She was a child. Years younger than him. And yet he still developed feelings for her. It was wrong. It felt wrong. He didn't want it. It destroyed him to want her. He didn't even know where it began. He just knew. There were moments his heart would flutter when her pale pink gaze would scrutinize him intensely. As though she was trying to read who he was and what his thoughts were. And when his cheeks would flush embarrassingly when she'd affectionately rub his head as though he was her lost sibling or something.
It irked him that he couldn't have her either and he guessed it was better that way because it was never expected of him to crush on someone. Much less someone younger than him and a demon. How could he control his feelings when the girl was damn endearing? She held a soft spot in his heart. She was inquisitive and tough. Affectionate and warm. Pretty warm for a creature of the dark like her.
Of course, he was not altogether ignoring the girl's fine features. She would gro— she would have grown up to be a beautiful woman had she not turned into a demon. As luck would have it, she was able to grow. One of the things he noticed in her was that the girl did not shrink. She de-aged. And when she could de-aged, that could mean she could also progress her age up. Her eldest brother Tanjiro was after all becoming a man and clearly the girl didn't want to be forever stuck as a 14 year old.
Giyuu was mad at himself for having romantic feelings for the girl and it enraged him that he'd never make her laugh or be there for her.
He wasn't that kind of person.
He didn't like being someone's beck and call.
He was fascinated with her and, once again, he hated it. With every fibre of his being. People would've been more likely to bet that he'd go for a woman like Shinobu, a woman of his caliber. But no. No, somehow he developed feelings for a girl seven years his junior who could possibly take down fifty men and suck them dry.
It wasn't too late to commit seppuku now, was it?
And there was that golden-haired boy who hovered over Nezuko like a bumblebee. He spent his time in her presence cooing over her. Not that he found it sickening but it annoyed the hell out of him. And he's not much of a threat really. The boy basically liked every pretty faces he saw. And the girl's pretty face was frequent so he was constantly fluttering around her.
The girl was quite possibly the most careless sleeper he'd ever met. Oftentimes he had found her sleeping inside a pot, a cabinet, on top of the table, on the roof, and, on the floor. Comfortably so. He didn't want to watch her sleep. It's a creepy and awful thing to do but those were the only moments he'd let himself bask in her presence and submit to his feelings.
He'd loathe himself afterwards and leave her in peace.
Shinobu came to him one day. Her eyes unusually cold and a bright smile plastered upon her serene face. She told him she knew and that she was not afraid to call him out of it. Perhaps, the woman was strangely protective of the girl? He told her he didn't know what she was talking about. And before she could even reply, he left.
Was he transparent? He had never been transparent. But again, Shinobu had a knack of seeing through him. He should stay away from Nezuko, shouldn't he? It's not good for him. Besides, she was still a kid. Even after all these years, she's still the kid demon who he almost killed if it weren't for Tanjiro Kamado's pathetic begging.
And then there were the little things. Subtle, miniscule, barely perceptible things where she'd smile at him when they made eye contact. A small quirk of her lips and the brightening of her eyes. It's not the smile she gave the others. The smiles she gave him were furtive and almost secretive to the point that he'd only see the tips of her white fangs. It made him feel like he was floating and light. Oh hell, he was screwed. He was a fool.
"Can demons manipulate . . . feelings?" He asked Shinobu once as he removed the blood from his sword with a swipe.
The butterfly Hashira blinked at him. "It's unheard of but it could be a possibility. Why do you ask?" Her lavender gaze prodded him. "Is there something wrong?"
"Not at all." He casually replied. "Let's go."
She hummed, narrowing her eyes at him with a smile on her face. "Love works in mysterious ways, Tomioka-san."
He whirled to her and snapped, "What the hell do you mean by that?"
She perked up, surprised at his sudden loss of temper. "I see." She said. "Am I wrong? Is this not about love?"
"No, it's not about love." He scoffed, calmly shaking his head. "This is ridiculous." He muttered under his breath. "Where did you even get that idea?"
She giggled before launching into the air, not even once glancing at him. He blinked at her, his insides were in a quandary. He didn't like what she knew one bit. And he was going to correct it.
What he liked about his missions was that he was away from her and he could stop thinking about her. He was sorely mistaken in the latter. This obsession of him was unhealthy and he was determined to get rid of it. He avoided her every chance he got which was not much of a work since they barely even interacted and nobody would even noticed it. But still, it was an improvement.
"The crows said they're having trouble in the south." Shinobu said, sneaking behind him. "It's been 3 three days since their departure."
"You worry for them too much, Shinobu-san. They're hardly fragile." He pierced her with a penetrating stare. "You seem to be too fond of the Kamado boy."
She shrugged. "Nezuko's been asking after him since she woke up yesterday. She seemed to have regained her strength from her previous battle but I don't want to push her too much."
"Have you broken the news to her then?"
"She's a stubborn girl. She'd follow him down south if she heard of it. I'd rather her think he's only ran an errand."
He looked up at the stars. "A shame. If Tanjiro never came back, what would become of the girl?"
"Let's not hope that, Tomioka-san." Shinobu said quietly. "She's been insisting that I let her go out. Over my dead body, of course." She chirped. "I promised the boy I'd take care of his sister while he's out. And now Nezuko's locked herself up in her room. You know, I think I've heard glasses breaking inside it."
"She threw a tantrum?" Giyuu didn't know if he should be amused or not.
"She's upset. I throw things too when I'm upset." She said defensively.
"Right." He muttered.
"Does Nezuko remind you of your late sister?"
He was floored at the sudden question.
He sputtered, "What?"
"Well," she said in a soft sigh. "Whenever you look at her, you'd give her this soft look. I've seen it, Tomioka-san. Don't you dare deny it."
"In a way." He grumbled briefly. "And you? You seem to have a soft spot on her brother, Tanjiro."
"He's a charming, boy." She said, smiling stiffly. "Nothing more."
Giyuu's lips quirked, almost like a smirk. He got up and brushed the dust off his clothes. He bowed to her. "Good night, Shinobu."
She nodded in return. "Good night."