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Little Fires Everywhere

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It had been a relatively normal day for Megumi at first at Six Eyes Bookstore, what with Nobara coming in as usual to rib him as usual over his taste in books while flirting with Maki and convinced to buy yet another fashion art book, Geto giving him a list of preparations they needed to do before the next author event while convincing a customer to give Annihilation a try, and some regulars coming in to check out their updated recommendation list.

Megumi had just finished watching the Nanako and Mimiko’s latest palette swatch video that they had been constantly spamming his phone with and settled in for a reread of one of his favorite books, when in walked the hottest man Megumi had ever seen in his life.

He’s tall, his tanned skin ripples with muscles, he has a sunny smile on his face, and his eyes are bright. For some reason he has pink hair, but somehow even that suits him.

“Hi,” the man smiles at him, his eyes crinkling a bit sheepishly as he rubs his nose with the back of his thumb. “So um—it’s going to be my cousin’s birthday next week. He’s a big reader, but I’m not, and I’ve run out of Stephen King novels that he doesn’t already have to give him, so I’m in really desperate need of some help—I took a picture of his bookshelf?”

The man offers him his cellphone, and Megumi blinks as he takes it over, seeing a packed bookshelf with Stephen King, Agatha Christie, Isaac Asimov, and the Murderbot Chronicles . “Yeah, this is really helpful—it sounds like your cousin likes mystery/horror/sci-fi?”

“Yeah, that sounds about right!” the man nods with a grin and then glances around at the bookshelves. “So—do you guys have any recommendations, or if you’re busy, a mystery/horror/sci-fi section I can look through…”

“You could try Leviathan Wakes? ” Megumi suggests, standing up and walking towards the C’s in fiction. “It’s the first book in the Expanse series—it’s a space opera, but there’s also mystery and horror. And there’s a T.V. series too that’s based on it that isn’t too bad.”

“Oh wow, that sounds amazing!” the man takes the thick book from him and peers at it. “I may even want to read it after Choso is done.”

“You should give it a try, it’s pretty good,” Megumi replies with a nod.

(It’s nice to meet someone willing to give a long book a try despite not being much of a reader.)

“The book you were reading looks pretty cool too!” the man glances at The Devil in the White City that is laying on the counter. “What’s it about?”

Megumi walks over and picks it up . “This? It’s about the Chicago World Fair and a serial killer—I’ve read it like five times now. Believe it or not, the Chicago World Fair parts are almost more exciting than the parts about the serial killer.”

“Sounds like an amazing read then—do you guys have a copy of that too?” the man asks eagerly, sticking his hand out to shake. “I’m Itadori Yuuji, by the way.”

“Fushiguro Megumi,” Megumi answers, shaking his hand (wow, it’s really warm) and gesturing at the name tag pinned to the front of his shirt. “We do—it’s fairly popular. Let me just get one for you—I hope you’ll like it.”

“I’m sure I will!” Itadori beams at him, letting go of his hand slowly and walking over to the nonfiction section with him. “It sounds like something exciting to read at the station.”

Megumi takes a copy off of the shelf and glances at him. “…You’re a cop?”

“Firefighter,” Itadori corrects him, taking the book over and gesturing outside the window. “Not too far from here actually, you’re probably in our neighborhood! …not that of course, you’d need us, just—just in case of emergencies, you know!”

“I know, yeah,” Megumi nods, a slight smile curving at the corner of his lips, despite himself.

(…A firefighter too, wow.

He does seem the type though—really nice, extremely well-built, and brimming with a helpful aura.)

“We have a first responders discount, so let me get you that—unless there’s some more books you’re looking for?” Megumi asks, stepping behind the register.

“For now, this is good—great really, you’re a lifesaver—but I’ll probably come by again. This is a really nice shop!” Itadori grins at him, handing him his credit card.

“It is,” Megumi agrees with a small smile, swiping his card and placing the books in a bag for him. “Well—we’ll look forward to seeing you again.”

(And for once, he’s not saying that just to be polite.

Not that of course, he has many expectations—Itadori may be nice and willing to buy an extra book to read, but that’s no guarantee that he’ll remember to come back or even finish the book.)

“Great,” Itadori takes the bag from him as their fingers graze against each other (Megumi really needs to check the thermostat, why is it so warm here). “Well—thanks again, and see you again! Bye!”

“Bye,” Megumi echoes, waving back at Itadori.

As the shop door closes, Geto walks over, his eyebrows slightly raised. “Well, well—who would have thought you would have it in you?”

“In me to do what?” Megumi asks, not looking up from where he’s rearranging the bags.

“To use charm to get a customer to want to come back. Never thought I’d see the day—I’m texting Satoru to mark the occasion,” Geto says, pulling out his phone and idly typing into it.

Megumi groans, already hearing his phone chime with probably an excited interrogation from Gojo.  “Great. This is what I get for having my stepfather as a boss. …Gojo’s probably going to tell Nanako and Mimiko too, isn’t he.”

“Oh yes,” Geto says lightly as both their phones start buzzing again. “I’m sure within 24 hours, they will have dug up every piece of information on your handsome firefighter for you to peruse through.”

“…he’s not my handsome firefighter,” Megumi argues, his cheeks flushing as he sticks the receipt in the drawer. “I barely spent ten minutes with him.”

Geto lets out a hum, grinning at something on his phone (probably terrible jokes or memes from Gojo). “He’ll be back, and then we’ll see.”

Megumi is extremely doubtful of this, and even more so after Gojo, Nanako, Mimiko, and even Tsumiki all gang up on him to interrogate him about the guy (“He’s a firefighter—the station down the street, I think—no, I don’t want to see the station’s yearly sexy calendar—”), but it turns out that within a week, Itadori shows up again, sunny smile immediately appearing as soon as he catches sight of Megumi.

“Hi!” he waves before stopping. “Um—you might not remember me—I’m the firefighter who came in here last week for a gift for my cousin—who absolutely loved Leviathan Wakes by the way, I can’t wait to read it after him—and also I’ve read most of Devil in the White City , and you’re right, the World Fair parts are really interesting!”

“I remember you, and I’m glad you liked the book,” Megumi says truthfully, looking at him.

(…It’s kind of ridiculous that he somehow looks even more attractive now.

Just because he really liked one of Megumi’s favorite books shouldn’t make a difference.)

“The serial killer parts are interesting too of course—but the World Fair really seems like a marvel,” Megumi continues.

