IMPORTANT NOTICE! PLEASE READ! As of 24.2.2012 the fifth chapter has been completely rewritten. I suggest that you go back and read it again before moving forward. NOW!
Okay, I'm just going to assume that you've read the previous chapter.
Author's notes: So, yeah, sorry that it's been so long, but there's been some stuff and I haven't been able to update. Whenever something like this happens, you don't have to worry that I'm dropping the story or something. I'm planning to finish all my stories, but it just takes some time for me to write them.
little101: Neither Kamui nor Takasugi is going to appear in this story, since I doubt they'd be involved with something like this. They're evil, but they're not that evil.
GinHiji: This chapter is for you. Hope you'll like it!
Disclaimer: This is a non-profit fanfiction. Gintama belongs to Sorachi Hideaki.
Chapter 6 – If You Can Do It Once, You Can Do It Twice (Probably)
Hijikata took a long drag from his cigarette and slowly blew the smoke out through the slightly ajar window. Listening to the on-going squabble he could feel his temple starting to throb with the coming migraine. Princess Souyo had kindly arranged one of the guest rooms for their meeting, while she and princess Eileen were trying to somehow explain their little stunt to the shogun and her majesty.
Taking one more drag before throwing the cigarette butt out and closing the window, Hijikata turned around to face the chaos. He had known that Kondou wouldn't agree with the Yorozuya's plan, even if the bait they were going to use was a Yato. Their Commander might have some weird quirks when it came to that Shimura woman, but normally he was a man with high morals and strict set of rules.
It didn't matter that the girl was able to lift a grown man with one arm, as she was currently demonstrating, she was still a civilian and a minor. Hijikata knew that Kondou could never forgive himself if something were to happen to the girl.
"Kagura-chan, that's enough," Shinpachi finally stepped out to stop his friend, who just huffed and let go of the Shinsengumi Commander, dropping the man unceremoniously to the floor, "Kondou-san, we don't want to go through with this plan either, but it's currently those girls' only hope," Shinpachi tried to explain, "If you guys could let us borrow some sort of a tracking device and maybe some communicators, we could lead you to that group's possible hideout. We're going to need some sort of police support anyway, so we might as well work together."
"I'm sorry, Shinpachi-kun, but it's the Shinsengumi's duty to ensure the safety of civilians. We can't just allow one to endanger themselves like this," Kondou apologised, "If the higher-ups heard that we knowingly sent a child to a den of perverts, our heads would roll."
"And while you're trying to protect one girl's virtue, dozens of others will be sold off-world or to the local dealers, not to mention all those girls they're robbing off the streets as we speak," Gintoki stated, "At least Kagura can fend off most people that try to come after her. She's also of the right age, and with some make-up and right clothes we can probably make her look decent."
"What the hell was that supposed to mean?" Kagura growled while punching her guardian to the gut. Gintoki fell next to Kondou, holding his stomach in pain.
Kondou stood and gave Hijikata an uncertain look, "What do you think, Toshi?"
"I think it's a moronic plan."
"Excuse me?" Gintoki growled.
"Think about it, you idiot," Hijikata crossed his arms, pointedly not looking at the Yorozuya still crouching on the ground, "What makes you think that this girl would be picked out of all the others in Edo? These guys most likely follow their targets around for weeks to make sure taking them won't cause any problems. We can't even pinpoint their centre of operations, so where would you even start? Besides, you'd have to be as stupid as Sougo to pick a fight with a girl from the Yato clan."
"That one kinda stung, Hijikata-san."
"But at first glance you can't really tell a Yato apart from a human," Shinpachi pointed out, "Kagura-chan only has to control herself a bit and she would look like a normal girl."
"What do you mean 'a normal girl'?" Kagura growled.
"Maybe so, but your girl has been running all over the city destroying buildings left and right. A blind man would know that she's a Yato," Hijikata informed him. Not to mention that she's from the infamous 'den of monsters', he dared a quick glance at the silver-haired man finally picking himself up from the floor. The man might be an idiot, but even the Shinsengumi had heard the rumours circulating around the city. Hijikata was sure that the kidnappers wouldn't knowingly dare to incur the wrath of the demon dwelling in Kabukichou.
"Well, maybe we can just disguise her," Shinpachi pondered, "But the biggest problem is where we should start. You guys really have no clues as to where we might most likely run into these people?"
"Not really. The ones working on the street are professionals and know how to blend into the crowd," Kondou told him, "Since the dealers themselves are so hard to find, we've been trying to come up with possible buyers or others who would support their operations."
