“South-southeast! Your next mission is located south-southeast!” The Kasugai crow shouted above him multiple times in the past five minutes. Tanjiro told his crow he knew where he was headed yet the bickering didn't cease any less. Tanjiro sighed covering one of his ears to stifle the crows loud voice.
“I heard you! I heard, so give me a break and quiet down!” Tanjiro pleaded hoping the crow would listen to him. The crow only flew down flapping around him and cawing. “I'm begging you! I got the message, so please!”
Suddenly a loud cry startled the pair and both looked over only to see two people on the path. One with a bright yellow fading to dark orange kimono with white triangles was on his knees gripping a girl in a dark lavender kimono by the shoulders and pleading like his life depended on it.
“Please! Please marry me!” The blond haired male begged, with tears in his eyes.
“I could die any day, you know! That's why I want you to marry me! So please! please, im begging you!”
“Wha- what on earth is that about?” Tanjiro questioned as he looked over the odd scene, seamingly out of nowhere a male house sparrow flew from the side, and to Tanjiro who held out his hand in advance for the small bird so it could land. It chirped desperately at him and fluttered its wings to try and prove his point about the situation before him.
Tanjiro tilted his head at the sparrow and took in all of what he had to say. Eventually after getting the information, Tanjiro nodded at the little sparrow “I see, I'll do something about it” Tanjiro said, determined to fix the problem ahead of him.
The sparrow looked relieved to be finally understood and promptly flew off to the side. Tanjiro walked to the strange guy and the girl struggling to pry him off as he clutched to her, his face full of tears and snot as he still pleaded to the girl.
“Please help me! Please marry me! I'm begging yo-” he was cut off as Tanjiro yanked him off the girl by his sunset colored kimono.
“What do you think you're doing in the middle of the road?” he shouted at the blond while holding the kimono tightly “Can't you see she wants no part of you? And don't go making trouble for your sparrow, either!”
“T-That uniform? Hey, i know you from final selection” he mumbled as he looked over Tanjiro’s features, recognizing the kind sound the Alpha made during the time he was around the burgundy haired male after Final Selection was over.
“No one i know is anything like you! I don't know you!” Tanjiro yelled at the teary male.
“But we met, remember! We met, remember?!” The other repeated in haste “Your the one that has a problem! like your bad memory!”
Then, Tanjiro finally recognized the blond as one of the five survivors from final selection, he had quite a unique scent from other Alphas and Betas he's met before. He took a moment to process this and finally let his grip go of the yellow-orange kimono, turning his attention to the alpha female. “It's alright now i've taken care of it, you can head home now without any trouble”
“I will. Thank you so very much!” she happily said bowing to show her gratitude to Tanjiro for his help. The male behind Tanjiro watched with wide eyes before he started shouting again.
“Hey! Stay out of my way! She is going to marry me because she's in love with me-” all of a sudden a loud smack rang through the air as the girl smacked the other and continued to hit him multiple times before being held back by Tanjiro.
“H-hey calm down!” Tanjiro said as he struggled to hold the female alpha back from hurting the blond more.
“When did I ever say that I loved you!?” She yelled, as she tried getting out of Tanjiro's grip to knock more sense into the other guy.
"You were crumpled up at the side of the road and all I did was ask if you were alright!"
"What? You mean you didn't reach out to me out of love because you were worried!?"
"I already have a fiancé, so not on your life! And with all that energy you must be fine now right? Goodbye!" Her words were full of finality as she turned around and stormed away.
“W-wait comeback! Come…”
“Hey, cut it out!” Tanjiro looked at the blond that was sitting on the ground.
“Wh-why did you get in my way? This has nothing to do with you!” He replied.
Tanjiro gave him a look.
“What's with that look, Knock it off!” The other cried “Why are you staring at me like I'm some sort of creature or something? Your the one that's responsible for it, It's your fault that I lost my chance at getting married!” He pointed accusingly at Tanjiro like he was a villain.