Somehow, Itadori’s grin grows even brighter. “Oh—good! Yeah, I really could see that! I couldn’t believe that I had never heard about any of it before—although I asked my friend who really likes horror films, and he knew about H.H. Holmes, but not the Chicago World Fair part, so he wants to borrow the book when I’m done. Um—so obviously I’m waiting on Leviathan Wakes , and I still have a few chapters left of Devil in the White City , but do you have anything else you would recommend?”

(These are like his dream recommendations.

This guy can’t be real.)

“Well, Erik Larson has written a number of other books—although I’ll go ahead and warn you that I’ve never found any of them quite as good as Devil in the White City, ” Megumi says, leading him over to the nonfiction section. “If you want a look into a subject you’ve never heard about before, The Feather Thief is good—there’s also The Secret Life of Groceries , much less depressing and quite fascinating. On a historical level, historically, Say Nothing is very interesting, and for something a bit less than murder, I would also heavily recommend Bad Blood.

“Oh wow—they all look really good,” Itadori says, peering at the summaries on the inside jackets. “I can only afford one though—paycheck doesn’t come in until the end of the month. I guess I’ll go with The Secret Life of Groceries for now ? It sounds pretty neat.”

“It really is very interesting—there’s so much that goes into the logistics of a grocery store that you just never think about, and the book covers all sorts of angles. Some of it is cool, and some of it is pretty depressing, but overall it really makes you think.” Megumi nods as he walks back to the counter then offers slowly, “The rest of the books—well, I like them all a lot and—I have some copies of my own if you want to borrow them?”

(He must be crazy—why is he offering?

He doesn’t even like lending his books out—he never knows when he’ll get them back or what condition they’ll come back in—

But it’s still nice to see someone show interest in all his recommendations.)

Itadori’s eyes widen. “You—really? Is that okay? …you’re not going to get in trouble for that, are you? Won’t it take away from your sales?”

Megumi snorts, bagging the book. “No, the store will always stay afloat, don’t worry about that.”

(What with Gojo’s millions just sitting around and accruing, keeping one bookstore for his husband running is nothing.)

“Oh—sure then!” Itadori beams at him. “I’ll definitely keep them as clean and nice as possible—and I’ll try to read them fast too, so you can have them back soon!”

“You can take your time, no worries,” Megumi says, slightly bemused (it’s nice he’s already allaying his worries…). “You have an important job. Just come by tomorrow or sometime later this week to pick them up.”

“Sure!” Itadori takes the book from him and grins. “But just bring one! Your favorite of them maybe—I don’t read that fast.”

“I will,” Megumi promises.

(Itadori is such a cheerful guy—still he enjoyed reading The Devil in the White City, so maybe— Bad Blood?

At least Elizabeth Holmes got punished in the end, unlike the other cases.)

“Huh,” Maki comments after Itadori leaves and she walks over. “I didn’t realize hot firemen were your type.”

“They’re not,” Megumi grouses, neatening up the receipts.

“And yet you offered to lend him some of your own books?” Maki raises an eyebrow. “I feel like the last time Nobara asked you to lend her something, you literally crouched over your books and hissed.”

“Nobara dog-ears pages,” Megumi mutters. “I can’t let her near my books.”

“And you already know how that guy bookmarks his books?” Maki asks.

Megumi pauses in rearranging the bags.

(…No, he doesn’t.

But he believes Itadori when he says he’ll keep his books nice and pristine—

He’s not sure why, maybe it’s that blinding smile.

…He can sacrifice a copy of Bad Blood if it comes down to that, he’s not that attached to that specific copy.)

“…I think it’ll be fine,” he says finally.

Geto shakes his head as he walks over. “Imagine that—even I’m not as picky with my books as you are. It must be true love right there.”

“What? Fushiguro has a crush on someone?” Nobara demands, breezing into the store in a flurry of scarves and shopping bags. “I thought he only ever liked books.”

“Which is probably why the hot fireman has decided to take up reading,” Maki says dryly. “Fushiguro has even offered to lend him some of his own books to take back to the station to read.”

“Are you serious?” Nobara demands, slamming her shopping bags down, placing her hands on her hips, and glaring at him. “You won’t even let me borrow anything from you when I’m in the store!”

“That’s because sometimes you put your drink down to keep your place and leave stains, and dog-ear pages,” Fushiguro replies firmly.

Nobara rolls her eyes. “Who wants your recs anyway—Maki-senpai, what do you have for me? I already finished the Craft Sequence , and I loved it.”

“I’m glad you did!” Maki grins at her. “The same author also wrote Empress of Forever —long read though, and your mileage may vary on the pacing of that one. He also co-wrote This Is How You Lose The Time War , which a lot of people have enjoyed, and is much shorter.”

“Ooooh they both sound so good—give me a copy of each!” Nobara grins back at Maki.

(Maki should be the last one giving him any shit on a crush because Nobara and her have been doing this dance for months now without a single acknowledged date between them.

He’s almost tempted to give into Gojo’s idea to just lock the two of them in the storeroom, except he won’t, because that would give Gojo too many ideas for the future.)

While Maki goes to grab Nobara’s books, Nobara leans over the counter and says, “Soooo—I need to meet this Itadori guy. Figure out if he’s cool or not.”

Megumi gives her a blank look. “…I do not need you to look out for me or something.”

“Psssh, you wish! I just want someone cool besides Maki and Tsumiki to hang out with here,” Nobara says haughtily. “If he’s got a crush on you, he’s probably a dork, but I guess love is blind.”

Surprisingly (or not so surprising given how sunny Itadori seems), Itadori and Nobara get along like a house on fire, with them quickly devolving into bickering over which graphic novels the bookstore should stock (Geto is a bit of a snob, but Nanako and Mimiko are slowly convincing him via text), and quickly figuring out each other’s drink orders.

And not just each other’s drink orders as Megumi finds out when Itadori places a cup in front of him and beams.

“What’s this?” Megumi asks, raising an eyebrow.

“A cold brew mocha! Made with just a hint of chocolate!” Itadori beams at him. “Nobara told me that’s your favorite drink from the café nearby.”

“…That’s right,” Megumi says slowly, picking it up and getting his wallet out. “I think I have enough cash to pay you back right now—”

“Oh, you don’t have to do that!” Itadori quickly reassures him, pushing his hands back, his hands rough and warm. “You’re already lending me so many books—you have to at least let me do this for you!”

“How’d you like them?” Megumi asks, placing his wallet back and mentally making a note to give Itadori the friends and family discount on his next book.

(Maybe he should just add him permanently to the list—he could maybe count as a friend by now, right?)

