thinking like you thought before

Mikey ignored the thought, still so certain of himself. 

“Alright.” Was the only thing Ryouta could respond to as she nodded, traces of concern still evident on her face. “Lets move on.”



Heavy. Takemichi felt so heavy. A part of him wanted to beat himself up for what happened that night- he remembered most of it. A haze still clouded his mind ( you need to be forgiven its all your fault you need to repent), even so he lucid enough that he knew he’d barely scrape by this month with how much work he was missing. Takemichi checked his phone, obviously a mountain of messages from Draken and Chifuyu, both of them had been keeping up with him ever since he freaked out. 

“Takemitchy!” Hearing his door unlock, and the familiar sound of steps made their way to his room. Turning around, Takemichi was tackled by a hug by Mikey. “You’re done with therapy?” Takemichi asked as Mikey nodded. Takemichi, at this point, was already used to Mikey’s touchy antics, so he didn’t mind when Mikey snuggled up to him closer. Ever since that night, they seemed to grow closer than before. 

“Are you okay?” Mikey asked him, peeking his head up as Takemichi gave him an awkward smile, it was still a strange feeling to be worried about. “I- I don’t know…” Takemichi replied honestly, maybe it was the fact that Mikey didn’t push him or react so strongly to his bad feelings that Takemichi felt more inclined to trust him. It wasn’t that Chifuyu or Draken were bad friends- and it’s not like he didn’t trust the rest of his friends, but he knew they could be a little overbearing with their worry! And it was okay because- Takemichi was the same but…Takemichi wasn’t used to being worried over. 

 

“Something…something is really wrong with me. I think- I know I should get help-“ Silenced by the hand placed on his cheek, Takemichi looked up. “Takemitchy.” Mikey smiled at him, though there was doubt and uncertainty in his eyes. 

“If…” fight it. Takemitchy needs help, he needs me , Takemitchy isn’t okay. Mikey can’t hold him down he can’t, Takemitchy always lets you cling onto him. What's so bad about wanting to keep him by your side? Mikey can still stay by his side, they can both recover. 

can you really?

“If you really want to you should.” Straining the words out, Mikey forced any type of negative feelings out, not letting them show on his expression. “Whatever you choose, I’ll stay by you.”

So please, stay by me. 

This was okay, the worst that could happen was probably Takemichi having another breakdown, but Mikey knew Takemichi was smart enough to not talk about the future. Takemichi would be safe, he would recover, and- hopefully not hospitalized. As long as Takemichi wasn’t in any danger, nothing should happen. 



Sighing, Naoto pressed his lips in a thin line. There’s nothing that should be bothering him- his sister was finally alive and well, Takemichi managed to save his friends- everything was finally okay. 

But…things weren’t. Naoto didn’t need a general psychology degree to note that something was seriously wrong with Takemichi, he himself couldn’t even imagine being traumatized over and over again. Deciding that his brain has finally had enough, he called the only person he knew he could count on. 

“Hey sis..”



Ever since Takemichi broke up with her, of course she felt a bit bad. After all they went through, the sacrifices Takemichi made for her- somewhere along the lines, the love they had towards one another changed. It hurt, being dumped by your childhood crush stung, but Hina could only wish Takemichi well, choosing to root for him along the sidelines. Looking back on it, she should’ve been more worried, she should’ve been more perceptive, she should’ve at least given Takemichi a shoulder to rest on- 

because now he was suffering. Naoto had told her everything- she was sure her eyes watered a bit when Naoto described how Takemichi reacted. 

It reminded her of that night. Takemichi was so- so out of it that he…he briefly considered committing suicide. Hina wanted to sob, she shouldn’t have ignored it that easily. But now, Hina wanted to return the favor. Hina wanted to help him. 

The only question was, would Takemichi let her?

Chapter Text

Takemitchy had been suffering for a few days now, Mikey thought. These days, Takemitchy would cry, be unresponsive to the outside world, shutting himself in. It was a hard thing to see- especially when he couldn’t stand the sight of his friends, seeing them sent him into a panic, refusing to even look at them because he was so terrified .

Yet…he didn’t do that to Mikey. ( see? he needs you, youre the only one that can save him.) Oddly, Mikey felt special, because Takemitchy was relying on him. It was nice to be caring over him, even if Takemitchy was too dissociated to respond most of the times, even if he had to calm down Takemitchy constantly from panic attacks, all it took was Mikey’s forgiveness. It felt wonderful.

Blinking, screams filled Mikey’s ears. Rolling over he stared at Takemitchy’s distressed face, his eyes were closed shut which was the only indication that right now he wasn’t awake. Mikey was no stranger to night terrors, sometimes his other friends had them, at one point he did too. When he was trying to process Emma’s death it wasn’t strange Mikey would wake up, his throat scratchy from all the screaming. 

Gently sitting up, he gently touched Takemitchy’s hair, petting it slowly as soon enough Takemitchy’s screams died down, unconsciously leaning into his touch. Now that sparked a smile on Mikey’s face, Takemitchy was so cute. After a while, Takemitchy’s eyes snapped open, Mikey watched as the black-haired male frantically checked the time on his phone, shooting up from the bed to look around for a calendar- 

 

“Takemitchy.” Mikey called out to him, startling the other. Usually Mikey wouldn’t interrupt but he was sure if he didn’t Takemitchy would panic since it looked like he’d forgotten that the calendars were currently in his trash bin. “Mikey…?” Inwardly cursing a bit, Mikey realized Takemitchy wasn’t really there , his eyes had a far away look, almost like he was looking right through him. The nightmare probably disoriented him a bit, which would explain Takemitchy’s erratic behavior.