Hijikata sighed and rubbed his throbbing temple. Both Kondou and Sougo were far too ready to share information with these guys.
"So, do you guys suspect anyone who might be involved with this business?" the Yorozuya asked.
"Kobuta Bakerou," Sougo began, and Hijikata rolled his eyes. Confidential information was just flying out the window today, it seemed, "He's one of the biggest transport tycoons in Edo, not to mention he has been apprehended before for owning a dubious collection of AVs. The charges were dropped, though, since no one was willing to testify against him. He has both money and power, so he would be an ideal funder."
"Well, why don't you just go to this guy's place and punch him a couple of times to get him to talk?" Kagura asked.
"Because there's this little thing called the law," Sougo taunted her, "He refuses to have an audience with us, and he won't let us take a look around his companies or private estates without a search warrant, which the judge refuses to give us."
"If Zaki wasn't on a mission, we could've have him infiltrate Kobuta's company," Kondou sighed, "Unfortunately we thought of that after Zaki had left and now we can't contact him any more."
"Man, you guys are stupid," Kagura scoffed.
"You're stupid," Sougo retorted off-handedly.
"That's it, Gin-san!" Shinpachi exclaimed, stopping Kagura and Sougo before they could start another fight, "Why don't we just have that guy get interested in Kagura-chan and have those guys come and kidnap her?"
"And why would he be interested in your girl?" Hijikata pointed out.
"Well, you said that these guys are interested in rare humanoid breeds," Shinpachi reminded him, "The Yato are almost extinct and I don't recall ever hearing of another Yato girl besides Kagura-chan. I'm sure there's someone who'd be willing to pay a lot of money for her. If Kobuta has anything to do with the humanoid-traffickers, he'll surely tell them about having seen a Yato girl in town."
"Again with this Yato crap!" Hijikata groaned, ignoring Kagura's glare, "I keep telling you, no one but Sougo is stupid enough to pick a fight with a Yato!"
"Okay, you're starting to piss me off, Hijikata-san."
"But Kagura-chan's just a child," Shinpachi pointed out, "They might assume that she isn't as powerful as a full grown Yato."
"All right then, suppose that Kobuta really is that stupid," Hijikata sighed, "And then what? How exactly are you going to make her catch his eye? Just doll her up and make her prance in front of him?"
"Well, why not?" Gintoki asked.
Hijikata felt like hitting his head against something hard, "First of all," he began slowly, "Kobuta doesn't socialise with commoners. He moves around the town in a limousine, so it's very unlikely that he would just happen to get a glimpse of your girl. Not to mention that all his buildings are heavily guarded, so you can't even enter his enterprises or private estates."
"Yeah, but if he knows there's a Yato-," Shinpachi began.
"And how are you going to let him know that, huh? Like I just said, there's no way you people can get anywhere near him, so how would you let him know there's a Yato in this city?"
"Maybe I could be of assistance," a soft voice spoke up.
Everyone turned to look at Souyo who had just entered the room, escorted by the Shinsengumi Captains Harada and Inoue. Hijikata, Kondou and even Sougo stood at attention, but Yorozuya and his brats kinda greeted her off-handedly.
"How's her highness doing?" Shinpachi inquired.
"She's much better, but her majesty is keeping her under lock and key, so she won't be able to join us," Souyo informed them, then turned to look at Gintoki, "If you need help with Kobuta-dono, there's a royal gala being held in honour of her majesty's visit tomorrow night. We could always introduce her highness to him there as a Yato aristocrat."
"Wow! You can really do that, Souyo?" Kagura asked excitedly.
The princess nodded, smiling, "I'll just tell my brother that I want to invite a lady whom I met at a poetry reading. It shouldn't be harder than that," she looked at Kagura, a bit uncertain, "But, would it be too insulting for your highness to lower yourself to a status like that?"
"That won't be a problem," Gintoki assured her, turning to Hijikata, "Well, that got solved surprisingly easily," he smirked, "Unless you have some other problems to point out, I'd say that we have a perfect plan."
Hijikata felt his eye twitch as he gave the man a glare. The idiot's smirk faded.
"Why would they go after an aristocrat, who will obviously be missed and most likely get a bunch of bloodthirsty full-grown Yato after them?" Hijikata pointed out.
"He's right, Gin-san," Shinpachi agreed, but Souyo just smiled confidently.
"Don't worry, we'll just make her a fallen aristocrat."
"'Fallen'?" Kagura wondered.
