Disclaimer: Gintama is not mine, only this stupid plot. I'm sorry.
All That Glitters Is Not Silver Except Thorns
Chapter 3: Coils, Coils, Coils
Gintoki climbed the stairs to the top floor after the alien girl. He was still a bit dazed from Hijikata's sudden assault on his virtues and he couldn't quite coordinate his legs. He stumbled on the last step and fell face first onto the floor, a maniacal laugh echoing his fall.
"So Stinky's stunt didn't work that well, uh?" the alien girl rejoiced in a high pitched voice.
Gintoki cursed and shook his head. He didn't know why he had to beat up the creepy girl. Hijikata's request seemed to be reason enough at the time, however, once she took off her pink veil and Gintoki looked into her wicked blue eyes, some wisps of memory came back. The strange flower on the top of her head and the pale green hue of her skin easily denounced her an Amanto; one which Gintoki had spent the last twenty four hours helping, if his hazy memory served him right.
"Back to your senses already? Or do you want to help Mimi-chan tend to her garden again?" she asked with a smile.
"Oi, oi, you're too young for that kind of garden" Gintoki replied with aversion "Besides, I don't even want to see what kind of garden your alien ass has"
He lunged forward to strike but tall green vines burst out of Mimi's head and dove towards him swatting him aside.
"Don't think I'll let you go!" she cried.
The vines sprang after him throughout the corridor. Gintoki dodged them successfully, but soon they began to wriggle near his feet and curl around his ankles. He was by the last flight of stairs to the rooftop when they started pulling him back and halting his progress.
"Get off!" he swung his bokuto at the green stems and broke free, eliciting shrills of pain from Mimi back in the corridor. Gintoki ignored her and bolted, having no other choice but to climb the stairs towards the door at the top.
"Shit! What's with the whole Medusa deal!?"
The rooftop was deserted, surrounded only by a dark cloud of smoke. The smell was awful and Gintoki instantly regretted his decision to flee up there. He skippered towards the railing and looked down to see what was happening. A dozen Shinsengumi cars had barricaded the building and officers were moving in and out of it, carrying potted plants and tossing them in a big pyre that was already burning wild, its flames high and dazzling. A second pile had been assembled next to it and two men were dousing it with fuel. Whatever officers remained, Gintoki saw them marching into the nearest building with flamethrowers in hand, scavenging for more plants and burning them at sight. Mimi's bluff had been useless. The plants burned and burned. Black smoke issued from broken windows and shadowed the clear skies above. When it came to destruction nobody could say the Shinsengumi didn't work fast.
Mimi's shriek pierced Gintoki's ears. She had reached the rooftop panting and sweating. Her expression was haggard and she shook with pain.
"You murderers! What are you doing to my babies! Stop! Stop! STOP!" tears ran down her face and she clutched at the green roots that sprung out of her head. The sight filled Gintoki with pity. When she fell to her knees in despair, he lowered his bokuto and walked towards her.
"If you let me talk to those mad dogs running around burning everything, maybe they'll sto-"
It was too late for comforting words. Before Gintoki knew it, the girl's vines leaped to his neck and twisted around it holding tight. He dropped his sword and grasped at the strong coil with both hands. He could feel the oxygen escaping his lungs, his throat being squashed. Soon it became hard to breathe.
"You think you can just ruin everything... I'll show you..." Mimi gritted her teeth and glared at Gintoki with bloodshot eyes.
Although she was still in considerable pain, having parts of her body being burnt everywhere, her strength was relentless. Her eyes shined brighter than ever and a ghastly grin spread over her face. Amidst the foul smoke, Gintoki began smelling a sweet stench in the air, a scent he could not describe yet was strangely familiar. He stopped struggling against the crushing roots and felt his muscles relax. His vision swam and his empty lungs began to slowly fill with that intoxicating fragrance. He was about to close his eyes and give out when out of nowhere something knocked Mimi's head from behind and she doubled over.
"Gin-chan!" Kagura's little frame latched onto Gintoki's in happiness "Gin-chan!" she exclaimed again "How dare you trade us for this pooper!" she punched him in the cheek and he fell back on the floor.
"What the hell Kagura?! I was almost dying two seconds ago! Get off me!"
"I almost died of hunger! I had to eat your secret pudding stash!" Kagura admitted with sorrow, though her tears were fake and she buried her head in Gintoki's chest for dramatic effect.
