manaika: (the PUSH)
[personal profile] manaika
Title: Poem for you
Author: [livejournal.com profile] manaika
Series: Hakuouki, between Reimeiroku and Shinsengumi Kitan
Pairing: HijiSai, with a bakatrio threesome and hints of Kondo/Okita and past Tani/Sano on the sideline.
Rating: PG-15 and up. Varies between chapters, but only one is really for Mature Audience, I’ll warn you in time. (IMO 17 and 16 years old would cope, but there are actually rules for rating, that I have to follow.)
Genre: humor and romance, written for the purpose to amuse
Warnings: sexual scenes, language, male/male relationship, graphic depictions of sexual intercourse, my attempts of imitating Hijikata’s haiku-style in english, bakatrio threesomeness, meddling Okita, fluff?
Summary: Sano, Shinpa and Heisuke decide it’s time for their vice commander to take some action in regards of a certain taciturn left-handed swordsman. Written for [livejournal.com profile] tokio_fujita, because she is as devoted to HijiSai as I am to ShinpaSano and because Reimeiroku is full of Saitou moe.
Disclaimer: I do not own Hakuoki and neither am I making money writing this. But it is still my work.


Set in the months between the end of Reimeroku and start of Shinsengumi Kitan.


Poem for you, the plan
Poem for you, the first try
Poem for you, the second try
Poem for you, the third try
Poem for you, the twist





POEM FOR YOU





PART 5 – the twist





Hijikata-san had screwed it up.

Not that it was anything Heisuke hadn’t expected.

Hijikata-san may have been popular with the girls, but it was something entirely else to get a man. And Heisuke would be very surprised if Hijikata-san had had some expierience prior to Hajime-kun. Not that he had any expierience with Hajime-kun either. Heisuke had never seen two people who wanted each other more and yet did so little to finally get there. If it wasn’t for Sano-san and Shinpat-suan, they would have never even taken a single step into that direction. Not that those two geezers had gotten it right. Their ideas were entirely outdated and sometimes Heisuke had the feeling he was dating two grandpas.

Talking in purely the ideological sense. Physicaly speaking they were still in topform and...

Heisuke shook his head, ridding himself from the distracting thoughts, ignoring the heat in his face. He had to get rid of this stupid habit of blushing whenever he thought about something dirty, like some virgin maiden. He was by no means neither a maiden, nor a virgin. Sano-san and Shinpat-suan had made sure of tha...

Heisuke shook his head again.

Back to reality.

Hijikata-san and Hajime-kun.

Both were obviously having a problem of accepting and standing to their feelings. And Heisuke would be damned if he didn’t know how that felt. He too had had a problem with accpeting the fact that he had hots for Shinpat-suan and he remembered how awkward it had been as Shinpat-suan started chasing him, but he also remembered how he eventually had given in. And that had been the best choice he ever made in his entire life. He knew he’d be regretting it if things had come out differently and that was something that he couldn’t let Hajime-kun expierience. It was true that he and Hajime-kun had very little in common and rarely spoke about anything else than Shinsengumi business, but Heisuke knew enough to know, that Hajime-kun had been already through enough regrets for one lifetime and despite what everyone else thought, Heisuke had been through his fair share of regrets in life. And he knew that the only thing that helped to overcome them, was to find your place in life. A place where you feel you’re supposed to be. A place where you’re loved. A place where you can be happy. A place that is nothing more and nothing less than a warm embrace of a beloved one. Heisuke had already found such a place and while he knew that nothing lasted forever, it was the here and now that really mattered. The single moment in the flow of time that happiness came to them. Heisuke was already expieriencing such a moment of happiness and since he knew how much that changed, he couldn’t let Hajime-kun miss it. His conscience wouldn’t live through that.

And so he decided to take matters into his own hand and headed for the temple, where he knew Hajime-kun would be at this hour of the day, training like a madman.

Training away his pain.

And that was where he found Hajime-kun, performing fast and sharp slashes, that seemed even more viscious and deadly than usually, bore more force than was absolutely necessary and more powerd than any living being could take.

Heisuke sighed.

Hajime-kun seemed even more desperate, than Heisuke had imagined him to be. Hijikata-san had really messed up this time, hadn’t he? Whatever happened yesterday evening, it must have hurt the taciturn swordsman a lot. Not that it was that hard to guess what had exactly occured in Hajime-kun’s room. Hajime-kun invited Hijikata-san for dinner with the plan to confess his feelings, Hijikata-san showed up and not an hour later stormed out of Hajime-kun’s room. There was no fire, Hajime-kun wasn’t dieing and not other catastrophy seemed to be happening, so the only conclusion one could draw was: Hajime-kun had confessed and got rejected.

Hajime-kun had it really hard, hadn’t he?

Rejected by a person he loved, not being able to be close tot hat person...If such a thing happened to Heisuke, hevs have gone already insane. But that was because he knew what it felt like being touched intimately and brought to the edge of release...

Heisuke shook his head once again.

Anyway.

To get to the point: Hajime-kun needed to get laid. Urgently.

So, Heisuke took a deep breath, surpressed the red on his face and approached the taciturn swordsman.

Hajime-kun noticed him almost immediately.

