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One Breath Away

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Inosuke can’t take this, it feels like his lungs are collapsing. Every harsh intake of air seems to leave him shaking because, though he’d refuse to admit it, his body is not yet healed from the previous night’s events. Inosuke’s chest heaves with every other step he takes, though that isn’t really the issue on his mind. His problem is the absence of a certain cheerful, red eyed boy.

The white robes that mark Inosuke as a patient whip around at the force of his pace, tied around the waist in his preferred style. Inosuke’s upper body, as usual, was exposed, healing cuts running along the sides of his chest, arms, and back. Despite the injuries, he continues trudging through the Butterfly Estate hallways. The sun was setting, and barely any outside light shone in the hallway. The small lanterns posted up leave Inosuke feeling slightly gloomy, though he seems to be like that a lot lately.

Inosuke, prior to yesterday, hadn’t really interacted with Tanjiro in weeks. Save for responding to any minor questions, like how his training had been going, Inosuke had just stopped initiating any sort of communication with Tanjiro. Inosuke wasn’t mad at him, and if anything he’d missed talking and messing around with the other boy. He couldn’t, however, stand the intense thudding in his chest that had come along with being anywhere near Tanjiro.

As a result, the past few weeks had consisted of some of the most awkward and uncomfortable moments Inosuke had ever experienced. They pranced around, avoiding each other, except for when contact was absolutely necessary. Zenitsu and Nezuko seemed to be stuck in the middle, unable to decide whether to bring up the pair’s strange behavior or let them deal with it on their own. And so, the weirdness had continued. Inosuke had felt the constant presence of Tanjiro’s eyes on him, though his heart couldn’t stand to acknowledge it. That is, until yesterday’s demon encounter had forced Inosuke and Tanjiro to interact in a serious manner.

He felt wrong, guts twisting with strange emotions. Disgusting and unsettled feelings that made him want to both scream and tear his hair out. Inosuke hadn’t felt such inner turmoil before. He’d been feeling strange for a while, but that was nothing compared to right now. Fuck. FUCK. Why did that Monjiro have to go and do something so fucking dumb?

The memory replayed in his head again.

A massive demon gripping Inosuke by the neck, muscled hands slowly increasing in pressure until it felt like his eyes might burst. Inosuke had clawed at the huge arms to get free, swords previously knocked out of his hands from the force of the demon’s swings. However, Inosuke’s nails did not deter the demon, the fucking thing instead looked almost fascinated by his resistance. No matter how hard he kicked and punched, it kept a tight grip on his neck, all while maintaining a disgusting yet pleased grin. He wasn’t sure if the demon’s staring was due to the sight of Inosuke’s bare face, boar head having been ripped off to taunt him, or if it was due to the darkening blue hue in his cheeks. Either way, loss of blood from the numerous gashes across his body left Inosuke numb, and upon him eventually fell the fuzziness that came from lack of oxygen. All he was aware of was the cracking pressure in his neck, and the burning in his lungs. Inosuke couldn’t tell when he had stopped fighting back, too close to suffocation to think about anything else. At some point his eyes had fallen shut, and then... nothing.

It seemed that while Inosuke wavered in and out of consciousness, Tanjiro, the idiot, had not only somehow gotten him free from the enemy’s grasp, but had taken the brunt of the next blow. It sent the both of them skidding across the rocky mountain, Tanjiro holding Inosuke on top to keep him from gaining any more wounds. And apparently while they were laying there, Inosuke still incapacitated, Tanjiro had flipped their positions, protecting the other from the kicks and slashes that the demon sent their way. Instead of pushing the thing off and actually fighting back, Tanjiro had remained there. He stayed crouched over Inosuke’s body, shielding him.

Inosuke growled at the memory as he stomped towards where Tanjiro was. That is, if his instinct was guiding him correctly. For some reason, Inosuke’s body seemed to be overly aware when it came down to the swordsman.

Should’ve just left me and fought back, not like I’d have been out for long. I’m the best, the strongest! No shitty demon could keep me down. But again, his stomach lurched and his brow furrowed. The hazy memory of Tanjiro, blood dripping from his forehead down onto Inosuke’s cheek, lingered in his mind. Tanjiro’s eyes had been screwed shut, grunts forced out at the pain of taking repeated blows to his back.


It was only when Nezuko arrived, enraged and strengthened by what was happening to her brother, that the demon was thrown away from the two of them.
Tanjiro had stayed there still, slowly rolling off of Inosuke and immediately checking his injuries. The siblings trusted each other, Tanjiro leaving the demon to be handled by Nezuko and a swiftly approaching Zenitsu. He instead had allowed himself to focus on... other things.

