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In the Shadow of the Sun

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“You will count each strike,” Suguru says, palming the curves of Satoru’s ass, neatly upturned. “Twenty today.”

“Twenty? What for?” Satoru asks, kneeling. And then, “What if I don’t wanna?”

“Then I walk away and you can stay here by yourself.” Suguru presses down at the small of Satoru’s back, where the wrists cross under the intersection of rope.

“I can be good,” Satoru whines into the sheets. She tilts her hips with as much give as Suguru allows, maximizing access to the unblemished skin of her buttocks. It’s a good angle; Satoru’s never been made to wait for what she wants. “Come on, I can be so good.”

Suguru doesn’t give her time to prepare, striking down one cheek solidly with the meat of her palm in a loud crack.

“Fuck!” Satoru spasms. “I wasn’t ready!” The usual lies; her cunt is glistening with anticipation. One side immediately blooms vivid red.

“Count,” Suguru reminds her.

“Fuck you!” And, before Suguru moves to walk away, “Fine, fine, one!” It’s for show, of course, because this is how Satoru likes it, the clench of her fists and curl of her toes, the pure physicality of ceding control.

Suguru strikes again, alternating sides. Satoru’s entire body jerks, but a grunt this time. Suguru waits a beat, and before she can change her mind, Satoru pouts, “Two.” Now both cheeks are matching. This is a rhythm they can manage, a steady call and response until Suguru has to switch hands midway through.

During the pause, she checks in. “Color?”

“Green for go,” Satoru confirms.

“And that is why we’re going to twenty today,” Suguru explains, and finally metes out all twenty strikes, the last five earning stuttering gasps from Satoru. Both of her palms are throbbing, but she’s satisfied with her work as she studies the tableau.

Satoru’s ass is warm and red like ripe peaches, her cunt dripping onto the sheets. “Twenty,” Satoru finishes, a soft sob emitting from her throat.

“Good girl,” Suguru coos, massaging the meat of Satoru’s buttocks and digging in when Satoru groans. “You were so good for me.” She rubs some more until the tension in Satoru’s body eases, and her fists unclench. Suguru lets her fingers wander slowly southward to find Satoru’s slick folds, pushing them apart and dipping in and out shallowly to gather wetness, deliberately circles around touching everywhere except where Satoru wanted. She strokes idly, and then with no preamble flicks Satoru’s clit.

“Ah!” Satoru jerks, a strummed wire of anticipation. “Don’t I get my reward?”

“If you finish the job.” Suguru straightens up, and uses the residual slick on her strap.

With her hands trussed behind her back, Satoru can only shuffle on her knees to position herself. Suguru helps a bit, lining up the cock at Satoru’s pussy lips and pushing in just the tip. Satoru moans open mouthed, pressing the side of her face against the sheets as she pushes back, her cunt stretching to accommodate the bright pink silicone during the inexorable inward slide. It’s a big one, which is why Satoru picked it, even though it’s too heavy for Suguru’s tastes. Satoru liked having to take it.

“Go on,” Suguru tells her, settling back to enjoy the view. “I’m not doing all the work. Go fuck yourself.”

True to form, when it comes to Getou Suguru, Gojo Satoru is very good at fucking herself.

 

***

 

Suguru didn’t really believe in idle rumors and gossip, so she had mostly listened with half an ear when Shoko mentioned that the nearest thing to jujutsu sorcerer royalty was joining their first year class, a practical princess on top of that.

“If she’s so precious, why would they even let a girl like that attend the technical college?” Suguru had asked Shoko. Her knowledge of jujutsu society was still a work in progress, her recruitment into the school a whirlwind sequence of events culminating in the sensation that this was it, this was her calling, a role that would give her actual purpose rather than rote memorization of textbooks and a future locked into place by a test score on a leaderboard and some office job that hired her for her looks and dumped her on the first whiffs of pregnancy. The recruiter didn’t sugarcoat it, she knew being a jujutsu sorcerer was terrifying and deadly, of course, as all curses were, but she knew this was what she wanted, to be a jujutsu sorcerer serving an actual purpose, making use of her skills and protecting those who couldn’t protect themselves. Plus the pay wasn’t bad.

“The technical college is an institution aligned with the old clans, I guess it’s basically an expectation that the old clans would send their heirs to attend,” Shoko had explained. “Besides, our first year class is going to be all female at this rate, I’m sure they’re thinking we can’t get into that much trouble.”

Suguru hadn’t thought much of what trouble actually constituted, until it manifested in the form of Gojo Satoru, who was more delinquent than princess. She vaguely resembled the part, maybe as tall as Suguru but slimmer in the shoulders and hips, and not nearly as much mass, the long white hair and sunglasses lending a cultured air of mystery. Then the illusion was shattered when Gojo slouched in her chair with her legs spread wide and couldn’t be so much as bothered to use polite address.

Suguru could feel the weight of Gojo’s stare from behind her sunglasses (who wore sunglasses indoors anyway?) in way that raised her hackles, because every sense she had told her Gojo Satoru was endowed with not only ample cup size but also an outrageous amount of cursed energy, and Gojo did nothing more with it than sleep through class, neglect her assignments, and find every opportunity to question why she needed to do anything like an overgrown toddler with the mouth of a sailor.

“I already know the basic shit,” Gojo had explained disdainfully when Yaga called her out. “Can’t I just skip to the practical exercises?”

And so, here they were, on their very first collaborative practical exercise, hunting down a semi-first grade as a first year because Gojo Satoru couldn’t keep her mouth shut. Or trying to, anyhow, if things didn’t go to shit.

“You should have gotten out of the way,” Gojo told her as she pressed down on Suguru’s thigh to stop the bleeding. “I would have just exorcised it.”

“The objective was for me to catch it,” Suguru gritted out between her teeth. “Now you just cost me a second grade cursed spirit and we’ve got nothing to show for it. Aren’t you supposed to be good?”

“Fuck you, I am. I’ve never worked with a cursed spirit user before.” Gojo, to her credit, still kept painful pressure on the wound. Suguru supposed she had some sense of responsibility, since it was Gojo’s cursed technique that exploded the second floor windows along with her cursed spirit and sent shrapnel flying everywhere. “Damnit, if Shoko wasn’t such a coward, hiding in the car—”

“Shut your damn mouth,” Suguru interrupted, tamping down her own fury. “What if it wasn’t me but Shoko who got mangled thanks to your carelessness? You’re not the only one with a rare technique, at least she can help me, even if I have to crawl back to her.”

Gojo worked her jaw a few times, and miraculously opted to stay silent. Suguru sat in silence as her leg throbbed to the pulse of her heartbeat, the pain more apparent as the adrenaline rush wore off. Her blood shone red under the jagged moonlight, the traces of the cursed spirit an ichor purple.

They could hear the target lumbering about around the corner. They just needed to exorcise it and then Suguru could eat it. Gojo could have wiped it out altogether, but the mission objective was clear: capture rather than exterminate.

Finally, Gojo spoke again. “We need to get your wound dressed, then we exorcise.”

Suguru surveyed the scene. They had nothing to work with, huddled behind a half-broken wall and jumbled office desks, a mess of pens and binder clips strewn about. Normally these offices had a first aid kit near the kitchen, but they weren’t anywhere near one. “Dress with what?”

Gojo jerked her chin downwards to her legs. “Use my skirt, there’s enough fabric. It’s fine, I have shorts on.”

Suguru reached out and stripped off Gojo’s skirt along a seam, ripping it into wide ribbons. Gojo was surprisingly adept at coordinating with her, lifting pressure just enough to wrap the wound, and used a couple binder clips to hold it in place. Any residual blood on their hands blended into the dark of their uniform blazers.

“You can walk?” Gojo stood up, a slim silhouette in the dark. Without the frame of her skirt, she looked gangly, like a newborn giraffe full of knobs and bones, too skinny for her height.

Suguru pushed herself up on one arm, testing the bad leg. Not great. “No go on speed, but I can still summon something.”

“Warn me this time.”

“I warned you last time.”

“Warn me again.”

Suguru rolled her eyes. “Fine, a small one this time, a cursed owl. I’ll direct it to engage, you pull, we suppress and exorcise, I eat it, we go back to the car, Shoko heals me, that’s the plan. Are you ready?”

“You really think it’s going to work like that?” Although she sounded dubious, Gojo propped her sunglasses up, her eyes crystalline blue and hyper-focused on the target. They really did make her look otherworldly.

It did work exactly like that. Suguru’s owl spirit dive bombed into the target’s eyes, Gojo using the moment of distraction to activate her technique, snapping it back to them in a whip crack of vacuum. Before the dust settled they pressed their attack, Gojo doing most of the work. Their eyes met before Gojo could deliver the finishing blow, enough for Gojo to pull just short of extinguishing it all together. Suguru immediately spun the cursed spirit into a tight core for consumption as Gojo relaxed and squatted back on her heels, brushing back sweat-matted hair.

“You rely a lot on cursed energy for reinforcement,” Suguru observed. “You should think about conditioning for physical strength.”

Gojo looked at her, disbelieving. “I have a literal overabundance of cursed energy.”

“What happens if you have to rely on physical strength alone?” Suguru examined the orb in her hand, trying to delay the inevitable; she always disliked this part.

“When’s that ever going to happen?”

Suguru raised an eyebrow. “Pretty arrogant of you to think that’s never going to happen.”

“Don’t you have a cursed spirit to eat?” Gojo snipped back.

Suguru watched Gojo’s eyes widen as she straightened her neck, stuck the curse in her mouth, and swallowed, forcing herself to inhale and exhale through her mouth. It was awful in every way, as she expected, but worth the discomfort to see Gojo blanch.

“You don’t chew it?” There was an undertone of fascination.

“It’s disgusting enough as it is, why would I chew it?”

“So how bad is it?”

Like literal shit and vomit, Suguru didn’t describe; sometimes the smell would linger in her nose, tainting everything she ate for days, Suguru didn’t say. She settled for, “Imagine the worst thing you’ve ever put in your mouth, ground under someone's shoe, and left to rot ripe in the summer heat.”

Gojo’s face took on a peculiar look. “That sucks,” she sympathized, and then with a crinkle dug out from her blazer pockets a few foiled wrapped candies. “Want these?”

Suguru almost declined out of polite reflex, and then forcibly shrugged it off and took one. “Why do you carry candy with you?”

Gojo unwrapped one for herself, a well practiced drop into her mouth. “My Six Eyes results in an increased metabolic rate that can only be sustained by constant caloric intake. I pretty much have to eat all the time. Might as well be something sweet.”

“A lot of girls would love to have that problem.”

“Not you.” Gojo deliberately raked her gaze up and down Suguru’s body, bloody leg and all. “My Six Eyes tells me you’re pretty strong. Though, I've got more cursed energy than you.”

