It had been 2 months since the Masuya incident. Even thought Tetsu had lost his ear, he was so close to losing his life. He thanked the Gods he was still alive, but nothing could change the fact that he had actually killed someone, by beheading them.
So much blood found its place on Tetsu's body and now in his heart. But that did not affect him one bit. He was still the same 15 year old that came to join the Shinsengumi.
Since then, Tetsu and Okita had grown incredibly close. Maybe even something more than just friends. Tatsu was even letting Tetsu have more freedom away from him. He did not worry as much now as he did a year ago. And he was extremely thankful for that.
Now Tetsu and Okita were dueling in the training hall. Tetsu sidestepped Okita just in time to avoid his bamboo sword.
Doing a roundabout, Tetsu was about to win the match if his sword could hit Okita in the shoulder, but Okita was prepared.
Okita wacked his sword hard against Tetsu's and it was so hard, it shattered his sword.
"Uh," was all Tetsu could make out before Okita had him pinned to the ground with the tip of his wooden sword at his throat.
His once peaceful eyes were staring right into Tetsu's.
"You lost puppy," he said. Tetsu starred right back into Okita's violet eyes.
"I'm not scared of you. I will keep fighting you until the day comes when I beat you," said Tetsu pushing the sword away from him.
He sat looking up into Okita. Okita closed his eyes and reopened them smiling.
"You sure are a strange one," said Okita as he helped Tetsu up into a standing position.
Tetsu smiled at Okita and Okita smiled back. Then both walked out of the training hall and sat breathing on the porch.
"Mr. Okita," said Tetsu. "Do you think that this war will ever come to an end?" he asked Okita.
Okita sighed deeply while swaying his long high ponytail out of his face.
"I really hope so Tetsu," said Okita. Then he started to cough.
"Mr. Okita!" yelled Tetsu in concern.
"I'm fine Tetsu," he said in between coughs before getting his breathing back to normal.
"Just in case, I'm going to go to town and get something for you," said Tetsu. Then he was off into the sunset.
Okita smiled as he watched Tetsu disappear from the Shinsengumi headquarters.
"Thank you Tetsu," said Okita with a smile on his face as he got up and went to change for dinner.
Tetsu didn't stop running until he got to the doctors. Indeed Okita had some medication for himself. It was some herbal tea to help him breathe.
Once he bought the medicine Tetsu started for home. It was already dark out by the time he was half way home.
"Mr. Okita," Tetsu sighed in delight. He did indeed love him, but just like a bigger brother, like Tatsu.
Then all became silent as Tetsu heard a scream that could send anyone running for the hills.
"What was that?" asked Tetsu to himself.
His wanted to investigate this. But every other bone in his body was telling him to go home, but Tetsu was very stubborn.
Taking each step with caution, Tetsu started walking down the alley that the scream had supposedly come from. The full moon gave off light and Tetsu could see shadows of people fighting in the alleys.
Gulping down his fear, Tetsu continued forward.
Peeking from behind a corner, he saw a man with long purple hair tied in a high ponytail fighting against another samurai.
This person had the upper hand and was definitely superior in sword skills.
Before anything else happened, the killer turned with his sword and wiped the other guys head off completely.
"Weak," he said.
Tetsu stumbled backwards when he saw this guys face. It looked exactly like Okita. Same face, same hair and same voice.
He put his hand over his mouth to prevent himself from screaming.
Why would Mr. Okita do such a thing like that? He asked himself.
It made no sense.
Tetsu braved himself once more and stepped out from the shadows. But the Okita look alike was gone.
"What?" asked Tetsu looking around.
There was no one there.
Tetsu was so confused and scared at the same time. He didn't even sense someone approaching him from behind until he felt a hand over his mouth and a dagger under his chin.
"Well well well. Look what the cat dragged in," said Okita's voice.
Tetsu struggled to free himself. But this guy was very strong. "It's no use. But if I let you go, you got to promise you won't scream. Lord knows I had enough of that with these so called samurai," said the guy.
Tetsu nodded his head in agreement.
Then he was let go.
Tetsu looked in at this guy who could be Okita's twin. He put away the dagger in his hakama.
"You are not Mr. Okita. Who are you?" Tetsu asked while looking up at him.
"Oh my! You are quite a little looker," the lookalike said.
Okita? Wait a second! This little guy must be with the Shinsengumi if he knows Okita. I think this could be fun, Kichisaburo thought.
"You got a girlfriend?" he asked pushing his thoughts aside for now.
Tetsu turned as red as the blood he was standing in.
"I'll take that as a yes," said the lookalike.
"What's your name?" repeated Tetsu wanting to change the subject.
"What's yours?" asked the lookalike.
"Tetsunosuke Ichimura," Tetsu said.
I guess there should be no harm in telling him my name. I mean to him I'm just a street kid. What harm could it do, thought Tetsu.
"Well Tetsunosuke Ichimura, I am Kichisaburo," he said bowing low.
"I would say nice to meet you but it's not. Why did you kill these men?" he asked looking down.
"Why?" "Why?" repeated Kichisaburo. "Because I love the sight of blood. I absolutely love it when it falls to the ground. I would bathe in it if I could," he said.
Tetsu was disgusted. "How could you say such a thing?!" Tetsu yelled.
"YOU are sick!" he yelled then turned on his heel and ran back home.
"If I'm sick then maybe you are the cure," said Kichisaburo as he followed Tetsu.