Inosuke still remembers the faint, but soft caress to his cheek. The hesitant brush of fingertips on the bruised skin of his neck, where dark purple and blue blotches had already begun to form. The shiver that ran throughout his body at such an unfamiliar, but most gentle touch. Inosuke remembers very well, for in that moment he had forced his eyes open and caught a glimpse.

Despite the soft contact, Tanjiro had seemed so angry, brow furrowed and jaw clenched painfully hard. The surprise, however, was the depth of emotions swirling in the boy’s red eyes. Why had he looked so sad, so miserable? It wasn’t anything new, they all got hurt more often than not. But this look on Tanjiro’s face had made something inside Inosuke break, heart throbbing in a way he’d never felt before. He didn’t like it at all, and wanted the bright smile he’d come to see so often now to return. Inosuke was not able to comfort him though, as if he even knew how. For that was, unfortunately, the moment he ended up completely passing out.

Inosuke had woken up, 10 minutes prior to his current search for the red head, and had learned of how worried his group had been. Aoi, who was watching over Inosuke, had told him of their arrival at the estate. How his limp form had been carried in by a bloodied and distressed Tanjiro. How they’d refused to leave his side until they knew he’d be okay. Inosuke, of course, knew that he himself wouldn’t be beaten by such a weak, shitty demon. He’s the strongest, definitely the strongest! He can’t help but feel bad, however, at the stress his friends had been put through. He had just been a little, uh, out of it lately. For the past week, maybe. Or three. He couldn’t really tell how long it had been since he’d become so... strange.


Inosuke slowed as he approached a closed door, laughter filtering through it and into the dimly lit hallway. Voices drifted through and he listened, still a bit too flustered by his earlier recollections, to interrupt. He could hear Tanjiro asking his sister how she was feeling, thanking her for defeating last night’s demon, and apologizing for not taking care of it. Inosuke doubted Nezuko could ever really be mad at her brother, his thoughts confirmed when someone (zenitsu?) starts whining at the loss of her attention.

“Ah, and that pighead bastard is still asleep huh? He’s always yelling about being the strongest, but it seems like even I’ve surpassed him! Gehehe!” The shrill voice tapers off into an obnoxious and snotty sounding laugh.

Now that’s definitely the yellow weakling.


Inosuke bristles at the comment and crashes straight through the door, interrupting whatever response the others had formed. Zenitsu shrieks, immediately reaching over to pull Nezuko into a hug. She and her brother are too far, however, and too busy staring at Inosuke with wide eyes.

Inosuke yells, almost as if in defiance, to the intense burning he feels in his throat.
“What, huh?? You think you’re stronger than me, King of the Mountain? Prove it!” He stomps towards the cowering Zenitsu and grabs onto his shoulders,” Fight! Fight me!”


By the time the others start moving again, Inosuke’s already shaking the screeching boy.
Tanjiro stands, still a bit distracted, and quickly rushes to them, “Ah, wait! Wait! He was kidding!”

Just as the blond boy is about to pass out from fear, foam already bubbling in his mouth, Tanjiro takes a gentle hold of Inosuke’s wrists. Zenitsu is released, though he writhes on the floor as if the sudden attack was too much for his poor heart. Nezuko pads over to him and comfortingly rubs his head, making the boy squirm for a completely different reason.

“Hah! Hahaaaa, I win!” Inosuke screams with his head thrown back, not realizing that the red eyed boy is still holding his wrists. His throat is pulsing with pain, scratchy and somewhat irritated. When he looks down, Tanjiro is frowning.

“You shouldn’t be up yet, and you definitely shouldn’t be yelling. Your throat was-“

“Who cares, Gonpachiro! Im great!” He continues loudly, voice cracking,” The best! I’ll beat them a-“

Tanjiro moves one of his hands to slap it over the boy’s mouth, “Inosuke, quietly! You’re injured!” He stops, staring at Tanjiro. He feels a bit lighter, finally able to register that the other boy’s injuries look bad, but not critical. Inosuke feels a warmth bubble in his chest at the obvious concern Tanjiro was showing him, despite how Inosuke had pretty much ignored him for weeks. God, how he’d missed the kind boy. He feels his heart beat speed up and so, instead of listening, Inosuke licks the palm covering his mouth. Tanjiro yelps in surprise, removing both hands from the other boy and jumping back a bit.