“Great to meet your mystical seal of approval.” Seeing that it wasn’t poisoned, Suguru unwrapped and ate the hard candy, a burst of sweetness and little else coating her tongue. The aftertaste of the curse still lingered, an undercurrent of acridic rot. “Your techniques aren’t bad,” Suguru admitted in a measured statement; Gojo’s Limitless technique was unlike anything she had ever seen. “But I bet I can beat you in pure martial arts.”

That got Gojo’s attention, her eyes sparking like the strike of a match. “I’d like to see you try. After you get healed up.” She stood back up in one fluid motion. “Ready to go?”

Suguru tested her leg again. “I’ll need you as a crutch,” she announced.

By the time they made it back to the car, Shoko was already waiting outside, looking exasperated. “Really?” she asked, a guilt-inducing tone of disappointment as she studied Suguru’s leg. “This wasn’t even caused by a cursed spirit.”

Not bothering to shift her weight off Gojo, Suguru pointed at the culprit. “She did it. Wiped out one of my second grade curses too.” Shoko could always be relied upon to instill a healthy amount of fear and respect for her practice, even for someone like Gojo.

Shoko made short work on the bloody mess of her thigh, leaving only the bare glimmer of a few silvery lines where the missing flesh was. Gojo tried to ask how the reverse cursed technique worked; Shoko gave her usual nonsensical explanation.

The next day, during the field practice block of their schedule, Gojo demanded Suguru to spar with her. “Keep your word, you bet you could beat me, I want to see it. No excuses, you’re healed.” Clearly a one track mind.

Suguru had hoped for a bit more time to assess Gojo’s style, maybe another mission or two, and she didn’t know Gojo’s full gamut of cursed techniques. “Don’t you need rest too?”

“Don’t know the word,” Gojo boasted.

Shoko watched them with interest. “Wow, ladies, the mission was only last night, and you already wagered on a fight?”

“Fine,” Suguru acknowledged, shrugging off her jacket and stretching to loosen up her limbs. “Pure martial arts, no cursed energy. Shoko, you keep score.”

Gojo tied her hair back in a messy topknot. Her sunglasses stayed on, Suguru noted. “Deal.”

Suguru liked this, liked the act of combat and physical exertion, the split-second calculation and strategy needed to act. After her prior competitive matches, many of her opponents had told her that her eyes took on a look that scared them; feral she had heard them whisper behind her back. Gojo was a kindred spirit in that respect, Suguru saw it for herself last night.

They collided hard, the impact vibrating down her forearm and shin as she attacked and blocked simultaneously, matched by Gojo’s reaction time. Gojo kept her word, there was no cursed energy reinforcement, just physical strength and martial technique more in line with what Suguru expected of a storied sorcerer clan with centuries of tradition. Her skinny frame belied her real strength, hitting with ferocity and speed to make up for the lack of mass; Suguru wondered what Gojo could do if she actually conditioned and developed her physique.

They met, strike for strike, blocking only what they couldn’t evade. Gojo had the habits of a mid-range combatant, dodging out of the beginnings of knee hook, her fist connecting at full extension of her reach. Suguru pulled back in time so the impact was only a radiating shockwave along her jaw and a split lip, spinning on heel to carry her outside elbow into Gojo’s ribs, and leg strike at the back of her knee, collapsing the two of them into close combat. Got you.

Gojo was taller than most, so Suguru had to make use of a more unorthodox takedown, tumbling the two of them a few turns before she could reach to lock down movement. For a moment, Gojo seemed to have bodily surrendered and Suguru was triumphant— until Suguru found herself physically repelled off Gojo, sent flying with the wind knocked out of her as if she had slammed into and been ejected by an impermeable wall. Goddamn, it was Gojo’s cursed technique.

Not bothering with niceties, Suguru summoned one of her largest curses, an intimidating armored mass big enough to catch and cushion the impact. She could play this game too. “What the fuck was that,” Suguru demanded.

Gojo scrambled up onto her feet, eyes blazing cerulean framed by the twin red scratches from where her sunglasses had been knocked off and— was that a smile?

“You have to teach me how you did that.” Gojo was ecstatic, grinning wide. “I didn’t think you’d be able to make me use Infinity. It’s a bit of a self-defense mechanism.”

“You agreed no cursed energy.” Suguru was aiming for accusatory and righteous, but it sounded shrill to her own ears.

“The rules changed.” Gojo shrugged, and then shifted into a well practiced stance. “Come on, let’s go. I won’t use my Limitless techniques, you can use whatever.”

Before Suguru could respond, a swarm of puppets flanked them.

“Neither of you are to do anything,” Yaga interrupted, his face dark and a vein pulsing in his forehead. Shit, they hadn’t even seen him arrive. “Getou, withdraw your curses if you don’t want them killed outright, they’re setting off the wards on campus. And you, Gojo, do not make this the second time in twenty four hours in which you injure your own classmate.” And then, for good measure, “Two weeks detention for both of you, starting today! Learn to get along.”

After Yaga left, Gojo asked Shoko, “So who won?”

“Hmm.” Shoko gave it some thought. “Technically, Suguru completed a throw, so Gojo lost.”

“We’re going to have a rematch,” Gojo declared one-sidedly. “That was a pretty good move, Suguru.”

“I told you.” Suguru allowed herself a bit of smugness to offset the irritation at how the whole thing transpired. She went to pick up her jacket, and found Gojo’s sunglasses on the floor. They looked expensive, maybe some designer brand. She couldn’t find any discernible label, nor was there any visible damage, but she realized with a slow chill that they were entirely opaque to her eyes. This was what Gojo was wearing most of the time? How did she see anything?

“Gojo,” Suguru found herself saying, “your sunglasses.”

“Oh, you found them, good!”

“Do you actually see through them?” Suguru couldn’t help but ask.

“More or less.” Gojo slid them back on, and it was almost a relief that Suguru didn’t have to keep staring at her eyes. “My Six Eyes can see a lot of detail, these cut down on the sensory input. You couldn’t wear my shades, you wouldn’t be able to see.”

“Really?” Shoko asked, genuinely curious. “Let me try.” And then, with the kind of excitement she reserved for cadaver dissections: “This is amazing! How do you see anything at all? How do your eyes work? Do you have triple density cones or something? Can you see UV light? How do you distinguish between animate and inanimate objects? Can you see my pores with these on?”

Satisfied that Gojo was at the mercy of Shoko’s ruthless grilling, Suguru left to shower.

She saw Gojo next in the classroom, Gojo practically melting off her chair in boredom. Gojo gave her a sideways glance, her eyes just visible beyond the coverage of her shades. Suguru had to admit, maybe there was something to be said for what Gojo had been gifted with.

“Suguru,” Gojo acknowledged when she sat down.

“Are you really on a first name basis with me?”

“Why not? You can call me by my name, no need to be weird about it.”

Suguru supposed any girl with a masculine name like Satoru knew it’d be awkward; it was probably an auspicious name that her grandfather picked in hopes of a healthy grandson and couldn’t change it for fear of bad luck. Maybe Gojo’s whole schtick was an act of rebellion, resisting the entirety of a prim and proper upbringing expected of an heir to a clan, a middle finger to a patriarchal society.

“Alright Satoru,” Suguru acknowledged, “it’s your damn fault I have detention. Don’t make it worse.”

(Satoru made it worse.)


***


“Suguru.”

No response

“Suguru.”

Still no response.

“Getou Suguru! I know you can hear me!”

“Unfortunately,” Suguru responded. She turned to the next page of her book, focused until Satoru dropped into her line of sight. “What?”

“I’m hot.”

“And?”

“I want something cold.”

“...and?”

“I know you have a secret stash, Shoko told me.”

Suguru had only told Shoko as compensation for the cigarette she bummed. She felt no charity here. “Why should I share with you?”

“I saved your ass on the last mission,” Satoru reminded her.

“You destroyed a shipping container of import cars.”

Satoru shrugged. “I paid for it. Anyway, come on, it’s sooooo hot, I’m practically melting and you’re hogging the fan.”

Suguru sighed, and peeled herself off the matting to reach for the fan. She hated how her thighs were sticky in the turgid heat; Satoru probably didn’t have that problem, she could just activate her Infinity to stave off the heat, it was ridiculous that she was even asking for something so trivial. Suguru flicked the rotation switch, and patted the open mat space next to her. “Sit.”

Satoru gleefully plopped down, miles of pale legs folded up like a spider, her low-slung shorts riding up to be practically nonexistent. Satoru lifted up her shirt to catch more air, and Suguru caught an eyeful of a sports bra— wait, that had been in Suguru’s drawer just this morning.

“Did you jack my bra?”

Satoru hiked her shirt up to her armpits, the topside swell of her breasts visible and nipples hardening in the airflow. “You have so many, I can’t borrow just one? I can see why you like wearing these, definitely less jiggly.”

“Buy. Your. Own.” Suguru poked at Satoru’s chest. “Give me back what is mine.”

“I will, I will, next weekend we can go shopping in Shibuya and I’ll get my own gear. That’ll be fun, you, me, Shoko. A girls’ outing. Then we’ll be the hottest babes in the weight room.” Satoru folded her arms behind her head, her shirt mercifully dropping back down, and laid down on the mat, kicking up her giraffe legs to savor the fan. The indentation between thigh and buttock was visible, as was the rounded curve of her bottom; Suguru turned away when she decided she had seen enough.

Finally, there was peace— only the telltale shriek of cicadas in the summer heat, and the hum of the old fan, squeaking as it rotated between the two of them.

Suguru’s stomach betrayed her then, breaking the peace with a loud gurgle, still upset from ingesting the curse from the night prior.

Satoru looked at her. “Last one didn’t settle well?”

They never did, but no one else asked. Satoru had been witness to a particularly vile cursed spirit a few missions back, and caught her vomiting in the outhouse behind a run down country house. Satoru had helped her tie back her hair afterwards.

“I need to eat something,” Suguru decided.

“Popsicles?” Satoru sounded hopeful.

Suguru sighed, and acquiesced, pulling out two bars from her personal minifridge. “For your silence,” she told Satoru, handing over a stick.

Satoru smirked, smug and satisfied. “Sea salt?” she asks after a lick, the red of her plush tongue darting in and out.

Suguru nodded, sitting back in front of the fan. “It helps wash out the aftertaste. Sometimes I buy the shiso and ume flavored ones, those also cut through the worst tasting ones.” It was something she learned fairly early on, how to manage her palate given her innate technique and the ever increasing incidences of consuming more curses.

Satoru hummed in agreement, and laid back down. The fan kicked up the thin fabric of her shirt, and beneath it laid the flat expanse of her belly, taut and seemingly without peach fuzz, until on closer inspection Suguru realized the carpet did match the drapes. Suguru had thought maybe the platinum white hair was a bleach job, another rebellious kick in the balls of clan patriarchy, and the eyelashes could be pulled off with sufficient mascara, but no— this was au naturale.