The male lowered his sword, straightened himself and turned his head to look at the approaching boy, but his face didn’t look like he was too happy about the visit. Heisuke could understand that. If Heisuke had been hurt the way Hajime-kun had been, he wouldn’t have wanted to see anyone either.

„Hajime-kun, may I talk to you?“

But at the same time he knew he would desperately need a friend. Or someone to tell him that everything would be alright, even if it was the last thing he wanted to hear.

Hajime-kun sighed. „Heisuke, excuse my bluntness, but I’d like to be alone.“

Heisuke eyed the male with sad tyrquise eyes, before averting his gaze to the ground.

„Hajime-kun, if it helps any, I know how it is to be rejected.“ He said in a low voice and as he saw in his peripheral vision how Hajime-kun flinched, he knew it had scored. And it wasn’t a surprise to Heisuke as he felt more than he saw how that deep night blue gaze wandered to his katana. Hajime-kun was good in recognizing swords. Of course he would have guessed...

But Heisuke wasn’t here to wallow in his misery and long fotgotten regrets, but to help Hajime-kun. So he raised his look again, hoping his eyes looked as clear as he wanted them to be and met those icy eyes.

„I...I think you shouldn’t give up just yet. That wouldn’t be very much like you, would it?“ he added a smirk to the last sentence that he hoped was at least a little encouraging and saw how after a few moments a tug pulled at the corners of Hajime-kun’s lips.

Encouraged, Heisuke continued.

„Maybe all it needs is time.“

Those words sounded alien out of his mouth, too old and too wise and absolutely not like him and as their meaning reached his mind, Heisuke just had to laugh at richness.

„Even though I’m probably the last one to tell you that.“ Impatient and hot-headed as he was, it sounded a bit ironic.

That tug at the corners of Hajime-kun’s lips appeared again and Heisuke realized, it was the infant of a smile, fighting it’s way onto that unmoving face and he smiled into himself. It seemed he had managed to cheer up Hajime-kun at least a little and that was, circumstances considered, a lot of achievement. And not wanting to spoil it by saying something stupid, Heisuke decided, it was time to take his leave and let Hajime-kun contemplate. Or train. Or both. Hajime-kun was very good at doing both at the same time.

Anyway.

„I should go now. I’m on lunch duty today, heh.“

Saitou nodded and Heisuke turned to leave, but Hajime-kun’s voice stoped him halfway.

„Heisuke.“

Heisuke turned his head to look at the other male.

„Thank you.“

Heisuke smiled and nodding he headed for the gates, while Hajime-kun returned to his training, this time with considerably less force and more thought.

When Heisuke reached the gate, he was surprised to see Shinpat-suan watching him, hidden behind the wooden wings, boken in his hand, unreadable look on his face. Just one look into thise clear eyes told Heisuke, that the bastard had heard everything.

However, the boken his lover so leisurely carried meant that Shinpat-suan hadn’t come to the temple simply to listen in on their conversation. Heisuke scowled.

„I have just managed to cheer Hajime-kun up, Shinpat-suan.“ Even though when those two trained together, usually it left them both high-spirited and in a great mood, Heisuke wasn’t so sure how much of Shinpat-suan one can bear in two days. That and whenever those two trained, it was less fight and more philosophy. But Heisuke had the feeling that Hajime-kun wasn’t exactly in a philosophical mood today. „Is this really necessary?“

Shinpat-suan, in an unusualy quiet mood today, merely nodded.

„Yeah. Saitou...Saitou has to see some things, before it’s too late.“

Heisuke didn’t bother asking before it was too late to what.

Instead he gave his own nod and turned to leave, but he was stoped by a strong hand on his shoulder and the deep voice of his lover sounded just next to his ear, quiet, worried, caring and so unlike Shinpat-suan, that it chased goosebumps down Heisuke’s spine.

„Heisuke, I know you feel with Saitou, but sometimes...sometimes to be accepted at last, we have to get rejected first.“

That was the moment, when Heisuke decided that it had been enough unusual moods for one day.

„Man, Shinpat-suan, cut it out! The last days had been lousy enough without you feeding me your wannabe philosophy!“

That brought Shinpachi back to his usual, loud self.

„What is it Heisuke?! Jealous, that you don’t have half of the brains that I do?!“

„What brains are you talking about Shinpat-suan? It’s all in your muscles!“ Before he even could finish the sentence, Heisuke had to dodge a punch and ready himself for a quick retreat, not holding back his snickers.

„What did you just say you little brat?!“

The reactions he got out of Shinpat-suan when they were bickering never failed to amuse Heisuke. And the sex later was always...well, anyway. If it was to come to that later, Heisuke decided now was the right time to scram.

„Come back here! I’ll teach you some manners!“

Was the last he heard Shinpat-suan call after him, when he made a short job on clearing the coast and disappeared behind of the temple gates.

For a moment longer Shinpachi held his angry face, before he let it fall and gave space to an amused smirk, shaking his head affectionately. And people asked him why he loved Heisuke.

Of course their little confrontation had to rouse attention and when Shinpachi turned his attention towards the training grounds, he notice Saitou watching him almost cautiously. With his entrance wasted, Shinpachi saw no more reason to be hiding behind the gates and boldly stepped into the court. But as soon as he did, to his not-so-big surprise, Saitou spoke his objections.