“King. King of the mountain.” His tone, fortunately, is a lot softer than it was before, not to mention raspy from the injury. It has Tanjiro’s cheeks a bit hot, flushing to a slight, but definitely noticeable pink. That is, until Inosuke drops down onto all fours, limbs extending like a spider, and begins crawling towards Zenitsu. It’s a creepy sight, the habit of dislocating his bones transferring even to this.
“Kingkingking,” Inosuke inches forward, chant-whispering,” King. I’mkingofthemountain.”

And just like that, Zenitsu’s screaming again. The blond boy shuffles away from Inosuke, until his back hits a table, and a vase topples down onto his head. The boy falls to his side and curls into a ball, sniffling, but not really hurt. The vase, thankfully empty and somehow not broken, ends up on the floor near Zenitsu’s face. He begins rolling it back and forth with his finger, frowned expression and quiet mumbling indicating that he’s sulking.
“Dumb Inosuke. Rude boar. Can’t even ask me how I’m doing before scaring the crap outta me.”

Inosuke snorts, looking proud of himself, then slowly settles back and into a crisscross position. He tilts his head, still without the boar mask, and looks to where he can sense eyes on him. Tanjiro’s frown is deep, gaze fixated on the blotchy purple markings on Inosuke’s neck. They look dark and painful, giant hand prints extenting from the base of Inosuke’s neck to just below his jaw. He looks at them, and traces his eyes down to the other healing marks on Inosuke’s bare skin. Tanjiro then looks away without meeting his eyes and settles onto the floor, legs extended out before him. He seems deep in thought, staring at his own calloused palms before finally speaking up.

“So Inosuke, how’re you feeling? Shinobu-san didn’t expect you to wake up for a few days, so we came to check up on Nezuko for a bit.” Tanjiro shifts over to smile at and pat his sister’s head, but the expression seems a little off. Unsteady. Nezuko is watching Inosuke, as if searching for the answer to a question he hadn’t been asked. She doesn’t look mad, more curious if anything, and Tanjiro continues to rub her head with repetitive motions, as if to keep himself distracted. He won’t look at the wild boy, and the twisting feeling in Inosuke’s gut returns. He’s still shaking slightly with each breath he takes.

“ ‘m fine, stupid Monjiro. Don’t needa worry ‘bout me.” He grumbles, pausing to glance back and forth between the two siblings. “What’s up with you guys?”

Tanjiro stops his ministrations, a now blank face staring at the back of his hand. Uncomfortable silence falls upon the room, for the first time since Inosuke had arrived. He had thought that, after everything that happened, they wouldn’t have to acknowledge the strangeness of the past few weeks. Zenitsu sits up with a grimace and Nezuko looks towards him, slowly shaking her head. Inosuke is confused by, well, whatever that was, but he isn’t really in the mood to think. His head whips, looking back at them all, but he gets no response.

Why are things still so damn... weird?


There’s an unfamiliar tension building in the room, but Inosuke can’t really tell why. Things had been going fine, almost back to what had been the previous month’s normal exchanges, but now...

No one seems to want to speak, so he huffs out in annoyance, “What? You all too beat up to talk? I’ll kill all the demons while you rest, leave it to me.”
He starts to rise, frowning, antsy to get away and find the cause of this feeling in his stomach. I guess I’m sick? Never been sick before, but I might’a ate too many fish bones. Fucking lame.


Inosuke is about to take a step towards the door, but his train of thought is interrupted when a strong grip forces him to sit back down. It happens quickly, leaving Inosuke’s eyes open wide in surprise. Tanjiro is kneeling in front of him, hands on his shoulders, sporting a hard yet worried expression. Their faces are close, and Tanjiro’s eyes seem to blaze as they meet with Inosuke’s.

For a moment, nothing happens. And then, Tanjiro breaks the eye contact and looks down.

Inosuke’s stomach falls. Falls, and does about three consecutive backflips. His face burns, and every part of his body feels like it’s heating up. His brain isn’t working right, not forming coherent thoughts, and instead focusing on how pretty Tanjiro’s eyes are. How much emotion he can see through them, and how much it hurts when he won’t look at me. That was the one thing that hadn’t changed, even while they weren’t talking. Tanjiro’s tendency to always look at Inosuke, eyes tracing and following his movements. Now, however, he couldn’t seem to do even that. Inosuke can feel his pulse speeding up, heart thumping hard, making him even more short of breath. He inhales deeply, trying to calm down, but damn that was a mistake. He forgot that his throat and lungs are unable to really keep up right now.