"It's when an aristocratic family has lost all their inherited fortune," Shinpachi explained.
"You see it a lot these days now that the industry and free-trade are booming," Kondou added, "They spend all their money on their extravagant lifestyle, but don't really have any income. Soon they're either forced to give up that life, or find themselves neck-deep in debt."
"It's perfect, Gin-san," Shinpachi looked at the older man, "If an aristocrat like that went missing, everyone would just assume they were running from the debt-collectors."
"Great idea, Souyo!" Kagura cheered, giving the princess a bone-shattering hug.
Hijikata gave them all a look.
"Goddammit, you're pissing me off!" Gintoki snapped, "What now?"
"Who would believe that a 13-year old aristocrat would be alone on an unknown planet, in a royal gala, without an escort?" Hijikata pointed out. He was getting really tired of always having to be the voice of reason in these situations, "Even if you went with a story that she's the only living member of her family or something, she would have a guardian or a treasurer with her. Someone who would take care of her and her fortune until she comes of age."
Everyone looked at Souyo, but she looked just as lost as they did, "I... I'm sorry. I didn't think of that..." then she looked up at Kagura, "Ah, but couldn't one of your retainers disguise themselves as your guardian, your highness?"
"Wouldn't work. We need to make it seem as though you're really easy to capture. A male escort would probably make it seem too risky."
"What about a female escort?" Shinpachi offered.
"And where are you going to find one on such a short notice?" Hijikata asked, "The girl is still young, so she could be forgiven for not knowing how to behave properly in a royal gala, but an adult is expected to know the etiquette. You wouldn't have time to train her properly before tomorrow night."
"Maybe we could ask Otae-san to-."
"NO!" everyone protested before Kondou could finish his sentence.
"You guys don't have any officers who could help?" Shinpachi asked.
"The Shinsengumi doesn't have any female officers," Sougo told him, "But I don't see why it needs to be a woman. Let's just put some dude in drag and be done with it."
"But Zaki's on a mission and we don't have anyone else who could make a believable woman."
"Why are you guys willing to go along with this nonsense?" Hijikata muttered. It was almost scary how much influence the Yorozuya trio had on the Shinsengumi. He dared another glance at the silver-haired bastard and to his surprise noticed the man looking at him. There was something in the guy's eyes that sent a shiver down his spine, and Hijikata gritted his teeth when he realised what the idiot was plotting.
"Yorozuya?" Kondou queried as he saw the look on the man's face.
"How about the Demon Vice-Commander over here?"
"What? Toshi?" Kondou looked at his subordinate, "I don't know..."
"Why not? He knows the case details, he's familiar with the court etiquette and I kinda have a feeling that he would make a passable woman," Gintoki smirked at Hijikata, "Hell, with that skin and those eyes he could even pass as a Yato."
To Hijikata's horror Kondou seemed to be seriously considering this, "Well, I would feel much better if Toshi was the one to keep an eye on China-"
"You can't be serious!" Hijikata finally erupted.
"Gin-chan, I don't want a smelly Mayora as my guardian!" Kagura also protested.
"What the hell makes you think I would even agree to do this?" Hijikata snapped, "And why does it have to be me? Sougo could do it just as well!"
"I don't want a stupid sadist as a guardian, either!"
"Really, Hijikata-san? You really want me to go to the royal gala? To the royal gala with all those lords and ladies, most of who pay our salaries? You want me to go there? With this girl? Okay, fine, if you're willing to take full responsibility. Bring me the dress!"
"Wait, I didn't quite think this over!" Hijikata hurried to stop him. Dammit, as much as he hated to admit it, he really was the only guy in here who could do this. Still, he couldn't agree to something like this just like that. Hijikata rubbed his now painfully throbbing temple, "You sure it has to be me?"
"Well, I wouldn't mind doing it, but I'm too young and don't really know all that much about court etiquette," Shinpachi apologised, "You're the only one here with both looks and manners."
"Come on now, Vice-Commander-san. It's not such a big deal," the Yorozuya said, smirking.
"Please, Toshi! It would really put my mind at ease if you were to do it," Kondou begged.
Hijikata's eye twitched as he tried to control himself. He felt like killing something, preferably something with silver hair, but both Kondou and the princess were looking at him with puppy dog eyes and the damned Yorozuya was giving him a challenging look. Finally he was able get himself together and grit out, "Fine."
"Oh, how lovely!" Souyo cheered, then grabbed both Kagura and Hijikata and started herding them out of the room, "Now, if you two would come with me. We need to find you some proper dresses."
