Nezuko is walking under the sun.
She is walking under the sun.
Zenitsu feels like he is going to have a heart attack, and even Yoriichi's eyes are widened. Obviously even he has never seen something like that before, and there's a glint of pride in his eyes when he looks at Nezuko. Zenitsu understands, because he feels the same thing.
And then Nezuko calls him by the boar's name, and Zenitsu's joy turns to anger. But before he can yell, Inosuke arrives followed by his mother and tackles him on the ground and roars.
“KONITSU !!! Where were you ?! Kanpachiro was worried !”
“What are you even talking about, you stupid-”
Realization comes, and Inosuke's violent worry suddenly makes sense. Zenitsu may have known that his friends were alright, but for them Zenitsu has been summoned in front of their leader after displaying an incredibly suspicious behavior. Had they known what would happen to their friend if he was considered guilty of something ? They must have been worried sick.
Zenitsu almost forgives him for teaching his name to Nezuko. Almost.
“Where is Tanjirou ?” he asks, because if someone can explain the miracle that is Nezuko it's him. Inosuke nods.
Tanjirou is lying on a bed when Zenitsu enters, and he beams when he sees his friend, eyes wet.
“Zenitsu ! Are you okay ? What happened ?”
The medium stares at his friend for a long moment, eying his bandages with something akin to incredulity and exasperation. He sits on a chait with a loud sigh.
“You first. Why are you so injured ?”
Tanjirou smiles again.
“I fought against an Upper Moon.
“You WHAT ?!”
“So Oyakata-sama is your family ? That's amazing news !”
Tanjirou's smile is blinding, while Inosuke just huffs and grabs one of the onigiri disposed in front of his friend. Zenitsu is too used to this and Tanjirou too nice to tell him to stop. He glances cautiously to the boy lying in the bed next to them.
Shinazugawa Genya stares at him. There are whispers around him, broken ones that remind him of the children hanging around Kaigaku. But there is only one ghost following Genya, a woman who cries and stay hidden from Zenitsu's eyes. She's still sane, and doesn't scream like the ghost “monsters” haunting his senior. It's good, because Zenitsu doubts he could have tolerated staying in the same room as him if Genya's ghost screamed.
Genya doesn't really speak. He already talked briefly when Tanjirou was explaing what happened in the swordsmiths village, but otherwise stayed quiet. Zenitsu wonders if he is shy or just too tired to deal with the headache that is Hashibira Inosuke. Frankly, both are valid options and he is surprised that Shinobu hasn't kicked them out yet.
Zenitsu nods to answer Tanjirou's question, but doesn't add anything in front of Genya. His friends seem to understand that there is more to his story, but even Inosuke keep silent. Instead the boar-boy yells.
“WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A SUPER HARD TRAINING SESSION NOW !!!”
Tanjirou and Zenitsu blink, but Genya nods.
“Yeah, I heard about it. That's why Kochou-san isn't here, right ? They're organizing the Hashira Training.”
“The what ?”
This is hell.
It's not even the training, which is already horrible, but more so is the awkwardness.
Zenitsu can feel Uzui's eyes burning holes in his back. He's probably curious about him and Kagaya's relationship, and definitely wants to know what happened in the Red-Light District. Zenitsu has no intention to tell him though, and he made that clear by ignoring the former Hashira despite the older man's calls and yells about “successors”. Tanjirou is lucky to be too injured to participate, even if he soon will join them.
Uzui manages to corner him after five days of avoidance, a few minutes after dinner. He's missing an arm and a leg, but Zenitsu knows he is still by far one of the strongest demons slayer around. That did nothing to reassure him.
The former shinobi looks at him an opens his mouth before sighing. He grimaces and finally says.
“Look brat, I know you don't like me -and I don't like you either- but you're Oyakata-sama's family, and more importantly I owe you : you defeated Upper Moon Six back then, and while you will tell me how you did it even if I have to force it out of you, I'm... grateful. So stop hiding everytime I come near you, got it ? We're allies, and we have to trust each other.”
The man crosses his arms and sends him a flat look. Zenitsu bits his lip, and slowly nods. Former Hashira or not, he doesn't want to tell him anything, but at least he's leaving it alone. Zenitsu hopes it will last.
Afterwards, his training speeds up now that his relationship with the slave-driver has settled. He's heading towards Kanroji Mitsuri's estate the following week, and he waves at Uzui before going away.
The Love Hashira's training is, at least for Zenitsu, even easier than Uzui's, but it probably is because he already has some experience in terms of flexibility thanks to Gramps's hellish training.
The real problems start afterwards.
It takes him only a week before he's standing in front of the Mist Hashira's Estate, and his first feeling seeing Tokitou Muichirou is surprise, not because of the young swordman but because of the younger ghost looking exactly like Tokitou and standing by his side. The ghost, who has to be Tokitou's twin, glares at him. Zenitsu heeves a deep sigh, and Yoriichi pats his head.
This isn't going to go well, is it ?