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The Boy in the Sunlight

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“Tanjiro! Hurry! You have to shrink yourself!” Nezuko’s face was covered with blood and drenched with sweat. Her voice was frantic as she tried to cover the demon’s body. “Hurry Tanjiro, the sun’s rising!” She screamed as she whipped her head to look at the sun coming up over the horizon.

That’s right.

Nezuko and him had been fighting a long, strenuous battle against Upper Moon Four, Hantengu. He had jumped off the cliff with Nezuko, who then beheaded the demon. They had won, they had won against another upper moon! But, he could feel it, a burning on the side of his face.

Tanjiro covered his face, trying to stop the burning sensation, but it didn’t work. Now he could feel it on the back of his hands. He could hear the hiss of steam surround him and an overwhelming warmth began spreading throughout him.

“Tanjiro!” Nezuko wailed, tears streaming down her face. She tried to cover his body as best as she could, but they were in an open field, and she didn’t have a haori to wrap him with. It wouldn’t be enough. Her attention was soon diverted to a chorus of screaming behind her, as Nezuko turned her head she saw the demon, who she had beheaded, start walking towards a group of bystanders. “No, no his body was another decoy!” Tanjiro saw her pink eyes look towards Genya, or Muichirou in hope that maybe they could... but they were too far away.

They wouldn’t get there in time.

Tanjiro watched his sister look around wildly, searching for solutions as thoughts whizzed around her head. No, she has to save the villagers, no one else will die tonight! Tanjiro’s crimson eyes began to tear up, already making the decision for his sister. With his last strength, he tossed her in the air, aiming her in the direction of the demon. While she was in the air, she looked at him, betrayed and heartbroken. He did his best to smile, assuring her that it was his choice, no, his right, to save someone in his last moments. He laid back down, resting in the grass on his back.

“Tanjiro!” She cried out, reaching her hand out. She disappeared beyond the smoke, beyond his smoke. The smoke of a demon burning in sunlight, it was surrounding him now. He closed his eyes to the sensation and began to realize how peaceful it was. It reminded him of his home, and the first sunrise of spring, one that promised to thaw the ice of winter. It was a warmth, that reminded him of love.

The sun began to shine into his eyes, causing a golden color to blossom behind his eyelids. It reminded him of Zenitsu, the way his blond hair shined in the candle light. It reminded him of his eyes, light brown, no more like golden brown eyes staring back at Tanjiro, not like he was a demon, but a human again. It reminded him of Zenitsu’s thunder breathing, and the golden sparks that danced around him when he fought.

“I want to be apart of your family, Tanjiro…” Zenitsu’s echoed out.

And he promised to do that. He promised he would be with him. If only, if only he could tell Zenitsu what he saw in him, just one last time. If only he could takes Zenitsu’s hands in his one last time, send him one more love letter.

It would be unfair, to die before properly kissing him.

The voice in Tanjiro’s head rang out. And he realized; yes it would be. It would be unfair, to leave Zenitsu behind, who still thinks he’s worthless. It would be unfair to leave Nezuko behind, the last member of their family. It would be unfair to leave Inosuke behind, who was alone for most of his life. Tanjiro’s hands dug into the grass in determination and he willed himself not to disappear.

And he actually didn’t.

Cautiously, he opened his eyes, gazing at the rising sun. It had been years since he saw the day sky, it seemed so foreign but welcoming compared to the night sky. It was beautiful, more beautiful than he remembered. He watched as the sky changed from a pale purple, to a brilliant orange. Tanjiro was frozen for a while, watching the sun in its beauty, before he realized he could actually move. Slowly, he raised himself onto his elbows, afraid that this is all an illusion and he’ll crumble away at any second.

He met Genya’s and Muichirou’s shocked gazes, before he slowly got up on shaky legs. It was at this moment he felt the muzzle slipped off, falling to hang on his shoulder. He was exhausted from their battle, but the thrill of existing under the sun was filling him with a new kind of energy. He took a step forward, towards the direction he threw Nezuko. That’s right, he has to check on Nezuko and tell her he’s okay, they’re okay. It doesn’t take long for him to stumble across his sister, who’s long black hair was spread around her. She was on her knees, sobbing into the ground.