„Excuse me, but if you don’t mind, I’d like to train alone today.“

The silent voice was icier than Shinpachi had even heard and it didn’t hold gentle quality as usually, disapointment getting the better of it.

Shinpachi’d be damned if he didn’t understand that.

But he’d be thrice damned if he let it just be.

So he let his face fall and voiced his own disapointment.

„What? Come on Saitou, you can’t do that to me. There I was, working for weeks on a technique against a left-handed oponent and now you say I can’t even try it out?“

When Shinpachi saw how Saitou faltered, he knew he had the taciturn swordsman. And ideed, Saitou’s shoulders heaved in a silent, barely noticeable sigh, before the young man finally nodded.

„Alright then.“ Saitou took his stance, his look serious. „But I won’t go easy on you.“

Shinpachi also took his stance. „I was never expecting you to.“

One heartbeat passed.

They moved simultanously.

Their bokens clashed with a resolute, dull sound and tore splinters from the polished wooden surface. For a moment they pushed against each other, then after realizing neither of them was backing down, they pulled away for another slash. And again. And again. It was like a dance they both knew by heart, a clash of strong wills, spirit against spirit.

„Hey Saitou, did you know? Sano punched me, when I first confessed to him.“

A move out of the rhythm disturbed their dance, as something in Saitou’s stance chenged, became more viscious, more determined and a sharp slash, followed by a half-turn and a stab brought Shinpachi out of balance and revealed an opening to his oponent. Before he could have reacted, Saitou’s boken was shown into his face, half an inch from the ridge of his nose, right between his eyes.

„What do you want, Shinpachi? You’re not using any new technique against me and you talk about Sano rejecting you. I apologize for the bluntness, but either you are serious, or leave. I wish to be alone.“

Saitou made it straight and clear. That deserved honesty. Games were over.

„I came to confirm something.“

Shinpachi straightened himself and walked a few feet away from Saitou, then assumed his basic fighting stance again. Saitou did so too.
„I apologize for not being serious from the beginning, but I really came to try a technique. You know, I’ve been thinking, that when I get attacked, I instinctively defend my left side. However, if it’s you, you attack by default my right side and I end up losing. So the only solution would be, to make you attack my left side.“

Shinpachi turned his back to Saitou.

„However by doing so, I expose you my weakest spot. There’s a risk in it. A weakness I either overcome, or die.“

Silence was his only answer so Shinpachi angled his head to look at Saitou, when suddenly the taciturn swordsman spoke.

„Any other fight is meaningless.“
„How so?“
„We both know how it would end.“

Shinpachi lowered his boken and turned around.

„That’s so much like you Saitou, really. You’re very levelheaded. You know your strengths and you know your limits and you know what’s below them and what’s exceeding them. That’s not a bad thing. It means you know where you stand and you have both of your feet firmly on the ground. But sometimes we just have to take risks and overcome our weakness if we want to achieve something, especially if the goal is happiness. Do you have anything you have to overcome?“
Saitou just looked at Shinpachi, eyes ablaze with an angry fire, one that wasn’t often present in those clear, winter-night-blue eyes. And Shinpachi knew, no matter what would be said next, Saitou would mean every word.
„I thought over what happened yesterday. I came to the conclusion that maybe I don’t deserve happiness. If the vice-commander wanted me...“ he trailed off, not needing to finish the sentence. Shinpachi knew what his friend wanted to say, but he couldn’t say he agreed with it.

Shinpachi voiced his opinion.

„Bullshit. Everyone deserves happiness. Even such a disobedient, dishonorable, little ronin as you.“

Saitou looked at him with blue eyes that looked just a tiny bit hurt.

„Is that how you think of me?“

Shinpachi snorted silently.

„No. That’s how you, deep down inside, think of yourself.“

Saitou turned around to leave, but Shinpachi wasn’t finished just yet. He had one more thing to say.

„You think too much."

Saitou stopped dead in his tracks.

„You think too much." Shinpachi repeated. „You always overthink things to the point when it stops being healthy. Then you reach a bizarre conclusion of the type ’I’m not good enough’ and close yourself up. I’m not saying that’s bad, most of the people are this way, really. What I’m saying is, that sometimes you should stop thinking and act. Listen to your feelings and follow your heart. You can still think later, but a real oportunity comes just once every few years. Many people get only one for each lifetime. And some people don’t get one at all."

„But what if my feelings are wrong?"

„It’s not the feelings that are wrong, Saitou. It’s what our intentions make them. And I don’t think that you have any bad intentions at this time."

„And if my feelings are undesired?"

„I beg to differ."

Finally Saitou turned around to look at him with fierce icy blue eyes. Shinpachi held his gaze with a steady look.

„I still don’t think that my feelings are suitable."

Shinpachi shook his shoulders. „Think what you want. I just told you my opinion."

Saitou’s icy blue eyes bore themselves into Shinpachi’s, searching for something in those saphire depths, before he slowly nodded. Then he turned around and slowly walked away.



x*x




When Sano announced himself and entered the office, two midnight purple eyes bore themselves through him right away. Hijikata-san was not in a good mood.

Well, Sano couldn’t blame him.

He knew better than anyone else in the Shinsengumi, how refusing a confession can piss one off. Not at others, but at oneself.

