Disclaimer: not mine. Also, spoilers for the latest episode of the anime.

Author's Note: I haven't written much of anything in a long time, and this fandom is new to me. And I find the characters in this series challenging to capture, but hopefully I did this drabble as accurately as possible... and I tried to make it fluffy because the last episode had me bawling ok

hope you enjoy :)

He sucks in a sharp breath and rolls out of his bed. He's not used to knocks on his door, and especially not at 3 a.m.

He fumbles for the nearest sharp object and hesitates with his other hand on the doorknob. "Who's there?"

No response, but he receives another dainty knock, like that of a small child. Then he catches the sound of featherlight feet and whips open his door before she escapes.

"Kuriyama-san, wait!"

She stops, but refuses to turn in his direction. "Y-yes, Senpai, did you need something?"

"Kuriyama-san, you knocked on my door."

"You are mistaken."

"There's no one else around here. It had to be you."

"Could've been a youmu."

Akihito sighs, and pockets the rusted cooking knife. "Would you like to come inside, Kuriyama-san?"

She turns to him slow and unsteady, like she's spinning on a missing axis. "U-um, maybe."

"I have leftover udon."

"I'll come inside. Thank you for the invite, Senpai."

They sit cross-legged at his aching bedroom table, knees knocking together at the corners. He notices that she paces her eating, and that her silhouette is thinner than it used to be, less like a warrior and more like a long-fallen soldier. Her bones are visible in some places, the bruised bags under her eyes too filled with sleepless nights and painful reminiscence. She's not built to be broken. She's made of acidic blood and a steel-sheltered soul.

"Kuriyama-san," he murmurs into the quiet as he pushes his untouched meal toward her, "why did you come over so late?"

Her hands clench on her thighs till her knuckles turn porcelain. "I kept having nightmares."

He waits.

"Nightmares where I lost you. Nightmares where I took you." She captures his gaze. Her voice cracks. "I needed to know you were real."

Akihito places a hand over hers. "I have those, too. I'm glad you're here."

Tears drip onto their connected hands. She embraces him after a long moment and grips him so tight it's like the ground has open up beneath them and he's all she has to hold onto. He returns it, breathes in the vanilla scent of her hair. Her skin is colder than it used to be. He wonders if there's still snow in her somewhere that never melted, from when she was trapped.

From when the nightmares she has now, the nightmares where she can't reach him, were his reality.

"Do you want to stay here tonight?" he asks.

"Thank you for the invite, Senpai." He looks behind him and she's already wrapped up on his floor.

"You brought a sleeping bag?" He rolls his eyes when she closes hers. Akihito picks her up from her cocoon on the rug and tosses her onto the bed.


He shuts the lights off and slips under the covers behind her, and wraps his arms around her waist. "You won't be able to have nightmares about me not being real if I'm next to you all night. And I won't have them, either. It all works out."

She huffs, but sinks into him with a fluttering heart. "You're being unpleasant. I don't want to get used to this."

"I do. But I am a little sad that you sleep without glasses."

"Goodnight, Senpai."

He smiles, half-asleep. "Night, Kuriyama-san."