Inosuke doubles over, startling Tanjiro, and begins to cough. The motion is so abrupt and painful, it’s as if blades are dragging up from his lungs and tearing at his insides. The sound is harsh, unrelenting, and he can’t keep tears from forming in his eyes at the sudden, intense pain. Inosuke can hear movement breaking out in the room, but he can’t bring himself to pay attention to what’s going on. His throat hurts too much, the burning taste of metal overwhelming. It feels like he’s swallowing pieces of pure, brittle glass, the shards sliding against and piercing his throat. Inosuke leans over until his forehead touches the floor, still coughing, the intense fit rattling his entire frame. His eyes are shut tight, arms wrapped around himself, and he can’t help but feel pathetic at the wet lines running down his face. Inosuke coughs and coughs, barely noticing the gentle but firm hands on his back, soothing him until his shaking subsides. Small gasps of air are just barely entering his body.

It finally seems to calm down after what felt like ages, but can’t have been more than a few minutes. The room is quiet, a steady hand still rubbing the length of Inosuke’s back. He peeks to the side and realizes it’s Tanjiro who had stayed beside him. The room seems to be empty aside from the two of them.

Him. It’s always him. Why is he here, always helping me? I eat his food, try to fight em, steal his clothes sometimes too. I don’t.. I don’t get it.


Inosuke sighs and slowly sits back up.

He touches his lips, feels a wetness there, and only then does he realize that the floor is stained with his blood. Inosuke goes to hurridly wipe his mouth with the back of his arm, avoiding Tanjirou’s heavy gaze. He takes the arm of his tied robe, and messily wipes away the blood on the floor.


His movements slow. It feels strange to be addressed by the other, when they can barely even meet each other’s eyes.

“Inosuke, you should go back to bed. Shinobu-san said that your throat is pretty messed up, since you tried to use the total concentration breathing technique while your neck was being squeezed. It would’ve been worse if your lungs had pressure on them, it almost happened to me before at the Hashira meeting.” Tanjiro was nervous, rambling. “Yeah, could’ve been really bad if that happened to you, and I guess a few of your veins really did end up bursting. Not enough to be critical but, um, that doesn’t mean your injuries aren’t still bad. I think you made it harder on your throat with all that screaming earlier.” Tanjiro’s chest was heavy, his throat beginning to close up. “Shinobu told us that you have, um, multiple lacerations lining the inside of your throat, though I’m not too sure exactly how it happened. I- I wish you would take better care of yourself, though, it really scared all of us to see you so, um... Never mind, it’s not really my place to tell you, and... I-” The voice cracked and broke. Inosuke finally turned to look at him.

Tanjiro was crying, silent tears running down his cheeks at a rapid rate. Inosuke’s eyes widened, he wasn’t used to seeing the swordsman like this. He usually only cried if someone was in immense pain, demons or people, it didn’t matter. But Inosuke, well, he wasn’t in that much pain? Not anymore, at least. And he sure as hell didn’t know what to do. The tears flowed openly down Tanjiro’s face, like a dam with broken walls. Inosuke scrambled to his knees, leaning over to touch the other boy. Tanjiro flinched away and lowered his head, squeezing his eyes shut, but the wild boy continued wiping the tears with his thumb.

“Don’t, uh...” Inosuke’s voice was raspy, even more so from the coughing, but he felt the need to speak. “I’m sorry. Please don’t cry. I’m sorry for making you mad.” His voice was hoarse and breaking in some places, but genuine.

Tanjiro looked up at that, the skin around his eyes tinted red, tears still streaming down his cheeks. Inosuke felt his face flush, not expecting the other boy’s eyes on him, yet still unable to deny the attention. Somehow, Tanjiro looked bewildered, as if Inosuke had said something completely baffling. Inosuke coughed a small bit, but continued, “Isn’t that why things were so weird earlier? I, uh. Made you mad by getting so beat up. By not being strong enough. By being weak.” He felt his cheeks burn, this time with shame, hating himself for actually saying it.

Tanjiro sits back on his knees alarmingly fast, startling Inosuke, and making him fall onto his back with a yelp. Wiping his eyes furiously, Tanjiro apologized and moved to help Inosuke sit up, facing him. He wrung his hands together, as if preparing himself to speak.
“Why would you think that?” He asks, but Inosuke only blinks in response.
“I’ve never thought of you as weak, sometimes you’re too strong for your own good. It gets you into trouble so often, it scares me a little. I was never mad at you, I could never really be mad at you.”
Inosuke blinks again, making Tanjiro sigh and lean towards him.
“I’m... I’m sorry that things have been strange. Really, it’s not your fault. I’ve been caught up in my head, I didn’t mean to make you feel bad.”