“Suguru,” Satoru called out. “Gimme your lap. The floor’s too hard, I need something softer to rest my head.”

“Are you calling my thighs soft?” She had no bite left in her tone.

Satoru turned on her belly, holding the popsicle in her mouth with hollowed cheeks as she rearranged Suguru’s legs into a passable cushion, in a strange mimicry of a subservient geisha pillowing the head of a warlord in her lap. Except this was Gojo Satoru, heir apparent to an ancient clan and the first in four hundred years possessing both the Six Eyes and Limitless, so maybe not so strange if that was the kind of shitty family tradition one grew up with.

Satoru’s hair tickled as it sprawled across Suguru’s bare legs.

“Your thighs are nice,” Satoru said. “Comfy. I could nap on these. In fact, I think I will.”

Suguru let her stay undisturbed, only because the peace returned. It was, for a rare moment, relaxing: a book in one hand, a frozen treat in the other, nevermind the overconfident sorcerer in her lap, and the buzzing of cicadas in deep summer.

Rivulets of sea-salt melt made their way down to Suguru’s hand. Feeling inspired, Suguru deliberately let them drip on Satoru’s face, smirking as Satoru jumped up squawking indignantly.

“Motherfucker,” Satoru cursed, dabbing at her eyes. “I’m wearing eye protection next time.”

“I’ll make sure there’s no next time,” Suguru responded dryly.

There was a look in Satoru’s blue eyes, the kind that was normally hidden behind her blackout shades; the kind only Suguru saw more often than not in their shared detention sessions. “Satoru,” Suguru warned, “what are you—”

Her thighs were not braced for the frigid cold as Satoru swiped her popsicle at Suguru’s legs, darting in and out of reach and laughing. It was an impromptu spar, book tossed aside as they met blow for blow, blocking and swiping at each other. As they closed in on each other, Suguru reverted to grappling and they crashed to the floor. Body locks were risky, so much exposed skin vulnerable to the frigid touch, but where Satoru had the height advantage Suguru had a ten kilo weight advantage in pure muscle, forcing a knee between her legs and pinning her forearms against her ears.

“Should have gone up in weight on those hip thrusts,” Suguru teased. “Maybe then you could have bucked me off.”

“Who said I wanted to?” Satoru rasped, voice husky with intent.

Satoru could have activated her technique at any time, could have bounced Suguru right off and sent her crashing into the bookshelf, could have gone home for the summer in the palatial estates of Gojo family home. But she didn’t. So here she was, in Suguru’s sparsely furnished dorm room, sprawled out on Suguru’s floor and glazed with sweat and sticky sweet, wearing Suguru’s bra, grinding up against Suguru’s knee.

In the background, the fan continued to squeak.

Suguru met Satoru’s eyes, bearing the full intensity of her prismatic gaze. She maintained the press of her knee, and slowly eased up one hand in front of Satoru’s mouth. “It’s your mess, you clean it up.”

Satoru smirked. Her warm tongue spread out wide, slurping wetly at Suguru’s palm, laving at the nooks between her fingers, the tip whorling around the calluses Suguru developed from weightlifting, aided by nothing more than the extension of her neck as she sought out all the angles. There was nothing dainty about this, nothing kittenish or alluring, and unfortunately it did everything for Suguru, right down to the hot twist in her gut.

“Yummy.” Satoru licked her lips. “Want me to do the other one?”

 

***

 

Gojo!” Yaga barked as the delivery man wheeled in a few hefty boxes in the dorm hallway. “Why am I signing a delivery for you?”

Suguru watched as Satoru inspected the shipping labels, nodding in affirmation. “I’ve been expecting these, looks like everything’s here. You can drop them off in this room.” She pointed to her door, and then turned to Yaga. “Thanks Yaga-sensei! The total value triggered an in person signature requirement, so thanks for signing.”

“Do I even want to know what I signed for?” Yaga sounded both suspicious of Satoru’s suddenly polite behavior, and regretful of even asking the question.

“Oh, just some sex toys.” Satoru confirmed. It’s not as if she knew shame, and Suguru knew Satoru had no reason to lie. “Want to see the order details?”

“No, no, absolutely not!” Yaga took a long, hard drag down his face, refusing to make eye contact. “I need to know nothing. But since I did have to give you that sex ed presentation, can you just acknowledge you retained something from it?”

“Hmm, let’s see, condoms! Consent! Umm, communication?” Satoru counted off on her fingers.

“Safe, sane, consensual,” Suguru supplemented, feeling a twinge of sympathy for their beleaguered instructor. Yaga had the added bonus of teaching an all-female class; it was painfully obvious he tried. “Use of condoms and lubrication is recommended, communicate and set expectations upfront, resource materials are in the library. Don’t worry, we took notes.”

Yaga achieved the unique feat of nodding in satisfaction at having executed his fiduciary duties, and grimacing at the same time, looking like he wanted to be anywhere else but here. “I’m going to escort the delivery personnel out now, and I am going to purge this conversation from my memory.”

“Thank you Yaga-sensei!” they both intoned as the door slammed shut.

“Now.” Satoru turned to Suguru, walking back to her room. “Want to see what I got?”

“Did you order a whole store?”

Satoru laughed gleefully. “You bet. It’s so hard to choose. It’s all on the card anyway.” Satoru had a black card, the kind with no credit limit and 24-hour concierge service, and she left it out freely for Suguru to use. It seemed unusual to leave so much spending power in the hands of someone with as poor impulse control as Satoru, but it had its uses.

Satoru had ordered a truly dizzying array of dildos, and lined them by size to snap a picture on her phone. “What do you think?” Satoru picked up one on the larger end of the scale, a bright pink monstrosity, flipping it around and testing its heft. “I always wondered if these things really fit.” And then just as quickly, she dug into another box. Satoru might as well have been a kid in the proverbial candy shop.

“Ambitious,” Suguru remarked. “Please don’t tell me you’re planning to use every single one of these.”

“I bet I can,” Satoru responded. Before Suguru could fully realize the visual, Satoru continued, grinning, “Besides, aren’t we a team? Surely you can’t leave them all to my lonesome self. If you leave me hanging, I’ll be extra loud, even Nanami will be able to hear me.”

There it was, Satoru’s patented tricks at trying to rile her up. Satoru had launched some sort of military campaign of aggression in the last few months, being as impulsive as possible and traumatizing the new first years in her wake, so much that Nanami bribed Shoko to switch rooms with him so he could be as far away from Satoru as possible. Suguru thought she had nipped it in the bud, exercising a level of meanness she didn’t even think she had (when Satoru had suggested they shower together, Suguru flat out said no; when Satoru had hiked up her shirt and showed off the bruise on her ribcage that Suguru gave her, Suguru quipped that it was her fault for being distracted and did she want a matching one; when Satoru grabbed Suguru’s hand and shoved it up under her skirt, declaring she wasn’t wearing her bike shorts, Suguru slapped the back of her thigh and asked, “So?”), but it seemed to only have escalated, which meant Satoru’s strategy was working and that pissed Suguru off even more.

Satoru continued blithely, “Oh, and I ordered some harnesses too, these can be used as strap-ons. You want to try one?”

Suguru briefly saw red as Satoru waved a flesh colored dildo around in her general direction, one hand snapping at Satoru’s outstretched wrist before she could stop herself, the other fisting at Satoru’s collar. “Satoru,” she growled, “what do you think you are doing?”

Suguru became aware that Satoru was smiling inches from her face, her breath shallow and quickening as she licked her lips; Suguru’s own heart felt like it was jackrabbiting, the adrenaline rush of a fight or flight instinct kicking in, and she really ought to be picking flight. Suguru suspected if she could see Satoru’s eyes, they would be blown wide in anticipation — Satoru liked to play this game.

Suguru needed to recalibrate, because this was beyond the Satoru-special boundary marker she had set for herself, where she had convinced herself that was the extent of outrageous shit that Satoru could pull before Suguru lost her patience. Suguru took a breath, and then another in the space between them, and relaxed her grip.

Satoru pouted, disappointed. “You know exactly what I am trying to do. Don’t lose your nerve now. I know I won’t.”

“Not now.” Suguru shook her head. “We are not having this conversation right now, this isn’t the time.”

“And when would be the time?” Satoru retorted. “Today, tomorrow, there’s no difference. I’d rather know now if there is a problem. I’ve only been trying to get you into my non-existent pants all summer, so tell me now if you’re not interested.”

Suguru specifically did not want to label whatever this thing was with Satoru, but she harbored no illusions about its longevity or the lack thereof. There would be a time when Satoru had to return to the Gojo estates, continue to function as whatever it was inheritors of clan techniques did, marry some triple vetted male of established pedigree whom Satoru was going to step all over, and pop out a baby or two just to get it out of the way before running off. And meanwhile, Suguru would move on, move forward, and be as successful of a jujutsu sorcerer as she could be. That was fine.

“Most people work their way up to a level of trust and mutual understanding before...taking this step.” She wasn’t a prude, they had done a lot of making out and some heavy petting. Nonetheless, she had enough of a sense of propriety about penetrative activity despite whatever Satoru kept trying to egg on. The first time Shoko found them necking in the communal kitchen, she had made a comment to Suguru, right in front of Satoru’s face, that she planned to run far far away if a suitor from one of the three clans ever took interest. Satoru had nodded in firm agreement and then high-fived Shoko in solidarity. The implication was clear enough.

Satoru propped her shades up in disbelief, blinking those ridiculous blue eyes of hers. “Wait, we’ve tag-teamed curses for the last however many missions on a near non-verbal basis, you’ve bled on me multiple times, you’ve watched over me when I get migraines too crippling to use Limitless. We’ve more than earned the title ‘Strongest Duo.’ And you don’t think we have trust and mutual understanding?”

When Satoru put it like that, it was admittedly compelling. But Satoru came from a different background, and had the luxury of not seeing what Suguru saw. “Ugh, that’s not— look, Satoru, I don’t have your standing,” Suguru admitted, steeling herself, “nor your access to resources. If I cross a line and someone in your clan found it displeasing, I don’t have the power to do anything about it. All they need to do is hold back my promotion.”

Realization flickered across Satoru’s face, and then just as quickly it smoothed over into a mask of neutral indifference. “I see, you’re afraid of my background.” A statement. “But not of me?” A question strangely inflected; on anyone else, it would have been fragility, but Satoru didn’t do fragile.

Suguru puzzled, “Why would I be afraid of you?”

“A lot of people are. I know what I am, I’ve heard it plenty: a bitch, haughty, arrogant, overbearing, overconfident, spoiled, ruthless, reckless, undisciplined, scandalous, a terror.” It sounded like a recitation, as if Satoru had heard it a thousand different ways, spoken to her face, echoed across walkways, and whispered under pavilion eaves. “I’m not apologizing for who I am, and I’m not changing to oblige anyone. If you’re concerned about what my clan might do, that I can change. You’re strong, Suguru, more than strong enough to earn it on merit alone, I am not going to let anyone diminish that.”