“Yeah. It’s me, I’m here.” Opening his arms up, Takemitchy looked skeptical, like he was really trying to decide if what he was seeing was a dream. “But-“ “Don’t you want to hug me to prove I’m real?” Mikey had learned that physical touch, usually (if Takemitchy wasn’t overwhelmed and in a frenzy which, he wasn’t because he was talking) helped him. Slowly, Takemitchy made his way over to him, Mikey wrapped his arms around him as he felt Takemitchy shake, a small gasp escaping his lips. 

“I’m sorry- I’m so sorry..” Looking at the ceiling, Mikey let Takemitchy sob out apologies, gently patting his back. “It’s okay.” Mikey felt disconnected from his voice, a hollow feeling overwhelming him. It happened when Takemitchy would apologize to him. Maybe he felt so empty when Takemitchy said that because-

in a way, if Mikey forgave him, Takemitchy would leave him alone. 

Which was why…

“You being here with me, that’s the only way I’ll ever forgive you.”

“Never change Takemitchy, please don’t change.”

because if you do, you won’t need me anymore.

 

“Hina, you didn’t have to come all the way over here-“ “Nonsense! It’s been a while since I’ve seen you anyway!” A sharp slap to the back left Naoto coughing as Hina laughed. It had been a while since she saw her brother- it was weird how mature he was, to think all this time he was always working with Takemichi to save her. “Woah there’s so many papers here.” Hina looked at the clutter. “Don’t touch anything!” Smacking her hand away from touching the very important papers on his wall, he sighed. “Do you want something to eat? It was a long ride.” Naoto offered as Hina smiled. “And you can cook? I’m going to cry.” Hina pinched his cheeks, Naoto gruffled as he pulled away, escaping into the kitchen. 

 

After a while, Naoto came back with a few snacks, placing them on the table. Taking in a deep breath, Naoto looked grim. Hina’s mouth formed into a tight smile, the heavy stuff began. “He…he’s really damaged, I thought everything would be alright but-“ A shuddering breath could be heard. “He’s not okay. I- We know he isn’t, he tries to hide it but-“ “Takemichi’s an open person.” Hina smiled cutting in, Naoto nodded. “I fell in love with his inability to be dishonest, he was always putting people first- he couldn’t lie to save himself.” Though it sounded insulting, the expression on Hina’s face was an endearing one. “If he’s going to such lengths to hide it then…he’s really hurting inside.” Downcasting her eyes, Naoto frowned. “I don’t know everything that went on…I can’t be there a lot because of work and-“ Naoto let out a self-deprecating laugh “What kind of friend am I if I can’t be there for him after everything he’s done for me?” Hina smacked Naoto across the head. “Ow! Why’d you-“ “It’s so annoying hearing you guys blame yourselves constantly. It’s not your fault, you’re trying your best given your schedule.” Reassuring him, Hina patted his back. “Do the others know about this?” Given how close Takemichi was with his friends, she doubted Naoto was the only one that knew something was up. “Some of them. Chifuyu, Draken, and Mikey definitely know and are keeping an eye on him.” Hina hummed, nodding. 

 

Something was still so strange, when Naoto called her, he explained how loud noises triggered Takemichi and…made him react weirdly. Naoto mentioned how Takemichi right now wasn’t stable but- 

What was the reason?

Something must’ve happened for Takemichi to act the way he’s acting right now, something was missing, something was still affecting Takemichi. 

And Hina was going to get to the bottom of it. 



Knocking on Takemichi’s door, Draken, Chifuyu and surprisingly Kazutora stood outside. Draken and Chifuyu glanced at each other nervously, the door still not opening. Knocking again, they could hear a slight murmur from inside. 

“Were you expecting anyone?”

“No? Is someone knocking?”

“Yeah for like the past 5 minutes- I’ll go tell them to go away-“

“Wait Mikey-!“

The door opened to reveal Mikey, behind him was Takemichi. “Oh it’s you guys.” Draken never felt like beating up Mikey so bad in his entire life. “You sure took a while to open up, I was this close to breaking and entering.” Kazutora said flatly, Takemichi laughed nervously, knowing that Kazutora would break in. “Hahah…what are you guys doing here?” Takemichi scratched his cheek, acting completely normal. 

Chifuyu felt…a bit conflicted. Just a while ago Takemichi was really bad, and- and now he seemed fine? It wasn’t natural to recover that quickly from…whatever he was suffering from. Eyes shifting over to Mikey, Chifuyu was skeptical, the only person that wasn’t affected by Takemichi’s attitude was Mikey, he seemed completely unbothered. Doubt clouding his mind, he was unsure…Chifuyu didn’t want to be suspicious of something going on but his worries were increasingly growing. 

 

“So…you’ve been with Mikey this entire time?” Draken asked as soon as they were inside. It was an awkward atmosphere, after all that happened with Takemichi they didn’t know how to really react. Now talking to him while he was aware and…somewhat stable was nerve wracking, they didn’t know if another freak out was going to happen. Granted Kazutora seemed bothered but still on edge, Chifuyu had been telling him what was happening and it was normal to be a bit disturbed that Takemichi of all people was going a bit insane but, Kazutora wouldn’t blame him for going off the edge after all he’s been through.  

