Disclaimer : I do not own Peace Maker Kurogane or any of its related themes or characters. I'm not making any money out of this fanfic.

AN: I just watched 1x15 "Poetry" AGAIN… and this was just floating around in my brain, waiting to be written.

AN2: There're probably tons of grammers/spelling mistakes, but I'm posting this in a bit of a rush. Bad weather -_-; BUT I'll fix it later on.

AN3: I might continue on to a series, but I'll see how it goes with reviews and favs :DD

This fic covers the first time Souji…. 'borrowed' Hijikata's "secret treasure" :D…. totally a crack!fic, so don't expect them to be totally in-character.


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Hijikata's Headlong Sprint

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"Mister Kondo, is there something bothering Mister Hijikata?" Souji asked, setting down a cup of tea next to the Commander.

Kondo looked up with a slightly surprised look on his face, "Hijikata?... no….?" he replied.

"He's been hold up in his room almost constantly since Tuesday, is he sick?" the young man prodded again.

"Hijikata just lost two of his top trained spies to the Choshu," Kondu said, and shrugged, "That might be it…. I doubt he's upset about the commotion the Comedian Trio caused the other day! HAHA!"

Souji stared at the Commander for a moment, a frown starting on his features.

The Commander sighed heavily after a moment, his attempt to lighten the mood had fallen flat. "… Until he worked out his own personal demons, he won't willingly involve himself in any social activities," the Commander seriously answered Souji's unasked question.

For a moment too long did Souji stay seated opposite Kondo before standing, "Thank you, Mister Kondo," he politely excused himself and shut the soji behind him.

"Mister Hijikata, can I come in?" Souji asked, waiting for the obligatory grunt of a 'yes' from the Vice Commander.

The young man slid open the door and padded inside the dank room, "If you want to begin mushroom farming, we have a very large shaded area outside, Mister Hijikata," Souji said with a cheery smile.

The pile of blankets moved, "I'm busy," he grunted.

"Sleeping isn't work," Souji egged on good-naturedly.

"Go away," was the final mumble from the blanket cave.

The First Unit Captain of the Shinsengumi's eyes narrowed. He stalked forwards, stopping next to book lying next to futon. He bent down and picked it up.

He's seen Hijikata stash the book away on several occasions, when he had entered Hijikata's room. Always in the same place, always with the same disgruntled look on his face. He looked at the title… Hougyoku's Haiku Collection.

It's then when it suddenly made sense. Reading Haiku's or other fictional works have never seemed 'odd' or 'out of place', albeit slightly embarrassing… Hijikata completely overreacted for it to be THAT…. If it had been one of those scrolls on… Shimbara sketches, Hijikata's embarrassed growl might've made sense… only the Comedic Trio had a very extensive collection of those scrolls… but THIS?

It HAD to be his.

Hougyoku IS Hijikata…

"Who is Hougyoku, Mister Hijikata?" Souji asked innocently flipping open the book. He read one of the Haiku aloud, earning a violent convulsion from the pile of blankets. "Hahaha…. These are so funny!"

The pile of blankets suddenly unfolded,"THAT'S MINE!" he growled darkly, sitting up.

"If you want it, Mister Hijikata, you're going to have to catch me!" Souji cheerily said, skipping –yes SKIPPING- off with an absurd amount of glee.

At that moment, Hijikata wasn't sure if the glitter sparkles and pink background to Souji's skipping was orchestrated by the Unit, or something he was hallucinating. He decidedly ignored it though….

"GIVE THAT BACK!" Hijikata's booming voice followed him.

It was only when the demonic Vice Commander's thundering footsteps, yellow eyes and rude commentary started following Souji, did the young man even think of turning around.

That was a mistake.

"AFTER I GET A HOLD OF YOU-! YOU'LL CUT THE DAMN GRASS WITH YOUR SWORD AND STAND GUARD DUTY FOR A YEAR!" Hijikata yelled, he had already broken into a full sprint by now.

The young man tucked the book away in his yukata and picked up his running pace, "That doesn't sound so bad!" he called back, managing a cheery tone to his slight sense of hysteria. Being chased by any Shinsengumi member was bad enough, but being chased by the DEMON VICE COMMANDER of the BLOODY WOLVES of MIBU? … oh yes, Souji picked up the pace quite a lot.

They rounded the corner of Hijikata's room, sprinting down the path towards the main entrance. Souji ended up having to vault over the well and wooden wall. Yamanami didn't appreciate being used as a break for Souji's fall, but after a quick apology and bow –and another curse coming from Hijikata- the Vice Commander understood. "Run, Souji!" he yelled, pointing to the kitchens.

