Title: Love At First (Or Maybe Thirty-Ninth) Punch
Rating: PG-13 for copious amounts of comic violence.
Author's note: Pinch for Yuletide, last minute to the most literal sense.
The first date involves mallets and helmets. Also grenades. And rocket launchers. Three bystanders end up in the hospital from the shrapnel (to say nothing of the explosions.) Okita has three bruises, four stitches and two broken metatarsals.
When Hijikata looks at him the next morning at work, the cigarette drops right out of his mouth onto his mayonnaise sandwich with extra mayonnaise.
"Had a date last night," Okita says.
On the second date there are roses. Some are thrown as projectiles, others are used to whip him over the face. Roses are hurt a lot more than they would seem to, especially when they don't have the thorns removed. Still, she looks beautiful, posed in a martial arts pose – the crane? – with a shower of rose petals and thorns around her.
Okita comes in with scratches. Which was a bit disappointing, given how many injuries he sustained last time. Apparently roses aren't a very good weapon after all.
"Another date," Okita says. There's a scratch right across his eye and down his cheek.
"You sound like a married couple already," Hijikata mutters.
The third date involves champagne, champagne which was broken over his head in a shower of wet gold and then a jagged half bottle shoved in his face.
He gets ten more stiches, and this time even manages a kiss before she stabs him in the leg.
"Yato courtship is often to the death. Not everyone is strong enough to withstand it," she says.
"Love hurts," Okita replies.
She smiles and stabs him again.
The fifth date is a little different.
Taxis are involved. For one they are not thrown, nor turned over in a Godzilla-is-attack-Tokyo-run! Manner. They are merely ridden in. And occasionally told to attempt to kill his superior. Okita likes to watch the city lights and the hustle of the lives lived around him. It's even better if violence is involved, but he's ok if it doesn't have violence. Violence is just a...special extra creamy topping.
Even Kagura seems ok with a slight reprieve. It's like a truce. But truces can only last so long before the lack-of-explosions itch comes on.
"You remind me of the Yato clan men," Kagura says.
"There's a death rollerball arena around here. Wanna go?" Okita says.
"Last one is a rotten, smashed and decapitated egg," Kagura answers.
On the sixth date they stop fencing with an umbrella and coat hanger long enough to talk. Or at least, mange to talk between blows.
"What's your hobby?" She says.
"Trying to kill my superior," he answers without missing a beat. "Also sometimes I watch tv dramas. Hana Yori Dango was good."
"I loved Hana Yori Dango! And this 'killing your superior' thing – can I try sometime? It sounds fun, " she says. Her expression is completely innocent and blank as his.
"I'll bring pie," Okita says.
Hijikata dodges the first blast, and barely manags to miss the umbrella dive (a very nice one, if Okita doesn't say so himself) which sticks into the wall, with pieces of plaster flying every which way. She kicks just above his head, but being killed nearly every day has made Hijikata a survivor. It's also given his Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder, midnight sweats, a tic in his right eye, and an addiction to tv dramas featuring Masumoto Jun, but that's another thing entirely.
"OI. Someone's trying to kill me in here!" Hijikata bellows.
Several of his mino–er upstanding members of the Shinsengumi run in. They draw their swords and look around for pirates, aliens, alien pirates, and maybe the odd monster o' doom named fluffy. Or ninjas. Ninajas might attack at any minute. They once saw a tv drama that said so.
What they find is Okita and a female version of Okita in a qipao looking up innocently with their respective weapons. The place is a wreck – well, at least there's more bullet holes than usual.
"Oh. He's just trying to kill Hijikata-fukutaichou again," Yamazaki says.
"What did you have to call us in for?" Kondo says."I was trying to call the most beautiful Tae–"
They turn to leave.
"HEY. Don't leave! They're trying to kill me here!" Hijikata yells.
"Is it Monday already?" moans one of the minon— upstanding Shinseigumi members.
"He always tries to eviscerate him on Mondays."
"I thought that was Tuesdays," Kondo says.
"I'm pretty sure Wednesday was evisceration day."
"No, no no! Wednesday is impalement day! Tuesday is poison-his-coffee day, Thursday is Rocket or Grenade day and Friday is a Wild Card day," Yamazaki says
"Ohhhhh," Kondo says.
"He's been poisoning my coffee?" Hijikata says incredulously. In retrospect, it should have been fairly obvious.
"You've been surprisingly resilient," Okita says. "I've had to double the dosage of arsneic and cyanide and you still haven't dropped yet."
"You could just use Thinpan. It's a Yato poison, you see. It paralyzes them from the neck down and leaves them perfect to kill as you like," Kagura says conversationally. "I could get you some next time I go to the international market at my home planet, or next time boss pays me. Whichever comes first."
Okita stops mid thought, and just stares at her as if he's seeing her for the first time.
"I think I'm going to marry her," Okita says suddenly.
"If you can survive, I might think about it," Kagura replies.
Hijikata looks deeply traumatized, as if the idea that they might procreate gives him all kinds of nightmares.
Okita smiles as he thinks of a future – teaching his baby to wield his first rocket launcher at uncle Hijikata's head while Kagura looks on, proud that her little darling is about to get its first headshot.
Then there are images of a tricycle of death, with spiked wheels and a cute little horn. Then a larger, bicycle of death with a cute little training wheels. He could teach the little hellspawn the joys of grenades, or setting your enemies on fire. They could fight the alien race of ninja pirate robot zombies, and introduce him to the rest of the family (and their wrestling techniques.) And then, they'd all sit down and watch tv dramas and eat pie.
They might even invite uncle Hijikata to watch with them if he's out of the hospital by then. After all, they have to do something during the dreaded commercial time.