„Hijikata-san, if I-“

„If you’re here to make another practical joke at my expense, you can save your breath and leave right away.“

Hijikata-san’s voice was as ice, his eyes shooting daggers rights through him. Sano frowned. The one thing with being pissed off at oneself was, that not being able to take it out on yourself, you took it out on others and even managed to justify it with blaming them for your misery. Now, while it was very human to do so, it didn’t make it right. Understanding aside, Hijikata-san had no right in blaming him, while not knowing the entire story and Sano wasn’t someone who would just let it slide.

So, squaring his shoulders and straightening himself to his full height, Sano replied with an equally icy tone as the vice-commander had spoken to him. „Actually, I’m here to tell you something about Saitou.“

Hijikata-san actually flinched. Good.

„So, once you stop taking out your bad mood on others, we could have a talk.“

Hijikata-san seemed to hesitate a moment and in that moment something in Sano decided that he wasn’t done talking.

„And regardless of what you might think, I wasn’t making a practical joke at your expense. The situation had been something entirely else and while I regret how it turned out and admit that I do take some blame for it, before your start accusing me, at least make sure you’re accusing me of the right crime.“

Before Sano could stop himself he had said all that and now the only thing he could do was bite his tongue. Hard. Damn Shinpachi and damn his habit of ranting. It must have rubbed off of Sano. He had to get it under control, before he said anything that would get him into real trouble. It just wouldn’t be him. He was supposed to be the one with the endless patience. At least, that was what Shinpachi always told him.

„I’m sorry.“

This caused Sano’s eyebrows to shoot into his hair.

„You’re right, of course. I took out my bad mood on you, I apologize.“

Sano smiled and bowed his head too. „And I apologize for ranting myself out. It’s unsightly and I was talking out of place. I’m sorry.“

„Not at all.“ Hijikata-san said and gestured at the free space next to him. „Please, sit. What was it that you wanted to tell me about Saitou?“

Sano sat down. „It has to do with what happened yesterday evening and before you shoot through the roof again, listen to me.“ Hijikata-san looked again like he was about to unleash demon powers of the worst kind at anyone in near proximity. Which happened to be Sano. Why did he have the feeling that he was the punching bag in these headquarters?

But alas, it revealed to Sano, that it was aparently a touchy subject to Hijikata-san. Combined with the vice-comander being angry at himself, it made Sano believe that maybe not everything was lost and that it made sense to thread the dangerous grounds of Hijikata-san’s bad mood, because it still could bring those two closeted love-birds to finally get it on, bluntly said.

„Actually, I just want to ask you one thing: Why the hell did you run?“

Hijikata-san looked at him with eyes reminiscent of that miso-bowl look that he gave Sano just yesterday.

„I’m asking, because it’s quite clear that you want Saitou. I know for a fact, that Saitou has showed his feelings to you yesterday. So whatever’s your problem? Why did you run?“

Sano knew why he had punched Shinpachi, that time. Because his friend back then, had just woken strange feelings that Sano thought were long gone. After Osaka, he had told himself that he’d never be with another male again. But suddenly he wanted to. And that had confused him. He didn’t know what to do or what to feel, so he did the only thing he was capable of doing at that time: he punched Shinpachi and ran. But as far as Sano could tell, Hijikata-san knew about his own attraction to Saitou. The way the vice-commander looked at the taciturn male was proof enough. So why run, when the object of his desire confessed to him?

Hijikata-san looked away, his features strangely...sad.

„Hijikata-san?“

„I...“ after a final second of hesitation, Hijikata-san finally gritted: „I couldn’t bear it.“

„Couldn’t bear what?“ Sano was confused. Bear a kiss from his beloved? Sano usualy wasn’t so clueless, but it seemed he would need to get things spelled out, this time. Because whatever the problem was, it seemed to exist only in Hijikata-san’s head. And the most fickle thing to deal with, was your own head, Sano knew.

„Losing him.“ Hijikata-san said, then added quietly. „Over a moment of weakness.“

Sano was officially done. He couldn’t figure this one out. It just made less and less sense. Why would Hijikata-san feel that he would lose Saitou? Over a moment of weakness? As if the taciturn male should regret everything... Wait a sec.

„A moment of weakness.“

And slowly it started dawning in Sano’s mind.

„Yes, a moment of weakness!“

Hijikata-san snapped, but Sano didn’t pay it any attention as the mystery suddenly begun to unfold in his mind. Hijikata-san thought that Saitou would regret kissing him. Why? The only possible answer Sano could come up with was, that Hijikata-san thought that the kiss was really only a moment of weakness from Saitou’s side. And the pieces finally clicked together.

„Saitou made me clearly understand on several occassions that he didn’t want a physical relationship with a man.“

Hijikata-san thought that Saitou wasn’t serious.

„And now he’s being curious and wondering about it, which I can’t really blame him for. It was the same with me, when I first started thinking about it.“

The more Sano listened, the less he believed what he heard.

„Curious...“

„Yes, of course he’s curious. It’s only natural and as I said, I don’t blame him. But I fear that it would ruin our friendship if we...you know.“

Oh yes, Sano knew alright. Sano knew exactly now what Hijikata-san thought.

„So I...I decided not to follow up to my desires. We both know what it would inevitably lead to.“

Oh really?

