i don’t read a lot of fanfics so i don’t know how common this is but i can only guess by saying that it seems cliche; so you can throw this onto the stack of “reader has affiliations with the shinsengumi”
except i’d like to think i executed it well, i mean i guess we’ll see? i had to write it this way to open up rivalry for gintoki <3 now we can really barge in there and call it a raid huh👀
also: reader is so badass and i cannot express how much i adore the idea of women being strong so. have fun. it’s a bit different than usual <3 (please if we kicked gontoki’s ass no one would survive that realistically it would be impossible but. let a fic writer dream, eh?)
set somewhere after farewell shinsengumi and contains light spoilers for the ending of said arc
ch 3: the stars are twinkling, inviting us to fly high in the sky
sougo sat half up from where he was laying on the deck, elbows perched as though he had to listen twice to confirm he wasn’t suffering from auditory hallucinations.
“hijikata-san. you said she was your wife?” he remarked sardonically, reciting the statement back.
sougo gingerly fell back down to stare up at the overhang of the roof, gazing at the blue sky peeking out above. he rested both of his arms above his head, supporting it whilst kicking his right leg up.
“nice.” sougo cackled, reenacting the conversation in his mind.
“why the hell are you laughing? what was i supposed to say?”
“awww, hijikata-san, did danna look at you with his puppy eyes?” he sneered in a flat voice.
“ain’t it easier just to say she was a former colleague? it’s not a secret, is it?”
“if it’s not a secret then why did she secretly hand in her resignation?”
“how do you know she resigned? creepy.”
“of course she resigned! she hasn’t shown up to work in years! how the hell is she paying for all her rent and-“
in that instant, hijikata and sougo both choked on air. they gawked at each other, gears turning like clockwork when they shared an eureka.
“i’ll grab the car.” hijikata stammered, whacking his chest by slamming his fist down onto it.
“i’ll bring popcorn-“ “sougo! that’s inappropriate, put the popcorn down, dammit! where the hell did you even get that?”
“shimaru-neesan was eating some behind the door-“ “you were listening too?” hijikata scrutinized saitou with incredulity, who only offered him a slight shrug.
“who cares? even ‘zaki’s been talking about her.”
“good grief, she should’ve just stayed in that damned countryside.”
“i know right? you should have gone with her, running away from home for your honeymoo-“ “sougo.” hijikata interrupted him, waving his hand out in warning.
“you louts! stop listening in on this conversation! yeah, i see you, you jackasses! get back to work!” hijikata roared, digging out his car keys from his inner uniform pockets.
sougo climbed into the passenger side of the car, slamming it shut before buckling himself in.
hijikata jammed the car keys into the exhaust, twisting the key ever so slightly until the engine roared to life. he slipped his right hand behind the passenger seat, checking the view out the back window. his left hand occupied the wheel as he backed out of the driveway.
“by the way, what are we going to say?” sougo inquired, resting his right elbow against the window to cup his face. his gaze eyed the greenery whizzing by outside.
“huh? i thought you had a plan”
“why would i have a plan? aren’t you two married? you do the talking-“ “stop that!”
“stop what? sorry, am i starting to remind you of your failed marriage? sheesh, women really are a handful, huh?”
“you’re the handful here!”
“no but seriously. are we gonna be like ‘hey i know you left the mimawarigumi like two years ago but did you leave or have you just not gone into work and got paid for sitting around on your ass anyway? by the way, are you coming back anytime soon? everyone at the shinsengumi misses you and even though you’re not really supposed to work with us because the forces are different you do it anyway and say it’s matsudaira’s problem-“ “no! we’re not- oh my god- no! we’re not saying that! why do you sound like a teenage girl texting?!”
“then what do you suggest?” sougo snapped out of the act, returning to his stoic expression.
“i don’t know but we’re sure as hell not saying that!”