"What are all these people doing here?" Hijikata finally asked, glancing at the princess and wincing when one of the maids pulled at his hair.
"There's no need to worry, Hijikata-san. These are all my personal maids. They're professionals and will make you two look like respectable ladies in no time."
"But how come they're all attending to me?" There were far too many maids all hustling and bustling around him, obviously biting their cheeks to keep themselves from giggling while adding the hair-extensions. Meanwhile the Yato girl was left to her own devices, currently applying make-up to her pale face, "Do I really need this many people to put on a dress?"
"I'm sorry. I just assumed that you wouldn't be as familiar with this kind of behaviour as her highness and I," Souyo apologised, "If you'd rather attend to yourself, I should probably order them off."
All the maids looked almost heart-broken when they heard this, wordlessly pleading the princess to allow them to stay.
"No, that's all right," Hijikata sighed, "I appreciate the effort. I just hate to be a bother like this."
"Oh, it's nothing. After all, you look so lovely that we hardly have to do anything," Souyo smiled encouragingly.
Hijikata could feel his eye twitch. That wasn't really a comment he'd wanted to hear.
"My lady, we have the dresses," one of the maids informed them.
"Excellent!" Souyo left Hijikata's side to go and inspect the fabrics the servant girls had just brought in. Hijikata was amazed at how quickly she had been able to acquire them. After all, it had only been moments since that embarrassing measuring incident.
"What's that?" Kagura piped up.
"It's a hanfu," Souyo explained while one of the maids held up a red silk dress, "I wasn't sure what kind of formal wear I should get, but Gintoki-san told me that something like this would suit you."
Hijikata was relieved to see the long-sleeved silk robes. For a moment he had feared that the Yorozuya had asked the princess to get something more form-fitting, like a cheongsam.
"Cool!" Kagura commented, then stood up from her make-up stand, "Okay, I'm done!"
Hijikata's eyes widened in shock when he saw the mess on the Yato girl's face. He might not know much about make-up, but he was pretty sure some of that stuff wasn't supposed to go there.
"Come on, Mayora. I'll do yours too!"
He tried to bolt, but the girl just pushed him back to his seat and dammit, it was unfair how easily she could do it.
"Oh, your highness, that's amazing!" Souyo gasped. Hijikata looked at her like the princess had just lost her mind, "But, I think we should go with something a bit more traditional."
"I'm sorry," Souyo escorted Kagura back to her seat and another maid started cleaning her face, "You two just leave everything to me and my girls."
Hijikata sighed in relief, but it was short-lived when he saw what the maids attending to him had pulled out, "What...?"
"Sir, you're going to need some make-up, too."
"But... All this?" What was all that, anyway? He could recognise maybe two or three of those bottles.
"Do not worry, sir," one of the women smiled at him, "We're professionals and we promise that after we're done, you'll look splendid."
Hijikata didn't really like that smile. He was sure that if the princess hadn't been present, these women would be squealing and making a fuss just like the hostesses had about a month ago. Dammit, why did people seem to have so much fun dressing him up?
Finally deciding that it would be best to just go with the flow, Hijikata slumped back into his chair. The worst part was that he would have to go through with this same ordeal tomorrow.
"I apologise for the wait, my dear sirs," Souyo announced to the room full of people, "May I introduce, the countess Shen Le and her lady-in-waiting Shi Si."
Hijikata stumbled forward when Kagura forcibly pushed him into the room, almost tripping on his long, blue robes. To his horror he could see that Kondou had apparently called for the rest of the Shinsengumi Captains, all of who were now staring at him in blank shock.
"Well, guys? What do you think?" Kagura asked excitedly, pulling Hijikata close and entwining their arms together, obviously waiting for some sort of comment.
Kagura was wearing a lavishly decorated crimson red hanfu, with her hair braided and pulled up with a butterfly hair ornament made of gold and rubies. Her lips were painted pink and the heavy mascara made her eyelashes look long and dark, bringing out the shockingly blue eyes.
Hijikata tried to keep himself from fidgeting too much in his own dark blue robes. He still thought that the women had gone a bit overboard with his get-up, especially with the long, black hair that ran all the way past his lower back, even when it was tied high with a platinum hair ornament resembling a lotus flower. He felt like wiping his face, but the thought of smearing the make-up and being forced back to the hands of the 'professionals' gave him enough self-control not to.