„It would never be the same again between me and Saitou. And his friendship is more important to me, than any moment of passion with him. It would not be fair to him, if I did that with him, knowing that it would only lead to our break-up. Because I couldn’t bear doing only casualy what I want to do with all of my heart with him.“

„With all of your heart.“ Sano repeated, his tone very dry. He couldn’t believe what he had just heard.

Hijikata-san however, didn’t seem to notice it, as he replied completely honest. „Yes, with all of my heart.“

And finally, the endless patience that Sano was supposed to be gifted with, ran out.

„Stop being selfish!"

Hijikata-san looked at him with shocked eyes full with disbelief, but Sano wasn’t finished, far from it.

„Do you seriously think, that Saitou’s interest in you is purely physical?“ That quiet, taciturn, thoughtfull male, that had been heartbroken for weeks, wanting nothing else than be loved, was thought of having purely physical motives. Sano couldn’t help it, he felt pissed. Offended, angry and pissed, in Saitou’s name. „Hijikata-san, I beg your pardon, but do you really think so low of Saitou?“ Hijikata-san still looked at him in a very surprised manner, but now another emotion joined those midnight purple eyes, something dangerous and angry, but Sano didn’t care the least. Hijikata-san could get angry all he wanted, Sano would make him hear this, if it was the last thing he’d do in this life. „And since when is it your place to decide what’s the best decision for Saitou, or whomever else to make?! You didn’t want to lose Saitou? Because Saitou isn’t serious?! SAITOU of all people?!“ Throughout his entire speach Sano had been raising his voice and now he was downright screaming, but he couldn’t help it. He was just as angry as Hijikata-san. „Well, excuse me, but I don’t believe a single word of it! Didn’t you just ascribe primitve motives to Saitou, only so you would find an excuse not to take a step into that direction? And then excusing it with doing it with the best intention, from all of your heart! The way I see it, you just got scared shitless and ran away, nothing more!“

The same moment he said that, Sano knew he’d hit home.

Hijikata-san’s eyes flared and all of the anger broke out of the vice-commander, as he stood up abruptly and straightened himself to his entire height.

„The nerve of you, Harada! Shut up! How dare you! I’m the Vice-commander of the Shinsengumi! Who do you think you are?!!“

So Hijikata-san pulled that move? Alright, fine. Two could play this game.

Sano stood up and also built himself up to his full height, which ranged a full head above Hijikata-san. He then took a deep breath and making himself as scariest and demonic as he could, he hollered his next words, so that they echoed in the room.

„I AM THE ADVISOR OF THE CAPTAIN!!!“

Now.

That seemed to get Hijikata-san.

The vice-commander probably wasn’t used to being talked to in such tone. Much less coming from Sano.

Good.

Attention gotten, Sano lowered his voice to his usual level and said his next words a lot more calmly.

„And as such, I’m just giving you a well-meant advice. At least, I’m trying to.“

For a moment it seemed like Hijikata-san should punch him in the face any second. But then the vice commander took a very deep breath and said through gritted teeth.

„You don’t understand. He doesn’t want me the same way I want him.“ Sano already opened his mouth to voice his disagreement, but Hijikata-san cut him off. „And even if he did, I..." something flashed in Hijikata-san's eyes, as the anger there shifted to something entirely else, a feeling that went deeper than any of that momentarily anger. "I don’t deserve him.“

And Hijikata-san looked away, that strangely sad expression on his face again.

Somehow, Sano got the impression, that he’d just now uncovered the root of the problem. And all he could do, was smile about it.

It was an old story, really. One that almost every person that had had a relationship, had been through. Including himself.

A feeling that nestled down in the core of your heart and slowly ate you up, making you suffer, yet at the same time being just a load of...

„Bullshit."

Hijikata-san’s look snapped to him again, eyes surprised and disbelieving. Slowly Sano got the impression, that he was really crushing Hijikata-san’s beliefs, instead of making the vice-commander see certain things.

„What did you just say?" Hijikata-san asked him and Sano had no other choice but to continue the ’crushing’.

„I said what you’re babbling is a load of shit.“ He repeated and elaborated his words this time. „So you feel like you don’t deserve him, because he’s so perfect and you’re so rotten, big deal.“ Seriously, it was so clichéd, that it wasn’t even funny. „How many times do you think I feel like I don’t deserve Shinpachi? Or have you any idea how often Souji feels that way about Kondo-san? And while we’re at it, it might be just about the same that Saitou feels about you.“

„That’s stupid."

Sano had to admit, that Hijikata-san had a point with that, but that didn’t change anything.

„It might be, but it’s true.“ And there had been already enough mistakes made for this stupid feeling alone, that he could allow it to continue. „Look, Hijikata-san. When people like us get blessed by happiness, we tend to think that it’s probably just some Fate’s twisted joke, so we end up not pursuing our feelings, from the fear of loosing everything. We say that it’s better that way and that the person is better off without us, in a self-sacrificing effort, but really, we’re just being cowards. And while we’re at it, we forget, that by making a decision, we take away the freedom of choice from that person. What I’m saying is, you should at least talk to Saitou, talk with him.“

Hijikata-san looked away again.

„It sounds nice when you say it, but it doesn’t change the fact that Saitou isn’t interested in such affairs.“

Sano resisted the urge to roll his eyes. This again.

