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shame on me

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There are places you can go, if you want it. (Or need it.) No questions asked — only invitations, extended and negotiated and accepted over the trade of glances and alcohol and maybe one furtive murmur before someone fumbles to call a taxi.

He isn’t picky, though his reputation would suggest it. When this happens to his body, any person would do — any actual sentient human, anyway. Even at his most desperate, even after days of searching, he doesn’t stoop so low as to send or sip from a drink paid for by someone with dumb, blind animal eyes. Even with his whole body throbbing with hunger, he’ll wait, fingernails rapping on the table. Tp tp tp tp tp tp tp tp tp.

He isn’t some kind of pervert.

 

 :::

 

One day, years later, he finds someone.

Well...no. It’s not him that does the finding. This place is his favorite, a newly discovered spot that’s yet to let him down, and as soon as he enters he can sense that the shape of the room is different, distorted. As if someone has tilted the floor and sent everyone’s gazes rolling like marbles in one direction. Even his own eyes go, skittering over tables and stools to a light-haired figure at the close side of the bar. An ostentatious spot, for someone who is unaccompanied by either a person or a drink.

Well. Look at that.

For an instant, something overcomes the impatient coil in his belly — a different, more visceral thing — a memory of opening a classroom door and knowing there will be someone within who will raise their head off the desk and call out.

“Suguru,” the figure says. It’s more like a whine: Suguruuu. As if Suguru is late for something they agreed upon. Or as if Suguru has some blame for the next comment: “Nobody here knows what I like to drink.”

“No one uses real names here,” Suguru tells him. “You wear a blindfold now?”

“Do you like it? I think it looks way cooler. When I take it off during a fight, bam. The effect is really dramatic.”

“Is that what we’re going to do?” Suguru asks. “Have a dramatic fight?”

Gojo’s eyes are covered and still somehow Suguru has a feeling they’re glittering with mischief.

“If that’s what you’re here for, sure.”

You’re the one that’s here for something. This place is mine. Every eye of yours knows that.”

“Yeah,” Gojo admits. “They do.”

Gojo regards him, gazing through the white fabric of the blindfold, through flesh and blood. Too soon, he smiles, and then he says, “But I don’t need any extra eyes to know something else about you.”

 

:::

 

So unfair, that someone has all that power. One day, years ago, Suguru was distracted — he dipped out of Gojo’s “throw stationary at me” game early — he convinced the nurse to let him languish in the infirmary, though her brow furrowed at him when his temperature came out normal.

“Something I ate just went down wrong,” Suguru explained, truthfully, weakly. “I just want to rest.”

She believed him; she went for her break. Suguru waited, until he was sure the room was empty, until he was sure it seemed it would be for a while — and then, right when he had drawn the curtains around the bed and managed to work himself out of his zipper, the door opened again. Suguru curled up and turned to the wall so violently that the whole bed, which was on wheels, slammed and clattered against the wall.

Before he could do anything else, the intruder walked straight to his bed, and swept the curtains aside with a rattle.

“Hey,” Gojo said. “What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing.” Through gritted teeth. “Nothing’s the matter.”

“You can’t lie to me.” Not an accusation; just a fact. Six eyes, Suguru thought, but then Gojo said, “I know you way too well.”

“Something just went down wrong,” Suguru said, barely. “I just...need some rest.”

An even more stupid lie. His actual intentions would be obvious even to someone with a normal number of eyes. But Gojo wouldn’t know how sleeplessly Suguru spent the night previous, after ingesting his latest curse — how his whole body fevered, and turned against him, all pins and needles and bottomless pit — how his hand moved desperately to quench the fervor between his legs and found no relief after release, after release, after release.

It wasn’t like him, to feel this way. Once, Gojo had asked, with usual crassness, “Suguru, who in our class would you want to fuck,” and Suguru had had no answer — he had never been moved to wanting sex from anyone, whether in their class or not.

“Never? So even if someone offered it to you, however you liked it, no strings attached…you wouldn’t do it?”

“No strings attached? Isn’t that even worse?” What would the point be at all then? And what did “however he liked it” even mean? The mere idea of wanting any such thing was so far removed from his reality as to feel like a joke or a fiction, something that happened to real people with the same frequency as someone becoming some kind of magical superhero to save the world.

