Pairing: Hijikata X Chizuru


"What are you fighting for?"

Those words had been uttered by an enemy combatant that he had felled with his katana. They were the Shinsen-Gumi, the guardians of an old and broken age, defeated by sheer numbers and one other word: technology. Katana, spears, kodachi, bows and arrows, they lost to cannons, guns, and whatever the enemy had against them…

So, what were they fighting for?

They knew about the corruption of the Bakufu, but they also knew that those who fought on the Emperor's side did so only because they wanted power for themselves. They knew that they could not stand a chance against the changing of the tides, especially when the age of the sword was ending…

What were they fighting for, and why did they continue such a fruitless attempt?

The answer was right before his eyes, whenever he looked out his window, looking at their headquarters full to the brim with warriors going about their daily activities, practicing in the dojo, doing the laundry, working in the kitchens for their next meal… They were fighting to save one another…

They said that they, the Shinsen-Gumi were just a group of leaderless ronin without masters, they were wrong. They were in the Shinsen-Gumi because they were the masters of their own fate, bound to one another… Who was he kidding?

He knew that they were gaining in power only because there was no one who dared to step into the center stage, out of fear of death, or out of fear of the Ishin-shishi. They were right there where all the action was because they wanted to be there, not out of duty, but because they were lucky to be able to seize that chance…

But what was he fighting for?

The Shinsen-Gumi? Yes, of course, but what else? He lived for the fight, but what else was there?

His men, his brothers, his ideals, they were all poetic reasons to fight in that chaotic time, surely, there would be something else?


Ken wa kioki, kenjutsu wa satsujin no jutsu… [The sword is a weapon of murder; kenjutsu is the skill used to kill others]


Whoever said those words were… absolutely right. In a different age, in a different time, all they were doing were merely just killing men, men who had families that they wished to protect, ideals just like they did…

"Excuse me, Hijikata-san," a soft, feminine voice entered his mind, interrupting his internal ruminations, and he saw the shoji door to his room move slightly, allowing the sight of pink and light beige-grey to enter into his peripheral vision. "I've brought some tea for you…"

He smiled and told her to enter. She was beautiful, that girl, painfully so. Perhaps the others could not see it, but her beauty lied not only upon her clear, white complexion, or those large doe-like eyes of honey, no, her beauty came from her strength that saw her through every possible adversity thrown against her, from her short imprisonment in their hands, to the pain of knowing that her father would never be found… Her strength soon become theirs, through that smile that she would give so freely, and him, more so than the others.

Her small hands delivered the tray she had been holding onto his table, and as she handed him the cup of tea, he noticed that their hands had touched ever so slightly. Immediately she blushed and started to turn away, but he lifted her chin with his free hand and said, "Arigatou, Chizuru…"

With those words came a light kiss on her forehead on his part. It was not proprietory by their customs, but he did not care, for they were alone at the time, and besides, the shock of this gesture would surely ensure her silence.

True to her nature, she quickly moved away from him and bowed to him slightly before escaping into her own room, the redness of her cheeks ever so obvious as every second passed. He had to admit that he would be stooping to Souji's level by doing this, but... when it came to words of that nature; he would leave it to Harada and not himself...

He watched her from the window, blundering and blustering her way back to her room, all the way across the other side of their headquarters, and he smiled...

Yes, there was no way to deny it...

She was what he was fighting for.