„Yeah, right. That’s why he kissed you, isn’t it?“

Even in spite of the situation, it was still funny to see the vice-commander blush a furious shade of red. Luckily, Sano managed to force the smile back and contain a serious face.

„He...He was just experimenting! I’m sure it was just...“ Hijikata-san trailed off, his voice gaining a gentle, almost hurt quality to it and for a moment Sano felt embarassed and even a little honored, that he unevitingly saw a moment when that unpenetraneable armor that Hijikata-san always displayed, cracked. „Just a moment of curiosity.“ Hijikata-san made his next words sound strong and steady, regaining his control fast enough, but after Sano had seen the hurt, it remained visible to him, even after that cool mask was put back on. „There is no other evidence of Saitou’s possible interest in me. He has never shown me any.“

The irony of it was so rich, that Sano couldn’t even laugh at it anymore.

„Funny you say that. I can think of at least five times in the past two days, when Saitou tried to convey his interest to you.“

The miso bowl eyes were back.

„Admittedly,“ and a small ironic smile managed to steal itself onto Sano’s face at his next words, „The choice of the ways how to do so wasn’t always the luckiest one, but it was still pretty obvious. At least when you knew what to look for.“

Hijikata-san still stared at him and Sano sighed.

It seemed that Hijikata-san had somehow managed to convince himself, that Saitou couldn’t have been serious. How Hijikata-san had managed that, was beyond Sano’s imagination. After all, who besides Hijikata-san could have known better, that Saitou never joked around. Not about the things that were important.

Sano couldn’t let Hijikata-san continue this...pretending.

„Look, it’s pretty obvious that Saitou has as much expierience as you in this field, but that’s why we’re trying to help you guys.“

No response.

„Will you talk to him now?“

Hijikata-san looked away, before finaly speaking.

„Are you absolutely sure, that Saitou has interest in me?“
„Positive.“

And finally Hijikata-san nodded.

„Alright then. I’ll talk with him.“

Sano breathed a sigh of relief. This was a tough one to knack, but at least things seemed to be heading now the right way.

Having said all that he had wanted to say, Sano thus excused himself and turned to leave, but Hijikata-san’s voice stoped him.

„Sano.“

Sano turned his head to look at the vice-commander.

„Yes?“

The midnight purple eyes shot him a deadly serious look.

„Don’t try to help us again. Ever.“

Sano couldn’t, but laugh.

Saluting casualy, he answered. „Roger that, vice-commander! Roger that.“




ox*xo





It didn’t take too long after that for the ’talk’ to happen.

It was the afternoon of the same day, that unbeknowst to him, Saitou chose the same moment as Hijikata-san to stand up and leave his quarters, going after the remaining responsibilities of the day and chosing the route that led him through the same yard Hijikata-san was passing, making them turn the oposing corners at the same time and meet in the middle of it.

For a few moments everything was silent, frozen, curious about what would happen next.

„Vice-commander-“
„Saitou, I...“

They spoke simultanously and their eyes met in the surprised looks they gave each other, but then hastily looked away.

„Saitou, I...“ Hijikata-san gathered the courage and raised his gaze again to look into Saitou’s eyes. „I need to talk with you. Do you have time later tod-“

But before Hijikata-san could have finished the sentence, Saitou, uncharacteristically, interrupted him.

„Vice-commander, I need to apologize for my behavior yesterday and I want to ask of you not to worry about it. If you have no...such interest in me, you don’t need to feel obligated to-“

„No, Saitou...“ This time, Hijikata-san interrupted Saitou’s speach and made the young man look at his superior with surprised and curious eyes. „That’s what I want to talk to you about. And I feel it’s my place to apologize to you. I...“ Hijikata-san trailed off for a moment, before finishing the snetence. „I must have hurt you a lot. I’m sorry.“

„No, Vice-commander, please don’t-“
„Saitou you have to listen to me-“
„I’m sorry for what happened-“
„I’m the one who should be-“

Before either of them could continue the very awkward discussion they had gotten themselves into, a voice just from behind Hijikata-san cut into it rather rudely, saying:

„You know, talking about stuff is nice and all, but obviously, you’re overdoing it.“

And before either of them could take a look at the intruder, Hijikata felt a hand on his back and suddenly he was being pushed forward roughly, stumbling for balance and not finding purchase, and then, just as suddenly as the push came, he found himself in a warm embrace of two gentle, yet strong arms. He looked up to thank his helper, but his breath was cut short by the sight of two beautiful, dark eyes. Dark like the skies of Solstice, sparkling like the first snow underneath the light of the stars and the Moon.

Saitou had the most beautiful irises Hijikata had ever seen.

His hand moved subconsciously, almost like driven by a foreign force, moved to touche the flawless face that bore those two mysterious eyes. It was smooth and warm at his touch, and still heating up, as those two eyes shone with an emotion that could have been hope, but Hijikata was too captivated to distinguish.

Those full lips were parted slightly, only a tiny gap opening into a warm cavern, almost like a teasing invitation...

And Hijikata couldn’t resist any longer.

He seized the arms in a strong grip, pulled the slight body into his own and crashed his lips onto Saitou’s.

Bliss.

A thousand of sensations exploaded within his chest and assaulted him and at the same moment his tongue darted out into that wet, warm, inviting cavern, the thought crossed his mind, that it was better, far better than he ever imagined it to be.