But now Gojo was looking at him; he was blinking. He was putting it together. His eyes glittered, with something like mischief.

Oh, Suguru thought suddenly. So this is how it feels.

Heart racing. Hands sweating. Eyes unable to escape the plush sheen of Gojo’s bottom lip, which Gojo was chewing, thoughtfully.

I’m always forcing you to throw things at me,” Gojo said. “Maybe I can help you out a little too. What do you think?”

“Throwing things at you is therapy for me,” Suguru mumbled. “Especially when I get through with one of the pens. I don’t…”

He clears his throat, in an unsuccessful attempt to strengthen his voice. “I don’t need anything.”

“Sure,” Gojo said. “But do you…want it?”

Suguru’s body answered for him; blood erupted to his cheeks, so quickly it was almost painful. He coughed and pretended to cover his mouth when what he was really doing was trying to cover his entire face.

He couldn’t lie to him. Gojo knew him too well. After a pause, Gojo peeled Suguru’s stiff fingers away from his face, one by one. Then, casually, as if turning over an insect, Gojo reached down, and rolled Suguru onto his back.

 

:::

 

Presently, Suguru considers.

I shouldn’t, comes the thought. I shouldn’t.

Even if it’s been days. Even if the curse is starting to force his mind and eyes to wander to any exposed nape and collarbone. Even if he’s starting to wake up with a gasp and an irritating need to change the covers.

I shouldn’t, comes the thought again. Not him.

Suguru closes his eyes. When he opens them, he finds that his hand has raised, on its own. The bartender nods in acknowledgment, and approaches, and frowns only slightly when Suguru exhales, and directs him to fill a shot glass with fruit juice. Gojo downs it, grinning.

“And what about you? Aren’t I supposed to get you something?”

“No need. I’ve been drinking all night,” Suguru says, scrolling to the taxi’s number on his phone.

“Wow, by yourself? Isn’t that kind of pathetic?”

Years and still he talks like it’s been just one school night since they’ve been apart, just one hour since their last text exchange. 

“Just passing time until I find a human,” Suguru says. Testing him. “I don’t fuck animals.”

With the blindfold, it’s hard to interpret Gojo’s smile. Amused? Bemused?

Gojo says, “I guess murder doesn’t make someone any less vanilla.”

 

:::

 

In the infirmary, Gojo removed his glasses, and leaned down, and kissed him, so faintly that the flutter of his lashes made more of an impression. Even so, the contact was a rush; Suguru’s breath halted, and the next kiss was deeper, firmer. Gojo’s smile pressed confidently into the gape.

That curse. He should have known something was different about this one, when it had rolled into a warm, purring orb so easily; he should have guessed that it wanted what poison wanted. Maybe if he were the strongest he would have known that a desire so powerful and perverted that it had become a curse was not the kind of thing that could be digested without first digesting.

Yesterday’s Suguru would find his pounding heart and persistent hardening completely unimaginable. With every further kiss his head lightened, and stupid doubts like Should I really be doing this? With Satoru? simply escaped his trembling fingers, drifted like balloons further and further and impossibly out of reach. Still, some last hesitation kept him from responding fully, and Gojo’s lips roved, brushed Suguru’s ear. He whispered, making Suguru’s body quake.

“What are you waiting for? It’s alright. Fucking someone isn’t that serious.”

Why was he so loud? Suguru strained, but couldn’t hear any passerby. He swallowed. “Is...is that so.”

“Sure. As long as we’re both on the same page.” And when Suguru still wavered: “You think too much. Take it from someone who wants to have sex with people even without some kind of aphrodisiac curse: all of that thinking just gets in the way.”

“Gets in the way of what?”

Gojo’s hand moved, downward. His fingers curled, squeezed; and Suguru, taken completely unawares, couldn’t stop the moan that emptied his lungs, the heat that surged directly from belly to brow.

“That,” Gojo said, almost — he was interrupted — by Suguru reaching up, and dragging his face down.

 

:::

 

Fucking someone isn’t that serious.

Even if, Suguru tells himself, that person is Gojo Satoru.