"WHAT?!" Gintoki could barely speak, unable to stop coughing while trying to regain his breath.
"What have you been doing with this pooper anyway?" Kagura detached herself from him, believing her little theatrics successful. She looked back at the half-unconscious alien girl lying on the floor and snorted "She hypnotized you and the guys from the host club with her pooping tricks, but we took care of them"
"We?" Gintoki wondered. At that moment Shinpachi appeared at the door confirming Gintoki's guess. He knelt down by him and helped him up, complaints shooting out of his mouth by the second. Kagura was oblivious to them and approached the girl she had just kicked in the head with morbid curiosity in her eyes.
"Does she poop this out too?" she crouched and pulled the roots coming out of Mimi's head.
"Yaaaaa! Stop pulling my hair it hurts!"
Kagura's lips turned up in an evil smile and she pulled at them again.
"Oh? What was that? Did I hear something? Whoa! Shinpachi look at this, when I pull this thing it makes a sound"
"Kagura-chan, stop it!"
"What did you say, you green dung sack!?"
With Gintoki's help, Shinpachi managed to separate the two alien girls who were quick to turn on each other. Next to Kagura Mimi didn't appear to be a year older. Her short height and childish features were apparent. At close range and overpowered, she looked just the mere innocent victim of Kagura's bullying and, if not for her sudden attempt at strangulation, Gintoki might have stopped the Shinsengumi from arresting her. But he didn't. They cuffed her and put a bag over her head to spare her further pain, since cutting her flowery hair would have been too cruel, tantamount to cutting her arms and legs.
Much like the rooftop, the front of the building was a smoky mess. Shinsengumi officers were busy managing the rioting male hosts and keeping the bonfires burning nonstop. Yamazaki ran up to the three Yorozuya members as soon as they came out and he peeked behind them in search of his Vice-Commander.
"Hello Danna, rough patch today, uh? Where's Hijikata-san? I thought he was with you?"
The three glanced back to check but it was to no effect.
"I thought he had come down when they arrested Mimi-san" Shinpachi said "He didn't come with us. Did you see him Gin-san?"
"Yeah, Mayora went to bring back Gin-chan last time I saw him" Kagura added.
Gintoki felt his pulse pick up at the images those words brought back. He tried his best to seem uninterested but the worry in Yamazaki's face disturbed him.
"What's the matter?" he asked with narrowing eyes "You have a stupid look going on Jimmy-kun"
"We are going to blow up the place to exterminate the alien plants once and for all. I hope the Vice-Commander isn't inside"
"What!?" Shinpachi choked.
"Captain Okita's orders" Yamazaki replied meekly.
"Just wait here a moment. We'll go check, maybe something happened to him inside-" Shinpachi's suggestion was short-lived though.
"I'll go" Gintoki told them "I was the last to see that idiot anyway" he scratched the back of his head in a detached manner "Don't blow anything until I come back, you hear me? You bunch of homicidal creeps..."
Yamazaki nodded and Gintoki went inside the rotten building again. The first floor was filled with smoke so he sprinted past it and climbed the stairs two steps at a time to the spot where he had left Hijikata earlier. There the nearest corridors were deserted but not the rooms. Gintoki had a vague idea about the ones Mimi had filled with the biggest, nastiest plants, including her own personal chamber. Therefore he went to check them first, kicking down doors as he went along. Most plants were withering quietly in the dark rooms, yet some squirmed and writhed towards any source of light they could find. Wherever Gintoki looked at, green tails wormed out of every nook and cranny threatening to consume every smooth surface in their path.
He was about to quit and call himself a fool for even thinking Hijikata might be in danger when he walked past an open door. He didn't see much beyond a dark blur at first, but the sounds called him back. Those moans were not something he was willing to share with anyone. There were marks on the floor, as if something big had been dragged inside. Gintoki frowned at it before he realized what it was.
"So I leave you for two fucking seconds and this is what happens? What kind of demented change of genre do you think you're doing?! This is a shounen manga! SHOU-NEN!" Gintoki bellowed outraged, looking despondently towards the center of the room.
Hijikata would have given him a much more coherent and articulate answer if he hadn't been completely overcome with stalks coiling around him. His upper body was hidden beneath a layer of leaves and he could barely move. Gintoki wasn't totally certain if the sight was in agreement with his twisted preferences, but regardless of whether or not tentacle-stuff was one of his kinks, he knew Hijikata wasn't liking it one bit so he decided to let him suffer.