Kissing Saitou.

He could feel the initial tension of shock in the young man slowly fade, as the slender body slowly relaxed, leaning into the touch and Saitou started responding the contact, tentative at first, then more sure and finally completely surrendering himself.

Hijikata’s hands moved to the slender hips and pulled the young man even closer, flushing their bodies together in a contact that was almost urgent and he relished in the soft gasp that passed those full, kissable lips, as those strong arms wrapped around his shoulders, searching for support. Saitou was delicious in a way that was almost maddening and Hijikata wanted more of this marvelous, mindblowing taste.

A moment could have passed, but it felt like an entire life since their lips met and Hijikata didn’t want it to stop.

Ever again.

He didn’t even notice how, huddled behind the corner, Shinpachi, Sano and Heisuke each had to supress a cheer.



x*x




Heisuke jumped onto Shinpachi’s throat, almost strangling him, in an expression of joy, while Sano slapped their hands together in accomplishment.

„I knew it was gonna work if we talked to them!"
„Good job!"
„What are you saying?! It was my advice that finally made Saitou open his eyes!"
„Yeah, keep, thinking that!"

A chuckle from behind them sounded and they turned around to the mischievous face of Okita Souji grinning at them.

„You may have been giving them advice and clever hints, but wasn’t it a little push, that brought them together in the end?“ the green eyes winked at them.

The trio exchanged grins.

„You might be right, Souji.“ Shinpachi said. „Sometimes,“ he looked at Sano, „All we need is a little push. Right?“

Sano’s only answer was a smile.

„Now, that’s an interesting theory you’re proposing, Nagakura-san.“

The sudden sound of that slurr chased unpleasent shivers down Shinpachi’s spine and Sano’s smile looked a lot more tense than before, too. He turned around to meet steel eyes, while he heard a silent string of curses that Sano was mutterning underneath his breath.

„Exactly what kind of push are we talking about, if I may inquire?“

Shinpachi let a smile, that was not as nice as it was warning, spread on his face as he locked onto that steely gaze.

„Tani-san. Sleeped out the hangover already?“

Tani Sanjuro, the intruder of their small round, smirked, but before that man could come up with an aswer, Sano did it for him.

„Not for too long, I assure you. You’re reeking of sake again, Sanji-sensei.“

Shinpachi watched with growing anger boiling within him, as that bastard bent down, his lips a breath away from Sano’s ear, just beside that sensitive spot, as he whispered.

„Oh, but it’s your favorite brand...You remember?“

Shinpachi could tell only by looking, that Sano did really do remember. The anger within him was slowly reaching the point of overboiling. How dare that bastard tease his Sano?!

„I’ve still got a few bottles left...Want a share?“ And in a ghost of a touch, those lips carressed that spot behind Sano’s ear, no doubt aware of the effect it had.

Shinpachi saw red.

But before the otherwise nice afternoon could turn into a bloodshed, Sano turned his face to look directly at his former teacher and surprise washed away all of the anger that Shinpachi felt.

Sano didn’t seem a tiny bit affected.

Neither his throat, nor his ears were flushed red, not even his cheeks bore a tiniest trace of pink, not a single sliver of color on that otherwise pale face, that was compared to others, just a tiny bit tan.

Nothing.

Just a wicked smirk on those sensual lips and a smart remark.

„No, thank you Sanji-sensei. I think, I had enough of shares from you, for one lifetime.“

For a moment, Tani-san seemed just as surprised as Shinpachi, before he broke into uproarious laughter. Or would have, if a bandaged hand hadn’t covered the mouth in an instant.

„Keep it down! You don’t want to disturb them and get caught!“

A confused gaze and a lifted eyebrow fixed Sano and the redhead just nodded with his head sideways, towards the corner and Tani-san took a peek.

Hijikata-san and Saitou were still kissing, lips against lips, body against body, like they wanted to melt together. Hijikata-san’s hands were tracing Saitou’s hips, occassionally moving to the tights of the young swordsman, even wandering behind them and squeezing just there, while Saitou’s arms were helplessly clutching at Hijikata-san’s kimono, wandering away only sometimes, to gently trace the nape of the pale neck, or bury the hands in that raven hair.

„Oh.“ Tani-san mouthed and straightened himself up again, amused smirk playing on his face. „Well, you’re right, Sanosuke. I wouldn’t want to disturb them. Or your fun, for that matter.“

The former teacher and former pupil exchanged smirks.

„See ya later, lad.“

And with one last wink at Sano, Tani-san turned around and left.

„In your dreams, moron.“ Was Sano’s answer and the last they heard was a rich laugh echoing from where Tani-san disappeared, but not audible to the two lovebirds.

When the spear-wielder wanted to turn around to check on the ’progress’ of the lovebirds, his eyes caught Shinpachi watching him with an unreadable gaze.

„What?“

In a startling instant Shinpachi moved towards Sano, stoping only inches away from his throat. He needed to check this. He needed to know...

But before he could, Sano, reading his intentions, stoped him with a warning hiss.

„Do that and you’re dead.“

Shinpachi hesitated, but Sano’s eyes were talking clearly and so the strong male decided to be for once reasonable and pulled away. Besides, they were still in public. Even though Souji has already disappeared somewhere and the only one really seeing them was Heisuke, watching them with a smirk and dirty thoughts sparkling in his eyes, Hijikata-san and Saitou were just around the corner.

