A persistent ringing drags Junpei out of a fever dream. His consciousness settles uncomfortably into his aching body.
His pounding headache also returns as he reluctantly becomes aware of his dimly moonlit surroundings.
His small studio apartment room is dark, only illuminated by the stairwell light through the crack under the door, and the moon peeking through the closed blinds.
His jeans have chafed and numbed both his legs.
Half of his face is marinating in his drool-soaked pillow.
He doesn't move, blinking slowly and indignantly at having been woken by some rude ass in the middle of the night, this night, the first night he was supposed to actually get some sleep after the past several days of THE most traumatizing and stressful events he had ever experienced in all his 21 years.
He'd been so tired from everything and then the questioning that he'd simply passed out the second he got back to his apartment, as unsafe as he still couldn't help but feel in it.
He'd just thrown himself onto his bed, filthy clothes and all and blissfully lost consciousness until right now.
Yet somehow he'd woken up in worse shape than when he fell asleep, and that was really saying something.
He considers checking the time on his phone. He considers checking the time on his watch-
The room spins and he clamps his eyes shut, burying his face in his sopping pillow and tries not to be sick.
Someone is abusing the dissonant doorbell to his tiny apartment. It grows more insistent as a young, thin and reedy voice calls through the thin door,
"Hello, Hellooooo? Excuse meeee valued-customerrrr, gotta deliveryyyyyy... Heyyyy, pizza deliveryyyyyy..."
The voice was only just loud enough to be heard through the door out of consideration for his sleeping neighbors, and their tone was polite in stark contrast to the impatient ringing.
Junpei groans, muffled.
The delivery driver must have the wrong address. Junpei has been asleep for probably like two days by now. He at least knows it was day when he got home and he definitely didn't order a freaking pizza.
His stomach turns again and he curls up.
He can't even think about food.
The visitor starts knocking.
But they also keep ringing.
"I have two pizzas here for this apartmennnnnnt~"
Junpei idly wonders how they're holding pizza with both hands occupied.
"Excuse meeeee... Valued-customerrrrr... Excuse me valued-customer at apartment number..... "
The delivery driver sounds whinier as they lose patience. The doorbell is almost a solid tone.
They must be in a hurry for another delivery after this, or maybe their shift is almost over...
"Coming, coming," he calls hoarsely, "keeps your pants on..." He mutters the last part under his breath.
Groaning more internally, Junpei hoists himself to a seated position with some irritation, and with more willful coaxing out of bed. He hobbles to the door in a fog.
He fumbles around his pockets for his phone, which, of course, isn't in his pockets. He actually still has no idea where it is.
He almost walks directly into the door in his stupor, but after a few tries of slapping the door blindly he finds the lock and knob through the haze.
"Yes, sorry, I was sleeping, and I didn't order any pizza, you have the wrong add-"
Junpei barely pulls the door open before the delivery kid pushes their way into the apartment with the pizza carrying box, shoving Junpei back inside.
"Why, thank you for your invitation, I accept, valued-customer!" they chirp, kicking the door closed shut behind them.
Junpei staggers back off-balance, tripping on a pile of clothes and a shoe.
Fear was rapidly filling his body with adrenaline and his stomach drops with the threat of another home invasion.
The delivery kid grabs his arm with a surprisingly strong grip and steadies him from taking a dive.
"Wow, dude, you're worse off than I thought if you're this out of it."
Junpei was caught further off-guard by how completely different their voice sounded just then, but he didn't have time to be surprised as life, and pizza boxes, kept coming for him.
The kid coughed awkwardly into the elbow of their pizza box arm, swinging them around abruptly and nearly smacking Junpei in the face.
"Hey, watch it, man!" Junpei protests, shoving them away and knocking their uniform hat off. Extremely unsettling that some dark furry thing flew off into the shadows with it.
"Hey- Keep your voice down-!" they hissed.
Junpei bristled further.
"What the hell?! What do you want-?! Why the fuck are you in my apartment?! Wh-"
His jumbled thoughts were further tossed by a flash of silver momentarily blinding him as the kid stepped forward and passed through a streak of moonlight. His panicked mind summoned images of angels, demons, elves, and fae as the silver mane settled to frame their face like a halo.
He was enraptured.
In the split second stunned pause, he tried to comprehend the sight through the pain and fog.
Young, about his age, with piercing ice-blue eyes, adorned with long, thick black lashes and perfect winged eyeliner, that bore directly into his soul.
They were gorgeous, but they couldn't be. They couldn't be real, they couldn't be here. They were wrong.
The world spun faster and his legs threatened to give out.
"Wait a-- Ao-MMPH?!" They yank Junpei forward by the arm, tossing the pizza box behind him as they pin him to their side and clamp their hand over his mouth.
Junpei reflexively grabs at their shirt and belt to keep from falling.
"Shut it, moron, no one knows I'm here," they hiss in his ear.
"Don't say that name; who knows who's listening."
Junpei nods rapidly, eyes glazing over as the motion rattles his sinuses.
Unable to breathe through his nose, his panic resurges. He only has the strength to struggle weakly, but he tries to shove Aoi away anyway.
He only succeeds in nearly throwing himself backwards onto the floor over the same shoe.
Aoi tries to steady his fall again, this time with an arm around his back, but when he steps forward to counter the Advanced Swoon, he trips over that goddamn shoe.
They topple over onto a pile of clothes, Junpei thinks with a flash of clarity, luckily the clean pile.
That clarity is immediately lost however when his head connects with the side of his bed, and further when Aoi knocks the wind out of him by landing square on top of him.