"Could you just... get...me the... fuck out of here!" Hijikata growled angrily, fighting a thick stalk that was trying to immobilize his leg and succeeding.
"No way, have you looked at these things? They ain't natural, I don't think I can even cut through this" Gintoki replied while examining a nearby alien monstrosity.
"After this... I'm gonna.. fucking kill you... and it's gonna... feel so... fucking.. good"
Two things happened as Hijikata's last word of warning came out as the most delighted mewl ever. One, the contorting motions of the plants had reached his crotch and were trying to get inside his pants. Two, Gintoki startled so abruptly he choked on his own spit.
"Please... get me out" Hijikata's voice had lost its raspy tone and he spoke in the same breathless way he did in those rare moments only Gintoki knew about. The alien plants were snaking their way around his crotch, rubbing and sliding over all the right places, making it impossible for Hijikata to keep quiet. He was trying to hold back another shameful whimper but Gintoki didn't need to be told twice. A flame had lit inside his body bigger than any fire the Shinsengumi had built. He was half mad with fury and half mad with arousal. Burning down the whole damn place didn't seem like a desperate moronic measure anymore; that little innocent-looking alien girl could live the rest of her life in a dark dungeon with that fucking bag over her head for all Gintoki cared.
With a swift move he got out his bokuto and lashed at the plants at his feet. He reached Hijikata and pulled his sword from its scabbard eager to busy both his hands. In less than a minute the floor was littered with what looked like chopped cabbage. Hijikata brushed the stems off his uniform and got up with shaky legs, a boner in the middle. Gintoki was too angry to give him back his sword. He wasn't even using it anymore, he was just stomping down the plants, cursing at them and acting childish, hoping Mimi felt every single squeeze of his boot. Hijikata had to slap him to make him stop.
"What the hell are you hitting me for after I saved your ungrateful ass!?" Gintoki yelled outraged.
"You're being a fucking idiot, let's get out of here and be done with it. I can't look at this shit any longer" Hijikata told him bluntly, turning his back and walking away.
"Well, you looked like you were enjoying yourself, you sick bastard" Gintoki spoke with more jealousy than mock. He couldn't help himself. His veins ran hot with steaming blood and he knew he had to do something about it before he left the building. Shitty alien plants or no.
"I what-?!" Hijikata blushed, his cheeks turning redder than before. He had tried to straighten his clothes and tame his hair, but he still looked disheveled and vulnerable. An all-kill on Gintoki's weaknesses.
"You don't even try to hide it!"
"Shut the fuck up! Are you seriously getting on my ass because of a fucking plant?"
"Yes because the plant was on your ass, you fucking idiot!"
"You really wanna argue about who's the idiot here? At least I wasn't the one seduced by a five year old Amanto creep from space!"
"No, her fucking alien garden was enough for you, perverted asshole!"
"You were the one watering that fucking shit!"
"It's wrong to neglect nature!"
"I swear I'll chop your fucking head off if you don't shut up"
Their banter lasted until they were two floors from the entrance and clear of the green invasion upstairs. Gintoki's brain was also on its last stretch and all he saw in front of him was Hijikata's tousled hair and bare neck; his parted lips kept spouting nonsense Gintoki forced himself to answer but which he didn't really care to hear. The tension in his chest was overwhelming.
"Hey wait a second" Gintoki pulled back Hijikata by the arm before they reached the next corner "What about me paying you back that debt right now? You know, for the smoke" he proposed, eyes red, dark and keen on Hijikata's lips "I don't think you can refuse" a dodgy smile managed to break through Gintoki's grave look and he pressed his knee between Hijikata's thighs. The instant gasp he got in return was reply enough.
"What! Here?" Hijikata whispered, glancing around reluctantly.
"Not unless you want to go out there strutting that southern Toshi around" Gintoki answered nonchalantly, though he pulled down Hijikata's zipper and held him in place. Hijikata bit back a moan.
"Yes, I know" Gintoki pushed Hijikata slowly against the wall and kissed him, eager to wash away any ghastly sensation those nasty coiling plants might have left. He tried not to think too hard on it, but it was difficult to block images still so fresh in his mind. His kiss was sloppy and all over the place, and Hijikata grunted in frustration. Gintoki felt him tug at his lower lip, tongue waiting to sweep inside his mouth.
