This is Love (So Stay)

Prologue

"Katsura!" Hijikata called out as the smoke from the bazooka Okita had dangerously wielded blocked out his vision and covered the area under a dark blanket. The light streaming from the windows helped, however, and the Vice-Commander of the Shinsengumi covered the lower part of his face with the crook of his arm as his eyes flickered this way and that for any sign of the long-haired terrorist. His Shinsengumi underlings were tumbling around behind him, and Hijikata clicked his tongue on the roof of his mouth in annoyance. Useless, the whole lot of 'em.

There was a sudden jerk of movement to the right of him, and Hijikata instantly brandished his sword and thrust it blindly yet with deathly precision at the flicker of life. The smoke began dissipating as his sword sliced through it with ease, and Hijikata wondered belatedly if it was a fellow Shinsengumi member, before brushing such thoughts away. If a Shinsengumi member was stupid enough to be lumbering through the debris and smoke, then he deserved seppuku anyways.

However, Hijikata was not prepared for his sword to clang loudly with what was clearly the outline of another sword through the visage of smoke.

"Wha-?" He muttered in confusion, before the other's sword thrust upwards, forcing Hijikata to leap away.

"Oi, oi, that wasn't very nice," a deep baritone voice rumbled in a lazy drawl, and Hijikata instantly froze at the sound as his mind pulled him towards thoughts of unmanageable silver hair and half-lidded red eyes. "What if you killed me, eh?"

Then, as if it were curtains being drawn, the smoke disappeared completely, showing a tall man draped in a white and blue yukata which wasn't even worn properly, curly hair the colour of clouds, and those dead fish eyes that had lingered in the back of Hijikata's mind for the past ten years.

The waves of his malice lapped halfheartedly along the shores of betrayal and loneliness, and Hijikata gritted his teeth as his hands tightened on his sword. The banks of old friendship (and something else, something more that he truly ever regretted giving to the natural perm) gnawed at his heart which was inexplicably lodged in his throat, and he pushed the warmth away and instead focused on the hatred thrumming through his veins.

Across from him, the silver haired man's eyes widened and his mouth twisted in the oddest way. Hijikata, however, refused to dwell on how big of a contrast the man in front of him differed from the boy in his memories, and he snarled out a name which he promised to never utter again all those years ago.

"Gintoki."

Gintoki's arms lowered, his wooden sword bumping harmlessly against his right leg and his eyes flickered up and down the darker haired male's body, taking in the Shinsengumi uniform and the tension rolling throughout his entire frame, and opened his mouth to speak. However, before any sound could be spoken (or even worse, Hijikata's name), the Vice-Commander had already leaped forwards, sword drawn with the blade glinting dangerously, his face twisted in a pained grimace as he aimed for Gintoki's heart, with the intent to kill.

-x-

Disclaimer: Not mine.

A/N: The title of this story is from the song, "Hospital" by Lydia. Lovely, lovely song that (sort of?) inspired this fic. This story is an AU so sorry of any confusion this prologue may have caused. Hopefully, you enjoyed this so far, and perhaps you will stay around to read the rest of this story? :)

Review please?

Until next time!

-masruiiiik