“A love hotel,” Gojo marvels as Suguru closes the door. “We’re real grown-ups now, huh?”

Real grown-ups, complete with real grown-up shitty love hotel. Suguru turns, loosening the top buttons on his shirt. Plain, simple clothes for a plain, simple tryst. He pauses after the first few to take Gojo’s face in his hands and kiss him, perfunctorily — guide him to bed — collapse there, with a bounce. Then, casually, Suguru reaches down, and rolls Gojo onto his back.

“I mean, it’s not great, but it’s way nicer than the infirmary,” Gojo breathes.

And after another kiss: “And the bathroom.”

And another: “And the classroom.”

And another: “And the scary old boiler room. Even after we exorcised it I couldn’t help feeling like something was watching us. You think someone had a camera in there, maybe? I wonder if we could get the footage.”

“You’re thinking too much,” Suguru muttered. Now that they’re here, that cursed, insistent itch he’s been suppressing is surfacing, with single-minded vengeance. It’s all he can do to not rip Gojo’s clothes off so he can be done with it.

“Do you want to or not?” Suguru asks. His hand moves, downward, seeking. Gojo has never needed a curse to get in the mood; the bulge in his pants is honest, if only halfway there. Suguru remedies the situation with a hand slipped and curled into Gojo’s unbuttoned waistband. Gojo laughs, only a little breathlessly.

“So confident. You’re pretty experienced now, huh? Just how many curses have you eaten?”

“Is that what this is?” Suguru asks. “Reconnaissance?”

“No,” Gojo admits. “Just sex with my best friend.”

Suguru snorts.

“Hey. I’m serious.”

“You better be. There was another human in that bar I could have used if all you wanted was to joke around.”

“Used,” Gojo echoes. As he says it, Suguru reaches into his back pocket. The condom’s plastic wrapper rustles, and Gojo lifts his head from the bed.

“You use protection? With everyone?”

“Of course.”

A pause. “Then you don’t have to with me.”

Suguru’s body shivers. Outwardly, he says, “Oh? Have you been using one with everyone else?”

“Who’s this everyone? I have kids now. I mean, students. I don’t have time for hookups.”

“You can have hookups even if you’re looking after a couple kids. You just need to manage your time effectively.”

“You’re right. It’s actually that I don’t want to fuck anyone else but you.”

“Then,” Suguru says, “act like it.”

Gojo kisses him. His aim is dead-on, even with the blindfold. Suguru had forgotten how well Gojo can use his rude mouth, forgotten the sharp heat and wet of his tongue, how neatly it stirs his groin to full alert. Suguru sighs; static ripples over his nape, his shoulder blades. They work the rest of each other’s buttons off, with familiarity, shrugging off and shedding their shirts.

This is better. This is the right pace. It’s been so long; the curse in his belly is as tight as a spring. But soon — soon —

Oh,” Gojo says, as his fingers fall on the barbell piercing Suguru’s left nipple. “This is cool. This is so hot. Is it more sensitive?”

A thrill goes through Suguru’s spine. He breathes: “Yes.”

“Is this how you ‘manage time effectively?’ Make it a little easier and faster to get you off when you need it?”

He’s too much. But before Suguru can come up with any kind of protest, Gojo stops talking, and uses his tongue to circle the areola — slow — slick. His nails draw lines across Suguru’s back and Suguru exhales shakily as Gojo’s tongue flattens, laps.

“Yes,” Suguru sighs, and Gojo leans in — with a suckle — metal clicking against his nibbling teeth. As usual his lips are pliant, and agile, and all-consuming. Their hips begin to buck together, finding an easy rhythm that Suguru is surprised to find he hasn’t completely forgotten. But, neither of them can take too much of that before they want more; they push each other away, hastily, to divest each other of the rest of their clothing, before re-aligning with haggard breath. A drawer beside the bed contains a handful of packets of lubrication; Suguru coats his finger, and presses it into Gojo’s backside, which yields with unexpected ease.

“So much for not having time,” Suguru says, using his other hand to stroke Gojo’s cock.

“I said I didn’t have time for hookups,” Gojo murmurs, quivering, spreading his legs wider. “Not dildos.”