Bad Blood was wild! I liked Secret Life of Groceries better though—like, it still had points that really made me mad—I’m not sure if I can ever look at shrimp the same way after that—but it wasn’t the sheer weirdness of Bad Blood ,” Itadori enthuses, “Oh, also, I managed to finally get through Leviathan Wakes as well, and it is so cool ! I may have to buy the other books from you guys because I’m not sure if I can wait long enough for Choso to finish reading his copies.”

“It’s a good series,” Megumi nods. “We don’t have all the volumes in stock right now, but we can definitely put it on order for you—although I feel like I should warn you, if you’re expecting aliens to show up soon, that’s going to be a long time.”

“Aw man, seriously? I thought for sure they would show up in a book or so!”

Itadori’s face is so comically dismayed that Megumi takes some pity on him. “Well—some parts of them do. Sort of—it’s hard to explain without spoilers. But if you want to try some other sci-fi where the aliens are pretty prominent, you could try out the Imperial Radach series? There’s aliens, sentient body-hopping ships, conspiracies, and songs.”

“Oooh, that does sound good,” Itadori says, glancing around. “Do you guys have copies of that here?”

“How could we not? Besides Megumi, Mimiko also loves that series,” Tsumiki calls out, smiling as she brings out a box of books.

“You like it too,” Megumi points out, heading over to where he can spot a copy on the shelves.

“What’s not to like? Ships with personalities, space, and a complete lack of gender,” Tsumiki grins at Itadori. “Even me, a person who usually doesn’t read sci-fi, enjoyed it. So—you must be Itadori! I’m glad to finally meet you—I usually alternate shifts with Megumi, and I’ve never managed to run into you yet.”

“Pleased to meet you too—are you Fushiguro’s—girlfriend?” Itadori asks, shooting a look over at Megumi.

Both Megumi and Tsumiki make faces at that. “ No, ” Megumi says adamantly, coming back with the book. “She’s my sister.”

“Oh! Oh, I see—that’s great! I mean—uh—sorry,” Itadori laughs, sheepishly rubbing the back of his head and glancing between Megumi and Tsumiki. “I just assumed—this is kind of awkward.”

“No, no, it’s funny,” Tsumiki replies, giving him a sunny grin while glancing at Megumi with a look in her eyes that promises that Nanako and Mimiko are soon going to be laughing at this. “Megumi’s actually never had a girlfriend in his life—or a boyfriend either for that matter.”

Megumi glares at Tsumiki (clearly Nanako and Mimiko were the worst possible influences). “Don’t you have books to shelve?”

Tsumiki smiles, reaches out to pat him on the head, and hauls the box of books away. “Well anyway—it was nice meeting you, Itadori!”

“Likewise!” Itadori calls out before looking back at Megumi and shifting a bit in place. “Uh—so—no boyfriend or girlfriend?”

“None,” Megumi replies, feeling something flutter a bit in his chest.

(He couldn’t help but wonder, what with Tsumiki, Nanako, Mimiko, Maki, Geto, and Gojo all implying things—

But Itadori seems like just a very friendly person, he probably doesn’t mean anything by it.

The man must be beating off admirers with a stick—Megumi shouldn’t overthink things.)

“You?” he can’t help but add, setting the book in front of him on the counter.

“Oh, yeah, um—none as well currently!” Itadori says, digging through the giant pockets of his pants for his wallet. “I’ll definitely get this one—and um—do you—”

Megumi feels both his shoulders dip, and he inwardly groans as Nanako says, “Wow Megumi, getting hit on at work?”

“You have to wait until he’s off-shift to bother him at least,” Mimiko says, waggling a finger at Itadori.

Megumi shrugs both their elbows off. “Don’t see that stopping you guys.”

“Uh, we’re family? So we’re totes exempt,” Nanako rolls her eyes, pointing at Itadori, “You aren’t yet though, so we’re keeping an eye on you.”

“Tsumiki may like you, but Tsumiki’s too trusting,” Mimiko adds.

“And Megumi’s not, but he can hardly be said to be an outside neutral observing party in this,” Nanako says with a wave of her hand.

Megumi rings up the book and says to Itadori, “Don’t mind them, they’re horrible. Anyway, what were you about to ask?”

“They don’t seem too bad—better than my brother anyway,” Itadori says with a laugh and a shake of his head as he hands him his credit card. “Oh—nothing. I’ll get out of your hair then—you probably still have a lot to do for work—hope you enjoy the coffee though!”

Before Megumi can reassure him that he’s a welcome distraction and totally not a bother at all, Itadori has taken his book and left the store.

“…Whoops,” Nanako sighs. “I guess we came on a little too strong there.”

“Yeah, you did a little,” Tsumiki agrees, pursing her mouth a bit. “Still—I don’t think Itadori-kun is the kind to be deterred just by that, hopefully.”

“If he is, then he’s not worthy of you, Megumi,” Mimiko says, patting Megumi on the shoulder.

Megumi glares at all of them before going over to the cash register to sort out the receipts. “You all are the worst,” he mutters.

(He was stupid to get his hopes up anyway.

Itadori was probably just going to ask him if they had a newsletter or bookstore book club or something.)

He sees Tsumiki gently shoo Nanako and Mimiko away before approaching him herself, sitting down on a stool next to him. “…I guess we all got a little over-excited there. Sorry about that, Megumi.”

“It’s fine,” Megumi shrugs, shuffling the receipts back. “There’s nothing there, so there’s nothing to be sorry about.”

Tsumiki looks pointedly at the coffee on the counter and raises an eyebrow. “…You realize you have no room to mock Maki or Nobara anymore?”

“They’re pretty obvious,” Megumi argues.

“So are you and him,” Tsumiki retorts gently. “I know you haven’t been interested in anyone before, Megumi, but—why not ask him out?”

Megumi stares at her in horror. “Are you joking? He’s too nice to laugh in my face, but it’ll definitely make things awkward. And then he might not come to the store anymore.”

(When had Itadori’s visits started to become the highlight of his week?

…He has it bad, that’s not good.

Despite what Tsumiki thinks, he has been attracted to other people before—he’s just never bothered to act on it because it never seemed worth the effort.

Itadori—Itadori would be worth the effort.

But he is also hilariously out of his league.)

“…I don’t think Itadori-kun would reject you, Megumi,” Tsumiki says, raising an eyebrow. “There’s a reason all of us keep teasing you about him, and I don’t think books are his main purpose in coming in here all the time.”