“Takemitchy wanted me here! So I stayed!” Mikey said defensively, crossing his arms and huffing. Alarm bells rang again- they weren’t accusing him of anything so why was he defensive? “Mikey helped me out a lot these days! Ah but- thank you guys for worrying about me, I know it was probably annoying that I kept kicking you guys out-“ “There’s so much wrong with that- Takemitchy.” Cutting off Takemichi, Chifuyu put his hands on his shoulders, not ignoring the flinch or the slight shift in Mikey. “You aren’t annoying anyone! Don’t say shit like that- you…you make it seem like we blame you for all this and- and we don’t okay?” Chifuyu was a bit nervous, as he could clearly tell Mikey was staring, and Takemichi seemed to not know what to say at the revelation that no, no one blamed him. 

“But- I need to…Mikey-“ Instantly Takemichi’s eyes watered, and of course- he went straight to Mikey, who held him with open arms. 

“Takemitchy is still really sensitive right now.” Mikey said as he petted Takemichi’s hair. “I’ve been looking after him these days which is why he’s more comfortable with me.” Something in his tone sounded like he was bragging . “What I’m trying to say is that he probably isn’t ready to see you guys, don’t worry I’ll look after him.” Mikey smiled.

 

Now Chifuyu was certain of his suspicions, still though- he didn’t want to be suspicious of Mikey…he was a friend for a long time and- and he doubted he would hurt Takemichi on purpose. Seeing the way Mikey looked so eager to isolate Takemichi from them- the whole interaction could be summed up by Mikey basically saying you guys dont know him like i do so get out useless fucks, everything was beginning to get disturbing. Chifuyu glanced at Draken and Kazutora, seeing their faces he knew he wasn’t the only one seeing something .

A certain thought kept reoccurring…Mikey wouldn’t hurt Takemichi on purpose… right?

Chapter Text

It didn’t feel like he was in his own body, this life was his yet- it still felt like part of him was missing, he was so lost, unstable and confused. Everything that surrounded him didn’t feel like it was real , nothing felt like reality these days. 

His mind felt so incredibly numb, the only time he ever felt something was when he was triggered into a panic attack- be it seeing his friends walking like…like they were still alive, or just randomly feeling overwhelmed with the world around him. ( its too much too much give up this isnt reality give up) the voices would call out to him, they would repeat themselves, it was constant.

Some part of him knew- knew that whatever he was experiencing wasn’t normal, Takemichi at this point knew what he felt right now wasn’t something a sane person would feel. 

Turning over, his eyes draped over the sleeping figure of Mikey.

this too wasn’t normal. 

The rational side (or what was left) of his mind knew , Takemichi knows the bond he’s creating with Mikey right now wasn’t normal, or really healthy but…it helped him. For once, he wanted to be selfish, it felt nice to be able to depend on someone, to have someone care for him. Maybe he too, had some dark impulses. So Takemichi would let them cloud his mind, pretend he was blissfully unaware, maybe if he didn’t think about how fucked up it was he wouldn’t have to face it. 

Right now, he didn’t feel like fighting for anything, for just once he wanted to rest, to forget all the things he went through. 

 

And forgetting he was, memories seemed to mush together, days seemed to pass, all he could really remember was being comforted by Mikey or rather only Mikey being there, it didn’t matter if Takemichi laid like a lifeless corpse. Unable to really do anything because of exhaustion, it didn’t matter because Mikey was there ( he isn’t real, this isn’t real you can’t keep pretending, nothing is real) Mikey was always there. 

“Takemitchy are you hungry? I can go get some food for us.” The only thing Takemichi could hear was static, a faint part of him knew that someone was talking, it was one of those days where everything felt…too much. Even in his very much dissociated state, he could feel himself hum, his body probably knew it needed something to eat.

Mikey said nothing as he wordlessly got up, walking out the door to go get food. 

 

Takemichi felt himself move, yet he felt as though he wasn’t the one moving, once again feeling like a puppet on strings, it was something he was growing familiar with. Taking a backseat in his own mind, he let himself move. Getting up Takemichi walked towards another room, blankly staring at the wall. 

Everything felt so useless. What was his life worth anymore? Why was his suffering still continuing, why even after all these months he still felt the pain of losing his friends, still on edge, why…why did he still feel like this? Things were supposed to get better, he was supposed to be alright but, why? Why was he like this? Why has nothing changed for him? Why is he the only one suffering? Why…why was he alive? 

As if gaining a little bit of his mind back, he felt sadness overwhelm him, Takemichi’s heart ached as a few tears escaped. As much as he pretended things were alright, that things would solve themselves, that Mikey's obsessive behavior was increasingly growing worrying, how his friends all suspected something, deep down he knew . Nothing would ever be alright, nothing will ever be okay as long as he’s alive, everything that has happened- his mistakes, because of how stupid and selfish Takemichi was, because of him he would never be able to live peacefully. Things would always feel like it was too much ( thats right ), nothing would ever be normal ( never. youll suffer forever) , Takemichi couldn’t ever go back to the way he was before ( so end it.)

Everyone always told him to look after others, maybe through all that he forgot to look after himself, which was why he was in such a mess. 

 

Anger swelled inside him- did no one ever give a damn about him? It was always their feelings, it was always things that benefited them, it was always Takemichi that had to suffer , everyone seemed to have their life together yet here he was, still suffering as everyone got their happy ending. How sweet is that?