No one had said a word yet and Kagura frowned at them. The Shinsengumi Captains were having a dilemma. If they didn't say something soon, the Yato girl would beat them up, but if they commented on their looks, their Vice-Commander would beat them up. Finally Harada dared to open his mouth and Hijikata quickly punched him, watching in satisfaction as the bald man crashed to the floor.
"Anyone else?" he asked, glaring at the other Captains who quickly backed away, furiously shaking their heads.
"It suits you, Toshi," Kondou smiled encouragingly.
"Not really what I wanted to hear, Kondou-san," Hijikata muttered dejectedly.
"Wow! Kagura-chan, you look amazing!" Shinpachi clapped his hands and the Yato girl smiled, giving a little twirl and flapping her long sleeves like wings, "But are you sure you'll be able to fight in that get-up?"
"Well, it's a bit hard to run and kick with this," Kagura lifted the hem of her robe, "but my punches are still good," she did a few quick jabs, "I can just toss the outer gown and rip the hem a bit and I should be fine."
"Are you sure? That stuff looks pretty expensive," the Yorozuya spoke up and Hijikata felt himself tense. He was a bit surprised that the bastard hadn't started taunting him yet.
"Souyo says that it's okay."
"Indeed," the princess assured them, "I want to be of help to her highness, so this is the least I can do. Besides, the hanfu aren't custom made, so they're fairly cheap. I thought that it would fit the 'fallen aristocrat' look."
"Huh, you don't say," Gintoki pulled at the fabric of Kagura's robe, "So, how much is this stuff exactly?"
"Um, about 500 000 yen, I think."
Gintoki quickly let go of the fabric and he and Shinpachi backed away.
"Kagura, get out of that stuff."
"No, no! It's all right, really!" Souyo hurried to assure them, "Think of them as a gift."
"At least try to safe the shreds if you can," Gintoki whispered to Kagura, "We could still profit from them later."
"Toshi," Kondou spoke up, "These are the tracking devices I had brought here. We'll tie them to your ankles and Harada's unit will be monitoring them."
"I have to wear one, too?" Hijikata asked.
"Just for precaution," Kondou handed the small devices to Hijikata and Kagura, "The problem is that they're not communicators, so you won't be able to call for help if something goes wrong. Units 1 to 5 will be at the gala as security, but it's better if we're not seen together."
"Understood," Hijikata sighed.
"So, what are we going to do until tomorrow night?" Kagura asked.
"We have to return to the headquarters, but you and Toshi should probably stay here and get in character," Kondou gave Hijikata a friendly pat on the shoulder, "I really appreciate you for doing this, Toshi. I know it must be hard for you."
"I'll survive," Hijikata muttered.
Kondou gave him one last smile before bowing to the princess and leading his men out of the room.
"Try not to screw up tomorrow, China," Sougo commented before ducking away from a random object the girl threw at him.
"Kagura-chan! You're not at home!" Shinpachi scolded her.
"Actually I would appreciate it if you'd stop doing that at home, too," Gintoki grunted.
"It's not my fault that guy's always pissing me off!" Kagura tried to defend herself, "I'm so glad I get to be among sophisticated people for change."
"Excuse me, your highness," a servant suddenly appeared, kneeling down and handing a folded up paper to Souyo, "One of the officers left this message for 'that Chinese girl'."
Kagura snatched the message and quickly read through it.
She picked up an expensive looking vase and ran out of the room.
"Oh, gods! Kagura-chan, get back here!" Shinpachi yelled, running after her with confused Souyo and a horrified servant right at his tail.
Hijikata let out a tired sigh and leaned against the wall. Things were always so hectic when those guys were around. One day he would have to lecture Sougo about antagonising that girl.
"Looking pretty good, are we?"
Hijikata jumped and stared at the smirking Yorozuya. He had completely forgotten that the man was in the room, "I was wondering when you'd decide to speak up," Hijikata growled, "Having fun laughing at my expense?"
"Well, I was going to, but it's kinda hard to laugh when it suits you so well," Gintoki stepped forward and reached out to touch the long, ebony hair, "Seriously, it looks even better than it did last time."
Hijikata slapped the hand away and glared at the man, "I really don't want to talk about that time," he tried to push past the Yorozuya, but a strong hand grabbed his arm and pulled him back.
"Hey, what did the gorilla mean when he said that this would be hard for you?"
"Nothing," Hijikata hissed, "Of course something like this is going to hurt my male pride. He was just being considerate," he glanced at the silver-haired idiot and tried to pull his arm free, "Unlike some people who just like to barge in on other people's jobs and tell them how to do them."
"Hey, I don't like this plan either," the Yorozuya snarled, "but I like the idea of what might happen to those girls even less."