“You’ve been reading too many of Nanako and Mimiko’s novels, you should just stick with your usual stuff,” Megumi replies, moving away to rearrange the bookshelves. “We got a new Kikuko Tsumura, you want to check it out?”

“Oooh, yes, I loved There’s No Such Thing As An Easy Job ,” Tsumiki immediately replies, making grabby hand motions before walking over to lightly tap Megumi on the head. “And don’t think I can’t tell that you’re trying to change the subject here.”

Megumi shrugs. “I don’t want to make things awkward,” he repeats.

Tsumiki sighs before taking the book that Megumi offers her. “Well—it’s up to you in the end. Maybe Itadori-kun will finally ask you out sometime instead soon…preferably before Nanako and Mimiko decide to cook up any zany ideas.”

Unfortunately, Nanako and Mimiko have pressed a list of a hundred different ideas of how Megumi should ask Itadori out, ranging from basic ideas to kidnapping him (“You guys realize that’s a crime, right?”), before Itadori even next returns to the bookstore.

Instead, the door slams open, and Megumi looks up to see this absolutely hulking, muscle bound man with his dark hair pulled back in a ponytail surveying the store with an intense glance.

Said intense glance falls on him, and the man narrows his eyes. “Are you Fushiguro Megumi?”

“Who’s asking?” Megumi fires back.

“Hm. It must be you, I think—that guy over there is too old,” the man jerks a thumb over at Geto, who just raises his eyebrows.

“Suguru isn’t old ,” Gojo scoffs, hanging over Geto like the gross old-marrieds they are. “He’s the perfect age. A soon-to-be silver fox to complement my eternal youthful etherealness!”

“If he thinks I look old, it is definitely because you have prematurely aged me,” Geto scoffs, rolling his eyes but just passing Gojo some coffee.

“Yeah, it’s definitely you then,” the man says, turning to face Megumi and cracking his knuckles. “Okay, your taste in books is passable, I guess, but what’s your type?”

“…Excuse me?” Megumi asks, his eyebrows shooting up.

“Your type in girls or guys,” the man repeats impatiently, his muscles stretching at the fire station logo of his T-shirt. “You can learn so much about a person based on their type. For example, I like girls with big asses, which tells you that I’m a man of action and taste.”

(What the fuck was wrong with this guy?

…but he was probably a firefighter too, right? Given the shirt?

Was this one of Itadori’s friends? Coworkers?

….Was he warning him off or something?

Or—could he be trying to find out for Itadori?

…Maybe he can give a vague, hinting answer then.)

“…I like people who are compassionate,” he says finally, his fingers drumming against the counter.

The man looks up at the ceiling and lets out a regretful sigh. “ Boring. Not worthy of my brother at all. Once you’re done with your shift, you have to come fight me in the parking lot.”

“What,” Megumi says flatly, staring at the man (he didn’t look like he was joking, oh shit). “Who even are you?”

The man puts his massive hands on his hips and lifts his head up proudly. “I am Aoi Toudou, Itadori’s best friend and best bro! We work at different fire stations, so I have not been able to come investigate you until now.”

(Okay, so he is friends with Itadori instead of just some random crazy person, great.

This isn’t the only time that Megumi has gotten into a fistfight, but he feels like Itadori might not take kindly to him curbstomping one of his friends.

…then again, this Todou started it first.)

“Why the hell should I fight you?” Megumi demands.

Todou cracks his neck. “Because you’re boring as hell, and I can’t stand boring people—especially ones who want to date my brother!”

Before Megumi can even figure what to say to that (should he deny that he wants to date Itadori? But if that got back to Itadori, that would completely ruin his chances, so that doesn’t seem like the best strategy), Tsumiki comes out of the back-room, blinking at them.

“Megumi, you’re going to go fight again?” she sighs and sets down the stack of books she’s carrying onto the counter. “Don’t make too much of a mess, okay? I’ll try to keep Nanako and Mimiko from filming it, but no guarantees.”

Toudou cranes his head and then says excitedly, “Wait is that— Strange Weather in Tokyo?

Tsumiki beams at him. “Indeed it is, we just got a new printing of it! Are you a Hiromi Kawakami fan?”

Nakano Thrift Shop is one of my favorite books,” Toudou replies, picking up a copy and flipping through it eagerly. “I’ve been trying to get my hands on Strange Weather in Tokyo forever.”

“It was so popular that they had to do a reprint of it,” Tsumiki nods sagely, “If you liked Nakano Thrift Shop, you’re going to love this one. Is there anything else you would like to purchase?”

“Do you have anything you’d recommend?” Toudou asks curiously, actually getting his wallet out.

Winter in Sochoko just came out, and I think it’s very good!” Tsumiki says, walking over to one of the shelves and taking the pink book out. “There’s also The Housekeeper and the Professor— a different feel certainly, but I enjoyed it very much.”

“I’ll get just Strange Weather in Tokyo and Winter in Sochoko for now,” Toudou says, handing his credit card over. “And I’ll leave them here while I go fight this guy.”

“Seriously?” Megumi asks flatly. “I don’t think Itadori will be happy with either of us beating the other one up.”

Toudou appears to briefly consider this before shaking his head. “Whether or not my brother is happy with it, it still needs to be done.”

Megumi narrows his eyes. “And after I curbstomp you, exactly what is that supposed to prove?”

Toudou throws his head back and laughs loudly. “You have some confidence in you! I like that! Not quite as boring as I thought—but still, just for principle’s sake, I have to beat you up.”

“We have a no-fight policy here at Six-Eyes Bookstore,” Tsumiki says primly. “Anyone who gets in a fight with any of our staff in the parking lot will be banned from the store and subject to punitive legal action from Gojo.”

Toudou hesitates, and Tsumiki presses on, “And I’m sorry, but I couldn’t sell you either of those books. Or keep anything on hold for you, even though we are getting some brand new Sayaka Murata books coming in.”

Toudou’s expression twists, and he broods there for so long that Megumi actually manages to sort through a good number of their invoices.

“…This is a difficult conundrum,” Toudou finally says, spreading out his giant, meaty hands. “I think I will go back and inform my brother that although his possible paramour is extremely boring, I really need a good source of amazing Japanese novels.”

Megumi really has no response to that, so he just says faintly, “You do that, then.”

And Toudou seems to be as good as his word, quickly becoming one of Tsumiki’s favorite customers since they bizarrely have practically the same taste.

That doesn’t stop him from constantly considering whether to fight Megumi in the parking lot though, despite Itadori trying to talk him out of it.