Suguru had never doubted herself, but it was validating that a genius like Gojo Satoru would give her standing. Still, it didn’t quell her fears. “What can you do if a member of your clan decides they didn't like the rumors and decides to hold back my promotion? Or worse yet, decide to put a bounty on my head?”

Satoru seemed to give it some thought, which meant it wasn’t just a reflexive answer. “First, promotions are a matter of finding the right sponsors and examiners, I have more than enough connections and money to influence that. Second, on the matter of a bounty— that’s easy: I will kill them first.” She spoke as if it were no significant matter, no more than picking a lunch set every day, rote and routine. “Between our combined skill sets, it would take an inordinately large bounty to attract someone that we would have trouble dealing with, and the probability of that happening is simply too low.”

It was, by Satoru standards, a reasoned response, articulate and practical, which made it all the more disconcerting. Satoru’s eyes were hard crystalline chips, boring straight at her, not even a glimmer of the usual mischievous sparkle. Satoru was dead serious.

“Fine,” Suguru relented. “I believe you, and I believe in you.”

Suguru recognized it then for what it was, the soft curve of Satoru’s lips in a genuine smile, the tight tension relaxed from Satoru’s eyes, that facade of indifference was now extinguished fear.

“Thank you, Suguru. And so do I.” Satoru seemed to be at ease. Then, realizing what was still in her hand, prompted, “So...where were we?”

“No.”

“But—”

“You’ve killed the mood.”

“Okay, okay, I agree, not quite the right time.” Satoru moved to clean up, and before Suguru could make for the door, suddenly paused midway in epiphany. “Wait, Suguru, all this time you wouldn’t commit to fucking me was because you were afraid someone would put a hit on you?”

 

***

 

As it turned out, there was no hit on Suguru.

But there was a girl.

And there was a bounty.

 

***

 

After the star plasma vessel debacle, Satoru disappeared. Suguru had never seen Satoru so much as take a sick day, so it was strange, an unsettling vine creeping down her spine as she tried not to speculate what happened. In resuming their daily activities in the absence of Satoru, there was no hand to slap down, no weight leaning on her shoulder, no press of a leg against her own on the gymnasium bench. During one of their smoke breaks, Shoko told her she looked pretty pathetic; Suguru felt pretty pathetic after that.

In many ways, Suguru had expected more fallout from their failure, more than just a cursory slap on the wrists and some lecturing from a panel of stiff suits. Instead, all it warranted were some shrugs from faceless administrators and back to routine mundanity they went.

The sorcerers’ society didn’t care, Suguru had always known. More apparent was that the facade of a learning institution didn’t care about a girl who had been groomed to accept an early death, didn’t care that she was murdered on the school grounds and her blood spilled in some sacred sanctum. Worse yet, those people without an ounce of skill or cursed technique to their soul, those bare excuses for humans were clapping, cheerfully smiling for another meaningless death, another corpse of yet another girl not yet a woman. And then there had been Satoru, with her wild eyed look, ready to slaughter, barely recognizable until Suguru pulled her back from the precipice. Something had felt fundamentally changed, and yet Suguru knew something fundamentally still needed to change.

Two long weeks later, Satoru showed up at a morning session, slouching in her seat with legs spread wide. Her hair had been cropped short to balance what remained after Fushiguro’s blade. “I’m back!” She wiggled her fingers. “Did you miss me?”

Suguru waited for Shoko to give Satoru a hug before flicking at her forehead. “Welcome back, dumbass. Where did you disappear to?”

“Ow!” Satoru whined. “Had to take care of clan business.”

“You got in trouble for what happened?”

“Oh no, not that,” Satoru clarified. “I had a backlog of betrothal requests.”

Shoko couldn’t help herself but gasp; Suguru recognized immediately what the sinking feeling in her gut was.

“Not like that, ew,” Satoru told them, making fake retching sounds. “I tossed them all, and told the elders to go shove it. You’d think they'd be nicer now that I’ve made a breakthrough in my cursed technique, but they just got more mad!”

“So you had to apologize?” Shoko asked, curious.

“Apologize for what, showing them how much stronger I am than all of them combined?” There was that gleam again in Satoru’s eyes, noticeable even behind her shades, a spark dancing on the embers of madness, like Satoru had been overusing her cursed technique again. “I just had to do some house cleaning. Anyway, I’m back for good, so we can go back to what we do best. Right Suguru?”

“I’m not giving you that much credit for beating up a bunch of old geezers,” Suguru snorted. “But yeah, it’ll be good to be back to teaming together.”

With Satoru’s return, things seemed to slot back into place: they debated what sort of innate domains they could develop, argued over the most effective cursed techniques, still failed to understand Shoko’s explanation of reverse cursed techniques, stole each other’s lunches, pushed each other through more reps in the weight room, and spent the better parts of the afternoons sparring on the practice floor until they collapsed in a sweaty heap while Shoko tallied their respective scores. At the end of the week, Yaga interrupted their post-match analysis and pulled Satoru aside for a discussion. Shoko and Suguru were summarily dismissed.

That evening, Suguru found her brain wandering as she studied her notes. Yaga’s visit was a strange one, because if it had been a mission, anything less than first grade would have gone to the underclassmen, and even if it had been a first grade mission, it should have been at least the two of them. She almost didn’t hear the door open, but the click of the lock gave Satoru away; Suguru never locked her door by herself, given the frequency with which Satoru could break the lock, whereas Satoru had finally started locking the doors after the last time an irate Nanami had tried to complain about their noise level.

Satoru waltzed over to Suguru’s desk, damp hair smelling of conditioner as she straddled herself in Suguru’s lap and took what she wanted.
“I was beginning to think something was off,” Suguru confessed when they finally broke apart, exchanging breaths. “But given the circumstances, I could wait.”

Satoru hummed in assent, working on unbuttoning Suguru’s shirt. “You were jealous,” Satoru observed, “when I mentioned those betrothals.”

“Bullshit,” Suguru rejected. “I can’t even begin to imagine the poor judgment of the men asking for your hand.”

Satoru laughed bright and high. “They didn’t ask me. They asked the clan elders, whose words are as good as shit unless you can pin them down to a binding oath. I read a few of the offers and told them I couldn’t have kept to the terms anyway, who still requires virginity clauses these days? That set them off, haha.” There was no need for vitriol in her voice, just a statement of fact. Still, Suguru could see it, the tension in her eyes. How long had she been running her cursed technique this time? As if reading her mind, Satoru continued, “There is nothing that can’t be solved by a show of power, the pinnacle of Limitless. Once you take a few of them out, they fall in line.”

“That was your ‘house cleaning’?”

“I did destroy a few compounds,” Satoru admitted, which was usually an understatement. “So there was literal cleanup.”

Classic Satoru. “Real sexy, property damage.”

“Hmm, I can think of better sexy things.” Satoru redirected her attention to Suguru’s tits, slipping them out of the bra cups, blowing over her nipples, and watching them pebble. “These are so much better than what I’ve been dealing with. Can I?”

Suguru nodded. Satoru drew one nipple in her mouth, working the other with her hand. Satoru’s mouth was warm and wet, circling her tongue at the sensitive tip; Satoru’s hand pinched and twisted in tandem and contrast. The twin sensations ran straight to her groin, stoking a pleasant heat as a moan slipped from Suguru’s lips. Satoru liked to watch Suguru’s face from this angle, her eyes half-lidded and glowing blue, her mouth full. Suguru liked watching Satoru.

“We should move,” Suguru tried to suggest as Satoru switched sides, “before we tip over the chair.”

Satoru didn’t detach, but did acquiesce to bodily moving along as they danced the short distance to Suguru’s bed and collapsed. In a few moments of clarity, Suguru found the behavior out of place of Satoru. Satoru was still fully dressed, rutting against her leg, interested but muted, not the typical level of assertiveness Suguru had gotten used to.

“What do you need?” Suguru asked. “You still look exhausted.”

Satoru blinked, and then sat up on Suguru’s waist. “Something different, I guess. It’s strange being this ‘on’ all the time.” She tapped against the side of her head. “After dealing with Fushiguro, it’s been different. It’s not what you saw in Okinawa, it’s that difference between being so tired that your bones ache, and then knowing and feeling that moment repeat itself endlessly.”

Suguru tried to visualize what it was that Satoru could see with her Six Eyes, the exhaustion rendered by the volume of detail and comprehension it yielded. Was it like the difference between having to consume the most putrid cursed spirit after a hard fought exorcism, and knowing that there were a thousand more after that, each more difficult and vile than the next? Suguru can make the choice at least, to ingest or not to ingest, whereas Satoru’s Six Eyes were simply a part of her existence. “What would be ‘different’ enough?”

For a moment, Satoru’s eyes held a hollow look, as if she were looking past Satoru and seeing only the void beyond. Then, like a light switch turned on, she snapped back to attention and turned coy. “You know how I like it.” Her tone slid sultry, lowering her eyes as she started grinding against Suguru. “I’m all yours. So surprise me, use me as you like, make me take i—”

Suguru gripped the back of her head and pulled her down roughly, barely avoiding their teeth clacking as she swallowed Satoru’s next few words. It was very hard to deny what Satoru asked for, when she’s seen how Satoru can get, whiny and needy, begging to be made pliant and obliging to receive whatever Suguru gave her, being made to take it, whether it was her mouth or her cunt. She still had one virgin hole left, and if Satoru had jettisoned any remaining illusions of her virginity, then Satoru was more than willing to oblige her.

“Strip,” Suguru ordered when they parted, dropping her voice low and sharp. “Your ass is mine tonight.”

Satoru’s pupils dilated, her eyes the darkest blue Suguru had seen in a long time, breath picking up in delight. “Make me.” She grinned.

 

***

 

Satoru started being absent again.

As it turned out, Yaga was sending Satoru on solo missions. Suguru didn’t have the authority to question why. Then, in the unique mark of failing upward, Suguru was promoted to special grade with little fanfare, and Yaga started sending her on solo missions. Too many incidents occurring all over, Yaga had said, it would be more efficient to divide and conquer. Shoko was out of the question given the nature of her skills, more valuable safely ensconced under Tengen’s barrier. Besides, they were both accomplished sorcerers, capable of handling even the most troubling of cursed spirits. Protect the welfare of the people, protect society at large; that was the path of a jujutsu sorcerer, long days and longer nights, hunting down the dregs of humanity’s worst aspects shaped into menace and breathed life.

Exorcise.

Ingest.

Repeat.

During the short respite between missions, they passed like ships in the night as their schedules rubbed up against each other, the sound of a door opening and closing in hazy dream fog, shared cans of heated coffee and cigarettes in front of the vending machine, the avalanche of texts and pictures when she got back into signal range. Cursed spirits didn’t abide by working hours, nor did they respect weekends and holidays. Each mission was an all out sprint, punctuated by a gulp, a swallow, bleeding into an endurance race of gagging and vomiting.