“T-Tanjiro…” She whimpered, clutching the fabric over her heart. A swordsmith came to her, trying to get her attention.

“Kamado… Kamado…” They whispered, shaking the girl by the shoulder gently. She stopped crying momentarily, and raised her head to look at the man. The man said nothing more, and pointed behind her. Nezuko slowly turned around, and gasped as her pink eyes fell on Tanjiro, who was standing in front of her, unscathed by the sun.

“N-N-Nezuko…!” Tanjiro’s voice was shaky, but it was his voice. A huge smile spread itself onto his lips, causing his sharp teeth to poke out. Nezuko got up, taking shaky steps towards her brother, who tilted his head cutely at her. With a shaky hand, she cupped his cheek, staring at him in disbelief.

“Tanjiro… You’re okay… Are you… human…?” Nezuko asked. “No, you can’t be, you still have your fangs…” She mumbled under her breath. “Oh Tanjiro,” she sobbed out, “thank goodness, you’re okay…!” She threw her hands over his shoulders, and cried into his shoulder.

“Nezuko… you’re okay… thank goodness!” Tanjiro whispered back, holding her tightly against him.

 

“Thank you so much for helping us with laundry!” Aoi cheered, watching as the demon threw some blankets onto the drying rack. “It’s so nice to have you out in the sun, helping us.”

“N-no problem! I’m happy t-to h-help.” Tanjiro smiled and adjusted some more blankets. “I want to be…” he paused, trying to think of the word. “...helpful!” He finished, watching eagerly as the girls giggled in approval.

“You are! And you’re such good company!” Kiyo tugged on his checkered haori.

“Tanjiro, you’re speech is improving dramatically. All that hard work and practice is paying off.” Aoi complimented, smiling brightly. In the morning, he practiced his speech with Aoi, then as payment he helped her with chores and cleaning in the afternoon. And in the evening, he walks around the garden, watching the sunset and the clouds move across the horizon. Now that he was able to, he’s been spending every minute he can outside.“You know, it’s not going to be this peaceful when Blondie comes back from his mission!” She crossed her arms, pouting slightly.

“Ah! Zenitsu!” Tanjiro cheered, a smile spreading on his lips. “Zenitsu come back, soon?”

“Unfortunately… we wanted to keep you to ourselves a little longer!” Sumi whined, tugging on the other side of his haori.

“W-when?” Tanjiro asked.

“Ugh, today I think. Shinobu’s expecting him to drop by the infirmary.” Tanjiro’s face fell. “J-just for a routine check up!” Aoi quickly rushed out when she saw his worried face. “You know, I’m actually looking forward to seeing how he’ll react.” She smirked at Tanjiro, who scratched the back of his head sheepishly. She then reached into the laundry basket, pulling out another white blanket and motioned him to put it up. The demon nodded and placed the blanket with the others.

“Tanjiro!” The demon froze. He whipped his head to look behind him, by the front gate of the garden. There stood Zenitsu, who was desperately trying to catch his breath. His choppy blond hair was messy and he was visibly frazzled. “I-I heard your heartbeat outside!!” He yelled, tears gathering in his golden eyes. “I thought… I thought you… I thought someone dragged you outside in the sun!”

Tanjiro bolted towards Zenitsu, running towards the blond. Zenitsu’s eyes widened, before laughing and running towards him, his arms outstretched for a hug. “Waahh! Tanjiro you’re okay!” He cried out, he suddenly skidded to a holt, realizing that the speed at the demon was not only dangerous but intimidating. And he wasn’t slowing down either! Tanjiro threw himself at Zenitsu, wrapping his arms around the demon slayer’s torso and bringing him close. “T-Tanjiro!” Zenitsu stuttered.

“Z-Zenitsu!” Tanjiro yelled, bringing him closer. “Welcome back!”

“Gyaaaah! Tanjiro! Your voice is so cute!” Zenitsu screeched. The birds in the surrounding trees all flew from their nests at the sound. “Ohhh no, I think I’ll faint…” He confessed as he swayed slightly.

“Please do!” Aoi screamed over his shrill voice.