"You want to do this or not, assface?" the way Hijikata spoke was petulant and his gaze intense. If his grinding bulge was of any indication, he was probably as intent on forgetting the whole tentacle thing as Gintoki was "You know you do owe me" he continued, hands probing Gintoki's chest "So you better do it right"
Gintoki felt the request in his groin. He had a small notion of how red his cheeks must have flushed, but he tried to get on with it before Hijikata could aggravate him any further by some pity laugh.
"It's your fault for getting all hot and bothered with a fucking plant" Gintoki muttered angrily, nuzzling Hijikata's neck and sucking hard on his skin, hoping to leave a mark.
"And you just stood there watching" Hijikata answered, not knowing the idea he had just given Gintoki.
"You want to watch?"
"Then watch this"
The minute Gintoki got on his knees Hijikata grabbed his collar to pull him back up. He clearly knew what would follow and his widened eyes reflected the disarray between his mind and his body. Gintoki couldn't help but smile as Hijikata's hands fumbled in panic and his chest heaved in excitement. Nothing was quite as charming as a flustered Hijikata.
"Gintoki no-" the Vice-Commander's cool demeanor had all but slipped away. He swallowed hard and panted, embarrassed to look at the silver head below his navel.
"Shut it" Gintoki pulled down Hijikata's pants, freeing his cock from its stifling confines. Although he felt his own member throbbing painfully between his legs, undoing Hijikata was of the foremost priority. He was going to do it right and vindicate the shit out of that request.
"Not here, Gintoki, stop-"
Hijikata's absurd whining ceased as soon as Gintoki's tongue touched the base of his cock. He threw his head back in despair and held back a cry afraid of release. The reaction spurred on Gintoki. His mouth enveloped the tip of Hijikata's cock and he sucked him in, licking the whole hard length. Hijikata inhaled violently and jerked, unable to control the urge to rock his hips. His shallow thrust amused Gintoki and the latter's low chuckle at the back of his throat nearly sent Hijikata over the edge, its vibrations rolling over his cock. Gintoki was beginning to feel proud of a job well done, yet Hijikata grabbed a fistful of his curls and begged him to stop.
"Stop that, damn it... I'm on my limit"
"I'm not done" Gintoki replied, allowing no rebuttals. However, Hijikata did pull him up this time mustering all the strength he could, and he moved Gintoki's hand down his back.
"You have to do it now" Hijikata told him in a tone of command. Gintoki couldn't feign disliking that kind of authority even though he was angry at the interruption. He still had Hijikata's taste in his mouth and a feeling of regrettable loss in his gut. Nevertheless, his own arousal wore him down and by this time Hijikata had also sprang to motion, tending to Gintoki's erection with sweaty hands. The relief on his aching member was so great Gintoki whimpered into Hijikata's collarbone a long low breath that made Hijikata chuckle.
"Oh, how long has it been?"
"Long enough" Gintoki grunted, refusing to think back on the number of days that had passed since they had last seen each other.
"Then hurry up" Hijikata taunted.
Gintoki wanted to roar for all the impatience gnawing at him from every quarter. His body was a mass of heat near explosion and his ears were filled with soft quick gasps whose rhythm was nearly driving him insane. It felt like they were at it for hours and not a speck of his desire had been quenched. It was torment. Gintoki turned Hijikata around to put it in, the position boosting his need, but Hijikata stopped him midway, confronting him eye to eye.
"Hey, wait! Where's your condom?"
"I used them all" Gintoki answered hurriedly.
"You did what-!?"
Gintoki hastened to explain himself before Hijikata's misunderstanding ruined the moment.
"You think this crap building has running water? How do you think I watered all these plants? I used them as water containers, idiot"
"What about yours? Give it here"
"I don't have any! You think I just walk around with my pockets full of condoms?"
"Obviously, so you can give them out to the lost youth of our time and so you can have safe protected sex with Gin-san at any place any time"
Hijikata actually laughed at his joke. His snort escaped effortlessly out of his strict features and his eyes narrowed in glee. The sight fueled Gintoki's anger at once, among other things.
"You think this is funny, bastard?"
"You should be thankful I even bother to listen to your shit. You have a problem with that?"
"Of course I have a fucking problem, your laughing face creeps me out" Hijikata opened his mouth to protest but Gintoki wasn't finished "And it gets me harder which is actually fucking painful, not to mention my heart goes all doki doki crazy" Hijikata started laughing again, unable to bear the silliness "Yeah, yeah, you like that? You like this kind of dirty Bessatsu Margaret talk, don't you, uh?"