Exorcise.

Ingest.

Repeat.

Occasionally, their rest days overlapped, and those— those were electric, the grind of weariness sloughing off like grime in the shower as they sought what they could, scrabbling at the dorm room door, pressed chest to thigh before they even made it onto the bed, not a sliver of daylight between them. Sometimes Suguru wondered if Satoru could taste it, the lingering taint of the curse in her mouth, in her throat, a wretched foulness sinking in her belly. If she had, she never said anything.

But Satoru was different.

Suguru could feel the change in Satoru, the increasing tension behind her eyes that morphed into a static state, the incremental build up of raw physical strength, the frenetic need to decompress transformed into an abstract surrender under Suguru’s touch, because Satoru could trust her. And Suguru could trust Satoru to remark on how she’s lost weight, was she getting enough sleep, did she need to take a break.

It became obvious that Satoru was accelerating faster in Suguru’s absence. Her technique was impeccable and brutally efficient, her Infinity barrier nearly perfected to an automatic reflex, and her control over Six Eyes ever evolving. Her mastery of her innate domain was an inevitability, a domain expansion on the visible horizon. Satoru was a natural born genius, it was only a matter of time.

Once upon a time, they could have been considered on par, but Suguru knew her limits. She didn’t have such genetic blessings; her weapon was the composite of practice and discipline, honed sharp by strategy, imbued with the ability to be a receptacle for cursed spirits. Her presence, Suguru acknowledged, was what had been holding Satoru back.

This was fine.

Suguru would continue to walk her path as Satoru soared. A jujutsu sorcerer protected the people, kept them safe when they could not protect themselves; this was what she wanted, wasn’t it? It was always about the principle of the matter, never about how it was done.

Exorcise.

Ingest.

Repeat.

Haibara was dead. Not the first, and certainly not the last dead student at the college. Suguru found the act of consolation hollow, so she let Nanami cry quietly until he was ready to compose himself. How did Tsukomo manage to leave this, to abscond all duties in search of something different? Wouldn’t it be better if they could too? Then Suguru remembered: the sound of a gunshot, the thud of a body, her blood splashing warmly across the floor of the inner tomb, her blood freezing within her veins as the consortium of useless monkeys clapped at the still warm corpse and Satoru tipped closer to the edge. She had wanted to smear them away like a bloodstain under a thumb, and Satoru could have, would have done it if she had just said the word.

All jujutsu sorcerers died with regrets, that was the cardinal rule she learned. Yet, in the face of their inevitable mortality, it was worth asking why did they subject themselves to being workhorses of the jujutsu elite, laboring for a population that didn’t and couldn’t even appreciate what they sacrificed? Was living with regret any better?

Another missive, another assignment: a community hospital in a medium-sized town, with an increasing trend of dead doctors and nurses.

It was the principle of the matter, she reminded herself, at least these people were worth protecting.

 

Exorcise.

Ingest.

Repeat.

 

Another year blurred by, and for once the summer season seemed lighter, when it seemed they had a chance to breathe, when there were scattered pockets of days of freedom. Maybe they simply acclimated to this cycle, learning to adjust.

There were days when they were both in the same city, sometimes even Tokyo proper. Whenever Satoru was in town, she texted to meet up; as Suguru quickly learned, it was always a gamble to be texting Satoru on public transit.


[Satoru] babe ur in town tmrw?

[Suguru] Kanagawa in the morning, Tokyo prefecture by noon

[Satoru] close enough

[Satoru] the usual?

[Suguru] Works for me

[Satoru] cant wait to get ur fingers in me

[Suguru] Is that all?

[Satoru] wanna hear the rest

[Satoru] ur tits in my mouth

[Satoru] ur clit on my tongue

[Satoru] ur cock in my ass

[Suguru] In that order?

[Suguru] That can be arranged

[Satoru] mei mei and utahime are around

[Satoru] too bad shoko’s visiting family

[Satoru] girls ginza shopping trip y/n

[Suguru] Satoru

[Suguru] Were you texting them at the same time just now?

[Suguru] Yes

[Satoru] im good at multi-tasking

[Satoru] ginza metro, exit b1

[Satoru] 13:30

They convened at the station exit, attracting a fair amount of sideway glances. Going out with Satoru was always guaranteed to draw attention, and Satoru thrived on it. It was hard with Satoru’s stature and coloring to be anything other than eye-catching, having finally evolved from newborn giraffe to gazelle. Objectively, Mei Mei and Iori were also attractive, but Suguru had long since felt an obvious desire for anyone. She didn’t mind the extra company: Mei Mei always talked shop and they traded tips on weight training, Iori gave as good as she got when it came to Satoru.

Commotion was inevitable whenever they walked into an upscale store, the undoubtedly well-trained salespeople scrambling to attend whenever Satoru or Mei Mei expressed interest in an item. There was a time when Suguru didn’t mind the attention or interactions, but these days Suguru preferred to stay back with Iori to watch the entertainment.

“Do you do this often?” Iori asked her.

“Not really,” Suguru confessed. “We don’t normally have time to do this. I’d rather sleep to be honest.” She couldn’t exactly describe the other things she did in her free time.

“I know what you mean,” Iori sympathized. “This last year’s been rough. I heard about Nanami’s departure.”

Suguru nodded. “It’s unfortunate, he was skilled. I don’t fault him though.”

“That’s one less well trained sorcerer.” Iori sounded tired in the same way Shoko looked. It was too bad Shoko wasn’t here to commiserate. “More pressure on us to keep the rest alive. We’ll just have to continue doing what we do.”

“Do we?” Suguru asked.

“Huh?”

“Do we have to continue like this?” She watched the salespeople buzz about like so many flies. “Or is there a better way?” She knew of one answer, Tsukomo had confirmed it.

“I think we can find a better way,” Iori contemplated. “There’s always room for improvement.”

“Very optimistic.”

They moved onto the next store, and then another, wrecking havoc to rows of exclusive boutiques until the afternoon sun turned the sidewalk into a hotplate. Their dinner reservation at L’Osier was still a couple hours away, so Satoru declared a need for a drink, pulling them into a cafe, the kind that was tucked away from the main street and fronted with ivy curling over iron grates, with bright yellow placards advertising croissants made with Normandy butter, and a chalkboard espresso menu written entirely in Italian.

In the cafe, Suguru watched from the counter bar as Satoru chatted away with the barista, the hapless young woman with stars in her eyes adding an extra pump or two, or four, of caramel syrup in Satoru’s drink. Fragments of their conversation floated over and dissolved like cotton candy on the tongue, sweet and insubstantial.

“It doesn’t bother you?” Iori asked, glowering.

Suguru shook her head. “We don’t have that kind of a relationship.”

Mei Mei sidled up next to Suguru. “I’ve got fifty thousand yen riding on a line bet that you and Satoru speed ran her kink list in less than three months,” she announced.

Iori choked on her drink and barely disguised her coughing. “Is that something people even bet on?”

Mei Mei shrugged. “Call it an educated guess, sorcerers self-select for neurodivergent personalities and high risk behavior. Given the probability and the payout ratio, I took it. So, tell me Getou, should I be hedging before calling the bet?”

“Well,” Suguru sighed, “it was so long ago, I can’t really remember…”

“Stop bragging, I’ll give you a quarter of the payout.”

Suguru held out a hand. “Confirmed, now pay up.”

Mei Mei texted someone on her phone, and then satisfied at the response handed over a crisp set of bills to Suguru. “To a mutually beneficial arrangement.” Then, leaning closer: “I’ll throw in an added bonus since you helped me with my programming. It’s best not to get involved with the Gojo clan. Gojo Satoru may have managed to kill the oldest generation of her clan, but right now she’s still a little bird in their birdcage, a piece to be bartered when the right deal comes along.”

Suguru had long mastered the ability to force a relaxed smile, waving as Satoru started walking over, drink in hand. “Am I supposed to thank you for this?” she responded to Mei Mei.

“You’re one of three female special grades, you should know what you’re getting into.” She patted Suguru on one shoulder in what may have been sympathy.

“Spreading lies about me again, Mei Mei?” Satoru nonchalantly squeezed herself between them. “To be clear, I didn’t ‘manage to kill’ them. I invoked a challenge and they didn’t believe me when I told them it would be a slaughter. That’s how I got out of that Zenin engagement nonsense. Sometimes you have to play by their rules.”

Suguru played back the information; this must have been when Satoru disappeared for two weeks after what she now realized was the inflection point. When things changed.

Intrigued, Mei Mei asked, “So, am I wrong?”

“A girl born into one of the old clans, even mine,” Satoru acknowledged, “might as well have been born into a cage. So, you’re right. But, you can break free if you’re strong enough.”

“Not everyone can be you,” Iori chided.

“Haha, that is true, no one is as strong as I am.” A smile, with teeth, the glitter of her eyes at the edges of her shades; Suguru knew Satoru well enough to recognize when the confidence was masking something else. “But it doesn't stop people from trying. Don’t worry for me. I’ll break them if they try that again. Now, I’d say that bit of information makes us even, right Mei Mei?”

Mei Mei nodded. “Good enough.”

Dinner was good if not overly long; dessert was even better judging by the near orgasmic noises Satoru was making. Suguru planned on drawing out better sounds from her before the night was over.

They parted ways with Mei Mei and Iori at Shinjuku station transfer. It was already getting late, and getting back to Satoru’s residence would be another hour or more.

“I don’t want to take that long to get back,” Satoru whined, leaning against her as they contemplated their route options. The few purchases she had made dangled from her wrist in one consolidated bag: a pair of stiletto heels, a sleek oversized white blouse, and some Cleau de Peau skincare products. “It’s going to be so late and we’re going to be tired and I had plans for our time tonight! Can’t we just stay in the city?”

“You mean overnight in a hotel?”

“Exactly! Say, what if we try a love hotel?”

This was a very convenient turn of events; Suguru wondered if Satoru intentionally timed it this way. Only one way to find out. “I recall you had a specific order of operations for tonight, and last time I checked I lack certain biological equipment to make that work, so unless you’ve been carrying something around this entire time—“

“I may be shameless, but even I can’t pull that off.” Satoru was furiously tapping away at her phone. “Look, this one’s close by, mostly automated, well reviewed, there’s even a big soaking tub!”

On the list of things Suguru anticipated, a spur of the moment love hotel was not one of them. But she had to admit as they stepped through the lobby, it was discreet, the human personnel largely hidden behind closed doors, only the occasional glimpse of a bored clerk monitoring the front desk phone for requests.

Inside their room, Satoru dropped her bag to one side, propped up her shades, and threw herself face first onto the bed. “This is nice,” she mumbled into the cover, moaning in relief as she kicked off her heeled sandals. “I forget how much I hate wearing these shoes.”