“The strongest jujutsu sorcerer, popular with men and women and everyone else alike, satisfying himself with toys. Is no one worthy of the strongest?”

“What do you think I’m doing here?”

“I don’t know. This could be a front, for you to kill me after all.”

“Oh. Well, maybe after this. If you survive it.”

Enough noisy chatter. Fuck him, his body begs, go, go, and Suguru silences him with another kiss. Their tongues press, in and out, in waves — matching the rock and stroke of Suguru’s finger — deeper — deeper — and deeper still, with the second finger, the third. Gojo’s breath shallows, turns jagged, and then catches entirely when Suguru, buried, begins to caresses his insides with his fingertips, finding that point inside him that makes Gojo’s whole body constrict.

“Fuck. Fuck. A-ah — fuck.”

Gojo’s arms cross above his head and grip the sheets as Suguru stands, slides Gojo’s bottom half off the side of the bed, pumps himself to straining fullness and eases his tip to Gojo’s hole. He bottoms out in the first, slow thrust; their moans chorus.

The curse sings in his veins, reveling: so tight, so soft, so wet, so hot, yes, yes, yes. It’s been a while since he’s had the pleasure of someone’s flesh uninhibited by a bit of latex. Years. If it had been anyone else, Suguru wouldn’t have accepted the invitation, but…with Gojo —

Suguru watches. He remembers, how good it had once felt, and that memory clouds everything else out. He withdraws, slowly, and then slams himself inside again, eliciting a delicious whine.

Lust floods him; he’s spurred, greedily, by the sound of their slapping skin, the arch of Gojo’s back. Suguru raises Gojo’s heel over his shoulder, braces himself with an arm on the mattress, concentrates on the sensation. There’s always a wild moment when his blood rises, when — he feels — a kind of hungry violence, something that waters his mouth, something Suguru bows his face to hide from other partners, and which he does now, compulsively, until Gojo’s voice cuts through the haze.

“Hey. Take off my blindfold.”

Suguru halts.

I shouldn’t, comes the thought. I shouldn’t.

Little words, too quiet to stand up to the roar of blood in his ears. Suguru bends, low, lips parting. His teeth catch the blindfold and with one swift movement drags up over Gojo’s face, his hair. For the first time since that day on the busy street, their gazes cross.

Without the blindfold, the red-flushed gleam of Gojo’s sweat-beaded face is more apparent. His eyes catch the room’s dim light, crystalline beneath the fine pale plume of lashes. Suguru sucks in a breath as his chest clenches, deeply, exquisitely. His heart knocks, and sends a ripple through him, something that feels almost like pins, and needles, and bottomless pit.

He’d come to know Gojo’s body so well, before, and almost nothing is different — his hair, his voice, his every private mole is still in place. Caressing the faded, serrated scars on his nape and thigh, the only places his skin is marred, still invites the same heady groan. Suguru himself has picked up a couple new scars, scratches, even a bruise whose perimeter Gojo traces with his fingertip, as if not even this bit of weakness escapes notice.

Instinct swirls in him, boils. Suguru’s teeth grit. Energy seethes in his palms, as if Gojo Satoru were a being he could compress and swallow whole: every icy eye, every strand of hair, every scraping finger and centimeter of hot skin, every sound out of him that isn’t a needling jab, every drop of sweat that’s evidence of some mundane, human exertion. He wants it, all of it — to consume him completely, to have him closer than skin. Their fingers link, clench; Suguru pins Gojo’s hands behind his head and the muscles of Gojo’s straining chest heave as Suguru picks up the pace again, fast, rough. Their grips pulse, in time, nails leaving crescents of deepening red with every thrust. Suguru’s hair falls loose from its tie — slips, like a curtain — swirls in dark lines across Gojo’s face, catches in the corner of his panting mouth.

Suguru’s body is fully acclimated now to almost every possible side effect of taking in curses: the nausea, the headaches, the exhaustion, the malaise. This is the last thing he still can’t neatly fold, the only thing that he can’t resolve completely with his own two hands, the only thing that, instead of with a lozenge or plain porridge, has to be fed like this: the friction and squeeze and cry of another body around him, the bloom of salt on his tongue as his teeth close on a shuddering shoulder, the spasm of his body finally releasing.

