Darkness Folds on Darkness.

It's the scent what wakes him up, something too sweet in the air, heavier than incese and somehow familiar and yet-- Subaru blinks or tries too, but his eyes, he can't--


"Shhh," a whisper, right besides his ear, and then that person bites his ear, hard. "Stay quiet."

Subaru gasps and tries too pull away but it's then that he discovers that he's tied-- something like red thread wrapped around his wrists, around his legs, and the scent is so heavy now. He shakes his head and tries to focus, tries to see outside of this reality.

But somehow, it keeps slipping past his control, slippery and cool and the hands touch him, trace the soft shell of his ear, the line of his neck, the hollow between his collarbone. Subaru still tries to get free, tries too--

He gasps when he feels something cutting on his skin, and he looks and finds a red line running down his chest.

"You do make a beautiful doll," whoever it is that's casting this illusion says. Subaru thinks the voice sounds familiar and if he could just--

Another cut, this time on his wrist. He's feeling drowsy, the scent of this place and the touch of this shadow maddening, even as they cut over him, ever so careful, and it doesn't make sense to think like that, to think that he's being taken care of when he's also being used like a toy.

"Red is such a beautiful color on you," the shadow says, curling a hand over his hip and Subaru's skin feels sore and raw, and it's hard to know where he's been cut and where he hasn't when all his body is thrumming for this.

Then the shadow seems to be pouring itself inside him and Subaru startles awake, sweaty and shaking, completely unharmed, with just a sticky mess inside his pants.

"A nightmare, Subaru-kun?" Seishirou-san asks, concerned.

Subaru wishes for a moment he wasn't so pale, so that the shadows beneath his eyes weren't so obvious. Hokuto had been upset enough when she had seen those.

"I-I'm sure it's nothing!" He assures, wincing a little when Hokuto huffs in disbelief. "I'll be fine."

"If you're sure, Subaru-kun," Seishirou-san says with a sigh, taking his hand and squeezing it gently. Subaru feels himself flush and his heart beats hard inside his chest. "But if you ever need my help, I hope you know you can trust me."

And before Subaru can say that he knows that, as the warmth of Seishirou-san's words spread through him, Seishirou-san turns his hand a little and he leans down, pressing a kiss to his wrist, exactly where he was cut in his dream and Subaru gasps at the sudden shock that runs through his body, at how Seishirou-san's eyes look.

"Waah! Sei-chan! So bold and so rude!" Hokuto laughs, pointing with her spoon towards Seishirou-san. "Daring to kiss my brother in front of me!"

"H-Hokuto-chan!" Subaru starts, blushing, but he's interrupted soon enough by Seishirou-san.

"Dear, it was indeed so very rude, Hokuto-chan!" Seishirou-san agrees, a hand to his chest. "Will you forgive me if Subaru-kun and I set the date for the wedding?"

"S-Seishirou-san, please!" He jerks his hand from the man's hold, but they don't seem to listen.

Subaru sighs and hangs his head as Hokuto-chan starts making plans for the wedding, Seishirou-san explaining just what kind of dress he'll wear. Subaru keeps his hand close to his body, rubbing at his wrist as if it hurt; somehow, the place where Seishirou-san's lips touched his skin is burning and he doesn't understand why.