One-Shot. A moment of solace shared between two demon samurai.
"Are you sure you're okay, Souji?
The man in question looked up and laughed. "Maa . . . Hijikata-san. I told you many times already that I'm fine."
Hijikata narrowed his eyes at the young, frail-looking man, who was sitting up on his futon.
At the look his friend was giving him, Souji covered his mouth and laughed again. "Come now, Hijikata-san. Don't look so mean." He playfully patted Hijikata's arm.
Hijikata sighed and began to stand up from his place beside Souji's futon. "I'll have more medicine made for you." He turned to leave, but found resistence at the hem of his yukata. He stared down at the hand gripping his dark yukata and then rested his gaze on Souji's pale face and wide eyes.
Souji freed Hijikata's yukata, but kept his eyes steady on the man standing above him. "Ano--" He began, but suddenly turned away and began coughing.
Hijikata immediately knelt back down and patted his friend on the back gently. He tried getting closer to the sick, young man but was weakly pushed away.
"N-no! Don't get close," Souji rasped out before regaining some of his breath. "I don't . . . I d-don't want . . . ."
The corners of Hijikata's lips lifted slightly in a small smile. "I don't care, Souji. When it comes down to you, I don't care."
Souji, keeping his hand over his mouth, turned and gazed at Hijikata with narrowed eyes. After a short while, he removed his hand, and a soft smile graced his lips. He leaned toward the kneeling man until his forehead rested against Hijikata's broad shoulder. He slowly inhaled the older man's scent and buried his face into the soft folds of his yukata. "This is nice . . . ," he whispered softly, closing his eyes.
Hijikata stiffened momentarily in surprise when Souji leaned into him, but then slowly brought his arms up around the younger man's narrow shoulders.
"Just like this. I want to stay just like this, Hijikata-san . . . ."
Hijikata's face relaxed from worry and concern to serenity and slowly combed his long fingers through the younger man's long, dark, tresses.
It wasn't long after that Souji began to breath deeply; a sign that he had fallen asleep. Even then, Hijikata couldn't find to strength nor the will to move the sleeping man and leave to his own quarters. Instead, he sat there; content just to be by Souji's side.
He buried his face within the sleeping man's hair and smiled.
"Me too, Souji. Me too . . . ."
He soon closed his eyes and dozed off.
S m a l l F a c t
Okita Souji died of Tuberculosis (an incurable disease back then) in 1868, 1st year of Meiji, at the young age of 25, just four years after the Ikeda-ya affair in 1864. Toshizou Hijikata followed soon after in 1869. He had been shot down in the Shinsengumi's last battle in 1869, 2nd Year of Meiji, at age 35.
D i s c l a i m e r
With the exception of the written content of this fic, I own nothing of Peace Maker Kurogane or its characters. And nor will I ever. So let's leave it at that.