Subtle Things - Chapter 1 - OrphanedClown - 鬼滅の刃 (2024)

Chapter Text

After a long day of travelling and a wisteria house close by, the slayers finally decide to respite.

They'd been on their feet since the previous morning, and Tanjiro could tell by the sway of Zenitsu and the short temper of Inosuke that it wasn't ideal to push any further ahead. Of course, Tanjiro had felt uncomfortable with the idea. The longer they dawdled, the more people would die. It’s true that Tanjiro could fight it - the exhaustion - leaving Zenitsu and Inosuke and taking off to the village ahead, but even if he did he’d get there just after sunrise.

The outside was cold, and they were lucky they were up North otherwise they would've suffered the wrath of the winter snow. Even so, they’d ended up stuck in heavy storms and violent winds. Zenitsu had wrapped himself completely in his haori, Tanjiro quickly following suit. The two had tried to convince Inosuke that he needed some kind of coat, Tanjiro even going as far as to offering up his haori, his only source of real warmth, but Inosuke wouldn’t budge no matter how they both yelled at one another.

The warmth from inside the house hit Tanjiro immediately, sending comforting chills up his spine. It smelt kindly of lavender, and the flowers strung from the ceiling fit the atmosphere nicely.

Huffing a breath of relief, Tanjiro looks around, seeking someone to greet. He could smell others, all the way down the left hallway, but considering the late hour he wasn't surprised that no one had remained behind the front desk.

"Snoring," Zenitsu mumbles, shuffling from one foot to the other. "Everyone is asleep."

Tanjiro nods in agreement, "I guessed as much," He takes lead, following the hallway to the right. "It doesn't shock me, though, we did get here later than we were supposed to."

Inosuke scoffs, eyes rolling under the mask, "Maybe we would've gotten here sooner if Zonboku didn't spend most of the journeycrying." He fires, teeth gritting together in annoyance.

Zenitsu is swiftly sent into a hot spiral, "I wasn't crying!" He squeaks, waving his arms out in front of him, tears bunching in the corners of his eyes. “And it’s Zenitsu! You stupid pig boy!”

”HAH!? Who are you calling a pig!?” The board-slayer yells, spinning swiftly on his feet. His fists are clenched and his chest if puffed out, structure big and threatening.

They continue to argue, back and forth. Loudly. Tanjiro turns so fast he gets a sudden ounce of whiplash, hushing them quiet with his fingers pressed firmly against his lips. He couldn’t smell anyone down the right side of the hall, but the two boys were so loud that he could hear the echo of their voices. He was sure if it was loud enough to echo, it was loud enough to reach the other end of the house too. He was desperate to shut them up.

At the end of the hallway, they find a vacant room, futons and yukatas already laid out flat in a row on the floor. Small lamps sit in each corner of the room, creating a small but recognizable warmth and a dim light.

There's a tray of onigiri sitting ontop of the dresser, and Tanjiro can feel Inosuke's desperate breaths against his neck. They were hungry, of course, but Inosuke had a hollow stomach, and Tanjiro knew if he didn't snag one before him then he'd end up starving until morning. It was a game, like a race, except he was too tired to play along.

"Inosuke," He says, giving a quick glance back before entering the room, smile weary. "Could you leave one for me? It's fine if not, I suppose, you must be hungry, but I'd rather not go all night without food."

Inosuke doesn't say anything. He only stares for a short while, before quickly moving for the tray.

Tanjiro is confident that tonight will be a dinner-less one.

He sighs, shrugging the box from his shoulders and gently setting it down on the floor, nudging it tightly into the corner. He taps twice with his knuckle, waiting patiently and smiling wider when Nezuko eventually pushes open the door, rearing her head out from the dark.

She looks around cautiously, loving, pink eyes scanning her surroundings before looking to her brother. She smiles back, crawling out and pushing to her feet. She wavers, growing to her average size, the tensity leaving her shoulders as she stretches. She pitter-patters her feet playfully against the floor, feeling the exciting rhythm that surges throughout her body.

When she's done settling into her surroundings, as well as releasing her bundled up energy, she spins, reaching out and letting her hand fall upon the crimson-boys head. She gently strokes his hair, thinning it down and stroking it back up in a smooth motion. Gradually, she lets her hand glide from atop his head and down to cup his cheek. Tanjiro leans in, nuzzling into the soft touch of her palm. Maybe it was the fact that he was tired, or maybe it was just because he needed it, but he could feel the tears welting in his eyes. Nezuko strokes her thumb slowly against his cheek bone, comforting him in a way that says, don’t cry, be happy, I’m here.

She hesitantly departs, shuffling towards the futon to their side and flopping down, basking in the softness of the sheets. She rolls around a little, lifting his spirits and making Tanjiro chuckle.

Itmust feel nice; snuggling into supple sheets.Nezuko spends most of her time confined to a box, so it must feel nice whenever she gets to steal a place on a futon. Usually, after stretching her legs and burning off some energy, Nezuko will happily shrink back into her box - despite Tanjiro's protests for her to sleep comfortably.

He would gladly take the floor if it meant his sister got some well-deserved, pleasant rest.