“Tanjiro! You look so nice in the moonlight, but in the sun…!” He blurted out, digging his face into the checkered haori. “I’m so proud and happy for you! Have you been practicing for me? Have you been speaking for me?” The blond tried to pull away, but Tanjiro’s hands immediately went to cup his face. “T-Tan-” The redhead pulled him in, crashing his lips against Zenitsu’s. He then kissed him all over his cheeks and forehead, covering his face with kisses.

“Kyaaa!!” The girls screamed as Tanjiro continued his assault, ignoring how red Zenitsu’s face was becoming.

“Tanjiro!” Zenitsu yelled trying to pry himself away from the demon. “Okay! Okay that’s enough!” He whined, glancing at the gaggle of blushing girls.

“Adorable.” He kissed the blond’s cheek. “Strong.” A kiss to his forehead. “Important.” Another to the corner of his lips.

“Gahh! You guys are cruel, playing a prank on Tanjiro! He probably doesn’t remember what those words mean.” Zenitsu finally broke away from the demon and began to fix his disheveled appearance.

“Actually, he asked me to help him practice those words specifically, and many more.” Aoi grinned as she looked at the dopey smile Tanjiro directed at Zenitsu.

“Oh, now I’m really going to faint…” Zenitsu muttered when he staggered to the side. The redhead immediately noticed this and scooped his friend up bridal style, smiling happily at his accomplishment. “T-Tanjiro! I’m supposed to sweep you off your feet.” He covered his face when another chorus of screams echoed around the garden. Whatever birds didn’t leave before now vacated the premises in search of peace and quiet. “I’m supposed to make you blush!” He whined.

“M-missed you.” Tanjiro whispered to him. He peaked from between his fingers, still dazed at Tanjiro’s sincere sound. It was exactly like his heartbeat.

“Hey, Tanjiro, do me a favor and deliver Zenitsu to Shinobu! He can’t escape from his checkup when you hold him down.” Tanjiro nodded and started heading off to the infirmary, dragging his unwilling companion.

“Hey! Tanjiro you’re supposed to be on my side!” Zenitsu yelled. The demon said nothing more as he walked into the room. Zenitsu seemed to accept his face as he laid his head against Tanjiro’s shoulder. “Tanjiro… I’m really happy. But next time, I swear I’m going to be the one to kiss you!” Zenitsu muttered into his shoulder.

“Promise.” Tanjiro smiled. He opened the door and walked inside, putting the demon slayer on the closet bed to the door.

“Oh! I was wondering why I heard so much screaming.” Shinobu smiled as she walked away from Nezuko’s bed towards the pair. “Thank you, Tanjiro. Now Zenitsu won’t refuse or runaway again! Perhaps we should be extra thorough on this check up sense you decided not to stick around for the previous ones.”

“I said I’m sorry!” The blond screeched at the pillar’s annoyed smile.

“Zenitsu, welcome back!” Nezuko greeted from her bed.

“Woah! Nezuko are you alright?! You’re all bandaged up.” Zenitsu suddenly stopped panicking as he saw her on the bed.

“I’m fine, now. We had to fight Upper Moon Four.” She sighed. Tanjiro left Zenitsu’s side to greet Nezuko with a pat to her head. Nezuko smiled as returned the gesture. “I see you and Tanjiro meet. I thought he was going to give you a heart attack.”

“He nearly did…” Zenitsu confessed, watching Tanjiro stare at Nezuko with so much love in his eyes. “His he still…?”

“Tanjiro is still a demon.” Shinobu answered his question, as she motioned for him to open up his shirt. “However, during his and Nezuko’s fight with Upper Moon Four, it was revealed that Tanjiro had this… ability, for lack of a better word. But he is still a demon.” She took some notes on the current state of his injuries, which look like he had some minor bruises and scrapes. She got up, closing the medical record.

“Tanjiro isn’t like other demons. He’s special.” The words flowed out before he could stop them.

“I’m sure I can take your word for it Zenitsu.” The pillar muttered, before she decided to walk out of the room. “Let me go get some medicine for the soreness!” She waved.

“H-how did you guys find out…?” Zenitsu looked at Nezuko, who slid her eyes to focus on Tanjiro.

“He… Tanjiro sacrificed himself to help me kill the demon… I thought… I thought I had lost him.” Nezuko clutched the blanket. Tanjiro noticed her sadness and put his hand over hers, smiling at his sister. “But instead, Tanjiro got more freedom.”

