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An Insomniac’s Nightmare

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        The dorm room was slightly drafty, the harsh breeze howling. Amami had considered many times climbing out that window. Though, he wouldn't get very far. Korekiyo watched him as he slept, thinking he was beautifully peaceful. The ivy haired man was in a serene rest. Shinguji on the other hand quietly escaped the comforter, sat up, and left their dorm mate. They shut the window, shaking from the frigid air. The long-haired being winced. They stood over the sleeping male and observed without making a sound. "Kiyo, what are you doing?" he asked, half asleep still. "Apologies. I was only admiring." They explained. These words slightly subdued the anxiety building up in his chest. With that relief, he acquiesced. He didn't mind being watched as he slumbered. A tender warmth between them grew potent, though the temperature was rather unwelcoming. Amami tried to go back to sleep. But, to no avail. "I'm terribly sorry for disturbing you. It seems you were in bliss." Korekiyo spoke longingly and held eye contact. It was intense for both parties

        To make such a laid-back guy so uneasy, 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘮𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨. That was the most stress he'd openly displayed since the disappearance of his countless lost siblings. What could have been causing so much tension? His chest hung heavy with dread. 𝘏𝘦 𝘴𝘰 𝘥𝘦𝘴𝘱𝘢𝘪𝘳𝘦𝘥, considering all the explanations for their obsessive behavior. At one point in time, they were arguably more attached to him than to their late older sister. Of course, they dedicated to her longer. But, they loved Amami more than they'd ever loved anyone else. "I couldn't sleep... Quite fascinating." Kiyo further elaborated. Taro responded silently with a faint trace of a grin, more of a haphazard smirk. The anthropologist looked at something or someone ostensibly not there. It was rather alarming to the male that he believed it was there. The existence of whoever or whatever Kiyo was looking at maybe at least partiality grounded in reality. It is not man's place to question such things. For most of human history, we have excommunicated men for denying the existence of a deity or deities. Korekiyo wasn't completely human themself. They were godlike, between mortal and God/Goddess.

        Shinguji was a demigod among weak human students. It was a wonder that they admired the beauty of humanity, even if they were less able. A hideous part of themself still loved Miyadera, causing an internal conflict since they had processed her crimes and forgiven themself. Rantaro had reminded them before that they weren't to blame. "Beau... I apologize for my insomnolence.  Let it be known my dear departed sister is indignantly watching us." Kiyo said this but knew she was real. "Babe, come back to bed. It's one in the morning...” He tried to reason with the individual in a raspy sleepy voice. Shinguji sat extremely close to him. But, still protested. “𝘉𝘦 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘢𝘧𝘳𝘢𝘪𝘥. I only wish to take in your presence. I have pure intentions." They reassured him in their disturbed state. Having gone without sleep for over 24 hours, it was inevitable. "You sleep at all or just stare at me?" Rantaro asked, only growing more concerned. The room grew dead silent with regret. Though, it wasn't as if they could help it. They desperately tried to sleep, only soothed by the soft breathing of their slightly shorter boyfriend as he was unconscious. He shifted until comfortable, holding his partner close.

        Kiyo's pajamas were a monochrome set, dull burgundy nightgown, and cloth facemask. They had their hair in a single braided bun. Rantaro was wearing navy blue pajama pants with green lines in the plaid and one of their sweetheart's oversized dark grey sweaters. He carefully undid the braid in his partner's hair. Taro wiped off their makeup, though Kiyo didn't have much on, just black eyeliner. They had stopped applying Sister's vermillion lipstick. To further distinguish themself from the eerily similar-looking female, they always wore their hair up and had stopped wearing the suit and hat she'd insisted they always dress in. They began to take preference for traditional attire, even outside of their own beautiful culture. However, they, unfortunately, kept most of her things for the sentimental value they held. The love for her was now familial rather than sexual or romantic in nature. This was a huge step in the right direction. That thought was gently interrupted. "Mind if I take off your mummy wrap?" Both giggled amusedly. "Mm hm. I do not contest to it." Shinguji responded soft-spoken. 

        Amami tenderly unraveled the bandage wrap from his delicate arms, hands, and slender fingers. He gingerly held the hands of the other body in the bed. He selected an emerald shade of nail polish and painted their fingers with precision and artistry. "Kehehe... It is most satisfactory. You have a meticulous talent for this, I have observed." Korekiyo aforementioned "You look good, babe." He said, beaming. The both of them feigned a smile. He planted a kiss on their forehead. The adventurer attempted to take off the other's mask. That only made them recoil and become weary. "I am sorry... Please refrain from touching me again for the time being." He nodded and chuckled nervously. "You mad? I wanted a kiss." Rantaro didn't understand why they were afraid. Still tone deaf, unintentionally making them uncomfortable, he didn't read into it much. It would be beneficial if he did. It wasn't common to ask permission to kiss your partner, but à la Korekiyo's request, he would ask before touching them again. "Not in the slightest. That is not the problem at hand. What bothers me is that you didn't ask me for consent. I hope that is not too much to ask. A kiss is not terribly invasive per se." They said, looking away and getting up once more.

        Kiyo took in a sharp inhale and persisted with hitched breathing. The anthropologist was noticeably shaking. Their pale skin fell a sickly gray. They froze with fear and grew taciturn. Taro shot up from his slouched position and looked up at the other. The androgynous person barricaded themself underneath the bed. Rantaro lept out of bed and scrambled to get on their level. He lied on the floor beside the bed. "Shit I really fucked up. I'm sorry. I'll ask next time." He didn't know what else to do so he just offered the constant reassurance they needed. "Nah, it's not too much to ask." Taro added in a calm, cool voice, smooth and palatable. "Oh, that is pleasant news to me. It was my understanding that I'm being demanding." They broke their silence. He stopped hiding and relocated to a chair in the room

        It got rather quiet again beside the sound of turning pages of an old slightly dusty book on stories of yokai. The storybook Shinguji was reading wasn't far off from western folklore, save for dark themes, and higher stakes to ignoring the lessons taught through these tales. The thought of the dead manifesting as beautiful otherworldly creatures was alluring. In some ways this was intentional. Many people are fascinated by death and spirits, not unlike themself. The two sat in relative silence until roughly 1:30 AM. They were cuddling as they read. Rantaro read a bit slower than Kiyo, so he turned the pages after both were finished taking in the words deeply. He sat on the ground right in front of his nonbinary lover and laid in their lap. Taro gazed up at them longingly, with love and passion. "Wanna explain it to me?" He asked, perplexed. Korekiyo nodded and smiled, contented by his interest in the topic. To be completely honest he wasn't particularly invested, but rather he was befuddled and wanted to hear his neurodivergent partner expatiate on his apparent special interest. The masked entity thoroughly described the intricacies of the mythology written. "Gotcha." He said, retaining all the information for later discussion. 

        The thin paned window framed a pale blue-gray figure. For that is where she stood in the bone-chilling condition outside. This didn't seem to have any effect at all on the restless spirit. It wailed as if a banshee intruding on both the peaceful moment and the room itself. Glass shattered with the breaking and entering by the entity. Korekiyo poured salt in a line separating both of them from the ghoul. Rantaro bravely held the taller person, seeing them panic, but still not envisioning the horrid creature. He had no idea what was going on. Kiyo had salt in his palm, prepared to douse it with sodium. It contorted into a strange agonizing uncomfortable position, writhing around inhumanly, screeching. And only they alone bear witness to the ghastly sight. One thing was certain, the image of 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘴𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘫𝘰𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘴𝘦𝘳𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘵 was etched into their brain forever.