Suguru slipped off her own shoes, and set them to the side next to her duffel bag. She undid her belt next, folding it neatly and setting it on the nightstand. “And yet, you bought those heels today.” She laid on her side next to Satoru, her hand stroking down the landscape of Satoru’s back by automatic reflex, feeling the ridge of her shoulder blades through the thin fabric, remembering the glowing highlights and soft shadows demarcating her spine backlit by the morning sun.

Satoru purred in contentment, and then peeked one eye at Satoru. “They make my legs look so good,” Satoru boasted. “Don’t you agree?”

Suguru had seen her try them on at the store, and could appreciate how they made her legs look even longer, the curvature of Suguru’s calf muscles shifting subtly into new lines. Satoru had also had her try them on given their comparable size, and after the first few steps Suguru immediately knew she’d hate walking in them. “They do look good. Cosmetic only?”

“Probably,” Satoru admitted. “Or, if you want, I can wear them for you…”

Cupping her face with one hand, Suguru leaned into the plush mouth Satoru was offering. Satoru tasted of the last few bites of mignardise pilfered from Suguru’s plate, bites of candied lychee jelly dusted in confectioner’s sugar, a lick of hazelnut espresso at the center of a dark chocolate truffle, and the grassy notes of imperial-grade matcha dusted on a miniature creme puff. Suguru always liked how Satoru tasted.

“That would be nice,” Suguru admitted, licking at the corners of Satoru’s mouth before moving down to the juncture of jaw and neck, blowing hotly at the sensitive spot just under Satoru’s ear. “Paired with nothing else but that shirt you bought.” She licked a wet stripe down Satoru’s neck, smirking against the full body shudder.

“Occasionally, you have good ideas,” Satoru muttered, pulling Suguru towards her and rolling the two of them so she could bracket Suguru’s hips between her knees and work at unbuttoning Suguru’s shirt. Her hair had grown out again, collapsing from her chignon bun and tickling Suguru’s collarbone when she got the first two buttons undone. “Although, that blouse is going to get ruined.”

“Dry cleaning will take care of it.” Suguru ran one hand down Satoru’s front, fingers trailing between her tits before squeezing firmly through Satoru’s bra, feeling for her quickly hardening nipples. Her other hand traced the curve of her clothed ass, fingers dipping ever so slightly towards her panty line, a promise to be fulfilled. Then she pulled back the hand, and slapped Satoru’s ass. “What are you waiting for?”

Satoru huffed and pouted. “Your fingers in me, remember?” Still, she climbed off, taking Suguru’s suggestion. It was a little strange, Suguru supposed, for Satoru to undress only to redress, but really no different from setting up for any other scene. Satoru always liked to make it a show when she could, slowly sliding off her shirt and skirt, teasing down the straps of her bra, unhooking with one hand behind her. Her bra left an impression behind, a thin band running just under her tits, wrapping around her ribcage, and Suguru wanted to run the edge of her nails in, and see how deep she could go before meeting bone. Satoru would let her, would deactivate Infinity and let herself be vulnerable, to hurt in the way Suguru knew she wanted.

Tonight was not the night.

Satoru slipped the newly purchased blouse over her head, and it fell down with the illusion of billowing white silk over her torso, translucent enough for her nipples to show and barely draped to cover her ass. An illusory transformation happened when Satoru stepped into the stiletto heels, the shifting center of mass altering her stance and pushing out her hips to make her ass even perkier. Satoru smiled wickedly as she peeled off her panties, like shadow puppets behind the hemline of the blouse, sliding down the damp twist of fabric one heeled leg at a time.

“Like what you see?”

“Very much,” Suguru responded. She rolled her shirt sleeves up to the crease of the elbows and sat at the edge of the bed, still mostly dressed, letting the crotch of her pants ride up, a firm reminder against her pussy when she arched her back, enough to take the edge off if needed. “Come here.”

Satoru sauntered over, and dropped down between Suguru’s legs, a familiar comfortable weight against Suguru’s thigh. Satoru looked up with a hot and heavy gaze. “Now do I get what I want?”

Suguru stuck three fingers into the soft heat of Satoru’s mouth; Satoru sucked enthusiastically, lips wrapped tight and cheeks hollowing. “We’ll get there,” Suguru confirmed, because they both knew this wasn’t where Satoru wanted her fingers. “You don’t get to touch yourself.” Satoru made a whining noise, but kept her hands at her sides.

When Suguru was satisfied, she pulled her hand away, letting the saliva trail along Satoru’s chin. So far nothing had made it onto the shirt. “Stand up, turn around, keep your legs straight and bend over. Keep your shirt up above your waist, you wouldn’t want to get it dirty.”

Satoru’s eyes gleamed in realization of what she was being instructed to do. She obliged, turning around and bending over, holding the hem of her shirt up in an exaggerated curtsy. “This seem like an awful lot of work for m—”

Suguru kicked apart her feet to adjust the height, and Satoru had to focus to keep her ankle from folding. Suguru pushed down at Satoru's spine until she was folding fully in half at the waist, the shirt rucked up to the bra line. Yes, this will do: the pale of Satoru’s cheeks, the tiny pucker of her asshole, and the dark pink of her pussy were on display.

“Suguru!” Satoru shouted when Suguru’s tongue slid hot and wet across the furl of muscle. “W-wait, I haven’t—”

Suguru used her clean hand to grip at the curve of Satoru’s ass and hip, the other sliding into Satoru’s cunt, working one, two, three saliva-slick fingers in quick succession. Her tongue laved at Satoru’s asshole, alternating between slow and wet, and fast and stiff, probing for more give at the rim. Satoru’s protest died into a string of half mumbled profanity and ragged moans, very real surprise keeping her on her literal toes, one hand gripping at her ankle for stability, the other fisting the silk fabric around her torso. “Knees locked, legs stay straight if you want me to keep going,” Suguru warned, slapping a few times at Satoru’s clit for good measure.

“Fuck, Suguru,” Satoru groaned. Her hamstrings rippled as she straightened her legs. “If you do that again, I’m going to come.”

“Then come.” Suguru buried her face between Satoru’s ass cheeks, tongue slipping further inside and slurping wetly, her nose bumping against the tailbone. Suguru could smell the scent of Satoru flooding her senses, the taste of her rolling across her tongue, could feel Satoru quivering under her mouth, trembling against her face. It filled her with a heady sense of power, molten to her core; she knew the shape of her desire.

She struck again, ensuring the tips of her blunt fingers would catch the sensitive nub, once, twice, dissipating force across the rest of Satoru's pussy; Satoru came with a shout and a flex of muscle milking Suguru’s tongue, tightening around Suguru’s face.

“Now come again,” Suguru commanded, and continued, sucking at the rim and tongue fucking into her hole as Satoru came down shuddering. All of Suguru’s concentration coalesced in the objective before her, the ache of her jaw and neck nothing more than background noise.

“S-Suguru,” Satoru gasped, “this— ah— isn’t— ah— fair, I wanted— oh, goddamn fuck fuck fuck—”

Satoru couldn’t quite come again that quickly, as their prior experience had proven, but she could be worked up to a point of oversensitivity, where even the great Gojo Satoru could be rendered barely coherent and wailing, made to present the tenderest parts of herself and slowly losing mastery over herself.

Suguru let her teeth graze the rim, suckling as she resumed finger fucking Suguru’s pussy, pumping in and out, angling up against her inner wall. Satoru was loud, her litany of profanity exchanged for a staccato of “ah ah ah” with every thrust, staying in position with visible effort. Sensing Satoru tightening and approaching climax, Suguru reached to pinch Satoru’s clit. The reaction was instantaneous, a tremor cascading across Satoru as she came again, loud and guttural, an involuntary contraction as her body desperately tried to shy away from Suguru’s cruel touch. No matter how many times they did this and how far Suguru might push, Infinity had never activated, and as Satoru had assured her long ago, never will.

Suguru lifted Satoru bodily before her legs could give out, and set her down on the bed. Suguru palmed herself roughly, taking the edge off the compulsions of her hindbrain. Before she could get up to find a washcloth, Satoru pushed up one handed and grabbed her by the chin, an enormous force more consuming than kissing, licking even at her teeth with a ferocious hunger. Satoru must have tasted herself in Suguru’s mouth; Suguru could still only taste Satoru.

When they finally parted to catch their breath, Satoru wiped them down with the sleeves of her shirt.

“Hm, you worked so hard to keep that clean.”

“Dry cleaning it is.” Satoru stripped off the shirt, and then kicked off the heels. “Now, I think we might have done things slightly out of order, but I made a list and I intend to follow it.”

“We should brush our teeth first,” Suguru reminded her. “I thought you were—”

“To be crystal clear,” Satoru interrupted, sliding off the bed and evidently reading her mind, “I am never going to have a problem with what you put in your mouth, me included.” She deliberately sashayed her way over to the bathroom door, looking over her shoulder with half lidded eyes. “Are you coming?”

Suguru eyed her handprint splayed across Satoru’s left hip and ass cheek. It looked like it belonged there. “I hope so.”

They stayed in the bathroom for a very long time.

 

 

The next morning they grabbed breakfast and coffee at Lawsons, and made their way onto the JR line, mostly ignored by the morning commuters heading in the opposite direction like so many ants in a swarm. They both had appointments in the morning: Shoko asked Satoru for a second opinion on the cause of death of another jujutsu sorcerer, Suguru had a meeting scheduled with Yaga.

Back on the campus grounds and under Tengen’s barrier, Satoru asked her to wait for a moment. Satoru physically disappeared for a ten count, and then reappeared.

Suguru raised an eyebrow. “How’s that teleportation working for you? Would have been useful.”

“Getting there,” Satoru admitted. “It’s pretty safe to use for short distances, maybe ten, fifteen meters a hop? Working on longer distances. Anyway, I got you a present.”

“Is this the kind I can open in public?” They didn’t have an audience, but it was the principle of the matter; Suguru had far too many experiences where Satoru’s idea of gift giving was not fit for public consumption.

Instead of responding, Satoru threw something at her. Suguru caught it instinctively, and nearly jolted on contact. It was a vermillion lacquered sansetsukon, smooth and heavy, and imbued with so much cursed energy that she had to reinforce her hands to protect herself. She tested it out with a few twists and flicks; it was perfectly weighted and its length more than suited for her reach.

“Playful Cloud,” Satoru told her. “Extracted it from the clan storeroom.” So, a family heirloom and special grade cursed object, preserved over the centuries, now in Suguru’s hands.

“Are you sure?”

“You can make the most of it,” Satoru rationalized. “Otherwise it’ll just sit lingering unused.”

“Still thinking of me, huh.” Why now, Suguru had to wonder, what brought this on?

“I’m always thinking of you.” Satoru grinned. “You’ve always been able to make me work for it.”