“Whaaat? Tanjiro you could’ve died! If you died, who would I marry?! Well, I guess I would marry you, Nezuko!” Zenitsu placed a hand over his heart, smiling a little too fondly for the demon’s liking.

“No!” Tanjiro shouted, throwing himself on Zenitsu’s bed in protest. “N-not my sister!” Tanjiro pouted.

“Pig pile!” Inosuke jumped from the door way to land on both Zenitsu and Tanjiro. “Benitsu, my faithful minion you have returned to me!” All he got was a wheeze in response. “I was starting to get bored, you know. No one is as weird as you around here.”

“You’re the weird one!” Zenitsu hissed.

“No I am amazing! I single handedly taught Danjiro to speak!” The boar huffed.

“Inosuke!” Tanjiro cheered.

“Correct!”

“You just taught him how to say your name!” Zenitsu screeched loudly.

“Yeah? And? It’s the most important thing to know!”

 

“Tanjiro…” Zenitsu pulled at Tanjiro’s hand to stop the redhead from following Inosuke to god knows where, the three of them had been hanging around the Butterfly Estate all day. Inosuke liked to pick fights with Tanjiro, so he could test his raw strength against a demon’s strength. The demon didn’t really take the bait, which would make Inosuke mad, who would then turn to pick on Zenitsu. It was then that Tanjiro would suddenly decided to arm wrestle the boar in retaliation. “Can we…” He took a deep breath. “Do you think we could…” The demon’s crimson eyes looked into his golden ones in curiosity. “Gah! You’re really going to make me say it?!” Zenitsu felt the familiar heat of a blush build up on his cheeks. “Can we go someplace… by ourselves?” He finally asked, not daring to look at the demon’s face. “We don’t have to-”

“Yes.” Tanjiro interrupted the blond. He could smell the nervousness coming over the blond, so he gave his hand a gentle squeeze. “Yes.” He repeated, softer this time. “Bye, I-Inosuke!” Tanjiro waved, and without saying anything else, dragged Zenitsu away.

“Hey! Zenjiro!” Inosuke huffed as he raised his fist in the air.

“Which one of us are you calling?!” Zenitsu yelled back in annoyance. He huffed before he turned his attention back to the redhead who was pulling him down the familiar hallways of the estate. It reminded Tanjiro of watching Zenitsu leave his room, and the loneliness that washed over him when the door closed behind him. Sure he had Nezuko there with him, but it was a different type of loneliness. He remembers the desire to follow Zenitsu down the hallway, or out into the sun. He would never leave Nezuko! But, Tanjiro had to admit that watching Zenitsu leave for a different mission filled his heart with worry.

He knew Zenitsu was strong, stronger than what the demon slayer thinks of himself, but it would be nice to be with him during those missions. It would be nice, to see the world by his side.

Tanjiro stops in front of a familiar door, a door that was like a prison when he first arrived, but now it was home. Shinobu was truly kind to them. It felt like his family was growing day by day. At the thought of family, he looks at Zenitsu, almost as if he’s searching for something, before pushing the door open and pulling him inside.

“I-I don’t know if we should be alone in your room!” He squeaks out. “People might get the wrong idea! E-especially cause we haven’t seen each other in a while and you don’t need the muzzle anymore! I don’t even want to know what Shinobu will think if-” He shook his head suddenly.

“I-It’s … okay.” Tanjiro smiles as he closes the door behind them. Zenitsu immediately forgets his worries as he walks up to the box in the corner of the room, slowly caressing the wood in a loving way. The redhead walks up behind him, curious to see why he is staring at the box in such a way.

“The box that started it all…” He whispered. “Isn’t it weird that Nezuko used to carry you around in this thing?” He laughed underneath his breath. Tanjiro decided to walk up right behind Zenitsu, until his breath was on the back of his neck. “Tan-” The boy turned around and quickly noticed how close they were. Tanjiro had an unreadable expression to him, the same one he had all those nights ago, in the same room they were in now. He clenched his hands as he took a deep breath. “I… I won’t faint this time!” His response was a smile. Tanjiro reached past Zenitsu to open the box, causing him to step out of the way for the demon. He reached into the box and Zenitsu tried to look to see what he was looking for, but it wasn’t long before Tanjiro pulled out a stack of letters.