“Sorry, Toudou’s just—he’s insane.” Itadori sighs, slumping over the counter.

“It’s okay, I could take him,” Megumi replies, rearranging their new display of sci-fi books, and suppressing the urge to investigate a bit further on the matter.

(Namely—

Why did Toudou think that Itadori wanted to date him?

Had Itadori said something to him?

Or was it just another product of Toudou’s bizarre thought process?

There’s no real casual way to ask this question that doesn’t make the situation awkward between them—

And Megumi desperately wants Itadori to continue coming here and smiling so sunnily at him.)

Itadori eyes widen, and he whistles in what sounds like an appreciative tone. “Seriously? Toudou is built like a brick wall—even I have trouble fighting him sometimes.”

“Our Megumi doesn’t look like it, but he was the head of all the delinquents back in high school,” Tsumiki calls out with a smile. “Mainly because he beat them all into submission.”

Itadori’s eyes are now as wide as saucers, and his eyebrows have climbed into his pink hair. “Wait—seriously? You’re not trolling me, are you?”

Megumi rubs the back of his neck. “My teenage years were—complicated,” he offers. “I do better when assholes aren’t actively trying to fight me every day.”

Itadori laughs, a slight flush to his cheeks. “Wow—okay. That’s—really hot, actually—cool! I mean cool! Not—well it is, but—um—I’m just—I’m just going to take my copy of Cibola Burn right now and head out, byeeee!”

Itadori zips out the door before Megumi can even process what just happened.

(Hot?

Well, that’s not the first time Megumi’s been called that, but—

What exactly did Itadori find hot about that?

The fighting? The victories?

Or maybe Megumi himself—)

“You should put the poor boy out of his misery and ask him out,” Tsumiki suggests, breaking into Megumi’s thoughts.

Megumi scowls at her. “Mind your own business.”

“Hey, is that any way to treat your big sister, who is just looking out for you?” Tsumiki retorts, bumping their shoulders together.

Megumi sighs. “Just let me handle it, okay? And don’t tell Nanako and Mimiko. And definitely don’t tell either Geto or Gojo.”

Tsumiki mimes zipping up her lips. “It’ll be our little secret—provided you really have a plan, of course.”

(His plan right now is just to freak out a bit and then try to slowly sort out his thoughts, but that’s probably as good of a plan as any, right?

If he confesses—

He needs some kind of strategy first.)

Despite Tsumiki’s promises, no one in this family has any sympathy for Megumi’s plight, or for that matter, knows what shame is, so he isn’t all that surprised when Gojo sidles up to him and presents him with a hot fireman calendar.

“Yuuji is February,” Gojo winks at him. “I presume because of the hair.”

“…Gross, if Geto finds you staring at pictures of other men, he’s going to banish you to the couch,” Megumi warns, not taking the calendar.

Gojo pushes the calendar straight into Megumi’s arms and scoffs. “As if any of these firemen could compare to the specimen in my bed.”

Megumi wrinkles his nose. “Please never say that again.”

“Suguru is a prime specimen of a man, and so am I, and that is why we are the absolute hottest couple,” Gojo preens, because he’s just a giant dick like that.

Megumi just turns around, walking down the stairs towards the living room. “I’ll just set this on fire then, thanks.”

“Rude! Is that how you treat gifts, Megumi? No wonder you and Yuuji are so hopeless,” Gojo clicks his tongue as he snatches the calendar away from him to open it right in front of him to February.

And—Itadori is indeed there, shirtless, abs on full display even as he stands grinning there, his fireman jacket draped over his bare shoulders and his thumbs hooked into the straps of his pants.

(…Okay, Megumi’s keeping this calendar.

But not in his room—that would be creepy.

Maybe in his locker at work?

Was that less creepy?

…Not really, but—

God, his mouth is dry just staring at that picture.

Itadori is unbelievably hot—for all Megumi knows, he has a string of lovers lined up around the block.

Not that Itadori really seems like the type, but—

Well, there’s no need for Megumi to dwell on it.

He just needs to somehow discreetly pin this calendar up in his locker.)

“You’re welcome,” Gojo says smugly, shoving the calendar back into Megumi’s hands.

“I’m going to throw it in the trash,” Megumi lies, clutching the calendar to him.

Gojo just gives him a knowing look over his sunglasses, smirking as he saunters away. “ Sure you are. Now I’m going to badger some of the famous authors on Suguru’s wishlist into doing an event at the bookstore—maybe if I toss in a five-star hotel and limo or something…”

“Whatever you do, do not give them a ton of alcohol before the event,” Megumi warns. “Drunk authors are never fun.”

“Yeah, the last one even dared to hit on Suguru right in front of me,” Gojo frowns then wiggles his fingers at him in a wave. “He lived to regret that . Enjoy the calendar~”

Megumi does seriously struggle with just throwing the calendar straight into the trash, but with Itadori not having made it to the store in weeks now, Megumi pins the calendar, with February open, in his locker, feeling vaguely dirty as he does so.

(Was Itadori not coming to the store because he somehow knew that Gojo had bought this calendar for him and was creeped out?

Probably not—Itadori bizarrely worships Gojo, so even if he had somehow seen Gojo buying it, he probably would have happily accepted any excuse Gojo gave.

Although he wouldn’t put it past Gojo to have dropped some hints in passing.

Fuck—

Could that be why?

Does he feel uncomfortable knowing that Megumi has a crush on him?)

He closes the door of his locker with a sigh. No matter his own personal problems though, the bookstore still has to be manned, so Megumi trudges over to the cash register. The bell on the door tinkles, and there’s a pink flash at the corner of his eye.

(Itadori?!

Okay, he needs to calm down and act normal, the way a friend would.

At the very least, they can talk about books like normal friends, right?)

Megumi looks up eagerly, a smile already tugging at the corner of his lips, but then freezes.

It’s Itadori—but it also isn’t.

The Itadori look-alike in front of him has studs in his ears, he’s wearing a sleek black suit, there’s dark tattoos around his fingers, and when he stops peering around the store and his eyes land on Megumi, his eyebrows rise up, and he whistles in a low tone.

“Huh, I see why Yuuji keeps coming in here.”

“…You’re not Itadori,” Megumi says slowly, gripping the counter tight.

The Itadori lookalike gives a sharp smile. “You’re wrong about that—I’m Itadori Sukuna, Yuuji’s older and more handsome twin.”

(…Oh.

Itadori had never mentioned that his asshole older brother was his twin.)