Inosuke understood a little. After all, he’d been feeling like that for weeks now, always drifting in and out of his thoughts. He voiced this, and Tanjiro nodded.
“Ah, yeah, I’ve noticed. You’ve been a little spacey, it’s why I’ve been so worried about you. And then yesterday, it happened again and that demon got to you... God, I was so angry.”

Inosuke perked up, a bit pissed and very confused, “See? So you were mad at me!” He threw his hands up, hissing the words since he couldn’t raise his voice much. “You’re lyin to me now too, sayin you weren’t angry! But you were! I don’t get it!” He puffs, aggressively running hands through his tangled blue hair.

Hearing this, Tanjiro laughs. Inosuke pauses again at the sound, feeling like he hadn’t heard something so nice in ages.
“Inosuke, no, I haven’t been mad at you.”
The wild boy opens his mouth, ready to deny it, but Tanjiro raises his voice a bit and says,
“I’m mad that I can’t do enough to help you.”

This makes Inosuke go quiet, tilting his head with a silent question.

Tanjiro’s face grew hot once again, “I was angry with myself. You’ve been getting stronger, fighting more dangerous demons, and I’m worried that I won’t be able to keep you safe.”

Inosuke reels back at that.
“Hah!? I don’t need protection, I’m the strongest there is! Stupid Gonpachiro!”
Tanjiro smiles then, a sad glint in his eyes.
“I know that, but wouldn’t you like someone to fight along side you? To support you when it gets really tough? That’s who I want to be. And, well, I won’t deny that for these past few weeks, um. I’ve really, really missed you.”

Inosuke’s cheeks feel warm, really fucking warm, and he looks down to try and hide it. The unsettled feelings in his guts are back, though now they’re squirmy instead of disgusted. Inosuke’s hands tingle, wanting to reach out and touch Tanjiro.

Even his voice makes my chest hurt, and my stomach won’t stop fhakdnsjds-ing. The fuck is wrong with me?


Inosuke pauses, raising his head, taking a moment to really just look at the other boy. Tanjiro is pretty, so fucking pretty. Such a kind face, with shining and determined red eyes. His smile seems to brighten the entire world’s colors, sky becoming a vibrant blue, grass radiating brilliant shades of green. Somehow, though, he doesn’t even notice the life he brings. Inosuke couldn’t understand how he’d stumbled upon such a person, someone who has such a strong impact on everyone around him. But damn, he can’t help but feel lucky. Inosuke looks down to where they’re sitting, less than a foot apart. He thinks about it for a moment, and then decides that he’s been thinking too much for the past few weeks.

That must have been what made everything so weird, awkward tension arriving at even the slightest interaction. Inosuke remembers the distance he’d put between Tanjiro and himself, sitting next to Zenitsu during meals, training with Kanao in their own private bubble. He remembers the lone walks he would take, not letting anyone know where he was and returning to the manor in the middle of the night. Inosuke would come back to a waiting Nezuko, who seemed to be watching for him every time he’d disappear. She provided the same feeling of comfort that Tanjiro gave off, keeping Inosuke calm even without the actual presence of the other boy. The boy that he’d missed so much, but couldn’t bring himself to speak to.

Yeah, they’d all be better off leaving the thinking to smarter people, like the person in front of him. And so, Inosuke ignores the flipping in his stomach and speaks what comes to his mind. That is what he’s best at after all.

“Ah, fuck it. We’re done being weird. If you needa say something to me, say it. I’ll do the same for you.” Inosuke growls, finally looking into the other boy’s eyes. They were blazing, gorgeous pinkish red orbs, completely focused on him and nothing else. Tanjiro stays silent for a moment, deciding what it is that he needs Inosuke to know. What he’s been dying to tell him, throughout the strange weeks and yesterday’s mess. What he’s felt for a long time now.

“I just... I want you. I want all of you. I want to spend time with you, mess around with you, fight alongside you. But honestly, over everything else, I want you.”
Inosuke straightens up at that, shivering, and leans forward, Tanjiro watching him with an intense determination.
“Me too.”
For once Tanjiro doesn’t back away, too entranced by the other’s boldness. Inosuke can see a slight tremble to Tanjiro’s shoulders, hands digging into his own thighs as if trying to hold himself back. Tanjiro feels the soft puffs of breath on his chin, and his heart races at the proximity. He can’t help but tilt his face up to meet the other halfway.

