A one-shot dedicated to Hakuouki


He was kind – Chizuru could feel it ever since the moment they met.

"She's seen something she shouldn't have. Shall we kill her?" A terrified, pleading look was worn on her face as she stared at the unfamiliar people in front of her.

He gave a long sigh, "No, we'll bring her back to the headquarters, then decide what to do with her there."

He had saved her life, even though she was a complete stranger, and she was eternally grateful for that.

He was soft-hearted – the little things that happened in their life together had revealed that. It took awhile to release, because he had always worn that strong, determined mask on his face.

"Who gave you the permission to leave your room?" He glanced at her briefly, with a stern gaze.

"Come on, Hijikata-san, it'll be more fun if everyone could eat together, wouldn't it?"

"Yeah, it's more lively with Chizuru-chan here anyway!"

"… It's okay." Chizuru smiled softly, she was thankful already that they would take her in, so she knew she had no right to complain. "I guess I'll just go back to my own room to eat." She lifted her tray, but he sighed again, his gaze softening. "You can leave the room only during meal times, got it?"

Her eyes lit up ecstatically, as she opened her mouth to thank him, but he was already quietly and calmly eating his dinner. A sweet smile crept up onto her face as she continued, wordlessly, to take hers too.

Although he didn't show it, but he had allowed her to interact with the rest of the Shinsengumi freely, creating a brand new life for her. He would rather keep quiet, but she knew.

He was caring – a father-like silhouette for his subordinates, and a precious friend to her. She could tell from the way he had worried gazes upon seeing the fatigue of others, but oblivious to his own tiredness; from the pained expressions on his face when he saw the injuries and deaths of his fellow comrades.

"Heisuke, Okita, both of you are staying here because you look ill. There's no way you're going to put yourselves in danger and get in the way of everyone else."

Although he put it harshly, all of them knew that he didn't want to see his trusted friends get unnecessarily hurt.

Other things, however, took a longer time to realize.

Like the way Hijikata would take secret glances at her when she was doing what she did best – working hard to help the Shinsengumi in any way possible. Even he himself didn't realize when he started taking notice of her, and the joy and cheerfulness she brought into their lives.

Like the way he would be more lenient on her in nearly every aspect. He would condone her silly mistakes and the reckless way she broke multiple rules. She thought that it was because of her gender, but even the others could tell – he was truthfully much gentler with her, even though it was in the most subtle ways.

But Hijikata was thankful that she didn't take note. After all, he preferred to silently watch over this girl that he had slowly come to care about.

But there was one thing, which Chizuru completely failed to notice.

"Hijikata-san, please have a cup of hot tea, will you?" She would knock on his door late every night, just to ensure that he would find some comfort in these stressful times.

His lips would curve upwards as he nodded back at her, seemingly nonchalant. But of course, she would never know how he looked forward to these daily visits at night.

"Hijikata-san, it doesn't matter. I'm alright, there are people more seriously wounded than this!" Her incessant refusal to get medical treatment immediately was to no avail. The deep wound on her shoulder was still bleeding profusely despite her regeneration abilities as an Oni and her attempt to treat it herself.

"It has to matter. Even if you're a female, you're still a part of Shinsengumi, and I have a responsibility here to take care of every single member as their vice-captain. You have to go now." His worried voice carried a tinge of anxiousness as he looked at her reluctant expression. "… Please? Would you please promise me that you will take care of yourself more?" Upon seeing his now visibly upset expression, she nodded quietly and walked off briskly.

He would sigh in relief, but head off to lead the battle soon after. But of course, she would never know that he would never be able to live a life without her – that was how much her existence mattered to her now, that precious, and that unique.

"The Sakura blossoms are really pretty this year." The brightest, most endearing smile was worn on her face as she said so, gracefully running and dancing under the cool shelter of the dazzling, falling pink petals.

And he would slow down for her, even if it was during a patrol. Because he couldn't bear to see that smile disappear so quickly. "Yes, I would think so too. We'll stop by here for awhile. It's been a long time since we relaxed."

But of course, she would never know that even against the stunning scenery, nothing could ever be more beautiful than her presence itself.

She was lying beside his bed, her eyes still red and puffy from those needless tears which she cried for him.

He raised a weak, bandaged hand up and gently ruffled her hair, a reassuring smile touched his face as he whispered in a frail voice, "I'm okay."

She looked up at him and shook her head, tears seeming to gather up in her eyes again, threatening to overflow.

This time, he couldn't resist the temptation to let her know anymore.

He pulled her closer to him and planted a kiss on her forehead softly.

"You crybaby." He teased her cheekily, so unlike his usual self, "But that's just the way I like you."

The tears finally overflowed and trailed down the contours of her face, a faint blush growing on her pale cheeks as it dawned on her.


Authoress' Note

Hello everyone! This is my first Hakuouki fanfiction, and I've recently finished watching the series to the latest episode. And I'm absolutely not shy to say that I've fallen head over heels for Hijikata. (and the pairing Hijikata/Chizuru) *sigh* Hakuouki is just full of bishie goodness. I honestly love all of them, but Hijikata just really appeals to me 8D

So, uhm please tell me how I did on this fanfiction x.X I might be contemplating to write more one-shots, or maybe a series of one-shots on the relationship between Chizuru and the Shinsengumi members. Suggestions are very welcome (:

Please read & review, 'coz that will motivate me lots & I'll be really very grateful and happy! (':

Thanks! R&R!