Emptied, exhausted, Suguru slumps. Their stomachs, sticky with Gojo’s own release, slide noisily; but he finds himself too hollowed to clean himself, too feeble to even unclench his fingers. He stays like that for one moment. Another. They breathe together, inhales and exhales perfectly in time.

It’s Gojo, who moves first — a slight motion, almost imperceptible — an accident, probably, a twitch: his right hand, squeezing.

The instant he does it Suguru straightens, as slowly and unceremoniously as possible.

Withdraws his hands, to comb his long hair back over his forehead and into place.

He takes a long, loud breath in, to steady himself. The air in the room is cold, he realizes.

He doesn’t look back, even when the bed creaks, indicating that Gojo is sitting up.

 

:::

 

“There,” Gojo sighed, after, their first time. “Much better, right?”

“Right,” Suguru said, and hoped his voice sounded steady enough. “Much better.”

The tension was gone, for sure — his body felt — like his own again. He dared a glance over Gojo’s still-naked body and found his mind remained calm, reserved. Unplagued by intrusive flashes of fingers and tongues in places they really shouldn’t be normally.

And then —

Gojo swiped his hair out of his eyes, glanced over. His face was still a bit flushed; his eyes caught the room’s dim light, crystalline beneath the fine pale plume of lashes. And even though he was sure just a second earlier that the curse was put to rest, Suguru sucked in a breath as his chest clenched, deeply, exquisitely. Curdling like his tongue after Gojo pushed into it one of his tooth-aching, too-sweet candies.

“So,” Gojo said. “Anytime you feel this way again, let’s do it.”

Suguru’s mouth was dry. “Really,” he said.

“Really,” Gojo said, pointing at his pants on the floor. “Fucking someone isn’t that serious.”

“Ah,” Suguru said, picking them up and handing them over. “Right.”

 

:::

 

The bed creaks, again. Suguru can feel Gojo’s eyes on him. Now would be prime time for Gojo Satoru to open his mouth and puncture the atmosphere like a balloon.

Maybe, “There. Much better, right?”

Or a crass, “I almost expected you to have a piercing down there, too.

Or even, “What’s wrong with you? Fucking someone isn’t that serious.

All the air earlier was effervescent with their jabs and wanton moaning and now there is nothing. For the first time, it feels like it truly has been years. Deflated of its impulses, Suguru’s body feels like what it really is: not some entity incandescent with desire, but just...fallible meat, stuffed with curses. He rubs his chest.

I shouldn't have, he thinks. But he had already, years ago. 

In the end, Suguru turns, slightly, toward the bed; he sweeps his hand over the sheets, and finds Gojo’s blindfold. He holds it out, without looking.

After a moment, Gojo takes it.

 

:::

 

He had an apprehension, for some reason — something almost like a fear — that something would be different between them, unbearably different. But the next morning when Suguru opened the classroom door, Gojo’s head popped up from his desk. He called out, as usual.

“Suguru! You’re so late.”

“I’m early,” Suguru said. “No one else is even here.”

But Gojo was already waving his hand, not listening. “Come on, hurry. I want to show you something.”

Suguru rubbed his eyes, which were tender and itchy with sleeplessness. All those hours staring at the ceiling and thinking through what their next meeting might be like, whether he should admit that there was still some kind of probably-cursed soreness lingering in his chest even after the events of day previous, but Gojo was already dumping a handful of erasers and pens into his hands, and leading him out to the yard, where Suguru began flinging them all, obediently. This time, every single item bounced off him, even — Suguru blinked — every single pen.

“And now,” Gojo said, “the main event. Come here. Touch my hand.”

He raised his hand, palm up, facing outward. Bewildered, Suguru reached out — and —

Kept reaching. Startled, Suguru yanked his hand back as Gojo laughed.

This development was so sudden it took Suguru a moment to gather his words. “Is that…really Infinity? You can do it for something larger than stationary now?”

“Yup. Do it again,” Gojo told him, and Suguru spread his fingers — pressed — even, with a swallow, leaned his whole body into it, all to no avail. The air between their palms and fingertips remained heavy, impenetrable. No matter what he did, he couldn’t get close.