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forget the world

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Sometimes Naegi just can’t use his shower. He grabs a towel, jiggles the doorknob just right, and swings open the door. He takes a glance at the floor of the shower and sees pink, bright enough to blind, and slams the door behind him as he leaves his dorm.

He knocks on Togami’s door without looking at the nameplate, the path from his dorm to here familiar at this point. He clutches his towel tightly to his chest, trying to focus on the sensation of the cloth against his bare neck rather than the uncomfortable prickling of his skin. It only takes a few moments for the door to swing open, and Naegi immediately steps into the room, ignoring Togami’s surprised, “Naegi?”

“I’m gonna shower.” He mutters, moreso as a reminder to himself than an explanation to Togami. He feels a little fuzzy, his stomach twisting on itself as though there’s a knife--

The bathroom door opens easily, and the slam of it behind him and the coolness of metal against his palm is enough to let Naegi’s head clear a little. He takes in a breath and forces himself to slow down and process his surroundings.

He knows this bathroom is identical to his own. The toilet and sink are exactly where his own are, the mirror perfectly clean on the wall, the shower the same model. But Sayaka wasn’t found on this bathroom floor. There isn’t any tint of pink (imaginary or not) on the tiled floor. It isn’t his bathroom, so Naegi allows himself to dump his towel on the lid of the toilet and turn the shower on.

There isn’t much time until the water shuts off, so he doesn’t wait for the hot water to kick in and steps in as soon as he’s stripped. The water makes him shivery, a little more shaky than he usually is, and he drops the shampoo bottle when he goes to grab it. It clatters loud and seems to echo throughout the room, even over the noise of the shower. On the floor shampoo has splattered everywhere, and Naegi has to close his eyes tightly then open them a few times before his brain processes that the shampoo is white, not pink.

He rushes to wash his hair and body, not thorough in the slightest and just wanting his hair to be less greasy and his skin to smell less like cheap body spray. It’s not until he’s turned the shower off that he realizes that he doesn’t have any other clothes with him.

He doesn’t really care, he decides. He picks up his own scattered on the floor to give them a smell and winces, then tosses them back down. He looks at them for a moment, then, for good measure, pushes them into a puddle of water. It makes him feel oddly prideful.

He pushes open the bathroom door and is immediately aware how cold Togami’s room is. The chill sticks to the back of his neck and his bare stomach where water has trickled down to the towel wrapped around his hips, and he shivers. 

Togami is on his bed, back propped against the headboard as he reads a book. He glances at Naegi, then back at his book, then back at Naegi again as though he’s actually seeing him this time. “Can I help you?”

“I, uh. Need clothes.” Naegi raises a hand to push his hair back. It’s wet enough that it stays in place after his hand falls back to his side. “Please.”

Togami lets out a sigh and dogears the page of his book before he sets it down and stands up. “First you steal my shower, now my clothes.” He sounds annoyed, but Naegi knows that if he were truly in a bad mood he wouldn’t have even opened the door for him in the first place. After a moment of rummaging through one of his drawers, Togami throws a shirt and a pair of boxers Naegi’s way. “If you ruin those, you’re paying for them.”

Naegi doesn’t bother to bring up that the clothes are definitely provided by the school, instead focusing on catching the clothes in one hand while holding up his towel with the other. He barely manages, his towel on the brink of slipping down as he reaches out and catches the shirt. He still has to drop down to pick the boxers up off the floor, though, and by the time he’s returning to the bathroom Togami is back to his book.

He can faintly hear the nighttime announcement as he changes, and he stops to plug his ears for a full minute until he’s sure it’s done. He toes his dirty clothes into a corner of the bathroom and catches sight of himself in the mirror, and can’t help but stare. His hair is dripping down the back of his neck onto the white shirt Togami’s given him, making the neckline almost transparent. It hangs almost to the edge of his boxers, which thankfully fit him a bit better. He leans in close to the mirror to look at the bags under his eyes, the acne on his forehead, his chapped lips. A drop of water hitting his nose makes him snap out of his slight daze, and he grabs his towel to rub it over his hair. The rough sensation grounds him, and by the time he dumps his towel in the corner with the rest of his stuff, he feels a little better.

When he steps out of the bathroom again, he’s finally able to take in Togami’s room. He’s been here before, of course, but it’s rare that he’s either a) not preoccupied by Togami’s mouth on his own or b) actually feeling normal, or as close to normal as it gets in Hope’s Peak. Plus, it’s not like he’s ever really focused on the state of his room; it’s not messy , per say-- maybe sloppy? Books are stacked on the table, and clothes peek out of the tops of drawers. Paper is spread across the top of one of the cabinets. The sheets are coming off the corner of his bed. It doesn’t look like the room has been vacuumed or dusted since they’ve arrived.

“Do you have a maid?” Naegi asks without thinking. The question startles Togami, and the book snaps closed in his hand. 

“I did. Why, were you hoping that we had an opening?” He looks at Naegi with distaste. He’s changed into his pajamas, Naegi notices.

“I, um, no?” He shrinks into himself a little, a growing sense of wrongness creeping up on him-- it’s suddenly hard to tell if Togami is really annoyed or not. The room abruptly feels much larger than it had before, the floor a little colder beneath his feet. “Your room is just a little, um. Untidy?”

“Did you really come here just to steal my clothes and shower, and then critique the state of my dorm?” Togami sounds unimpressed. “The nighttime announcement went off, perhaps you should go back to your own room--”

“Can I stay here?” Naegi blurts, interrupting.

Togami blinks. “Your manners are appalling.”

Naegi doesn’t respond, just looks pleadingly at him. 

Togami sighs and returns his gaze to his book. “Fine.” He clicks his tongue in disapproval that Naegi now realizes isn’t genuine in the slightest, and relief blooms in his chest. “First my shower, then my clothes and now my bed… steal my toothbrush, too, while you’re at it…” 

“Oh, I already did.” Naegi tries as hard as possible to sound nonchalant as he slips under the covers of Togami’s bed. Next to him Togami splutters and almost drops his book, and it’s such a knee jerk reaction that Naegi cracks, snorting and tugging the covers over his head to muffle his laughter. The bed is warm, the blanket close around him, and he thinks he feels better.

“You’re disgusting.” He hears from under the blanket. There’s absolutely no heat behind it, and Naegi figures he’s safe enough to resurface.

“You’re the one who hasn’t dusted since we got here.” 

“You dust?” Togami looks at him over the top of his book, incredulous.

“Mhm.” Naegi nods as he settles into the bed, his legs bumping into Togami’s under the blankets. The strong sense of unease nagging at the back of his head continues to quiet down as Togami pushes against him, the banter so familiar it’s a comfort.

“You’re hogging the blankets.”

“I literally just got into the bed, Togami, I can’t be.”

“Well, you are.”

“Well, you’re wrong.”

They go back and forth like that. Togami’s book is long forgotten as the lights finally dim into darkness, and Naegi gives himself permission to pull in close to Togami, tucking his head into his chest and wrapping an arm around his waist. Togami lets out a small, undignified noise and goes tense for a moment, and Naegi goes to pull away but a hand on his back only pushes him closer.

“Go to sleep, Naegi.” Togami’s voice is low.

Naegi listens.