A series of shorts written for a challenge (hence the wildly disparate genres and warnings). 15 x 100 words, Gintoki/Katsura.
written for the centi_porn challenge on LiveJournal.
Their lives are both too extreme. Katsura cares too much but about all the wrong things, and while Gintoki knows what he should care about he can't bring himself to. Gintoki sleeps all day with dramas blaring on his television while Katsura blows up buildings.
When they're together it's the same; Katsura is fierce and clinging, as if he's afraid Gintoki will slip away in the instants they aren't touching, whereas Gintoki is relaxed, even lazy, about the whole affair.
"Do you care?" Katsura hisses in frustration one evening, his breath harsh and short against Gintoki's throat.
"Do you ever /stop?/" Gintoki retorts.
A door slid shut in the next room, and they both looked up.
"It's just Sakamoto," Gintoki said softly. Another set of footsteps followed. "And Takasugi."
They both remained quiet, though, until the door slid shut again and the footsteps receded.
"I don't think they'd care." Gintoki said when they'd gone, and pushed Katsura's haori off his shoulders with a jerky motion that says he really does think they would care.
"Shut up," Katsura hissed in his ear, his fingers already working the knots fastening Gintoki's armor. Footsteps went by the room again-- too light to be Takasugi's, though and they didn't pause.
He dreams of fire and blood, and it takes a moment for his vision to clear when he wakes; he finally realizes that he's not staggering through the mud anymore when he sees Gintoki awake next to him. His heart is still pounding from the dream (the last traces of battlefield adrenaline?) when he moves closer, and Gintoki slows him with a hand on his chest.
"Wait," Gintoki says, "you're hurt."
"Don't," he answers, his voice breaking somewhere in the middle. "Everything else is gone, don't you take this away, too."
"I'm not," Gintoki says. "Patience is a virtue. Especially in the injured."
He's tired, sore and probably feverish but he doesn't care, because this is the first real inn they've seen in weeks and it will be weeks before such an opportunity presents itself again. Gintoki doesn't argue with him, just holds on when Katsura straddles over him and only lets go to brush Katsura's unbound hair-- soaking wet from the rain outside-- off his face.
It's weeks later when the battle stops long enough for a real inn again, and they're dirty and fresh from battle. Katsura's short nails gouge into the wooden paneling, and he doesn't let go of the wall for anything.
"You need a new couch," Katsura hissed, and Gintoki suppposed he was right. It was so old he was surprised the springs hadn't started popping out yet. "I-- ow."
He sat up, and sure enough there was a bare spring sticking up.
"That's nothing compared to when I had to fight that amanto with my leg falling off," Gintoki pointed out.
"/That never happened!/" Katsura raked his fingernails down Gintoki's back as if to emphasize his point. "And you still need a new couch."
"Fine then, I'll lay on it. Wimp." Katsura was heavier than he looked, though, and Gintoki regretted volunteering.
Gintoki's hair isn't contained even when it's wet. Katsura's falls sleek and heavy and is easier to keep back than when it's dry, but Gintoki's just gets wet and unruly instead of dry and unruly. A splash of tiny transparent water-drops falls down onto Katsura's upturned face with every small movement, but he doesn't seem to care as his fingers squeak on the wet tile.
His lips and eyelashes are wet when they brush against Gintoki's face, wetter than they should be from where he's standing, and his fingers clench against the slick smooth tile for purchase that isn't there.
For just a moment he saw himself in Takasugi, and that frightens him. It's not until he's halfway out of his kimono and sprawled out over Gintoki that he realizes he's not (and no matter how easily he could have been, he's not and that's the important thing). If he was like that, Gintoki would never have come charging in with his sword. The shiroyasha wouldn't resurrect himself for just anyone, and that was confirmation enough for Katsura.
The shiroyasha probably also wouldn't let just anyone undo his belt and ride him into the futon, either, but that was another thing entirely.