“Yeah, he probably forgot to mention the twin thing—he doesn’t like being in my shadow,” Sukuna laughs meanly, giving him a once-over. “Still, I did hear that he was hanging out a lot around here lately, so I wanted to come by myself and see why.”

“…We offer a lot of good books here,” Megumi says slowly, gesturing around. “Is there something specific you’re looking for?”

“Well, I don’t mind them tall, dark, and handsome,” Sukuna says, leaning on the counter and licking his lips. “Why don’t I pick you up after you shift and show you what a real fun time looks like?”

(Oh, great.

No wonder Itadori said his brother was an asshole.)

Megumi draws himself taller and says, “Yeah, no thanks. Now, please either buy a book or leave.”

“Feisty—unsurprising, Yuuji does have good taste even if he’s a dumbass in all other respects,” Sukuna says languidly, his expression unperturbed. “What’s the most expensive book in this store? I’ll buy that.”

“…I think that’s a leather-bound Bible we have somewhere around here—hey Geto, do we still have that King James version?” Megumi looks back and calls over his shoulder.

“That one that someone ordered and never came to pick up? We finally found a buyer?” Geto comes out of the sorting room, his eyebrows rising when he catches sight of Sukuna. “…You’re not Yuuji.”

Sukuna snorts, sticking his hands in his pockets. “This is the opposite of the usual response I get. No, I’m not my dork of a twin. I am however someone with very deep pockets who would love to get to know you better, Megumi.”

“It’s Fushiguro, and again, no thank you,” Megumi says frostily.

Sukuna raises his eyebrows. “Stubborn. Well, I’ll wear you down yet. I’ll get that Bible, and here’s my number,” he says, taking a black business card out of the inside of his jacket, along with a fountain pen that he neatly uses to scrawl his phone-number on and push it over towards Megumi.

Megumi doesn’t even touch it, just glancing at Geto. “…I’m going to go to the back to check our stock.”

“Go ahead, I’ll handle this,” Geto says coolly, patting Megumi on the back and looking down his nose at Sukuna.

Sukuna, proving either that he has balls of steel or that he has no survival instincts (or both), just smirks even more and practically purrs as he leans against the counter, “Take care, Megumi. Be seeing you.”

(Not if Megumi has anything to say about that.

Or Geto for that matter, given the scary, calm smile he was sporting now.

Nanako and Mimiko’s former high school principal could attest to how Geto smiled the most calmly before unleashing a tongue-lashing that would make grown men cower and decide to take early retirement.

That’s what he gets for putting a pin-up of Itadori in his locker, he guesses—having Itadori’s asshole twin show up instead.

At least it wasn’t Toudou coming in to defend his best bro’s honor or anything like that.

Toudou is probably in the calendar as well, but Megumi has thoroughly bleached his brain of his brief glimpse of him.

…maybe it’s good he doesn’t have Itadori’s number so he can’t text him, or else he’d just be making things more awkward.

Still, he’d really like to ask him for his phone number.

…besides just getting it for the store, is there a non-creepy way to do so?

If he asks Nanako and Mimiko for help, he could definitely get it, but then he’d also have to owe them, and the teasing—

No, he’ll just—he’ll just ask him or something, it’d be fine.

If Itadori ever came back to the bookstore.

…well, with his asshole twin’s personality, he’d probably end up hearing about this and eventually show up, right?

That is, if Geto left anything of him after all this.)

--

Geto tells him simply later that he got rid of Sukuna, and Megumi doesn’t question it (especially not with Gojo purring and draping himself around Geto to murmur how hot that was), but sadly, it seemed that Sukuna had the persistence and survival skills of a cockroach or something, because although he doesn’t show up in-person again, presents of clothing and fancy watches do.

He ignores all of them, handing it all over to Nanako and Mimiko to refashion or accessorize for themselves, but then Sukuna somehow finds his number and starts texting him.

        

         Unknown number: hey baby

         Unknown number: want to go out 2night?

         Unknown number: we’ll have a good time 😉

 

Megumi simply blocks the number, but then Sukuna ends up texting him from yet another number.

He’s frowning and trying to figure out how many burner phones someone could plausibly have (he knows they’re cheap, but still, this is ridiculous, right?), when he sees a flash of pink at the door and steels himself.

(Please don’t be Sukuna, please be—)

“Hey.” Itadori awkwardly waves at him, sticking his other hand in his red hoodie.

“Hey,” Megumi answers, setting his phone down and relaxing a bit in his seat.

(Oh thank god, he finally came back.

He was starting to think he’d never see the better Itadori twin ever again.)

“Long time no see,” he can’t help but comment, clearing his throat.

Itadori flushes and messes with the hem of his hoodie. “Sorry about that, I—well, work has been killer lately, but also—I didn’t know if—I wasn’t sure if you wanted me around here, anymore?”

Megumi blinks, his brow furrowing. “Why wouldn’t I want you here?”

Itadori stares at him for a bit before rubbing the back of his head. “Well—I mean—if you’re fine with it then—with that I said and—I thought that Toudou and Sukuna coming here, they would have told you—”

“Toudou’s really weird, but he gets along well with Tsumiki,” Megumi waves his hand dismissively, “And your twin is a giant asshole, but I’m dealing with it.”

“Gosh—I’m so sorry about Sukuna—he’s a massive asshole and dick—” Itadori runs his hands through his hair. “Was he creepy towards you?”

“…a little bit,” Megumi chooses to say carefully. “Nothing I couldn’t handle though.”

Itadori groans, scrubbing his face and then glancing at Megumi. “Seriously, I’m so sorry about him—I’ll punch him the next time I see him.”

“You have nothing to apologize for—it’s not your fault he’s a dick,” Megumi points out.

“Sure, but it’s not like he would have come to see you if I hadn’t talked about you—” Itadori abruptly stops talking, covering his mouth and turning just slightly pink.

(…Was he embarrassed?

About what exactly?

Talking about him?

That didn’t seem so embarrassing unless Itadori had been gushing about him—

Which even if he had, Itadori probably meant in just a friendly way—

But in that case, why was he blushing?)

Megumi rubs the back of his neck. “Well—good things, I hope.”

“Probably too good—I never learned that I should never talk about anything I like in front of Sukuna, he always wants to ruin it somehow,” Itadori sighs and looks down at the floor.

(…He really shouldn’t read too much into that.

It’s so hard not to though—)

“So, he’s basically your evil twin?”

Itadori cracks a grin. “Literally—he’s basically a crime boss.”

Megumi’s eyebrows fly up. “Seriously?”