The young man nodded, quickly changing his direction.

"Damnit, Souji!" Hijikata screamed, bounding around the wall. Unfortunately, when one gets older, the agility factor gets lost somewhere along the road… the Vice Commander was already puffing from all the running.

"WHERE DID HE GO?" he yelled, looking frazzled, his hair looking like it was attacked by Saizo.

"Uh…. Saizo?" Yamanami asked innocently, trying his best not to smile smugly.

But, the short charade was shattered, when Ayu's disgruntled voice from the kitchen met their ears, "Souji! Stop hiding behind the miso stock, you're going to get sand into the corn flour!"

Hijikata glared at Yamanami, his eyes widening comically in a threat. He turned on his heel, drawing his katana.

"It's just my sandals that are sandy, Ayu!" Souji retorted, pouting. "Hmmm…. It smells delicious!"

"Would you like a taste?" Ayu asked, holding a small bowl out to the Captain, a forgiving smile on her face, "You do seem like you need it! You're quite out of breath!"

Souji clambered out from behind the stock and grinned sheepishly, "I've been playing tag with Mister Hijikata," he informed non-chalantly, smiling as he took the bowl. "Thank you very much."

A motherly smile crossed Ayu's lips as Souji took a bite, "If you're up against Mister Hijikata, you're going to need all the help you can get!" she said and laughed.

Souji shrugged with a smile and was about to take another bite before – "Did you REALLY think you can get away from ME?"

Ayu and Souji looked to the entrance of the kitchen.

Katana drawn and eyes narrowed, the Vice Commander looked like murder personified. "Give me back my collection r-right now!" he said, and gulped dryly. He looked completely frayed right now, as if a light breeze might blow him over.

"I can't do that, Mister Hijikata!" Souji said and gulped down the last of the miso, "You still haven't caught me yet!"

They were about to start again, but Ayu ripped out a butcher's knife from the block, holding it up like a Samurai sword, "I have no problems with you fighting, but you are not fighting in my kitchen!" she snapped, tapping the back of the knife against her shoulder threateningly, "Or do I have to cut something off for you two to understand?"

The pair of men stared at the spy for a moment, weighing their options. But, when she showed signs of gripping the knife in a style ready for combat, they obediently headed out of the kitchen, minding their manners as they exited. It was true after all, Hell hath no fury like Ayamu's scorn…

But, as soon as the reached the outside of the kitchen, Souji catapulted himself into the dining hall, somersaulting and jumping out of the nearest window. Agile as ever. And that was part of the reason why he was picked to be the First Unit Captain, after all…

"Uhh…. Souji?" Kondo asked, watching with a quizzical look as Souji bowed as he ran past him.

"Please excuse me, Mister Kondo!" Souji called, running out of the Mibu entrance.

And that was something Kondo had NEVER expected to see. The First Unit Captain running AWAY from something… someone… Souji NEVER ran from ANYTHING. EVER. What on EARTH had him running around like THAT? It had to be bad… really bad…

"DAMNIT! SOUJI!" Hijikata screamed, emerging from the dining hall with an insane look on his face.

'-OH. That's why' and the look of recognition filled Kondo's face.

"Getting some exercise, Toshi? " Kondo asked, a good-natured grin in place. He was relieved that Souji found some way to get the Vice Commander out of his own head. Even if it meant that the younger man was now on the chopping block. But, that was something Souji had always done. He always helped everyone out, whether they asked for it or not.

"HE'S GOT MY COLLECTION OF HAIKU!" Hijikata bellowed dramatically, wheezing as he stopped in front of Kondo, resting heavily on his katana's handle.

Souji peered sweetly over the frame of the entrance of the Shinsengumi Headquaters, "Are you alright, Mister Hijikata?" he asked, a slight huff to his voice, "You look tired!"

A feral growl came from Hijikata, earning an uncharacteristical high-pitched 'EEP' from the younger man.

"You mean this?" Kondo asked, holding up a book for Hijikata's inspection. The VERY same paperback that Souji had taken off with. "Take it."

A sigh, "Thank you…" Hijikata said eventually, bowing as he took the Collection from the Commander's grasp. He straightened up and slowly shuffled back to his room, a weary but more alert look on his face.

Souji waited until Hijikata had completely disappeared behind the wall and was heard trudging down the path towards the rooms, before finally walking over towards Kondo, "Thank you, Mister Kondo," he said with a weary but cheery smile, holding his chest as he tried catching his breath, "How long until he figures out that you still have the original, Mister Kondo?"


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...evil mister Kondo xD

Thanks for reading!