It's new and strange to see the shorn ends of Zura's hair framing his face, rather than falling down past his shoulders to pool on the futon like ink. His fingers brush over Zura's shoulders, grasping at phantom hair before sliding up to his neck and real hair in defeat.
It's stranger still to feel the feathered ends of hair against his thighs instead of one smooth, unbroken slide. But when Zura looks up at him and the ends of his hair frame his swollen mouth just so, he thinks that not all changes are bad.
He still misses it, though.
There's blood on Gintoki's face and Katsura shudders, at first with disgust and then with something else when he realizes it's red blood and from a human, not an amanto.
"Yours?" He asks, and Gintoki shakes his head.
"Yours, I think," Gintoki answers, and it smears onto Katsura's own face when they kiss. Gintoki's fingers find the rent in Katsura's coat and shirt and come away red, and Katsura stiffens a little but doesn't jerk away.
"It's not bad." Katsura clenches his fingers into the white haori (not spotless after a battle, and is that blood his own, too?) and groans.
Zura would probably be a romantic idiot if he thought Gintoki would let him get away with it. After all, that was the sort of thing gloomy poetic terrorists loved. But Gintoki wasn't a gloomy poetic terrorist for a reason (well, besides the fact that having beautiful, shiny hair seemed to be a job requirement).
"Gintoki," Zura murmurred one evening when they'd finished, and Gintoki knew he was going to say something stupid.
"Shut up, Ladies Four is coming on." Gintoki fumbled around next to the futon until he found the remote control. He clicked the drama on just in time.
It wasn't fate that got him through battles, not even when he was so far gone in his rage that he couldn't remember anything except that he was the demon they feared. It wasn't fate that got him and his comrades off the battlefield. And it definitely wasn't fate that untied his armor and threw Katsura's haori carelessly across the room.
Even if everything was in a red haze (he could barely remember cutting through the amanto, he could barely remember fucking Zura, he could barely remember anything he did as the /shiroyasha/), he was undeniably the one who did it, not some abstract idea of fate.
Gintoki lives alone above a ramen place because Katsura refuses to live with him ("I'd pay all of your bills! And you'd still call me Zura!"). His landlady is an aging former hostess who doesn't press him too hard for rent because she wants to sleep with him (and so Katsura has to come in quietly, because if she knew she would come and collect his overdue rent).
"MY NAME IS KATSURA!"
"Is something wrong, Mr. Sakata? ...is that a man in your bed?!"
Gintoki gets thrown out of yet another apartment for not paying his rent, but he gets his revenge by crashing at Katsura's place.
There were few people that Gintoki trusted enough to really let into his life, and something like that wasn't easily abandoned. So it wasn't really a surprise that hours after he saw Zura again for the first time in years, they were in bed together again.
It was different, yeah-- their sword calluses had been in the same places before, but now they were different because a wooden sword's weight fell differently than a steel one's-- but Zura still clawed at his back and could still manage to protest his nickname in the middle of sex, so he was still Zura.
Zura stumbles, his injury making him clumsy, and soon he can only follow slowly behind Gintoki.
"Come on, Zura," Gintoki goads him on.
"Not Zura, 'm Katsura," Zura mumbles, suddenly lurching forward. He clenches a hand in Gintoki's sodden haori for balance but decides to leave it there, leaning his forehead against Gintoki's shoulder as they walk. Zura is shivering a little in the rain now, so slight that Gintoki can only tell because of the way his fingers and breaths shake. "...not Zura."
Gintoki smiles out at the empty road ahead of them and the rain, because otherwise he might weep for them.
"I can't believe we're doing this again," Gintoki muttered, pinning the hair extensions in place and examining his reflection critically. "Are these on righ-- hey, why do you get to be the sexy one?"
"Because you don't have the legs to wear a short skirt," Katsura said, bracing one foot up on the vanity table and pulling on a black stocking. "Besides, /Paako/, no one with a natural perm could be sexy."
"That's not what you said last night, /Zurako/." Gintoki slid one hand up Katsura's stockinged thigh, but pulled back when the door opened.
"Save that for for the lesbian show," Otose drawled.