"Just shut up and fuck me"
Destroying the derelict buildings proved to be more cumbersome than expected. As soon as the consequences started to pile up on Hijikata's desk, Okita vanished from sight, suddenly becoming very interested in patrolling Edo's streets ten miles away. Nevertheless, his disappearance was of some relief to the barracks and Gintoki himself, for the Yorozuya trio had decided to loiter around the Shinsengumi until they could leech some money out of them. With Okita away, Gintoki had one less thing to sour Hijikata's mood and spite Kagura's. What he didn't add to the equation though was his own irksome existence. To any other person, Harada's post by Hijikata's door would have been a blatant signal not to disturb the Vice-Commander, but Gintoki wasn't Gintoki without his natural degree of stupidity and self-importance. Shinpachi had retired with shame after a dozen pressing attempts at bribery, but Gintoki and Kagura stood their ground by Harada, harassing him continuously until he gave way. Gintoki believed the matter would have been easily solved if it had been Yamazaki blocking their path, but Hijikata had sent him on an undercover mission to stage a little arson in Hedoro's shop. The objective was simple: to keep the scary Amanto away so they could move on with their case on Mimi.
She had played her part to perfection, taking advantage of Hedoro the minute they met. Once everyone had returned from the pile of rubble that was left of her burning nest of plants, Hedoro had been the first to receive her back at the barracks. A crucial mistake, since under his terrifying influence the Shinsengumi was forced to prepare a special cell for Mimi, furnishing it with tatami floors and a wooden table ready with a tea set. The improvements sweetened her temper significantly, not to mention losing the bag over her head. After tea she was even civil enough towards Hedoro, acting thankful and letting a few teardrops fall out the corner of her eyes. However, behind his back her real self emerged. She raved hysterically about his hideous face and cried out for her sister pitifully. Kagura enjoyed watching these latter displays. In fact, as soon as Harada's harassment began to bore her, she moved to a definite spot by Mimi's cell and watched the latter wailing behind bars as if she was at home watching a drama on TV.
Outside, under the sun, Kondo remained sobbing in his corner of the backyard and having an heart to heart with Hochirou. They seemed to be nurturing some kind of bond over their earlier dismissal. Hijikata chose to ignore them for practical purposes and focused the Shinsengumi on hunting down the rest of the flowers Mimi and Gintoki had distributed around Edo. As for the male hosts, they were gathered in the backyard and given cigarettes to smoke in order to cleanse their bodies off Mimi's pollen. Things were starting to fall into place. But peace never lasted long.
That evening a big spaceship shadowed the grounds of the barracks and parked above them indefinitely. Gintoki noticed the sudden loss of sunlight and stepped out to check what was happening, mostly just to yell at somebody other than Harada. The sight that greeted him was far from anything he expected to further happen that day. A frown instantly took over his features as he pictured what form of ungodly commotion would now rain upon them. He was certain he would pass out and die if another bead of sweat fell from his face without the tiniest fucking reward. He was too tired.
The spaceship had a clean smooth design which was nothing like the usual stuff that floated around the Oedo Terminal. Gintoki wrinkled his nose at it, but then he read the big kanji characters for 'Matsushiba' on its side and something about the name clicked. He was racking his brain trying to place it, when a column of white light sloped down from the spaceship into the vacant space in front of him. The whole Shinsengumi backyard glowed with light. Everyone in the barracks came out in wonder, Hijikata included. He stepped out of his room and Gintoki gave him a shrug of shoulders in answer to the questioning look on his face.
"I don't know either. Wrong anime probably" Gintoki told him.
Along with the shaft of light came a rope ladder that stopped two inches above the grass and deposited a small figure onto the ground. Gintoki felt his jaw hit the wooden floor of Hijikata's porch and his eyes tripled their usual size. The word 'Matsushiba' finally rang loud and clear in his mind. Matsushiba Robot Company.
In the middle of the Shinsengumi backyard stood a 4'3 tall cat-like robot with red ears which resembled a bow. She was round-shaped, yellow and cute. Apart from the blue collar around her neck, her most prominent feature was the pocket in her belly. A collective outburst broke in the yard after a minute of absolute silence.