Angry, he’s so angry- angry at himself, angry at everyone, angry at the universe . Nothing would’ve happened if he hadn’t heard about Hinata, or gotten involved with Toman, Kisaki, Mikey, if he had just kept to himself and stopped playing hero, he wouldn’t have to deal with this, he wouldn’t have to suffer this much if he had given up sooner. 

 

Takemichi looked at the knife in his hand, part of him wondering when he had gotten it. 

do it.

you deserve this.

dying is the only way to be free.

you don’t deserve to live

sick your so sick slash cut 

just do it

nothing is  cut  real you arent real

kill yourself slash you deserve this

you deserve to hurt cut die die die die 

you can stab never fix anything you have to repent die die

sinner youre a sinner stab stab cut do it do it 

die  cut die die slash join your friends do it

DO IT.




“Takemitchy?” 

 

Mikey’s eyes were filled with horror, his usual black empty pupils widened in terror at the sight- 

There was blood everywhere. Takemichi’s wrists were cut, deep wounds trailed around his arms, as well as on his face, blood dripped onto the floor as onto the counters, a few splatters on the wall as the force of the slashing painted the walls red. The worst of all was that Takemichi was still cutting , the horrendous sound of skin ripping, as well as the involuntary noises of pain escaped Takemichi, but it seemed as though he was too focused to stop. 

Snapping into reality, Mikey quickly leaped, throwing the food he had bought onto the floor as he tried to wrestle the knife out of Takemichi’s hands without hurting him, but it was either that Mikey was weak or Takemichi was freakishly strong that he kept an iron grip on the handle, trying to bring it on himself. “Stop it-! Stop! Takemitchy enough!” Mikey managed to get him on the ground, still trying to get the knife away from him as he was on top of Takemichi, who’s face seemed awfully blank. 

“Let me go.” A low mutter that Mikey could barely register as he then successfully managed to pin Takemichi’s arms, feeling his gut turn as the blood stained Mikey’s hands. “Why? Takemitchy why? You- I thought- I thought you were doing so much better?! Did- did seeing Kenchin and Chifuyu set you off? I’m so sorry it should’ve only been us-“ only I know you, only I can take care of you, only I understand you.

So why are you trying to leave me?

“I’ll do whatever makes you happy, please Takemitchy” Looking back at emotionless eyes, Mikey flinched. “Please…” Takemichi blinked, trying to wiggle a bit before realizing it was effortless. It seemed as though Takemichi was trying to figure out what to say, it sparked a little hope in Mikey before-

“Why are you still alive Mikey? I thought Naoto killed you?” 

Mikey’s heart dropped, as Takemichi could only stare at him blankly. “Where are we? Who’s home is this?” Eyes trailed around as Mikey began to tremble, unable to know what to say or do. “T-Takemitchy, I’m not dead. You- You saved me, remember? And all the others too- all of us you- you saved us…” 

“How could I save them if they are all dead?” Takemichi retorted as Mikey took in a shuddering breath. This was so much different from the other times Takemichi had dissociated, because right now he was calm- collected and very much aware, not in some haze with weird rambles.

“Is this my punishment? To see you all alive even though you’re dead?” Takemichi stared through him, Mikey slowly releasing him as he backed away. “No Takemitchy…what- what punishment? I forgive you, I forgive your mistakes so-“ “You’re lying, you’re trying to trick me. No one will ever forgive me, not even I will forgive myself.” Mikey watched as Takemichi’s eyes darted to the knife, before there was any movement from him, Mikey jumped on Takemichi, trying to stop the queasy feeling he felt when he heard Takemichi’s blood squish. Holding him in place, Mikey knew he could no longer do this alone.

 

“Please help me.”



A shitstorm was all it could be described as- Draken had ran to Takemichi’s apartment, followed alongside Mitsuya who was with him when he received Mikey’s phone call, he was pleading for help.

“I thought I could help him, Kenchin- please I’m so sorry, help me help Takemitchy.” 

Arriving there could only be described as something straight out of a horror movie, blood splattered everywhere across the kitchen floor, cabinets, counters, as well as the floor were stained with red.

The worst of it was Takemichi.

He had long given up the fight for the knife- it was thrown somewhere else, later inspecting the knife, Draken almost puked that there were still pieces of Takemichi’s skin stuck on the blade. Takemichi’s wounds ran deep, the muscles on his arm gushed out blood, the tendons on his wrist exposed, his flesh unzipped. His butched face was the worst of it, a large cut ran down his cheek, some of it cutting through his lip, another cut was dangerously close to his eye, every part of Takemichi was covered with blood. 

Mitsuya trying to remain composed had called an ambulance as Draken tried his best to keep the other from bleeding out, Mikey was restraining him from making any further movements.

Nothing scared Draken more than Takemichi’s expressionless face, looking at everything around him indifferently. 

 

Finally being transported to a hospital, Draken had called Chifuyu who had bolted there. He was sweating and huffing from all the running. “What happened?! Is he-“ 
Chifuyu stopped as he then locked eyes with Mikey. “You.” Chifuyu spat out venomously. “What did you do.” By his tone, it seemed like he wasn’t asking, he was demanding for an answer. Mikey could only stare at the ground blankly, clearly dissociating from the events. “Oh no you fucking don’t! You can’t fucking run away from this shit! You can’t shut us out, not right fucking now. So grow some balls and talk!” Chifuyu grabbed Mikey’s shoulders. Draken would’ve intervened, but a part of him found himself wanting answers as well. 