Inosuke’s lips are slightly chapped, though Tanjiro really doesn’t mind, the soft yet firm plumpness still undeniable. Hints of a metallic taste come through as they press together, not too overwhelming as it mixes with something sweet and smoky. It screams ‘Inosuke’, and Tanjiro can’t help but peak his tongue out to run it along the other’s plush bottom lip. Inosuke lets out a small squeak at the pressure and his face burns, embarrassed by the sound. His body, however, seems to jolt at the feeling, inching closer to Tanjiro as if being drawn in.

Experimentally, Inosuke tilts his head, angling himself to make the glide of lips more smooth, causing Tanjiro to groan lowly. He knows that the wild boy is inexperienced, hell, Tanjiro himself has only kissed his siblings, and not at all in this way. But there’s something about Inosuke’s movements, intense yet still a little shy, that make Tanjiro’s insides melt. God, he’s so good. He just does what feels right, letting instinct guide their bodies.

And the sounds. Inosuke tries to hold them back, for whatever reason. But tiny, sweet noises come out, breath stuttering at the smallest shift in movement. Tanjiro swallows every gasp, every groan, and tries to coax even more out of the boy. He wants to look, watch how every graze of teeth makes him shiver. And so, Tanjiro peeks his eyes open, and traces the planes of Inosuke’s face.


He’s beautiful, overwhelmingly so. Long, thick lashes that brush against his cheeks, a soft pink tinge spreading across his nose and ears. Tanjiro pulls away a little bit, and Inosuke’s green eyes flutter open. They’re both panting heavily, expressions clouded over with hooded lids. Inosuke’s lips are glistening red, wet from his tongue.

Tanjiro groans before going back in, acting upon the urge to bite at Inosuke’s bottom lip and softly suck it between his own, the other’s mouth parting in a gasp. Tanjiro reaches to cup his cheek, careful to avoid touching the bruised neck, and finally, he deepens the kiss. He slips his tongue inside, rubbing against the sensitive roof of his mouth and sucking at the tip of the boy’s tongue. Inosuke’s eyes prickle with tears, overwhelmed by the onslaught of touches and how good it all feels. A startling heat travels throughout his body, and he finds himself unable to hold back a surprisingly sensual moan.

Tanjiro, previously calm and not wanting to push Inosuke, growls in response. His restraint seems to snap, and he pulls the other onto his lap, hands gripping strong thighs. The kiss breaks again, Inosuke quickly catching his breath, steadying himself by gripping the other’s tensed shoulders. He’s taking in harsh pants, and is a bit surprised he hasn’t broken out into another fit of coughing from all of the ah... noises he’s been making.


He feels Tanjiro shudder beneath him, and the hands slide up the backs of his thighs, coming to grip firmly at his waist. They’re close, almost no space in between them, heat radiating from both of their bodies. Tanjiro leans in again, nips at the other boy’s lips, and Inosuke can’t help but groan into his mouth.

Tanjiro shifts back a bit, allowing Inosuke to settle more of his weight onto him, lips still connected. It feels so right, Inosuke’s thighs squeezing around that waist, feeling the muscles beneath him twitching in response. He wraps his arms around Tanjiro’s shoulders, one hand running through his hair and tipping his head back.


Inosuke’s taller this way, sitting on Tanjiro’s lap, disconnecting his mouth and looking down at the boy. It’s somewhat exciting, allowing him to control their pace and movements. Tanjiro’s watching him, lips parted, with glassy eyes.

“You’re so beautiful. How are you here with me?” He says, voice husky, and Inosuke grows an alarming shade of red. He sputters in response, leaning over the boy, hiding his face in his neck.

Oh, fuck this guy. Stupidly cute face, annoyingly hot body. And that god damned voice.


“What the fuck? You can’t just say shit like that.” Inosuke’s voice is raspy, from both the injury and his noises. Tanjro chuckes at that, laying backwards, taking a surprised Inosuke with him. He falls against the chest with a thud, holding his shoulders.
“I’m not used to seeing you so shy, though I definitely don’t mind. I just want you to be comfortable.” Tanjiro murmurs against his hair, softly rubbing his thumbs into Inosuke’s hips with circular motions.

Damn, that feels good.


Inosuke, permanently flushed at this point, can feel a strong thumping from the chest beneath him, the heart beating rapidly.


Comfortable, huh?


Inosuke, warm face still buried in the other boy’s neck, remains quiet. And after a moment, he decides to let his instincts guide him again. A bead of sweat drips down Tanjiro’s neck, and the wild boy watches it. Then, about five heartbeats later, he licks it.


