they are sitting on the humid grass outside, basking in the pleasant warmth of the slowly disappearing sun, dusk already painting the scenery with rich orange and purple hues.
shoulders touching and minds at ease, yuji absently starts to hum a gentle melody, drawing megumi’s attention who slightly turns his head to gaze fondly at his friend.
he stays silent, closes his eyes and lets himself be carried away by yuji’s warm and mellow voice for a few minutes, until all that is left to hear is a soft and wistful sigh and the tender whispers of the evening wind.
megumi opens his eyelids, heart soaring and fluttering when he notices yuji’s warm and caring eyes staring into his own.
and it feels like someone stole the air right from his lungs, his breath hitches, his cheeks burn pleasantly.
“that was... nice, where did you learn that?” he murmured in a voice that couldn’t have been louder than a whisper.
yuji’s expression suddenly turns nostalgic, he smiles sadly, diverts his gaze for a few seconds before looking back at megumi, his eyes glistening with unshed tears.
“oh, it’s just... my grandpa, he had that CD player and when i was little he used to play some songs to help me fall asleep, and-” he sniffles “that one song really stuck with me for some reason, and yeah...”
“i really miss him...”
he brings a hand up to wipe the few tears that managed to escape, but megumi beats him to it, caressing a damp cheekbone with the back of his fingers, stroking a thumb along his reddening skin to dry his cheeks properly.
and yuji stills at first, then leans into the touch, can feel in the way the tips of megumi’s fingers brush almost lovingly against his cheek everything that he cannot convey with words and he sighs, relishing the feeling of megumi’s soft skin against his, leaning towards him progressively, just like the tide is attracted to the moon, just like the force of gravity on a falling feather.
and megumi cradles his cheek tenderly, slides his fingers along his temple and through his short hair, before settling his palm against the soft curve of his jaw.
one last stroke of a thumb against the soft skin under yuji’s eye, and megumi’s hand goes back to where it was, palm flat against the grass and closer to yuji’s hand than he remembers.
yuji almost keens, misses the warmth of megumi’s hand, he feels very cold all of a sudden.
megumi looks perfect. the tints of the already dusky sky and the sparse sunrays making his appearance look almost ethereal, his long lashes brushing against his sharp cheekbones each time he blinks. and yuji’s heart swells almost painfully.
what did he even do in his previous life to deserve megumi, he will never know. megumi is like a blessing, his blessing.
he wants to make megumi his, and no one else’s, wants to love him, to cherish him for the rest of their short lives.
but he can’t. not in this cursed world where everything is exorcise or die, kill or be killed. not when yuji is just a once cheerful boy with a death sentence hanging above his head, not when he isn’t even human anymore, bound to consume all evil on earth until the hierarchy decides when he’s served his purpose, eventually discarding him like a tool.
there is no room for love in this world.
and he can feel his resolve crumbling like crisp autumn leaves beneath a hasty sole. can feel his heartbeat wavering, chest and stomach tightening with a feeling akin to that which one feels before going down the abrupt slope of the very first drop of a rollercoaster.
and everything suddenly feels too much.
and yuji can feel his thoughts spiralling out of control already.
he cannot breathe, cannot hear, cannot see-
and he feels the timid stroke of megumi’s pinky against his own, and that wrenches him out of his emotional turmoil, tethers him back to reality, and he feels calm at last.
megumi is staring at him tenderly, reassuringly;
and yuji wants to kiss his lips, sweet and slow, especially when he is looking at him with such a soft, gentle expression etched on his relaxed features.
oh, to hell with it all, he-
“i love you.”
he blinks. these words, it isn’t yuji who utters them.
megumi’s lips are still parted as he breathes out the last syllable of his unexpected confession.
his expression is soft and vulnerable, it almost mirrors the one he bore on that rainy day at the juvenile detention center. he looks like he could burst into tears at any moment, but he has never looked so open and trusting before.
time seems to stop, and so does yuji’s heartbeat.
and megumi’s gentle eyes are still staring right into his,
and just like a magnet, yuji is drawn towards megumi, raises a hesitant hand to tenderly grip the juncture of megumi’s shoulder and neck, he tilts his head ever so slightly, feels their noses brushing lightly.
he answers in a choked voice, his throat tight with raw emotions, tight with the raging and burning affection he feels towards megumi,
“i love you too…”
and when megumi tenderly cups his cheek and, with a delicacy so overwhelming yuji feels warm tears pushing against his eyelids, he presses their lips together sweetly,