“JEEZ, SAY SOMETHING ALREADY!!!” he screeched the tears just seemed never ending for this guy.
“Listen up! I'm going to die soon, on my next job. The thing is i'm super weak! I'm not kidding, you have to protect me until I manage to get married all right?” the young teen said. Tanjiro placed a hand on his own chest as he spoke his next words.
“My name is Tanjiro Kamado!”
The male shook violently “Is that right? I'm sorry! My names Zenitsu Agatsuma, please save me, Tanjiro!” Zenitsu shuffled towards him and gripped at his kimono, his eyes shiny from all the tears as the light hit them. Tanjiro scrunched his face in confusion at the demon slayers words, why did he become part of the Corps?
“What do you mean save you?” Tanjiro placed his hands on Zenitsu’s shoulders “What's your reason for becoming a swordsmen Zenitsu? And why are you being so blatantly shameless?”
“That's a harsh way to put it!” he cried.
“I got tricked by a women and racked up all this debt, an old geezer who took it over for me was a cultivator, and after that i had to go through hellish training day after day!” Zenitsu pulled his hair as he spoke, “It was so bad that I thought I'd be better off dead! I was hoping I could die during Final Selection, but since i was lucky enough to survive, im still going through hell every single day!”
Tanjiro looked on with worry as the blond continued to rant on about his predicament.
“Ahhhh! I’m so scared! scared, scared, scared! I know that im going to end up killed and devoured soon by a demon, my brainsgoingtobesuckedthroughmyearswhileimstillalive nonononono!!!”
“PLEASE SAVE ME!!!” Zenitsu hollered for dear life as he shook uncontrollably, shaking in place, tears overflowed on his already soaked cheeks, he was even gasping for breath as he entered some sort of panic attack. The scent of distress and anxiety was horrible to Tanjiro’s sensitive nose, he thought the smell of a fightend Betas was bad but this one topped it for potency.
Tanjiro felt the urge to relieve the blond of such a desperate and terrored filled state. He didn't understand why the need to protect and nurture was so strong towards Zenitsu but reason or not he wouldn't leave someone who needed help.
And Zenitsu desperately needed it right now.
Tanjiro kneeled beside his trembling form and placed a hand gently on his back and rubbed it soothingly. Zenitsu continued to hyperventilate, his crying never stopping blurring his caramel eyes.
“What's the matter, are you okay?” Tanjiro asked quietly, releasing some of his pheromones in hopes to calm the boy down. It wouldn't be as effective as a Betas calming pheromones but he would do the best he could to help the young male. He massaged his back in soothing circles while rubbing the scent gland on his wrist to the sunset kimono, spreading the scent more to calm Zenitsu further.
Zenitsu’s breathing calmed down fairly quicker then Tanjiro thought would happen, considering how panicked he had been when this started. “Are you feeling better now?”
Zenitsu took a deep breath before nodding his head slowly and closing his eyes as he rubbed his sleeve on them, clearing his face of tears. He looked up to Tanjiro for a moment before picking himself up off the ground and slumping his shoulders.
“Sorry about that,” he said, suddenly very shy as he fidgeted with his fingers. Tanjiro smiled softly at Zenitsu which surprised the blond.
“Dont worry about it, you needed the comfort and i wouldn’t just leave you in such a state”
Zenitsu blinked at Tanjiro’s kind words, tears pricking at the corners of his eyes again from it, he sniffled. It's been a while since Zenitsu met someone as kind as Tanjiro, besides Gramps of course.
Tanjiro jumped at the sight of tears again, afraid he may have triggered the unstable Beta into crying again.
“Ah, please don’t cry again!” he gestured to hold Zenitsu’s shoulders again but faltered in the process as Zenitsu brought an arm up to rub the tears away again and spoke.
Tanjiro let out a sigh of relief and smiled again when he realized he wasn't going to cry again.