Tanjiro tenses beneath him, but he continues. Inosuke’s tongue peaks out, tracing the hard lines of Tanjiro’s neck, slowly making his way down to the collarbones. He hears a breath hitch, the thumbs on his hips digging in a bit harder.


Inosuke drags his hand down Tanjiro’s chest, and begins pulling at the robe covering him. Tanjiro doesn’t move, watching the other with clouded eyes, allowing him to do what he wants.
Inosuke’s hands, calloused from years in the wilderness, are surprisingly gentle as they work. They push the robe downwards, letting it pool at Tanjiro’s waist, and glide along the revealed muscles.


Inosuke feels them twitch, watches them contract at the soft touches. He feels the urge to lean down and bite them, so he does.
He hears a breath stutter out from Tanjiro, the grip on his hips now almost painfully tight.
Inosuke’s tongue traces the muscles for a bit, licking and sucking tiny marks into them. It quiets something inside of him, something that yearned to mark what was his.


Inosuke moves to the left, taking a flushed nipple into his mouth and swirling his tongue around the bud. Tanjiro hisses in response, instinctively bucking his hips and hitching Inosuke upwards. He’s pulled into a messy, deep, open mouthed kiss. The hands release their hold on his hips and spread up across his back, touching anywhere and everywhere they can reach. Rough palms send shivers down his spine, and he shakes from the touch. It’s good, it feels so fucking good, and Inosuke whimpers into the kiss.


Tanjiro’s eyes go wide, unable to look away.
Oh god. How does he sound so perfect?


Inosuke stares back at him, cheeks flushed a deep red, eyes glazed over. He’s panting, long hair brushing along the side of the other boy’s face, legs still spread around his waist.


Tanjiro pauses to take it all in, and then he moves.
One hand goes to hold Inosuke by the small of his back, the other gripping a tense thigh. Tanjiro sits up, bringing Inosuke back up to straddle him. Their hips press directly together this time and, finally, they can feel the hard lines of each other through their robes and pants.


They both groan, Inosuke biting his lip and clenching his eyes shut. Panting, he lets his head fall onto Tanjiro’s broad shoulder. He hadn’t even noticed, too caught up with Tanjiro’s hands, his eyes, and his mouth. That stupid, wonderful mouth.


He can hear Tanjiro breathing, heavy in his ear, until the boy leans down and bites into his neck. Despite the giant bruises covering the area, the bite has him twitching.
Inosuke moans, throwing his head back and rutting his hips down.
“Oh. Oh, god.
Fuck, he’s shaking. He didn’t know he could feel like this, having always been focused on killing demons and getting stronger. This, however, was something he’d never expected.


Inosuke’s body is hot, the intense bouts of pleasure leaving him trembling. Tanjiro’s still biting his neck, licking and sucking, then biting again. It’s a lot, the friction between his legs, the burning feeling of Tanjiro’s lips on his skin. But at the same time, it’s not enough. He wants more, needs more.


Inosuke lets out a pained groan at a particularly harsh bite, and Tanjiro draws back, pressing kisses along the side of his jaw and behind his ear.
“Sorry, ‘m sorry.” He says, kisses going further down, as Inosuke is pushed up by the twitching of his hips.
“Tan- Tanjiro,” Inosuke breaths out, barely audible, “more, please. I- I need more.”
His hands are shaking, nails digging into the red head’s bare shoulders. He wraps his legs around Tanjiro’s waist, shins crossing each other, and he rolls his hips.


Oh fuck.


Tanjiro moans into the boy’s neck, shaking at the sensation. His already bruising grip on Inosuke’s thigh presses harder, and he can’t help but twitch at the thought of left over marks. The fluid figure eights, tracing along the length of his cock, and Inosuke’s sweet noises in his ears. He can’t take it, can’t keep himself from Inosuke any longer. He’d tried so hard to go slow, at a pace the boy was comfortable with, but how can he do that with those hips sinfully rubbing down on him?


“Inosuke,” Tanjiro rasps, voice embarrassingly rough, “put your arms around me.”


Inosuke, head fuzzy with unfamiliar pleasure, fumbles to do as he’s told. At the same time, Tanjiro slips down the pants Inosuke wears under his robe. He rolls down his own as quickly as possible, and when Inosuke has a firm hold, Tanjiro wraps his hand around them, and pumps.


Inosuke shakes, twitches, and curls a hand hard into the other boy’s hair, breath caught in his own throat. Tanjiro slowly begins to move, thumb brushing over Inosuke’s head to gather the beads of precum. With this, it was smooth, slick, and so fucking good.