"SHIT IT'S-IT'S-IT-IT-S IT'S D-DO-DOORAE-"
"LOOK! THE POCKET!" Gintoki's mesmerized eyes were glued to her four dimensional pocket in shock "I'LL BUY YOU ALL THE MERONPANS IN THE WORLD IF YOU TAKE OUT THE ANYWHERE DOOR, I'M NOT LYING, I'M THE MAIN CHARACTER, IT CAN BE ARRANGED. SOMEONE CALL SUNRISE" he spewed out with derangement, his wildest dreams flashing before his eyes. He felt his heart beat faster and his younger self brimming beneath his skin.
"SHUT UP SHE'S GONNA DO IT" Hijikata yelled.
All the stares turned to Dorami as she put a cute round paw inside her pocket. Sweat ran down Gintoki's temples in anticipation and he felt the shortage of oxygen as everyone inhaled deeply and held their breaths. Dorami took out a paper handkerchief and, for the fraction of a second, Gintoki's eyes watered with elation believing the handkerchief to be some sort of magical gadget. To the disillusionment of his and every other pure heart in the barracks, Dorami blew her nose in an ugly fashion and threw the dirty handkerchief behind her back. A weight sank in Gintoki's heart. Something of his youth had been broken beyond repair.
"Did she just pollute the garden?" he asked to no one in particular.
The group of rehabilitated male hosts had stooped to the ground in despair, muttering curses in disbelief.
"This is not my Dorami-chan" one mumbled.
"My dream is a nightmare..."
"She was my childhood crush!"
"How can this be Dorami-chan..."
"What is the punishment for littering the barracks?" Gintoki asked the immovable Vice-Commander beside him.
Dorami cut Gintoki's next complaint and he twisted his neck at her strange gaunt voice.
"Humans" she addressed them coldly "Who is this Dorami?" she asked irritated. Nobody had the courage to answer her "Dorami, Dorami, Dorami, have you really evolved at all?"
Gintoki cringed. Her voice was awful and grated on his nerves.
"Anyway" she coughed and pulled out another handkerchief which she proceeded to dispose of in the same manner as before "Damn this stupid phantom reflex!" she grunted "I'm here for my sister"
Gintoki looked at her nonchalantly and shook his head, refusing to believe what low level logic was trying to prove. No, no, no, no, it couldn't be. He turned towards Hijikata to measure some reaction other than his own, but Hijikata was as cryptic as the fake Dorami.
"Who are you?" the Vice-Commander asked directly, his excitement long forgotten.
"I'm Lili, Mimi's older sister" she said "I've received a distress call from her, it seems you humans are keeping her hostage"
"Your sister is a criminal, she will be dealt with accordingly" he told her "And you're arrested for intrusion upon private property and irregular parking of a spacecraft. Harada see if it checks with the Terminal"
Harada nodded and disappeared into the barracks looking for a phone. Hijikata took out a cigarette and lit it before taking a drag. Lili remained frozen in her spot, harmless and silent. Gintoki admitted he was a little turned on by the policeman act, but his brain was stuck in the part where a cat-robot was the sibling of a flower popping-alien girl. He had his worries.
"Maybe she's adopted" he said to himself; the idea suddenly justifying all of Mimi's personality-issues.
Perhaps, as if sensing his prejudiced thoughts, Lili's eyes turned towards him with a disturbing gleam.
"You want to see the Anywhere Door?" she asked him. It was almost a dare, a dare Gintoki was unable to refuse.
"Oi, are you serious?" he mumbled, looking up at the big Matsushiba kanjis on the spaceship with suspicion "You really have one, fake-Dorami?"
"Come and see for yourself" she said, hopping onto the last step of the rope ladder.
"You're not going anywhere" Hijikata's warning came with a group of officers surrounding Lili at bazooka-range.
"Then why don't you come too?" her voice pure innocence.
Gintoki and Hijikata changed apprehensive looks. Gintoki knew in the back of his mind this sudden invitation sounded a lot like a trap, but his curiosity was out to get the best of him. Besides, what could a cute cat-robot like her do to them? Especially one with a sense of responsibility who had just come to save her younger sister? Gintoki wanted to throw up at this sick logic, but anything was plausible as long as he got to set a foot in that spaceship. His mind was stuck in a single goal: AnywhereDoorAnywhereDoorAnywhereDoorAnywhereDoor.
Hijikata bit his cigarette and put it out after a moment's deliberation. He gave his subordinates a few directives and then walked up to the rope ladder, holding tight to a spot under Lili and Gintoki. There was a deep frown between his eyebrows.
