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i tried to pick my battles till the battle picked me

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music is sort of an escape for megumi. he likes to fall asleep to gentle melodies, to focus on the lyrics to distract himself from life. it brings him a peace of mind he didn't know could be achieved, quieting his soul and stilling his endless flood of thoughts.

he particularly likes the soft strum of acoustic guitars, so much he even picked it up himself. his fingers are worn with scars from the strings, but he finds them appealing compared to his battle scars. the guitar is tucked away in a corner of his room, but most people know he likes it because the walls of the dorm are pretty thin.

but then he meets yuuji, and yuuji becomes his favourite sound. yuuji's laugh, yuuji's voice, yuuji's heartbeat. the guitar starts to gather dust. when yuuji comes back after his 'death,' megumi finds himself unable to sleep unless he's comforted by the steady thumping of yuuji's heart. so yuuji lets him sleep in his bed, and yuuji sleeps in megumi's. yuuji never once questions megumi's habit, just rests a hand on his head and gently strokes his hair. megumi loves him for that.

megumi loves yuuji for a lot of things. he loves yuuji. and yuuji loves him. itadori yuuji loves fushiguro megumi. yuuji, whose laugh is the most joyous melody, whose presence is equivalent to that of the sun's, loves megumi. megumi and his scarred hands, his untameable hair, his incapability to show how he cares for someone; him. megumi thinks about that a lot.

he thinks about it so much that he gets his guitar back out. yuuji marvels at it, eyes wide and words of awe tumbling from his mouth at high speeds. megumi shushes him and begins playing an old american song he had memorised years ago. yuuji hums along, informing megumi that his grandfather often listened to this when he was still alive. megumi apologises, but yuuji laughs and says it's fine. megumi wants to kiss him.

he doesn't, but a few weeks later he plays another song for yuuji, one notorious for being super sappy and ideal for love confessions. yuuji smiles and presses a kiss to megumi's cheek, joking about how he's mad that megumi beat him to it. megumi relaxes, lays the guitar down and pulls yuuji into a hug. yuuji wordlessly accepts it, wrapping his arms around his waist. he's warm.

one night, they're lying face to face in megumi's bed, radio playing quietly in the background, when megumi sees yuuji cry for the first time.

"hey, megumi?" yuuji whispers.

"hmm?"

"do you think... do you think we can have a happy ending?" yuuji says. he avoids megumi's gaze. "you know, like in the fairytales, where the prince and the princess get married and live happily ever after."

megumi bites his lip, tugging the duvet over his face. he's not about to cry in front of yuuji. "...yeah," he mumbles. he doesn't know who he's trying to comfort.

"you do? really?" yuuji's voice cracks as if he too is on the verge of tears.

megumi sniffs. "anything's possible if it's with you."

yuuji falls asleep first that night. megumi's heart breaks when he sees his swollen eyes. he silently vows to never let yuuji cry again, and hugs him close before he sleeps.

months pass, and things get worse before they get better. too many people have died, too many tears have been shed. but yuuji is still here, face a little more rugged than it once was, more scars littering his body, but he's still yuuji. megumi knows they've all changed. but he still wishes things could go back to the way they once were.

megumi, yuuji and nobara are fighting a curse one day when everything turns to shit. it's a measly grade three, maybe a two at best, something the three of them could easily manage together. there are a couple of smaller curses too, and they're not exactly strong. but when the curse starts producing blades from its body, all the warning signs go off in megumi's head. he turns to nobara; she's fine, holding off the smaller ones as yuuji attacks the bigger one.

yuuji. megumi finds him, sees his fist reared back for a punch as he closes in on the curse. he lands the hit, and the curse topples back, but a blade launches from its foot and—

megumi is there in an instant. yuuji is shoved to the floor, yelling in protest until he looks up. blood splatters onto his cheek, his eyes widen and he screams silently.

"m-megumi," yuuji stammers, voice hoarse. megumi's ears are ringing, his vision blurring, and he collapses into yuuji's arms.

megumi faintly registers nobara yelling something in the background, and he assumes the curse has been taken care of.

"yuuji," he murmurs, unsure whether his voice gets out. "i'm sorry."

"no, no, don't apologise! you're fine, we'll get you back to ieiri-san and you'll be fine—"

"we're too far away for that," megumi says. he tries to raise his hand and yuuji guides it to his cheek, shushing megumi gently. "i wanna… i wanna tell you…"

"save it! you'll be fine, we'll get you back in time —nobara, is gojo-sensei on his way— see, gojo-sensei will be here with ieiri-san any minute and you'll be okay—"

megumi cuts him off abruptly, uses the last of his strength to push himself up and kiss yuuji softly on the lips. it's salty from yuuji's tears and metallic from all the blood, but megumi could care less. he looks into yuuji's eyes for the last time.

megumi wishes he could hear yuuji laugh again, hear him hum along as megumi plays a stupid love song for him on his guitar. none of those songs ever managed to capture all the love he feels for yuuji, though. he hopes that maybe, he'll be reborn into a world where happiness exists and life is easy. he wants to be with yuuji forever, wants to protect him and cherish him and love him forever. megumi knows that he can't, though. because life isn't fair.

"live a long life, yeah?" megumi whispers. he knows yuuji had told him the same thing once before, and here he is ignoring that. oh, well. it was a good life, for the most part.