“Kept them.” He proudly presented the demon slayers with the letters.

“Me too!” Zenitsu replied as he pulled back his haori to pull out a similar stack of letters from his pocket. “I don’t have a spot to put them all, and even if I did… I would want to keep them with me when I’m on my missions.” He confessed as he slightly gripped the papers. “I… I read them every night…” Tanjiro’s fangs poked out as a wide smile broke from his lips. Golden eyes fell to look at his lips, before jerking back up to meet his eyes. Zenitsu suddenly pulled Tanjiro close, and kissed him on his cheek, but then quickly pushed him away after. “S-see…” His voice broke. “See, I told you I would kiss you!” Zenitsu yelled a little too loudly as he squeezed his eyes shut in embarrassment.

“Mmph!” Tanjiro pouted. “Not f-fair!” He then pointed to his lips. “Kiss me!” He demanded.

“How can you be so forward?!” Zenitsu squeaked as he covered his face. “Tanjiro you’re going to give me a heart attack! You can’t just say… that to me!” Tanjiro, as stubborn as he was, kept motioning to his lips and tugging on Zenitsu’s haori to get his attention. “O-okay! Okay!” Tanjiro smiled triumphantly and began leaning in. Suddenly, Zenitsu’s hands covered Tanjiro’s lips and push him away. “C-close your eyes or something! You can’t keep staring at me like that!”

“Mmmpffh!” Tanjiro protested.

“If you were in your box I’d just kiss your box! But now… I… I can’t handle that expression!” Tanjiro rolled his eyes before he closed them. Slowly, he felt Zenitsu lower his hands. “Okay… Okay… I’m going to…” he paused, “kiss you, okay?” The blond’s hands came to rest on his cheeks before he was slowly pulled in. Tanjiro waited for what seemed like forever, and he began to wonder if Zenitsu was ever going to properly kiss him. He felt a shaky breath against his lips, before Zenitsu closed the distance between them. Tanjiro’s hands went to wrap his hands around Zenitsu’s waist, pulling him closer until they were flushed against each other.

Zenitsu’s scent of nervousness was washed away with the scent of the wind running through a peach field just before a lightning storm.

He pulled away, but Tanjiro leaned forward once more to give him another peck on his lips.

“Tanjiro you still like me… even though I’m nothing but a cry baby…” Zenitsu whispered as he held onto Tanjiro’s face for support.

“Y-yes...” The demon teased, as he nuzzled his face into his shoulder. He liked his scent most, it was somehow like the scent of thundering rain, but also the scent of the fireplace of his home during those stormy evenings. It was like the feeling of knowing you’re safe and warm inside your home during a terrible storm, exactly like he used to feel with his family. “You s-saved me… Three times…” Tanjiro confessed.

“Tanjiro, that one time with Inosuke doesn’t count anymore.” Zenitsu replied.

“Train.” Tanjiro hummed soothingly, and Zenitsu’s legs began to buckle.

“I was asleep! How cruel is that? The one time I’m cool in front of you, I can’t remember it!” He whined as he wrapped his arms around Tanjiro’s shoulders for support. “But I was cool, wasn’t I?” The demon nodded. “... What other time are you talking about then? You forget how to count?” He joked.

“Sun, Zenitsu.” Tanjiro whispered as he reached up to curl his hands in Zenitsu’s hair. He pulled away from him, to stare at his reaction, but he still kept him in place so he wouldn’t turn away. Tanjiro didn’t know why, but he had to see his face… He had to see his face when he told him. Golden eyes looked at Tanjiro in confusion. “My sun… shine. You saved me.” There seemed to be a click behind his eyes.

“Tanjiroooo!” Zenitsu sobbed has be clung to the demon. “You’re going to kill me! You can’t kill me, you promised you’d marry meee!”

 

“Can you guys STOP KISSING for FIVE MINUTES?!” Inosuke yelled from out of nowhere. Zenitsu immediately pulled back away from Tanjiro, who frowned slightly. They had been in the garden walking around and enjoying each others company when Tanjiro suddenly pulled Zenitsu behind a tree and began kissing him teasingly.

“Inosuke.” Tanjiro grumbled at the boar.