“oh, yeah. maybe you should go anyway. if we both go she might think we’re about to shove her in a body bag”
“a body bag is where you belong! what the hell are you even spewing? what are you? a third grader who’s too scared to ask his crush out so you bring a friend along but even they bail on you?”
“i dunno, hijikata-san. that sounds like it came out of experience.”
“damn it, where does she live anyway?” hijikata huffed, darting his head around to look through the neighbourhood.
“shouldn’t you know? wait, is that why you left late yesterday? i guess booty calls are more important than wor-“ “i will slit your throat.”
“violence is never the answer. people who act on impulses never get anywhere in life-“
“oh, shit, there she is” hijikata coughed out, bringing the car to an abrupt standstill. he scrambled to unbuckle himself, scratching and clinking metal until he broke free of the restraints. hijikata pulled the car door open with a little bit too much force.
as he came out the car, he realised once more that he wasn’t sure how to approach the situation.
does he ask nicely? beat around the bush? ask about your day first? wellbeing? maybe ask how paying rent’s going as a routine checkup? surely you’d understand?
hell no. absolutely no. definite zero. he wouldn’t go about it that way-
“hey. (y/n). did you officially leave the mimawarigumi?” sougo cupped his hands around his mouth, making sure that his voice travelled to you.
“sougo!” hijikata spat through clenched teeth. a vein tensed in his cheek and he felt the blood rush to his head.
“you can’t just ask it like that-“
“the mimawarigumi? i didn’t have a choice.” you tilted your head in confusion, shouting back.
“apparently you can” hijikata mumbled under his breath with vexation.
“so you did?” sougo scratched the back of his head in thought.
“dunno. haven’t been back for two years. how’s the shinsengumi anyway? you guys finally learn to clean up after yourselves?”
“wh- we always cleaned up after ourselves” hijikata interrupted, exclaiming.
“oh, hijikata-kun! how long have you been standing there?” you gave him a warm smile, eyes crinkled with a grin from ear to ear.
“i’m gonna sit in the car.” hijikata muttered, dejected, as he clambered back into the car.
he slammed the door shut, allowing sougo to lay down the groundwork for the conversation.
“anyways, what’s with that? you guys come all the way out here just to ask me that?”
“to be honest, everyone over at the shinsengumi’s been talking about it.”
“about me returning?” you cock an eyebrow at sougo, striding over to lean on the squad car beside him.
“not that i care, but, will you?”
“will i? what is this? a marriage proposal?” you chortled, glancing to watch his facial expression. you realised that he wasn’t fooling around and you felt like hitting yourself.
“don’t you know why i left for the countryside in the first place?” you ask the obvious question sougo’s been dying to pop. he would have been a filthy liar if he said he didn’t think about it lately.
somewhere along the way, you hear the squad car window roll down. whether sougo notices or not, he doesn’t make an effort to comment on it. you decide against it as well.
“the mimawarigumi was replaced. so why didn’t you join us if you weren’t going to rebuild it from the ground up, like you said you would?”
“the same reason imai nobume didn’t.”
“out of respect, morals and personal reasons. though, her psyche might’ve been riddled with guilt. who knows why she didn’t either?”
“was sasaki isaburo a part of it?”
“i’d be the only member. that’s not the mimawarigumi anymore, is it?”
silence plagues the air. it’s deadly.
“is that all? i have some errands i need to run.” you pierced through the quiet after a while. it seemed the two were trying to find the correct phrases to say.
hijikata and sougo only nodded at each other.
“well, i’m off then. catch some real bad guys for me, yeah?” you smiled, waving back.
the soft sounds of water trickling and bubbling filled the room. there was a heavy aroma of mixed spices that lingered in the apartment.
wafts of steam swirled like ribbons out through the open window. rhythmic cutting of vegetables echoed against the wooden board. you were finely dicing a carrot when you heard a knock at the door.
you let out a small sigh, setting the knife down and untying your apron- tossing it away on a nearby counter.
you work the door open, unsure if you should close it or not.
you both stare each other dead in the eye, faces blank.