Still kissing.

So, Shinpachi opted for returning to watching the ’newlyweds’ and turning his back to this...awkward situation, that was an inevitable effect to a confrontation with Tani-san, when suddenly, Sano’s breath was right beside his ear and his lover was whispering to him, only for Shinpachi to hear.

„In case you’re wondering, I’m sensitive there only to who I want to be sensitive to.“

A jerk of surprise went through Shinpachi and his head twisted to look at Sano in a surprised manner.

Sano’s only answer was a wink and then the redhead simply returned to watching their friends.



x*x




It was wet, it was hot, it was sensational.

Hijikata-san’s lips were like satin and the kiss was like silk ghosting over Saitou’s senses, making them tingle with pleasure and want. The vice-commander was sucking, nipping and biting and all Saitou could do, was desperately cling to the remains of his sanity, while wanting nothing more than to let them go and fall, immersed himself fully into the sensations he was expieriencing.

But the air was coming short and his lungs were screaming for oxygen, lightheadedness making his surroundings spin and so there was nothing left to do, but part for air.

He opened his eyes, he was sure they were glazed, and their gazes locked.

Those eyes...kami-sama, those eyes...

Warm and deep, like the clear sky of a summer night, with the billions of stars shining at him.

The places where Hijikata-san had touched Saitou were burning, no, his entire body was burning and his breath was coming short. He was leaning with his entire weight into the vice-commander’s body, while two warm hands rested on his hips. And Saitou had to admit, that if it wasn’t for that, he couldn’t have kept himself upright. His knees were shaking and the light-headed feeling wasn’t going away, no matter how many breaths he took. He was panting for air and he knew his skin was burning red on several places of his body, flushed with heat. Scorching heat was also burning the lower parts of his body, tingling and unbearable and yet, oh-so good. He wanted, he needed to touch, needed to feel the exquisite pleasure, one like he had felt moments ago, one like he felt now, but more, oh by the gods, more.

He knew he was hard and he knew that Hijikata-san could feel it in the close contact of their bodies, but right now it didn’t matter.

The only thing that mattered were those strong arms around him.

„Saitou...“

Hijikata-san’s voice was rough and husky, when he spoke, rough and husky with barely contained pleasure, Saito realized, and it sent a surge of energy straight into the center of the exquisite heat, that enveloped his body.

„Saitou, we need to talk.“

It was a maddening realization to Saitou’s mind, that Hijikata-san wanted him, felt pleasure when they kissed and, oh kami-sama, was just as excited as Saitou was, judging by the burning hardness pressing against him.

„Yes...“ he whispered in a low voice and his gaze locked once again with Hijikata-san’s.

He was swept away by the sheer force that was burning there, like an inferno, burning away everything in it’s path. Saitou’s heart leaped into his throat and begun beating in a rhythm that was almost inhuman.

There was no escape.

„Come to my room this evening.“

No escape from this man.

Hijikata-san smirked.

„This time, I’ll be the one hosting the dinner.“

Saitou didn’t even realize how he gulped.

„And I promise, it won’t end like yesterday.“

Saitou felt the ground beneath his feet fell apart as the freefall begun.




ox*xo-*-*-*–ox*xo




Notes

About that technique Shinpachi invented: I’m actually aware that it probably could never work for various reasons. My „Kendo knowledge“ is limited to the few hours my former boyfriend has trained me, but even I know that things aren’t as simple. But I needed the symbolic of vulnerability and this wa sthe only thing I could come up with. I’m sure nowadays better techniques against left-handed oponents exist. And who knows? Maybe there is one that had been invented by Nagakura Shinpachi?

I have noticed, that when I write the ’Hijikata scenes’, I write them from Sano’s POV. I think it’s because I find Hijikata’s thoughts, forgive me, boring. I started this fanfic when I was reading the translation for the routes of the Reimeiroku game and Hijikata’s route was simply put, dull for me. I even named it ’internal monologue of the dead fish route’. Hijikata is, for the lack of a better word, marysueing there and his thoughts are clichéd and dull. And I decided, that at least when I write I don’t want to be dealing with them. Besides, I think it isn’t that hard to guess what Hijikata-san is thinking and seeing it through Sano’s eyes, gives it a certain cadence, at least IMO. Hijikata fans, sorry. it’s not that I don’t like Hijikata. He’s handsom enough and he’s dubbed by my favorite seiyuu, but in Reimeiroku he’s just grating on my nerves. Personally, I think that Serizawa is just right about him. Enough said. Toushi, I love you. But that doesn’t mean, I have to find each and every of your thoughts exciting.

About Sano’s skin color: I’m not sure any of you noticed it, but it is indeed paler than f.e. Shinpachi’s, Heisuke’s, Souji’s, Kondou-san’s, or even Hijikata’s. The only one I’ve really noticed that has a paler skin color, is Saitou. Then I thought about it and came to the conclusion, that coming from the south, doesn’t necessarily have to mean that your skin is a shade or two darker than of other’s. And it’s proven that redheaded people have less pigment than even blondes. I mean, look at Sano’s eyes – they’re pretty light. But I do agree, that for a redhead, he’s pretty tan. :)




Part 4 (the third try) / Part 6 (the climax)

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