Disclaimer: I do not own Gintama.
Note: The timeline of this story is five years into the future. Kagura is seventeen going on eighteen, Okita twenty-two and Shinpachi twenty years old. Gintoki and Hijikata should be somewhere between twenty-five to thirty. Kondo is probably in his mid thirties by this point, lol ^^
I am now gradually re-writing my older chapters. Chapter 1 is rewritten on 9 July 2014
Moonstruck Chapter 1
A Rainy Day in Edo
It was an ordinary day in Edo. Apart from the seasonal rain that insisted on beating down upon the city's long suffering inhabitants, it was a Wednesday like any other.
It was also exactly three in the afternoon.
At the Yorozuya residence, a red-headed girl was raiding the communal fridge. Jars of mayonnaise and strawberry jam clinked dangerously together as the fridge door slammed shut.
''Eh… we're all out of Sukonbuuu!'', Kagura pouted in disappointment.
"And we're out of sukonbu, yet again,'' reproached a drawling voice from the direction of the living room. "Man, Gin-chan doesn't earn nearly enough to feed you."
Looking past her shoulder, Kagura spied her white-haired guardian draped casually across the couch. Gintoki Sakata, or Gin-chan as she liked to call him, was lying on the couch, casually propping up his lean form with a powerful arm. With his other free hand, he skillfully maneuvered the pages of his JUMP magazine.
The girl smiled innocently. ''Oh yeah? Why don't you go get a JOB Gin-chan?''
''Kagura-chan, as you already know, it's the customers who come looking for us,'' remarked the ex-Joui member carelessly, ''and besides, aren't I already a full time babysitter for you GAAHHHHH!''
A pink cushion had launched itself across the room like a projectile, coinciding against Gintoki's face with meteoric force. Promptly losing his balance, he tumbled off the couch.
Sadly, Sakata Gintoki did not manage a graceful landing. Collapsing like a sack of potatoes, he landed with a sickening thud and instantly kissed the ground.
Smirking in triumph, the perpetrator dusted her hands and surveyed a job well done. Kagura certainly wasn't a member of the Yato-clan for nothing.
From the adjacent couch, Shimura Shinpachi winced slightly and went back to leisurely sipping his green tea. The young man rolled his eyes. Five years around his two co-workers and you've practically seen it all.
He frowned lightly. "Hmm, the tea is getting kind of cold."
A nerve twitched angrily on Gintoki's temple.
"IS TEA ALL YOU CARE ABOUT YOU SHITTY GLASSES-STAND?"
"I-AM-NOT-A-GLASSES STAND!", screamed back Shinpachi.
Huffing indignantly, the bespectacled samurai returned behind his monthly magazine (Great Holiday retreats- Hawaii special!). Glaring at Gintoki, he pushed up his trademark spectacles a fraction, causing them to give off a sudden gleam.
''I'll be twenty this year, Gin-San,'' the black-haired youth remarked conversationally, ''and Kagura will be eighteen in a few days, doesn't that you know, make us mature young adults?''
''Well, you can carry your mature adult ass to the store and back,'' remarked Gintoki in a testy voice. He was still attempting to heave himself onto the couch,'' and take that crazy girl with you. I wanna read my JUMP in peace."
''Language, Gin San, you don't want Kagura-chan to pick up your negative habits," chided Shinpachi in a motherly tone.
''Don't nag so Pachi," Gintoki tore himself away from his JUMP to glare at Shinpachi. "It's too late anyway. Her vocabulary's already more extensive then mine."
Looking at each other, the two samurais laughed ruefully.
''I was just headed to the store anyway," Kagura piped up cheerily.
Saddaharu, her faithful white inugami sauntered up to her, rubbing its furry head affectionately against her cheek. Giving her an enthusiastic bark, it thumped his tail happily onto the ground.
''No Saddaharu, it's just going to be me today," she looked him up and down critically, "and don't give me that puppy-dog look! All that rain can't be good for your fur, do you want to smell bad?''
Saddaharu's only response was a piteous whine.
''Kagura, we need toilet paper," called Shinpachi, rummaging through the cupboard, "and also, one box of meat, from the half-priced section.'' He smiled at her mischievous grin, ''and yes, I was referring to the multi-pack rolls, onegai.''
''Hai, anything else?''
''I want a parfait, a chocolate one. One of those 250 Yen ones at the store.'', drawled a deep voice from the direction of the couch. Gintoki sat up and waved the cushion lazily at her. '' Why don't you treat me to a parfait and we'll say no more about this?''
''Deal, Gin-chan! You sure are easy to please."
"Make that two parfaits then, a strawberry flavored one would be nice."
''IN YOUR DREAMS, gahaha!''
''Please watch your blood sugar-level Gin-san," Shinpachi frowned disapprovingly at the lazy samurai. "We don't want the medics around again..."
Kagura dashed past him, waving as she ran.
''Be back at six for dinner Kagura-chan!'', he shouted after her retreating figure.
The door clicked shut. The young woman made her way down the wooden steps, her feet tapping out a rhythm as she went.
''Ah, she forgot her umbrella,'' Gintoki pointed out.
Shinpachi whirled around to see Kagura's umbrella, peering out innocently from the umbrella well.
Like any other ordinary umbrella, Kagura's purple umbrella shielded her from the elements. Belying its humble appearance however, it also served as the trademark weapon of choice of her Yato clansmen. Built ingeniously within its narrow shaft was a machine gun, capable of pumping 5.26mm rounds through reinforced steel.
''Do you think Kagura-chan's gonna be okay without her umbrella?'' Asked Shinpachi in a worried tone. ''Maybe I should go after her."
Saddaharu barked loudly, as if in agreement.
''Nah, let her be Shinpachi," replied Gintoki, whilst scratching the inugami's ear, "you know what they say, what doesn't kill her will only make her stronger."
''I was referring to her catching a cold Gin-san.''
''… So was I.''
Shinpachi blinked. A drop of sweat rolled down his temple. "Erm, Gin-san..."
Gintoki looked back down onto his JUMP only to see his page spotted with blood. He blinked.
"GAAAAHH! STUPID DOG, BITING MY HEAD AGAIN!"
Downstairs in the snack-shop, Catherine, Otose and Tama heard Gintoki's anguished scream and calmly chose to ignore it.
Kagura slid the door open and peeped in from the entrance. The three women were readying their preparations for that evening's guests. Catherine, a cat-eared Amanto, was restocking the shelves with bottles of sake, while Tama, the shop's automatic doll, was busy polishing the few wooden tables that were scattered around the room. Madame Otose, the owner of the snack-shop, didn't need anything from the store, but nonetheless offered the red-headed girl her thanks.
Kagura smiled and bowed in a way that would have made her father proud.
Sliding the screen shut, she leaned against the shoji and gazed into the afternoon sky. Outside, the rain was finally beginning to clear; a smattering of blue showing among the leaden skies. As the young woman stepped out beneath the wide Edo sky, a cold breeze drifted lightly past her cheek. Letting out the breath that she had been holding for some time, she grinned in relief.
… Finally! It's good to be alone.
A/N: REWRITTEN ON 9 JULY 2014
... Eh? You guys are still here? Thank you for reading, and enjoy the next chapter! Reviews are greatly appreciated, especially constructive ones! (^-^)/
So, in case anyone is wondering, moonstruck means 1) Mentally deranged supposedly by the influence of the moon; crazed 2) Dreamily romantic or bemused
Gotta love the polarity.
Ps. For younger readers, the first few chapters are more or less K+ with no strong mature themes. I put in an M just in case the storyline happens to swing that way later on. So not to worry. =)