“Let's head this way, there's a place I need to go if you want to come”
Zenitsu nodded following alongside Tanjiro on the dirt pathway. There was a warm breeze that blew around them as they walked. Zenitsu glanced over to Tanjiro every once in a while. He was kind of confused at the burgundy haired male. Despite being an Alpha, Tanjiro was very kind to him in the few minutes that they met. Even under the odd circumstance that they met under, and he was even allowing Zenitsu to accompany him.
As they walked a bit more, Zenitsu realized that the box Tanjiro was carrying had a demon inside. As scary as the thought of a demon so close scares Zenitsu, Tanjiro’s kind sounds made him feel a lot better about the situation. He obviously wasn't trying to bring harm or deceive anyone with it. And he sounded to much of a good soul to want to bring any harm to anyone.
Although he was a demon slayer, he was traveling with one oddly enough. Zenitsu wouldn't question it though, at least not now. He trusted that Tanjiro was doing this for a good reason, he could trust that.
Zenitsu listened to Tanjiro's heartbeats and the swaying of his hanafuda earring as he walked alongside him, it was a beautiful sound, soft but strong. It was weird but, pleasant. Most of the time Alpha's had sounds that felt intimidating and powerful, Beta's were calm and caring. Zenitsu had yet to meet another Omega like him to see how they generally sounded but he would guess similar to Beta's.
Tanjiro was like a mix of both Alpha and Beta sounds.
"How are you?" Tanjiro asked after quite some time of silence. He was giving Zenitsu some space to think and relax. All that panicking must have taken a lot out of him.
"I'm good, now that I'm calmer though, I'm starting to get a bit hungry"
"Don't you have any food with you?" Tanjiro questioned.
Zenitsu shook his head "no"
Tanjiro looked over the other demon slayer thoughtfully. He must be exhausted, he definitely looks it, he mused as he looked at Zenitsu's eyes, red and puffy from all the crying and half lidded from fatigue. Tanjiro reached in his kimonos inside pocket where he knew he had a rice ball stored there.
He pulled out the snack and presented it to the blond "Here take this, would you like it?"
"Oh, thanks" Zenitsu took it gratefully, and took a bite of the Onigiri. He looked over to the Alpha and noticed that he hadn't taken anything out to eat for himself.
"Your not eating, Tanjiro?" The Alpha smiled.
"No, since that was all I had with me"
Zenitsu regardless of his tiredness and hunger couldn't just take what little food Tanjiro had all for himself. He wasn't selfish. Not to mention Tanjiro was so kind to him all this time, he needed something in return. And the Omega in him cared for the hospitality the Alpha shared with him.
So Zenitsu did the only reasonable thing, and that was to share half of the food with him.
"Here, you have half" Zenitsu offered half of the rice ball to the burgundy Alpha.
"Really? Thanks!" Tanjiro took the half happily, taking a bite himself.
Again a comforting silence takes place as they finish eating, Zenitsu wonders how far Tanjiro is traveling. They've been walked for a good forty minutes already.
"I know what you mean when you say your scared of demons Zenitsu, but you can't go making trouble for your sparrow"
"The sparrow? Was it distressed? How can you tell?"
"Well, he says your always whining about not going to work, that you constantly hit on Alphas and Betas, and you snore so loud that he's had it. Or so he says" Tanjiro points to the little sparrow he pulled out of his inside pocket where it snuggled up to rest a while back. It chirped in agreement and it looked at Zenitsu.
Zenitsu's eyes widened in shock and disbelief.
"He's saying all that? You can understand bird language?"
Tanjiro nodded giving Zenitsu a hum of agreement.
"Your lying, right? Your just trying to trick me!" He says, not believing what Tanjiro's saying.
Zenitsu suddenly hears a loud cry from a crow as he sees one overhead flying in circles above them. He's shocked to his core when he hears the bird suddenly speaking.
"Start running! Start running! Tanjiro, Zenitsu, run! Both of you head to your next destination! Tanjiro! Zenitsu!"