“I thought…I thought I could help him- I’m the only one that can- we both understand each other so…so why did he try to leave me?” Mikey said, clearly hazed as well as confused. Chifuyu could only let out a dry laugh, his face looked disbelieving. “You can’t be fucking serious-“ he scoffed. “Do you really think you’re the only one that can help? Why are you making this about you?! What did you tell Takemichi that he didn’t even reach out to us!” 

It was then that Hina entered, huffing and confused as to all the yelling, but she chose to stay quiet, watching the situation unfold. 

For once, Mikey’s face broke into a guilty one. “I had to! He- he wanted my forgiveness! I thought- thought that maybe the only way I could make him feel better is if he thought I was forgiving him-“ “Feel better?! The only thing you did was hold it over his head! How dumb do you have to be to think that would work!” Chifuyu yelled, his chest was heaving as the only thing holding him back right now was Draken. As though Chifuyu had a moment of clarity, he froze. “You…” Chifuyu’s face morphed into realization. “You weren’t thinking about Takemichi…you didn't think it would work. You only wanted him by your side…” Chifuyu looked ready to puke. “No! I wanted to save him! Takemitchy needs me, I can understand him-“

A slap was heard.

Hina had the meanest glare on her face, her hand stung from how hard the slap was. “All this time, when Naoto told me you were looking after him I thought he was in good hands- and…and then this?” Her face was ice cold as Mikey only turned his head from the slap, once again he began to dissociate. 

 

Mikey looked towards Draken, thinking maybe he’d understand him. 

“Kenchin-“

“I’m glad you called me for help.” Draken said. “But that’s the only good thing I can commend you on. I…I don’t think I really know you anymore.” His words seemed hurt, like it pained him to say. “I won’t ask you to stay away from Takemichi,” Chifuyu looked ready to argue “Because Takemichi wouldn’t want it. But-“ Draken looked straight into Mikey’s empty eyes. “If you don’t get help for this I swear to you I won’t let you see him and risk Takemichi being hurt. Even if you don’t want to, do it for Mitchy.” 

Mikey could only nod numbly. 



Takemichi’s nerves were severely damaged, they managed to stitch some of it up, as well as start a blood transfusion because of the amount of blood loss. Despite all that, it was expected that Takemichi would make a recovery, the most he was going to be left with was nerve damage as well as some pretty noticeable scars. A sling was put on his arm so it wouldn’t stress the cuts too much. 

Right now, Takemichi peacefully slept, everyone awaiting when he would wake. 

 

Things were going to get a whole lot better, because they’d be damned if they let Takemichi suffer anymore.

 

Chapter Text

 

Days would pass, most of it was spent looking after Takemichi who had become a shell of what he was before. His appetite seemed to be non-existent, he spent most of the days sleeping or numbly watching TV though it wasn’t like he was paying attention- always having a faraway look in his eyes, Takemichi was…indifferent to the world around him.

As if he was dead. 

 

Even if he was like that- it never stopped anyone from visiting him. Hakkai had taken some time off and went to go see him, it was tough seeing him try to joke around with Takemichi and receive no response but Mitsuya later would console him. Atsushi, and a few of Takemichi’s old gang friends went around to visit, it surprised them to hear the news of what happened, none of them being able to believe it at first- they didn’t really know what Takemichi went through so they were caught off guard, a few of them refusing to believe that Takemichi was…like this. 

Most of the old Toman members visited, it was obvious everyone was on eggshells around Takemichi. Some were too busy with their own lives that when they received the news that Takemichi was in the hospital for a suicide attempt , it really threw everyone into a loop as to what could’ve happened. 

No one really knew what was wrong except for the ones who already knew Takemichi was a time-traveller. It was getting increasingly hard to keep up the secret. 

 

“Do you think he’s getting any better?” A silent voice whispered out, it was defeated and tired. Kazutora turned to the source of the voice, looking at Chifuyu with slight pity. 

Chifuyu seemed to be most affected by what was happening- how wouldn’t he be? His best friend wasn’t okay, and to think he was getting worse by someone Chifuyu trusted , he truly felt like an idiot. 

Kazutora could only sigh, feeling as lost as he was, but he was for sure certain of something. 

“It’ll take time.” All the times Kazutora felt helpless, like the option for him was death because of how much guilt he held, how much hatred for himself he felt towards himself…it always felt like nothing would ever get rid of these feelings. Yet…

“Nothing is ever easy y’know.” A sly smile of his face formed. “But Takemichi’s strong, even stronger when he has someone like you by his side.” Playfully punching his shoulder, Chifuyu felt a smile forming in his face as well. 

“It took me a long time, and took me having a long hard look at myself to realize that I didn’t want to live in a world where I was only angry- projecting my feelings onto everyone else, hurting others…I didn’t want to do that anymore.” Kazutora smiled at Chifuyu. “Don’t feel so down, everything will get better.”

Downcasting his eyes, Kazutora’s mood shifted a bit. “I can’t help but feel I caused all of this. If only I didn’t give you my wonderful advice, maybe we wouldn’t be in this dilemma..” Now that caused Chifuyu to slap his shoulder. “Don’t say that! I…I was the one who..” Chifuyu’s eyes were glassy. Kazutora quickly tucked him in his arms, enveloping him in a hug. “We all fucked up, but we can solve this. I promise.” 



