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Kaneki woke up to the sound of rain thudding against the window. The blaring red digits on the clock read 08:34 but it was still considerably dark outside. Where was he? He sat up, feeling the weight beneath him sink. All that surrounded him was darkness.

For a moment, he panicked, forgetting where he was. It was dark. The kind of dark that clung to him, as if it was trying to crawl under his skin. It was really dark. It was dark, like that room- the room where he was blindfolded- the room with the black and white checkered tile floor - with Jason - oh fuck-

His breathing was becoming heavier -

The room which he was strapped to a chair, and the sound of his fingers breaking again and again were all that he could hear, oh fuck, oh fuck -

He was shaking now -

What's 1000 minus 7? No it's not real not real not real… Rize-san, Rize-san, It's all because of YOU - Do you know what kind of sound you hear when you put a live centipede in your ear? - FUCKING STOP IT - 993, 986… - It's better to be hurt than to - no, no, no... i exist, i exist, i exist -

His train of thoughts was suddenly stopped, and he could feel a warm hand on his shoulder now, rubbing it soothingly in comfort. "Kaneki? What's wrong?" a familiar voice called.

The very words of the person radiated comfort and concern, it was all too familiar and Kaneki was anchored back into reality by the sheer familiarity of it.

"H-hide, I-I.." he mumbled, suddenly realizing he was hyperventilating. He had his hands buried in his hair and a thin sheet of cold sweat on his forehead. "..Is..Is this real?" he managed meekly. It was soft but Kaneki could almost swear he heard a woman's voice calling out to him just now.

Kaneki-kun, let me gently scramble up your insides

No, NO, NO, Rize is dead, she's dead she's dead she's fucking dead...

Kaneki started whimpering quietly while rocking back and forth.

Hide sat up, clearly concerned now and flipped on the bedside lamp to see what was wrong. Squinting from the sudden brightness, he was met with a mentally wrecked Kaneki, who was staring wide-eyed at nothing in particular. It was apparent that he wasn't okay. Seeing this, it was as if his insides being completely shattered. He immediately wrapped his arms around the ghoul, which earned him a bruise on the forearm where he was grasped too hard from the shock but he didn't really care at the moment.

"This is real, buddy. It's okay. You're okay now." Hide reassured him calmly although he was sure inside he was everything except calm. His heart felt like it was run over by a truck seeing his boyfriend in such a state. But he knew he had to be calm in order to comfort him.

Kaneki's breathing slowed down gradually, soaking in everything that was happening, the hallucinations of Jason, Rize, everything, pushed out of his mind. In it's place, his mind was preoccupied with the comforting warmth of the blonde boy's body. He couldn't help but notice the smell of fresh laundry out of the dryer and shampoo lingering on his skin. It was familiar. It felt like home. Hide felt like home. He was home. The only one he has.

Kaneki wrapped his arms around the other's waist and leaned his head against his shoulder. For a moment, they sat in comfortable silence together on the bed, the only sound being heard was the rain pouring outside the apartment. "..I'm okay?" Kaneki asked after a while. Hide smiled and kissed his hair. "Of course you are, dummy."

Kaneki sighed softly and finally relaxed. Hide in return nuzzled against his hair as they listened in silence to the quiet rain. They stayed like that for what seemed like a while, but Hide didn't mind, as long as Kaneki was okay. It wasn't the first time something like this had happened. It wasn't often that Kaneki was able to even sleep, but when he did; all that he would do was drown in his seemingly endless nightmares and wake up covered in cold sweat, hyperventilating violently. Through Yoshimura's consultation, he'd taken medication to treat this problem, but it wasn't making much of a difference.

"Wanna tell me what's on your mind?" Hide asked. Kaneki stared blankly at nothing. His mind was too hazy to form coherent sentences so he simply let his mouth run on autopilot. "I don't know it's just that I feel strange, or maybe everything is strange or maybe it's both, but I don't know.. Everything is just really confusing and I feel so heavy like my bones weigh 100 pounds."

Hide didn't really know what to say. He simply offered silence in response, urging him to go on.

"Will the rain ever stop? For a long time now, it's been cold," Kaneki said, although it was so low that it was barely even a whisper.

Hide held his hand and rubbed his knuckles gently. He had a feeling that Kaneki wasn't referring to the rain pouring outside.

"Don't worry if it's stormy now, flowers need rain to grow," Hide replied and squeezed his hand. Kaneki was quiet for a while, like he was taking it in slowly.

"Okay."

Hide readjusted their positions so he was lying against the headboard and Kaneki was lying on his chest. They stayed like that for some time, with the company of the rain outside.

"The rain's been pouring for so long that it seemed as if it'd forgotten how to stop," Kaneki observed.

Hide sighed. "Yeah."

"Hide..?" Kaneki asked.

"Yeah?"

"I love you," he said.

Hide's heart thumped hard against his chest. He was sure his cheeks were reddening by the minute now. It wasn't the first time Kaneki said it, but those three simple words never failed to make his heart react in the weirdest ways possible. What a weirdo. He was sure he wouldn't get used to it no matter how many times he heard him say it.

"I love you too, you nerd," he said kissing him on his forehead, which got a smile out of the white-haired boy.

"Hey, you finally smiled!" Hide said, an own grin spreading across his lips. Kaneki's smile widenned. "I guess I did."

They looked at each other for a while, not saying anything. Hide was smiling wide, all he could think about was how cute his boyfriend looked with his messy bedhair and softened eyes and rosey cheeks and- Ah! It should be illegal to be this cute, really!

"Hmm, you're really cute you know," Hide murmured, still fixated on how fluffy his hair looks. Kaneki chuckled, "Am I?"

He wrapped his arms tighter around the other's and inched closer towards him. Hide wanted to say something in response but decided to kiss him instead. Kaneki kissed back, and Hide thought his lips tasted like coffee of all things before pulling away and bonking their foreheads together. "I looove you," Hide sang.

"You're dumb."

"I love you so so much," Hide said while nuzzling their noses against each other.

Kaneki kissed him again.

"I love you so much that it makes me sick," Hide said.

"I love you too, Hide," Kaneki said smiling.

With a huff, the blond boy got out of bed sluggishly, pulling his boyfriend along towards the kitchen. "Hmm also, maybe you should up the dosage on your meds," Hide suggested, while holding his hand.

Kaneki considered it - his depression has been hitting him harder as of late. Though, it wasn't easy getting pills which ghouls could consume. It took multiple backhand deals just to aqcuire the meds he had now. Not to mention the cost of these things. Ah.. he needed to work again if he wanted to afford more medication; he was short on money. Asking Hide for help was out of the question. Hide had done so much for him all this time, and it would be ridiculous to ask anymore from the guy. Besides, this was part of the ghoul trade that a human should never get involved with.

Heading to the kitchen, Kaneki made two cups of coffee while Hide got a bowl of cereal for himself.

"So what you wanna do today?" Hide asked as he poured the milk into the bowl.

Kaneki watched the dark liquid swirl in his cup. "I don't really feel too well today."

"It's okay, we can stay home and play some video games or something," Hide reassured him. Kaneki smiled, grateful for having the best boyfriend in existence. Knowing Hide, he'd probably wanted to have went out today, considering it was a day-off for him. But he'd rather spend it with him indoors instead. He really was a lucky guy. "Thank you."

Hide flashed a grin, "No worries."