After the truth was revealed, Hijikata picked himself up and resumed his duties as the Vice-commander. He knew that he had to lead this group to war and that their lives are in his hands. He had to focus on the coming battle. His actions were still forceful, his reprimands still strict and merciless. But that was all just a mechanical display of what he had been trained to do for years.
It was obvious that he was still very much affected by what had happened. After the daily routines and training session, he would retreat to his room, occasionally stopping by Okita's room and stood there silently.
Within a week, they due for the final, deciding battle of the revolution. Before setting off, Hijikata gave a preparation speech to all the members of the Shinsengumi.
"I won't lie to you by saying that we would be victorious. We know very well that we are greatly outnumbered and the enemy has weapons far more advanced than ours. I will not force anyone to go on this battle if you are afraid. But I want you to remember why you joined the Shinsengumi in the first place. Now, those of you who want out, step forward."
There was silence as nobody made any movement.
"Nobody? This is your last chance." Hijikata gave a pause before continuing with more gusto. "Good! I have with me courageous and just comrades who do not flee in sight of danger and death. And that is who the Shinsengumi is! We will charge forward in face of death and guard our Lord! We will not dishonor him! Let's go!"
"Oooo!" came a valiant reply in unison.
The Shinsengumi charged out to the battlefield on their horses, undaunted by the larger crowd of the enemy's troops. Swords flung skillfullly as they dodged the bullets flying in their direction.
Amidst the confusion, Hijikata heard someone call out his name.
"Hijikata!" the voice called out. Hijikata looked in the direction of the voice and saw Okita riding towards him.
"Souji?" Hijikata replied.
No! Hijikata! Look carefully! That's not me! A voice rang beside his ear.
But it was too late. Before he could make a head or tail out of the situation, a bullet came flying in his direction and went through him, shattering his back. Hijikata flew off his horse from the force of the shot and lay on the ground. A hooded man came towards him sneering.
"Finally, the pillar of the Shinsengumi is down. I knew you'd fall for it if we used someone who looked like Okita Souji. He was your lover, wasn't he? So much so that you were so hung up over him even after his death. Hmph, this is the end."
The man gave him another 2 more shots before leaving to attack the other members of the Shinsengumi. In his last few moments, Hijikata stared up into the orangey purple of the sunset. His field of vision gradually blurring as he lay there gasping for air, choking on his own blood.
"I need to..." I can't die... I need to fight!
Hijikata... HIjikata, just let go... It's alright now... I'm here. Let's go...
A familiar voice spoke to him gently. He tried to focus his line of vision and saw what he had always wanted most. Okita Souji. His lover. As if all the pain had vanished, he smiled, took his hand and got up. He was glad that Okita was here for him. he would have been so lost otherwise. He gave a soft peck on his forehead and embraced him.
Hand in hand, fingers interlocking, the two walked into the sunset and disappeared.
I'm sorry there are some slight inconsistencies with history but I really tried to make the time line somewhat true to history. Okita Souji did die in 1868 while Hijikata died in 1869, in June, so I guess it's still summer? Well, in any case I'm sorry if you were disappointed with this fic but it was something that I really wanted to write. Thanks for reading up to this point and I hope you enjoyed it!
Please review if you can! It would make me very happy!