Everything felt like mush. Nothing really mattered to him anymore, days would pass by and he wondered when he would wither away, these days always felt like they would be his last, though he didn’t have the energy to really act on anything, things were just too tiring for him. 

The memories would come down hard, they’d remind him of how much he failed, how right now he was failing them again, how he was a failure.

Takemichi was no hero. 

The worst part was that Takemichi found himself cherishing it. Those negative feelings- they were starting to become comforting, the new normal for him. So what he couldn’t be what others wanted him to be? Like this, he didn’t have to worry about anything. Takemichi could wallow in his misery, let himself be hugged by the oddly comforting shadow that loomed over him.

He’s fine like this, people would eventually give up on him, and then he could leave. Everything is going to be okay,

as long as he doesn’t exist.

 

Wrenching noises could be heard as Takemichi vomited, everyone around there winced at the sheer force of it, only Chifuyu had enough will to be up there. He massaged his back and consoled him as Takemichi let out sobs. 

It was getting increasingly worrying. Takemichi was so thin, only receiving most of his nutrients through the IV, anything he ate he would throw back up. It was a sad sight to see.

“I didn’t mean to…” Souya looked ready to cry, before Nahoya patted his back, trying to calm his sibling before all hell broke loose. “He’s probably feeling a little sick!” Leading his brother outside he looked at Draken who was watching from outside the door. “We’ll leave some food here, sorry man.” 

Draken could only sigh, he could tell a lot of people were starting to feel discouraged from what was happening- no one seemed to know how to help, what to say or do, all Takemichi would do was curl up in his hospital bed and look like he was withering away. He was exhausted, it was mostly him and Chifuyu looking after Takemichi, it was hard trying to decide what to do- most doctors did recommend getting him hospitalized so he could be safer…the sound of therapy sounded like a great idea but considering the circumstances, who knows how things would play out. Would they deem Takemichi as delusional and lock him up forever? Or genuinely try to help him?

 

“Takemichi…” Shaking him awake, Chifuyu was waking him to try and at least do some exercises. Takemichi would only grumble and keep his eyes shut, even though he was very obviously awake. “Come on, don't be like that! Doctor says you need exercise!” Pulling the blankets off, he kept pushing, maybe being a bit too overbearing but Chifuyu only wanted him to at least try. “Get up! You’ve slept enough already!” 

“Shut up! Shut up shut up shut up shut up!” Takemichi pushed Chifuyu away with all his strength, his chest was heaving as he then clenched his head. “Leave me alone, I don’t want your help! You’re the reason I’m like this!”

All you do is annoy me, leave me be already!” 

“Why was it me? Why? Why do I have to suffer? Why is it now you all decide to care?!” 

Sobbing filled the room as nurses ran in from all the screaming, some of the nurses restrained him as he had started to thrash. Chifuyu stood silent, he forced himself not to feel hurt as the nurses sedated him, Chifuyu watched as slowly Takemichi went limp, but not before sparing him a glance.

 

It was silent for a long while, the only people there were Hina (who had made it a habit to come with Naoto, she dragged him along when he wasn’t busy) and Kazutora who usually joined along, it seemed as no one knew what to really say. 

Hina was the first to talk. 

“It’s…all my fault..” She looked down, her eyes teary. “I knew before he was having issues…when he said he wanted to die.” The tears ran down her face, though she wiped them away quickly. “I knew and yet- yet I didn’t keep up with him, I thought- maybe if everything turned out okay then, he wouldn’t feel that way anymore..” She sniffled, she brushed her hair out of her face, her face filled with guilt. All these days she spent it cursing herself, she would tell Naoto not to beat himself up over this yet she was the biggest hypocrite. 

“No. I- I knew about it too.” Instantly Chifuyu broke down, unable to keep the charade up anymore. “When he came back he was just…” 

Takemichi just kept punching, he just kept going and going. His fists were bleeding. 

“It was after a bad future. That day he looked ready to give up. Maybe…maybe he would’ve if I wasn’t…” He felt sick, how many times had Takemichi been so close to giving up? How much did he suffer in silence? How did they almost lose him when the signs were right there! 

 

“You guys were just naive.” Kazutora said, checking his nails. “Don’t think about it too much.” 

Chifuyu angrily glared at him, clenching his jaw. “What do you mean?” 

“It’s just as I said, you guys just think too much. Yeah there were probably some signs on how fucked he was but so what? He’s still here, you guys are acting like he’s already dead.” Hina and Chifuyu stared at him, they didn’t realize they were sounding like that…

Standing up from his chair, he looked down to both of them. “If you want to blame yourselves while Shittymichi is suffering, go at it. But it won’t go anywhere. Learn to accept it, and learn how to move on and deal with it, what matters most now is getting him back on track before he tries something stupid again.” Walking away, Chifuyu could only stare at his back in silence, holding in his laughter when Kazutora almost tripped. 

“Damn, when he’d get so cool.” Chifuyu smiled at himself as Hina laughed softly. “Seriously.” They laughed before falling into comfortable silence. 

“He’s right…right now we can’t do the whole blaming ourselves thing.” Hina huffed. “What matters most is getting Takemichi back!” Chifuyu looked at her with admiration, he already knew Hina was cool from the moment he heard that she slapped Mikey back in middle school, she was strong-willed, a fighter. It filled him with hope. They could do this, they would do anything for Takemichi.