Zenitsu started trembling at the freakish sight. There's no way that's happening! he's dreaming!.
“AHH! THAT CROW IS TALKING!!!” he screamed again, and somehow started making dynamic poses on the ground that Tanjiro didn't even know were possible for the blond. Zenitsu continued to freak out and covered his ears like he was trying to ignore that fact that Tanjiro’s crow was actually speaking. “IT’S A MONSTER! IT'S A MONSTER!”
Tanjiro looked over the male in worry, did his crow trigger another panic attack?
“Z-zenitsu it's okay! that's just my Kasugai crow” he went over the panicked demon slayer and kneeled down beside him. Zenitsu didn’t respond only continued pulling his hair and yelling things like “im going to die! diediedie!!!”
Without thinking, Tanjiro presented his wrist close to Zenitsu’s face and released some pheromones. He himself was a bit surprised at the action but he didn't mull on it as Zenitsu suddenly quieted down. His tawny iris studied the wrist in front of him and took in the scent wafting into his nose and calming down way faster than earlier.
Perhaps Zenitsu needed more than that. Would scenting something keep him steady? He used to scent either their wrists, items, or clothing that his siblings had when he would leave for a few hours to make money for his family, and it worked well so that they didn't miss him too much and kept them happy. He supposed it was because since his father passed, there was no one to fill an Alpha role in the family and they looked to him for it.
Zenitsu looked up, and warm caramel met kind scarlet.
“You seem to be soothed around my scent so, would you like me to scent something to keep you relaxed for a while?”
Zenitsu said nothing for a moment, lost in how unreal Tanjiro’s concern for him was. Why was he being so nice to someone like him? Like he deserved the goodwill? He was worthless in so many ways, he was weak, a crybaby, a coward, and couldn't even make Gramps proud by learning more of the styles of thunder. He tried, he really did, but he was such a disappointment to everyone around him no matter how hard he tried. So why?
Zenitsu couldn't even remember the last time he was given such an offer, and here it was, right in front of him without any hesitation, just like how Tanjiro had given him the rice ball earlier. He was such a kind hearted person. How many people would take advantage of something like that? Would he do anything someone asked without even batting an eye?
He sat up and looked down at the ground.
“You'd do something like that…” Zenitsu shut his eyes making the tears at the edges spill over, his voice shook as he finished his sentence “...for someone like me?”
Tanjiro smiled “Of course, if it would help you”
Zenitsu blushed at the bright smile Tanjiro gave him. That unique kind melody still hummed in his ears and he nodded shyly turning his face away. He offered his arm lifting it up for Tanjiro to scent the end of the kimono. Zen felt Tanjiro grab his hand and jumped, almosted jerking his hand away when suddenly Tanjiro connected both of their wrists.
“W-what are you doing?” Zenitsu asked, shocked that Tanjiro was rubbing his gland on Zenitsu’s.
“Hmm? Oh, did you want something else scented instead?” Tanjiro looked apologetic, removing his wrist quickly in case he accidentally crossed some boundary. He assumed Zenitsu wanted to his wrist scented.
“I was suggesting the kimono, but the wrist is fine too...” Zenitsu looked away giving Tanjiro his arm again in reasurrence that he could continue his previous actions. Tanjiro nodded, and continued rubbing his gland on Zenitsu’s.
“y'know I did this alot with my little brother when there where thunderstorms at night” Tanjiro smiled at the memory.
Zenitsu's eyes widened a bit. He did this often with his family members? Something tugged at Zenitsu's chest at the thought, he wished he could of experienced something like that.
By the time Tanjiro finished he hadn't realized how much pheromones he was pushing out until he stopped and sniffed.
"Ah, sorry I guess I went a bit overboard," he said. Zenitsu shook his head.
"No, it's fine I don't mind"
Tanjiro nodded standing up while helping out Zenitsu as well. "C'mon, I think we're close" he said as he broke into a run.
"Ah wait up!" Zenitsu cried as he ran after the Alpha.