“Shut up!” Zenitsu screeched as he covered his face, trying to cover up his blush and stop Tanjiro from kissing him again. It turns out the demon has no since of shame and will continue to kiss Zenitsu even after getting caught. The whole reason why they were in the garden was so that way Aoi or Nezuko wouldn’t see them, well anymore than they already do. Tanjiro never shied away from displaying his affection, he felt bad because Zenitsu gets embarrassed easily, but he would be lying if he said it discouraged him from continuing to do so. Even with his family he wouldn’t shy away from a cuddle or kiss.

It was at that moment Tanjiro realized Zenitsu probably wasn’t used to kisses or cuddles because he was always alone. Now, Tanjiro would make it his life’s mission to make up all the affection the demon slayer had missed out on during his early years.

“Fight me!” Inosuke challagned as he took a step towards Zenitsu. “Make a lightning bolt strike me now, I’ll deflect it.”

“If I can’t deflect lightning, what makes you think you possibly stand a chance!” Zenitsu reasoned. He pushed himself off the tree where Tanjiro has caged him in earlier. “And I can’t make a thunderstorm magically appear!”

“Come on! I saw your thunder breathing, just fight me so I know you’d be a worthy subordinate!”

“I’m not fighting you!”

“Gonpachiro!” He suddenly turned his attention to the demon. “Fight me.” Tanjiro smirked but shook his head. “How about this: if you fight me and you win, I’ll allow you to kiss my minion, Zenitsu whenever you want!” Tanjiro paused, actually considering the challenge.

“I do not need your permission to kiss!” Zenitsu hissed at both of them. “Tanjiro you can’t actually be serious-”

“And if I win, I get to kiss Tenitsu.” Inosuke smirked as he crossed his arms over his chest.

“Are you stupid? I would never agree to kiss you of all people!” Zenitsu yelled in anger. Tanjiro said nothing and took off his checkered haori, throwing it to Zenitsu so he could hold onto it. “Tanjiro!” He scolded but still held onto the piece of clothing. His golden eyes reflected a kinder and even a flattered side of him.

Inosuke stabbed his swords into the ground as he began stretching, preparing for battle. He looked over at Zenitsu, who immediately tensed at his gaze. It was then that Inosuke brought his finger to tap on the boar’s temple and whispered:

“Mind games, Benitsu.”

“You know what?! Kick his ass Tanjiro!” Zenitsu cheered and held up the checkered haori. Inosuke lept at Tanjiro who began to wrestle him to the ground in a playful manner. Zenitsu just watched the scene in front of him as his hands occupied themselves with the checkered haori. Tanjiro tried to focus on the boar in front of him, but his eyes would end up sliding over to the blond. Zenitsu had been biting his lip and clutching the fabric unconsciously, but it was so blaringly obvious to the demon. He wondered if his haori would smell like Zenitsu when he got it back.

It would be nice to have something that smelled like him whenever the demon slayer was called to missions…

A flash of pink suddenly took his attention away from the fight.

Tanjiro dodged Inosuke’s swift kick and decided to run towards Nezuko, who had come to see what they were up to. “Nezuko!” He called as he wrapped his arms around her. “Thank goodness!” He reached up to pet her hair lovingly.

“Thank you, Tanjiro! I missed being able to walk around, it’s nice to finally appreciate you in the sun. I’m sure Zenitsu and Inosuke have kept you busy.” She smiled as she looked past Tanjiro to Inosuke and Zenitsu arguing by the tree.

“Nezuko!” The blond immediately pushed past Inosuke when he saw her. “Nezuko are you sure you’re supposed to be up? You’re so strong and resilient... I wish I was like you.”

“It runs in the family.” She smiled as she glanced at Tanjiro.

“Fight me!” Inosuke proclaimed as he pushed Zenitsu to the side. “I’ve been so bored, thunder baby won’t fight me.”

“That’s because you always yell at me mid way through to zap you with lightning.” Zenitsu pushed Inosuke away from Nezuko. “And you can’t just ask her to fight with you, look at her! She’s still recovering.” He crossed his arms.

“Why don’t you guys take a break and have some tea with me.” She offered. “As crazy as you guys are, I miss all of you…” She admitted.