 

“Looks like they are gone now.” Kazutora sighed, walking into Takemichi’s room. He still seemed a little woozy from when they sedated him, but he seemed lucid enough. “That was quite a show, looks like you’re excelling in the trying to drive people away aspect.” Kazutora said sarcastically. 

“Just leave…” Takemichi mumbled out, not having the energy to yell. It was truly a pitiful sight, Kazutora thought. “Do you really want to live like this?” Cocking his head to the side, Kazutora narrowed his eyes. 

“There’s nothing else that can really change this, what’s the point..?” Takemichi spoke dejectedly, the light in his eyes dim. It looked like he was already giving up.

The sight filled Kazutora with anger. 

“Cut with the shit already! You have this many people around you and the only person that doesn’t believe in you is you! What you went through was fucked up, you went through so much shit that no one else could imagine but you’re acting like things are already set in stone.” 

“You changed others' futures, so why are you acting like you can’t change yours?”

“It’s different! There’s- there’s no hope for me-!” 

“Why? Because you think you went through more shit, is that it?!” 

“No-! I-I don’t think that, I just know this can’t change-“ 

“It can’t? Or you don’t want it to?”

.

.

.

Kazutota scoffed. “Fine. Live like this if you want for the rest of your life.” Takemichi couldn’t look at him. 

“Just know that it’s your decision to make, and if you’re willing to make a change, you’ll have people right by your side.”

With that, Kazutora walked away.

Takemichi resisted the temptation to latch onto him.

 

What to do he didn’t know, did he really want this? Why was everything so hard? Things were too hard, everything was too heavy, too much for him- this is what he wants, there’s nothing else for him, nothing…

The image of his friends flashed in his mind .

Tears formed, why?! Why was it so hard leaving them behind? Why wouldn’t they let him go? Takemichi had no purpose! He didn’t have a reason to stay, why did people still want him around?!

You have people to care about you, Takemichi.

They don’t- no one does, they only wanted him around because he needed to save everyone, so it must be a lie-

Chifuyu cared for you for days, like clockwork he’d come around, stay with you until they forced him out. 

No he doesn’t-

Draken would bring bike magazines, the type of ones they would browse together. He’d say it was boring without him.

But-

Naoto and Hina would bring him the sweets he loved, they’d joke around with him even if he wasn’t interacting. They were warm.

People want you here.

 

He still couldn’t believe it.

Even so…he’d try his best. 

For them, Takemichi would try for them. 

To believe in them, and himself.





Chapter Text

 

Guilt. Denial. Anger.

It was a cycle Mikey was all too familiar with. 

Why did things turn out this way? Why did he let the sweet whispers invade his mind, deluding him into a fantasy? The answer was clear.

Mikey is weak.

Weak to his desires, weak to the things he loves, weak to Takemichi. The throne that people held him so tightly on, it was one made out of lies. 

Mikey was never meant to be happy, everything he ever loved was ripped away from him. Family, friends, including his heart, they were all ripped to pieces, Mikey was truly torn. 

 

Never he had something like this- hope. When he came into Mikey’s life, it was like a light, he was so bright. Mikey could do nothing but flock like a moth to a flame, instantly, he knew he was in deep trouble. 

Takemichi was so kind , so warm , caring like no other, Takemichi was mesmerizing. 

God. He was so disgusting. He wasn’t supposed to feel this happy, he wasn’t supposed to feel ecstatic at the thought of Hina’s heart hurting, at how Takemichi had a chance to be his

But he had to resist, he couldn’t.

The guilt was eating him alive.

 

Mikey knew he could never have him, Mikey would never be able to be with him, he tried to rip the feelings out of him, desperately he wanted out . Because he knew he wouldn’t be able to handle it.

It worked, for a while that was. Distance, making sure to slap himself when he thought something remotely romantic of the other bleached hair male, Mikey made sure to burn any thoughts he had of him away. That’s how he survived all these years, he hid them all away, even if they were begging to be set free. 

 

They came at full force when Takemichi relied on him . Not anyone else! No one! Just Mikey! Takemichi trusts him more than anyone else!

Hina already had her time to be with him, why did she get to feel the joy of being with Takemichi and he didn’t? Why wasn’t Mikey the one with him? Why was Mikey always left behind by the ones he loves?

This time, he wouldn’t let go. 

So Mikey held onto him with a vice-like grip. It was fine, right? It must be since Takemichi didn’t mind being with him, only Mikey could help him! For once, Mikey indulged himself.

This is happiness.

 

But…if they were truly happy, why did Takemichi try to leave him? Why was Takemichi trying to rob him of this happiness?

Ah.

 

Mikey was never deserving of happiness.

.

.

.

“You are.”

Mikey looked up to Ryouta, who had put her pen down now assessing him intensely. “I’m speaking as a person, not as a therapist. You are deserving of happiness.” She’d lean back in her chair, her usual strict expression was now soft- an understanding one. 

“If you rely on someone else to make you happy, why aren’t you trying to find it yourself?“ “I’ve tried-“ “Have you really? Can you tell me honestly right now that all these years you spent suppressing, you looked at other ways to be happy instead of seeing Takemitchy as your only source of happiness?” 

Mikey remained silent.

“I can only be straightforward with you, and I want to make one thing very clear. What you did to him wasn’t okay, you used his very fragile mental state to bind him to you, you coerced him and manipulated him, isolated him from his friends,to be frank- you emotionally abused him.” The words cut through Mikey- it really did sting but…

It was a huge wake-up call. There were no excuses, no trying to justify what he did, what Mikey did was irremediable. 