Inosuke couldn’t keep quiet, crying out every time Tanjiro rocked his hips, or flicked his wrist. He couldn’t sit still either, rolling his body in circular motions that left them both moaning.
They began moving together, thrusting up into Tanjiro’s hand, taking turns. His grip tightened a bit, putting more pressure on both of them, drawing them closer to the edge.


Inosuke was panting openly, moaning and crying out at every touch. Tanjiro, captivated by the natural and beautiful way that the boy moved, couldn’t help but pull his mouth to him. Inosuke’s hands tighten in the red hair, unable to handle the pressure building inside of him.


“Ah, Inosuke,” Tanjiro spoke in between kisses, “I want you so bad.”
The boy moaned, not quite understanding, and it seemed Tanjiro could tell.
Face red, embarrassed to be saying it, Tanjiro hid his face in Inosuke’s shoulder, hips still rocking together.
“I... I want to fuck you. I wanna be inside you.”
Inosuke shudders, choking back a sob at both the confession, and the next strong thrust.
“I- fuck”
Another harsh thrust has Inosuke’s back arching, Tanjiro sucking small marks into his shoulder, still waiting for a response.
“Is- is it like this?” Inosuke finally says, eyes squeezing shut as Tanjiro’s pace quickens, thrusts becoming rougher and more erratic.
“Ah, “ He groans, “well sex is um, better than this, i think.”
Inosuke arches even further, Tanjiro’s thumb coming to swirl around the head of his cock. He’s so close, so close, god, he feels so wound up. His legs are wrapped so hard around Tanjiro’s hips, but he continues rutting himself down wildly, chasing his release.
“Tanjiro, fuck. Shit, you can fuck me, please. I-“
He cries out as the hand speeds up, the boy thrusting up hard as it flicks over and over again.


Inosuke’s eyes squeeze shut, teeth biting into his lip, body twitching as he comes. He blinks away stars, shuddering as the spots appear, flickering in and out of his sight. He quickly loses whatever energy he has, leaning bonelessly onto Tanjiro. The latter seems happy with this motion, as he lays back and pulls Inosuke to his chest.


They both breathe heavily, the sound filling the otherwise silent room. He doesn’t really care how much time passes, though now he feels a bit cold, clothes having been mainly discarded. Inosuke nuzzles his nose into Tanjiro’s chest, smelling salt, musk, and the seemingly permanent scent of charcoal that hovers around the boy.


Said boy clears his throat, shifting beneath Inosuke, “We should probably clean up. This is a bit gross, don’t you think?” Tanjiro’s voice is sweet, a hint of raspiness coming through.


Inosuke grunts, not wanting to speak much, so he says, “Throat hurts. Adrenaline gone.”


Tanjiro glances down at him and nods, looking a bit guilty. He sits up slowly, holding the other boy’s weight against his body.


“Ah well, I’m sorry about that. Making your throat worse, “he coughs into his hand, face red, “I can go get you some water and medicine, then clean you up if you want?”


Inosuke, tired but content, leans into him and nods. Before moving, however, Tanjiro somewhat hesitantly asks, “Inosuke, um. Did you mean what you said before all of this... happened? About me staying by your side and well.. being with you?”


Inosuke tilts his head, thinking about their previous... conversations.




Tanjiro’s eyes widen, “Yes to?”








Tanjiro’s nose crinkles. “Huh?”




Tanjiro sniffs and laughs, “well I’ll assume it’s not bad, since I can smell how funny you think this all is.”


Inosuke opens his eyes, looking up at the red eyed boy. He seems genuinely happy now, so Inosuke says, “My answer? Yes. You 'nd me? Yes. Sex? Yes.”


Tanjiro sputters at that, laughing nervously, face a brilliant red.


And from the other room, something crashes to the floor. Tanjiro and Inosuke sit up immediately, surprised and alert.


“WHAT??” A shrill voice screams from the room next door, “WHAT, um, THE FUCK? WHY ME, GOD? WHY AM I CURSED? THEY'RE FUCKING. I JUST CAME IN HERE TO GRAB A GOD DAMN BLANKET, FUCK.”
Zenitsu’s shouting continues, until Aoi’s voice goes to scream at him.


Inosuke and Tanjiro look at each other, before they sigh and start putting their clothes on. Apparently they would have to explain what had happened tonight, but for now? It was time to clean up and get that medicine.


And maybe choke the shit out of Zenitsu for outing them.