“Yeah,” Itadori sighs. “At least Grandpa doesn’t have to see it…but yeah, he’s involved in a lot of shady stuff—in general, it’s best to just avoid him. I’ll try to warn him off after I punch him—although that might backfire, so maybe I’ll try to get Choso to talk to him instead. He sort of listens to him. Sometimes.”

“Thanks—Geto gave him a talk, but I think he’s insane or something because he keeps trying to text me anyway,” Megumi grimaces, gesturing at his phone. “I keep blocking him, but he keeps getting new burner phones or something—the crime boss thing explains it though, I guess.”

Itadori frowns, pulling out his own phone and punching at the keys forcefully. “Okay, that is really just not cool—he never learned to deal with people saying no to him. He’s seriously the worst.”

“Definitely in agreement with you there,” Megumi says, glancing at Itadori’s phone. “I don’t even know how he got my number—I could switch numbers I guess, but it’s annoying to have to notify everyone, and if he’s a crime boss, I guess he could just somehow figure out the new number too. May have to go with the nuclear option of asking Gojo for help.”

“I’m sure Gojo-sensei will know what to do!” Itadori says loyally before ducking his head more shyly. “And I’ll try my best too—um—would it be weird for me to ask for your number though? I—there’s a lot of things I want to talk to you about the books you lent me, but my shift schedule changes around a lot, so I can’t make my way over here all the time…and I can’t believe he has your number, but I don’t—I mean, I know he hacked into a system or something to get it, but—you know what I mean.”

Megumi tries not to push his phone over too eagerly, but probably fails in how it nearly slides completely off the counter, and he has to awkwardly grab it. “No, yeah, uh—that’s fine. It’s not weird. You could have asked at any time.”

Itadori beams at him, practically lighting up the entire store as he reaches over to type in his number. “Oh—great! I didn’t—I didn’t really want to bother you at work about it—but I only see you when you’re working, so—”

“I don’t mind, you don’t bother me,” Megumi says, something warm in his chest as Itadori hits save on his phone.

Itadori flushes, practically turning the color of his hair. “Well, that’s—that’s great to know! Um—so—what are you going to be doing Friday night?”

“Helping set up for the Madeline Miller talk,” Megumi replies immediately. “It’s going to be really good—I hear she’s really nice, and I’ve really enjoyed her books.”

“Oh—what are they about?” Itadori’s smile appears to briefly slip for a second, but he quickly grins again and leans against the counter. “Can I come even if I only read through part of one of her books?”

“Of course you can. She writes about Greek mythology—there’s Song of Achilles and Circe, ” Megumi says, quickly pulling out two copies from where they already had a number arranged. “ Song of Achilles is about Patroclus and Achilles, and will make you cry, while Circe is about the witch Circe from the Odyssey, and may also make you cry, although not as much as Song of Achilles.”

“Achilles and Patroclus—like from the Hades game?” Itadori asks, pulling over the copy and examining it.

“Yeah—so you probably know the ending already, but that’s not the point,” Megumi says, gesturing at the book. “It’s really quite beautiful.”

(Also—

It did bode well that he seems interested in a gay romance book, right?

Even one that was classified closer to fancy literature.)

“I trust your recommendations,” Itadori says, pushing the book over towards him. “I’ll definitely get this one—although I feel bad that I probably won’t be able to finish it by Friday. Is there any way I could maybe—help around the store or something during the event?”

“If you want to, sure,” Megumi says, a little taken-aback. “We could always use people to help set up tables and chairs—and you know, to monitor the signing line and make sure no one is taking up too much of the author’s time.”

“I can do that!” Itadori says, placing a hand on his toned chest. “Just tell me where to stick things, and I’ll do it!”

And Itadori is as good as his word, practically hauling out all the tables and chairs on his own as Megumi supervises and the rest of them decorate the store. Basically Megumi’s entire family is giving him significant looks, but Megumi ignores them in favor of straightening out chairs (and maybe admiring the way Itadori’s arms ripple as he moves all the tables and chairs around).

Madeline Miller also lives up to her reputation, funny and nice throughout the entire reading and signing, and the event goes off without a hitch, even with Toudou showing up, Nanako and Mimiko insisting on showing her their cosplay photos, Nobara and Maki trying to suggest to her what her new book should be about (“Clytemnestra! Oh, you’re going to be doing a rock opera of it already? Wow, that’s so cool!”), and Tsumiki wanting to show her the link to an Iliad frat AU that someone had written.

“Not sure why you’re so embarrassed, those photos looked pretty good!” Itadori laughs as he helps Megumi clean up and take party supplies to the backroom. “And that fraternity story sounded really fun from the excerpt I saw!”

“They were—but they’re Hades cosplay photos technically,” Megumi grumbles. “Not her book. And Tsumiki just loves plugging that story anywhere she can—I think she even knows the author.”

“I don’t think she minded,” Itadori points out. “She even said that she wanted to check out the game after that!”

“If her next book gets delayed due to her getting addicted to the video games, and her editor sues us—well, Gojo would probably just laugh his ass off and then sic his lawyers on them,” Megumi admits before glancing back where some guests were still there even though Madeline Miller had already been graciously escorted away by both Geto and Gojo. “Should you go keep Toudou company? I’ve got this.”

“Nah,” Itadori says, picking up a packed box of signed books. “So do you need this in any specific corner, or is there a room it’s supposed to go in?”

“Yeah, there’s a special room for those—we’ve got to sort some out for people who pre-ordered them, and then later, if there’s any left over, we’ll shelve them. The keys—oh right, I gave it to Mimiko, and told her to put it in my locker…”

“Is it this one?” Itadori asks moving closer to the locker that was just slightly open.

“Yes—wait—”

Megumi reaches out to stop him, but Itadori has already swung the locker door open, and Megumi just stares in horror as Itadori’s picture on the calendar is revealed within.

(How the fuck does he explain this?

…There is absolutely no way to explain this without seeming creepy at all.

Oh god, Itadori’s going to hate him.)

Itadori blinks, glancing from the calendar back to Megumi. “Uh—I guess you bought one of the calendars?”

“Gojo did and gave it to me as a joke—it’s stupid, but—it’s a calendar after all, so I just pinned it up,” Megumi lies, scrambling for the key. “Well, Mimiko did put it there, great—”

“Oh—but it’s—it’s September now—” Itadori says hesitantly, shifting in place and staring at Megumi. “And um—you still have it on February—mine, I guess…”

( Fuck.