Suguru snorted. “Someone has to.” She waited a beat, and then asked, “How's your schedule looking?”

“Terrible, as usual. I’m heading out tonight. You?”

“Got a meeting with Yaga in thirty, I’ll have a better idea after that.”

“Gotcha. I guess we’ll see.”

They parted ways. Suguru stopped by the lockers to change into her uniform and made her way to Yaga’s office to wait for her appointment.

At the meeting, Yaga laid out the casefile for the next mission: a small village in the countryside experiencing a rash of mysterious deaths and disappearances, suspected to be the work of cursed spirits.

She arrived at the village a few days later, an unremarkable little town wrapped in farmland. The residents were mundane, locked into their daily routine, oblivious to the traces of cursed energy lingering on the dirt paths, scattered among the waist-high rice paddies, rubbed up against the trunk of a cypress tree and all the way to the upper branches. She waited until after sunset, but nothing emerged, only the ghosts of something playful rather than malicious. Putting it off no longer, she sought out her liaison, a dull middle-aged man soft of mind and belly. He and his wife nodded, and gestured for her to follow to a storeroom in the back of what passed for the community center.

In the room, there was a locked cage.

In the locked cage, there sat two little girls.

They were terrified, huddled lumps, beaten bloody and filthy in their own excrement, and bright with cursed energy, born of innate technique.

Suguru remembers exactly what transpired that night: there were two little girls locked in a cage, and Suguru set them free.

 

***

[Satoru] u up?

[Suguru] Hi is a more appropriate greeting

[Satoru] hi

[Satoru] u up?

[Satoru] in town?

[Suguru] I’m in Tokyo prefecture next week

[Satoru] wanna meet up?

[Suguru] Satoru

[Suguru] Is this a booty call?

[Satoru] babe

[Satoru] i need you bad

[Satoru] ur the only one who can

[Satoru] let me turn it off

[Suguru] Was that a haiku?

[Suguru] Can’t find anyone else to fuck you hard enough?

[Suguru] How disappointing

[Suguru] You’ve had plenty of time

[Satoru] u know i can be so good

[Satoru] im the best u ever had

[Satoru] suguru

[Satoru] are you leaving me on read

[Satoru] tuesday 20:00

[Satoru] [Satoru has sent you a location pin]

[Suguru] Haven’t tried that hotel before

[Suguru] You bring the gear

 

***

Satoru complains remarkably well for someone who is face down and ass up, rattling her cuffs against the spreader bar and making sounds suspiciously similar to sharp backtalk. The ball gag is effective, rendering her words into muffled sounds and saliva, leaking slick and shiny over the red rubber ball and onto the sheets. Satoru asked for the blindfold again at the start, which was unusual; sensory deprivation had never been that effective for Satoru. The rest is mostly posturing; Satoru had to exercise a perfunctory amount of brattiness before getting into the right headspace.

Suguru responds to a few more texts on her phone, washes her hands, and then rifles through the gym bag of goodies Satoru brought with her. “Someone’s impatient,” Suguru observes. “You begged me for this. So we’re going to do this my way.”

She finds the lube, and a plug. “I think you need to remember your place first.”

Satoru reflexively pulls away from the drip of lube over her tailbone, as if she hasn’t felt the bite of cold in a long time; Suguru pins her down with an arm over her waist, her dominant hand finding Satoru’s asshole. Suguru circles the rim a few times before she pushes one finger through, one knuckle at a time; Satoru is tight against her in every way possible. There is a fair amount of resistance, so Suguru takes it slow. “I wonder if I should have told you to prepare yourself,” Suguru muses out loud. “All those toys are collecting dust. But I think you like it this way, you like it when I decide to fill you up.” She pumps in and out, spreading the lube. “Am I right?”

Satoru jerks her head in a rough nod.

Suguru feels a curl of possessive satisfaction, that she’s the only one who gets to witness this, to see Satoru’s thin skin stretched around her finger, and how it yields for a second digit, and then slowly but surely a third, squelching obscenely with extra lube and shaping her soft inner walls around Suguru’s exact specifications. Satoru is not complaining now, not in any meaningful way, just keening noises as she buries her face in the bed, rocking her hips back and forth slowly at first, and then faster and faster when Suguru slows down the thrust of her hand. Satoru’s cunt is dripping, she must be desperate for something, anything in her pussy; even the barest of friction on her clit would probably do the job. But the beauty of this position, where her wrists are cuffed to her ankles on the bar, is that she wouldn’t be able to even press her legs together for pressure, let alone find anything to grind against.

Satoru must have realized this as well, as she growls in frustration, desperately rotating her pelvis and finding nothing but air. Suguru stills her hand and leans to press a kiss to each knob of Satoru’s spine, working her way down to the smooth skin over the tailbone. Satisfied, Suguru pulls her fingers out, letting Satoru whine at the emptiness before inserting the plug. Of course Satoru brought one of her favorites, a heavy one made out of solid metal, with a butterfly cast into the flared base and impossible to sit down with. It’s a pretty piece, a neat finishing touch to the long run of Satoru’s toned back and the swell of her heart shaped ass.

“Do you want to get fucked?” Suguru asks Satoru, digging in the blunt edges of her nails at the fold between buttock and thigh until deep red crescents form. Satoru nods eagerly, maybe saying yes, maybe saying please as saliva runs past the ball gag and down her chin.

“Then be a good girl and wait.” Suguru climbs off the bed, leaving Satoru to marinate as she showers. She takes her time and sends out some monitoring curses for good measure; if the last few times have been any indication, it’s taking longer and longer for Satoru to wind down and truly turn off, and it would be unfortunate for either one of them to be caught in such a position.

When Suguru is done preparing and returns, Satoru is mostly compliant, folded over, almost meditative, index finger and thumb pinched while the rest of her hands slowly extend and contract, palms skyward as though reciting a mantra. It’s obscene, the juxtaposition of serenity and the reality of what they were doing. It makes Suguru want to press down on Satoru’s back and yank her up by the hair, to make her falter so Suguru can pull her back up, to make her cry in the way only Suguru knows how, because there is no other way she would. But that’s not what Satoru asked, and Satoru gets only what she asked for.

Satoru registers Suguru’s weight on the bed and lifts her head slightly, offering herself up. Suguru reaches over, grasping her chin and thumbing along Satoru’s stretched out bottom lip, slick and shiny. It’s a good look.

A quiet falls over them, just the sound of their breathing slow and steady in the universe of space between them.

“That’s better,” Suguru tells her. “I’m going to fuck you now. So be a good slut and present yourself.”

Satoru arranges herself as best as she can with limited mobility as Suguru slicks up her strap. It’s always a sight to behold when Satoru makes more than a modicum of effort, long limbed and pale skinned, dusky and wet between her legs.

Satoru sighs softly as the plug comes out. It’s still a bit of work to push in, since Satoru always had a tendency of overestimating her own bodily capacity, so Suguru has to steady the dick until the muscle gives way and the fat tip pops in, synchronized to Satoru’s gasp. Suguru spreads apart Satoru’s cheeks to feed the rest, watching the black silicone disappear behind the stretched out hole; Satoru moans with every centimeter that she’s made to take, a steady stream of saliva and uh, uh, uh spilling from her lips. It takes a few more slow thrusts before Satoru is loose enough to establish a fuckable rhythm, before Satoru starts fucking back and impaling herself on Suguru’s dick, no encouragement needed. When she bottoms out, the pressure goes to Suguru’s clit, a grinding weight that only encourages her to grip harder on Satoru’s hips, digging her nails deeper to mark the skin, fucking as deep as she can and carving out a space for herself inside Satoru.

“Do you want to come?” It’s a rhetorical question, as Satoru can only moan and nod in a frenzy. “Good. You know what to do.” Satoru picks up her pace, her voice pitching higher and higher, ah, ah, ah, maybe please, please, please. Suguru splays a hand across Satoru’s back, thrusting and reaching for Satoru’s pussy at the same time. She knows Satoru is in deep when Satoru physically flinches at the touch on her clit. Suguru presses Satoru’s head further down, the push pull reaction lifting up her ass for a better angle, Satoru’s rhythm stuttering as she nears climax. Suguru alternates her thrusts and strokes over Satoru’s clit as Satoru seizes with a grunt, abs clenching hard enough that her thighs shake and the sound of her orgasm rings clearly even behind the gag.

Suguru pulls out carefully when Satoru slumps down, and unlocks Satoru from the spreader bar, pushing her to fully extend. Next, the gag comes off, Satoru working to relax her jaw with hollow yawns. Suguru hauls her up halfway, licking into her mouth, deep and filthy. Satoru tastes as she always does, of sweet and earthy desire.

“Fuck,” Satoru exhales when they part.

Suguru shucks off the harness, letting it drop to the floor with a thud. “We’re not done yet.” She climbs up over Satoru, pinning Satoru’s head between her thighs. “I’m going to fuck your face next.”

“Yes please.” Satoru’s broad hands press against Suguru’s ass, pushing her forward and supporting her weight, her mouth pliant and eager against Suguru. Satoru licks in broad strokes, tonguing inside shallowly, tracing the tip of her tongue around Suguru’s clit like a treat to be savored.

“Ngh, that feels good,” Suguru praises, circling her hips and letting Satoru keen in delight. “Your mouth has its uses.” The first few licks are always slightly overwhelming, the liquid heat overriding the hollow ache and dampness built up between her legs. “Like that, yes,” when Satoru suckles lightly at the nub. Then Suguru instructs, “Now make your tongue useful.”

Warmed up, Suguru drops her weight, twisting a hand in Satoru’s hair for leverage. Satoru whines thin and needy, her nose nestled in the thatch of Suguru’s hair, flush against her clit. Satoru’s face follows the pull on her hair, her tongue a flattened ridge solely for Suguru’s use as Suguru begins to ride, chasing her pleasure. The build up doesn’t take long, the pulsating waves of an orgasm overtaking her before she realizes it, a gasp escaping her lips. Her thighs flatten Satoru’s ears, a vice grip around her head. Satoru doesn’t pause though, fingers kneading as her mouth continues working at Suguru’s pussy and clit while the rolling waves continue, unrelenting as she keeps giving and giving. Suguru is an overwound core, spinning tighter and tighter until she snaps with a shout, doubling over in the sharp contraction. It’s too much, so intense that it borders on painful, but it’s always too much with Satoru, so it’s exactly what she wanted.

She rolls off Satoru, panting briefly before surging up, crushing their mouths in a kiss that is guaranteed to bruise, their hands colliding as she reaches down to bring Satoru to another completion. Satoru tastes of Suguru’s musk and arousal, the lower half of her face drenched in slick and saliva. Suguru wants nothing more than to swallow it all, swallow down the pliant heat of Satoru’s mouth, drink in the sounds Suguru strokes out of Satoru, consume whole the naked weight of Satoru on her bed, spun into her arms, pressed skin to skin without a single barrier between them.