She never would allow it, though.


Tanjiro moves his gaze, squinting his eyes and grimacing as he watches Zenitsu pull violently on Inosuke's mask, pushing his leg into the small of his back. Inosuke rapidly swats at him with one hand, onigiri clenched protectively between the other.

"Stop eating everything, I'm hungry too!" The blonde screeches, pulling his leg back and going back in to kick harder.

Inosuke falters, falling forward and catching himself just before toppling over, picking up the pace and running towards Tanjiro. He wraps around him, hiding himself close behind, almost like a shield, hand clenched tightly between the red-heads haori. His mouth is full, so much so that instead of yelling he settles on smothered grunts.

"Tanjiro!" Zenitsu runs forward, arms out and fists clenched. "Don't you dare protect him, he needs to learn that he can't just take whatever he wants!"

Inosuke pulls his mask up, settling it against his forehead. He sticks his tongue out, like a child, quickly shoving another onigiri into his mouth.

Zenitsu yells out in frustration, veins pulsing and propelling himself forward. Tanjiro quickly stretches out his arms, holding onto the others shoulders tightly. "Zenitsu, there's still one left - you can take it, I don't mind. Honestly! But please, just keep the noise down.”

Zenitsu pauses, processing the sudden amount of kindness. His eyes welt up tears, "Tanjirooo!" He grabs the boys cheeks, shaking him about. "You're my savior - my goddess - I love you!"

Tanjiro's cheeks redden slightly. He lets out a nervous chuckle, pushing Zenitsu towards the remaining onigiri. He knew the boy was merely exaggerating, but he couldn’t help but glow whenever the wordsI love yougraced his lips. It just showed how close they’d grown together. It sent butterflies spiraling around his insides.

Turning, Tanjiro realizes that Inosuke is still holding onto him. He’s peering over his shoulder, spectating Zenitsu carefully, probably making sure that he wouldn't pull some kind of quick, surprise attack.

Inosuke became quite aggressive when it came to food (or, at least, more aggressive than usual).

"Inosuke." Tanjiro speaks, smile as warm and bright as it always was. "You can let go now, he's not going to take your food."

Inosuke immediately growls, grinding his teeth together. "I'm not scared of that moron!" He yells, pointing towards Zenitsu, who was currently hanging over Nezuko with a bright grin, cheeks pink, "I'm not scared of anything!"

Tanjiro wheezes, “I know, I know! But if you hold onto my haori any longer it's going to rip."

Inosuke quickly lets go, as if he hadn't even noticed he was still holding on.

The two lock eyes, staring for a minute or two. Eventually, Inosuke breaks off, groaning and shoving him back, pushing something into his hands at the same time. He runs away, pulling his mask further over his head, and Tanjiro tilts questionably as he watches Inosuke forcefully throw himself onto his futon, shoving his face deep into his pillow.

He looks down, holding his hands up to his line of sight. His eyes widen as he finds a single onigiri, a little squished but still kept together, and he smiles, eyes soft. He takes a small bite, humming in full satisfaction.

He wouldn't go hungry after all.

Zenitsu was already out cold by the time Tanjiro had finished tending to Nezuko.

Despite the blondes sensitive hearing, he sure could snore, and it was honestly quite impressive that he hadn't woken himself up yet. He'd stolen the futon Tanjiro had planned on taking, it was next to Nezuko's box, close by so that he could keep a good eye on her. Reluctantly, he instead moved to the next one over, trusting that if the girl did happen to wake up she would still come crawling to him.

Don’t misinterpret, it wasn't that she didn't trust Zenitsu, in fact they were surprisingly close, but he was very clingy and invasive (not that he meant to be, he was just a little oblivious) and Nezuko liked her space, space she knew she could have around Tanjiro.

Tanjiro peaks at hearing Inosuke huff from the other end of the room, and he can't tell if he's already asleep, mask still loosely hanging over his face.

The red-head pads over, bending down with his hands resting against his knees. "Inosuke," He nudges gently, "Are you awake?"

He receives no response.

Inosuke, Tanjiro noticed, had gone to bed without changing into his yukata. His clothes were still completely soaked, his body shivering in retaliation to the cold, and no matter how he would deny it whilst he was awake, he couldn't hide it when he was asleep.

Zenitsu had said it many times, that he never understood how Tanjiro could always be so patient, especially with Inosuke, but Tanjiro himself had never once felt as though he actually neededpatience to be close with Inosuke. Sure, he was loud and boisterous, he would challenge anyone who he thought was above him, but all those factors added to the fact that Tanjiro felt like he actually could toleratespending time with Inosuke.

Tanjiro frowns, slowly moving to pinch the top of the boar mask and carefully pulling it up. He stops midway, hesitating momentarily; would Inosuke wake up mad?

The boar didn’t like being apart from his mask. In fact, he found it comforting, a sort of barrier to hide behind when he didn’t feel like facing the consequences of his actions - which most of the time were the large amounts of chaos he caused.

Tanjro shakes his head, disagreeing with himself and gently throwing the mask aside.