He had just known this would end up biting him in the butt.

Can he just dissolve into the ground from sheer mortification?

Can he figure out where Toji has gone off to this time and hole up with him for some time?

Normally, Tsumiki would have to threaten him with tears to get him to voluntarily spend time with Toji, but if he needs to hide somewhere for a bit to die of embarrassment and creepiness, Toji would definitely be able to hide him somewhere no one could find him, even Gojo.)

“I—I’m sorry,” Megumi manages to choke out, backing away. “It’s—It’s creepy, I know. I’ll just—I’ll just leave now, you probably don’t want to see me—”

Itadori grabs his wrist and says, “No, I—I really do want to see you right now! Don’t leave—I—I just want to know—do you have it on my picture because—because you just like it? Or because—do you like me, Fushiguro? Because—because I really like you!”

Megumi freezes there, staring at a nearly completely red Itadori as he feels his own face also start to heat up. “I—really? You do?”

Itadori frantically nods. “I really do! I thought—I thought I was being super obvious, and I didn’t want to come off as creepy, so I tried to come a little less often, but then stupid Sukuna showed up, and that was a mess, but—I didn’t want to be an asshole like him either and just show up at the store while you’re working and ask you out—that seemed kind of a jerk move—”

“You couldn’t be a jerk even if you tried,” Megumi says, the words tumbling out of his mouth, “I wouldn’t mind at all if—if you asked me out.”

Itadori grips his wrist harder, stares deep into his eyes, and rushes out with, “Will—do you want to go on a date to the movies next Thursday night? Or if that’s not okay—my shift schedule is crazy right now, but I think I can wrangle a weekend night if I agree to do beer runs for the station for the next few months—”

“Thursday night is perfect,” Megumi breaks in, not quite believing that any of this is happening.

(Could he be dreaming?

He’s had dreams kind of like this before, but—

No, this feels too real, and plus, he can still feel the searing humiliation of the calendar in the acid clawing up his esophagus.)

Itadori beams, his entire face practically glowing as he steps closer to him. “Then—then that’s great! So—you kept that calendar because you like me?”

“I just agreed to go out with you on a date,” Megumi points out, his eyes flicking away as his face heats up more before being drawn back to Itadori’s blinding smile.

“Yeah, but—I confessed to you, but I still didn’t get confirmation on how you feel?” Itadori asks, ducking his head with a grin.

Megumi rolls his eyes but leans closer so that they’re at eye-level, sliding his wrist out of Itadori’s grasp so that he can hold his hand properly. “I like you. A lot. …I wouldn’t let just anyone borrow my personal copies to read.”

Itadori squeezes his hand as he steps closer to envelop him in a big hug, his voice husky as he murmurs into his ear, “I—I had hoped but—and Nobara said some stuff, but I just wasn’t sure—I’m so happy right now!”

“As am I,” Megumi murmurs, not able to help sliding a hand across Itadori’s jaw.

Itadori presses their foreheads together and asks quietly, “Can—is it too soon for us to kiss?”

Megumi simply leans forward that last inch, pressing their lips together, and enjoying the feel of Itadori pressing him against his sturdy, muscled chest.

It’s both similar and different from how he had imagined it would be like—Itadori is as sweet as he thought he would be, but he is more passionate and eager than Megumi had imagined, pressing forward eagerly, his kisses sweet but firm, and nearly shy as he licks to enter his mouth.

Megumi lets him in, pressing him up against the lockers as their tongues touch each other, his hand firmly gripping at Itadori’s shoulder as Itadori’s hand travels down to his waist, and then lower—

“Oh my god—are you fucking serious?! After all your lectures about me flirting with Maki at work?!”

Megumi and Itadori manage to break apart, both slightly panting, and Megumi glares over his shoulder to see Nobara there, with her hands on her hips, along with Tsumiki, who is just giggling into her hand.

“Ah, leave them alone, Nobara,” Tsumiki says, taking a break from her delight to lightly pat Nobara on the back. “It took a lot to get them this far—and you really should just go ask Maki out!”

“Yes, please, both of you go plot that somewhere else,” Megumi says.

“You probably shouldn’t stay in the storage room though,” Tsumiki points out, “You never know who is going to come in—”

“Brother!” Toudou booms, shoving his way in between Nobara and Tsumiki as Nobara kicks at his massive thigh. “I see you are successful! But I still haven’t fought him yet to determine his worthiness—”

“I already told you that that’s stupid and not to do that!” Itadori complains, not bothering to move his hand away from Megumi’s waist. “We’re going out now! Stop!”

“I could take him,” Megumi says simply, glancing at Toudou. “Right now, even.”

(Right now, he’s so happy that he thinks he could fight five Toudous and come out on top.)

“Uh, no,” Itadori says, tugging at the hem of Megumi’s shirt. “Because as hot as you fighting and winning would be, we’ve got a shift starting tomorrow, and then a date after that—and I don’t want anything to delay that.”

Megumi can’t help but smile at Itadori at that, reaching up to neaten out his hair. “Mm. Okay. But if he tries to crash our date, I’m curbstomping him into the pavement.”

“….Maybe not the most boring person you could find,” Toudou shrugs before slapping both of them on the shoulder, sending them nearly hurtling to the floor. “Well, it speaks well of your taste that you like my best friend!”

“Oh my god!” both Nanako and Mimiko’s heads pop up beyond Toudou’s hulking form. “Did you two finally get together?! Geto! Gojo! You’ll want to document this!”

“No, don’t—”

There’s a burst of confetti, and Gojo is passing out party noisemakers while obnoxiously blowing on his own. “Congrats! I see my calendar gift did exactly what it was supposed to!”

“There’s no way you planned for this,” Megumi protests, slapping the party noisemaker away.

“You can’t underestimate Satoru, even with all the obnoxiousness, he’s always playing 6-D chess in his mind,” Geto says, dryly dumping more confetti on them.

“I am so sorry about this,” Megumi says, turning to Itadori and trying to brush the confetti out of his hair.

Itadori just grins at him, reaching up to quickly kiss his fingertips. “I’m not—this is great!” he says happily.

(Oh, he so badly wants to kiss him again right now, but not with everyone here watching them.)

“You’re stuck with the craziness now,” Megumi still warns him, moving on to brushing the confetti off of his shoulders.

“And I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Itadori says easily, wrapping an arm around his shoulder and landing a kiss on the top of his head.

And even as everyone cat-calls at that motion and pictures are definitely being taken—

Megumi just nods and says into Itadori’s ear, “Me neither.”