“I know. Right now I’m still…I still want to see him..is it so bad to want him?” Mikey said soft- he wanted to be honest, even if it got him in trouble. “It’s not a bad thing, I’m only pointing out your mistakes because Mikey,” She cleared her throat. “You aren’t in the right mind to understand what you did. You’re experiencing guilt, you’re accepting that you know what you did was wrong but…” It looked like she was trying to find the right wording. “Seeing Takemitchy might cause another relapse in your obsessive thoughts. I’m not saying you can never see him but..I am recommending you a higher level of care.” Mikey’s eyes widened, scared that Ryouta would stop being his therapist- “I know that look, no I won’t stop seeing you but this is something that needs serious work on.” Ryouta instantly eased him, Mikey looked relieved.

A part of him denied that anything was wrong with wanting to be with Takemitchy, that after all he’s been through- didn’t he deserve at least some sort of happiness? Why did everyone want to take it away from him, why did everyone have to meddle-

Mikey shut those thoughts down, and with immediate awareness he knew he did need help. These thoughts were dangerous, they were spiraling, and just like before…Mikey knew he couldn’t do it alone. 



Although sometimes it felt like his mood was the same, Takemichi knew things were changing. 

When Chifuyu had entered his room, he expected Takemichi to be asleep, maybe even mindlessly watching TV. But there he was, angrily solving a puzzle with Peh-yan, alongside Hakkai and Yuzuha. “Oi Chifuyu! Help me convince these idiots the puzzle piece goes right there!” a tired look came from Takemichi as Yuzuha huffed. “Are you dumb or stupid?! If it doesn’t fit there why are you trying to force it there- give me that!” Yuzuha grabbed the puzzle piece from him, her eyes trailing around the puzzle as she then put it in the correct place. “Woah, you’re good at this!” Hakkai said, amazed. 

“Not as good as me though.” A proud grin formed on Takemichi’s face, everyone knew he was the puzzle king. 

Chifuyu could feel his eyes a bit teary..not from sadness, but because of how happy he was. He knew Takemichi was far from being okay- but…seeing him so happy right now was truly an amazing sight. “Got room for me?” Chifuyu smiled, Takemichi rolling his eyes playfully. “Come on, you know I always got room for you! We used to solve these things together.” Patting the empty space next to him, Chifuyu joined in. It was loud- and the nurses would periodically ask them to be more quiet but for the first time in forever, Chifuyu had hope. 

 

Biting his nails, Chifuyu waited. He waited until Peh-yan, Hakkai and Yuzuha were gone so he could talk with Takemichi alone. His heart was beating, he felt his palms sweat a bit at the thought of being alone with Takemichi but seeing how good the day went, his nerves eased a bit. “Um.” Chifuyu stumbled nervously, Takemichi turned to look at him, also a bit nervous. “I don’t want to push you if you aren’t ready but…you’re gonna get discharged soon and I’m…I’m really worried.” Chifuyu admitted softly, Takemichi nodded. “I know that you can’t really talk to anyone about…well almost everything you’ve been through.” A sad feeling entered his chest, truly hurting for his friend. “To be honest…I’m really fucking scared. I’m so scared of not being able to help you enough, scared that I’ll do something wrong…I’m really scared of losing you.” A couple of tears fell from Chifuyu’s eyes, he desperately wiped them away. “I don’t want to make this about me though,” he let out a wet laugh, “You deserve so much Takemichi, so much.” Nothing in the world could compare to what Takemichi suffered through for them. 

“I...” Chifuyu turned to look at Takemichi, who looked ready to cry a river. “Sometimes it’s really hard to believe I deserve good things, which was why I mostly ignored what I was feeling…and with Mikey..” A bubble of anger arose in Chifuyu but he forced it down, not willing to let his anger get the best of him. “I really wanted to give up, so I didn’t care if he was using me, and…and a part of me felt needed when he was. In a sick way, I was using him too.” Takemichi smiled, although it didn’t reach his eyes. “My purpose was to make everyone happy, I didn’t…I didn’t mind being used if it meant others being happy-“ “Don’t say that!” Chifuyu cut in, clasping Takemichi’s hands into his. “I fucked up, I- I should’ve done more! You are worth so much more than a tool- I..I should’ve done so much more for you..maybe- maybe if I did you wouldn’t think like this about yourself…” 

“Chifuyu, you shouldn’t blame yourself.” Takemichi sniffled. “You didn’t know how I was feeling so- how could you have possibly known? There was nothing you could do…” Pulling him into a tight hug, Chifuyu clung onto him, if anyone said he had snot dripping down his nose they were lying. “But…But now I want to try. I want to try getting better.” Takemichi squeezed him a bit, also crying hysterically. “I don’t want to feel this way, and…and I want to make things right with Mikey.” Chifuyu pulled away, he didn’t outwardly express his approval but his facial expression gave him away.
“Me too, I want to be a better friend to you.” Chifuyu smiled, wiping a bit of snot away. “And…maybe Mikey, but…it’ll take some time for me to trust him again.” Chifuyu admitted, Takemichi nodded understandingly. 

“Thank you, you’re truly the best partner I could ever ask for..” Takemichi felt the waterworks coming once again. “You’ve always been so sappy, stop before I get boogers all over your shoulder.” 

 

Things were going to be okay.

Maybe not now, or maybe not for a long time.

But slowly, things would be okay.

Takemichi couldn’t wait to see that day.