Disclaimer: I do not own the awesome series Gintama.
A/N: Originally a harmless 100-word drabble written quite a while ago until recently, when it morphed into this weird (or maybe not; it's Gintama after all) oneshot. Written for a strange prompt ('the ants are my friends') with inspiration from this picture (oi50. tinypic. com/5fkpz8. jpg). Just remove the spaces after each period to make the link work. Okita is fun but not the easiest to write.
Anthill Out of a Mountain
Okita didn't like taking orders from anybody.
He was a sadist, not a masochist; it was in his mental programming to be giving out the orders and watching people writhe in suffering, not the other way around. He especially disliked the thought of prancing around under Hijikata's orders, but sometimes, disobeying orders just caused him more grief and it just wasn't worth it. He didn't really have to worry about his job security, either; he was the best swordsman in the entire Shinsengumi. A demotion or pink slip wasn't coming unless someone was trampling over his dead body — Fat chance, the young officer scoffed.
In short, Okita did what he wanted.
"Go away, stupid Sadist."
So when that red-clad, pinkish-orange-haired girl from the Yorozuya didn't even look at him and told him to go away, he did the opposite. Letting some bratty teenaged monster boss him around was on his mental list of Things that Shall Not Come to Pass. It ranked right next to patrolling the city on a Monday morning.
And it was Monday.
So essentially, he was killing two birds with one stone. Except without the stone, because that implied effort in lifting a stone and Okita didn't really have to try to do these two things.
"Oh, how sad, China girl. No friends?" Okita drawled, not a hint of sympathy in his voice. He waited for her to turn around and wail that high-pitched shriek of protest she usually did but there was nothing. She wasn't even listening, her focus trained to watching a trail of ants scurrying away in front of her.
She held an open palm over the ants, their very existence at peril, a shadowed hand eclipsing them. But she didn't touch them.
Okita crouched next to her so that the two of them were level. Hidden under her umbrella, her hair, like pale twilight, framed her small and childish face. Glazed blue eyes like the bottom of the ocean hid underneath her fringe.
"Hey," he tried again, but Okita wasn't sure what to follow up with. Her uncharacteristic despondence threw him off kilter.
He sighed and clasped his hands together. Kids were so difficult.
"Did you scare off all your bratty friends?"
"Are you so lonely that you've resorted to befriending the ants?" Okita goaded, trying to stir some kind of emotion in her.
"They're not my friends," his rival muttered, and he was unsure if she was referring to the the neighbourhood kids or the stream of ants. Her words were so hollow. So empty. So nothing.
So unlike her.
He stared at her, some kind of ethereal frown on his face.
"Hey China," Okita said, eyes softening — as if his sadistic nature was caving. "Do you want me to be your friend?"
Kagura's fingers twitched ever so slightly before closing her hand into a fist. With a tightening grip on her umbrella, she stood up and looked the flaxen haired boy right in the eyes for the first time since their conversation started.
"An ant would make a better friend than you," she declared, and cleared the area.
What a brat, Okita thought, her red cheongsam bleeding out of his sight.
He turned his attention back to the marching band of ants Kagura had been so trained on.
He had an idea.
Kagura laid listlessly on the couch at home and stared at the ceiling. Blank and boring, but such blandness was better than having a splash of blood splattered across it...
A rapping at the door threw her off her train of thought, but she refused to answer it.
"Shinpachi, go answer the door!" came a shout from the bathroom. It was Gin.
"Shinpachi went home already!" Kagura yelled, her voice perforating through the walls of their apartment. She decided to ignore the knocking, but it continued, the person refusing to leave. No surprise, because Gin and Kagura had practically given away that they were home.
Gin bellowed. "Kagura, get the damn door already!"
Annoyed, the Yato girl plodded to the door muttering about how Gin took so long in the crapper.
This had better be good. She turned the doorknob.
"Oh, it's you, China," greeted a well-mannered Okita.
Kagura slammed the door in his face.
She grimaced. The sadist had dropped by and she didn't know why the hell he was here but it was as suspicious as Gin was during his sugar withdrawals. Kagura had barely moved an inch from the door when a series of knocks came again.
"Hey, that's not very nice. Open the door," the Shinsengumi officer implored, voice muffled by the door. "I won't leave until you open it again."
Begrudgingly, Kagura swung the door open. If she didn't, he probably really would have stayed clawing at their door for the rest of the day. She grit her teeth. "Five seconds, punk."
Okita shoved a white box in her face, a small gift bow stuck on top of it, leaving her dumbfounded. "Here," he smiled, and a shiver went up Kagura's spine. He was smiling. And it was freaky because when the smarmy bastard smiled, he was up to no good. Every time. Even more frightening was the fact that he seemed to have a present intended just for her.
His intentions were pathetically transparent.
Kagura shot the seemingly innocuous young man a dubious look. "Gin told me not to take presents from sadists. He says they have sick fetishes."
"That's strangers, not sadists," Okita corrected, "and I don't have sick fetishes." The gentle smile was still plastered on his stupid flawless face and he forcibly placed the box in her hands as if to say 'so accept it already, damn it' but what came out of his mouth was, "Don't be so modest, China."
Kagura held the box gingerly; there was quite a bit of weight to it. She scanned the box with skepticism, her eyes wandering to an inscription on the side of the box.
"'This side up'."
"Just ignore that."
She shoved the gift back in his face. "No way, bastard. You're suspicious! Now get off my lawn! I mean, porch!"
Okita picked up her intended present, the nice guy smile wearing thin. "Oh, okay China. Since you're too stupid to open a box, I'll open it for you."
And he did.
Okita pulled the top flap of the box open and dumped a case of dirt over Kagura.
"What the hell you sadist bastard!" she raged, coughing up dirt. She was about to growl some more, but felt a tickling sensation on her skin. It started to itch and irritate her. To her dismay, ants were creeping her from head to toe.
A colony of ants. Oh, she did not see this one coming.
Okita's luciferous smile only seemed to brighten. "You seemed lonely earlier, so I brought you some friends."
Kagura let out a thundering groan and hurled handfuls of dirt at the teenager as he hopped over the railing, dodging the projectiles.
Okita hollered from across the street in his usual soporific yet aggravating drone, "Maybe you should've taken me up on my offer!"
"GO DIE IN A HOLE, BASTARD!" Kagura seethed, swatting the ants and dirt off her clothes and limbs as Okita escaped, victorious.
He was in an incredibly sunny mood (not that anybody could tell by looking at him) after that exchange; returning to Shinsengumi headquarters, Okita smirked at the thought of her vicious expression, eyes lit with the intensity of blue fire; he had gotten the best of her.
Besides, a vengeful China girl that wanted to rip his head off was better than a mopey and lonely one who also ignored him.
"Hey China, do you want me to be your friend?"
Nah, Okita thought, picking up his pace again.
It was probably better this way.