Satoru would let her.

 

***

 

“Do you want me to run you a bath?” Suguru asks as Satoru starfishes on the bed, luxuriating in the post-orgasm afterglow. Suguru’s hands are still firm, massaging Satoru’s limbs. It’s been a long time since Satoru could rest the Six Eyes, like releasing a clenched fist she didn’t even know she had.

“You first, I’ll join you in a minute,” Satoru responds.

Suguru makes a sound of affirmation, her hands lingering before she moves off the bed. “Don’t keep me waiting.” There’s an edge of coyness that Satoru has missed, an undertone of a promise they know they both can’t keep.

When Suguru starts running the water, Satoru sits back up and stretches her arms, cracking her knuckles in anticipation. It takes less than a moment to lock onto the cursed energy signature, and even less to teleport over to the first assassin.

She doesn’t bother to remove her blindfold. Her Six Eyes tells her all she needs to know — middling aura, uninspired cursed technique, reeking of washed up first grade looking for a fat purse, and pissing his pants right now. Five seconds.

“The deal was just for Ge—”

Satoru twists his head off before he can finish, and locates the second one, an equally uninspiring woman with a sword. She decides to give her a moment longer to live. “Who set the bounty?” she asks.

The woman, to her credit, sounds resigned to her death. “It was anonymized. It was just for Getou Suguru, body intact.”

Satoru tamps down the cold fury running in her veins. Takes the logical step needed to ascertain that at least this wasn’t some chest pounding from the clans, they would have attached their names to this. “Thanks!” Satoru appreciates with honesty before she completely separates cervical vertebrae five and six. Twelve seconds.

The third and the fourth are sub par first grades at best, and easy to dispatch, leaving behind a couple twisted ropes of flesh and bone. Satoru supposes she should have put on a robe, but none of them were going to live to tell anyone. Twenty one seconds.

The fifth one is further out, better concealed, some sort of long-range specialization with an unconventional line of sight on the hotel room. This one manages to strike back, a decent curse user with an interesting cursed technique that she deflects with Infinity.

“Gojo Satoru?” Number Five says, disbelieving. “The bounty’s yours, just l—” She doesn’t care to hear the rest.

Thirty three seconds.

The sixth one is an older female close range combatant that she toys a bit with, since she has time. Number Six carries a trace of a specialized cursed technique that looked to be an offshoot from one of the old houses, although long diverged. Too old to be useful though, Satoru judges, long battle-hardened with stubborn habits ingrained.

“I have no grudge with you, Gojo Satoru.” Number Six’s dominant arm hangs broken in three points, which is a credit to the woman’s skill. “If you want Getou Suguru, she’s all yours.”

“Much appreciated!” Satoru responds. “You’re not terrible, so you can pick how you want to go out. But before I do it, care to tell me how long the bounty is active for?”

Number Six sounds taken aback by the question. “Aren’t you doing this for the bounty? You must know—”

“Nevermind, just pick,” she interrupts. This really isn’t the conversation she wants to be having when she could be soaking in a bath with Suguru. Assassin number six opts for painless, so Satoru obliges. Forty nine seconds.

Afterwards, she idles, scanning the cityscape. Perhaps the timer ran out, or perhaps, sensing Suguru’s monitoring curses lingering, Suguru took care of the rest. Satisfied they will do their clean up duties, she teleports back to the hotel room.

Fifty eight seconds.

Right on time.

She peels off the blindfold and finds Suguru sitting with her head tipped back at one end of the tub, her hair floating tendrils in the water. Suguru’s profile is still as sharp and dominant as she remembers it from the halcyon summers, the pale column of her neck framed by the delicious curve of her deltoids, delineated by falcon wing collarbones and the swell of her perky tits, her dusky nipples just below the waterline.

“Did you really go out in those cuffs?” Suguru asks her, amused.

Satoru catches herself. “Huh, I forgot about these.” She unbuckles them, dropping them off by the door with the blindfold. “I’m still going to clean, but it’ll be fast.” No blood crossed her barrier, only lube, sweat, and Suguru’s slick on her skin.

As she grabs the stool and lathers up, Suguru tells her, “My network tells me there’s been a steady rise in my bounty, and yet I only occasionally encounter any assassins. Rumor has it, someone’s been going around with a counter contract. It seems that’s not the case. Am I right?”

Satoru flashes her a smile with teeth. “Didn’t I promise you from the beginning? Anyone who comes after you, I will kill first.” She has no obligation to report the bounty hunter fatalities to the college.

Satoru rinses off one limb at a time, saving the detachable showerhead for her groin last. Suguru is watching with half lidded eyes, so she makes it a show, spreading her legs and stroking herself under the spray. While pleasant enough to stir some kitten licks of heat, she is strangely tapped out and Suguru shows little indication otherwise. She gives up on the spray, and climbs into the bathtub, slotting herself between Suguru’s legs, back pressed against Suguru’s front.

“Oof, have you gained weight?” Suguru gets an elbow to the ribs.

“It’s all muscle.” Once she learned to use Six Eyes, she could finally manage her metabolism adequately and move towards packing real physical strength. Mere cursed energy wasn’t enough, bleeding out under Fushiguro Toji was simply the wake up call.

“That, I could feel.” Suguru runs her fingers along her sides, not so much groping as feeling the musculature that’s built up, settling over the ridge of her hip, rubbing small circles with her thumb where she had left the imprint of her nails. “You look good.”

“You look like shit,” Satoru lies. “Have you been eating? You’re looking kind of scrawny.” Satoru knows Suguru’s complexion, has observed it in every minute detail, and knows the tell tale signs: the fatigued, sallow skin under her eyes, the jut of her cheekbones where the fat has thinned out, the microscopic brushstrokes of burst blood vessels from vomiting laced around her temples, all the details that hide in plain sight laid bare under her gaze.

“You ask the same question every time,” Suguru reminds her. “I’m fine, more than enough to handle you.” Her arms wrap around Satoru, squeezing to emphasize strength; Satoru recognizes it for it is— a hug. The silence wraps them in the contained space, idyllic and peaceful.

“Does the blindfold do anything for you?” Suguru finally asks. She means in the context of the scene; they both know it is inconsequential in reality, as are so many other devices.

“Not exactly,” Satoru concedes. “More effective than my shades though, since it is a more complete block.”

“You didn’t seem to need it in the past.” An observation that only Suguru can make.

Years ago, when her mastery over Six Eyes was nascent at best, Satoru had explained it to Suguru as akin to turning off the monitor while the processor hummed in the background. Now Six Eyes is more intricately woven into every passing moment, tied into baseline reflex, tuned to every breath she takes. Now, she can’t explain such things to Suguru, so she settles for, “I didn’t need as much to suppress it. It’s harder now.”

“The great Gojo Satoru, too powerful for her own good,” Suguru mocks, but with a tone lacking any meanness. “Too hyperaware to enjoy a good fuck with anyone else, so you come crawling back to me.”

Satoru smacks her half heartedly, water splashing over the sides. “Fuck you, you enjoyed it too.”

“If I have to do all the work, I might as well.” As if to prove her point, Suguru lifts her hands, and begins to card through Satoru’s hair, scratching at her scalp. Satoru moans reflexively, a soft mewling sound she doesn’t even remember making, melting against Suguru in spine-tingling pleasure.

“Not fair,” Satoru protests weakly, and closes her eyes in resignation. “You’re cheating.”

Suguru laughs softly. “Hasn’t anyone told you that you’re needy?”

“Just you.”

“Someone has to keep you honest.” Suguru continued her ministrations, her hands bathwater warmed and softly pruning. “I heard Yaga let you pick up a class of first years, even after your track record. How did someone like you end up teaching?”

“Shocking, I know. Me, the most irresponsible one of us all entrusted with kids.” Before she can stop herself, and because her brain-mouth filter was never that good: “Imagine if we told our younger selves this is where we’d be now.”

Suguru stills her hands and lets the silence hang pregnant and swollen, as though a veil had snapped and peeled back to ugly truth. Satoru knows the magic is gone now, because they were already navigating the tightrope act of Not Talking About It.

“Is it so different now?” Suguru finally asks, her voice soft against the shell of Satoru’s ear. “You have your kids, I have mine. We believe in our respective purposes, and we work towards that goal.”

Satoru could turn around, look Suguru in the eye, and see every naked emotion between them. But she doesn’t. “Can’t we have common goals? We were a team, Suguru. I don’t want to fight you.”

“Are we fighting?” Suguru sounds tired, as tired as the tone she took in the moment they had their blowout screaming match on some random street in Shinjuku. Well, more like Satoru screaming and Suguru simply taking it. “Is this us fighting?”

“You know what I mean.”

“You and I agreed to mutual non-aggression.” Suguru sighs. “But as long as you continue this reformist ideal, I fear for its longevity. If the college decides to send someone else after me, I will respond in force.” Her tone turns knife-sharp, even as her body is relaxed. Suguru’s always been good at that, separating the body from the mind. “And then what? What happens if I decide I need to shatter the institution before you succeed in changing it from within? What happens if you find, for all your individual strength, you’re still another piece to be bartered, forced to compromise? You haven’t consolidated your power within your clan yet.”

In another time, at another age, Satoru would have snapped back at the personal slight; in a different time, and different age, Satoru would have been indifferent even if the rest of jujutsu society burned to the ground. Now, Satoru lets the background sensory intake of Six Eyes take over. “Didn’t you say, if it were up to me, nothing is impossible? What if I do make them change? Then will you stop?”

Suguru gives it a moment of silence in rumination. “Probably not.” Satoru doesn’t need Six Eyes to know this is true. “Our goals are not compatible.”

“If we get to that point,” Satoru tells her, “then I will kill you.” She remembers how her hands shook, how infantile her control over Limitless truly was as she piecemeal teleported her way to Shinjuku, the strain of it stabbing against the back of her eyes, and the way her blood ran cold and her stomach heavy as she thought in that moment, in that space, maybe she could end it there, so at least Suguru wouldn’t have to die alone.

It was the first time she felt the grips of mortality, not when her life was bleeding out in front of her, only her heart.

“Can you, this time?”

“Of course.” She answers too quickly.

“Good.” Suguru presses a ghost of a kiss against her neck, as if Infinity had been activated to the thinnest of membranes; it isn’t possible, Satoru made sure of that, Infinity didn’t and doesn’t treat Suguru as a threat.

“Let’s ensure this has meaning,” Suguru continues, the touch of her fingers barely perceptible. The all seeing Six Eyes tells Satoru everything and enables nothing in return, a void of infinite knowledge where Satoru could scream in futility; this is her innate domain. “Let’s make this a binding oath.”

 

***

 

On December 24, 2017, Gojo Satoru’s one and only binding oath to Getou Suguru has been fulfilled.