“Well I can’t possible deny you, Nezuko!” Zenitsu huffed excitedly as he threw his arms in the air, preparing to hug her. He was denied when Tanjiro pouted and stood in front of her and intercepted Zenitsu’s hug by wrapping his arms around the blond first. “Tanjiro!” The demon said nothing has he lifted him off his feet, carrying the blond over his shoulder. “Not fair!” He yelled as he brought the checkered haori to cover his face. “How come I never get to carry you!” His protest was muffled.

“They are pretty cute…” Shinobu mused as she watched the four of them walk inside.

“I’m just glad Zenitsu won’t hit on anymore girls…” Aoi put her hands on her hips.

“He’s all bark and no bite.” The insect pillar thought aloud. “But they do bring out the best in each other…” She watched as Tanjiro looked at Zenitsu as if he was looking at the sun.

 

The sun was beginning to set, lazily moving down towards the horizon. The tea had gotten cold long ago as the group decided to relax and enjoy each other’s company. Inosuke had his back turned towards them as fell into a quick nap beside Nezuko.

Zenitsu had decided he wanted to take a quick nap too, saying that Tanjiro was causing him ‘emotional distress’ and needed to recuperate before his health deteriorated. Tanjiro had somehow convinced him to lay on him. Zenitsu laid down with his head on Tanjro’s stomach as Tanjiro’s legs cradled him from either side. One of his hands was resting on Tanjiro’s thigh as the other rested with one of Tanjiro’s hands.

With his free hand, Tanjiro ran his fingers through Zenitsu’s hair lovingly. It was a lot softer than what he says. The demon watched fondly as his fingers comb through the golden strands. It was like he was touching the sun. His own personal sunshine, right underneath his finger tips. A soft smile spread across his lips at the familiar sensation that fluttered around his heart.

Tanjiro suddenly felt a set of eyes on him, and he looks up to see Nezuko. Her long black hair is spread over her shoulders and her pink eyes shine with happiness. He tilts his head, asking her a silent question. She snaps out of her daze and shakes her head.

“I’m just happy, Tanjiro…” Her voice is barely above a whisper. “I’m so proud of you.”

“L… love you, Nezuko…” He whispered back. Nezuko laughed and whipped a tear that was about to fall.

A familiar chirping caused them to snap their heads to look at the window. The brown sparrow hopped happily on the window sil, before flying into the room excitedly in circles.

“It’s been a while!” Nezuko smiled as both her and Tanjiro watched the bird glide down before landing on Zenitsu’s chest.

“Wha…?” Zenitsu woke up, only to come face to face with the bird. “No! No get away Chuntaro!” Zenitsu yelled as he tried to shoo away the bird. He moved his hand from Tanjiro’s thigh to push the bird off his chest. “You only bring bad news!” Chuntaro apparently didn’t find this cute as the bird pecked his hand in the air. “Ow! Tanjiro did you see that?!” The blond complained as he pulled his hand away. The demon reached for Zenitsu’s hand and placed a kiss his hand. “If I can’t see you, then I can’t go on my new mission!” He turned over in place and shoved his face into Tanjiro’s chest. Zenitsu tugged on the green haori to get Tanjiro to cover his whole head.

“Zenitsu you have to answer! Someone needs your help!” Nezuko chided but couldn’t help but laugh at his pathetic excuse to hide himself from the sparrow. “Besides, the sooner you start the mission the sooner you get it done and the sooner you come back.” She sang, trying to encourage him.

“Noooo, Tanjiro I don’t want to gooooo!” Zenitsu sobbed into his chest. “Tell them you want me to stay!” The demon smiled as he patted the blond’s hair to try and calm him down. “Tanjirooo! I’ll die out there! All the demons are too scary and powerful!”

“I-I’ll be waiting!” Tanjiro smiled as he cupped his checks, pulling Zenitsu up closer to his face.

“Gah! How could I possibly leave now when you’re so cute!” He protested as the demon kissed his lips. “I swear I’ll leave first thing tomorrow! I swear! You can’t kick me out in the cold of the night! That’s too cruel!” Zenitsu wrapped his arms around the demons shoulders as he nuzzled his face into the crook of Tanjiro’s neck. “Come on, tell them Tanjiro!”

Nezuko rolled her eyes at the soft look Tanjiro was giving Zenitsu.

“Tanjiro, you’ll spoil him rotten, you know.”