“What are we to each other?”
Giyu pondered the question. Sanemi’s head rested in his lap, and Giyu’s hand rested in his hair. The sun shined through the open window. It was warm.
Giyu himself had often asked himself that question. Many answers, possibilities, floated by. None seemed to fit.
“More than friends, but not really lovers.”
Sanemi chuckled. “I feel the same.”
Giyu cooked ohagi for Sanemi.
Sanemi took Giyu out for salmon.
They lived under the same roof, provided each other with company. They held hands, cuddled sometimes.
When one woke up with nightmares, the other was there to soothe him.
They were content to spend the last of their days like this.
However limited they would be.
“Have you ever considered getting married?”
“No,” was Sanemi’s simple answer. “What’s the point of marrying a woman I won’t have true feelings for? No, she’d deserve better than that.”
He looked toward Giyu, studying him. “You?”
“I’ve never been attracted to a woman, either. So I believe the same as you.” He looked down. “Never… been attracted to anyone, really.”
“Is that so?”
“I have but- it’s complicated.” Sanemi paused. “I’ve felt attraction, I guess. To both men and women. But I don’t think I’d ever want to get married. Besides it’s- chances are we’ll die soon. I guess I don’t really see the point.”
“What if the Curse isn’t real, and we survive? What will you do then?”
Sanemi looked up at the night sky. “In that case, I think I’ll travel. Seeing the world- now that the demons are gone, it all seems much more beautiful.”
Sanemi then looked at Giyu. “Or, maybe I’ll just stay here with you.”
“Yes, with you,” Sanemi repeated, rolling his eyes. A smile still sneaked onto his lips. “I like your company. We may die bitter and alone, but at least we’ll be together.”
Giyu laughed. Sanemi glared at him. Giyu kept laughing, so Sanemi asked “What’s so funny?” in an exasperated tone.
“What you said didn’t make sense,” Giyu explained, wiping away stray tears. “How will we die alone if we’re together?”
“You know what I-” Sanemi groaned, but a second later he was laughing along with Giyu. “Fine. We’ll be alone together.”
They were there when Tanjiro and Kanao got married.
They were there when Zenitsu and Nezuko got married.
Both weddings occurred within months of one another. Giyu smiled lightly when Tanjiro gave the news. As his honorary older brother, he gave Kanao her blessing. Sanemi congratulated Nezuko and warned Zenitsu to take good care of her.
It was comforting, to see such young faces that dealt with too much hardship to beam with radiance. They, along with Inosuke and Aoi (Sanemi joked that another wedding was just around the corner, Giyu believed it was still a ways off) lived in the same house. They were a family.
The way Tanjiro smiled at Kanao as he held her hands. The way Zenitsu twirled Nezuko around and hugged her tight. Their eyes shined with pure happiness.
Sanemi looked at Giyu. The dull expression that haunted his face as a Demon Slayer was gone. His eyes sparkled as the light danced in them. They were a deep, mesmerizing ocean blue, the only color he could see.
Giyu looked at Sanemi. The crimson anger in his eyes was gone, the dark clouds around them diminished. He looked so peaceful, content. They contained the tender loving purple of wisteria flowers.
When they met eyes, they couldn’t help but smile. They were not exactly the same as Tanjiro and Kanao, or Zenitsu and Nezuko, but their bond ran deeper than the largest ocean, and would outlast the oldest branch of wisteria.
Giyu was turning twenty five.
Sanemi bought a bottle of sake.
“Neither of us are really drinkers,” Giyu pointed out.
“I think we can indulge for once,” Sanemi replied. He pulled out two cups and poured sake into them both. He held one out to Giyu. Giyu accepted.
Sanemi chuckled. “I can’t believe these past four years have been real,” he murmured, cradling his cup.
“We’ve come so far,” Sanemi said. They met gazes. “I never would have thought that this could have been possible when we first met.”
Giyu nodded. “But I’m happy it was possible.”
A hum in response. “I guess first impressions aren’t always accurate.”
Giyu raised his cup. “To inaccurate first impressions.”
Sanemi closed his eyes and smiled. His cup met Giyu’s. “To inaccurate first impressions.”
They downed their dranks. Sanemi poured them more. They made a toast each time.
To the friends and family they lost.
To the friends and family they gained.
To sadness, to joy, to everything in between.
To being alone together.
Sanemi poured the last of the sake. “It’s almost time,” he said. “You ready?”
Giyu shook his head. “I’ve made my peace with it, but I don’t want to leave you behind.”
“We’ll meet again, in this world or the next.”
Sanemi raised his cup. “To Giyu.”
Giyu clinked his cup with Sanemi’s. “To Sanemi.”
“I love you.”
“I love you, too.”
Five minutes until midnight.
Giyu was asleep. Sanemi was not.
Sanemi’s eyes flitted between the ticking clock and Giyu. He looked so calm. Sanemi brushed his hand against Giyu’s cheek. Warm.
“Your sister and Sabito are waiting for you, just as my brother and Masachika are waiting for me. I know they miss you and you miss them. And, if you’re happy, I’m happy. But- maybe this is selfish of me, but please make them wait a little longer. I’m not ready to lose you. Please, stay with me, Giyu. Don’t leave me behind.”
One minute until midnight.
Forty five seconds.
“Please, Giyu. If you wake up tomorrow, I’ll take you out for salmon. Please… make ohagi for me, at least one last time. Please.”
The clock struck midnight.
Tears rolled down Sanemi’s cheeks.