"I told them to charge in if we don't come out in twenty" he declared. Lili responded with a contemptuous 'hmph!' and Gintoki barely heard him. His vision was fixed on the spaceship above them.
The ladder jerked and up they went. Some fools tried to cling to the last step but it pulled up at great speed. The barracks turned smaller and smaller beneath Gintoki's feet and soon they disappeared completely as they reached the spaceship. It smelled like disinfectant and fuel oil.
"Follow me" Lili told them. Gintoki nodded eagerly and pulled a cranky Hijikata after him.
"Move your ass!"
They bickered miserably after Lili, looking like two kindergarten kids following their teacher to detention. Despite their deplorable behavior, they weren't unaware of their surroundings. Gintoki noticed how the inside had the same simple design of the exterior and he counted dozens of sealed doors, each marked with a number. He tried not to imagine how behind each one was hidden a different kind of magical gadget, but he knew it was better to have no expectations than to be more disappointed. Lili had been enough.
"Is this your ship?" Hijikata asked her after a moment of silence.
"Yes. In a way" she said with her back turned, keeping the steady pace her short legs allowed her.
"Is this some kind of lab?"
"As a matter of fact, yes" she said with a sigh "I work for Matsushiba company, a bunch of assholes" she muttered under her breath "We're moving offices you see, so they assigned me this ship for the time being"
"And what's behind all these doors? What is it you do? You're no cat-robot from the future with a magical pocket" Gintoki said bitterly.
"Are you stupid?" Lili laughed "Humans really baffle me. Why would you even think that? What an ass"
Gintoki scowled at her rudeness and felt twice the embarrassment when he heard Hijikata sneer behind him.
"Oh Hijikata-kun, how shrewd you are today, uh?" Gintoki's mocking tone was enough to fill Hijikata with dismay. He blushed ever so lightly and clicked his tongue in disgust.
"Shut your trap" was the quick comeback.
Lilith continued her explanation in spite of Gintoki's private joke.
"Indeed this is not my original body. I transplanted my brain here with the help of Matsushiba's finest scientists and discarded my biological flesh suit" she said matter-a-factually "You see, for generations my race was hunted throughout the universe because our bodies could produce a pollen of special proprieties. In the beginning, rival races began to kill us and make war because they were afraid of our abilities. No one wants to be manipulated, you know?" she glanced above her shoulder briefly "We discovered we could control others by lowering their neurotransmission levels and stimulate their brains. What we didn't foresee was the use of our pollen for pleasure purposes. A drug war broke out and we were hunted and stuck in labs, basements, filthy places. Most of our race died. So I thought that instead of living on the run from everything and everybody I would destroy what they wanted. And so I did" she stopped in front of a door marked #4998. Gintoki and Hijikata remained silent.
"You were speaking of an Anywhere Door" Lili said, turning towards Gintoki.
"I don't know if you mean the same thing I do" she said "But I'll show you mine anyway" she put her little paw in an ID device by the door and it opened with a beep.
The room they entered was huge. The ceiling was high and the walls were covered with cables and blinking lights that converged in two separate doors: a blue one on the right and a pink one on the left.
"I've been working on this project for the last six years without a stop. It's the reason why I've been neglecting Mimi and letting her run away to indulge in stupid endeavors like coming to this planet. You see, having this body is not enough. My sister is all alone, we are all alone. We have no future. So I want to change the past and stop the war. I want to save my race and that's why I've been trying to develop time travel. I'm still struggling with many issues like specific time placement and whatnot, but these two doors have been mostly successful. Their main problem is finding the door when- HEY HAVE YOU BEEN LISTENING TO ME AT ALL, YOU UNGRATEFUL LITTLE SHITS!"
Lili's enraged interjection wasn't without explanation. Since the moment those two magical doors had appeared in front of them, Gintoki and Hijikata's brains did little but hyperventilate uncontrollably. Gintoki ran a straight line towards the door on the left and Hijikata did the same to the door on the right. They turned the door handles and stepped inside before Lili had finished her last sentence.
AN: I apologize for defiling Dorami's image! I love her to bits. This was for comedic purposes only. I'm also sorry it took me so long to update. I've had this whole arc planned for ages but writing it out is always so much harder, and I was busy with life too. Anyway, I hope it's not a disappointment lol. These last two chapters have been crazy after crazy so I'm planning some angst next (amazing solution to all of life's problems). Thanks for all the reviews and support. I'll keep doing my best. Love you all!