Inosuke, no matter how he loved his mask, would never let himself throw a paddy over something so simple. Sure, he was a little sensitive, dramatic, maybe even a little over the top, but he was also very selective. He trusted his friends, he himself had admitted to this, and it wasn’t as if it were abnormal for Inosuke to take his mask off in front of them anyway. He also hadn’t caused any known chaos (not yet, at least) so he had no reason to hide.

The boys face rests in clear discomfort, eyebrows furrowed and nose scrunched - Tanjiro probably should’ve noticed it first - but what he stares at beforehand are the boys eyelashes; the way they rest against the dusted pink of his cheeks. And his lips; smooth and plump under his shaky bite. Or his hair; damp but still flowing as it curls around the shape of his face and spreads out across the pillow beneath him.

He's embarrassed, really. He shouldn't be staring, basking in the glory of Inosuke's beauty, but he just can't bring himself to look away. It is true that Tanjiro would openly admit to anyone, especially Inosuke, that the boy truly was pretty, but never has he ever sat and stared so casually before.

He reaches his hand out, resting it lazily against the top of Inosuke's head. “Hey, come on, you have to get changed."

His hair is surprisingly fluffy, and Tanjiro can't help himself when his hand moves up, threading his fingers through separate strands and stroking it back into place.

“C'mon..." He says, but this time it's quiet and shadowed by the wind outside.

He doesn't notice his focus has drifted until Inosuke grunts, moving so that his face is buried deep into his pillow. Tanjiro frowns, a sudden disappointment growing from his toes to his chest. He elects to ignore it, the churning in his stomach, but he can't stop feeling it fully.

He leans over further, sitting so his hands are either side of Insouke's body. He goes to speak, but his mouth hangs open and the words are caught in his throat, as he realizes he's gone back to twirling his fingers through familiar blue strands.

Inosuke starts to stir, eyebrows furrowing further as he shifts about. His eyes flutter open, blurry first and fixed second, quickly becoming aware of the figure hovering above him.

He flies up, an impulse reaction, quickly being met with a solid surface colliding with his forehead. It instantly stings, and he recoils, holding his forehead with his hands as a long string of muttered tuts fly from his mouth.

"Ah!" There’s a voice. "Inosuke, I'm so sorry!" There's a hand on his bicep, shaking him around a little. "Are you okay?"

"Why did you do that!?" Inosuke barks, leaning forward exasperatedly. "That hurt! Your foreheads like a dam rock! Stupid, Gonpochoro!”

Tanjiro waves his hands in front of him, desperately hushing the both of them quiet. “I know, I'm sorry!” He whispers, leaning closer and resting a hand against his forehead. “It feels fine for the most part, but there might be a little bump in the morning.”

Inosuke glares daggers, slapping the others hand away. He huffs, face hot, shooting to his feet and rubbing the red spot on his forehead with the back of his wrist. “Stupid, idiot, moron -”

"I really am sorry.” Tanjiro interjects, pushing himself from the floor. “I honestly didn’t mean to, it was an accident.”

Inosuke’s turned to the side, hiding his face with his hair and arms crossed against his chest. "Whatever," He dismisses, "Didn't hurt, anyway."

It's contradictory to his earlier statement, but Tanjro doesn’t push his luck.

He smiles, “You should get changed, your clothes are wet and I don’t want you getting a cold before our next mission.”

Inosuke’s gaze shoots back towards him, “Hah!? Me, get sick? Do you know who you're talking to? The king never gets sick!” He’s scowling, but Tanjiro can tell there’s no malice behind it.

“I don’t doubt it,” He laughs, putting a hand to his mouth. “You managed to move around with a concussion, so I don’t doubt you could bounce off the walls with a little cold. It’s not that, though,” He shakes his head, “You get grumpy when you’re sick, and it hinders your self-confidence - I wouldn’t want you doubting your strength during combat.”

Inosuke looks surprised, unusual for a guy like himself.

Tanjiro notices the expression, raising a high brow. “What? Did I say something weird?”

Insouke squints, nodding slightly. “I just didn’t think you looked at all those little things.”

“Of course,” Tanjiro’s voice cracks through the nerves, “I keep tabs on all my friends!”

Before Inosuke can get another word in, mouth slightly agape, Tanjiro turns, padding to the other end of the room.

“Here,” He snatches the yukata from the floor, lobbing it straight to Inosuke, who practically flies for it. “Get changed so you can go back to bed.”

Inosuke grins, lingering pride from his fast catch. “Fine, but not because you told me to! I’m doing it because I want to!” He runs past, a high grunt escaping him.

Tanjiro nods, a small side-smile stretched across his face.

Subtle Things - Chapter 1 - OrphanedClown - 鬼滅の刃 (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Nathanial Hackett

Last Updated:

Views: 6114

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (52 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Nathanial Hackett

Birthday: 1997-10-09

Address: Apt. 935 264 Abshire Canyon, South Nerissachester, NM 01800

Phone: +9752624861224

Job: Forward Technology Assistant

Hobby: Listening to music, Shopping, Vacation, Baton twirling, Flower arranging, Blacksmithing, Do it yourself

Introduction: My name is Nathanial Hackett, I am a lovely, curious, smiling, lively, thoughtful, courageous, lively person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.