“kid, are you gonna let me in or am i going to freeze my ass off out here?” matsudaira growled through his cigarette, voice just as husky as you remembered.
with a loss for words, you step aside and close the door behind him.
he casually lets himself in, slouching down onto the sofa with his arms out behind him.
“do you know why i’m here?”
“i could make an educated guess based on what happened like, two hours ago” you continue, tying your apron back on and working on your food.
“of course you could. you’re a bright one. makes it a whole lot easier for me when i don’t have to baby you like those other jackasses.”
“so you’re going to ask me to join the shinsengumi? aren’t women not allowed in the field?” you scoff, lifting the cutting board up to slide the diced carrot into a bowl.
“believe me when i say this, i’ve been sittin’ around crying on my ass to make an exception. there ain’t nothin’ a bit of booze and money can’t fix.”
“am i even surprised that the higher-ups are corrupt? still, i’m impressed you managed to get it done in two hours.”
“two hours? are you underestimating me, woman? this was something set in stone since you left.”
“i’ve been pulling every ace up my sleeve for this to happen, and you know that’s nothing to take lightly.”
“so how about it? i figure you ditched that dream of rebuilding the mimawarigumi.”
slice. slice. chop. chop.
you drop diced carrots and peeled onions inside a pot full of curry sauce.
“i’m not watching anyone die anymore. i will live a quiet and peaceful life, even if it cripples me.” you retort. your tone is low and reserved. it’s loud enough for him to hear it, and forceful enough to let matsudaira know you’re not screwing with him.
he let out a sigh and rustling followed suit. it sounded like a bag of some sorts, along with articles of clothing.
“if you ever change your mind-“
matsudaira set the garments on the sofa. he rose, taking his leave.
“just walk right in, kid.”
the door quietly thudded shut.
on the counter was a pristinely folded uniform.
“god damn it, hold it up properly! how will she see it otherwise!? can’t you lot even put up a damn banner?” hijikata shrieked, scrambling to fix the banner up the sides of the wall.
“um, captain okita-san, i get that she’s a girl and all but.. why do you guys want (l/n)-san back so much?” yamazaki squeaked, keeping his distance from a very irritated vice chief.
“‘zaki. don’t underestimate a woman. she may not look it, but she can get batshit crazy.”
“maybe on par with danna.” sougo added.
“wh- huh? seriously? yorozuya no danna? i didn’t work with her all too much, so i guess i wouldn’t know...”
“i don’t even know where she gets it from. something about how her dad trained her and all. maybe she’s just talented. maybe she was just determined to prove everyone wrong.”
“to be fair, if you’re best friends with someone like imai nobume, you’re bound to pick up a few techniques here and there.”
“is it bad that i kinda wanna see her fight the yorouya boss now?” yamazaki chimed, plastering his thumb and index to his chin in thought.
there was a bittersweet and familiar clicking thud that filled the air.
it growed louder by the nearing second, more persistent and often.
a sound of awe rolled out of sougo’s lips. his maroon gaze glossed over as he unsheathed his katana, clicking it out of its hold.
“there you are. took you a week to get here.”
she was donned in the finest garments possibly known for her field of expertise.
so simple, but elegant. it matched her well.
shin high black boots, polished with the reflection of the sky evident.
a pair of matching black shorts were barely visible, had they not been covered up by her free-flowing jacket. it travelled down past her knees, ornated in gorgeous golden seams and buttons to boot.
the sleeves were cuffed, showcasing the white button-up beneath. a white and silky cravat flowed from her collar.
of course, it was you.
“sorry, i’m not taking any liberties just because you’re a woman. all rookie recruits have to fight me.” sougo grinned. he looked alive.
you chuckled, catching hijikata’s katana mid-air as he tossed it to you.
you both pointed your swords at each other, neck to neck as the crisp blades danced a fine line.
“feels like the old days, doesn't it?”
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