Hopelessly Lost at Sea @cynamonowo
Chapter 1

"I wish you would stop doing this. It is quite an inconvenience." A handful of ice cubes wrapped in a kitchen towel are pressed under Goro's eye, to which he lets out a hiss. Kitagawa shakes his head, pursing his lips. "I think you may have broken your cheekbone."

"No, I didn't. I checked for that," Goro replies tartly and reaches up to take the makeshift ice pack from Kitagawa. Their fingers brush together, but it takes a while before Goro takes a deep, purposeful breath and moves away from the touch, leaning back on their shitty couch. Kitagawa, as he sits down by Goro's side, watches him the entire time, his gaze cold and calculating. It's — unnerving. He's not the kind of person to look someone in the eye while weighing the pros and cons of their existence. He's not Goro.

Well. Except Goro has been with him for over three years now. Him, not Kurusu, because Kurusu's dead, he's no longer here to be a good influence. Recently, Goro realized he no longer remembers his voice — then he saw Kitagawa, lounging on the sofa, wrapped in a soft blanket Goro got just for him despite saying otherwise, sketchbook precariously balanced on his knees as he was wiping his glasses with meditative care. He was humming some music, which is, as Goro had quickly learned, a good sign. When Kitagawa's going through one of his depressive episodes, he stays silent like a corpse until he breaks down in tears. Every so often, it happens because of the memories of Kurusu.

And Goro is treading through blood so deep it's flooding his shoes, staining the crisp cotton of his pants and splashes against his ankles. He's lucky if he sleeps through the night without waking up because of a nightmare. The Sakura girl hasn't spoken to him since they and the rest of Phantom Thieves defeated the false god, but he knows she still calls Kitagawa her older brother.

"Goro-san," Kitagawa says, pulling Goro out of his reveries. He sounds tired — and finally looks away. "You have returned to the Metaverse, and please don't deny that." Goro closes his mouth and scowls. "You've been getting into fights."

"With Shadows," he confirms.

"Exactly. And I don't understand why." Kitagawa tilts his head, long fingers drumming out a quick rhythm on his knee as he considers his words for a while. "Perhaps — penance. Am I correct with such presumptions?"

"Don't be stupid," Goro says with careful disdain. His free hand covers Kitagawa's as he adds, "Let's drop this."

"If this is what you want," Kitagawa murmurs, shrugging. His skin, pale and unmarred save the paint stains, is barely any warmer than the ice pack, but Goro traverses it slowly, the bony wrist, the bared forearm, up and up until he cups Kitagawa's cheek, making him turn his head to face him. And Goro pulls him in for a long, deep kiss, open-mouthed and searing. Kitagawa's breath stutters, but he doesn't pull away, even as Goro slides his fingers into his hair, holding onto him. Goro drinks him in, and Kitagawa allows himself to be breathed in.

His. Kitagawa is his. And, if the gods played fair, he would be Kurusu's, and Goro would be the one dead. It's quite shitty, knowing that you're the bad ending of the game, but, well, it has happened. It is what it is. All you can do is deal with the fallout.

"Goro," Kitagawa whispers into his lips. Goro — doesn't open his eyes. Doesn't let the guilt trickle in, cool his blood or mess with his thoughts. He's alive, damn it, and he has to go on despite that.

1. Chapter 1 613 0 0