"I want to save them too," Hijikata growled, "I just don't want to have to do this with you."
He gasped when he was suddenly pushed against the wall, the back of his head hitting the hard wood.
"What the hell are you-?" he fell silent when he saw the blazing red eyes. The Yorozuya leaned closer, so close that their foreheads almost touched.
"What the hell is your problem?" the Yorozuya growled, "If this is about that night, may I remind you that it was you who initiated it, you who practically begged me to do it, and you who left that big bite mark on me. It took two weeks for that mark to completely disappear, you know? So why the hell are you acting like it was all my fault?"
Hijikata tried to look away, but the man just grabbed his chin and forced him to look back, "It was just a one night thing," he finally snarled, "Let it go."
"I'm trying to, but you're acting all self-conscious about it," Gintoki growled, "I don't know how familiar you are with it, but usually a 'one night stand' means that life goes on normally afterwards."
"It is going on normally!"
"No, it's not!" Gintoki barked, "Why are you suddenly avoiding me and refusing to accept my help when you obviously need it?"
"That is normal for me! I just don't like you! Ever thought of that?"
The Yorozuya stared at him long and hard, "I don't care whether you like me or not, but I know that this kind of behaviour isn't normal for you. I don't know what it is, but it's affecting your ability to work and since we're supposed to be on the same side, it's affecting my ability to work, too. Get over it so that we can get this job done, and after that you can go to hell for all I care!"
Hijikata gritted his teeth. He didn't want to admit it, but the idiot was right. He had been acting unprofessionally, and for personal reasons. He was supposed to be better than this, he was supposed to be able to hide his tumultuous emotions and do his goddamned job! And still he had been fighting against a perfectly logical plan, one that could save lives, all so that he wouldn't have to be in the same room as this idiot.
"Why you?" Hijikata muttered.
"Why the hell did it have to be you?"
Gintoki looked surprised, but then he sighed and stepped back, allowing Hijikata room to breath, "I don't know," he said, "Why did it have to be me?"
"Because you were there..." Hijikata whispered, rubbing his temple, "Because you always have to be fucking there..."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Gintoki asked, obviously confused.
"What about you?" Hijikata countered, "What prompted you to go along with it?"
The Yorozuya blinked, apparently caught off guard with the question. He looked away and scratched the back of his head, "I don't know," he began, "I guess you kinda looked like-"
"I get it," Hijikata pushed himself off the wall and looked at the Yorozuya, eyes steady and head held high, "I apologise for the way I've acted. That was very unprofessional of me. You don't have to worry about my behaviour any more. I suggest we both forget about this and go do our jobs. The Shinsengumi appreciates your help with this investigation."
"Wait... That's it?" Gintoki looked a bit taken aback, "You mean that everything's suddenly okay? Just like that?"
"I wonder where that girl of yours ran to," Hijikata wondered, "We still have to come up with a believable background story."
But Hijikata was already walking out of the room and down the hallway.
It was all right now. He had just been a bit confused about that man's motives, but now he understood. The guy was just like everybody else.
"Because you looked like..."
"I thought you'd be more like..."
Really, all those people were the same, and he was used to dealing with that. In a sense it was a relief. Now he could just forget about that little incident and move on. Just like always.
Hijikata rubbed his temple, willing the migraine to go away.
Where the hell had that stupid girl run to?
Author's notes: So those of you that have read the old version of the fifth chapter probably noticed that I moved some stuff from that chapter to this one. I think it paces out better this way.
One thing I forgot to mention about the last chapter; Hijikata barging in to the Yorozuya as he pleases. Because he does that. Always. And Gintoki always comments on that XD So him suddenly not barging in is considered out-of-character for him.
I love Hijikata and Kagura! They're my favourite characters in Gintama (everyone else is just there to make them look good)! Too bad they haven't had that many scenes together, besides that one scene in the Yagyuu Arc. I just loved the interaction between them XD Shen Le and Shi Si are the Chinese Pinyin readings of the kanji for Kagura and Toshi. I also decided to give them the Chinese Hanfu dresses since those just look so beautiful! Google for 'hanfu' and see for yourselves. So yeah, this basically means that those pictures at my DA account are useless now, but I promise to draw new ones.
Advertising time: If you like my Gintama stories, there's also a short poetry-ish oneshot that I wrote titled "The Boy Who Smelt of Blood". It's not really GinHiji, but could be seen as such. I'd like to hear some comments for it, since it's the first time I've written something like that.